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By: Manny Ita

Senate President Bukola Saraki today led Principal Officers of the National Assembly for a World Press Conference.
In his speech the senate leader condemned the siege laid by the security operatives of the Department of State Services on the National Assembly on Wednesday, saying it’s “an assault on democracy.”
He said, “It is a matter of record that yesterday, lawmakers and staff of the National Assembly were prevented from entering the
“The National Assembly, the seat of democracy in Nigeria, was under lockdown. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives were prevented from gaining access.”
“The ensuing standoff was a show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the country.
“In no circumstances should this have happened. And we as a nation reaped the bitter fruits instantaneously, as evident in media images relayed around the world, images that shame us as a democratic nation.
“The siege was also an act of cowardice by those seeking to carry out an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate in flagrant disregard of the law.”
He commended Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for rising up to the occasion.
Continuing, Saraki said, “People who seek control at all costs, by whatever means, never minding the injury to democratic norms. I have to say that this is not about me – Abubakar Bukola Saraki — as an individual. It is not about Ike Ekweremadu, nor is it about Yakubu Dogara.
“I am speaking for my colleagues when I say that this is about the soul of Nigeria, what we represent as a country, and our standing in the comity of nations. This is a country where so much is expected of us.
“So many rungs of the ladder that we are supposed to have ascended as a nation. Instead we are wallowing in impunity and illegal show of force, all of which retard our progress. This is most disheartening. I don’t get any joy in saying ‘I said so.’ I don’t.”
“However, some of you may recall that about two years ago, I stated that there was a government within this government, to a purpose that was not in the interest of what the people voted for.
“I said it then, and now we are beginning to see the manifestations of that government within a government.
“It beats one’s imagination how the head of an agency could have authorised the brazen assault on the legislature that we saw yesterday.”
“Despite the threat to our lives, we shall continue to fight impunity and injustice in this country. Happily, by the actions that Nigerians took yesterday, they demonstrated our strong resolve as a nation not to give ground to oppression.
“The legislature, more than any other institution in this country, more than any other arm of govt. represents the will of the people. We are elected by the people, & an assault on the legislature is an assault on the people of Nigeria.”
“The forcible shutdown of the legislature was an unconscionable assault on a national institution, and thanks to all your efforts, the aggressors have been put to shame.
“The resistance mounted by staff of the National Assembly, my colleagues in both chambers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who refused to leave the entrance of this Complex until the siege was broken, strengthens my faith in the people of this country.
“The rain fell, the sun rose, but Nigerians stood their ground in defence of democracy. With the strength of will demonstrated by everyone against unwarranted and unconstitutional militaristic might, the siege could not stand.
“By this, we have shown that Nigerians can resist government within government in whatever guise, and this is humbling for me.
“Those who sought to attack the National Assembly under my leadership for their selfish ends have only affirmed my belief in this country.
“They attempted to execute an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate without the backing of the law, but they faltered.
“I am confident that, together, we shall always defeat acts of unconstitutionality.
“The rule of law shall always prevail.
“I thank the thousands who monitored the situation on radio, television and social media, voicing their outrage at the siege, thereby sending a clear message to those that hatched the plot that the Nigerian public would not buy this act of gangsterism using instruments of state such as the DSS.
“I also thank the international community, particularly the European Union and the international press, for their prompt reactions to the invasion of the National Assembly.
“CSOs and Socio-cultural groups were emphatic in their statements during the crisis, and we very much appreciate their vigilance. Among the many that come up for special mention, I believe that Honourable Boma Goodhead, a member of the House of Representatives, stands out.
“She looked a masked security operative in the eye and dared him to shoot. She let it be known that Nigerians would not stand for the barricade at the National Assembly, that we would not be cowed.
“It was another pointer to what is possible in this country when women take their place in leadership.
“I applaud all who kicked against the atrocity and who stood firm until sanity prevailed.
“I am proud of how everyone conducted themselves in what was no doubt a tense standoff.

“The principled stance and defiant reactions to the ugly incident proved crucial to the failure of the plot.
“This is what we have been saying about the power of the people. The role of the people in defending democracy is paramount.
“I thank the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for his handling of the situation we were all confronted with yesterday. His decisive action went a long way towards restoring confidence.
“It sent a powerful message – that the DSS cannot be recklessly deployed against institutions of our democracy.”

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LAGOS BENEFITED NOTHING FROM PDP’S 16 YEARS PRESIDENCY – AMBODE

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday took a swipe at the sixteen years presidency of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between 1999 and 2015, saying the State benefited nothing from the party’s reign.  

Speaking at the National Consultative Forum of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, a coordinating body of all the groups campaigning for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in 2019, held at Nicon Luxury in Abuja, Governor Ambode said the country would not go back to Egypt by bringing PDP back to power having crossed the Red Sea.

He said just within three and half years from 2015 till date, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been able to lay a solid foundation for Nigeria’s economic growth and prosperity, adding that the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket remains the best option to take the country to the next level from 2019.

“Sixteen years of PDP, I can say it clearly that Lagos State never enjoyed anything from them. Three and half years of APC, I can clearly attest here that whatever it is that we have achieved in Lagos in the last three and half years, the present Federal Government has largely contributed to the things that we have achieved be it in terms of right of way, be it in terms of approval for waivers for import duties and other things that have actually made Lagos to be on the progressive trajectory that it had been in the last twenty years.

“So, for me it is very easy and it is just common sense that we have to uphold the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket to allow that economic progress and the growth in the GDP that we want for Nigeria rather than allowing it to get dismantled and then make us to go back to Egypt after crossing the Red Sea and we are not going back to Egypt,” Governor Ambode said.

He said since assuming office in 2015, the Buhari administration had worked tirelessly to bring about fundamental paradigm shift and retracing the steps of the country for sustained progressive chart, adding that the onus is now on the entire country to give the APC a chance to consolidate on the massive development already embarked upon.

“I just want Nigerians to understand and also to encourage all our members here that what we have started as a support group coordinating everything that is happening is not necessarily for you but it is a selfless service to put Nigeria on that trajectory that grows prosperity and also conveniently in another four years, we would make all Nigerians proud and I am very proud to be part of this.

“We have made up our mind that we are going to work tirelessly; we would do everything that is possible in terms of supporting and campaigning to let Nigerians understand that there are two parallel lines between what we stand to offer which is growth and prosperity for this country and what PDP is trying to come and re-engineer to take us back to the debris of the past that we don’t want to ever go back to.

“So, I just want to congratulate Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari and also the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and assure them that when they look at their back, they have true Nigerians who believe that yes, we want to build a skyscraper but we need solid foundation to be able to enjoy that skyscraper and then the next level we are thinking on is to be able to put the proper aesthetics and lay the proper foundation to allow Nigeria to make progress and that is what the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket speaks about,” the Governor said.

Besides, Governor Ambode said it was also gratifying that all APC Governors were united in ensuring the victory of APC in the presidential election next year. 

“All APC Governors, I can speak on their behalf, are resolved that the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket is what Nigeria needs and that is what we are going to pursue and I am happy that a handful of our gubernatorial candidates are here to align with us to make sure that what we would deliver is what Nigerians want and what Nigerians want is the APC President,” Governor Ambode said.

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CPPM DRAGS FIRS TO COURT OVER ATIKU ABUBAKAR TAX RECEIPTS

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The Committee for the Protection Peoples Mandate (CPPM) today Thursday 29th November, 2018, dragged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) before the federal high court in Abuja, seeking to compel it through an Order of Mandamus, to make public to the organization directly or through the court, copies of the 2015 and 2016 tax receipts of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming 2019 Presidential election.
It would be recalled that CPPM, had on the 16th of November, 2018 invoked relevant sections of the Freedom of information Act, by submitting a formal request to FIRS, to avail it the 2015 and 2016 tax receipts of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar within 7 working days, failure of which, it will resort to a court action.
Consequently, the organization made good it’s threat by approaching a federal high court in Abuja, today.
The organization premised it’s action on the information available to it, that Alhaji Atiku may not have been paying his taxes AS AT WHEN DUE, thus it wonders how as a candidate for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he can make Nigeria work, if he is a tax evader.
CPPM considers it’s action in line with its societal responsibility of advocacy for good governance and accountability, as well as educating the electorate to ensure that only persons of integrity and credibility are elected into public office.
The statement was signed by Nelson Ekujumi as National Coordinator and Solomon Sobade as a member of the board of trustees.
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EFCC Arrests 24 Undergraduates Yahoo Boys

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Ibadan has arrested 36 suspected internet fraudsters at 21, Sawmill Road, Awa-Ijebu, Ogun State

The commission’s acting Head, Media and Publicity, Mr Tony Orilade, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Orilade stated that the suspects, who were between 19 and 37 years of age, included 23 university students, out of which, nine were ladies who allegedly claimed to be girlfriends and or neighbours of some of the suspects.He added that one of the suspects was from another university, while 12 others were not students.

He stated that EFCC got wind of their activities through intelligence reports alleging that the suspected fraudsters were obtaining money by false pretext.

He said, “the suspects carry out their activities by sending emails to unsuspecting victims mostly in the United States of America, while others were engaged in romance scam on several dating sites.

“At the point of arrest, EFCC operatives recovered over 300 SIM cards from them.”

Orilade said other items recovered from the suspects included different models and brands of exotic cars, 18 laptops, nine being of Apple brand, 50 cell phone, including 21  iphones and two bags of fetish objects.

The media and publicity acting head said that the suspects would be charged to court after investigation. (NAN)

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