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Weekly political notes

By Samson Ezea
24 December 2016   |   3:29 am
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Ita Enang, on Wednesday, said President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to over 30 bills in a year and six months.
Ita Enang

Ita Enang

Buhari Assents To Over 30 Bills In 18 Months–Ita Enang
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Ita Enang, on Wednesday, said President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to over 30 bills in a year and six months.

Enang, who made this known while briefing journalists in Abuja said the achievement was worthy of note. He commended the 8th National Assembly for being able to pass the bills within a short period, describing it as a great feat.

According to him, the period of the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly has been rewarding, interesting and active, as well as productive.

“This National Assembly under the leadership of Bukola Saraki and Dogara has been very rewarding in terms of legislation, as seen in the number of bills passed.

“This shows that as the legislature ages, more of its powers are being exercised. Some days ago, President assented to a little over about 30 bills within one year and six months of the inauguration of this present National Assembly. This surpasses every record that has been made by the legislature since the advent of democracy in this republic.

Enang, an experienced lawmaker should have known that President Buhari’s assent to bills is not a big deal, because it is his constitutional responsibility. After all, the 7th Senate under the leadership of Senator David Mark, with Enang as Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business passed 146 bills in less than 10 minutes. Today, not many can remember the bills or how they have impacted positively on the life of an average Nigerian.

So, what is Enang trying to tell Nigerians that they have not heard before? Nigeria has never lacked when it comes to passing good bills, making good laws and policies, but has failed in implementing them to the letter. This has remained the bane of progress and development in the polity.

Until such happens or begins to happen, nobody will be carried away by the number of bills passed by the National Assembly or assented to by the President. Enang, you need to do more than this, let there be real change.

Things Will Be Better For Nigerians In 2017 — Lai Mohammed
The Minister for Information, Arts and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has commended Nigerians for their perseverance and understanding, urging them to look forward to better times in 2017.

Mohammed spoke at a special evening of music and camaraderie to usher in the Yuletide season organised by the Lagos State Government at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja

He aid, “We give thanks to God that we are alive; by the grace of God, next year will be much easier. 2016 has not been a particularly easy year even because the economy has not done well as we thought. This is not because of incompetence on the part of government, but because of the general global slowdown and this affected commodity prices,” Mohammed said.

What a prophetic declaration by Lai Mohammed. That is what he should be saying to encourage the people. He should be reminded that the prophecy is not enough, without plan of action by the government. Nigerians will like to know what the government has done or is doing that made Mohammed to believe or declare that next year will better than this year. Unless, Mohammed is telling Nigerians to believe that his declaration is from God. If so, when has the Minister become a man of God?

Besides, those who may believe in the declaration will like to know its possibilities in the light of the current economic realities.

Buhari Orders SGF, Magu’s Probe
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to investigate the involvement of any top government officials accused of any wrong-doing, assuring that they will be prosecuted if found guilty.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a two paragraphs statement, said the action followed numerous media report accusing some officials in the Buhari administration of being corrupt.

While there may be nothing wrong for President Buhari to order for the probe of accused government officials, why the choice of the AGF? Does it mean that there is no person or agency that can handle the probe?

Won’t the AGF do the bidding of the Aso Rock cabal, of which he has been accused of being a member? Hope, the probe will not end like the previous ones – motion without movement.

Instead of fresh probe, why not allow the anti-graft agencies investigate the veracity of the allegations. In line with the Buhari government’s anti-graft fight, is it not better the affected government officials vacate their positions pending when the probe ends?

The development has shown that even President Buhari may have not be aware of events happening in his government, including important security reports. If not, why is it that Buhari did not know about the security report on Magu before a request for his confirmation was sent to the Senate.

Court Orders EFCC To Vacate Fayose’s Property
Reprieve came the way of Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose as a Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to remove the seal placed on all the property belonging to him.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the order while ruling on application moved by counsel to Gov Fayose, Chief Mike Ozekheme (SAN). 
He brought the application after the EFCC had seized Fayose’s properties. Ruling on the application, which was argued on Tuesday, Justice Dimgba noted that the interim orders, which were made on
July 20 and re-affirmed on August were made to last for 45days to enable EFCC carry out its investigations.

Justice Dimgba held: “I have checked through the record of the court. I do not see any application by EFCC to renew the order of interim attachment, and neither was any such motion for renewal served on the applicant (Fayose).”

This ruling gave Fayose some relief, coming few days after similar order was made on his bank account. But Fayose should expect that the anti-graft agency would appeal the ruling, meaning that the battle has not ended. Whichever way, Nigerians are watching to see how this cat and mouse game will end. Who will laugh last, Fayose or EFCC? Well, time will tell.

However, it will be another failure on the part of EFCC if it fails to prove its case against Fayose after all the media stunt. It will be a huge setback for Fayose if he fails to wriggle himself out of EFCC allegation in the end.

Nkechi Okorocha

Nkechi Okorocha

My Wife Controls Four Govt Ministries- Okorocha
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, has revealed that, in his administration, the wife, Nkechi Okorocha, has control over four ministries of the government.

Okorocha stated this when the correspondent chapel of Imo State, honoured the wife with the “most outstanding Governor’s wife award.”

The Secretary to the Imo State government, Mr. George Etche who represented the governor at the event, while singing praises of the achievements of Okorocha’s wife in the last six years also named the ministries under the control of the wife of the Imo state governor. As part of his presentation, the ministries include, “Women Affairs, Works, Health, as well as the office of the Secretary to the State Government.”

Etche also went further to confirm the statement made by Chinedu Offor, a lawmaker representing Onuimo state constituency in the Imo state House of Assembly, in which he said that the governor’s wife deserved to be honoured with the award of “Nobel peace prize”

While there may be nothing new in Etche’s narrative, he took sycophancy to another level. With this gaffe, who knows if Governor Okorocha will not ask him to go, that is if Okorocha’s wife fails to intervene.

As a super first lady with four juicy ministries under her control, she is the de facto governor. It will be recalled that before now, Okorocha’s son-in-law, Mr Uche Nwosu was the commissioner of Land in the State and later became Chief of Staff, Government House. Also in 2015, Nwosu held Governor Okorocha’s return ticket in abeyance and relinquished it to him, after Okorocha lost the APC presidential primary.

In Imo under Okorocha, governance has been more of family affair. So, there is nothing surprising about the wife’s control of four ministries at a time her office has no constitutional backing. That is the irony of governance in Nigeria. Meanwhile, Okorocha’s wife is not the only culprit. Some wives of state governors are not only in control of the ministries, they are in control of the states’ treasuries. They determine who gets what, how and when.