The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday confirmed a retired army major-general, Paul Tarfa, as chairman of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).
The Senate also confirmed Mohammed Alkali as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the commission and nine others as members of the board of the commission.
The members are Musa Yashi, ED Humanitarian Affairs; Mohammed Jawa, Executive Director, Admin and Finance; Omar Mohammed, Executive Director, Operations and David Kente, member representing North East zone.
Others are Asmau Mohammed, member representing North West zone; Benjamin Adanyi, Member representing North Central zone; Olawale Oshun, member representing South West zone; T.E.O Ekechi, member representing South-East and Obasuke McDonald, memb
er representing South-South zone.
The Senate, in October 2016, passed the bill for the establishment of the North East Development Commission to coordinate the rebuilding of the insurgency-ravaged North East region of Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill in October, 2017.
The confirmation of the nominees was made after Abdulaziz Nyako, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Special Duties, presented the report of the committee.
He said all the nominees met the requirements for their appointment.
Prior to the confirmation, Binta Garba, frowned at the fact that the headquarters of the commission is located in Borno State and the MD of the commission, Mr Alkali, is also from the state.
“The commission is domiciled in Borno State and the CEO is also from Borno State. Is it in consonance with the ideal of the commission within and outside Nigeria?
“For example, the President of the United Nations is not from America. We need to get some clarifications. Late Wakili asked that the headquarters should be in Bauchi State but he was shut down,” she said.
In his response, Mr Nyako explained that during the debate at the Senate, the position was left open.
He said members of the House of Representatives, however, called for zoning and thus voted in that manner.
“In our bill, we left it open. During the public hearings, we agreed if the headquarters is in Borno then someone else should be the MD; but in concurrence with the House of Representatives, more inclined to the MD from Borno.
“It was the House bill that went with zoning and their votes were overwhelming than ours,” he said.
In his remark, Ibn Na’Allah, said the observations are valid because it relates to international organisations.
“Certain peculiarities demonstrate certain actions. The entire bill is associated to the beginning of insurgency in Borno State and Adamawa is close to it. In the selection, Tarfa is from Adamawa.
“The choice of Alkali is based on the assumption that there is quick establishment and its running. What swayed the Senate and reps to choose Alkali is entirely a legislative action,” he said.
The Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, said the nominees are eminently qualified and prepared to hit the ground running.
He, therefore, urged the committee on special duties to ensure the taking off of the commission as he said the situation in the North East requires it to take off immediately.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, simply called for the commencement of an oversight for the commission.
“This is not the first time we are showing such concern. NDDC bill was originated by the National Assembly. The bill was vetoed by the executive but it was upturned. It shows the same character of concern.
“The NDDC is steeped in a lot of protocol and bureaucracy. So this commission should learn from that. The parliament should start an oversight of this agency.”
The Senate thereafter disolved into the committee of the whole to confirm the nominees.
Gowon Brought Half of CBN to UK, Nigerian Officials Have Loot Here – British MP
A member of the United Kingdom Parliament, Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) took a swipe at retired General Yakubu Gowon on Monday.
Gowon was Nigeria’s Head of State from 1966 to 1975.
During the debate on a petition on End SARS, Tugendhat accused him and the country’s leaders of corruption.
Decrying the situation in Nigeria, the lawmaker said: “One of the great countries is, sadly, being racked by violence, and violence against young people.
The greatest book in the English Language is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the great Nigerian writer. The beauty of that book is the way it explains the challenge of changing generations to live together.
“The way it speaks about values falling away and community being eroded by outside pressure. What we’re seeing in Nigeria today is part of that story.
“It’s a tragedy that we are watching, it’s a tragedy that we are all witnessing. The pressure this time is not foreign colonialism, the pressure instead is corruption and violence.
“We need to call out the corruption, we need to use the powers that we have in this country to stop those profiting from the wealth of that great nation and hiding it here.
“Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half the Central Bank and moved to London.
“We know that today, even now, in this great city of ours, there are, sadly, some people who have taken from the Nigerian people and hidden their ill-gotten gains here.
“We know that our banks, sadly, have been used for that profit and for that illegal transfer of assets.
“And that means the UK is in enormous unique position in being able to do
actually something to really exert pressure on those who have robbed the Nigerian people.”
MPs including Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet), Kate Osamor (Edmonton), Lyn Carol Brown (West Ham), Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West) made contributions.
The lawmakers urged the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, and the UK Foreign Office to engage Nigerian authorities and brief parliament subsequently.
#EndSARS: CNN Calls FG’s Bluff, Releases Second Report on Lekki Shootings
Amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government over its investigative report on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests, CNN has released a second report on the incident.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week described CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.
Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN in Atlanta.
However, the network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.
The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.
The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.
The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.
The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.
The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.
Buhari’s Letter Seeking Yakubu’s Confirmation as INEC Chairman Read in Senate
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.
Buhari’s official communication to the red chamber was read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday, by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
He sought the lawmakers’ expeditious consideration of his request for another five-year tenure for Yakubu.