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Muslim/Muslim ticket: Focus Should Be On Need For Good Governance, say Obasa, Others (Photos)

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With the 2023 general election drawing close, the focus should be more on the need for better governance, not religious sentiments that include Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian tickets, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has tasked Nigerians.

Obasa gave the charge on Wednesday at the 14th Annual Hijrah Lecture organised by Lagos State House of Assembly.

His position was supported by guest speakers at the event including popular Islamic cleric and Chief Imam of Offa, Kwara State, Sheik Muyideen Salman Husayn; Hon. Justice Abdurraheem Ahmad Sayi, a Kadi of Sharia Court of Appeal, Kwara State; and Sheikh Ishaq Mustapha Zuglool Sunuusi, head of academics, Daru Dawah Wal Irshad Arabic Centre, Isolo.

According the Speaker, in a release signed by Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Eromosele Ebhomele, even though it has been argued that religion and politics are intertwined, it has been noted that religion has never been a determinant in the development of many countries that are currently doing great.

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“All over the world where democracy is being practised, it has been established that good governance is not really determined by their religions. In countries like India, Singapore, China and most of the democratic states in Asia and some other parts of the world where neither Islam nor Christianity is being practised, it is gratifying to note that good governance is seen all around them.

“Even here in Africa before the advent of both Islam and Christianity, we had good and steady democratic setting with our traditional beliefs. It is now worrisome, however, that we allow religion to dictate to us how democracy should be practised,” Obasa said.

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He argued that the spiritual core of democratic governance is the obligation to serve the people with godly principles and noble objectives.

“People should understand that whoever will be fair, just and is visionary, who can look back and identify good people to form a team with, in order to achieve success is someone who should be of concern to us in a democratic state to lead, not religion.

“There is no doubt that Nigeria is at a most precarious phase in its existence as a nation. These are indeed trying times for Nigeria and Nigerians. We should focus more on how the failure of politics and faith has compromised the unravelling of the Nigerian project.

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“Therefore, at this time when Nigeria stands at its most critical juncture in history regarding next year general elections, there is a crucial call for religious bodies to deploy their collective spiritual energies in not only undermining the negative forces of nepotism and dysfunctionality, but in positively enhancing the development of Nigeria.

“Whether the political party contesting is running on Muslim-Muslim ticket or Christian-Christian ticket and otherwise, our focus should be the good intentions of the contestants. Let us not allow any politician to bamboozle us with religion as a determining factor for who we will choose as our leaders.

“In fact, as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria being a secular state, there is no provision for the elevation of a particular form of religion over another, let alone which one should be in charge of the government. Instead, what we have is freedom of religion,” he added.

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On his part, Justice Sayi said Islam all humanity is one.

“The primary roles and responsibilities of religious leaders is to teach, guide, educate and emancipate the minds of premodial sentiments like tribalism, nepotism and the rest that affect the minds.

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“Message of unity and humanity should take the lead of what should come out of religious houses, whether churches or mosques. Religious leaders should know that God has created us equally and they should also know that nobody has been created superior. The first most important responsibility of pastors and Imams is to lead the people to virtue,” he said.

In his own lecture, Sheikh Sunuusi, noted that Islam urges co-habitation and co-operation with others for the benefit of the society.

“Islam says we should not cheat any other person,” he said as he punctured the arguments of those against Muslim/Muslim ticket with how situations had sprung up Christian-Christian governments in the past.

Explaining the idea behind the topic, the chairman of 14th Hijrah lecture, Hon. Adams Noheem Babatunde, said it had become imperative for religious leaders to tread softly and preach unity.

“This is not the time for teachings that would polarise us. We expect people of influence to always emphasise peace and unity at all times,” he said.

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Tinubu appoints Tanimu Yakubu new DG of Budget Office

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr Tanimu Yakubu as the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, following the expiration of the tenure of Mr Ben Akabueze.

Yabuku is an accomplished economist and was Chief Economic Adviser to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua from 2007 to 2010; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria from 2003 to 2007, and Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning in Katsina state from 1999 to 2003.

Also read: Tinubu dismisses Arase, appoints Argungu as new Police Service Commission Chairman

He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Wagner College, Staten Island, New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the same institution.

The president thanked the outgoing Director-General for his services and wished him success in his future endeavours.

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The president said he expects the new Director-General to enhance the provision of efficient and qualitative budget functions, with a view to promoting fiscal sustainability, transparency, and accountability in public finance management for national development.

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LP chairman accuses INEC of mismanaging 2023 elections

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The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of mismanaging the 2023 general elections.

This was just as a former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr Sam Amadi, called for a probe into how the electoral umpire spent the N400bn released for the conduct of the poll.

 

Also read: Edo LP in disarray as group insists on Akpata’s removal

Addressing a gathering of party faithful during a programme to celebrate Democracy Day in Abuja on Wednesday, Abure expressed disappointment with how INEC conducted the presidential poll where the All Progressives Congress candidate, Bola Tinubu, was declared the winner.

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The LP chair also called for a holistic approach to the ongoing electoral reforms to ensure people are abreast of recent developments.

He said, “This reminded us that there is a similarity between the military regime of 1993 that annulled the general elections and the 2023 election which INEC mismanaged.

“One of the cardinal strong points to prepare the Labour Party again for the 2027 general elections is to ensure a holistic approach to electoral reform to ensure that the party followers are well-educated.”

Amadi, a guest lecturer at the event, appealed to the 10th National Assembly to investigate the role played by INEC at the 2023 general election.

The former NERC chairman also noted that the probe cannot be completed without the electoral body explaining to Nigerians and the international community to account for why the outcome of the 2023 poll failed to meet expectations despite budgeting N400bn from taxpayers’ money for the exercise.

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“Nigerians and indeed the National Assembly should be courageous enough to probe INEC expenditure during the 2023 general elections. They also explain the failure of the INEC server during the Presidential election with all the money given to them.

“It is appalling that no one spoke about the huge amount of money given Mahmood Yakubu and all the INEC commissioners to prosecute a failed election because the Supreme Court has to step in to determine the result of elections,” he stated.

Amadi urged lawmakers involved in the ongoing electoral reform to reject the inconsistency of allowing the presidency to decide who will become the INEC Chairman.

According to him, such privilege gives room for election rigging before the votes are cast.

He said, “What is imminent here is that they may have already positioned party members as INEC commissioners against 2027 where they would work and declare the results in favour of the Presidency that appointed them.

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“To this end, opposition parties should work together to win the war on electoral reform. It is time for you to decide whether to be the vanguard of change or not and set up a system that can win elections. This is because politics is not a game of possibility. If we are determined, we will win.

“I think it is an error for any political party to go into an election without strengthening its process. You must take a review of your past, your mistakes and opportunities and weigh options with training of staff and support for the electoral reform, things will positively work out.”

Also speaking, the Leader of the LP Reps caucus, Victor Oghene, promised that the electoral reform, which has passed the second reading at the lower chamber would ensure the bill is passed into law and early enough against the 2027 general elections.

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The Chairman of the Trade Union Congress Political Commission, Martins Egbanubi, on the other hand, dismissed speculation that there is division in the Party.

“We don’t have two factional leaders and there can never be. So the Labour Party remains united and strong,” he assured.

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In March 2024, Theheute reported that Abure said the present challenges facing Nigeria as a nation should not be entirely blamed on leaders, stating that the crop of the current followership was also culpable.

He said the situation of the country was the result of the choices made by Nigerians during the last general elections.

Abure stated this in Lagos while speaking to newsmen in the wake of the Court of Appeal judgment reversing his sacking as the LP National Chairman.

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I believe in full LG autonomy, says Kwara gov

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Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday, said he believes in full autonomy for local government areas.

He clarified that the position of the state in the ongoing legal proceedings on local government is that the state does not violate any section of the law regarding autonomy.

 

Also read : Kwara State government, labour sign minimum wage deal

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“It is my personal belief that each local government should manage its resources and be responsible for its obligations, including wages that are first-line charges. The State Governor should not be held liable if any local government is unable to pay salaries since we do not touch a kobo of their money.

“We also do not have any joint project accounts with any local government in the state, as was the case with the previous administration in our state,” the governor said in a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaiye.

“These are my personal beliefs. But my personal belief is not necessarily the same as the letters of the law, including the provisions of the JAAC, which is a creation of the Constitution. As of today, local government allocations are sent to the JAAC as required by the law. Section 162 of the Constitution is very clear on this.”

According to him, as things stand today, no activity of the local government in Kwara State is at variance with these provisions of the law.

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He said, “Our case in the court is not about my personal belief. It is, we believe, in the defence of the constitution, which created JAAC for reasons that are well-grounded in our experiences as a people. JAAC, in summary, pulls resources together to pay all teachers, health workers, traditional rulers, and other statutory duties listed in the schedule of the local government areas. If we all want these to change as a national consensus, we believe that the constitution will have to be amended to expunge JAAC.”

Theheute reports that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), instituted a suit on behalf of the Federal Government, before the Supreme Court, against the 36 state governors in the country seeking full autonomy for local governments.

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In a suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the AGF urged the apex court to issue an order, prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary, and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected LG leaders.

The suit which is predicted on 27 grounds, contended that Nigeria as a federation, is a creation of the 1999 Constitution with the President, as the head of the Federal Executive arm of the Federation, and has sworn to uphold and give effects to the provisions of the Constitution.

In the suit which accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power, the AGF sued them through their respective state Attorney-Generals.

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