Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the National Assembly and the jumbo pay for lawmakers as a huge drain on national economy.
He said the Nigerian lawmakers enjoy huge pay, which he described as the highest in the world where, according to him, an estimated 75 percent of Nigerians populace lived in poverty.
Obasanjo said this at the book presentation of Prof. Mark Nwagwu entitled: “I am Kagara, I Weave the Sands of Sahara” at the University of Ibadan.
He was the Chief Host, while the former Minister of Education; Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili chaired the occasion.
The former President said he would continue to criticise the Nigerian lawmakers as long as they continue to receive huge pay, which he insisted, consume a huge percentage of the nation’s overhead cost.
He, however, urged the federal government and the National Assembly to reduce the cost expended on payment of overheads and salaries.
The former president said that government spending on overheads, salaries and allowances in the face of the prevailing economic situation would not boost the socio-economic development of the country.
“Ninety per cent of our revenue goes to pay overhead, allowances, salaries and not much is left for capital development.
“We are not going to develop this way and we will only have ourselves to blame.
“It is even worse with the National Assembly, they are one of the highest paid legislatures in the world.
“We have 75 per cent of our population living in abject poverty, yet these people have refused to cut down their earnings.
“We must speak out to get corrected when we err, the behaviour and character of the National Assembly is one that should be condemned,” he said.
Reacting to the ongoing indefinite strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Obasanjo urged the government to honour the agreement it entered into with the union.
“I have seen this in government; maybe it is a lesson government will learn. Government should not allow itself to be stampeded into signing agreement without full consultation with those within the government.
“Then, they run into the implementation of that agreement that has been signed; however, an agreement is an agreement and whoever is your agent who signed the agreement on your behalf, you are bound by it,” he said.
In her remarks, Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, urged the society to offer the girl-child opportunity to excel by giving her equal right to education as her male counterpart.
I am Kagara” is built around a female heroine; the book highlights the marked difference a woman can make if given the needed support.
“The greatest support a girl-child could have is that of a strong male who gives her a voice and is not afraid of her,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the book was set in contemporary Nigeria where terrorist organisations are threatening innocent residents in the Niger Delta and the North-east Zone.
Governor Wike proscribes IPOB’s activities in Rivers
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has signed an Executive Order proscribing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state.
Governor Wike, who made this known on Wednesday during a state-wide broadcast in Port Harcourt, also emphasized that the state is home to all tribes.
According to him, “We have everything against the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State.
“This is clearly a terrorist group whose existence, creed, mission, and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of the South-Eastern States of the country.
“I have therefore signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety”, Governor Wike assured
Oyo: Makinde Mother’s Burial Holds December
Body of Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Makinde, the mother of Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde will be interred in the first week of December.
Governor Makinde disclosed this yesterday while playing host to a delegation from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun II, which was in Ibadan, the state capital to commiserate with him on the death of his mother.
The governor said he was very delighted with the visit, urging Akure people, the kingdom where his mother was born, to actively participate in her funeral.
Makinde, who described them as one of the most upright, bold and honest people in Yoruba land and the nation at large, also added that his late mother was a role model whose dedication to work, uprightness, boldness and honesty were the traits of Akure people.
A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, quoted the governor as saying “when you see an average Akure man or woman, you see courage and see people who are true to their words.”
While delivering the condolence message from the Deji of Akure, the leader of the delegation, who is the Asae of Akure Kingdom, Senior High Chief Sola Adegbonmire, described the governor’s mother as a worthy daughter of Akure Kingdom.
He stressed that the Omoregie family, where Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde hailed from, is a family of exceptional and wonderful people in Akureland.
Oba Aladetoyinbo further described the death of Madam Makinde as a painful loss not only to the Makinde family but also to the entire Akure Kingdom.
He then prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
‘My mother was an epitome of love, humility’ – Gov. Makinde mourns
The Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has described his late mother, Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde, as an epitome of love and humility, despite being a disciplinarian.
The governor stated this on Friday while receiving the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Sencondus, on a condolence visit to his house at Ikolaba GRA, Ibadan.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor expressed gratitude to the PDP NWC, noting that the fact that the leadership of the party made it to Ibadan barely 24 hours after Mama’s demise showed the love they have for him.
The statement also noted that apart from the PDP NWC entourage, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, the Grand Mufti of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Fatai Alaga, and other Muslim leaders also paid condolence visits to the governor.
Similarly, the Oyo State Judiciary led by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Muntar Abimbola, and the General Officer Commanding, 2 Div, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Anthony Omozoje, were also at the Makinde residence to condole with the governor.
Speaking while receiving the PDP entourage, which included the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd); Deputy National Secretary; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi MaiBasira; National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, as well a leader of the PDP from Osun State, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, Governor Makinde said the family remains grateful to God for the life Mama lived.
He said: “I want to thank you most sincerely for this condolence visit. I want to say, on behalf of myself, my wife, immediate family, and extended family, we are very grateful and appreciative of this visit. This happened yesterday morning and you are here this morning. It shows that you truly love me. So, I want to say thank you.
“Actually, we were preparing for my mummy’s 81st birthday, which would have been on the November 7, exactly three weeks from yesterday. But who are we to question God?
“We are grateful to God for the life she lived. To us, she was an epitome of love, humility. She was tough. If you see that trait in some of us, it came from her. And we also thank God that it was not like we were carrying her from one hospital to the other. She died peacefully in her sleep. So, we thank God for what He has done.”
Governor Makinde, who also took the opportunity to appreciate the PDP NWC for the confidence it had in him to lead the Ondo State governorship campaign, said what the outcome of the election meant was that the party would have to go back to the drawing board, adding that the campaign council will submit a report as soon as practicable.
“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the National Working Committee of our great party for the opportunity you gave to us to lead the campaign in Ondo State. We can’t question God for the outcome of that election. What it means is that we have to go back to the drawing board. We will be submitting a report of those areas where we fell short, to the NWC as soon as practicable.
“I really want to use this opportunity to thank all of you who were there in Akure for the love of our party and for the support that you gave to our candidate in Ondo State.
“Once again, my Chairman, I am appreciative of this visit and I thank you and all the members of the NWC of our party.”
Earlier, the PDP national chairman said that the visit was to condole with the governor and the family for the loss of their mother.
He said: “A time like this is the time you know those who care and those who are with you. Unfortunately, we have two situations on our hands. We lost the chairman of the party in Zamfara. Obviously, we divided ourselves; the Deputy National Chairman of the party left for Zamfara yesterday morning for the burial of our late chairman of the party. And I and the rest of us in the National Working Committee leadership decided yesterday to come to Ibadan today.
“We are here by the grace of God to console you and the rest of the members of your family. We have no other way to do it than to join you in prayers.
“It is a very painful experience that you have to go through, sometimes alone. I know what it is because I have experienced it. It is only God that can fill the vacuum in your heart because the care of a mother is quite different from that of a father.
“So, on behalf of the leadership of our party, we are here to console you on this condolence visit. The Lord will strengthen you. And because you are one of our best and doing good works for the people of Oyo State and at this time that you are giving out your best, suddenly, God who gives has taken your beloved mother.
“We are here to share the pain and sorrow with you and to let you know we will continue in prayers during this period, even as we prepare for the funeral. After the funeral, we will continue to pray for you, your immediate and larger family. It is important for us to do so, having worked with you and having seen you as a man who is compassionate and cares for others.
“Today, we are here with you and we pray that God will energise you at this period and stretch His right hand of righteousness to touch every one of the members of the family to bear this great loss.
“Therefore, as members of the National Working Committee, we pray that God will keep you now and thereafter to make you continue to do the good work for the people of Oyo State
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