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Internal democracy: PGF DG proposes defined funding for party officials

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Internal democracy: PGF DG proposes defined funding for party officials
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Internal democracy: PGF DG proposes defined funding for party officials

Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Moh Lukman, has called for a new orientation in the management of political parties to address issues of membership recruitment and management, party funding and administration.

Lukman, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said unless these issues are addressed Nigerians will continue to experience all the familiar challenges weakening internal democracy within political parties.

In a statement released to newsmen Sunday in Abuja, the PGF boss appealed to all APC leaders to return to the founding vision of the party of ensuring that every member of the party is authorised as part of the internal rule to participate in the process of candidate selection for election.

“To achieve that will require the existence of verifiable membership record, which should be electronically preserved. The current manual analogue record must be upgraded to digital and computerised record with very competent officials managing it.

“Part of the appeal to APC leaders is that the process of electing national officers present a big opportunity to ensure that competent officers to run the affairs of the party, and not surrogates, are elected. Competent officers may not be attracted when the funding reality for the party is loosely defined. Therefore, as part of the compelling initiatives to return the party to its original vision, leaders of the party should conclude on issues of membership subscription and specifically take every decision about sources of funding for the party.”

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According to Lukman, APC leaders will have to make all the needed sacrifice to allow the party to develop the corresponding new orientation, to make the party emerge as truly the party of change.

“The caution must however be expressed that it will almost be impossible to achieve once disposition of party leaders is limited to aspiring to emerge as candidates for elections. Desperation to emerge as candidates for elections will always pitch party leaders against each other.

“Party structures will only be allowed to operate based on estimation of potentials to achieve political aspirations. Internal consultations, both formal and informal will be weak. Relationship between members of the executive and legislative branches, even when belonging to the same party, will be everything but cordial. Above all the powers of party management to regulate conduct of elected officials at all levels will remain a dream.

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“As much as enabling legal framework is required to guarantee internal democracy within parties, political leaders at all levels should be ready to make the right sacrifices. Making sacrifices in politics must be seen beyond personal advantages to access elective and appointive offices. Ability to develop strong institutional capacity to command the respect and confidence of party members is an important democratic enabler for both electoral victory and security for political leaders in the long run.”

The APC chieftain commended the Nigerian Senate for passing the electoral amendment bill, which among others approved electronic transmission of election results and compel all political parties in the country to use direct method of conducting party primary for the selection of candidates for electoral contests.

He, however proposed that party funding should be defined such that minimum resources needed to run party affairs are generated, remuneration and conditions of services for party leaders at all levels should be similarly defined.

“Part of the recommendation should be to benchmark party condition of service with existing conditions of public service. For instance, the National Chairman of the party could have the same remuneration and condition as the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended and other relevant provisions of other statutory bodies.

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“Similarly, Deputy National Chairmen could have the same conditions as that of the Senate President, National Secretary, same conditions as that of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, other principal officers in the National Working Committee could have same conditions as Ministers while those of them that are Deputies or Assistants could have the same conditions as Ministers of State. Directors in the party Secretariat could have the same conditions as Permanent Secretaries. This logic can also be replicated at state and local governments levels.

“The point is that so long as management of political parties failed to address these fundamental issues of membership recruitment and management, party funding and administration, Nigerians will continue to experience all the familiar challenges weakening internal democracy within political parties. To the extent that a number of these issues are being debated in APC, which is largely responsible for why an APC dominated Senate could propose compelling parties to include direct primary as the method for candidates’ selection by all parties as part of the electoral law, there is every hope that the potential is higher to be achieved in APC.”

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun
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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

An Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta on Tuesday affirmed the appointment of the 75 coronet Obas installed by the former Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Amosun had upgraded the 75 village heads to Coronet Obas nine days to the expiration of his administration .

But on assumption of duty, Governor Dapo Abiodun set up a committee, which reviewed and recommended that the promotion of the traditional rulers from Baale to Oba be reversed.

In February, Abiodun announced the demotion of the Obas, as recommended by the committee chaired by the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle.

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Miffed by the development, the 75 Obas dragged the governor and other officials of the state government to court, asking for their reinstatement and payment of their entitlements.

The coronet Obas also got a interlocutory injunction that maintained their appointment as coronet Obas till the Court said otherwise.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, in his judgement declared the removal of the Obas, null and void.

Akinyemi also granted the Obas a perpetual injunction, barring the defendants, the Ogun State Governor, State Commissioner for Local government and Cheiftancy Affairs, the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Local government and Cheiftaincy Affairs or its agents from removing them from office except in fulfilment of the law.

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

He also ordered that the claimants (the coronet Obas) be paid all renumeration attached to their offices from the date of their installation up till the moment of the judgement.

The Judge also ruled that the Obas were not given a fair hearing by the review committee set up by the State Governor, faulting the process.

On the argument raised by the defending counsel that the then Executive Council was misled before the appointment of the Oba, Justice Akinyemi ruled that there is know evidence of misleading in the evidence presented by the defence counsel and that if there was ever a misleading evidence ,it didn’t come from the claimants.

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He said the misleading evidence came from the State Ministry of local government and Chieftaincy affairs represented by the then Commissioner in the Ministry as a member of the then State Executive Council.

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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG's Recovered Assets
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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

Mr Malami says a syndicate reportedly from the ministry reportedly sold federal government’s recovered assets “without his knowledge”.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has set up a panel to probe alleged fraudulent sale of recovered assets of the federal government.

Mr Malami said the federal government was yet to commence sale of its recovered looted assets.

In a press statement on Tuesday, Mr Malami’s spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, acknowledged a media report, claiming that a “syndicate allegedly from the ministry sells federal government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

“It is important to set the record straight that the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has not officially started the sale of Federal Government’s property,” the statement read in part.

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Mr Gwandu also said the AGF neither approved nor ordered the sale of any property.

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN has set up a 5-member Committee to investigate and verify the authenticity of the media report which allegedly claims that syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice sells Federal Government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

Mr Gwandu made reference to a circular signed by the Solicitor General of the Federation Umar Mohammed, dated November 29, 2021.

Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

The circular was titled, ‘The Constitution of a Committee to investigate the alleged sale of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Property by syndicate in the Ministry’.

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“A committee is hereby constituted to investigate the allegation with the view to unravelling the veracity or otherwise of the publication” the circular partly read.

According to the statement, the committee chaired by the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, was inaugurated on Tuesday.

It is saddled with the responsibility of unveiling the accuracy of the publication and recommend ways of handling the matter in accordance with the provisions of the extant laws.

It is expected to complete the assignment within one week and submit its report of their investigation to the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

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“Individuals, groups, companies, institutions or organisations that claimed to have associated with the alleged syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice in relation to purchase of houses, landed property, vehicles, vessels, plants and machineries belonging to the Federal Government are encouraged to come out with any information, evidence or document regarding the alleged sales,” Mr Malami was quoted to have urged Nigerians.

Mr Gwandu said the “Secretariat of the Investigation Committee can be contacted at the Office of the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice and be reached within one week from 1st December, 2021 or via email: investigation.committee@justice.gov.ng.”

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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment
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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

Uneasy calm on Tuesday evening pervaded the Senate wing of the National Assembly as members of the Senate Committee on Army clashed over alleged lopsidedness in recent recruitments carried out by the Nigerian Army, NA.

The development happened during an interactive session between members of the committee and the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army, Major General S.O Olabanji.

Trouble started when a member of the committee who doubles as the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim Danbaba (PDP Sokoto South) took up General Olabanji on alleged lopsided nature of recruitment carried out by the Army recently.

But the acting chairman of the committee, Senator Abba Moro (PDP Benue South) who presided over the session, ruled Danbaba out of order, saying “this meeting is not for such enquiry.”

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Apparently irked by the development, another member of the committee, Senator Barinada Mpigi (PDP Rivers South East), raised the issue again, saying “lopsidedness in recruitment is not an issue to be put aside or rule against.”

Senator Moro again ruled against the enquiry, insisting that the session was not for review of recruitment made by the Army, but on Tactical Training and Doctrine men and officers.

“The questions being raised by my colleagues on alleged lopsided recruitments are being thrown to the wrong person. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt – Gen. Farouk Yahaya is the one who can do justice to such allegation or enquiry,” he said.

Angered by the insistence of Senator Moro that questions on recruitment should be entertained at the session, Senators Danbaba and Mpigi stormed out of the meeting.

Expressing his anger to journalists on what transpired at the session, Senator Danbaba said he walked out from the meeting with Senator Mpigi based on dictatorial action of Senator Moro.

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“He shouldn’t have ruled us out of order since the military man whom the question was directed to, did not complain.

Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

“The issue of marginalization in recruitment has never been responded to, it is part of the oversight process of the committee to ensure that whatever is to be done should be done to ensure justice, the Nigerian Army like any institution of government in Nigeria is supposed to comply with provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and that constitution has made it very clear that the issue of federal character and representation is paramount as a constitutional issue.

“I’m not blaming the Army, the Army has been performing very well, but at the same time, the issue of recruitment is very very important.

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“I left the meeting, I stormed out with Mpigi because we were angry,” he said.

Defending his action, Senator Moro in a counter interview with journalists, said he had no any regret for ruling Danbaba out of order as far as the issue of alleged lopsided recruitment was concerned.

“Danbaba and Mpigi’s questions were directed to a wrong person. What explanation were they expecting from Commander, Training and Doctrine Command on recruitment.

“Besides, the committee had tabled the issue before the Chief of Army Staff few months ago with response bothering on physical and medical reasons for those recruited and those who failed in the exercise,” he stressed.

It was, however, gathered that Senator Danbaba vowed to take the matter to the Leader of the Senate, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi North) for formal complaint.

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