Below is Saraki’s full speech:
It is a matter of record that yesterday, lawmakers and staff of the National Assembly were prevented from entering the National Assembly Complex by heavily armed security agents of the Department of State Services (DSS). All entries to the Complex were blocked. The National Assembly, the seat of democracy in Nigeria, was under lockdown. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives were prevented from gaining access.
2. The ensuring standoff was a show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the country. In no circumstances should this have happened. And we as a nation reaped the bitter fruits instantaneously, as evident in media images relayed around the world, images that shame us as a democratic nation. The siege was also an act of cowardice by those seeking to carry out an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate in flagrant disregard of the law. People who seek control at all costs, by whatever means, never minding the injury to democratic norms.
3. I have to say that this is not about me – Abubakar Bukola Saraki as an individual. It is not about Ike Ekweremadu, nor is it about Yakubu Dogara. I am speaking for my colleagues when I say that this is about the soul of Nigeria, what we represent as a country, and our standing in the comity of nations. This is a country where so much is expected of us, so many rungs of the ladder that we are supposed to have ascended as a nation. Instead we are wallowing in impunity and illegal show of force, all of which slowpoke our progress.
4. This is most disheartening. I don’t get any joy in saying: I said so. I don’t. However, some of you may recall that about two years ago, I stated that there was a government within this government, to a purpose that was not in the interest of what the people voted for. I said it then, and now we are beginning to see the manifestations of that government within a government. It beats one’s imagination how the head of an agency could have authorized the brazen assault on the legislature that we saw yesterday. Despite the threat to our lives, we shall continue to fight impunity and injustice in this country.
5. Happily, by the actions that Nigerians took yesterday, they demonstrated our strong resolve as a nation not to give ground to oppression. The legislature, more than any other institution in this country, more than any other arm of government, represents the will of the people. We are elected by the people, and an assault on the legislature is an assault on the people of Nigeria. The forcible shutdown of the legislature was an unconscionable assault on a national institution, and thanks to all your efforts, the aggressors have been put to shame.
6. The resistance mounted by staff of the National Assembly, my colleagues in both chambers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who refused to leave the entrance of this Complex until the siege was broken, strengthens my faith in the people of this country. The rain fell, the sun rose, but Nigerians stood their ground in defence of democracy. With the strength of will demonstrated by everyone against unwarranted and unconstitutional militaristic might, the siege could not stand.
7. By this, we have shown that Nigerians can resist government within government in whatever guise, and this is humbling for me. Those who sought to attack the National Assembly under my leadership for their selfish ends have only affirmed my belief in this country. They attempted to execute an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate without the backing of the law, but they faltered. I am confident that, together, we shall always defeat acts of unconstitutionality. The rule of law shall always prevail.
8. I want to thank Nigerians, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and National Assembly Staff, for standing up to be counted for democracy during yesterday’s siege. I thank the thousands who monitored the situa
Shettima Justifies N15 billion Budgeted For His Official Residence, Says Peter Obi Suffering From Post-election Trauma
Vice President Kashim Shettima has responded to recent criticisms from Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.
Stanley Nkwocha, the spokesman for Vice President Shettima, addressed Obi’s remarks, defending the administration’s decision to spend N15 billion to renovate his boss’s residences in Lagos and Abuja.
Obi had questioned why the government planned to spend a lot on renovating the edifices while budgeting a paltry N5 billion for student loans in the country.
In his statement released on behalf of Vice President Shettima, Nkwocha responded to Obi’s comments, denouncing what he termed as a series of misguided attacks and falsehoods directed at the administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Nkwocha challenged the criticisms levelled by Obi, citing the allocation of funds for the renovation of the Vice President’s official residence by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
He clarified that the project was initiated and funded during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and was later renewed by the current FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, due to its long-standing abandonment.
The spokesman defended the decision to resume the project, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to completing long-abandoned public projects across the nation, a stance he suggested was in contrast to Obi’s past directives as governor of Anambra State.
COP28 Delegation: ”Tinubu Has Turned Climate Change Conference to Owambe” – Atiku
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has strongly criticized the reported over-bloated delegation led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai.
In a statement released by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku criticized the size and nature of the delegation, suggesting that Tinubu lacked an understanding of the severity of Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Atiku questioned the rationale behind converting a climate change conference into what he described as a “jamboree, all-comers, and ‘owambe’ party” with over 1,400 delegates.
He characterized the situation as ridiculous and indicative of a governance approach lacking awareness and responsibility.
The statement highlighted the pressing economic hardships faced by Nigeria, emphasizing the need for leaders to align their actions with the available resources.
Atiku criticized the use of borrowed funds for what he termed a “street party” held outside the country, calling attention to the disparity between the purpose of COP28—focusing on improving lives, clean air, healthy food, and a secure future—and the alleged extravagant delegation.
“The economic dire straits that Nigeria is facing demand that its leaders cut their coats according to the cloth available,” the statement read, emphasizing the necessity for a more prudent and responsible approach to governance and resource utilization.
Atiku’s remarks add to the growing chorus of criticism regarding the alleged misuse of resources and the size of the Nigerian delegation at COP28.
“Lagos Is Bigger Than Ghana” – Ghanaian Singer, Efya, Settles Music Industry Comparison
She said: “Nigerian and Ghanaian music markets are not the same. Nigerians are way more than we are in terms of numbers. Numbers really matter now. The number of people that will stream Nigerian music in Nigeria is different from the number of people that will stream Ghanaian music in Ghana. The numbers are not the same.
“In the capacity of numbers, Lagos is bigger than Ghana. It is like the music hub itself. Nigerians are way bigger than we are. So, usually when I see people comparing, I’m like, ‘Do you guys know?’
“There shouldn’t be any comparisons. What I believe that we should is that we should be more collaborative. Find our vibes and put them together to advance what Afrobeats is going to be in the future; for us to be the gatekeepers of our own sound. And I think that’s the power move.”
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