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Posts tagged ‘Speakers’

Keep Hope Alive, Ihedioha Urges Nigerians in New Year Message.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has enjoined Nigerians to remain hopeful and optimistic for better days ahead in the country.

Nigeria's House of Reps Deputy Speaker,  Emeka Ihedioha

Nigeria’s House of Reps Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha

In a message to mark the start of the new year, the deputy speaker said the challenges of security, growth and development besetting the country only calls for greater resilience and optimism from Nigerians, noting that a defeatist mentality can only aggravate problems.

Rather, he said Nigerians should invest energies into positive thinking and gainful but lawful engagements for personal and collective benefits so that the country can rise above current challenges and march onward in the path of growth, progress and development.

He noted that developed countries of the world had passed through similar if not tougher challenges and that the situation with Nigeria should not be seen as unprecedented and insurmountable.

“We will overcome current challenges if we faint not,” Ihedioha said while calling on all those in leadership and positions of authority to renew their commitment towards nation-building and place national interest above personal pursuits in discharging the burdens of public office.

 Oke Epia
Chief Press Secretary, Deputy Speaker
Source: African Examiner.

Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst Ever.

Image: Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst EverSpeaker of the House John Boehner swears in members of the 113th U.S. House of Representatives during the opening session at the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2013.

By Lisa Barron

An overwhelming majority of Americans say the 113th Congress is the worst in their lifetime, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday.

While nearly three quarters of the respondents said this has been a “do-nothing” Congress, two thirds of those surveyed said the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime, with 28 percent disagreeing.

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“That sentiment exists among all demographic and political subgroups. Men, women, rich, poor, young old — all think this year’s Congress has been the worst they can remember,” Keating Holland, CNN polling director, said.

“Older Americans — who have lived through more congresses — hold more negative views of the 113th Congress than younger Americans. Republicans, Democrats and independents also agree that this has been the worst session of Congress in their lifetimes.”

The telephone poll of 1,035 adults nationwide showed that 73 percent say Congress has done nothing to solve the country’s problems, with roughly 25 percent disagreeing.

Indeed, less than 60 bills have been passed and signed into law during the past year, according to CNN, and there is not much optimism that next year will be much better.

Fifty-two percent believe the policies of Democratic leaders in Congress would move the country in the wrong direction, and 54 percent think the policies of the Republican leaders would do the same, the survey found. The poll, conducted Dec. 16-19, had a sampling error of plus or minus three percent.

One of the first tests of where Congress is headed in 2014 will be the fight over the debt ceiling, and analysts are somewhat divided about the prospects, reports The Washington Times.

“I don’t think there’s any political reason why they’ll fight over this, at least not to the degree that they have in the past,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said Wednesday on CNN.

But others maintain that could still be gridlock, despite the bipartisan budget dealreached earlier this month.

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“I believe we very quickly began to move away from ‘Kumbaya’ a couple weeks ago,” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said Tuesday on MSNBC.

“I’m afraid we’re not going to see a lot [of cooperation], but we’ll see some,” he added.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

#Ejigbo2 Sodomy Update: Lagos Assembly Sets up Ad Hoc Panel.

By SaharaReporters, New York

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday set up a panel to investigate the sodomization of two women, a tortuous video of which spread on the Internet recently.

A source with knowledge of the House yesterday said that the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, commissioned an ad hoc committee to commence immediate investigations into the situation.

Confirming the development, the leader of the Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who led a protest to the House on Monday, told SaharaReporters she has been alerted about the establishment of the committee.

Heading the committee is Mr. Ajibayo Adeyeye, the Majority Leader.  Other members are Mrs. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, who represents Mushin I Constituency, and Mrs. Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet of the Oshodi-Isolo II Constituency.

Among those to be invited by the committee in its fact-finding exercise include Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, who is the chairman of Ejigbo Local Council area; market leaders at the Ejigbo central market, where the incident is reported to have taken place; head of police division in charge of the zone of the incident, as well as civil society representatives.  The committee is expected to report its findings soon.

Yesterday, after showing the tape depicting the horror to a group of people to raise more awareness and concern yesterday, protest groups trouped to the Assembly to demand a thorough investigation, and justice.

In a statement recently, the Chairman of the Ejigbo local government, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, admitted that the incident took place in his area last February.  He said that the sodomized woman is the wife of a palm wine tapper and the other lady in the torture, her stepdaughter. He said he had handed over to police for proper and thorough investigation.

However, police investigation has not progressed much.

“With this State House panel, we hope that the perpetrators are found and brought to justice,” said one of the protest leaders this morning.

Kano Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Expresses Disappointment And Surprise At Arrest Of Top Officials of State Legislature.

The government of Kano State has expressed “utter disappointment and surprise” with Monday’s arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Gambo Sallau, and other principal officers and Clerk.

A statement by Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, the Director of Press and Public Relations to Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, stated that the officials were apparently arrested in connection with the government’s 2013 budget amendment, which the governor has already signed into law.

“It is crystal clear that the above mentioned public officials were arrested by the EFCC on the orders from the above, because of the legislators’ defection to APC, in support of Governor Kwankwaso,” the statement said.  It stated that the officials were only exercising their constitutional responsibilities of ensuring that budgets are properly articulated to ensure probity and accountability in public expenditure and enable the citizens enjoy the dividends of democracy.

“This action is obviously to intimidate and cow them into submission for choosing to move to the progressive fold,” the government said. “This action is not only despicable and absurd but also capable of igniting crisis in the polity, thereby breaching the relative peace that is being enjoyed in Kano state.  It is regrettable that the EFCC is allowing itself to be a tool of witch-hunt in the hands of powers that be.”

The statement confirmed that in addition to Alhani Sallau, also arrested were the Deputy Speaker, Isyaku Ali Danja, the Chief Whip, the Deputy Chief Whip, the Majority Leader and the Deputy Majority Leader.

The Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, and the Clerk of the House were also arrested.


Boehner’s DC Landlord Lobbies for Tanning Industry.

Image: Boehner's DC Landlord Lobbies for Tanning Industry

By Sandy Fitzgerald

House Speaker John Boehner may be perpetually tan, but he doesn’t have a tanning bed in his Washington D.C. apartment — which he rents from a lobbyist for the American Suntanning Association.

“There is not nor has there ever been a tanning bed in the residence!” Boehner’s landlord, lobbyist John Milne insisted in an email Tuesday to The Daily Caller.

Boehner, who has insisted for years that his healthy hue comes from spending a lot of time outdoors and not baking in a tanning bed, has longtime ties to the tanning industry lobbyist.

He started renting Milne’s apartment in 2006, reports The Washington Post, when he was first elected Speaker of the House, a move that raised some eyebrows because of Milne’s lobbyist career.

When Boehner first started living at the apartment, Milne’s clients included restaurant chains and health insurance companies who hired him to lobby on issues tied closely with Boehner’s House position, including minimum-wage increases, tax breaks for small businesses, and tax-free savings accounts for insurance costs, the Post reported in 2006.

But since then, the American Suntanning Association contracted with lobbying firm mCapitol, where Milne works, for services this year.

Boehner’s camp has denied for years that Milne lobbies him on any issue. However, the Indoor Tanning Association PAC donated $5,000 to Boehner in 2011, according to records.

Several other lawmakers received contributions from the tanning PAC, including one other perpetually suntanned Republican, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, The Daily Caller reports.

The Indoor Tanning Association protested a 10 percent sales tax on tanning bed services that came as part of Obamacare, complaining the tax causes problems for tanning services or companies that offer tanning beds as part of gym memberships.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Police in Rivers State Deny Both Factions In Legislature Access To Assembly Complex.


Policemen preventing lawmakers from entering the house of assembly earlier today in Port Harcourt
By SaharaReporters, New York

The two factions of the Rivers State House of Assembly were for the second day in a row today prevented by regular and mobile policemen from entering the Assembly complex.

Neither the pro-Amaechi legislators, under the leadership of Deputy Speaker Leyii Kwanee, nor the opposition lawmakers led by Evans Bipi, were allowed access.

It was a very different scenario from what Bipi, who leads a five-man splinter group, envisaged 24 hours earlier when he returned from Abuja.  He confidently told newsmen the House would reconvene under him as Speaker this morning following Monday’s judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“I have been talking with the law enforcement agents and will reconvene the House tomorrow morning by 10 a.m.,” he had declared.  “We went to court and got the judgment so we will produce it to the appropriate authorities so that we can be allowed access to the House of Assembly”.

The police seemed to have had a different idea, cordoning off all access 30 metres to the complex as early as 7:30 a.m.

They were also present in far heavier numbers than the previous day, Police Area Commander Ahmed Garba informing the legislators firmly but politely that nobody would be allowed into the complex.

Just as they did on Thursday, the pro-Amaechi legislators then attempted to hold another mock session in front of the police cordon, but they were immediately warned off by a senior police officer who told them it was a security zone and that they could address the press somewhere else if they wanted.

Undeterred, the pro-Amaechi lawmakers opted to hold their mock legislative session sitting on the ground, encouraged by their supporters.

As some of the pro-Amaechi supporters moved closer to the lawmakers as they sat on the ground the police responded by firing tear gas canisters to disperse them.

Mr. Bipi, for his part, arrived at Azikiwe Road, some distance behind the police cordon, at about 11.15am, accompanied by his security aides.  Bipi who refers to himself as the ‘Speaker’ of the Rivers State of Assembly, described his objective as being “to bring peace to the Rivers State House of Assembly”. None of the other opposition lawmakers was with him, and it is unclear how he intended to preside in the Assembly chamber.

“I belong to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP,” he declared.   “I don’t know where the pro-Amaechi lawmakers belong. If they declare for the All Progressives Congress, APC, I as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly will declare [their] seats vacant.”

He noted that his party obtained the High Court judgment on Wednesday, and that the others can appeal if they are not happy with it.

“Next week, we would have gotten the True Certified Copy, CTC, of the judgment and we will then present it to the Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, so that we can be officially allowed to enter the House of Assembly.”

Mr. Bipi said they would not witch hunt anyone, and that if the lawmakers “do the right thing” there would be no conflict or division amongst the ranks.

“The problem is that Governor Amaechi is pushing them to go against the party hierarchy.  For us to work together, they have to discountenance Amaechi’s advice.”

About half an hour after Bipi’s arrival, Area Commander Garba, and eight senior officers, who were followed by armed paratroopers inspected sections of William Jumbo Street, dynamite residue the police said had been detonated during yesterday’s conflict between the police, the pro-Amaechi lawmakers and their supporters.

Garba expressed particular displeasure when, at William Jumbo Street, his team found underground plastic pipes that had been shattered, their ankle joints blown open.

PHOTONEWS: Jackboot Democracy, Police Chase Away Rivers Lawmakers With Teargas And Gunshots.

Tension Mounts Again In Rivers State As Police Chase Away Legislators With Teargas, Gunshots

Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly were today prevented by the police from gaining access to the Assembly to resume legislative functions.

This development comes barely 48 hours after a Federal High Court in Abuja restrained the National Assembly from taking over the legislative functions of the State Assembly.

Acting on the orders of the court to resume its legislative duties, the lawmakers, numbering about 25, at about 9am proceeded to the Assembly Complex in a white coaster bus but were suddenly stopped halfway by men of the Nigeria Police in the state headed by Mbu Joseph Mbu.

The Rivers State Police Command had barricaded the road leading to the Assembly Complex, causing a heavy traffic jam on the Moscow road axis.

When the legislators, led by Deputy Speaker Leyii Kwanne, accosted the police to ask why they were being prevented from performing their constitutional duties, the police said were yet to receive the court judgement ordering the lawmakers to resume duty.

Following the resistance of the police, the legislators resorted to seating in the sun to commence their preliminary session, presided over by Hon. Kwanee.  The police responded by firing several teargas canisters to disperse them.  Some gun shots were also fired.

A few minutes later, Police Commissioner Mbu drove by but did not stop.


Corruption: CACOL Boss Blasts Speaker Tambuwal, Urges Him To Blame Legislature, Not Just Executive Arm.

Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal
By Saharareporters, New York

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has told the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, that he must also blame Nigerian legislators for the pervasive corruption in the country.

On Monday, Tambuwal stated publicly that the body language of President Goodluck Jonathan did not indicate that he has the political will to fight corruption in the country.  He decried President Jonathan’s penchant for setting up committees to probe corruption allegations and what he termed “the culture of undue secrecy surrounding the operation of government.”

Reacting to that statement, CACOL’s Comrade Debo Adeniran described the Speaker’s position as a “shameless statement from an inactive control system,” attributing the alarming upswing of corruption in the country to the legislative arm of the government as well.

Mr. Speaker should realize that the National Assembly is a part of the whole,” he cautioned, reminding the Speaker that his allegation has left no arm of the present government vindicated of corrupt practices.

“Had it been the House of Representatives had played its oversight functions – as stipulated by constitution – it would not have been that easy for corruption to fester in the country. By law, the [House] can influence the decision of the executive to a large extent, but the question is, to what extent has the entire federal assembly used this constitutional privilege? What is the principle of separation of powers for? Is it not for checks and balances?  Speaker Tambuwal lacks the moral ground to either accuse Jonathan of corruption or shift the blame on any other persons, because he is also guilty as he had alleged.”

CACOL noted that Tambuwal speaks for the House which has been busy enacting laws to protect the interest of the corrupt public officers.

“What is the motivation behind the bill meant to legalize foreign accounts for public office holders?” it queried.  “What benefit will that be to the masses of this country?”

The Campaign warned that criticizing the executive arm on the pages of newspaper is no way to perform oversight functions, as it only makes a mess of whatever efforts the Lower House may have put in place to stem the tide of corruption.

Mr. Adeniran also underlined the fundamental implication of the Speaker’s statement.

“Tambuwal’s statement has further confirmed the height of corruption in the country and how deeply it is entrenched. Allegations are flying everywhere about the unprecedented level of government ineptitude in tackling corruption as many cases of corruption remain unresolved. It is high time the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary arms of the government put down their feet to frontally combat the endemic corruption ravaging the country,” he said.

Newt Gingrich: I Almost Bought ‘Grand Theft Auto V,’ Staff Disadvised.

Image: Newt Gingrich: I Almost Bought 'Grand Theft Auto V,' Staff Disadvised

By Morgan Chilson

Newt Gingrich is a digital guru, doing all of his reading on an iPad and pushing his tech limits to use Google Glass — but his staff talked him out of buying “Grand Theft Auto V.”

In an interview with AdWeek about his digital lifestyle, Gingrich, the co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire” and former Speaker of the House, shared his devotion to his iPad, admitting that he got rid of his desktop computer and has a laptop at home that he’s probably not going to use.

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“There are enough applications on the iPad that allow me to write and edit about as well as I could on a laptop,” he told AdWeek.

Despite his digital commitment, Gingrich said he doesn’t play computer games, although he toyed with the idea of buying the latest “Grand Theft Auto.”

“I almost bought Grand Theft Auto V, but my staff talked me out of it. I thought, anything that sold a billion dollars’ worth in three days, you should at least have some notion of what it was like,” he said. “But some of the younger staff explained, ‘This is probably not you.’”

He does use Twitter and Facebook, but doesn’t mess with Instagram. His @newtgingrich Twitter account has almost 1.5 million followers.

Gingrich told AdWeek that he and Callista use Google Glass mostly for video purposes because “we’re not that clever yet” to do some of the more out-of-the-ordinary things.

“I’m not sure that it’s going to catch on since it’s a little weird, but one of our theories is that you want to constantly push yourself to try something new and different,” he said.

New and different doesn’t extend to TV, though, where Gingrich said he watches mostly old movies and sports. But he is using Duolingo and Rosetta Stone apps on his iPad to learn Spanish. His wife’s favorite is a McDonald’s app that shows where the nearest Big Mac can be found, he said.

“We’re both McDonald’s fanatics,” he told AdWeek. It’s a love that gets him a lot of attention online.

Editor’s Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

CSNAC Urges IGP To Release Report On Governor’s Suntai’s Letter to State Assembly.

By SaharaReporters, New York

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. M. D. Abubakar to release the report of the investigation demanded on August 27 by human rights lawyerFemi Falana (SAN) concerning the letter purportedly transmitted to the Taraba State House of Assembly by ailing Governor Suntai Danbaba.

Mr. Suntai, who was suffered brain injuries when a plane he was piloting crashed in October 2012, returned to Nigeria and to Taraba State from the United States on August 25 after 10 months of receiving treatment and rehabilitation.

“Barely one day after his return, a letter was delivered to the House declaring the governor’s fitness and readiness for work without affording the public a copy of his medical report of mental and physical fitness,” Mr. Falana had noted in his letter.

“That letter generated heated debate between supporters of the Acting Governor and Governor Suntai,” CSNAC said. “The veracity of the letter also divided the Taraba House of Assembly along lines of allegiance to either the Acting Governor or the returnee ailing Governor. The supporters of Acting Governor Umar, who are in the majority, succeeded in exposing the chicanery of those behind the generation and transmission of the letter with a demand to have a chat with Governor Suntai, who had not seen or spoken with any of them before then.”

Reflecting on developments since then, CSNAC noted the attempt on the life of the late Speaker and his eventual death two weeks ago, and the Deputy Speaker who escaped death by the whiskers last week.

It recalled that Mr. Falana had predicted the grave danger inherent in any failure to investigate the letter to confirm its authenticity, as there were several allegations within and outside Taraba State that it may have been forged by the governor’s handlers.

“In view of the above stated demands and unfavourable political developments currently playing out in that State, it is our expectation that your office must have concluded investigation into the matter, 3 months after, in view of its potential threat to the peace and development of not only Taraba but Nigeria as a whole. We are therefore, by this letter, demanding a copy of the outcome of that investigation.”

CSNAC is a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations “whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in its activities in the fight against corruption and to enthrone transparency, accountability, probity, and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.”

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