Below are the headlines found on The Daily Sun Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 18 March, 2018.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
More than one week after Senator Shehu Sani revealed the monthly remunerations lawmakers receive as running cost, Nigerians and other stakeholders are calling for the immediate review of what they described as outrageous payments.

In an interview with an online newspaper, Sani, who represents Kaduna Central in the Senate, claimed that a senator receives N13.5 million as running cost every month.

  “I think what we can say is that the running cost of a senator is N13.5 million every month.

“But what I am saying is that money (N13.5 million per month) must be receipted for what you do with it. But what you are given to go and spend without any accountability is N750,000.

“The constituency project itself is given on a zonal basis and almost every senator will go with a constituency fund of about N200 million, but it is not the cash that is given to you.

“You will be told that you have N200 million with an agency of government for which you will now submit projects equivalent to that amount. And it is that agency of government that will go and do those projects for you.

“Now, the corruption comes when the projects are not done and the money is taken. But right now, it is difficult to do that because NGOs and transparency groups have come into it. They track every allocation made to you and where they are being used.

“So, it’s becoming difficult for what used to happen in the past to happen now. But I can tell you that I would love a situation where we do away with running costs, constituency projects and leave senators and members of House of Reps with salaries,” Sani had said.

  In separate interviews with Sunday Sun, former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman; former member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Mohammed; Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay; former Presidential candidate and National Chairman of United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie; and national coordinator, Advocate for Peoples Justice, Mr. Giwa Victor, decried the lawmakers’ huge emoluments.

  Suleiman urged relevant government agencies to take urgent steps to reduce the remunerations and bring it in tandem with the current realities.

  He said: “I will agree that it is not the decision of the National Assembly to decide what they earn. But in the spirit of fairness and considering the situation in the country, senators and members of the House of Representatives should passionately meet the executive to review their remunerations.

  “Considering the situation in the country and the fact that the price of oil in the international market has gone down, I think they should reduce it. That money is too outrageous. It’s too killing and it does not make sense. During my days as a minister, I didn’t go home with up to N1 million every month.

  “If a minister does not earn that in one month, I don’t think lawmakers should earn it. The N1 million I am talking about, my housing allowance was included. Something should be done about the pay and done urgently too.”

  Mohammed, on his part, described the lawmakers as “rogues and bunch of thieves who have failed to represent Nigerians.”

  He thundered: “They (lawmakers) have failed to represent the people. They have only succeeded in representing themselves and their interest. If Nigeria is becoming a failed state, members of the National Assembly are directly responsible. Most lawmakers are bunch of thieves. They pocket N14 million every month in the name of serving in the National Assembly.

  “They must be real scammers. This is the first time since 1999 that we have some nonsense they call legislative projects. There is no parliament anywhere in the world lawmakers embark on constituency projects. These people are rogues.”

Sagay, on his part, stated that the remunerations of the lawmakers is out of tune with the economic reality in the country, stressing that they could not continue to feed fat at the expense of Nigerians.

  “I was the first person to draw attention to these outrageous salaries and allowances. When I did, they were extremely angry and said all sorts of things, knowing in truth that I was right. They over reacted instead of being apologetic and having some sense of remorse for what they are doing. Obviously, what they are earning is out of tune with the economic reality in the country. These people cannot continue to consume the resources of this country while millions of others are scratching and looking for tiny morsel to eat. It is not sustainable. Something has to be done. We can’t allow it to continue,” he said. 

  Sagay added: “What they are earning exceeds the minimum wage by 1,666 times and their productivity is almost nil. All they are doing is to fight the president and bring government down to a standstill. They have no sense of service at all. They are not thinking of the country. They are all ‘come-and-chop’ characters. Service is the last thing in their minds. They are just on a feeding frenzy. They are stripping this country of all our resources. They don’t care what happens to the country, rather they are causing crisis in government. They are irrelevant people; they are just dragging us down. The cost of maintaining them is too much.”

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Retired Gen Ishola Williams is a blunt and die-hard critic of government policies. In this interview, he painstakingly examines the security apparatus of the present administration and gives reasons the country is vulnerable to violent crimes. According to him, Buhari’s security appointees are inept and incompetent.

You’ve been following some of the recent happenings in the country. In your moment of personal reflection, how do you perceive Nigeria as a nation?

People often say that leadership is our problem. It is not so.  I keep saying all the time that leaders don’t drop from heaven, leaders are not born. As a matter of fact, only very few people that are trained for leadership get to leadership positions. And that is why it has been very difficult to predict succession in political leadership in Nigeria because like Harold Wilson said, ‘24 hours is a long time in politics. Anything can happen. Again, our political parties are dominated by a few individuals who have money. And in most cases, the ideology of these parties is defined according to the dictate of those who have the money. As a result of that, we have leaders without character. And when you have a leader who does not have character, he can be irresponsible, even though he may have integrity, he may be incorruptible. That is what is happening in the case of Nigeria. And who is responsible for that? Of course, the followership! In most cases, what they are looking for is not somebody who can lead them to posterity, but somebody who can take care of their immediate needs. When those people get there, what do they do? They do like Governor Fayose of Ekiti State, who is a political rascal using stomach infrastructure as an ideology to turn the followership in Ekiti into accepting whatever he wakes up to say he wants to do.  The challenge before us, therefore, is how to change the mindset and character of Nigerians so that they can define the criteria for leadership and accordingly use those criteria to elect their leaders. My reflection is that we will continue to be in the situation we are in now until we have the kind of followers who know the kind of leaders they need to lead them.

Do you share in the opinion of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo who in his recent letter accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism and clannishness, among others?

If there is nepotism, it is the fault of political parties. This particular regime is the only regime in the history of this country which took about six months to appoint people into cabinet. Interestingly, some boards of parastatal and agencies have just been constituted a few months to the next general elections. What do you expect such people to do? They will only be there looking for how to make their own money too. Most board members in Nigeria go there as compensation for helping the party to win election. So, the newly constituted boards are also for the elections. There was no time in Nigeria when a Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, was bold enough to write letters to parastatals that they should help members of boards who wanted to contest elections. What does that mean? Where will the parastatals get money? From the coffers of government of course.

You are painting a picture of ineptitude here.

Yes, it is ineptitude. President Buhari has created a very bad precedent in this area. It took him so long to appoint ministers. And even at that, all his talk about appointing incorruptible people is balderdash. Who are the incorruptible people? Amaechi had already said: ‘I cannot say there are no corrupt people in this government.’

Looking at the incessant killings in the country today by the Fulani herdsmen, would you say that this government has responded early enough to nip some of these crises in the bud?

If it were a country with people of integrity, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) would have resigned or asked to go. Secondly, the president called the abduction of Dapchi girls as national disgrace. Yet, those who created that national disgrace are still there. Thirdly, he said he instructed the IGP to go to Benue and he didn’t. In a country of integrity, he would have fired him immediately. He just said, ‘you mean he did not come’? We are waiting to see what he is going to do. When you have that kind of situation, it means the president is not in charge. It can never happen in any country. He is not in charge. I have been complaining that this government has no strategic security plan.  I have said it before the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan ended that there must be a total overhaul of the security apparatus. He thought the whole thing was a joke. He wanted to do that of the military and I told him I wanted a total security reform. I told him one-on-one. I wanted Jonathan to do the reform because of this Boko Haram issue. I wanted him to lay a foundation for Buhari for him to build on. But what he did was to appoint a committee and put inappropriate people in that committee to do a report. I am not sure anything has happened to that report till today. I have not read the report, but I know that many people in that committee do not have the expertise and knowledge to be on that committee. What we need now is a total security umbrella.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Senator Ali Wakil representing Bauchi South in the upper legislative chamber is dead.

He died after slumping at his Gwarimpa residence in Abuja.

Senator Wakil was also buried yesterday at the Gudu District Cemetary in Abuja after Islamic rites were performed at the National Mosque with his colleagues in the Senate and other politicians in attendance.

Family sources confirmed to Sunday Sun that Wakil who until his death was the chairman of Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation, slumped on Saturday morning and was rushed to a nearby hospital in the Gwarimpa area of Abuja.

But he died before he could get emergency treatment.

The deceased, until his sudden demise, was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Wakil was born in 1960 and was a native of Bauchi State.

He attended Lere Primary School in 1972, after which he proceeded to Government Secondary School Damaturu where he obtained his senior certificate.

He then proceeded to Bauchi College for Arts and Science in 1979.

For his university education, he attended Bayero University, Kano where he obtained a Bachelors degree in Arts in1982.

He also attended Nigerian Customs training school, Lagos in 1984 and the infantry centre and school, Jaji in 1991.

Wakil was also a retired Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.

In 2015, he contested for the Bauchi South Senatorial seat and won on the platform of the APC.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said the death of Senator Wakil was “an incalculable loss to Nigeria’s democracy” because his “dedication to duty was remarkable and worthy of emulation.”

The president said that the death of the senator came as a great shock to him, adding that his dedication to duty would remain one of the greatest virtues for which the deceased would be remembered.

He prayed to Allah to bless the soul of the departed senator just he extended his condolences to his family, his colleagues in the National Assembly, as well as the government and people of Bauchi State.

Also the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has expressed deep sadness over the sudden death of Wakil.

Saraki in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the late senator as a vibrant lawmaker and public servant who was passionate about his assignment and engagements in the Senate, especially his chairmanship of the Senate committee on Poverty Alleviation and other committees where he was a member.

“Mallam Ali Wakil is one lawmaker you can never be in doubt where he stands on a particular issue. He spoke his mind fearlessly.

“His contributions at plenary were always very incisive and rich. I find it difficult to acknowledge that he will not resume plenary with us next Tuesday.

“My heart goes out to his family, the 8th Senate and the government and people of Bauchi State over the loss of this conscientious and patriotic Nigerian. He shall be sorely missed,” Saraki said.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
There is anxiety in  the House of Representatives over the new electoral law passed recently by the National Assembly.

In the aftermath of the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the new electoral law, the chairman,  House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon Abdulrasak Namda  said the House would re-gazzete the law, take it through the lawmaking process again and re-transmit it to the president for his assent.

However, the House spokesman said if President Buhari still  refuses to assent to the bill, then the House will know what to do.

“We agreed with Mr President on two grounds, but we are in disagreement with him on his first reason which relates to  the amendment to the sequence of Elections in Section 25 of the principal Act.

“That is why we will look at the bill again, correct those errors the president pointed out and send the bill back to him. If he still withholds his assent, then we will know what next to do,”Namdas said.

Sunday Sun reliably gathered that the plan of the House  ultimately is to override the veto of the president.

But unlike the Senate, which has already declared its intention to override the president’s veto immediately, the Green Chamber is approaching the issue cautiously, so that  whatever decision it arrives at will stand the test of time.

Apparently, that is why the House has decided to re-gazzete the bill.

A very authoritative source told Sunday Sun that baring  any last minute change of plan, the electoral bill will be re-introduced in the House on Tuesday, March 19.

 It is believed that like all “other special interest bill,” work on the electoral bill will be accelerated after its re-introduction.

Analysts say the main battle over the new electoral law will be fought in the House of Representatives. This is because the  decision of the House to re-introduce the bill has given those opposed to the electoral act an opportunity to determine if the controversial sequence of election would still be part of the law.

The sequence of election was introduced into the law in the House, during a consideration of the Committee report, following a motion by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  lawmaker from Rivers State, Hon Kingsley Chinda.

Recall that some All Progrressives Congress(APC) legislators led by the Chief Whip, Hon Alhassan Ado-Doguwa staged a walk out after they failed in their spirited bid to foil the motion.

Therefore,  whether or not the National Assembly is  eventually able to override the President’s veto would  be dependent on what happens at the House during the passage of the new bill.

 If the sequence of election is expunged in the House, the bid to override  President Buhari’s veto would have run into troubled waters. But if the House still retains it, then the stage would be set for the overriding of the president veto, in the event that he fails to assent to the electoral law, when it is transmitted to him, a second time.

 Both chambers of the National Assembly must be in agreement on any piece of legislation before it becomes law.


 Process of override

Although section Section 58(5) of the constitution gives the National Assembly  the power to override the veto of the president, it is a road less travelled.

Since the inception of the present democratic dispensation, the National Assembly has only activated Section 58(5) of the constitution once.

 That was in 2000 during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, when the parliament passed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)  law into an act after the then President declined assent.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Chief John Adigie Oyegun, national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, should be having a rethink over his jeers and sneers at those he tagged prophets of doom shortly after the decision of the national caucus of the party to extend the tenure of the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, which he heads. 

Oyegun had derided those behind the speculations of his imminent removal as the chairman of the party, particularly the media, which he accused of manufacturing and exaggerating issues within the party.

According to him, the national caucus meeting did not discuss any of the issues speculated in the media in the weeks preceding the meeting where the decision on tenure elongation was made, contrary to what trended in the social and traditional media outfits.

“In fact, I want to ask the media where they dug them (the speculations) out because we just had a pleasant meeting and all what I have been reading in the media, none of it (happened). All the prophecies of doom, none of it even came near for mention,” he claimed.

The party had premised the tenure extension on the need to ‘give the party the room to face the serious task ahead, especially the 2019 general elections.’

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, who announced the development, said that the decision was taken in line with the party´s Constitution.

He explained that it was to ensure that peace prevailed within the party’s hierarchy ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses, we cannot afford to approach general elections with more disputes and crises.

“So, relying on Article 13 of our Constitution, which empowers the NEC to carry out the function of the convention, the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of the current NWC,” Governor Bello said.

He explained that the tenure extension included the party´s other executive committees at various levels, but stated that the action would not stop its non-elective National Convention slated for July.

A political scientist, Professor Abiodun Oni, HOD, Department of Political Science, Babcock University, Ogun State, said the ruling party was right to have given the decision a thought. He noted that any attempt by the party to go for a national convention, considering the prevailing discontent within party, would result in a disaster for the party.

“The extension is in line with the party’s constitution. If APC should go for any convention now, it will be so obvious that the party is in crisis. They chose to postpone the convention in order to avoid a major fall-out from the simmering crisis within the party.  You will remember that the party was formed by different political interest groups and each of these groups is trying to assert its authority.

 “You have those in control of the senate; Tinubu is not in control of the party anywhere other than in the South West; the president is in control of the party in the North and he is in control of the CPC elements. So with the fragile state of the party now, any attempt to call for convention now will surely cause more problems for the party. There is mutual distrust among various interest groups within the party. No group wants other group to hijack the party; that is why they had to postpone the convention until after the party would have presented candidates for the coming elections.

But the party’s decision to extend the four-year tenure of its officers by one year has failed to douse the tension in the party as a rash of litigations seeking the reversal of the decision kicked off last week.

A chieftain of the party in Lagos, Dr.Wale Hammed, had last Wednesday prayed a Federal High Court in Lagos to declare the purported tenure extension of the party’s national officers unconstitutional.

Dr. Hammed listed Oyegun, national chairman of the party,  Segun Oni, deputy national chairman (South ) and Senator Lawal Shuaibu, deputy national chairman (North) as first, second and third defendants respectively.

Others are Ibrahim Gubi, national secretary (fourth defendant), Pius Akinyelure, vice-chairman, South-west  (fifth defendant). APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission are the sixth and seventh defendants in the matter respectively.

The applicant had on March 9 filed an originating summons, seeking the determination of the court whether the extension of the NEC and NWC elected or appointed members, was constitutional.

He prayed the court to determine if the defendants had the constitutional right under Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and Articles 13 and 17 of the APC Constitution to extend the tenure of its NEC and NWC members.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Lists Conditions For Genuine PeaceIn Kano Apc Desmond Mgboh, Kano Hon Alhassan Ado Dogowa, 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Onyedika Agbedo Dr Cairo Ojougboh is chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview, 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Aloy Madu Rt. Hon. Emeka Atuma, a former member of the House of Representatives, a lawyer, an Estate 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Joe Apu COSAFA President Philip Chiyangwa has declared that Nigeria's Super Eagles can make the difference 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Christian Eriksen took charge in the absence of Harry Kane as he scored twice in a straightforward 3-0 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a nearly three-hour baseline struggle and Naomi 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
As Akwa banks on Uyo fans to halt Al Ittihad in CAF Confederation Cup Chairman of Plateau State Football 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Lauds CAMAN for donating vehicle for enforcement activities Enyeribe Ejiogu The Standards Organisation 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Osinbajo, 5 govs, senators, ministers, others grace occasion Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka and Jeff Amechi 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari accompanied by his wife, Aisha, were among top 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
MURPHY GANAGANA, GYANG BERE (Jos), ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi It was hope rekindled as residents of Plateau 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
TIMOTHY OLANREWAJU, Maiduguri Barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Dapchi in Yobe 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Community demands N500 million from FG to appease the gods OKEY SAMPSON, Aba Six months after the military 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Community, Catholic church fix March 24 for cleansing Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka The 25-year-old Chiadikobi 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
HENRY OKONKWO The grief-stricken family of the late National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Nneka 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Collected over N720 million ransom in 4 years Owns 35 houses JOHN ADAMS, Minna As billionaire kidnap 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked rule, the people groan 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
My nephew holds both British and Nigerian citizenship. He came back home to Igbere for our Ezumezu 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
My dad walked out on us when I was 10 years old. Initially, mum didn't understand what he did so 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
An ever-increasing number of people are getting addicted to mobile phones. This group of mobile phone 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Stop this nonsense now!' I shouted horrified at what was going on. At this moment Jasmine and the 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
The latest abduction of over 100 schoolgirls of Government Girls Science and Technical School in Dapchi, 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
This week I am leaving what I had planned to discuss, which would have been about the shape of politics 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.' I am not sure where the above quote originated 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Chidi Obineche The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has etched more epaulets on his shoulders 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Christy Anyanwu Empress Pat Dewuibe is the Deputy Managing Director of Baywood Continental Limited, an 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
The television footage of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his arch-political opponent and former 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Tosin Ajirire and Josephine Chidebe Austria-based Nigerian songwriter cum singer, Rose May Alaba,started 

Sun, 18 Mar 2018
Akwa Ibom State-born comedian cum actor, Papa B (Edwin Saviour), has bagged yet another award courtesy, 
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