How Senators’ re-election was blocked for opposing Obasanjo’s third term bid – Ken Nnamani - Breaking News Nigeria
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How Senators’ re-election was blocked for opposing Obasanjo’s third term bid – Ken Nnamani

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Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, has revealed how certain Senators were stopped from returning to the National Assembly in 2007 for thwarting the attempt to extend former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure.

On May 16, 2006, the upper chamber of the federal legislature shot down the move by pro-Obasanjo lawmakers for an alteration of the constitution to allow three terms for Nigeria’s presidents.

Nnamani stated that the military might have dethroned the Federal Government if such an amendment was made.

Since leaving power, Obasanjo has strongly denied that he desired to exceed the extant two terms limit.

In an interview with journalists in Lagos, Nnamani expressed sadness that patriotic Nigerians were ostensibly punished for insisting on the right thing.

The Enugu-born All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart said what happened to his former colleagues still hurts him.

“Some people say I have regrets. No, I don’t have personal regrets. I would call it a general regret because my leadership of the Senate was not personal.

“Regret what? I was the number three citizen of Nigeria. To me, being principled was more than going back to the Senate,” he said.

Nnamani described the 5th Senate as one of the best in Nigeria, revealing that more than half of members had doctorate degrees.

“We had 57 PhD holders, I know because I have a list of their credentials. Engineers, Doctors, Professors, former Vice Chancellors etc.

“But they could not go back to the Senate due to their insistence on democratic tenets. They (powerful forces) worked against them.

“The Senators were weeded away for opposing the third term agenda. No personal regrets; the general regret was seeing them blocked from returning.

“My colleagues cared for me. Whenever a senior security officer came to my office, they would later come or call me.

“They asked: What’s happening? Hope all is well? Did they come to arrest you? I’m happy they supported me, their backing gave me courage.

“We avoided ‘banana peels’. No secrecy, spendings were transparent. So, I don’t regret doing the right thing, I will do it again if the opportunity arises.

“During our time, there was no conflict between the legislature and the executive. Obasanjo was and is not my enemy”, Nnamani stressed.

Asked to assess the 9th Senate under the leadership of Yobe Senator, Ahmed Lawan, he explained that events and times are no longer the same.

“There will always be leadership style, people are not the same. You also have to understand that circumstances and times have changed.

“If they give approvals it must be that majority of Senators are in support. You can’t impose on your colleagues, you’re only the leader.”

In 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari administration appointed Nnamani as Chairman of the Constitutional and Electoral Reforms Committee.

The politician will clock 73 on November 2. His book which chronicled the tenure extension plot, ‘Standing Strong: Legislative Reforms, Third Term and Other Issues of the 5th Senate’, is set for launch next week.

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‘End SARS protest now a thing of show-off’ – Bello Shagari

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Bello, grandson of late former President Shehu Shagari has said a lot of Nigerians who identify with the End SARS movement are doing it to a show-off

According to him, most End SARS protesters are claiming to be activists and have little understanding of socio-political system.

On his Facebook page, Shagari wrote: “A lot of the young people who identify with the#EndSARS protest are doing so because it has become fashionable.

”This has become a thing of show off; that everyone is now an activist. Whereas most of them have little understanding of the socio-political system.”

He admonished youths to focus and mobilize votes for 2023 election rather than protest, adopt a progressive approach which will yield meaningful result.

“However, my advice has always been that we shouldn’t focus too much in protests when we can do better by mobilizing young people’s votes to achieve a change in the entire political system, or to change our present realities, or at least to be in charge of them.

“We must adopt a more progressive and strategic approach rather than the usual disruptive one which hasn’t yielded any meaningful results. You cannot be doing the same thing and expect a different result.

“Use this same energy and reinforce it into a political power at the polls,” his post read.

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Nnamdi Kanu: Group condemns denial of Ezeife, Ubah entry into courtroom

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An Igbo interest group, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has condemned the denial of former Anambra State governor, and elder statesman, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah entry into the Abuja courtroom for the trial of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, on Thursday.

COSEYL in a statement by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, said the denial of the two and other Igbo leaders entry into the courtroom was an insult on Igbo people.

The body said it was enraged by the unprofessional conduct of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for barring such respected Igbo leaders from gaining access into the courtroom, and described the action of the DSS as desecration of the temple of Justice.

The release stated in part that: “The DSS operatives threatened to shoot lawyers and Igbo leaders who dared to enforce their right by approaching the entrance to the courtroom. They said they were acting on orders from above.

“Does the order from above also include ordering them to assassinate great Igbo leaders in broad daylight at the court premises? Is the Nigerian Court now the court of the North, where no Igbo man is allowed access? It is so pathetic. This present administration has destroyed all our democratic ethos,” it lamented.

It further stated that: “What played out at the court today is the height of insult against Ndigbo and we condemn it in its entirety. It is very clear that the present regime enjoys insulting the sensibility of the Igbo race.

“Dr. Ezeife, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and other great Igbo leaders were representatives of the Igbo Nation, they were denied access to the court in a matter involving their own son and brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in a supposed democratic administration.

“Only a society that has no respect for elders and fundamental human rights will stop highly respected statesmen in the society who are great and respected personalities from gaining access to the courtroom. Dr. Ezeife is a former Governor and Senator Ubah is a serving Senator but they were denied access because they are of the Igbo tribe.”

The group said the DSS was a part of the executive arm of government that executes its orders and that they had no powers under a democratic government to dictate who enters the courtroom that is totally under the Judiciary arm of government.

“It is an aberration and a travesty of the law for the DSS operatives to stand at the entrance of the courtroom to dictate who enters and who does not enter the courtroom.

“What happened today in court at the hearing of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s case clearly shows that we are not in a democratic administration but a military regime that has no respect for fundamental human rights and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which the President swore to protect.

“There is nowhere in the world where the president in a democratic administration dictates what happens in the court. The Judiciary is an independent arm of government separated from the executive arm. The Judiciary is the last hope of the common man and everyone is entitled to approach the court.”

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Nnamdi Kanu: IPOB gives conditions to dialogue with Buhari govt

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The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Thursday gave the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government conditions for dialogue.

IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful said the group would listen to the Federal Government when its leader, Nnamdi Kanu is released unconditionally.

Powerful also noted that the Federal Government should set a date for the referendum of Biafra.

In a statement he signed, Powerful insisted that Kanu committed no crime to warrant being arrested and prosecuted.

He maintained that Kanu should not be detained while terrorists are roaming the streets freely.

According to Powerful: “Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu committed no crime to deserve persecution by the federal government that is openly hobnobbing with real terrorists and Fulani bandits but crushing peaceful agitators.

“We demand unconditional release of our Leader. He should not be in detention while real terrorists and mass murderers are parading freely on the streets.

“Nigeria government should prepare a date for the referendum on Biafra for people to decide where to stay either in Biafra or Nigeria.Those who want to sabotage Biafra freedom should wait for the referendum date.

“IPOB demands nothing other than unconditional release of our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi KANU, and a date for the Biafra referendum.

“We are not interested in any dialogue unless our Leader, Mazi Nnamdi KANU is released before we can sit with anybody for discussion.”

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