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Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.
Debt rises by N20.8tn under Buhari, servicing gulps N10.26tn
The country’s debt rose by N20.8tn between July 2015 and December 2020, data obtained from the Debt Management Office on Wednesday showed.
This period corresponds with the Presidency of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) who assumed leadership of the country on May 29, 2015.
According to the statistics obtained from the DMO, Nigeria’s total debt as of June 30, 2015 stood at N12.12tn. However, as of December 31, 2020, the country’s debt portfolio had risen to N32.92tn. This shows that within a period of 66 months (five and half years), the country’s debt has risen by N20.8tn.
Nigeria needs new constitution, not amendment -Okowa
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that Nigeria needed a new constitution and not an amendment to accommodate emerging issues of good governance and greater interest of Nigerians.
Okowa, who stated this on Wednesday when the Senate Sub-Committee on review of the 1999 Constitution visited him at the Government House, Asaba, said a new constitution for the country had become imperative in view of observed lacunas in the 1999 Constitution.
He said, “There is no doubt that there is still a lot to work on in our Constitution to have a near-perfect document, and I know that the National Assembly has continued over time, to cause some of the amendments to be. But, I also wished that some persons from other zones actually had the opportunity to come down here to hear the voices of our people directly because sometimes we do not understand the extent of the pains that people of the Niger Delta truly suffer in our nation. We believe in one Federation; we believe in the unity of Nigeria, but we will continue to ask for very strong equity in our Federation as a people and I know that the people will really voice out their opinion at the public hearing. The amendment of the Constitution is not what can be done by the National Assembly alone, but it involves states’ Houses of Assembly and other stakeholders,” he said.
Buhari didn’t consult widely on judicial autonomy, Order 10 faulty – NGF
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum said on Wednesday that the 36 state governors were not opposed to autonomies for the legislature and the judiciary.
NGF Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, added that consensus had been reached on the autonomy conundrum, assuring that the ongoing judiciary staff strike would soon be suspended.
Tambuwal spoke in Ado Ekiti during a colloquium with the theme, ‘The Judicial Autonomy: Perspective of the NGF, organised by the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice Academy in honour of the retiring Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola. He faulted the Executive Order 10 issued in 2020 by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), saying Buhari was ill-advised on the issue.
Masari faults Presidency, backs govs, says open grazing unIslamic
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has opposed open grazing of cattle, saying it should be discontinued.
Masari, in an interview with journalists in Katsina on Tuesday evening, described open grazing as un-Islamic.
On Tuesday evening, Masari said necessary infrastructure on livestock farming should be provided in states for ranching, instead of promoting open grazing. “The herders’ movement is essentially in search of two things: water and fodder. If we can provide these two items, why should they move? “The roaming about, for us is un-Islamic and it is not the best. It is part of the problems we are having today. I don’t support that we should continue with open grazing.”
Nigeria’s house on fire, we’re under attack – Gbajabiamila
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, have decried the rising spate of insecurity in Nigeria, warning that the existence of the country is under threat. Both Lawan and Gbajabiamila spoke on Wednesday during a summit organised by the House’ Special Committee on Security chaired by the speaker.
Gbajabiamila said thousands of memoranda and other submissions had been received and reviewed, which would form part of the summit’s report and recommendations. “Today, at this time in our national history when insecurity threatens the authority of the state and the foundations of our nationhood, we must confront the realisation that our previous and current approaches to addressing the challenges of insecurity have not yielded the desired results.
“Our national house is on fire, and the people we serve rightly expect that we will devote all our energies and resources to trying to improve the future, rather than be paralysed in the present. It is by the work we do now that we can redeem ourselves and save our beloved country. This summit is solution-driven.”
Remi Tinubu under fire for calling woman thug
The Senator representing Lagos Central, Remi Tinubu, has come under fire for reportedly calling a woman a thug during the public hearing of the constitutional review on Wednesday. Tinubu is leading the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution in the South-West.
According to The Cable, the lawmaker was involved in a shouting match with some Nigerians who attended the event at the Marriot Hotel in Lagos. However, a woman, who reportedly complained about being denied entry, was said to have decried the partial treatment and voiced out her frustration.
The senator, after beckoning on her and two others, reportedly called the woman a thug for speaking too loud. The remark was said to have caused an altercation between Tinubu and those who heard her. While expressing their reservation for the tag on the woman, the people demanded an apology from Tinubu. “I will not apologise for what I said. I saw it and I said it,” she reportedly said.
“Madam senator, don’t call her a thug. You begged us to vote for you…” a man at the scene said.
Donald Duke returns to PDP, laments Ayade’s defection
Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, has announced his return to the Peoples Democratic Party. This was contained in a statement titled ‘My Statement of Return,’ which he signed and issued, in Calabar, on Wednesday. Duke had defected to the Social Democratic Party to contest the 2019 presidential election.
In the statement, the former governor wrote, “Dear Friends, a lot is being said about my return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Truth is, I reunited with the party almost a year ago now, but in spirit never left the ideals for which the party was founded upon.
“It is rather unfortunate that Governor Ben Ayade who constantly egged me to rejoin the party has himself had cause to leave. A rather unfortunate decision for which i neither support nor condemn, as I’m not privy to the details except his complaints of being stifled and unappreciated by the leadership of the party and certain elements of Cross River State origin at Abuja.”
Mr. Joseph Simeon is an Editor/Content Creator at Naija Buzz News. He is an experienced content creator. He currently leads a small group of talented writers at Naija Buzz News. He previously served as the Relationship Editor at 1Push.Ng. He studied Public Administration at the Federal Polytechnic Idah, Kogi State, before proceeding to Kaduna Polytechnic Kaduna for his Advance Studies in Public Administration. Simeon loves and enjoys playing football.