- Expel Saraki Now, Kwara APC Faction Tells Oshiomhole
A faction of the All Progressives Congress loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari in Kwara State has urged the national leadership of the party to expel Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The Chairman of the faction, Mr. Bashir Bolarinwa, on Friday called for Saraki’s expulsion from the party, accusing him of being behind the recent mass defection of senators and members of the House of Representatives from the APC to other parties, mainly the PDP.
He said, “As for me, he is no longer a member of the APC. He is just hiding behind one finger deceiving himself and thinking that he is deceiving Kwara people.
“We already know where he belongs. We know how he operates politically. We know very well that he is behind all that happened in the state and even nationally, including the defection of the federal lawmakers.
“What he has done is to look for aggrieved senators, even from other parts of the country. I know that the national leadership of the APC will not just ignore it. For us in Kwara, we saw it coming, so it did not come as a surprise.
“We know that the national leadership (of the APC) will do the needful. We are calling for his expulsion and that of all others who are with him, pretending to be APC members while their hearts are elsewhere. They should all be expelled immediately.”
However, the APC faction in the state loyal to Saraki, dismissed the Bolarinwa-led faction of the party and its call for the Senate President’s expulsion.
The Publicity Secretary of the faction, Sulyman Buhari, said there was no basis to expel Saraki from the APC, adding that the Senate President had not engaged in any anti-party activity.
He noted that being the Senate President, Saraki is required by his office to relate with all the members of the National Assembly, including those from other parties
Buhari said, “As far as I am concerned, I will not give much concern to the call. I do not know any other faction of the APC in Kwara State; we have one APC in Kwara and I’m its Publicity Secretary. I don’t think that I should give any statement by some aggrieved people in the state a response.
“The call is baseless. Those who are calling for his expulsion have lost focus. They should rather think of better things to do. There is no basis for anybody to think of expelling Saraki and his loyalists. He is still the Senate President. There are people from other parties in the Senate and he should not be a sectional leader.”
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Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
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