- Impeachment: We Will do Our Job, Assembly Tells Ambode Supporters
The Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Sanai Agunbiade, has said the state lawmakers will do their job despite protests against the planned impeachment of the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Agunbiade, while insisting that there was no crisis in Lagos, noted that the Assembly was only carrying out its oversight function as enshrined in the constitution.
He spoke on Wednesday while responding to a crowd of protesters who had stormed the Assembly at Alausa, Ikeja, to dissuade the lawmakers from removing Ambode from office.
The House of Assembly had accused the governor of gross misconduct and allegedly spending from the 2019 budget which had yet to be approved.
The lawmakers had given him seven days to respond to the allegations or risk impeachment.
The protesters, who gathered under the aegis of the Lagos People’s Assembly, carried banners with inscriptions depicting their agitations.
The leader of the protesters, Declan Ihekaire, said the group was a coalition of civil societies protecting the rights of residents of Lagos.
He said, “We are appealing to the Lagos State House of Assembly to step down the plan to impeach Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
“Ambode, by record, is the best performing governor in Nigeria. The ticket of the party has been taken from him and he is still a loyal member of the party. In the interest of the people that he has served, we are saying that the Assembly should stop the impeachment process.”
Ihekaire later delivered a letter to the lawmakers, who were represented by the majority leader, Agunbiade.
Agunbiade, who was flanked by two other lawmakers, thanked the protesters for their peaceful conduct.
He said, “Democracy allows people to show their grievances peacefully. You have marched here to tell us how you feel about what is happening. That is what democracy is all about.
“You put us here to do a job; we believe we are doing it to the best of our abilities. You also have a right to look at what we are doing and offer your opinion about it. But we want to tell you that this Assembly will continue to do things in the interest of the state and in the overall interest of Lagosians. We want to tell you that there is no crisis in Lagos.”
Later during a briefing, the Assembly insisted that Ambode and some of his commissioner must appear before it.
Agunbiade told journalists after an emergency meeting by the lawmakers that the matter was not a witch-hunt, adding that the infractions were serious issues that the House could not overlook.
He said, “The major contention is that he (Ambode) has started spending from the 2019 budget, which has not been laid before the House, which is against constitutional provisions.
“There are also some infractions that the House observed about the 2018 budget, expenditures made outside the budget, which necessitated the invitation extended to him and some of his commissioners.”
UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.
The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.
Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.
British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use”
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.
“It is very good news,” Hancock said.
Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.
On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.
Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.
“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
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