President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to face the House of Representatives to address the country on the recent security crises bugging the nation. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila disclosed this to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari in his office at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, Wednesday evening. The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, passed a resolution inviting the President to the House to answer questions over the security situation in the country. The summons on the President was a reaction to the unabated activities of terrorists and bandits in different parts of the country, especially in the north, and the killing of tens of rice farmers in Zabarmari community, Borno State, over the weekend. Although the agreed date was not disclosed, Gbajabiamila said the President would honour the summon and provide required enlightenment on security developments across the country.
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege on Wednesday gave an insight into why the National Assembly cannot offer a brand new constitution, saying the National Assembly lacks the power to do so. According to him, the National Assembly has no powers to replace the current Constitution, but can only amend the same. Speaking in Abuja, Omo- Agege who urged those calling for a brand new Constitution to channel their energy towards participating actively in the ongoing amendment of the Constitution by the Ninth Assembly, said: “One of the issues you raised is the replacement of the 1999 Constitution. I am not so sure that we as a Parliament have the power to replace the Constitution. We can only make amendments. And it is explicit in Sections 8 and 9 of the Constitution on how we can do that and the requisite number of votes required. I say that because there are some top attorneys in this country, who for some reason, keep saying that we don’t even need any of this, that we should just bring a new Constitution. We can’t do that. What we are mandated to do by law is to look at those provisions and bring them up-to-date with global best practices, especially to the extent that it tallies with the views of the majority of Nigerians. So we are not in a position to replace this Constitution but we can only amend it. “But, as I said, most of the issues you have raised here, like zones replacing states, that’s another euphemism for going back to the regions. We will look into that if that is what the majority of our people want. “You talked about the devolution of powers. The preponderance of views we have received so far is that those 68 items are very wide and need to shed some weight and move them to the Concurrent Legislative List”.
The Independent People of Biafra has said it sent a memorandum to the National Assembly, requesting for devolution of powers and a restructure of Nigeria into six autonomous regions. The original founder of IPOB, Emeka Emekesiri, said the decision was taken after the IPOB team made several delegations to the British government asking for assistance in restoration of an independent state of Biafra but was turned down. According to Emekesiri: “In 2018 we opened up discussion with the British government, we met them three times and the last time, they told us clearly that they want Nigeria to be one, they don’t want Nigeria to break up. Britain has maintained its stand, it said it wants Nigeria to remain as one country. We went to the British archives and got the British government policy of 1969 and used it to draft a memorandum which we presented to Britain. In the memorandum, we accepted that Nigeria should remain one, but that the model as it is in Britain, let be also in Nigeria,” the IPOB leader said. “Britain is four nations in one, in Nigeria we want six in one and that is the South East, the South-South, the South West, the North Central, the North West and the North East, that the six geopolitical regions shall now become six nations in one Nigeria and every nation will govern itself in one Nigeria; control your resources, develop at your own pace and we pay an agreed percentage of tax to the centre. That is the issue of devolution of power or regional government or restructuring that we are talking about now. The politicians call it restructuring but we Biafra activists are calling it devolution of power to the regions. “So the Biafra memorandum for devolution of power to regions is currently with the senate. That is where we are now and we are waiting,” he added.
The cost of the conflict in Libya since its outbreak in 2011 has now exceeded US$ 576 billion according to a new report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). According to the report on the “Economic Cost of the Libyan Conflict,” the almost decade long conflict has drastically shrunk the economy as reflected in the large decline in GDP and in investment rates. Consumption has also decreased owing to the massive return of foreign workers to their home countries and reduced incomes of Libyan citizens. Foreign trade has been disrupted by a significant reduction in exports in some key products such as oil. The report further highlights some major factors that have exacerbated economic losses, such as the destruction of capital assets in the oil, construction, agriculture and manufacturing sectors; the decline in oil prices on global financial markets; and the diversion of resources from health care, education and infrastructure to military spending. The report also notes that the repercussions of the conflict in Libya have spilt over to the economy of neighbouring countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan, with which Libya has important ties in trade, investment and employment. According to ESCWA, if the conflict continues until 2025, it may add US$ 462 billion to the total cost estimated today, which would amount to 80% of losses incurred over the past ten years.