President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly sacked senator Ita Enang as his aide on National Assembly Matters.
Enang, a former senator from Akwa Ibom state, was appointed a senior special adviser to Buhari during the president’s first term.
He has continued to act in that capacity in Buhari’s second term, even when his appointment, like that of several other aides, has not been renewed.
A source close to the Presidency said Sunday evening that President Buhari has dropped Enang as his aide on National Assembly Matters.
It was gathered that Buhari has picked Omoworare Babajide, a former senator from Osun state, as Enang’s replacement.
PREMIUM TIMES reports that the belief in the Presidency is that Enang did not perform well in managing the relationship between President Buhari and senators in the eighth Senate, despite being a former senator.
The relationship between President Buhari and the Bukola Saraki-led Senate was characterised by deep animosity.
Saraki was elected a senator in 2015 under the same party — the All Progressives Congress — with Buhari, but the two parted ways politically.
Saraki later defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and became a critic of the Buhari administration.
He contested but failed to win the 2019 PDP presidential primary. He was also unable to return to the ninth Senate.
“He (Enang) didn’t have the temperament to deliver anything substantial”.
“Despite the experience he has and the senators being his former colleagues, he could not resolve the frequent crisis the senators were having with the president.”
But another source said the final trigger of Enang’s sack was his recent comments on the controversial Ruga project of the federal government.
The Buhari government was forced to suspend the programme after an outcry over the plan to set up grazing areas for cattle herders in states of the federation. Critics said it was an attempt to grab land from indigenous communities.
The government said the project was optional, but details of the project showed it was initially conceived for all 36 states and Abuja, and at least in one state, Benue, federal officials tried to proceed with the plan despite opposition from the state government.
Enang was reported last week of calling on states in southern Nigeria to support the initiative by making land available, saying N2.3 billion had been provided by the administration for its implementation. He denied that the programme’s intent was to “Islamise” or Fulanise” the country.
Our source said the Presidency was “very angry” with Enang for making those comments. The source said the remarks were unnecessary since the nation had moved on from the Ruga controversy and the president had discarded the idea.
“It was seen as unnecessary and as insubordination,” the source said.
The source said Enang may, however, be compensated with another position – possibly the president’s adviser on Niger Delta matters.
However, it was reliably learnt that the new appointment would be among those to be announced this week by the presidency.
Buhari back to Abuja after 9-day holiday in Katsina
President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday returned to Abuja after a nine-day official visit, including celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir with family members and inauguration of some developmental projects in Katsina State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that shortly before departing the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Airport, Katsina for Abuja, Mr Buhari had charged the military to be more spontaneous in restoring peace to the country, particularly states troubled by bandits.
He gave the order when he addressed 15 officers and 160 soldiers of the 17th Army Brigade and Nigerian Air Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, under the “Operation Hadarin Daji’’, at the Airport in Katsina.
While in his hometown, Daura, Buhari received Guinean President, Alpha Conde, and the two presidents performed Eid prayers in Daura on Sunday.
Conde, who was welcomed by members of Daura community, was also conferred with a traditional as well as being treated to the traditional Durbar display at the palace of the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk.
NAN reports that the developmental projects inaugurated by the president included network of rural roads where he applauded the progress being recorded under the administration of Governor Aminu Masari.
The president, who also inaugurated the Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Daura on Thursday, met with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from seven local governments affected by banditry in the state.
Buhari also received members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and leadership of the National Assembly and Katsina State House of Assembly who paid him Sallah homage in Daura.
2023: Northern youths faults El-Rufai’s position on zoning formula
Northern youths under the aegis of United Northern Youth and Students (UNYS) have berated Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai over his recent claim on zoning, ahead the 2023 presidential election.
The UNYS also declared their position on ambition of former Lagos State governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for Presidency in 2023.
El-Rufai had recently called for the abolition of power rotation in the country.
Coordinator of the youth group, Comrade Jabir Maiturare, stated this when he addressed a press conference in Kaduna on Friday.
Maiturare said, “Let it be known that Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has not declared to contest for any position yet. Instead, he is solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari and giving him the required support.
“In any case, whenever he seeks to contest for any position, including the presidency in 2023, we are ready to give him overwhelming support, and we therefore dissociate ourselves from such irresponsible act of some minority youth from the North.
“In the same vein, we wish to state categorically that Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai’s statement against the zoning arrangement in place is uncalled for and should not be given any serious thought because he speaks only for himself and not for the North.”
INEC to release timetable for Bayelsa, Kogi gov’ship elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said in the next few days, it would announce the time table for collection of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and other activities ahead of the November 16, governorship poll in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
The National Commissioner and Chairman of the Commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Barrister Festus Okoye, gave the hint at the opening of a two-day National Strategy Meeting on Capturing Disaggregated Data of Persons with Disabilities [PWDS], organized with support from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Abuja.
According to him, the time table for the collection of PVC will be announced at a stakeholders engagement to be organised in some few days time.
Okoye said “In the next few days, the Commission will announce the time table for stakeholder engagement for PVC collection and other activities relating to the states where we are going to have standalone governorship elections and the issue of this data collection will be one of the big issues in relation to whether we conduct good elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.”
Speaking also, Charman of INEC’s Outreach and Partnership Committee (OPC), Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, said the meeting was a needed platform for knowledge and experience sharing.
He said: “According to the world report on disability published in 2011, stated that about 25 million Nigerians have at least one disability. However, with the population figure of Nigeria being put at over 200 million based on the latest United Nations estimates, naturally, there will be an upward swing in the population figure of PWDs in the country.
“Granted the huge population, PWDs are too important a demographic group to be ignored in planning in all spheres of human endeavor including the processes of election”.
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