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Reps begin lobby for juicy committees

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Intense lobbying has begun among members of the House of Representatives for chairmanship of top committees, otherwise tagged ‘juicy’ committees.

The committees most desired by the lobbyists include banking and currency, finance, appropriation, petroleum (upstream and downstream), gas, education, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), industry, communications, environment, drugs, narcotics and financial crimes, local content, works, agriculture, health, privatisation and commercialisation, and works.

Others are aviation, internal affairs, external affairs, customs and excise, public accounts, House services, science and technology, pensions, police affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), defence, navy, army, airforce and land transport.

Also on the juicy list is marine transport, labour, employment and productivity, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria control, housing and urban development, capital markets and electoral matters.

Sources said Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano), who is the spokesman for the Consolidation Group, which championed Dogara’s election may have been pencilled down to head the committee on appropriation while Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP, Abia), who was chairman of committee on foreign affairs in the Seventh Assembly is said to be lobbying to be appointed chairman of the committee on public accounts.

Hon. Chike Okafor (APC, Imo) who was earlier nominated as deputy chief whip by Dogara before the APC reconciliation consumed him may head the committee on works as compensation.

Hon. Herman Hembe (APC, Benue), who is a ranking member and close associate of the speaker, is said to be gunning for the chairman of the FCT Committee.

Hembe was chairman of the Committee on Capital Markets in the last Assembly. Also, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) who lost out in being a principal officer may be compensated by retaining the Committee on Agriculture, which he chaired in the 7th Assembly.

Similarly, Hon. Jones Onyereri (PDP, Imo) is said to be lobbying to retain the chairmanship of the committee on banking and currency, which he headed in the 7th assembly.

Also, Hon. Nicholas Mutu (PDP, Delta) is angling to retain the NDDC. Mutu is one of the longest serving members in the House, having been elected since 1999.

Hon. Sani Zoro (APC, Jigawa), former NUJ president who is heading the ad hoc committee on media is likely to continue with the standing committee as chairman.

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POLITICS

Former Senate President Saraki declares for presidency

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Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has indicated interest to contest Nigeria’s presidential election in 2023.

The former Kwara governor made this known on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Saraki asserted that he has a strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions.   He said, “Earlier, I replied to a follower of mine on Twitter who like thousands of you has been clamouring for a united front to #RescueNigeria.

  “As we prepare for the journey ahead, I hope we can all join hands to get the ticket of our great party, PDP, and build a nation that works for all of us.  

“Join me to make our communities safer and provide real opportunities for you and your families. I have a strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions.  

“Let’s build a new Nigeria that works for everyone!”   Saraki is the latest politician to have indicated interest in succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in office next year.

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2023 presidency: Miyetti Allah denies backing Tinubu to succeed Buhari

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Tinubu Visits Aso Rock, Says Buhari Is An Exceptional Leader

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has refuted reports that it endorsed ex-Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu for President.

The body said the position of individuals on who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 should not be regarded as a general one.

MACBAN National Secretary, Baba Ngelzarma issued a rebuttal on Wednesday.

The scribe stressed that the association respects the ambition of all aspirants and was yet to pitch its tent with any of them.

“The attention of MACBAN headquarters has been drawn to stories in the media claiming that we have endorsed the presidential aspiration of Sen. Ahmed Tinubu.

“We want to make it clear that the association has not endorsed any candidate. Those who endorsed Tinubu are doing so as individuals.

“MACBAN should not in any way be dragged into the politics of endorsement at this stage,” Ngelzarma said.

On January 10, Tinubu formally informed Buhari of his desire to become the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer.

On Tuesday, the party chapter in Lagos accused opponents of making unsubstantiated claims scuttle the APC leader’s bid.

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2023: Obasanjo turns down PDP’s request

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that he would never return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying he has retired from partisan politics.

The ex-president, who renounced his membership of the party in 2015, stated this when he received the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and other stakeholders who paid him a visit on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

According to sources, the visit was targeted at returning the former president to the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

But, Obasanjo, while addressing the stakeholders, said he had vowed to remain as a statesman. He, however, said PDP would always be part of his life.

He said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life.

“Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party. I will continue to be a statesman.”

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