The main headlines of mainstream Nigerian newspapers of Monday, June 10, are focused on the race for Senate presidency and speakership of the House of Representatives, opposition by some Nigerians to the payment of N4.68b ‘welcome package’ to the incoming members of the ninth National Assembly.
This Day reports that the presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have mounted pressure on one of the contenders for the position of Senate president, Ali Ndume, to withdraw from the race.
Recall that Senator Danjuma Goje pulled out of the race following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, June 6, leaving Ndume as the main challenger to APC’s choice for the post, Senator Ahmed Lawan.
According to This Day, party leaders and top presidency officials intensified pressure on Ndume for him to withdraw from the race and support Lawan.
The Guardian reports that a suit has been filed by some concerned Nigerians against the payment of over N4.68 billion as ‘welcome package’ to the incoming members of the ninth National Assembly.
The suit was at the Federal High Court, Lagos, by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT and Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE).
The groups are asking the court to restrain, prevent and stop the National Assembly Service Commission from paying individually and/or collectively, the ‘welcome package’.
The senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives, National Assembly Service Commission and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) are the defendants.
Vanguard reports that The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) said that for Nigeria to solve the issue of insecurity, President Muhammadu Buhari must sack the service chiefs including the chief of defence staff, Lieutenant General Gabriel Olonisakin, the chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and others.
According to the statement by its secretary, Dr Kunle Olajide, President Buhari must sack the service chiefs because they are tired and bereft of new initiatives of tackling insecurity.
The statement read: “The present service chiefs started with President Buhari four years ago, still they have not been able to reduce insurgency in the north and kidnapping in the south.
“My opinion is that they have run out of ideas and they should be sacked. They are fatigued already and have nothing to offer.”
The Punch also reports that contenders for the position of the Senate president, Senators Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume, have intensified efforts to woo senators-elect ahead of the inauguration of the ninth National Assembly.
Elections would be held on Tuesday, June 6, when the ninth National Assembly is inaugurated
Lawan was said to have met the former deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu and some other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators.
Meanwhile, some members of the opposition parties were reportedly backing Ndume’s ambition for the Senate presidency.
According to The Nation, President Muhammadu Buhari and governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have joined forces for the realisation of Ahmed Lawan/Femi Gbajabiamila-led ninth National Assembly.
The president is also said to be backing the senator representing Delta Central senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege, for the position of deputy Senate president.
President Buhari and APC governors reportedly met at the weekend, where the president was said to have made his preference for Omo-Agege known.
A source, who craved anonymity, said: “The President told the governors that he wanted Omo-Agege because of the need to integrate the Southsouth and his loyalty to the party.
“Buhari implored the governors to assist him to work for the victory of Lawan and Omo-Agege. He was passionate about the two positions and left us to collaborate with the party to determine candidates for four other offices.”
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