Service Chiefs screening: Senators Ojudu, Odunsi, Borofice, Marafa, 3 others defy APC directive

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About seven members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate on Monday participated in the screening of the Service Chiefs recently appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan, in defiance of their political party’s directive.

The leadership of the APC had through a communique read by its Interim National Publicity Secretary,  Lai Mohammed, last Thursday directed their members in the National Assembly to block the passage of the budget, and the screening of new service chiefs and ministers.

However, Senators Akin Odunsi, Kabiru Marafa, Sani Saleh, Atai Aidoko,  Babafemi Ojudu, Jubrilla Bindo,  and Ajayi Boroffice,  were among other senators, who participated actively in the joint committees of Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force to screen the new military chiefs on Monday.

Chairman of the joint committee, Senator George Sekibo, noted that the screening was the first to be carried out by the Senate since the return of Nigeria to civil rule despite the fact that there was a provision for it in Sections 217 to 219 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He added that past administrations in the country had not been sending names of service chiefs for confirmation despite that the National Assembly enacted Armed Forces Act 2004, which made it mandatory for the federal lawmakers to confirm the appointment of service chiefs.

Sekibo said, “The screening exercise today therefore is in fulfillment of the provisions of the constitution and the Armed Forces Act 2004 (Cap A.20 of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) which has been flouted since it was enacted.

“This exercise we are performing today would satisfy the provisions of the constitution and law, and completely put our Armed Forces under our democratic norms.”

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  1. Senator Ojudu said he has not floated party’s instructions as per blocking the 2014 budget and confirmation of all nominees to military and civilian positions; i sincerely hope i still understand English language.
    Please check these two statements credited to Lai Mohammed on two occasions, convince me that this is not hypocrisy at its best. I saw him on channels TV on that faithful day when he gave the first instruction, he never mention the proviso of ‘doing things right’.

    “Following on the forgoing and in view of the joint resolutions of the National Assembly on Rivers State, and other constitutional breaches by the Presidency, the APC hereby directs its members in the National Assembly to block all legislative proposals including the 2014 Budget and confirmation of all nominees to military and civilian positions to public office until the rule of law and constitutionalism is restored in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general.” – Lai Mohammed
    Now I asked, has the rule of law been restored in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general?
    If not, what must have prompted baba Lai Mohammed second statement below?

    “People don’t seem to understand our directive. It is not for them to boycott but to frustrate the process if the right things are not done. If they don’t attend how will our voice be heard?” – Lai Mohammed
    I see these double speak as a U-turn in the face of public criticism of an unpopular decision of a so called ‘progressive party’. A party that should be pro people took a decision that is simply against the welfare of the common man on the street. Rather than attempt an ignoble U-turn, APC should swallow it pride and apologize to Nigerian for allowing personal political gains becloud its leadership’s sense of good judgment.

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