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2013 budget: NASS rejects Jonathan’s amendment proposals



By Ikechukwu Okaforadi & Umar Muhammad Puma

















Strange World 31


enate yesterday turned down the request by President Goodluck Jonathan to amend the N4.987 trillion 2013 national budget, claiming that the lead debate for the request was not ready. Senate Leader, Victor NdomaEgba, who led debate on the request, declared at the plenary that Jonathan's request was not ready, sequel of which the request was suspended. Jonathan had requested to amend the budget, to make appropriation for the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), but















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directed that the Minister of Finance should release funds periodically as due to offices involved, and failures can only be entertained with the due permission of the National Assembly. Kicking against this controversial clause, President Jonathan said it is impossible since revenues fluctuate and might necessitate budgetary defaults. In the amendment proposal presented to both arms of the National Assembly in March, Jonathan retained the N4.987 trillion passed by the National Assembly last December but proposed N2.4 trillion as recurrent expenditure as against the 2.3 trillion passed on December 20,

Nasarawa: IGP vows to fish out militiamen Contd from Page 1

Amnesty: Waiting for godot? Page 4

the lawmakers have been demanding that the President sacks the SEC Director General (DG) on the ground that she is not qualified to head the institution. On March 14, 2013, Jonathan, in separate letters to the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly, had rejected a number of stipulations in the 2013 budget which allowed the National Assembly to monitor every kobo disbursed by the executive for project execution. He called for immediate review of this design, which the federal lawmakers apparently hatched to check the perennial problem of poor budget implementation. Another controversial clause

2012. The president is also seeking the approval of N1.588 trillion as capital expenditure as against the N1.6 trillion approved by the parliament last year. Also yesterday, there were indications that the House of Representatives may return the 2013 amendment budget sent to it by President Goodluck Jonathan back untouched. Spokesman of the House, Zakari Mohammed, said yesterday that the scope of the amendment makes it seem the National Assembly has not passed the budget in the first place. According to him, "amendment means there is a law on ground that has defects but with the level of the amendments requested, it is as if a new budget is to be passed.

its field commanders and Special Units including Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) to harness all resources available within their domain in ensuring that this reign of terror and lawlessness is brought to an end. Mba added: "The Nigeria Police Force working in conjunction with all positive minded Nigerians, will do everything within its powers to fish out and bring to book all those involved in this and other similar killings of law enforcement agents. We must put an end to this endless circle of impunity. Enough is enough." Meanwhile, at least 85 charred bodies of slain security operatives, including the body of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Momoh, allegedly killed by Ombatse militants in Alakyo, Nasarawa state, have been deposited at the mortuary of the Dalhatu Araf Specialists Hospital (DASH), Lafia. Sources at the hospital confirmed to our correspondent that the bodies, many of which were burnt beyond recognition, were conveyed to the hospital in six ambulances and were deposited at the mortuary. As early as 7 am yesterday, sympathisers and family members who thronged the premises of the hospital were taken aback by the gory sight they saw, with many thrown into tears as family members try to identify their loved ones among the charred, mangled bodies of the victims. Narrating his ordeal in a chat with our reporter one of the policemen who sought anonymity, said his survival, alongside 19 others, was only by the grace of God as they were outnumbered and overpowered by the outlawed Ombatse cultists. He pointed out that the militiamen had prior knowledge of their coming and laid siege on the narrow road leading to the Alakyo village, where they were supposed to effect the arrest of their spiritual leader and recover arms said to be in his possession. According to him, “the road is narrow and they allowed us into their midst before opening fire on us at close range. Efforts to return

fire and scare them into hiding was futile as bullets did not to penetrate them”. The police officer, who was visibly shaken, explained that the militiamen dressed in black shirts and caps, kept approaching amidst heavy gunfire which forced their Hilux vehicle to turn back, being the last van on the convoy. “Due to the nature of the road and ensuing gun duel, our men could not turn back and ten of us in our van were able to manoeuvre our way out not without suffering bullet wounds," he added. Also speaking on condition of anonymity, a staff of the Red Cross Society, which went to evacuate the remains of the victims, said the militiamen, who gave conditions that no armed security officer should accompany them, were still keeping close guard in the village. The Red Cross officer said the militia men seized their phones on entry but returned same after the evacuation of the dead policemen. In a related development, wives of Policemen killed in Nasarawa state by militia group have taken to the streets in protest of the gruesome murder of their spouses. The Nasarawa state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Michael Ada, told journalists that the protesting women have blocked the Akwanga –Lafia Federal Highway at the Squadron 38 Mopol base axis in Akwanga. According to him, the women were demanding to know what actually happened to their spouses even as they called on the government to ensure that justice was done, the killers arrested and brought to book. Adah said the Commissioner of Police , Abayomi Akeremale, had directed the Akwanga Area Commander to appeal to the women to be calm, adding that the death of the officers was a big blow not just to the Police but to the country at large even as he assured the protesting women that the Police would do all within its power to ensure that the death of the gallant officers was not in vain. According to eye witnesses held in traffic as a result of the protest, the women, who came out in large number, set bonfire along the highway with many of them wailing uncontrollably and raining curses. Responding to the incident, the

House of Representatives yesterday condemned the Alakyo killing and urged the Federal and the Nasarawa state governments to provide a platform for dialogue among disputing communities in the state on the path of peace rather than the use of force by the police. This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Rep Joseph Haruna Kigbu (CPC, Nasarawa) who brought to the notice of the House a violent clash that erupted between some men of the Nigerian Police command in the state and the Ombatse Eggon Youth. He said the clash was as a result of an allegation by the Ombatse group that the police were on a mission to arrest their spiritual leader at Alakyo village of Lafia East Development Area, adding that about 26 policemen/SSS and 10 Ombatse youth lost their lives. "If the Federal Government does not assist Nasarawa State Government to maintain security and amicably resolve their communal differences, this may lead to further breakdown of peace and order," he said. The Nasarawa state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-makura has, however assured the people of the state that government is in control of the situation. Al-makura, while condoling with the families of the murdered policemen, as well as the federal government, assured that government would do everything to make sure that the perpetrators of the “disheartening” crime are brought to book. Reacting, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned in strong terms, the killing of the security officials by he cultists. The body in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, described the Ombatse worshipers' act as mindless and barbaric. It stated “Those whose responsibility is to secure the lives and property of Nigerians are becoming the targets of religious sects, however defined. This is unacceptable and so should be condemned by not only all religions but also by all peace living Nigerians. ACF, therefore, condemns the mindless attacks in totality. “Yet we must not fail to point out the fact that criminals among us are shielding themselves with

beliefs which they use to unleash crimes on fellow Nigerians. This country must regard and treat criminals for what they are, regardless of their faiths,’ the ACF counseled. In a related development, medical and administrative activities at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno state, (UMTH) were crippled yesterday morning, as aggrieved heavily armed policemen went on the rampage and allegedly shot a medical doctor, Dr. Abba Kabir, in the leg. The policemen, had on Wednesday conveyed over 30 corpses of their colleagues killed during the Tuesday deadly attacks by suspected insurgents in Bama local government area of Borno state to the hospital for onward deposition at the morgue. However trouble started when the security forces returned to the hospital the following morning only to find the corpses lying on the floor without being deposited at the mortuary. Speaking to an eyewitness who did not want his name in print said, "the rampaging policemen who came to the hospital were provoked and started shooting sporadically when they saw their dead colleagues laying on the floor instead of being in the mortuary. A staff at the UMTH who declined identification said "I was attending to a patient when I heard horrifying sound of the gunshots and immediately I saw people running helter skelter, which I had no option than to run for my safety too. Although, I cannot tell whether a medical staff was shot or injured, but the whole institution was shut down for over three hours before normalcy is restored ". Commenting over the incident, Chairman of the UMTH Resident Doctors Association, Dr. Mohammed Yahaya, declared that all the 100 medical doctors of the hospital will embark on an indefinite strike from today, to protest what he termed as 'inhuman' treatment meted out on them. Yahaya, who spoke to newsmen also exonerated the hospital from any blame, saying the only morgue at the health institution was filled to capacity and that there was no more extra space to accomodate a single corpse.

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 10, May, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 10, May, 2013 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 10, May, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 10, May, 2013 Edition