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NASS Leadership: Intrigues As APC Fails to Enact Will

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) suffered a crucial setback on Tuesday; as it failed to have its chosen candidates elected leaders of both arms of the National Assembly, according to Daily Independent.

The development, aside putting the party in power in very difficult position with the federal legislature, has dealt a blow on the authority of the APC, especially its strongman, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, believed to have orchestrated the party’s position.

Daily Independent reported that in what was a clear repeat of the 2011 scenario in the House of Representatives when the then opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) connived with rebellious members of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to deny the PDP the chance of installing its chosen candidate as Speaker.

This time, in what some see as payback time, PDP members in the Senate and House of Representatives connived with some members of the APC who were unhappy at the party’s choices to elect Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker respectively.

The APC leadership had picked Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as the party’s candidate for the position at a mock election held last Saturday.

The intrigues surrounding the fight for the NASS leadership crystallized yesterday when the party members, especially those in the Senate, shunned the meeting called by President Muhammadu Buhari, early in the day, to find a solution to the challenges bedeviling the party.

Instead they appeared in the chamber, and with the support of PDP members, formed a quorum, and went ahead to elect Saraki as the Senate President un-opposed.

In a Senate of 109 members, 57 members made up mostly of PDP members converged in the Senate Chambers, got inaugurated by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, who acting on the letter of proclamation forwarded to him a week ago by President Muhamnadu Buhari, set the 8th Session of the National Assembly in motion.

With calls for nomination made, Saraki was the only one nominated for the seat at a time Senator Ahmed Lawan and his supporters were at the International Conference Centre, waiting for the arrival of President Buhari and the Saraki team.

He emerged un-opposed, following which affirmation vote was taken to ratify his election.

The PDP, however, played a fast one on the APC members when one of the PDP members and the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Emweremadu, was nominated as Deputy President candidate to slug it out with Ali Ndume of the APC and Saraki’s running mate.

With their numerical advantage, the PDP members outwitted the few APC senators in the chamber, voting en-mass for Ekwerenmadu.

According to Daily Independent, those who know say Ekwerenmadu’s emergence was not happenstance, because on Monday night, news broke that Saraki had in the bid to win the support of the PDP caucus, agreed to support the bid to return the Deputy Senate President, who served for eight years to his prime job.

The emergence of Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President is the first time a mixed leadership is presiding over the Senate.

With the “palace coup” in the Senate effectively executed, the battle field was shifted to the House of Representatives where the PDP members had struck an agreement with the Yakubu Dogara team offering him their support to emerge as Speaker against the candidature of Femi Gbajabiamila, the APC’s anointed candidate.

The animosity between the two camps was openly displayed even before the Clerk to the National Assembly was done with the assignment in the Senate.

As soon as the news filtered in that Saraki and Ekweremadu had clinched the seats in the senate, the supporters of Dogara both in the PDP and APC threw caution to the wind by engaging in wild jubilation, shouting “PDP” “PDP” “PDP”.

Ironically, Dogara in his last two elections into the parliament, was elected on the platform of PDP but about nine months ago, decamped to the APC to actualize his third term bid.

The lawmakers who supported Dogara did not hide their disdain for Gbajabiamila as they booed him when he entered the chamber at about 10.30 am.

However, the tide changed some minutes later when his supporters who were also at the ICC waiting to attend the meeting called by the President, came in, in droves.

Both camps began to engage each other in war of praise singing, causing much noise in the chamber.

At about 1:03 pm, the clerk of the House of Representatives Mohammed Sanni Omolori, concluded the roll call of members after the Clerk to the National Assembly, Maikasuwa had read the proclamation letter from President Muhammadu Buhari, in accordance with the law.

Of the 360 members, two persons were absent, leaving the floor to the 258 members to engage in the election of the principal officers.

With call for nominations made, Jibrin Abdulmumin, stood up to nominate Dogara for the position of Speaker, which was seconded by Chike Okafor.

Dogara accepted the nomination to the admiration of his supporters.

Minutes after, Mohammed Sanni from Bauchi state nominated Gbajabiamila for the contest and was seconded by Shuaibu Philips from Edo state.

As soon as Gbajabiamila accepted his nomination, the Clerk announced that secret ballot system would be adopted.

Members were called in a group of 10 and in alphabetical order of state of origin and asked to vote by writing the name of their preferred candidate.

The voting commenced at about 1:30 pm.

When the voting were concluded, and the ballots counted, Dogara emerged victorious with 182 votes, beating Gbajabiamila by a slim margin of 8 votes, as the APC adopted candidate scored 174 votes.

Wild jubilation erupted in the chamber, as Dogara’s supporters hugged one another while some supporters of Gbajabiamila who could not stomach the defeat were seen crying openly, while leaving the chambers.

The desire of the PDP to take absolute control of the lower parliament was however thwarted as members refused to nominate Leo Ogor, the immediate past Deputy Leader of the House, for the Deputy Speaker position. Ogor was said to have rallied the PDP members for Dogara, because he was promised the Deputy Speaker seat as compensation.

As soon as it dawned on Ogor that he had been edged out, he stormed out of the chambers angrily even before the nomination was made openly.

It took the intervention of some PDP members to bring him back into the chamber, and even then, he sat with anger openly visible on his face.

When nominations were made, Lasun Yusuf, an APC member from Osun State was nominated and put in the ring with Mohamned Tahir Monguno who was the Deputy Speaker-designate on the Gbajabiamila ticket. Yusuf garnered 203 votes to Monguno’s 153.

While the voting for the Deputy Speaker seat was still ongoing, the leadership of the APC in a statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, raised objection to the game that played out on the floor of the House and the Senate Chamber.

Meanwhile, celebration broke out in Bauchi State as soon news of Dogara’s emergence filtered in.

He represents the Bogoro Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of the state. Youths, women and political groups, Muslims and Christians were almost united in celebration as almost every man on the street of Bauchi was elated with the emergence of Dogara as the 8th Speaker.

Dogar, 48, is from Gwaranga village in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

He scored 182 to beat his main rival, Femi Gbajabiamila, who represents Surulere Federal Constituency, Lagos state, in a keenly contested election. Gbajabiamila scored 174.


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NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.

 

The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.

 

A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.

 

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.

 

Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.

 

They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.

 

According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.

 

However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”

 

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

 

Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

 


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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