2023: Accord Party Edo central senatorial candidate unveils manifesto, assures effective representation.

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2023: Accord Party Edo central senatorial candidate unveils manifesto, assures effective representation.

The senatorial candidate of Accord Party for Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State, Barr. Alex Ehimhantie Aidaghese has unveiled his manifesto ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Unveiling the the 21 pages manifesto booklet on Thursday, tagged “In Fulfillment of My Esan Agenda” Barr. Alex Aidaghese said that he was going to be driven by the vision to uplift the district to a development pedestal that would make them independent, confident and self-reliance through effective and quality representation.

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The manifesto Reads in parts;

A SENATORIAL MANIFESTO
EDO CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT

In the Fulfillment of My Esan Agenda

By

Barr. Alex Ehimhantie Aidaghese (LL.M., MCSE)
Accord Party Senatorial Candidate
Edo Central Senatorial District.
Edo State, Nigeria

INTRODUCTION

There are three branches of Government – the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. In Nigeria, at the federal level, the Legislative branch is bicameral – the Senate and the House of Representatives. And they are responsible for making laws. The second branch is the Executive – the Presidency and the Cabinet members. They are responsible for implementing the laws made by the legislative branch. The third branch is the Judiciary – the court system. And they are responsible for interpreting and applying the laws in the events of disputes between two or more aggrieved parties.

And between the three branches of Government, there exist the principle of separation of powers and checks and balances. According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, “Separation of powers is a doctrine of constitutional law under which the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are kept separate. This is also known as the system of checks and balances because each branch is given certain powers to check and balance the other branches.”

The concept was developed by the French philosopher, Baron de Montesquieu in his work, The Spirit of the Law. He posited that “when the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty.” Therefore, he held that governmental powers should be separated and balanced to guarantee individual rights and freedom.

Given that the principle is applicable in Nigeria, as a Senator, my power is limited to the law-making process, as well as providing legislative oversight to the numerous federal agencies to, inter alia, ensure accountability and regulatory compliance.

Even though we are constitutionally prohibited from engaging in executive functions, my manifesto is tailored in such a way that my team of advisers and I can be involved in managing the affairs of the Edo Central Senatorial District, ensuring regulatory compliance and accountability, without usurping or intruding on the power reserved exclusively for the executive branch on the ground.

That said, this Manifesto is divided into two sections. Section one is the Esanland Agenda, and it has eleven subsections. While section two is the National Agenda, and is divided into four subsections.

ESAN AGENDA

(1) Ethnic-Neutral Senatorial Advisory Team

(2) Constituting an Esan Stakeholders/Lobbyist Group with a focus on ensuring Federal presence in Esanland

(3) The Creation of Esan State.

(4) Public Health: Bridging Doctors/Patients’ Gaps

(5) Equitable Access to Quality Education

(6) Women and Youths Empowerment Programmes

(7) Security: State Police and Upgrade of Vigilante to Police Status

(8) Road Networks – Applying Governor David Umahi’s Road Construction Benchmark in all the road construction projects in Esanland.

(9) Pipe-Borne Water – Reviving the Odu River Dam Water Project

(10) Stabilization of Power Generation and Supply.

(11) And Creating an International Relations and Diaspora Networks Dept.

NATIONAL AGENDA

(12) True Federalism, Restructuring, and Decentralization of Power

(13) Budgetary Review, focusing on ending the Padding Epidemics

(14) Prosecutorial Activism and Accountability Frameworks: You Do the Crime, You Serve the Time

(15) Environmental Protection and Climate Change Awareness Programmes

ESAN AGENDA

(1) BUILDING A FORMIDABLE SENATORIAL SUPPORT TEAM

I am not an Agbazilo Senatorial Candidate and I am not an Okpebho Senatorial candidate, either. I am the Accord Party Senatorial Candidate, for the entire Esan tribal region, legally referred to as the Edo Central Senatorial District, Edo State, Nigeria.

Beginning on my first day in office, I will constitute a formidable team of Esan men and women, made up of the best Lawyers, Accountants, Administrators, Financial Analysts, Academics, and Linguists who are willing to accompany me to Abuja as my Partners and Advisers. Together, we will be engaging in serious research and strategizing, with a view to ensuring that Esan is not left out in the distribution of our national wealth and allocations of infrastructural facilities. For any bill or motion to garner my approval or support, it must have gone through a rigorous debate with my team. The overriding goal is how it can benefit my Esan folks at home. And similar to the American culture, I will be spending most of my weekends at home to evade the perversive Abuja disconnect that has turned members of the National Assembly into aliens in their community. I will establish my Senatorial headquarter at Uromi, being the central location of Esanland and easily accessible from any community in the Senatorial District.

(2) ESAN STAKEHOLDERS/LOBBYING GROUP

I will constitute a team of influential Esan intellectuals, businessmen and women, influential church leaders, and traditional rulers in the style of Afenifere or the Arewa Consultative Forum. We will be meeting regularly, or when facts on the ground necessitate dialog. If you know what went on behind the scene before the historic Petroleum Industry Bill was passed into law, you will understand why the case for constituting an Esan umbrella body is cogent. We will be meeting with the President, leadership of the National Assembly, and Heads of the MDAs, whenever matters that touch on Esan’s interests are on the line.

(3) THE CREATION OF THE ESAN STATE

Over the years, there exists an unwritten understanding between the three dominant tribes in Edo State, Esan, Afemai, and the Edo, regarding power rotation and sharing at the gubernatorial level. However, in recent times, the issue of marginalization of Esan by Edo South and Edo North has become so acute, pervasive, and indefensible. The fact that we’ve been subjugated is an understatement. The notion of equality, brotherly love, and egalitarianism among the three Senatorial Districts is now an aberration. And there is no end in sight.

One would have thought that with the emergence of Governor Obaseki as the Executive Governor of the state (of the Benin tribe), Mr. Shuaibu, an Afemai native as the Deputy Governor; an Esan native, reasonably and objectively defined, should have emerged as the SSG or the Chief of Staff to the Governor. No Esan native-born is occupying a substantive role in the present arrangement at Osadebe Avenue.

Our biggest problem now is more than the issue of who is who at Osadebe Avenue, it is about the purposeful abandonment of the Esanland. As of today, there is no direct access road to Esanland. A one-hour journey from Benin City to Ewohimi or Okhuesan in the past is now about four hours trip. Today, our pride and joy, Ambrose Alli University, is under threat of dismantling. And the once glorious Esan tribe is now an orphan, abandoned.

The most dominant discussion among Esan folks today in social media is the 2024 Edo State Gubernatorial election. Why is it so? It is so because we’re not so sure of securing the position the next time. Power sharing is no longer an even playing field in Edo State. From 1999 until this moment, only in two years was an Esan native a Governor in Edo State. We can only agitate, but we cannot fight it. We do not have the numerical strength to grab the position from the other two groups during the Primaries and that explains their arrogance.

Finally, outside of Benin City, there is no other city in Edo State as populated as Ekpoma and Uromi. We have the strength and we have the commercial hubs to drive big industries to the state, if created. As a tribe, our literacy rate is one of the highest in Nigeria. We have the buying power and we have the markets for produce and merchandise.

Zamfara is a state and Bayelsa is a state, as well. Same as Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Gombe, and Jigawa State, just to name a few. And all of them live at the mercy of the monthly allocation from Abuja. Before their formation, and even now, none of them can boast of a business district similar to the one that stretches through Ekpoma-Irrua-Uromi-Ubiaja. Think of that; we have a credible case to make for statehood. By the way, if Anioma is making waves, enjoying unhindered mention in the media as a potential new state, why shouldn’t an Esan State be in the picture?

We are marginalized. We are subjugated. We are disrespected. We are undermined. We are abandoned. And we are purposefully underdeveloped. But what you cannot take away from us is the fact that we are highly learned, friendly, entrepreneurial, industrious, honorable, cultural, assertive, and accommodating. We cannot continue as second-class citizens in our state. It’s about equal rights and justice. It’s time for Esan State.

(Please, I will only present the case for the creation of Esan State at the Senate after much consultation with the Esan’s Stakeholders and traditional rulers and there is an agreement that it’s the right thing to do or after a two-third majority of Esan voters voted for it by referendum).

(4) PUBLIC HEALTH: ENHANCE THE DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP.

In late 1985, my mother was seriously sick. Her two legs were swollen and she had difficulties walking. Different herbalists came to apply their herbs, but there was no improvement. So, I decided to travel home to the village to see her. Looking at my mother, I could figure that the situation requires more than traditional approaches. I enquired about the Medical Doctor at our community hospital and they told me that there’s no Doctor, but only a Youth Corper is available. They gave me his address, and luckily for me, he was home when I got there. After asking me a few questions about my Mom’s condition, he went inside and came out with a bag. And without much ado, he accompanied me home to see my Mom. After taking her blood pressure and doing the initial checkup, he asked us if we have a vacant room closer to the back of the house where she would be able to conveniently use the toilet at regular intervals. He told us that my Mom’s ailment is high blood pressure and would be over in about ten days. We were short for words, knowing the seriousness of her medical state. Besides, the young man exhibited an unusual calmness that kept us stupefied.

He arranged to be visiting her every day until she is fully recovered. Promptly, we transferred my Mom to the backroom and the Doctor began his medication. He didn’t ask us for any form of payment upfront. However, he told us that the drugs are not free and we should make arrangements for him to be able to buy them. I thanked him and walked him home. Surprisingly, my Mom’s swollen legs disappeared within six days and the young Corper Doctor became a hero.

Today, how many hospitals or clinics can you walk into in Esanland and be able to see a qualified Medical Doctor or Corper Doctor on duty to attend to you immediately within the hospital or accompany you home to attend to your sick parents? Hardly. And that has to change.

With my team of staff on hand, we will adopt an unscheduled regular visit to every hospital and clinic in Esanland to ensure that there are Doctors and Nurses on duty, attending to patients. We will take steps to ensure that our hospitals, clinics, Doctors, and Nurses are provided with adequate medical facilities, drugs, electricity, and general operational services that are comparable to what obtains in developed countries. It doesn’t take rocket science to accomplish that. What is lacking is management and accountability. If the First Lady of our great country couldn’t find Panadol in Aso Rock Clinic on her unscheduled visit to the hospital, you can begin to accept the enormity of the misappropriation of public funds taking place in our public sector.

Again, funding is available. What is missing is leadership and accountability. With my team, we will provide the missing leadership. Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his Action Group disciples did it in the First and the Second Republics. There is a record of performance on the ground to emulate.

For the short run, I will take steps to ensure that, in addition to the few Doctors in our medical centers, we have a sufficient number of Corpers who are Medical Doctors, posted to Esanland. In the long run, working in collaboration with heads of our five local government councils, we will put in place a medical-related development plan, focusing on providing full scholarships to at least five medical students every year from each of the five local government councils for an indefinite period. If we’re able to do that and put in place quality working environments and remuneration; in the next twenty years, we should be able to transform Esanland into the Cuba of Africa. (Please, don’t say it can’t be done).

(5) EQUITABLE ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION

That we should consider quality education or unhindered access to quality education a right is not an aberration. Adding to that, the required funds needed to make education compulsory in Esanland and transform it into a fundamental right are not in dispute. What is missing is leadership, foresight, and accountability. With my team on hand, we will be making regular, unannounced visits to all the institutions of learning in Edo Central Senatorial District to ensure that our children are taking lectures in a conducive learning environment.

We will also take steps to ensure that our teachers are adequately compensated. I would take steps to know the approach or reforms they have adopted in Rwanda that culminated in the reported mass exodus of pupils from private schools into public schools.

My goal is to make Esanland the number one educational capital in Nigeria. Once again, the required funds are available. What is unavailable is supervision. My team and I will provide that supervision, accountability, and regulatory compliance. The money one civil servant is embezzling directly or through the padding of the budget is enough to fund our primary and secondary education for many years.

Finally, Ambrose Alli University is our Pride and Joy. It’s not going to be dismantled. Under my leadership, we will work with experts to ensure that the university enjoys an uninterrupted supply of electricity, water supply, and internet access.

(6) WOMEN AND YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES

Youth and women empowerment programs are at the core of national development. Over the years we have developed a series of youth programs beginning with the National Youth Service Corps by General Yakubu Gowon administrator in 1973, for university graduates. Over the years it has grown up to include Polytechnic and graduates of colleges of education.

Today, we have a plethora of private and public youth programs in Nigeria such as the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Program (NJFP), Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program (SURE-P), Leventis Foundation Agricultural Fully Funded One Year Programme. Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), Tony Elumelu Saheh Youth Entrepreneurship Program (TEF-UNDP), Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports DEEL Program, etc, etc.

With all these programs in place, it is difficult to fathom why and how we still have thousands of Nigerian mentally and physically fit youths still roaming the streets, unemployed. As I alluded to in the opening section, l will have a few of my staff at the Senatorial Headquarters at Uromi and one at the Abuja office, fully devoted to youth empowerment programmes.

I am not going to start anything new in my first year in office; however, we will concentrate on perfecting the application process and eligibility tests for all the available youth programmes, locally and internationally to ensure that Esan Youths are fully engaged

(7) SECURITY: STATE POLICE AND UPGRADE OF VIGILANTE GROUPS INTO THE REGULAR POLICE STATUS.

Evening time, on April 24, 2016, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, received intelligence reports that the herders’ attack is imminent at Ukpabi Nimbo in Uzouwani Local Government Area. A high-level security meeting was immediately convened.

Present at the meeting were the state Commissioner of Police as well as the DSS Boss. The President was alerted. And Kogi State Commissioner of Police was also alerted. The meeting lasted until about 11 P.M., and the Governor was assured that all is safe.

At about 5.15 am on April 25, 2016, about 500 armed herdsmen surrounded the village, and phone calls to Abuja by the Governor, for protection yielded no favor. At about 6.30 A.M., the killers struck, killing about 46 people and about four others were seriously injured. When it was all over, the Governor was seen on video in a pensive mood, crying and going through the unsightly pictures of butchered cadavers, lying all over the place.

We pray that the Nimbo massacre and the armed robbery attack on four commercial banks at Uromi township in February 2022, which lasted for about two hours, will not happen again.

The establishment of a State Police is likely going to be the most debated issue in the coming National Assembly. I have always argued that a State Commissioner of Police must be answerable to the people of the state, not the President or the Inspector General of Police at Abuja. The State Governors and their security team should be available to take action to quell insurgency or insecurity whenever and wherever it’s happening, without contending with the bureaucratic monstrosity at Abuja that hinders rapid response.

Adding to that, the present local vigilante groups should be upgraded to Community or Local Government Police, after comprehensive training in weapon handling, public relations, communication skills, and rapid response orientation. And members of the local community must be on guard and alert to report suspicious activities to the nearest police station.

Finally, I would canvas for the establishment of a twenty-four hours highway patrol unit within the Police Force, instead of the usual roadblocks or checkpoints all over our highway. This unit must be equipped with sophisticated communication gadgets.

(8) ROAD NETWORKS

I will be directly involved in the supervision and monitoring of every road construction project in Esanland. Our goal is to ensure that the thickness of the corrugated asphalt used in tarring is not comprised and, at the same time, can withstand hazardous weather conditions and corrosive forces for at least twenty-five years. We are not going to make any exceptions, irrespective of the government or contractors involved. Again, my team and I will monitor to ensure that the volume of the asphalt and drainage meets Governor David Umahi’s benchmark in Abakaliki Road Networks in Ebonyi State. Road transportation is at the core of the food and services distribution chain. Without good roads, farmers and wholesale distributors cannot move their goods and foodstuffs to the consumers.

(9) PIPE-BORNE WATER

I will be directly involved in the resuscitation of the Odu River Dam Water Project. My goal is to ensure that PIPE BORNE WATER is available in every home in Esanland within my first three years in office. For instance, a President at Aso Rock has no idea about the existence of the Odu River Dam, nor is he aware that it can supply fresh water to more than half of the households in Esanland every day. And the same is true regarding the lack of information about the dam by the relevant staff at the Ministry of Works and Water Resources. Therefore, it is my responsibility to bring the disappearing awareness before the President and the appropriate ministries and departments during the preparation of the National Budget. Given that the water project will likely be capital-intensive, a joint effort by the state and federal governments may be urgent in the execution of the project.

(10) ELECTRICITY/POWER SUPPLY.

In my first week in office as a Senator, I will be meeting with the NERC management team and the DISCOs in charge of power distribution in Esanland to end the gridlock that paralyzed power supply to most communities in Esanland in the past ten years or more. Also, I look forward to meeting and working with Mr. Erabor Okogun as well as other Esan indigenes who are experts in power generation and distribution to source alternative routes for power generation and supply throughout Esanland. And as one who holds a Master’s degree in Energy Law, I am ready to put my craft on the table to design and ensure a sustainable supply of electricity to the entire Esanland.

(11) FOREIGN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT.

We have discussed extensively the breakthrough we need to achieve in educational reform, Healthcare delivery, road transportation, and water project. By doing so, we cannot rely solely on the government to meet the expectations that we envisaged. Therefore, I am designating two of my support staff with backgrounds in international law, international business transactions, or foreign affairs to be fully engaged in researching and contacting foreign organizations and financial institutions regarding provisions of scholarships, sponsorship of local businesses, and infrastructural projects that we can take advantage of to benefit our people.

Adding to that, whatever myself and my team are doing in Nigeria, we must endeavor to integrate the wisdom and expertise of our sisters and brothers living overseas – the diaspora connection. Any foreign-based Esan association or individual considering business acquisition or partnership facilitation with government agencies or private companies should rest assured that my office will provide maximum support. My goal is to put in place mechanisms for the industrial revolution in Esanland.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo did it in Western Region between 1952 and 1963 before the Treason Felony Trial came and turned the country apart. To realize this, I will be in constant consultation with the State Governors and all the local government leaders for purposeful collaboration to ensure the successful completion of foreign-backed projects or businesses in Esanland.

Esanland can boast thousands of Esan-born Medical Doctors and Nurses in Europe and North America. I will arrange for a quarterly visit of these sons and daughters to our hospitals and clinics at home to attend to patients. It doesn’t mean you have to come four times in one year, but a participant can pick the number of times he or she wants to perform.

NATIONAL LEVEL

(12) TRUE FEDERALISM

Constitutionally, Nigeria is a Federation. However, due to the near-total dismantling of the country in the name of the creation of new states by the successive military governments, the concentration of power at the centre became the norm rather than the exception. With the inclusion of resource control on the Exclusive Legislative List in the 1999 Constitution as amended, the federal system was surreptitiously dismantled and converted into a unitary system of government. And the component units or states now depend on the monthly allocation from the Federation Account to survive. Thus provoking a culture of dependency syndrome and the disappearance of the competitive spirit prominent in the Federal system of Government.

Due to the suffocating scale of the bureaucratic monstrosity that Abuja is contending with in the operation of its over-bloated power, most of the federating states are now demanding a drastic dilution of the power and responsibilities of the central government. And that’s how the demands for Decentralization of Power, True Federalism, and Restructuring evolved.

Historically, Northern political leaders and their traditional rulers consider the calls for Restructuring and Decentralization of Power as a scheme to dismantle Nigeria through semantics overload. And some think that the term, Restructuring, is convoluted. So, the rejection of the concepts has been fierce and strident, to put it mildly. And I look forward to championing or engineering a consensus approach to Motions or Bills in the Senate, geared towards the evolution of True Federalism and Decentralization of Power in Nigeria.

Decentralization of Power or True Federalism is self-explanatory. They are the opposite of the concentration of power at the center which is consistent with the philosophy of the Unitary System of Government. The 1999 constitution (as amended) did not contemplate or granted the unitary system.

The compulsory monthly allocation from Abuja to states and local government councils corrodes the fundamental principles of a traditional federal system of government. The dependency syndrome that General Sani Abacha created, even though it has succeeded in making more money available to some states and local government councils, hasn’t brought peace and development to those states.

In some of these states, there is no investment going on and no improvement in human capital development or educational standards. The Sharing culture does not create additional wealth. It’s like a feeding bottle, and it needs constant refilling. And that was how Banditry began – a history of cash incentives without a corresponding improvement in their standards of living.

My proposed approach is Decentralization without Disintegration. We can remain competitive, and semi-autonomous, and not interfere with or interrupt the pace of development in another state within the union.

On security matters, why should a State Governor and the Commissioner of Police, for instance, have to wait for Abuja or the IGP before taking action to quell an insurgency? The Commissioner of Police in a given state ought to be answerable to the people of the state, and not Abuja. This is just one of the fundamental attributes of True Federalism and Restructuring. So, Restructuring is not just about revenue allocation or sharing the oil wealth, it’s about resource control, competitive spirit, and production optimization.

Structural Analysis and Why the Unitary System Must be Abandoned.

The structural deformity that culminates in the unitary system and concentration of power in one President at the center, creates dictatorship, which ultimately, allows nepotism and cronyism to thrive in Nigeria. And with the institutionalization of nepotism and cronyism, comes poverty of ideas and incompetence across the board. At this stage, credibility is no longer a vogue, but who you know. That, consequently, breeds and perpetuates a culture of low expectations throughout the leadership of the MDAs. And that’s the Nigerian story of institutional decay. Therefore, that structural anomaly must go, if Nigeria must grow.

You can call it Restructuring, True Federalism, or the adoption of the 1963 constitution; I call it “Decentralization without Disintegration.” It is about saving Nigeria and allowing the Federating states to grow and develop at their own pace. That’s the American standard.

(13) BUDGET PADDING

A few weeks ago, the Chairman of the ICPC, Barr Bolaji Awasonoye, told Nigerians how civil servants padded the 2021-2022 nation budget with N400B in duplicated projects. So, you can imagine the culture in the past twenty years. Mind you, the budget under reference and similar ones before it passed through a series of Senatorial vetting and hearings, but no detection on the record. And that’s where I come in.

In my introductory section, I alluded to building formidable Senatorial support staff and assembling and surrounding myself with some of the best brains Esan has and who are willing to work with me at Abuja. Assembling such a team is going to be my number one priority. That was Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s approach to leadership. And it was the same approach by Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. Borrowing a leaf from these two renowned leaders, I will, for the period of budget reading, assemble a team of astute and well-read Accountants, Sociologists, Financial Analysts, Lawyers, and Academics to assist my support staff to do a comprehensive review and auditing of every item in the budget to identify and eliminate duplicated projects.

Finally, every recurring or yearly repeated item in the National Budget must be subjected to a durability test. How often, for instance, does your mother changes her kitchen wares, like pots and plates? And how old is your current laptop, or your home office appliances? Also, if, for instance, the nation’s First Lady couldn’t find Panadol in Aso Rock Clinic on her emergency visit, then, one is justified in demanding an explanation of how the previous budgetary allocations in the past three years were expended. If you are not buying laptops or changing your printers every, and if your Mama is not changing her cooking pots every year; therefore, the computers, printers in government offices, and the cooking pots at government houses shouldn’t be recurring items on our national budget.

These are just a few examples. I will work with my colleagues to put accountability and prudent management of our resources in place. Every budgetary allocation to all the MDAs in the previous or instant year must be accounted for and every head of the department must not only defend the proposed budget but must defend how and on what purpose the previous year’s disbursement was expended. And absent comprehensive audit reports, there won’t be new allocation. I am not a social or political activist, I am a one-man riot squad. By the Grace of God, trust it shall come to pass as written.

(14) PROSECUTORIAL ACTIVISM

You’ve read my references to the ICPC boss’s appearance before the Senate, revealing the atrocities of budget padding by MDAs staff, and you must also have followed the GDM of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, news conference, wherein he lamented how about 80% of our crude oil daily production cannot be accounted for – all going into the pockets of fraudulent Nigerians. What the two gentlemen didn’t tell you or are yet to tell you is the percentage of those involved who have been indicted or presently serving jail teams. With me in the Senate, the questions of accountability and prudent judgment will not be discounted. Those who do the crime must serve time. If we are not prosecuting or sending swindlers to jail without trial as they did in Singapore, how can we create a deterrent factor? You cannot stem the tide of corruption in any nation without setting examples.

I will help to champion or put in place an appropriate prosecutorial framework that is sustainable and morally driven.

A few years ago, you have heard of a Magistrate at Abuja who awarded a fine of about N25k against a Pension Funds embezzler in cash amounts and landed properties running into billions of Naira. When the judgment came, the Magistrate, who is now late, was harshly vilified. But what they didn’t tell you was that the Magistrate lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case or award a fine that exceeds what he awarded. And don’t forget, a SAN was among the Lawyers who filed and argued the case on behalf of the EFCC. As a Lawyer, fully conversant with the proclivity of our lawyers in procedural legal mumbo-jumbo and abuse of interlocutory applications or injunctions, I will be on standby to ensure that Federal Government Cases are no longer compromised or poorly handled.

(15) THE ENVIRONMENT AND ITS PROTECTION

Climate change is real. Also, desert encroachments in some of the Northern basins are real. Pollution, environmental catastrophic occurrences, and destruction of aquatic resources in the Niger Delta are actual. As a Lawyer with a background in Environmental Laws and Policy, I will be at the forefront of ensuring compliance with existing environmental regulatory regimes. For instance, the lackadaisical approach that the government exhibited in the uncompleted UN-Sponsored Ogoni-Clean-Up Exercise will not happen under my watch as a Senator.

Finally, the environmental hazards associated with gas flaring are unimaginable. We have enormous use of gas, and I look forward to working with the Presidency and the Energy and Power Ministry to find ways to maximize gas usage, especially for power generation, with a view to eliminating continuous flaring.

Still on climate change, If you are older than 35 years, have you ever paused to ask yourself what must have happened to Ukhuakhua (harmattan) during the month of November, December, and January?

CONCLUSION.

I have no doubt in my mind that a Senatorial position is a legislative office, lacking executive power. However, with diligent and consistent consultation with the Presidency and relevant ministries, coupled with an aggressive application of separation of power and checks and balances, I’m very confident that we will accomplish our mandate and manifesto by the Grace of God within the stipulated period. Amen

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