The main headlines in mainstream newspapers today, Friday, July 20, are focused on the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Senate president Bukola Saraki, the Senate’s response to presidential appointments, APC national chairman Adams Oshiomole’s message to potential defectors from the ruling party and the N317 million request by the Police and Civil Defense to feed dogs and horses.
This Day reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Senate president Bukola Saraki not to leave the All Progressives Congress (APC). The president met with Saraki at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday, July 19, and appealed to him to stay back.
The meeting at the Villa follows a previous meeting between Saraki, other aggrieved top members of the APC massed in the reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC), and PDP leaders in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
Saraki’s meeting with Buhari was reportedly set up by APC governors, including Alhaji Aminu Masari of Katsina, Senator Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun and Senator Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state, who after initial discussions with the Senate president at his Abuja residence on Wednesday night, July 18, prevailed on the president to meet with him and persuade him not to defect from the party.
Still on issues concerning the ruling party, The Nation is reporting that the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole, has stated that those who will defect from the APC to the PDP lack honour.
He reportedly made the comment during a meeting with Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom in Abuja on Thursday, July 19.
The publication notes that Ortom was, in fact, one of the governors believed to be set for a return to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, following the meeting with Oshiomole, the Benue governor reportedly announced that he had not defected from the APC.
The Guardian is however focused on the rowdy session in the Senate in reaction to what it referred to as ‘lopsidedness’ in presidential appointments, after Senate president Bukola Saraki read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the confirmation of a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Tunde Lemo, as chairman of the board of the Federal Road Management Agency (FERMA).
The publication reports that the upper legislative chamber subsequently mandated its Committee on Federal Character to look into allegations of lopsidedness in appointments by President Buhari. The committee is expected to submit its report on Tuesday, July 24.
According to deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu, quoting Section 14 (3) of the Constitution, “The composition of the government of the federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or any of its agencies.”
To round things up, Punch is focused on the request by the Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, for the sum of N317m to feed and administer medicine to dogs that will be deployed in states for the 2019 elections.
Also, the Nigeria Police Force will require N7 million to feed 50 horses that would be used for patrol during the upcoming elections.
According to the publication, the information was contained in the 2018 virement proposal sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly for the 2019 general election.
The total police budget for the elections stands at N30.5bn; the Office of the National Security Adviser, N4.2bn; the Department of State Services, N12.2bn; NSCDC, N3.5bn and the Nigeria Immigration Service, N2.6bn.
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