Daily Trust (Abuja)

17 January 2013

Nigeria: Reps Move Against Centenary Party

Some members of the House of Representatives yesterday kicked against the proposal by President Goodluck Jonathan to celebrate 100 years of Nigeria's unity in 2014.

Jonathan had written a letter to Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal titled: Programme for the celebration of Nigeria's centenary, dated 10th January, 2012 but shortly after reading the letter to his colleagues, Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (ANPP, Kano) raised a point of order challenging the request by Jonathan to send the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Senator Anyim Pious Anyim to address the House in plenary on the preparations for the celebration.

He was supported by the Minority Leader Rep. Demi Gbajabiamila (ACN, Lagos) who said "a centenary celebration could cause this country billions. If we are saying there is no money to implement budgets, so I don't see why a centenary celebration should be a priority?"

However, Rep. Emmanuel Jime(PDP, Benue), countered them warning that the House should stop constituting itself as an opposition arm of the government. For her part, Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN, Lagos) said: "there was no big deal or an issue to be made out of the decision by the Presidency to mark 100 years of our unity."

In his remarks ,Tambuwal said he allowed reactions on the letter by members because of the request to allow Anyim to address the House.

Also yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan has asked for a convenient date for the Senate to receive a full briefing on the proposed programme for the nation's centenary celebration.

Jonathan made the request in a letter dated January 10, 2013 which was addressed to Senate President David Mark and read yesterday at plenary.

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