Tag Archives: Russia

NASS will re-visit devolution of power

Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Yusuf  Lasun, has assured that the National Assembly will re-visit the issue of devolution of power in the Constitution Amendment process.

He gave the assurance on Sunday at St. Petersburg, Russia, while speaking to newsmen on  the sidelines of the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU) Assembly.

The deputy speaker, who is part of the Nigerian delegation to the assembly, said the reactions that followed the failure of devolution of power to scale through during voting  on constitution amendment was an indication of how critical it is.

He said the resolve to re-visit the issue was in line with the 137th IPU theme — “Promoting Cultural Pluralism and Peace through Inter-faith and Inter-ethnic Dialogue”.

According to him, devolution of power has been part of the call for restructuring of the country to ensure adequate distribution of resources, which will in turn ensure peaceful co-existence.

read more at: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/nass-will-re-visit-devolution-of-power-in-constitution-amendment-lasun.html



Stop castigating leaders, Gaya advises

Senator Kabiru Gaya has advised Nigerians to engage in constructive criticism of government’s policies rather than castigating the leadership.

Gaya, who is the Vice President of the IPU, gave the advice when he addressed journalists on the sidelines of the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly on Sunday at St. Petersburg, Russia.

He admitted that Nigerians had a right to hold their leaders accountable, but it was imperative to do so with caution.

“Nigerians need to be patient with our leaders.

“When you have a leader, you pray hard for them because if you keep on castigating your leader, you will only end up frustrating them or hurrying to take bad decisions.

“So, I urge Nigerians to support the present government and President Muhammadu Buhari, make constructive criticisms and offer advice on the way forward,” he said.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Works has urged Nigerians to be patient with the present administration as it works towards entrenching good governance.

On the theme of the 137th IPU, “Promoting Cultural Pluralism and Peace through Inter-Faith and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue’’, Gaya said it was apt in view of increasing level of conflicts around the world.

He said that there could not have been a better time when people were resorting to violence in expressing their grievances.

He said that Nigeria was not insulated from the trend as there were increasing agitations in different sections of the country.

The parliamentarian, however, called for dialogue across board.

“Generally, in any governance in a country where there are crisis or people are oppressed, dialogue is the easiest and best solution.

“This is because unless people open up and express their grievances, there may be no solution and violence is never the answer to any problem.

“Whatever peace cannot give, violence will not give. So it is better to discuss with the people and come up with solutions.

“That is why in Nigeria’s government, most of the time falls back to dialogue. For instance, the Biafra and Niger Delta issues were partially resolved on dialogue.

“It is only the issue of Boko Haram that we were not able to resolve with dialogue and you can see the casualty figure,’’ he said.

The chairman commended the Buhari-led government for its effort in keeping the country one in spite of the daunting challenges.

On causes of agitations, the lawmaker said that there was a need to do more to carry every section of the country along.

He said that the issue of marginalization, for instance, was not peculiar to any section of the country but we in the National Assembly would continue to champion the course of dialogue.

“On restructuring, particularly the issue of devolution of power, during the Constitution review, we looked at areas that are less controversial and we agreed on them.

“We in the parliament are prepared for restructuring but let us first understand ourselves.

“If the issue of devolution of power comes up again, we will open up and speak with the interest of Nigerians at heart.’’

Gaya said that more needed to be done to get every region to be on the same page before proceeding with the process.

According to him, times have changed and it will take continuous dialogue to get everybody on the same page.

“Nigeria was united under only three regions; people were not complaining at that time. Our leaders were honest and dedicated.

“Nigerians were committed to being Nigerians but these days, it is different. However, we are prepared for dialogue,’’ he said.


Russia queries U.S over terrorists in Syria

Russia has raised the alarm over some 300 Daesh terrorists on pickup trucks infiltrating through a US-controlled zone in Syria’s al-Tanf.

The Russian Defense Ministry has urged “the US side to explain its selective blindness regarding militants” operating near US forces in Syria.

The ministry’s spokesman said the 300 Daesh militants had tried to block a strategically important road linking Damascus and Deir ez-Zor, used for delivering humanitarian aid for civilians and supplies for the Syrian Army.

Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that truce in the southern de-escalation zone in Syria could be undermined after the relocation of 600 militants and two convoys with medical aid into the area.

“Considering such significant reinforcement in terms of manpower, medicines and food, at the US’ tacit approval, one does not have to be an expert to forecast an attempt to derail the truce in the southern de-escalation zone”, he said.

According to the spokesman, on October 2-3 a group of 600 militants, previously based in the Rukban refugee camp, located in the American-controlled al-Tanf zone, headed westward in SUVs, and after covering some 300 kilometers entered the southern zone of de-escalation through a former border control point at the Syria-Jordan border in Daraa.

“By another ‘strange’ coincidence, almost simultaneously with them, two convoys [30 and 60 tons respectively] with medicines and products for the local population entered this de-escalation zone…

“All humanitarian aid that arrived and, above all, medicines, was unloaded and is under control of the militants who came from al-Tanf. At the same time, according to available information, these settlements are under the control of al-Nusra Front ‘sleeper cells’,” he said.

Konashenkov said that meant that 600 militants who arrived from the US-controlled zone in al-Tanf were either to fight these ‘cells’ for medicines and food, or act jointly with them.

The spokesman underscored the US would solely bear all the responsibility for sabotaging the peace process in Syria.

US Actions in Syria Look Like an Attempt to Split the Country

In his turn, Director of the North America Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Georgiy Borisenko told Sputnik that US actions near the al-Tanf base in Syria are reminiscent of an attempt to divide the war-torn state.


Nigeria expecting fighter jets from Russia, US, Pakistan, UAE

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has said the Nigerian Air Force is expecting new fighter aircraft from no fewer than four countries to boost its capabilities.

He listed the countries as Russia, the United States of America, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

READ MORE: http://punchng.com/nigeria-expecting-fighter-jets-from-russia-us-pakistan-uae/

Russia, China in joint naval drills near North Korea

China and Russia began naval drills near North Korea on Monday amid continuing tensions over the isolated state’s nuclear ambitions and ahead of a United Nations General Assembly meeting this week, where North Korea is likely to loom large.

North Korea launched a missile over Japan last Friday, its second in the past three weeks, and conducted its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, in defiance of international pressure.

The official Xinhua news agency said the joint exercises will take place between Peter the Great Bay, just outside of the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, not far from the Russia-North Korea border, and into the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan.

The drills are the second part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, the first part of which took place in the Baltic in July. The report did not directly link the drills to current tensions over North Korea.

According to TASS, Russia and China will deploy 11 ships and two submarines during the drill that will run till 26 September.

“The second stage of the international Russian-Chinese Maritime Cooperation-2017 exercise will involve 11 surface ships, two submarines, two deep-submergence rescue vehicles, four anti-submarine warfare aircraft and four shipborne helicopters,” spokesman Vladimir Matveyev said.

Russia will send the Admiral Tributs Udaloy-class destroyer, the Sovershenny corvette and the Igor Belousov rescue ship, carrying the AS-40 deep-submergence rescue vehicle and the R-11 missile corvette. In addition, the Pacific Fleet will also be represented by the Sovetskaya Gavan Grisha-class corvette, the Viktor Faleyev hydrographic survey vessel, the MB-93 sea tug and two diesel-electric submarines that were not named.

The four-vessel Chinese task force will be led by the Shijiazhuang destroyer.

“In addition, the naval phase of the exercise will involve the training of ship-aircraft coordination. This element will involve two Il-38 planes, two Tu-142M3 planes, a Ka-27PS and a Ka-27 helicopters of the Pacific Fleet’s naval aviation. The aviation of the Chinese Navy will be represented by Z-9C and Z-9D shipborne helicopters,” Matveyev said.

Both China and Russia have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the North Korean issue.

The international community must remain united and enforce sanctions against North Korea after its repeated launch of ballistic missiles, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an editorial published in the New York Times on Sunday.

Such tests are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and show that North Korea can now target the United States or Europe, Abe said.

Diplomacy and dialogue will not work with North Korea and concerted pressure by the entire international community is essential to tackle the threats posed by North Korea, Abe wrote.

A week ago, the 15-member U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted its ninth sanctions resolution since 2006 over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

On Monday, the official China Daily said sanctions should be given time to bite but that the door must be left open to talks.

“With its Friday missile launch, Pyongyang wanted to give the impression that sanctions will not work. Some people have fallen for that and immediately echoed the suggestion, pointing to the failure of past sanctions to achieve their purpose,” it said in an editorial.

“But that past sanctions did not work does not mean they will not. It is too early to claim failure because the latest sanctions have hardly begun to take effect. Giving the sanctions time to bite is the best way to make Pyongyang reconsider.”

Pyongyang has launched dozens of missiles as it accelerates a weapons programme designed to provide the ability to target the United States with a powerful, nuclear-tipped missile.

North Korea said on Saturday it aimed to reach an “equilibrium” of military force with the United States.