The main headlines of the mainstream Nigerian newspapers for Thursday, February 15, are focused on the debate in the Senate over the passage of the 2019 election order bill and Jacob Zuma's resignation as South Africa's president.
Vanguard reports that the relative peace that the 8th Senate has been enjoying in the last one year was threatened yesterday, following a rowdy session that erupted at the chamber as senators were sharply divided over a new amendment to the Electoral Act regarding election sequence in the 2019 general elections.
Indeed, 10 All Progressives Congress senators, who opposed the amendment, which they said was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari, walked out of the chamber to address the press, while the plenary presided by Senate president, Bukola Saraki, was still on.
The Nation reports that at plenary, Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s argument against the bill was truncated by Saraki.
Adamu led nine other senators out of the chambers to address reporters. The group said the amendment was in bad faith.
Speaking one after the other, they picked holes in the bill, saying it was skewed against the President.
They said the amendment was hasty and uncalled for and must not be allowed to stand.
According to the senators, the bill sought to usurp the constitutional role of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the fixing of election dates.
The senators also faulted the process leading to the amendment.
They claimed that only 36 of the 360-member House of Representatives passed the bill.
The Guardian reports that Andrew Uchendu (APC, Rivers), who accompanied Abdullahi, said the amendment would not stand. Omo-Agege, who also briefed the press, claimed 59 out of 109 senators were opposed to Section 25(1) of the amendment insisting that the leadership of the Senate did not follow due process before adopting the report.
The Punch reports that South Africa’s embattled President Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect.
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The BBC reports that Zuma made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.
This Day reports that Nigeria’s external reserves rallied to a new high of $42.8 billion on Tuesday with confidence returning to the economy as the continuing intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) draws various exchange rates to convergence point.
The figure is $2.4billion more than the $40.4 billion for last month.
The acting director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, declared Wednesday that the Bank’s intervention in various sectors of the economy, including agribusiness, with emphasis on local production of rice has helped to conserve foreign exchange.
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