Abba Aji rescinds comments on FOI bill, zoning

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    Under pressure from the Presidency, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Muhammed Abba Aji yesterday retracted on his resolve to scuttle passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill into law.

    Briefing newsmen yesterday, Abba Aji whose comment was condemned by the Presidency, said he was not against the bill but only trying to draw attention to some constitutional issues surrounding it.

    According to him, “on the issue of the Freedom of Information Bill, what I did was to draw attention to the conflict that in my view, it is likely to have with the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it relates to the Oath of officeial and the office Secrecy Act, which is yet to be repealed.

    “I also tried to make the distinction between the Freedom of Information Bill, which seeks to compel public officers to reveal official matters, and Freedom of Press, which is already enshrined as Section 39 of the Constitution.”

    On his recent comment foreclosing Igbo presidency in 2015, Abba Aji apologised to the South East saying the zone has the right to aspire for the office in 2015 in accordance to arrangement of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

    He said, “I hereby categorically state that I have not at any time made such a statement. Contrary to this statement, I strongly believe that my Igbo brothers and sisters have equal rights with all members of other ethnic groups of our nation to seek any public office including the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    “The statement as it relates to Vice President Namadi Sambo is entirely my personal view, which he neither desired nor solicited. I therefore, hereby withdraw it, and regret any misunderstanding that it might have generated,” the president’s aide said.

    Abba Aji recently said he would advice Presidency Jonathan against signing the FOI bill and that the Igbos should forget the 2015 presidency saying, Vice President Sambo will step in to take the turn of the North.



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    Abba Aji rescinds comments on FOI bill, zoning