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Amaechi Opens CPA Confab In Rivers

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The Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi will on Monday, 20th July, 2009 officially declare open the 40th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), African Regional Conference in the state.

Already, the preliminary conference attracting no fewer than 16 countries from the African Region started on Monday, 13th and is expected to end on the 25th July, 2009 at the magnificent auditorium of the Rivers State House of Assembly, in Port Harcourt.

A statement from the press officer to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Soye Young-Itiye described the regional conference as historic milestone because it is the first time the state legislature is hosting the commonwealth parliamentary association, since the establishment of the body in 1911.

According to him, special commendation should be given to the state governor who had graciously accepted the hosting of the conference during his tenure as the Speaker of the state House of Assembly.

He said apart from the governor’s desire to reposition the infrastructural development of the state, amidst global economic meltdown, the need to host the conference was still provided on the front burner in his policy implementation programmes.

“The CPA is seen as a body set-up to promote and advance parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance, was found in 1911 as the empire parliamentary associations and its affairs was administered by the United Kingdom”, he said.

He explained that the conference which has its theme as Commonwealth at 60: Challenges and Opportunity”, has its pioneer members drawn from Australia, Canada, New Found Land, New Zealand, South-Africa and the United Kingdom, adopted and changed its present name in 1948 to enable members to participate in the association’s management and establish a separate secretariat to manage its affairs.

According to him, more than 50 new parliaments and legislatures joined or rejoined the CPA adding that, there are 17 National branches in the African region.

The 13-day programme, he said, is expected to attract 16 Commonwealth countries with over 600 delegates.

He called on the people of the state to show their hospitality to the delegates during their stay throughout the conference.

In another development, a member, representing Akuku-Toru State Constituency II in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Onari Brown, says the conference will provide opportunity for the people in the state to show case the potential of their cultural heritage.

Apart from the showcasing of tourism potentials in Rivers State, he said, the conference will correct the impression that the state cannot provide the enabling peaceful environment to investors in this region, taunted as the hub of oil and gas industry.

Hon. Brown made this known during an interactive session with House of Assembly correspondents shortly before the conference kick-off in Port Harcourt.

The legislator also chairman, House committee on information, explained that the historic conference will afford legislators the cross fertilization of ideas on challenges, hope, aspiration and democratic ideal in the region.

Member representing Akuku-Toru I Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Brown Onari (right) and his Asari-Toru II counterpart, Hon. Ibinabo Michael-West, going through a document during a deliberation in the House chambers in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: King Osila.

Member representing Akuku-Toru I Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Brown Onari (right) and his Asari-Toru II counterpart, Hon. Ibinabo Michael-West, going through a document during a deliberation in the House chambers in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: King Osila.

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We Are Satisfied With Level Of Preparations For Anambra Poll – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, said it is satisfied with the current level of preparations for the November 6 Anambra governorship election.
In a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye in Abuja, the commission said that virtually all non-sensitive materials have been delivered in readiness for the election.
Okoye said the commission deliberated on the state governorship election holding on November 6, at its regular weekly meeting held yesterday in Abuja, “The training of ad-hoc staff is also going on as scheduled.
“The Commission is in touch with the National Peace Committtee under the Chairmanship of former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd).
“Preparations are underway for the signing of the Peace Accord in Awka on November 4.”
Okoye said that the commission also noted with appreciation, the role of religious, traditional and community leaders in Anambra State.
The commission also appreciated the civil society, socio-cultural associations and the media in appealing for peace during electioneering campaign and election-day activities.
Okoye also disclosed that INEC also on Thursday published the notice of poll at its state and all the local government offices in Anambra State.
He said that so far, the commission has successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities in the timetable and schedule of activities.
‘By Section 46 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Commission shall, not later than 14 days before the day of the election, cause to be published, a notice specifying the date and hours fixed for the poll; the persons entitled to vote; and the location of the polling units.
“In the same vein, today is the last day for the submission of names of Polling Agents by political parties.
“By Section 45 of the Electoral Act, each political party may by notice in writing addressed to the Electoral Officer of the Local Government, appoint a polling agent for each polling unit and collation centre.
“The notice shall set out the name and address of the polling agent, accompanied by two passport photographs of each polling agent, and sample signature of the agent at least 14 days before the date fixed for the election.”
Okoye advised political parties to adhere strictly to the law and the guidelines for the deployment of polling agents.
He said that only duly accredited polling agents would be allowed to operate at the polling units and collation centres.
“With just a little over two weeks to the election, the Commission once again appeals for support from all and sundry in Anambra to ensure that the election will not only be peaceful, but also free, fair and credible.”

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Jonathan Congratulates Gowon At 87

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has congratulated former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) on the occasion of his 87th birthday.
Jonathan commended Gowon for his sustained commitment to the peace and progress of Nigeria, stressing that the former head of State has made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of the country.
The former President also described General Gowon as a committed leader and patriot who has always been concerned about the development of Nigeria.
“The former Head of State has made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of our country,” the message reads.
The goodwill message he personally signed, reads, “I join your family and well-wishers to celebrate you on the occasion of your 87th birthday. I am pleased by your sustained commitment to the progress, peace and unity of Nigeria.
“Your passion and love for Nigeria have not waned many decades after leaving office, as you have continued to invest your time in peace initiatives such as Nigeria Prays Project and the Yakubu Gowon Centre.
“As Head of State, you made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of Nigeria and earned yourself a reputation of peacemaker and nation builder.
 ”Your Excellency, as you celebrate, on behalf of my family, I pray that God will renew your strength and grant you peace, joy and long life. Happy birthday, Your Excellency”.

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Sokoto Assembly Confirms Three Commissioner-Nominees

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The Sokoto State House of Assembly has confirmed the appointment of three Commissioner-nominees as requested by Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
This followed the adoption of a motion by the All Progressives Congress Leader, Bello Ambarura, at the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday in Sokoto.
Moving the motion, Ambarura said that it was in consideration of the request by Governor Tambuwal who requested the House confirmation for the nominees.
“This is in view of the provision of section 192 (1-5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. However, their nomination was necessitated due to the existence of vacancies in the state Executive Council,” he said.
The lawmaker added that the governor’s request was as enshrined in the public service rules and regulations as well as other processes required by the law.
“Moreover, the persons nominated for the appointments are persons of proven integrity and dedication, who had served the state and the nation in various capacities.
“Thus, if appointed, they will assist the governor in discharging his statutory responsibilities,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker, Abubakar Magaji, who presided over the sitting, put the motion into a voice vote after the screening of the nominees, and it was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
The Tide source reports that the nominees included Professor Aminu Illela, Shuaibu Gwanda-Gobir, and Hassan Maccido.

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