The Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry has called on members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to articulate clearly define people-oriented objectives to drive the development that their people earnestly desire over the years.
Speaking at the opening of the 40th Regional Conference in Port Harcourt, Hon. Harry told the delegates to maximize the opportunity at the conference to articulate visionary strategies and trajectories that would foster democratic process in the continent.
He reasoned that the resolution the conference would come out with should form the basic planks upon which national, state and provincial legislations are enacted to bring the continent out of the developmental wood.
According to him, Africa over the decades, has gained an infamous reputation as a theatre of war, poverty, disease, child trafficking and unimaginable limits of human suffering.
He enjoined delegates to passionately thank the Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for his committed and selfless service adding that the conference would not have been a reality, without his support.
For him, he said, the governor has done everything to ensure his political growth, noting that, when he was speaker of the State House of Assembly, it was his choice that I deputise him.
In his words: “That afforded me the opportunity to be exposed politically and progressively led to my being made speaker after him.”
He maintained that the request in 2004 for the CPA 2010 conference later changed to 2009 was made possible by him even when he knew that his tenure as speaker would have been elapsed.
Hon. Harry also the current President of CPA also commended members of the conference secretariats for their tireless effort and to ensure that the historic conference was achieved.
To him, the 40th conference with the theme: The Commonwealth At 60 Years: “Challenges and Opportunities”, as very pertinent and instructive, stressing that as parliaments of countries in the region, the challenge of democracy on the continent of Africa is not novel.
The aspiration of delegates therefore he said, should enact legislation for good governance and social justice in the continent.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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