Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, says those who aspire to be leaders must be properly groomed, focused and determined to face the challenges of leadership.
Governor Arnaechi said this during the inauguration lecture and dinner organised by the past leaders of the National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS) under the aegis of Past NURSS Leaders Forum (PANLEAF) in Port Harcourt.
Represented by His Deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru, Governor Amaechi advised those aspiring to leadership positions to have something to offer the people, stressing that leadership is for men of character, noting that “a good leader is one who is ready to accommodate criticisms and is not deterred from realizing his objective.”
In his remarks, former Federal Commissioner of Information and foremost Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, expressed delight on the leadership qualities demonstrated by Governor Amaechi, saying he identified with the frankness, truthfulness, uprightness and courage exhibited by the Governor.
The elder statesman observed that student union activities bequeath youths with experiences and qualities that serve the society well, pointing out that PANlEAF is “doing the right thing by coming together to fashion out ways to move the society forward,” advising them to shun dishonesty and inordinate pursuit of power.
Earlier, PANLEAF President, Hon. Wele Alex, explained that the association is proud to identify with the development strides of their colleague, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, noting that in acknowledgement of his achievements in government, they are poised to muster support for him to run for a second term in office.
Delivering a lecture titled, “Responsive and Accountable Leadership: A Panacea for Societal Development”, Guest Speaker at the event and Chairman, Niger Delta Technical Committee, Mr. Ledum Mitee, stressed that youths should maximize opportunities afforded them by the society to effect critical change that would take Nigeria to the next level.
Observing that the current paradigms of leadership are misleading, Mr. Mitee, who is also President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), said, “for leadership to serve as a panacea to societal development, we need to think outside the box”, declaring that, “leadership should give hope”.
Dignitaries at the event include the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Magnus Abe, Commissioners for Works, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel Chinda, and Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Charles Gogo Levi.
Others are Special Advisers to the Governor on Statistics, Mr. Okey Okirie, and Culture, Hon. Iboroma Harry, Special Assistant to the Governor on 105 Health Centres, Mr. Orom Ereforokuma, a member of House of Representatives, Hon. Ike Chinwo, and the Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom, HRM King (Prof) Theophilus Princewill.
Highlights of the occasion was the cutting of the inauguration cake by Chief Edwin Clark, assisted by the State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele lkuru, members of PANLEAF executive, and other dignitaries.
Kukah Blames Nation’s Problems On Faulty Constitution
Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev Fr Matthew Hassan Kukah, says the persistent problem of Nigeria is directly tied to the Constitution.
Kukah, who stated this while delivering a keynote address at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference in Port Harcourt said the Constitution “does not inspire the ability of its citizens.
He attributed the persistent problem with the Constitution to the people that reviewed it, adding that they should be held responsible for the issues in the country and the Constitution.
“Citizens must see a reflection of themselves in the Constitution, we must all come together to face reality; we must manage the ingredients that accommodate all classes of the people while reviewing the Constitution. In reviewing the constitution, citizenship, national orientation, followership and leadership must be put into considerations as good leaders.
“An authority is what legitimates a leader, as you cannot lead by not having a clear picture of where you are going. The inability of the Constitution as well as its lack of capacity to make peace with the ordinary citizens is a fundamental problem,” he added.
On judicial activism, Kukah urged every judge to know that the judicial system is a matter that is on trial, and stated that Nigerians are mentally exhausted.
“Nigerians are exhausted, mentally and physically. We must ask how we got to this point. How did we end up with a country that performs below installed capacity?
“I do not know any other country that amends its Constitution more frequently than Nigeria, and starts all over again; so much that talking about constitutional amendment attracts derision. The United States in hundreds of years has amended their Constitution only 27 times. Yet, our problems seem tied to our Constitution; its inability to solve problems that confront the nation.”
The cleric maintained that the problem with the Nigerian Constitution could be the quality of persons Nigeria send to the constitutional conferences to review the supreme law of the land.
”It is used as a favour because presidents and governors handpick those to go. The least objective they have in mind is getting a near-perfect Constitution to guide the country. At last, tribal activists come together to argue for their interests.
”Ethno-religious giants have seized the nation by the jogular, thus, Nigeria develops in reverse. The price Nigeria pays is our failure to give ourselves a proper Constitution. We fail to understand the difference between leaders and office holders. You can have office but you have no authority. We suffer from collective ignorance of one another.” the cleric said.
He urged judges to defend the land positing that each time a case is in court, it is not just two parties on trial but the whole nation is on trial.
He urged lawyers to make a choice whether to serve the rich and powerful or for the public.
The bishop said because he believes in Nigeria, he turned down the possibility of United States’ citizenship. “I said if I do so, I would be telling God that he made a mistake by putting me here. Nigeria will not break”
While suggesting that the constitution should be a document for negotiation,
Kukah said It was a spectacular development for election results to be transmitted electronically and commended the Senate for passing to law the bill on the transmission of results electronically.
Group Hails LG Boss On Performance
Going by the performance of the Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State, as the administration celebrated its first 100 days in office recently, a non-governmental youth organisation in the area, the United Brothers’ of Opobo Kingdom (UBOK) has hailed the council boss, describing him as a development pathfinder of the 21st century in the local government.
Addressing journalists in Opobo shortly after the commissioning of numerous completed development projects embarked upon by the administration of Hon Enyiada Cookey – Gam, President of the group, Comrade Alafuro Mac-Pepple while felicitating with him on the auspicious event, disclosed that the emergence of Hon Cookey-Gam as council chairman has remained remarkable and profit-oriented.
Mac-Pepple stated that, “Cookey-Gam, as a development idol has been assessed during the period under review by the group and concluded that he is a transformational pathfinder and an embodiment of uncountable virtues, such as, kindness, perseverance, diligence in service, dedication, uprightness and accountability.
Mac-Pepple, on behalf of the group, commended the chairman for restoring electricity to the catchment communities and for the numerous appointments offered to the people, appealing to the council chairman to attach much importance to youth development by way of creating skills acquisition centres in all the 11 wards of the LGA, which will encourage them to be skilful, as well, be gainfully employed.
The group leader who expressed satisfaction over the performance of the present dispensation, said the chairman means well for the people, as he has the wherewithal and vast experience to consolidate on the great achievements recorded by him and even break new grounds, adding that such informed the reasons why the people collectively joined forces to ensure his victory at the poll.
He further explained that given the pedigree of the council chairman, the people of Opobo/Nkoro LGA should begin to count themselves lucky and prepare their minds to work with him for more dividends of democracy.
UBOK, through its leader, stressed that with the presence of Rt. Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam in the area, the government will take the LGA out of stagnation and under-development to the path of progress, stability and accelerated transformation, adding, “the administration should focus more on youth and women development programmes, aggressive infrastructural transformation of the satellite communities in the area.
By: Bethel Toby
Army Appreciates LG Boss Over Security
The 103 Battalion of the Nigerian Army has presented an Award of Appreciation to the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Mr. Michael John Williams.
The Award’ is in appreciation of the Chairman’s support to security operatives and peace efforts in the Local Government Area.
Commanding Officer of the 103 Battalion, situated at Obuama, Lt. Col. V. K. Tagwoi, while presenting the award to the Council Chairman at the Council Secretariat, Monday, commended him for his huge investment in the security sector, which has contributed immensely to the peace and serenity, witnessed in the LGA.
He pledged the continued partnership of the Nigerian Army to the council’s administration, to ensure the continued peace and security of the LGA.
It would be recalled that the Council Chairman had been widely commended by various stakeholders for tackling insecurity, particularly within the LGA waterways.
There had been recurrent sea pirates activities, where pirates attacked passengers, dispossessing them of their valuables, abducting some victims in the process and in most cases, snatching the marine vessels.
This sad development had continued unabated for sometime, until the Michael John Williams administration came onboard, which in just two weeks in office declared a ‘No Ply Zone’ for pirates, by procuring and donating fully equipped surveillance boats to patrol the Bille-Ke-Port Harcourt sea route.
This move has however, yielded positive result, as the once troubled waterways in DELGA, are now safe for commuters and others who ply their trade along the waterways.
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