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“High Cost Of Governance, Recipe For Under Dev”

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Rivers State was created on May 27, 1967 by a military Decree and by 1996, Bayelsa State was carved out of it. However, agitation for the creation of Rivers State predated Nigeria’s independence from Britain in 1960. During the Colonial period. Britain signed many treaties of protection with the chiefs of many coastal communities.

Some of these chiefs had hoped that with Nigeria’s independence, the treaties of protection they signed with Britain would also lapse and thus, they would become independent states. The 1958 constitutional conference which affirmed Nigerian nationhood dashed that hope, but agreed on some measures to allay the fears of the ethnic minorities in this area.

Between 1941 and 1952, an organization known as the izo Rivers People’s League had agitted for the creation of a distinct Rivers Province in 1953, another body called the Council of Rivers Chief People Conference in 1956. The leaders of this organization cooperated with the Calabar Ogaja Rivers (COR) State Movement formed in Uyo in December 1953, but later broke away to press their own case before the Willink commission.

To allay the fears of the minorities under the dominant ethnic groups within the Nigerian nationhood, the British made one import and concession by setting up a Commission headed by Sir Henry Willink to look into the misgivings of the ethnic minorities. The Willink Commission recommended the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) to address the problem of underdevelopment of the area.

Surprisingly that board did not meet the aspirations of the people and thus, some people attempted to take the extra-legal means to achieve their goal. In February 1966, Isaac Boro, Sam Owonaro and Nottingham Dick with their supporters proclaimed a “Delta Peoples Republic.” Federal and Eastern Nigeria Governments brought this rebellion to an abrupt end. On May 27, 1967, Rivers State was among the twelve States created by the Gen Yakubu Gowon Regime.

The cries of political marginalization, environmental degradation and economic pauperization continued among the Ijaws, such that the Old Ijaw province was carved out of Rivers State as a distinct Bayelsa State in 1996 by the Abacha led military government of Nigeria.

The cries of political marginalization, environmental degradation and economic pauperization continued among the Ijaws, such that the Old Ijaw province was carved out of Rivers State as a distinct Bayelsa State in 1996 by the Abacha led military government of Nigeria.

But after the civilians took power in 1999, through a democratic process, Rivers State has not been able to meet those aspirations it suppose to have met after many years of civilian rules in the state.

Baring his mind on Nigeria’s Democracy, the leader of the Movement for the survival of Ogoni people, (MOSOP), Mr. Ledum Mitee, said in some aspect the country may have done as much as it would have done, in terms of freedom of speech, people can express themselves, press relatively free and delections were done and not military exerting force against everybody, even in terms of human rights, we have gone a step ahead but, still believed that in terms of translating the devidends  and benefits that democracy offers the ordinary people, I’m not sure that we have gotten there yet. There were times that people living in the Diobu area use to turn the tap and water runs in their various yards, but today that is not the case, people now use pure water or sink a borehole, that is not good enough for a country like Nigeria. The public schools were not in good shapes until few years. The schools then looked like museum that have been abandoned for ages, thanks for the efforts of this government in Rivers State with the edifice that could be point to that there is still public schools.

Apart from the social amenities which has been absent even before the democratic process in the country, Mitee said, the government have not looked at the Agriculture and way of empowering the young ones. They have not explored enough Agriculture. The country have not reach where it supposed to reach in terms of farming, but unfortunately, the nation was still depending on the people who are toiling on their own pace, and we are getting nothing for it, and that adds to the poverty. In the past Rivers State Government use to have produce board, this board guarantee price. We also use to have palm plantations, rubber plantations but I think, since oil came, we completely dealt deathblow to all those things, our children who are growing up do not know what palm plantations are and why they even exited.

In terms of industry, the country, lendership open floodgatefor all sort of goods from every where, and so industries are completely dead, come and think of what had happened to Michelin some years ago, the company used to offer jobs to people and this was because they could produce tires and people could buy, and the company offered jobs for some thousands of people because they could do tyres and prople would buy them and it offered employments to a lots of people. Trans Amadi use to bubble of activities and several people were employed in various companies at Trans Amadi now the economy has sunk to the level, the factories have all gone and churches have taken over as a means of employment, he said.

He noted that one of the causes of the do or die politics in Nigeria is the lucrative nature and the high stake of the political offices, explaining that society have no longer value for professionals and role modes.

According to him, “you see somebody whom have no qualifications but as soon as he becomes a councilor, he earns more than a professor and Medical Doctor who have spent years of learning. “So, we have averted the value of society. If I may ask who are the people who are as role modes now in society, would you think of a medical doctor who have spent about 8 years in the university, trying to do the little that can save lives, or would you think of a university professor, who have gone through all the years learning, no one thinks of them as role models any longer, we are thinking of how to be councilors or politicians. Some even apply to be a political thugs, because that is what is obtainable.

He also said the cause of running governance in Nigeria is also expensive, stressing that it has also contributed to the underdevelopment of the nation. “If you take a look at the amount the legislators are taking, you would be surprise at the cost of governance. If there is a reduction in those areas, there would be sufficient money to handle social security, government can pay every person N10,000 monthly, if even the person has no job. This would make them not to engage in criminal activities. It happens in other countries, I believe that if all these combinations are put in place, we can now say we are geting the real benefits of democracy.

Stressing further, Mitee said government can as well buy jobs for its youth, adding that some countries do it.

He noted that the idea was to secure future for the coming generations but regretted that Nigeria is not thinking towards that direction and does not give attentions to its youths a situation he said was not a welcome development.

He said as Governor Chibuike Amaechi is about to commence the second phase of his administration, he should consolidate on what he has done in the past four years and try to connect the people with what had happened instead, “He has built schools, he should get teachers, not only getting teachers but also putting the system on check through supervision.” This, he said would help create a system that would work and punish the bad eggs.

According to him, “You can put such edifices’ and then have some class of people who would ruin the good job that he has started.

He advised, Amaechi to be thinking more of a legacy, “By now he should have settled those he owed last section. This is his last lap and the time that he owes himself a legacy. It is something that they would remember him of long after people have forgotten who built roads.

On the conduct of the last general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the MOSOP leader noted he was not sure we are there yet but said, “you do not expect a leap from zero to hero just one night,” He noted that the problem does not lie on the INEC, but the mentality and attitude of the people to what is being done. In this respect, we could look at the self imposed urgency we gave ourselves, after the 2007 elections. Late Musa Yar’Adua acknowledged that the 2007 elections was not good enough and proposed for an electoral reforms, but regretted that nothing started until few months to the elections, so I think to build on what had happened 2011 election we should start now to amend any area that needs amendment in the electoral law and not to wait till the next election before thinking of having a law. “We give ourselves imposed urgency and I think it is not too good.”

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Anambra:Bill To Abolish Open Grazing Passes Second Reading

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A bill seeking to regulate animal grazing and establish cattle ranches in designated areas of Anambra has scaled second reading in the House of Assembly.
The Majority Leader of the house, Dr Nnamdi Okafor (APGA-Awka South I), said the bill would promote peace and ensure safety of lives and property in the state.
The bill is entitled, ‘Open Grazing of Cattle and other Livestock Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill 2021’.
He said that when the bill becomes law, it would help to curb the incessant herders/farmers clashes and generate business opportunities in the state.
“The bill will be part of the efforts to address the incessant clashes between livestock owners, herders and farmers in the state, which has often led to loss of lives and properties over the years.
“The bill will also prevent the destruction of farms and farmers’ crops brought about by open rearing and grazing of cattle,” Okafor said.
Also, Dr Timothy Ifedioranma (APC-Njikoka l) said the bill would promote the production of healthy breeds of livestock and boost job and investment opportunities in livestock farming.
Mr Chuka Ezewune (APGA-Idemili South) said the bill would also promote modern techniques of animal husbandry and international best practices in the dairy and beef industry.
“The old form of cattle rearing is very destructive to the nation and it is time we embraced change,” Ezewune said.
Contributing, Dr Pete Ibida (APGA-Njikoka II) said his constituents had long clamoured for the law.
“Open grazing has constituted security and safety hazards. It messes up our roads and my constituents have been displaced from their farms.
“I believe the bill will also help to manage the environmental impact of open grazing and protect the environment from degradation and pollution,” Ibida added.
Mr Obinna Emeneka (APGA-Anambra East) said that open grazing contributed to disease transmission and described animals as carriers of parasites transmitted to humans.
Emeneka said the bill required accelerated passage to promote agriculture, security and stability in the state.
The Speaker, Mr Uche Okafor, described the bill as everybody’s business, adding that it bothered on food security, economic development and security of of lives and property.
The bill was later committed to the Committee on Agriculture, headed by Mr John Nwokoye, for further deliberation and the committee was expected to report back on September 30.

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Obaseki Names Cabinet 10 Months Later

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The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Friday released a list of nominees for post of commissioners in the State Executive Council.
This decision is coming close to a year after Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, were inaugurated for a second term into office on November 12, 2020, following their victory in the September 19 governorship election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor had re-appointed Osarodion Ogie as the Secretary to the State Government after his inauguration with no other appointment since then.
This led to criticism from the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State that accused Obaseki of presiding over the affairs of the state like a sole administrator.
“There are some policies and actions of a state that legally and constitutionally should not be undertaken without the approval of the State Executive Council. As we speak, some of those actions are being taken solely by Godwin Obaseki as a sole administrator. He has not displayed the tendencies of a democratically elected governor,” Chris Azebanmwan, the Edo APC spokesman said.
Nonetheless, the Governor has finally released the list of his nominees. They are: Barr. Osamudiamen Wole-lyamu (Oredo); Mr. Chris Nehikhare (Orhionmwon); Mr. Richard Edebiri (Uhunmwode); Barr. Andrew Emwanta Adaze (Egor); Mr. Tony Aganmwonyi (Ikpoba Okha); Mr. Ethan Uzamere (Ovia South West); Ms. Efosa Uyigue (Ovia North East).
Others are, Barr. Donald Okogbe (Akoko Edo); Barr. Anthony Innih (Etsako East); Mrs. Omo Otse Omorogbe (Etsako West); Hon. Damian Lawani (Etsako Central); Mr. Jimfred Obaidiku (Owan West).
Also in the list are, Barr. J. O. Braimah (Owan East); Hon. Felix Akhabue (Esan West); Fred Emefiele (Igueben); Mrs. Anehita Ojezua-Emeya (Esan Central); Dr. Olu Ayewoh (Esan North East) and Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen (Esan South East).

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Speaker Lauds Wike On Infrastructure

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The Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani has commended the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, for the rapid development of Rivers State.
He made this statement when he played host to members of the Council For the Regulation of Estate Surveyors and Valuers of Nigeria recently.
Rt. Hon. Ibani assured the Council that the State Assembly would continue to do that which was beneficial to their constituents. He noted that as a public servant, his door was open to all.
He said: “As a public servant, my door is open to all, and at all times. We work in the interest of the State and for the interest of our people….”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Council For The Regulation of Estate Surveyors and Valuers of Nigeria, Gersh Henshaw, commended the efforts of the Speaker as the Head of Rivers State Legislature.
He stated that Rt. Hon. Ibani had continued to maintain a cordial relationship with the Executive arm of Government and the result of such collaboration was the developmental strides in Rivers State.
The Chairman stated that the essence of the visit was to seek partnership with the Rivers State House of Assembly on any new legislation concerning Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Rivers State.
He expressed appreciation to the National President of the Council, Sir Emmanuel Wike for his immense contributions to the success and progress of the profession.
The delegation which was on a courtesy visit to the Rt. Hon. Speaker, was led by its National President, Sir Wike.

By: Kevin Nengia

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