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RVHA Passes Two Bills, Adjourns Pension Bill

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The Rivers State House of Assembly last
week passed the State Senior Secondary Schools Board Bill and the Universal
Basic Education Amendment Bill into laws.

The smooth passage of the two bills to law,
followed debate on the report of public hearing by the House Education Committee
presented by its Chairman, Hon. Augustine Ngo.

The lawmakers also accepted the
recommendation of the Committee that the bill on school inspection and
monitoring be sent back to the sponsors for repackaging based on
inconsistencies that were noticed in the proposed law.

In another development, the state
legislators commenced debate on the state Public Office Holders Bill, otherwise
called Pensions and fringe benefits for Governors and Deputy Governors Bill.

Opening debate on the issue, Hon. Benibo
Anabraba, representing Akuku-Toru, constituency 11, thanked, the Hon. Josiah
Olu-led committee for doing a good work, but called for the removal of some
words that are ambiguous.

Hon. Anabraba opined that phrases like
immediate family should be replaced with definite words like spouse and
children, while the accommodation to be provided should be anywhere in the
country with specification.

The lawmaker equally argued for the
reduction in the number of security details and added personal secretary or
personal assistant who would be more useful to the former officers.

In his contribution, Hon. Chidi Lloyd,
representing Emohua Constituency and sponsor of the bill, said the proposed law
intends to secure the future for former leaders and to check occupants of the
office from looting public funds since the state appreciates their
contributions by providing for them.

Hon. Onari Brown, Akuku Toru, Constituency
1, noted that the law should limit the construction of the house to Rivers
State with specific standard while the number of children to benefit should be
limited to six.

Hon. Innocent Barikor, Gokana, Victoria
Nyeche, Port Harcourt constituency 1, agreed that the dimension of the House to
be built is critical since the essence of the proposal was to benefit successive
Governors and their deputies, and should be located in the state.

However, Hon Augustine Ngo, Abua/Odual does
not see anything wrong with building the house in any part of the country of
the choice of the beneficiaries as found in the committee’s report.

Meanwhile, further debate on the proposed
law has been adjourned to tomorrow, while the lawmakers appeared unanimous on
the new title of the bill, “pensions and fringe benefits for governors and
Deputy governors”.

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CVR: Traditional Ruler Tasks INEC On Mass Mobilisation

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A traditional ruler in Elele community, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief  Mike Elechi, has called on the indigenes of the community and the state to participate in the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) to enable them choose who will govern them in the next general elections.
Sir Elechi also used the opportunity to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission  to organise stakeholders meeting in his community, saying that such  interactive session would shed more light on the importance of the electoral process. 
Elechi stated this in an interview with journalists in his home town over the weekend, saying that the call became imperative following the hardship faced by the citizens as result of bad leadership in the country 
The former Permanent Secretary said although he was yet to see the commencement of the exercise in the area, he, stated the need to organise stakeholders meeting by the electoral empire which would achieve the desired objectives.
According to him, INEC has by this exercise provided an opportunity for full participation of those above 18 years who were not registered during the last exercise 
The Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Farms, said INEC had provided yet another platform for eligible voters to register and vote out bad government led by the federal government. 
“As I urge INEC to carry out adequate sensitization ,it behoves those above 18 years to register and vote and as well be voted for. 
“Get your voters card to enable you throw bad governance into the dustbin. 
“It will also help us get out where we are now.” 
Elechi pointed out that his community has a large number of voters in Ikwerre Local Government area, stressing that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that the exercise was in the area .

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Diri Cautions Appointees Over Early Politicking

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has cautioned his appointees against early politicking ahead of the 2023 elections, saying he would not hesitate to sack any of them found wanting.
Speaking before commencement of the weekly state Executive Council meeting in Government House  Governor Diri frowned on the activities of some of his appointees, which he said were hitting up the polity ahead of the 2023 elections, stressing that it was too early for open politicking. 
A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying despite people having the right to aspire to any political office, the time was not ripe for politicking. 
Diri reminded his appointees that the administration lost considerable time last year due to COVID-19 and needless litigations, stressing that it was in a hurry to deliver on its campaign promises and would not afford to waste time politicking. 
He wondered why appointees would be involved in open politicking when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not even released a timetable for elections.
The state helmsman urged members of his cabinet interested in open politicking at this time, especially those from Bayelsa West Senatorial District, to resign or be ready to be sacked.
He called on all those involved in the early politicking to immediately withdraw and follow the directives of his administration, saying his government was not ready for politics at this time. 
“I find it very difficult to believe that appointees in this government have already started open politicking.
“Yes, it is the constitutional right of anybody to contest but even the Bible tells us that there is time for everything. At this time, we are trying to stamp our feet to meet up our campaign promises to our people.”
“I hereby caution all those involved to immediately withdraw. If you are prepared to continue with this government, you must listen to the music of this administration. We are not prepared to start politicking from this year”, he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Diri has also sworn in two new Special Advisers.
They are, Alabo Ozubide, Special Adviser, Legal Matters, and Onuma Johnson, Special Adviser on Non-Indigenes. 
While congratulating them, he said their appointments were based on merit and in line with his campaign promises, charging them to avoid friction with commissioners,just as he reiterated that their cooperation with commissioners would deliver development to the people of the state. 
“We promised that when elected, we would appoint a Special Adviser from among non-ndigenes. This appointment is in fulfilment of that promise. We believe that you will be able to synergise and gather non-indigenes together.
“Often, we see role conflicts between special advisers and commissioners that duty bound to implement government policies. You as special advisers should cooperate with them,” he said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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PDP Urges Nigerians To Embrace E-Registration Of Members

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians to embrace in its online membership registration scheduled to begin in August.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan made the appeal during a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to visit www.iampdp.com for the online registration at the comfort of their homes.
He also expressed delight over  requests from Nigerians  and the interests they were already showing  for the online registration.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to come to PDP and own the process.
The PDP spokesman also commended Nigerians on the way they embraced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) online ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
He said “PDP is happy to hear the INEC saying no fewer than one million Nigerians have completed their online pre-registration.”
Ologbondiyan said  the way Nigerians embraced the CVR showed they were dissatisfied with governance in the country and ready for 2023.
He urged Nigerians of voting age and those yet to register for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to continue with the CVR.
He said “We appeal to those who are educated, especially members of the PDP to encourage others to participate in the ongoing CVR.”
Ologbondiyan also urged Nigerians to register to enable them to vote, pointing out that people should know it is  their rights to vote.
Asked how PDP would conduct its e-registration with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) recent comment on Nigeria network covered, Ologbondiyan said as far as PDP was concerned, every  part of Nigeria had network coverage.
“From the information we have received from all our members across the 36 states and across the 774 local governments area of the country, there is no where that we have received a report that they cannot carry out online registration.
“Even INEC has come out to say that they have no problems with online registration.
“We are happy that INEC has come out to reveal that not less than one million Nigerians have so far participated in the Continuous Voters’ Registration exercise of the commission,” he said.
On  inquiry over the role of the National Assembly members on  electronic transmission of election results, he said the party would meet its members in the National Assembly to review their participation.
He said “The PDP is calling a meeting between the party and caucus in the National Assembly to review the participation of members in the legislative activity of the National Assembly as it concerns the voting on transmission of results.”

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