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RSHA Deliberates On Flood Matters

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Last week, the state House of Assembly did not sit formally as it had earlier adjourned  for two weeks to enable the lawmakers visit their country homes to celebrate  the Easter festivities with their families and constituency members.

Expectedly, the honourable  members used the period to interface with those they represent by briefing  them on the laws  passed by the Assembly and those pending  before the House with a view to seeking their  opinion to either  speak in favour or against the proposed laws.

Some of such issues include the Waste Management Agency  bill, the Customary  Court Amendment bill, the Tax Harmonisation bill and  the motion for preparation  against the predicted flooding in Rivers State by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMEI).

The motion to prepare for the  expected  heavy rainful and subsequent  flooding was presented by the lawmaker representing Abua/Odual, Hon. Augustine Ngo. The House unanimously accepted the prayers sought in the  motion and even went further to resolve that some  commissioners and other  relevant agencies of  government appear before the Assembly to explain  steps put in place to mitigate or cushion the  expected impact.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Amachree, who voiced the resolution of the House, urged the  clerk to write to the Commissioners of Special Duties and Information and Communications to appear  before the lawmakers to intimate them of precautionary measures regarding the NIMET prediction.

The House had observed that similar predications last year by the organisation  was ignored and the state  witness one of the worst floods in recent history that took every  one napping. The outcome was deaths and destruction of properties.

Means of livelihood and economic  activities in the affected  areas were brought to a halt and life became miserable.

As the House resumes  plenary  session tomorrow, those invited by the lawmakers would  be expected to tell the members of the Assembly steps taken in response to the prediction  of possible heavy rainful that will occasion flooding in some parts of the state that are  vulnerable.

The interaction is expected to be fruitful as assurances  to be given by those invited would  be the yardstick to measure their roles in the discharge of their duties.

Informally, the lawmakers were engaged in different activities, even the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amaechree, participated in the launching of the European Union (EU) supported Micro-Project Programme (MPP) for the nine states of the Niger Delta region.

The launching, which took place at the auditorium of the state Assembly had in attendance the EU Ambassador, Dr. David MacRae, Secretary to the National Planning Commission who represented the Minister of  National Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Usman Shamsuddeen, Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, represented Governor Chibuike Amaechi.

The House Committee Chairman on Information and Training, Hon. Onari Brown, represented the Speaker when the Commissioner for Information,  Mrs Ibim Semenitari led women  groups on advocacy visit to call attention to violence against women in society.

Hon Onari said the state Assembly was among the first to pass a law on violence against  women and remains resolute in its support against all forms of violence targeted at women.

Equally, the state lawmakers are expected to expedite action on the passage of outstanding bills and possibly introduce new ones that would bring about good governance as well as enhance service delivery.

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Ex-APC National Chairman Tasks Party On Responsive Leadership

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Chief John Odigie-oyegun, former National Chairman, All Progressives Congress APC), has charged the party’s leaders to be more progressive and responsive to the people.
He said this at the public presentation of a book”APC’S Litmus Test, Nigerian Democracy and Politics of Change”, written by Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressives Congress Forum (PGF) in Abuja, yesterday.
“We are in charge today, a progressive government, a progressive regime, and I think it is proper that we show to the nation that when the people want some degree of change, “we should be responsive to it, we should address it, compromises have to be made, there’s no question about that,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that the APC document on true federalism was still being worked upon before its release.
Odigie-Oyegun said the ideas of people from different parts of the country would be different up to the extent that they would want to go with the proposals in the document.
He said it was however, necessary, vital and mandatory in the interest of the survival of the country that issues regarding federalism were addressed.
“We cannot continue to allow the subject to become something that threatens our nation at any turn.
“So, the earlier we address it, the earlier we show that as a party we are responsive to the feelings of the people, the desires of the people and the wants of the people.
“It becomes easier then, to diffuse the kind of stresses that the nation is passing through today,”Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that for those at the formation of the APC, the uniqueness of its Constitution and its manifesto promised change was meant by all members with their hearts and beings.
He said unfortunately, the forces of economics had made things not quite the way it was planned.
The APC former national chairman said there was need for the party members to do everything possible to keep it not just alive but very virile.
He added that in spite of general belief, the APC was one party that had put together things that meant hope for the country.
He said the fact that things were bad and people were angry and hungry was not questionable, saying that these were worldwide phenomenon.
Odigie-Oyegun decried the current security challenge in the country.
“It is my hope that we will begin to get control of the security of this nation,” he said.

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PDP Rep Harps On Justice, Dialogue To Secure Nigeria

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), House of Representatives member has enjoined Nigerian leaders to tow the path of justice, equity, dialogue, and rule of law in the country.
Rep. Toby Okechukwu, the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, said this in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja to commemorate the Democracy Day
He added that such path would help to arrest worsening insecurity and arrest separatist agitations across the country.
Okechukwu said that opportunities still abound in preserving the nation’s democracy and reconstruct the union to a more workable piece.
He said that June 12 was designated Democracy Day in honour of a symbol of the nation’s democratic struggles, the late Chief MKO Abiola.
He added that Abiola was unjustly denied the opportunity to exercise an overwhelmingly popular mandate handed him by the Nigerian people on June 12 1993, but only to be celebrated at death.
“The greatest debt the governments and leaders of Nigeria owe every part of this country and every Nigerian is a sense of justice and equity according to the letters and spirit of our constitution.
“The golden rule of justice is to do unto others as you would have them to unto you,” he said.
 He called on the Federal Government to take conscious steps to do things that would promote national unity and earn it loyalty.
He also called on leaders to be proactive in creating a clement environment for peace to reign to arrest the present security challenges in the country.
Okechukwu commended the leaders of the South East and the Federal Government for the June 11, dialogue in Enugu to deescalate tension in the region.
He stated that it was a right step that should be sustained and replicated nationwide, while wishing Nigerians a happy Democracy Day.

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Democracy Day: PDP Lawmakers Wants Observance Of Rule Of Law

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has called for strict observance of the rule of law to improve democratic practice in the country.
The caucus made the call  in a statement by its Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) last Saturday in Abuja.
Chinda called for an environment that would guarantee freedom of speech and standard operations for the fourth estate of the realm.
The lawmaker  stressed the need to place greater value on Nigerian lives and for decisive and pragmatic steps to end the avoidable deaths in the country.
He called on the government to restrain the Police and other security agencies from further unleashing violence on unarmed youths and other peaceful protesters.
“They choose to go out and exercise their rights in commemoration of  Democracy Day.
“June 12 is a symbol of democratic freedom and supremacy of the people’s power and should be respected by ensuring that all the tenets of democracy are adhered to in all ramifications.
“June 12 is not only about introspection, it is about renewing the commitments of all to the growth of democracy in our dear county.
“It is about ensuring that our country is never again enveloped by darkness, hemmed to the abyss by the sinister forces that threaten our collective rights and freedoms,” he said.
Chinda urged all Nigerians to hold on to democratic principles in spite of the challenges facing the country saying that “good will triumph over evil.”

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