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Dep Speaker Tasks Youth On Democracy Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly,

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Hon. Leyii Kwanee last week urged the youths in the state not to appraise democracy within the perspective of what transpired at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) elections held last month.

He made the call as he played host to a delegation of the Niger Delta Students Union Government (NDSUG) led by its National President, Obada Akpomiemie, in his office.

Hon Kwance explained to the students why they should not view the nation’s democracy in light of the outcome of the NGF election in which he said the state Governor, Rt Hon. Chibuike Amaechi won by a higher vote, but  with Jonah Jang’s supporters forming a faction with parallel secretariat in Abuja. He expressed worry over the thought that children and the youth would perceive democracy from the outcome of the NGE election, a situation capable of corrupting their minds and hence might spell doom for Nigeria in the future. He stated that elections and democracy were not subject to manipulations, while expressing optimism that at the end of the day, democracy would prevail, in spite of the activities of what he called anti-democratic  forces.

The Deputy Speaker, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Exchange and Mentorship Programme of the Pan-African Parliament, noted that Nigeria was passing through a turbulent time, urged the youth to note that democracy was the best system of governance. He charged them to shun any act capable of derailing free and fair elections, and ensure that they do things right as leaders of tomorrow and the hope of the nation.

The Deputy Speaker was responding to an earlier condemnation of the outcome of the NGF election by Akpaniemie. The NDSUG President had decribed it as a mockery of democracy, saying that its shameful and unexpected.  On Friday,  a Port Harcourt High Court presided over by Justice Adolphus Enebeli fixed July 29, 2013 to deiver  judgment on a suit between the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree and the State Police Command.

The suit, filed by counsel to the Speaker, Mr Emenike Ebete, is seeking a court order to restrain the police from arresting and interrogeating the Speaker over his concerns on alleged plots to assassinate the State Governor and cause instability and disorder in the state.

In his submission, Mr Ebete urged the court to sustain his application, while quashing the counter affidavit filed by counsels to the defendants for lack of evidence.

He argued that the open letter to the president, on which the defendants based tier counter-affidaut was not signed by anybody, and hence could not be used to investigate the speaker.

While acknowledging that the police had the constitutional right to investigate anybody, Ebete emphasised that there must however, be a provable allegation against the person.

He also submitted that the police were already biased in the matter and so should not be the ones to investigate the matter, alleging that the Feix Obuah –led PDP was using the police to compel the Assembly to reverse its suspension of the Obio/Akpor chairman and councilors, a matter, which he said bordered on abuse of fundamental human rights.

Meanwhile, as had been the case since the House adjourned since die in March, 2013 following the lingering crises in the state chapter of the ruling PDP, there had been a lull in all other activities in the Assembly complex. The usual smartness and seriousness with which people went about their daily chores in the complex and missing.

From the security personnel at the gate, through the security details attached to the complex by the state police command, to the various workers in the complex, it has been all dull moment. One does not need a soothsayer to know that the long absence of the legislators has taken its toll on all other activities in the complex.      Occasionally, groups of two, three, and above gather to analyse the situation. Most of the discussions last week hinged on what they called presidential interference in the affairs of Rivers State. Some blamed the development in the state as a microcosm of the nature of power usage of Nigerian’s politicians.

This later group blamed the development on the reluctance of the ruling class to make the constitution supreme for fear of losing the control accorded them by virtue of the power they wield through the positions they occupy. They belief is that if the constitution was surpreme, it will guide everybody at all levels.

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Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy

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The Governors of the 36 states of the federation will hold a virtual meeting today to further discuss the issue of financial autonomy to judicial and legislative arms in states.
This is contained in a statement by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo on Monday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo said efforts were already being made in all states to either constitute State Accounts Allocation Committees (SAAC) or inaugurate them.
This, according to him, is preparatory to the granting of full autonomy to the two arms of government at the subnational level.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) had since embarked on a nationwide strike on the issue.
He said the governors had been working day and night to establish modalities for the autonomy in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
He said that the governors would also be updated on the activities of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who headed the governors’ interface with the committee.
Bello-Barkindo said that the meeting would also review the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC), which would take place a day after.
“Other items on the agenda include the regular update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for results (SFTAS) to provide states’ status on their DLI’s and upcoming deadlines.
The meeting would also receive presentation from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, regarding unlocking liquidity through sale/optimisation of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets,” he said.
He added that the Policy Development Facility (PDF) bridge programme would also discuss diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states in post Covid-19 era.

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2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River

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Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.

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…Vows To Take Over Anambra

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, says the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll.
Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka yesterday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state.
He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state.
He described the success of the exercise as a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election.
“We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll.
“This is not time for distractions. We are focused on taking over government from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The party has shortchanged millions of Anambra people in terms of governance.
Nwobu said he remained the valid chairman of PDP in Anambra, having emerged from a valid process that was upheld by a Federal High Court in its May 24, 2018 judgment.
He said the judgment had not been reversed by any higher court and was “unfazed by any court judgment”, which purportedly removed him.
“My leadership is still subsisting, no superior court has set that judgment aside and a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot do that.
“Our team of legal experts is taking care of that. The decision to appeal will be advised,” the PDP chairman said.
The Tide source reports that Chief Chukwudi Umeaba at the weekend announced that he had taken over the party in the state as the Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
Umeaba, who announced the suspension of the ward congresses, said his action was predicated on the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court.
According to him, the judgment delivered on June 9, nullified the process that produced Nwobu’s leadership.

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