Last week began in Government House with the inauguration by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of an eight-man judicial panel headed by Justice Biobele Georgewill to investigate the remote and real causes of the crisis that rocked the state between 9th and 10th of July, 2013.
The Committee has nine terms of reference, which include to investigate and ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the crisis at the Rivers State House of Assembly, investigate and ascertain the number of persons injured or threatened with injury.
Later on, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Wogu Boms defended government’s action stating that , “as government and acting existing laws, we asked the judiciary to look into it based on the prison Judicial Commission on Inquiry …. As contained in Cap 30 laws of Rivers State.” He was represented by the State Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru.
On Tuesday, four Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors from the North paid a solidarity visit to Amaechi led by Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Babangida Aliyu, the governors defied Anti-Amaechi protesters at the Airport to visit the State.
After a closed door meeting with Amaechi, the governors who include, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa issued a statement in which they accused the Nigeria Police of taking side in the political crisis in Rivers State.
The statement added, “we join well meaning Nigerians to call on all political actors to diffuse tension and stop all actions capable of overheating the polity and derailing our nascent democracy. We must all work together to build one united and indivisible nation and – strengthen our democracy”.
On Wednesday, Governor Amaechi declared open a two-day Wealth Creation and Poverty reduction summit jointly organized by New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) in Government House, Port Harcourt.
Amaechi lambasted politicians for wasting resources pointing out that “some of our politicians don’t even have any development agenda”.
“How many of us know that unskilled labour has the greatest percentage of criminals in our society,” he queried.
Earlier, the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Mr. George Feyii in his welcome address said some could be traced to poverty, stating that, the state government has development programme that deals with how to empower the people and make them self-reliant, urging Rivers people to take advantage of the opportunity.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the governor on NEPAD, Dr. Tex Wariboko assured the people of the State and participants that the two-day event would, evolve workable strategies and framework that would give birth to a coherent poverty reduction policy.
On Thursday, Governor Amaechi played host to the former President of Costa Rica, Jose Figures, who was the key-note Speaker at the two-day Wealth Creation and Poverty Reduction Summit held in Government House. In his address, the former Costa Rican President called for a new economic model that will encourage creativity and innovation among the youths.
Figures and Amaechi identified innovation as the sure part to poverty eradication and job creation, considering Nigeria’s abundant natural resources. However, Amaechi left the Summit midway to receive eight governors from Ekiti, Osun, Ogun Zamfara, Imo, Oyo, Lagos and Nassarawa States who paid a solidarity visit to him.
Led by Ekiti governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the governors, after a closed door meeting, addressed the press during which they condemned the Police, and urged all parties to sheath their swords.
Fayemi further called on Amaechi to officially meet with and brief the President on the State of Security in Rivers State, reasoning that a President has the moral authority to look into the crisis as Chief Security Officer of the country.
On Friday, Governor Amaechi played host to the Director-General of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Asishana Okauru and other officials of the forms Secretariat, who went on a project tour before leaving state.
‘Reps Passed 88 Bills In Two Years’
The House of Representatives has passed 88 bills out of 1407 bills in the past two years, its spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) has said.
The House clocked two years on June 11 and has two years left.
Mr Kalu had earlier released different data on the status of legislative activities. However, The Tide source is yet to independently verify this latest data.
Mr Kalu had claimed that the House considered 853 bills and 41 of them passed, in the previous statement.
According to the new statement released on Friday, a total of 554 bills were introduced between June 2020 and June 2021. It was a sharp decline considering that the House introduced 853 bills between June 2019 and June 2020.
Although the decline could be blamed on the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The accurate number of bills considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021 is 1407 out of which the House has passed 88 bills.
“Additionally, the accurate number of motions considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021, is 730 out of which the House has made 98 resolutions on security issues.”
The data released by the lawmaker shows that while the introduction of bills has been easy, the progression of bills has been very slow.
A total of 942 bills are awaiting second reading, only 327 bills have been referred to committees, and 79 are awaiting committee of the whole consideration.
Within the same period, 730 motions were considered by the House. However, out of the 663 referred to committees, only 40 reports have been laid, and only six have been considered by the House.
Legislative activities suffered a great deal in 2020 due to the breakout of Covid-19. The National Assembly was shut down for about two months between March 2020 and May 2020.
At a point, the plenary was reduced to once a week.
However, the lawmakers did not help the situation by embarking on holidays at the slightest opportunity, thereby missing deadlines on passage of key legislation.
Also, a review of the legislative agenda of the House by The Tide source shows that the lawmakers are far behind in fulfilling their agenda.
Accord To Contest In 12 LGAs
Accord Party plans to contest only in 12 local government councils and 37 local council development areas at the July 24 council polls in Lagos State.
Its Publicity Secretary, Dele Oladeji, told newsmen in Lagos, yesterday that the party chose to contest only in its areas of strength rather than dissipate energy across the state.
He said Accord Party would contest chairmanship and councillorship seats in Somolu, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Igando-Ikotun, Agbado Okeodo, Agege, Alimosho, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu, Oshodi/Isolo, and Ifako-Ijaiye LGAs/LCDAs.
Oladeji said that the party had a good outing in these councils at the last council elections in 2017.
“We are set for the election and we are competing in our local governments of strength where we won in 2017.
“We are set to repeat the same feat and even win more than the eight councillorship seats we won in 2017 to become the only opposition party in the local government administration in Lagos State,’’ he said.
Oladeji said that the party was ready to go to court wherever its mandate was stolen as it did in 2017 local government elections.
“As against 2017 when we went to court only in few areas to get back our rigged mandate, this year, we will go to court in any number of local government areas where our mandate is perceived to have been stolen through rigging.
“As the only opposition party in the local government’s administration of Lagos State, we have retained the abiding hope of Lagos residents as the alternative party.”
Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession
The Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, has cautioned the South-East against their agitations for Nigeria’s breakup.
Okorocha warned that Igbos would be the worst hit if Nigeria breaks up.
The former Imo State Governor spoke in Abuja while addressing some women groups yesterday.
Okorocha stressed that the South- East should push towards fixing the country and not its disintegration.
The lawmaker stressed that Igbos are nationalistic in nature, hence they should dismiss the urge for Nigeria’s disintegration.
He said: “It is only an Igbo man that goes to a place and remains put in that place, buys a land and builds a house for his family without feeling insecure. The Igbos will lose more if Nigeria divides.
“Most Nigerian leaders who were successful had one thing or the other to do with the Igbos. It is either they married Igbo women or had some links with them. I can call names like, former President, Obasanjo; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Buba Marwa, just to name a few”.
South-East groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereignty State of Biafra, MASSOB, have been agitating for the disintegration of Nigeria.
IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu has been in the forefront, calling for Biafra’s actualisation.
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