Political activities dominated most part of last week in Government House , about six commissioners in the Rivers State Executive Council who were not listed amongst those expelled by the Felix-Obuah led People Democratic Party (PDP) addressed newsmen Wednesday.
The commissioners include those of Transport, George Tolofari, Education, Dame Alice Nemi, Finance, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside. Others include: Wene Wonodi of Youth Affairs, Dr Ipalibo Harry of Employment Generation and Dr. Sampson Parker, Health.
The Commissioners described their exclusion action as ploy by the Obuah-led faction of the PDP to sow seed of discord and suspicion in the Exco Council. According to them, they were surprised that their names were not mentioned among the other 14 commissioners who were expelled for their failure to appear before the controversial Performance Evaluation Committee.
The commissioners said they never sent or delegated anybody to represent them and wondered why they were excluded. The Chief of Staff, Sir Tony Okocha had on Tuesday described the action of the Obuah led PDP as sub-judice and illegal.
Sir. Okocha wondered why Obuah and his group would expel party members, while the case was still in court. He stated that the action has thrown the party in bad light, and may lead to its misfortune in future elections.
It would be recalled that on Sunday Sir Okocha had at a Church service at Holy Trinity Angelica Church, Rumuapara in Apara urged the church to pray and support the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.
Sir Okocha told the Church, “Anything you hear about Governor Amaechi-those negative ones are blatant lies. They are just trying to call a dog a bad name to kill it. They are making trump up charges to perpetuate persecution, but I know that Amaechi is a papal knight and a believer.”
Last week Wednesday, 27 lawmakers loyal to Governor Chibuike Amaechi issued a statement to condemn the expulsion of some commissioners from the PDP. According to them, the reasons, methodology and procedures that led to these pronouncements are unconstitutional by reasons of Article 21 (4) (5) (6) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In Thursday last week National Assembly members together with, local government chairman of the PDP the Rivers State Executive Council and local government chairmen in the 23 councils formally announced their boycott of the PDP mini-convention billed to hold last Saturday at Abuja.
Speaking unbehalf of each of the groups were, Honourable Asita for National Assembly members, Dr. Tammy Danagogo of Rivers Executive Council, Chimbiko Akarolo spoke for the council chairman, while Samuel Horsfall for party chairmen.
Asita gave reasons for the boycott and said,” we are worried about the rascality which activities of the party is carried out in Rivers State. We are aware that the Mini-convention is on Saturday and we had hoped that the party at the Centre takes steps to put things right. Having watched over time our party gliding into disrepute.”
Earlier on Thursday, Secretary to the State Government, Mr George Feyii and other members of the Port Harcourt Centenary committee addressed the press on activities lined-up to celebrate 100 years of the establishment of the city.
From the list of activities lined-up Feyii disclosed that celebrations would stretch to the end of the year, and would include beauty pegeant, football tournaments, award, and shows. A monument is expected to be unveiled in the old Port Harcourt to mark the centennial.
On Friday, the governor represented by his deputy Engr. Tele Ikuru unveiled activities for the centenary celebrations. In the morning, he had flagged-off a marathon and later in the day oversaw ceremonies held at the Civic Centre.
Amaechi on Friday described Port Harcourt as a world class city and key to the economic, political and cultural renaissance of Nigeria and West Africa region, noting that the new greater Port Harcourt would provide the platform for a future world class city.
On Saturday the Oro-Ibe (Boms Community Hall at Elekahia was unveiled. The building is constituency project of House member for Port Harcourt Constituency 1, Victoria Nyeche.
Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy
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.
2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River
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.
…Vows To Take Over Anambra
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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