A constitutional lawyer,
Prof. Ben Nwabueze, last Tuesday called for the restructuring of the Nigerian nation to accommodate interests of the constituent units of the federation.
Nwabueze made the call in Uyo while giving a keynote address at the National Political Summit on the theme, “Roadmap to Political Stability and National Security in Nigeria”.
He expressed optimism that the restructuring would radically address over concentration of powers and financial resources at the centre.
Nwabueze added that it would revise the financial relationship between the Executive and the Legislative and limit the cost of governance by making legislative assemblies part time.
He said that the office of the president should be limited to a single, non-renewable term of five or six years.
Nwabueze suggested that the office of the president be rotated among its 389 ethnic nationalities. He said that the country needed to convene a national conference to address its numerous problems and challenges, to save it from breaking up.
“A national conference is necessary as means for us, under the leadership of Mr President, to chart a course of life for ourselves, create as it were, a new society, which would be a just society.”
He said that a delegation of 10 eminent Nigerians, including two women, would be selected to discuss with the President on the mode of the conference.
In his remark, the Chairman of the session, retired Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, said that the Summit was organised to discuss the challenges facing Nigeria as a nation.
“The discussion will help us to chart the course of this country in the way we all desire.“We need to find out what went wrong with Nigeria. Nigeria is an entity we must all try to uphold as one nation, “ he said.
Suleiman, a former military governor of Plateau, expressed the hope that the gathering would come up with tangible decisions that “will lead us to the promised land.” Akwa Ibom governor, Mr Godswill Akpabio, said that one of the challenges, which the summit must address, was “how to cement the crack and keep the country together”.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Aniekan Umanah, however, noted that the country had survived as a nation for more than five decades and urged that the tempo continued.
“We are in this boat and we must keep the boat afloat, it does not matter how we came together but we must keep it afloat,” Akpabio said.
He advised Nigerians to imbibe the teachings of different religious organisations which preach love and unity.
In her goodwill message, Mrs Josephine Anenih, former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, noted that any national conference without the presence of women could not be called national conference.
She said that women, being the burden bearers in the country should be given equal representation in decision-making process of the country adding that there was need to support the president and “not to run down our leaders”.
Abducted NLC Chairman Regains Freedom In C’River
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Cross River State chapter, Comrade Ben Ukpepi, who was kidnapped three months ago, has regained his freedom.
Our correspondent reports that Ukpepi was kidnapped from his house at CROSPIL in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the State on March 21, 2021.
The Vice Chairman, NLC, Cross River State, Comrade Lawrence Achuta, said the victim was released on Monday by 3.30pm.
In a statement, he said, “Recall that Ben Ukpepi was kidnapped from his CROSPIL estate residence in Akpabuyo on the 21st of March 2021.
“We are very glad, and thankful to God Almighty for his safe release by the Kidnappers.
“I use this opportunity to thank the Organised Labour family in the State, particularly the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Medical and Health Workers Union and some members of his family.
“He is undergoing some routine medical checks at the moment. Once again, I thank all who stood by us throughout this difficult moment,” he quipped.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
Bayelsa Set To Inaugurate Environment Vanguard
The Bayelsa State Government is set to establish a new body charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment from degradation and other environment related causes.
This was made known to newsmen, Tuesday during the celebration of the 2021World Environment Day by the state government in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The Tide gathered that the United Nations had declared 5th June every year as World Environment Day, necessitating the Bayelsa State government to commemorate the 2021 Environment Day Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 following other activities which had earlier caused its postponement penultimate week by the state government.
Giving approvals to demands made by the State Commissioner for Environment, Iselema Gbaranbiri, as contained in his welcome address for the occasion, the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, restated government’s commitment towards protecting the state’s ecosystems and all matters relating to the environment within the available resources of the state.
Diri noted that following his willingness to promote policies and make decisions aimed at protecting the state’s Ecosystems from further degradation, the state government recently had made approvals for the shore protection work of Obogoro community in the Yenagoa council area of the state.
He promised to do same subsequently for other affected communities of the state, assuring that government would soon work on an executive bill to set up the state ‘Environment Vanguard’.
“The prosperity government shall soon work on a legislation to set up the state Environment Vanguard”, he said.
“This vanguard, when established would work with the ministry of environment and other relevant stakeholders in the environment sector to protect our Ecosystems and environment from continuous degradation”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Honourable Gbaranbiri, has said the ministry of environment intends to deal decisively with those who were in the habit of flagrantly disrespecting nvironmental safety rules and guidelines in the state.
Gbaranbiri cautioned people to desist forthwith from ecosystem and unfriendly environmental phenomena, just as he stated that the ministry of environment had recently apprehended some persons,(names withheld) whom he said were involved in some unfriendly activities on the environment.
He commended Governor Diri for making funds available to the ministry for the execution of various environmental functions, pleading that the governor shore up the financial provisions made available to the ministry due to rising environmental challenges.
“ I commend the executive governor, his excellency, Governor Douye Diri, for making funds available for the ministry of environment, for the execution of its functions and programmes. But I also want to plead that you increase the funding coming to the ministry, because of the increasing environmental challenges”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the theme of the 2021 world Environment Day was tagged: ‘Join the Campaign to Restore our Ecosystem’
Similarly, guest lecturer for the occasion and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta University, professor, Ibaba, S. Ibaba has called on government to implement guidelines and rules governing the environment to the letter, noting that the lack of political will by state actors in managing the environment was the bane of a clean, healthy and safe environment for all.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Balyesa, United Nigeria Airline Sign MoU On Flight Operations
The United Nigeria Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bayelsa State Government for the commencement of direct scheduled flight operations into and out of Bayelsa International Airport.
The Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, confirmed the agreement in a statement in Lagos yesterday.
Uchegbu explained that according to the terms of the agreement, United Nigeria would operate four daily flights in and out of the airport.
“United Nigeria will service the Bayelsa International Airport daily from the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MM2) in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“With the MoU, the airline will commence direct flight operations to Bayelsa International Airport in July,” he said.
Uchegbu said that the MoU was signed in the presence of Gov. Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State and the state’s executive council.
Speaking, Diri noted that with the signing of the MoU, Bayelsans would begin to reap the benefits of the government’s investment in infrastructure.
The governor said that the venture would open Bayelsa, the resource base of Nigeria to the world.
Diri said the airline was chosen as partner because of its quality of service and efficiency.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO), United Nigeria Airline, Mr Osita Okonkwo, thanked the government and people of the state for choosing it.
He gave assurance that the airline would continue to offer the quality service that the airline was known for.
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