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Oil Theft Worries Governors

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Early last week there was a joyous move in Govern
ment House following the release of Archbishop of Province of Niger Delta  Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey, who spent eight days in the hands of his abductors.
Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Magnus Ngei Abe was among the first dignitaries  that paid courtesy visit to Rev. Kattey at his country home in Eleme, Eleme Local Government Area.
While calling on Nigerians to join hands with security operatives to arrest the kidnappers of the Anglican Cleric, Abe said anybody involved in the criminal act should be  tracked done to prevent future occurence.
On Monday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru issued a press statement over an alleged report that he had dumped Governor Amaechi.
In a statement signed by Ikuru’s press secretary, Godswill Jumbo, the deputy governor described the statement as malicious and interested to sow seed of discord between him (Ikuru) and Governor Amaechi.
Engr Ikuru while condemning such unethical journalism called on Rivers people to disregard the report saying, “it would be historically and eternally ignominious and disgraceful posterity-wise for anyone to abandon their leader in the middle of the road”.
While away in Abuja, Governor Amaechi convened a meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on Tuesday, after the meeting on Wednesday morning, the Rivers State governor told newsmen that the body was worried over the rising oil theft, and dwindling economy, the body therefore, called for the resignation of the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.
Governor Amaechi returned to Rivers State on Thursday and immediately declared open the Rotary District 9140 Youth Leadership Programme held at the campus of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST).
He charged the youths to be good ambassadors of the country by holding their leaders accountable.
Amaechi also used the occasion to comment on national issues as he deplored the poor management of the economy and the increasing poverty rate in Nigeria.
District Governor of Rotary 9140 International, Dr Charles Omianwan, said the programme was targeted at young people in universities and secondary schools in the South-South and South-East regions of Nigeria.
Before conducting members of the Rotary Youths Leadership programme on excursion to government projects on Friday, Governor Amaechi played host to organizers of the Port Harcourt Fashion show on Thursday night. He also attended an all-night vigil where he rededicated the state to God.
Police on Friday attempted to bar Rotary Youths from participating in an excursion to projects executed by Rt. Hon. Amaechi. The youths numbering about 600 were later permitted after          explanations by Rotary top hierarchy in the state that the programme was not a political campaign.
After a tour of four star projects comprising of the Elekahia Model Primary School,  Ambassador –Ine Kurubo Model Secondary  School Eleme , Afam Gas Turbine and Songhai Farm at Bumu-Tai, District Governors of Rotary 9140, Dr Omianwan said, “the facilities on ground are something one cannot comprehend. It’s very fantastic effort from the government of Rivers State”.
On Friday night, Rivers State Governor attended the opening programme of the Port Harcourt fashion show. On Saturday he equally participated in a media  programme hosted by Channels Television in Port Harcourt.

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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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