Most of the activites of last weekend in Government House, Port Harcourt centred around the 53rd Independence Anniversary. The celebrations commenced with a non-denominational thanksgiving service at the Rdemption Ministries, Port Harcourt.
Governor Amaechi was however represented by his Deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru at the church thanksgiving service.
The governor emphasised that Nigeria at 53 years of independence needs leaders who are focused and purposeful to take it to the next level.
“With over 160 million people, Amaechi said “the country is blessed with enormous human and natural resources, which is supposed to be harnessed properly to place it tops among progressive nations in the world”.
On Tuesday, Governor Amaechi returned to the State after spending a week in the United States where he had gone to receive an Award given to him by Black Writers in Diaspira.
Shortly after his arrival, Rt. Hon. Amaechi attended the Independence Anniversary march past at the Elekahia Stadium in Port Harcourt where he addressed the mommoth crowd that participated in the ceremony.
According to him “we must come together as a people to chase away those who want to turn Rivers State into a military state. This state is identified by an elected government and we must indentify with a civilian government. We will not allow what is going on to continue”.
The governor’s speech came barely one week after the Police barred newly employed 13,000 teachers to gather at the Liberation Stadium where they were supposed to pick up their posting letters.
While thanking Rivers people for participating in the National Day Anniversary, Amaechi however assured school children of his administration’s commitment to promote quality education including infrastructure development.
On Wednesday, a member of the House of Representatives, Chief Andrew Uchendu addressed pressmen over an alleged assault on him, by former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives Rt. Hon Austin Opara at Abuja International Airport.
Chief Uchendu who is the Chairman of Rivers Caucus in the National Asembly claimed that Hon. Opara accosted and insulted him in the presence of the member representing, Ahoada-West and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Federal Constituency, Honourable Asita.
On the late night of Thursday, Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other five states of the South-South namely – Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Edo, Delta, Cross River under the aegis of BRACED States met to review policies and programmes.
Chairman of the BRACED States, Senator Liyel Imoke addressed pressmen after the meeting which ended last Friday morning in Benin, capital of Edo State. He reiterated the plan by the governors to pursue the infrastructural and educational development of the South-South.
On Friday, the Governor and his wife, Dame Judith Amaechi made a press statement over the shocking news of former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry.
Dame Amaechi described the late lawmaker as an embodiment of friendship and a lawmaker per excellence who had distinguished himself and provided quality representation in the state.
For Rivers State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, “the news of the death of my friend and brother Tonye Harry came to me as a shock. In his death, Rivers State and indeed Nigeria have lost an erudite politician par excellence”.
Also reacting to Rt. Hon. Harry’s sudden demise, Governor Amaechi remarked, “I’ am still traumatised by the sad news of the death of Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry. Still find it impossible to come to terms that Tonye is no more”.
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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