Speaker of the Rivers State
House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree, has described the lae former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry as a “stabilising factor” both in the activities of the House and governance in the state.
The speaker, who stated this midweek, when he led a delegation of the state lawmakers on a condolence visit to the wife and family of the deceased, noted that as lawmakers, this is the period they needed his presence most.
“This is the period we really need, you know the House is in crisis. He was a stabilising factor in the House. We really need him most now”, he said.
In the visit, which was very brief, Rt Hon. Amachree addressed the wife of the bereaved, Mrs Sotonye Harry and other members of the family, explaining the shock with which news of the late speaker’s death was received.
“We’re also pained because he was a member of the House of Assembly, a member of the family of lawmakers. We would’nt have been here to pay you a condolence visit because we’re also bereaved.
“But as tradition demands, we’re here. It is still a shock to us, we never believed that Tonye would leave us so soon.
“But I know that he has not just left us like that, his memories will stay with us. We cannot question God why this should happen to us now. You know He giveth and He taketh. What we have to say is “to God be the glory”.
He assured on the full participation of members in the funeral of the late speaker and urged the family to come up with the programme at the earliest possible time.
Speaking on behalf of the bereaved family, Chief Opaks Harry, thanked the speaker and his colleagues for the visit, noting that, “no one can query God. We can only thank Him and ask that he bless us at this point of loss.”
The late former speaker of the state Assembly died on Friday in Algeria where the plane carrying him for treatment abroad had made a stop over.
He had slumped in his private gymnasium penultimate Wednesday and was resuscitated in the state-owned Kelsey Harrison Hospital before being flown abroad for treatment.
In another development, Wives of the State Lawmakers Association (LEWA), have also condoled with their colleague, Mrs Sotonye Harry over the death of her husband.
In a statement, the Chairperson of the body, Mrs. Gilda Otele Dan Amachree, wife of the Speaker, said “the news of Rt Hon Tonye Harry was deafening and unsettling.
“As I realize the truth of this sad news, I share this moment of deep grief with the family of the late lawmaker. On behalf of wives of the state lawmakers, I sympathise with our sister and colleague, Mrs Sotonye T. Harry, over the demise of her husband and friend.
“We pray that God will grant the entire family the fortitude to bear this inquantifiable loss”, she said.
Also present at the visit was the incumbent chairman of the late former Speaker’s Constituency Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Ibigoni Daddy Pokuna; his predecessor, Hon Abiye Davies and a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Agolia Aboko.
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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