As usual, activities in Government House were in top gear
last week. There was jubilation, Tuesday as the news of Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s movement to All Progressives Congress (APC) hit the air waves.
Governor Amaechi had together with four other G-7 governors met in Abuja on Tuesday morning after their reconciliation meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan was indefinitely postponed.
Following this development, the G-7 governors and other members of the new PDP met to review the current political developments in the country and fixed their meeting for Tuesday in order to meet with APC leaders.
It was at their meeting with APC leadership on Tuesday that Governor Amaechi alongside Kwara, Kano and Adamawa governors formally announced their merger with APC at the Kano State Governor’s lodge, Abuja.
Governor Amaechi returned to Rivers State on Tuesday while briefing newsmen over the development.
He said, “Yes I have moved to the APC this morning after the meeting we had with Buhari, Tinubu and interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande”.
On the out come of the reconciliatory meeting with the President, Governor Amaechi observed that though the meeting was postponed, it was already clear that the presidency was not ready for reconciliation, saying, the picture painted by the PDP was as if they were begging, while the real issues at stake were not looked into.
The Rivers State governor submitted that the G-7 governors and the new PDP had no option but to move out of the PDP to strengthen democracy and move the country forward. “I’ am elected to lead Rivers people. And I have looked at the interest of Rivers people and see that it’s not being protected by the PDP”.
On Wednesday, the Rivers State governor convened an emergency meeting, with members of the state executive council and party big wigs in the old PDP.
Shortly after the meeting most of the stakeholders and party leaders spoke to Government House reporters and pledged their support for the governor’s decision to join the APC.
Chairman of Bonny Local Government council, Barrister Edward Pepple described the development as democracy at work. He insisted that people must stand for the truth and that principle must be allowed to drive politics.
Degema local council boss, Hon. Ibigoni Pokima vowed to mobilise for the APC in his local government area, “I’m telling you that APC is going to win this state”, he enthused.
On his part, chairman of Port Harcourt local government council, Chimbiko Akarolo emphasised that the prospects of the APC werebright in Rivers State,” let me assure Rivers people that there is no problem. The people that make things happen are the ones that are in APC.
Also speaking, chieftain of the APC in the state and former Commissioner for Special Duties, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya said the defection had changed the political equation in the state and the country.
On Thursday the Rivers State Government announced the dissolution of Obio/Akpor Local Government council.
A statement by the Secretary to the State Government George Feyii said the action was in line with the Rivers State Local Government Law of 2012 which confers, on the governor the power to do so.
Also on Thursday, Governor Amaechi in far away Britain presented a lecture at the British House of Commons. The paper entitled Security and Human Rights Challenges in the Niger Delta, mirrored the several phases of Nigeria’s civil and human rights struggle vis-a-vis the resource control.
On Friday, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Worgu Boms and human rights lawyer, Ken Atsuete defended the dissolution of Obio/Akpor council. They stressed the need to divorce justice from politics, insisting that the governor acted in accordance with provisions of local government law No.2 of 2012.
Both Worgu Boms and Ken Atsuete urged the sacked Obio/Akpor council boss to seek redress of he so wishes. On the same Friday, Head of Local Government Administration of Obio/Akpor, Mr. Singer Azubuike Singer said had has resumed work as directed by government.
The Chief of Staff at the weekend issued a press statement denxing claims by the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika that the fundamentalist Islamic fact Boko Harm is spreading in some states, including Rivers .
Chief Okocha said it was untrue that Boko Harm has spread in activities, adding that there is no evidence to show.
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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