Campaign activities dominated activities in Govern
ment House last week, only on Thursday did the governor observe a break to honour the nation’s fallen heroes when he participated in the Armed Forces, Remembrance Day Celebrations.
Early in the week, Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign train visited Owerri, capital of Imo State.
The penultimate week, the Buhari Presidential campaign had visited Enugu and Ebonyi states. But as at last weekend, the campaign had covered Edo and Anambra states.
Governor Amaechi returned to the state on Thursday to participate in the closing ceremony of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day. The Governor, his deputy, Tele Ikuru, security chiefs and chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Giniwa, were among those that laid wreath at the cenotaph of the unknown soldier, at Boro Park in Port Harcourt.
After the ceremony, the governor through the Secretary to the State Governor, Mr George Feyii addressed Legionnaires in Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor said the State Government deeply appreciated the sacrifice made by members of the armed forces, saying the freedom and unity being enjoyed today in the country was as a result of hardwork and effort of the armed forces.
Amaechi, therefore, pledged to address the plight of widows and relatives of dead soldiers, while assuring that requests made by the state chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Col (Rtd) Philemon Chinda for loans and pilgrimage slots to members would be addressed.
On his part, Col. Philemon Chinda thanked the state government for its assistance and support, while using the occasion to seek for the construction of a permanent secretariat for the body.
Chairperson, widows of Ex-Servicemen in the state, Mrs Anidima Pepple challenged government to come to their aid. She pleaded that the State Government should provide loans, scholarships and other assistance to reduce the plight of relatives of ex-servicemen.
Shortly after addressing ex-servicemen as part of activities making the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, the governor headed straight to the State House of Assembly to present the state’s 2015 budget.
According to Governor Amaechi, the State is to expend about N335 billion, about 30 per cent less than that of 2014. He used the occasion to enumerate the achievements recorded in last year’s budget, which included increased employment, better infrastructure, better educational and health facilities.
A breakdown of the budget indicates that among the sectors, the economic sector got the largest chunk of N31.77 billion, social sector had N17.69 billion.
Among the different Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Works had the largest allocation of N20.3 billion, followed by Education, N10 billion, Rivers Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), N10 billion.
The governor stated that the monorail project will be pursued to aid transportation in the city and further promised that the administration will not leave financial burden, as the budget will complete ongoing projects.
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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