Activities at Government House Port Harcourt, con
tinued on a steady note with a mixed bag of events covering political campaigns and governance. The governor had returned to the state on Sunday last week to attend to state matters.
On Monday, Governor Chibuike Amaechi signed the states budget into law. The budget had taken the legislator a month and half to deliberate upon.
Signing the budget into law, Governor Amaechi commended the lawmakers for putting the interest of the state ahead and assured that it would be implemented to the letter.
In the word of the governor, “Nobody can say we have not performed from education to health”, adding that his administration constructed a number of roads.
“The fact is that we are frugal and we did not steal money as against those who are fighting to come in here”, Amaechi said.
The governor while dismissing claims by the opposition that his administration has been reckless in spending, maintained that he had not awarded any contract to himself or to any company owned by him.
Governor Amaechi while warning Rivers people of the antics of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to hijack the treasury of the state, promised the he and his party would scuttle such plans.
On the forthcoming elections, the chairman of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF) said, “everybody knows and the president knows that Buhari will win the elections. They know that and that is why they postponed the elections and they think that when they postpone the elections, they will win the elections. But the people have made up their minds who and where they will vote”.
Shortly after the signing of the budget, chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Josiah Olu and State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, spoke to reporters on their expectations.
Hon. Olu expressed hope that the executive would implement the budget as passed till May 29th. He explained that the N338 billion appropriation will help to complete ongoing projects.
“I am sure that in the next three months, we will spend within the budgetary provisions as provided”, he stated.
On his part, Peterside assured that the government would adhere to budgetary provisions, saying, “wherever we stop by the day of handover is where the next governor will continue”.
According to Dr. Peterside, the most important aspect of the budget is the recurrent expenditure which covers pensions, salaries and overheads. He also said major part of the budget will be funded with internally generated revenue to the tune of over N90 billion.
On Thursday last week, the governor and the APC presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari attended the South-South-rally of the party held at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt.
At the rally Governor Amaechi announced plans by the party to sustain the Amnesty Programme for Niger Delta militants, if it wins on March 28th. He explained that the plan is to include those left out by the current managers of the scheme.
Amaechi who is also the Director-General of the APC Presidential campaigns further stated that the party would support INEC to conduct transparent polls in the future.
Gen. Buhari in his speech had accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the massive corruption besetting the country and promised to eradicate the menace when voted into power. Buhari tasked the Federal Government to account for the 26 million dollars already spent on power generation.
INEC Tasks Rivers Residents On Forthcoming Voter Registration
The Resident Electoral Commmissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Obongo Effanga, has urged those who have no voter cards to take advantage of the forthcoming online and physical voter registration to get theirs.
Effanga, who made the call yesterday in Port Harcourt while briefing newsmen, said that the online registration would begin on June 28 and last for about three weeks.
He also said that July 19 had been scheduled for the collection of voter’s cards by those that would register during the online exercise.
“Physical registration will commence on the same July 19 for those who don’t have smartphone and codes to register online.
“We had at the end of 2019 election 84,004,084 voters in Nigeria who had opportunity to vote in 119,974, polling units in the country.
“But INEC in the last two months decided to convert 56,872 voting points and voting point settlements to polling units nationwide to meet the number of registered voters,” he stated.
The resident electoral commissioner said that the total number of polling units across the country now stood at 176,846.
Effanga said that the continuous voter registration was an opportunity for those who were qualifed to register as voters but had not done so, to exploit and become voters.
According to him, it is also an opportunity for people who have changed locations and intend to vote in their new places to transfer their names to their current locations.
Effanga advised those whose permanent voter’s cards were ready and had not been collected need to pick them.
“It’s also an opportunity for those who complain of wrong spelling of their names, date of birth and other information to come for corrections.
“Those whose cards are not legible should also come for reregistration.
“The continuous registration would at least last for one year and we will start physical registration at the INEC offices for now, for security purposes.
“Adequate provisions have been made by the commission to carry out the registration process,” he added.
Effanga urged the public to beware of scammers who may want to use the opportunity to defraud them, saying that INEC did not endorse any business center for card registration.
He also urged political parties, stakeholders, traditional rulers and the media to do more on voter education in the state and the country at large.
We Must Work For The People, DELGA Boss Charges Councillors
As early as 8:30am on Monday, June 21,2021,the council premises at Degema Consulate, Headquarters of Degema Local Government Area, had been thronged by hilarious crowd of elegantly dressed people from all the 17 wards of the LGA.
The people had defied the heavy rains of the day and waited enthusiastically for long periods for the official swearing-in of their councillors and the vice chairman of the council for the next three years.
The out-gone chairman of the council,Alabo Tony Philmoore, with some members of his cabinet also made the day.They came and handed over council property in their possession to the new government and made formal their severance from the governance of DELGA.
At last, the much awaited moment, the swearing-in proper came.At about 2:46pm, the Vice Chairman, Mrs Maureen Obuba Harry, and all the councillors who were already seated for long hours mounted the rostrum. The oath of office was administered on them by some judicial officials.
Highly elated brand new councilors in frenetic mood took turns and shook hands with the council chairman, party leaders, their constituents, judicial and legislative officials etc as requested by protocol.
Then it was the turn of the chairman of the council, Hon. Michael John Williams, to mount the podium. His task was quite simple as he went straight to the point in reading the Riot Act to trouble makers in whatever guise, to stay clear of his government or be ready to face the wrath of his administration.
The chairman said, he would give a listening ear to the admonitions of leaders, provided such advice are fair, just and intended to promote the good governance of the LGA, arguing that the only calling of his administration is work,work and more work.
Addressing the councillors, Hon Williams enjoined them to shun self-serving interests and unnecessary squabbles amongst them, urging them to work as a team, while promoting the ideals of Governor Nyesom Wike in their various wards.
He urged them to avoid extern influences that would distract them from enacting by-laws that would better the lot of their constituents, assuring that his administration would create the enabling atmosphere for proper legislative business.
“We must work for the people together.Just two days,we have restored power in the axis.We must also do the right things always. Democracy must benefit us if we remain united. As councillors, you should always promote the principles and ethics of Wike in keeping Degema as one entity.You must be humble as you serve”,the chairman advised.
The council boss used the occasion to announce the appointment of a few officials: Mr Nicholas Harry, Secretary of the Council; Mr Ipalibo O.Yellow, Chief of Staff; Mr Daerefa Braide, Chief Press Secretary; Mrs Margaret Omualabo, Assist Chief Press Secretary, among others.
The chairman wished the legislators a happy session and took a bow and left the hallowed chambers.
As the chairman exited the chambers, the lawmakers settled for the day’s business which is to elect their principal officers.
At the end of the session, Barr Johnson E.Johnson representing Ward 8, Tombia, was elected as the Leader.Tamunoemi O.C. Harry, representing Ward 14, Obuama, emerged as Deputy Leader. Also elected was Cherry Braide, representing Ward 4, Banana, as Chief Whip.
Speaking with The Tide on the sideline of the events, the councillor representing Ward 9, Tombia, Ngokombo Agborubere, who contested the leadership of the house said the time of politicking was over, saying,’we have to join forces with the chairman and improve the lot of our people, even as I congratulate my brother, Johnson E. Johnson, as he became leader. It was never a do or die affair, but democracy allows free expression of the will of the people”.
Mr Agborubere promised effective and quality representation to his people.
Also, councillor representing Ward 7, Tombia, Alapuye S. Duke, in a chat with The Tide remarked that strategic synergy between the executive and legislative arms of government where each arm respecting the powers of the other is required for proper functioning of democracy at the grassroots level.
Hon. Duke said he would display a mature, quality and outspoken representation to his people, adding that the interest of his constituency shall be paramount in all considerations.
He promised to ensure that whatever is due his Ward shall be brought to them as he hopes to constantly get in touch with them.
The Ward 7 councillor said: “I will pursue the stimulation of educational programmes in my ward, I will also assist indigent persons in my ward the much I can.It shall be my responsibility to see myself as the peoples’ servant.Above all, I value and thank all people of my constituency’.
Hon.Duke further stated that the legislature was ready to make good by-laws and work with the chairman to develop the LGA.
It would be recalled that on April 19, 2021, the Rivers State Independent Electorial Commission (RSIEC) conducted chairmanship and councillorship elections in the 23 local government areas in Rivers State. Subsequently, the commission declared candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winners of all the 23 chairmanship and 319 electoral wards councillorship seats contested for.
On Thursday, June 17, 2021, Governor Nyesom Wike inaugurated the elected chairmen at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House in Port Harcourt.
By: Opaka Dokubo & Iminabo Fyneface
Soludo Picks APGA Guber Ticket In Anambra
Former Governor of Cetral Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has won all the 21 local government areas of Anambra State in the governorship primary election held in Awka on Wednesday by the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the November 6 election.
The election was held by the Chief Victor Oye faction of the party, which also has the support of the only governor of the party, Chief Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
Soludo in the primary election which he contested with four other aspirants, Hon ThankGod Ibe, Hon Okwudili Ezenwankwo and Barr Damian Okolo, scored 740 votes out of the total 792 votes cast in the election.
Soludo’s challengers, Okwudili Ezenwankwo got 41 votes,
ThankGod Ibe 10 votes and Okolo Damian seven votes.
Announcing the result at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre, the Chief Returning Officer of the party, Mr Olalere, who is the Vice Chairman Southwest of the party said: “By the power conferred on me as the Chief returning officer of the election, I hereby declare Prof Chukwuma Soludo the duly elected candidate of APGA for the November 6 governorship election.”
Speaking immediately after the declaration, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano assured the candidate and members of the party that the party would again win the governorship election in November overwhelmingly as it did in 2017.
“I want to commend the National Working Committee, the state working committee for the peaceful conduct. It is exceptional. Just know that the job has just started and we are going to win over 21 local government areas again as we did in 2017,” he said.
In his acceptance speech, Prof Soludo thanked the members of the party for choosing him as their flagbearer and promised to unveil his manifesto for the election in August.
The Tide source reports that five aspirants of the party, Akachukwu Nwankpo, Nonso Okafor, Carter Dike, Chuma Umeoji and Ifeanyi Ozoka, who were disqualified weeks back, boycotted the exercise, giving indication that they may participate in the Jude Okeke faction of the party primary election.
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