Government activities started on a positive note last week, as Governor Nyesom Wike mounted the saddle of leadership in Government House. He started by swearing-in the Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Daisy Okocha and her counterpart in the state Customary Court of Appeal, Christy Nwankowo.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Barrister Wike expressed happiness that the judiciary was back, saying was has fulfilled that the people could have access to justice again.
The governor urged the two top judiciary officials in the state not to victimize anybody in view of the role they played in the judiciary impasse. Wike, however, flayed the state judiciary service commission for not living up to their responsibilities while the crisis lasted.
On her part, Acting Chief Judge, Justice Okocha, commended the state governor for restoring the hope of the judiciary. Justice Okocha promised to institute novelty in justice delivery and restore the image of the judiciary.
Later on, the governor attended a one-day retreal of National Assembly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held at the Presidential Hotel. Speaking in one of the sessions, Governor Wike called for the overhaul of the party media strategy new that it is playing the opposition.
Also on the same day, Wike inaugurated the new State House of Assembly. The governor who made a brief speech at the 8th Assembly inauguration reminded the legislators of their duty as a sensitive arm of government, assuring that his administration was ready to partner with them to move the state forward.
On Tuesday, the governor played host to permanent secretaries in the state civil service while chiding some of them for being partisan during the past administration. Wike assured them that he was ready work with those who will jettison personal interest and work in line with government policies and programmes.
The governor further said, “I didn’t come to witch-hunt anybody but when I see an attempt to sabotage my administration, I will not fold my hands”.
He promised to give the permanent secretaries the necessary cooperation to enable them work effectively. He, however, asked them to go and bring the account reports in their ministries for the past 18 months, while revealing that the handover notes made available by the past administration were muddled.
On Wednesday, the governor held series of meetings with oil depot owners and refuse contractors in the State. He called on the oil depot managers and tanker drivers to evolve ways to make their activities public friendly, saying most of the oil tankers parked indiscriminately pose danger to the public.
Dialoguing with refuse contractors, the governor urged them to return to site, lamenting that the city was under serious environmental threat due to the mounting refuse heaps on the streets of Port Harcourt and its environs.
Governor Wike, as a follow-up to his meeting with depot owners and tanker drivers, visited site for the parking of trailers and tankers at Iribe, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area on Thursday. The site, according to him, will help decongest the city of indiscriminate parking and reduce traffic jams.
On the same Thursday, he visited the state waste management agency (sanitation authority) and later the Faculty of Law in the State University of Science and Technology.
On Friday, the governor announced three position in the new government. These include the new Chief of Staff, Engr. Emeka Woke, Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Taaniah and A.J. Beredugo for Research.
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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