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Wike Tasks Christians On Looted Funds

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Activities to herald the  State’s Golden  Anniversary took the front  seat in  Government House last week. The chairman and alternate chairman took turns  to address the press on programmes outlined to mark the celebrations.
Speaking at a press conference in Port Harcourt Alternate Chairman of the Committee, Chief  Onueze  Okocha, a Senior Advocate  of Nigeria (SAN) said the purpose  of the celebrations was  to showcase the  history, unique  geography, and the rich cultural  tapestry of the state.
According to Okocha, other events lined up for the celebrations  include, a polo tournament, football competition, a  beauty  peagant and the colourful  canoe regatta for which  the state is famous.
Nonetheless, last week started with Sunday Easter celebrations with the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike and his family attending Easter  Sunday  service at his home Church St Peter’s  Anglican Church, Rumuepirinkon.
The State Governor used the service to enjoin Christians to pray  unto God so that  the federal government will return  looted state funds under Amaechi administration to the state.
The Governor emphasised  that no blackmail or criticism  will stop the state government from pressing  for return of its looted funds.  Recall  that Chief  Wike’s call follows an earlier  press conference  he gave to newsmen on Good Friday  affirming that the $43 million found in a private apartment allegedly owned by ex-Governor  Amaechi belongs to the State Government.
Last Wednesday, Special Assistant to the State Governor on Electronic Media, Mr Simeon  Nwakandu played host to members of the  State Newspaper Publishers Forum (RNPF). The governor’s aide urged the group to always support the  Wike-led administration  through the dissemination of accurate  information on the development efforts of the administration.
He said, “We want you to assist us promote  projects in Port Harcourt  and all across the three Senatorial Districts of the State. We are happy that as journalists, you have  your time to project the achievements  of the administration”.
Last Thursday, the Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, through her Special Assistant on Social Media and Research,Ms Uki Asemota, called for regular check- ups to stem medical emergencies. She believes that regular medical check-ups will help people ascertain their health status.
The deputy  Governor was speaking at a one-day Mental Health Awareness Programme organised  by a Christian Non-Governmental body,  Caywood Brown  Foundation at Elelenwo, Port Harcourt.
The Head of Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins received members of the Rivers  State Publishers Forum  in his office last week Friday. He thanked them for the visit and charged them to be a channel for disseminating positive  information that will enhance unity,  development and project the state in good light.
Barrister  Godwins described the press as the vigilant  arm” of the  realm  pointing out that every son and  daughter  of the State has a role to play to engender development. He  stressed the need for publishers to be sensitive  to issues that affect the people, especially culture and values of the state.
Chief  of  Staff, Government House, Chief, Emeka Woke  represented the State Governor  at a Special Constituency  Project and presentation  of Power Transformers to communities in the Rivers East Senatorial District. The programme was organised by Senator Thompson, Sekibo last Saturday.
The governor’s representative was full of praises for Senator Sekibo whom he described as a visionary and people-oriented legislator. On his  part,  Senator Sekibo said it was  a way to touch  his constituents  and aaleviate their power  challenges.
Later in the evening of Saturday, the governor, through the Secretary to the State Government addressed participants at a Special Polo tournament to celebrate  50 years of State creation.
Top government functionaries attended the event during which  the  State Government team defeated the state creation committee by 3-0 goals.

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Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would  partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19. 
 Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.

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Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism

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Delta  State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.

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Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders

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The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government. 
 The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.

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