Ekiti State Governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose is famous for his controversies. On Saturday, ahead of President Muhammed Buhari’s arrival from London, Fayose declared himself as Nigeria’s president in-waiting.
He spoke at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo –the Taraba State capital during the funeral service of former Governor, Danbaba Danfulani Suntai.
The Ekiti governor came when all other dignitaries were seated and the occasion had begun.
He waved at the gathering, acknowledging cheers which briefly interrupted the service.
He wore a white garment with brief arms and white half-shoe to match.
As he strode in, some people initially had mistaken him for former President Goodluck Jonathan, in spite of their stark difference in body frame and height.
Leading Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State and Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong to the podium to offer their condolences and tributes, Fayose stirred a melodrama. Twice, he called himself president in-waiting.
He humorously thanked the moderator, GT Kataps for giving him the chance to step on the podium.
“Thank you for giving me the chance. Maybe I am the president in-waiting,” he said. There was a thunder of laughter and cheers from the audience.
As he made his speech, members of a women choral group began to make noise. “Women should not make noise, especially when a president in-waiting is talking,” he said. Again, he was cheered up by fans.
He based his tribute on “courage and fearlessness” which he is known for, which were also attributes of late former Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai.
But when it was the turn of the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong to speak, he told Fayose that there was no qualm since his presidency was a waiting type.
Lalong said: “Thank God you are a waiting president. You will wait for my President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; he is returning today; you will welcome him.”
It was a few hours after Lalong’s speech that President Buhari arrived the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Lalong is of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Fayose is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Fielding questions from newsmen, Fayose said he attended Suntai’s funeral because the deceased was an achiever, and particularly when Governor Darius Ishaku of the PDP won his election in the court he celebrated the victory in Ekiti too.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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