As political gladiators strategise for the 2019 general elections in the country, a political pressure group, the Etche Development Foundation (EDF) has called on political parties to zone the Rivers East Senatorial slot to the Etche ethnic nationality.
Co-ordinator of EDF, Prince Dan Mbachi made the call in an interview with newsmen Thursday in Port Harcourt.
Mbachi said since the history of the state no Etche person has occupied the seat despite helping other ethnic groups in the district to win the senatorial seat at the National Assembly.
The group coordinator said Etche which is the second highest oil producing ethnic nation in the state contributes immensely in the socio-economic development of Rivers State, has remained one of the most marginalised groups in terms of assendence to the senatorial seat.
He said: “If politics is a game of give and take and a tool for development, Etche has paid her dues and also given so much support. In the spirit of fair play, equity and justice, the 2019 senatorial seat for Rivers East should go to Etche”.
The group who rated Governor Nyesom Wike very high said he has treated Etche nation with love in terms of road construction and political appointments.
He noted that it was the present administration that an Etche man became Vice chancellor of a university in the state and also appointed was appointed as Judge.
The group commended governor Wike for his magnanimity and urged him to heed the call by various groups to contest for a second term in office.
“Etche people owe Wike support to win 2019 governorship election”, he said.
The group charged Federal Government to consider sons and daughters of Etche for national position in view of her huge contribution to the economy of the nation.
He also called for Federal presence in Etche through establishment of Federal College of Agriculture in Etche.
Mbachi said, “there are a lot of potentials in Etche and there are qualified sons and daughters in the area who can man any national establishment or occupy political appointment.
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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