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LG Polls Take Toll On Plenary

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Proceedings in the House have been on a stand still following local government elections which were concluded last week.
Most members of the House were involved in campaigns, while few others were engaged in elections.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi- Owaji Ibani and other legislators participated in the elections, as they voted in their various wards and units.
Penultimate week, Chairman, House Committee on Commissions and member representing Ogba/ Egbema/ Nndoni Constituency 2, Hon. Nathaniel Uwaji with other legislators, carried out oversight functions at the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission(RSIEC).
The committee was conducted round the commission by RSIEC Chairman, Justice Chukwunenye Uriri, who assured them of the smooth conduct of the elections.
Last week, reactions started trailing a press statement by Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Doctor Farah Dagogo that the House has not dropped the Rivers State College of Health and Management Technology bill 2017.
Reacting to the statement, the school’s Academic and Non Academic unions namely, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic(SSANP) and Non- Academic Staff Union of NASU said they have nothing against Hon. Dagogo, but for quick passage of the bill.
Speaking on behalf of the three unions, Chairman of ASUP, Comrade Promise Igoma decried the poor state of facilities in the institution, assuring that the bill when passed will upgrade their status.
While thanking the governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for the recent approval of salary and retirement age adjustments for staffers, Comrade Igoma disclosed that one year after the approval, the governor’s directive has not been implemented.
The ASUP chairman maintained that if the bill is passed into law, it will address many welfare issues and at the same time upgrade the status of the college, which according to him is the first college of health in Nigeria.

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Tribunal Affirms Ihedioha’s Victory

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The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Imo sitting in Abuja last Saturday affirmed the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State.
Delivering judgment, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mallami Umar-Dogondagi dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr Uche Nwosu for incompetence.
In a unanimously decision, the three-member panel also struck out  the petition of the All Progressive Congress, APC candidate, Sen. Hope Uzodinma.
Three petitions were filed by the governorship candidates of the Action Alliance (AA), All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),  asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal held that the three petitions challenging the declaration of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) lacked merit.
The petitioners, challenged the emergence of the PDP candidate as winner of the March 9 governorship election on the grounds that the election was marred by irregularities.
The tribunal held that candidate of the Action Alliance, AA, Uche Nwosu, Ifeanyi Ararume of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and  Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC failed to establish their petitions against governor Ihedioha.
The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on them by the law.
Umar-Dogodaji stressed that Sen. Uzodinma of the APC was unable to prove his allegation that wrongful collation of results by INEC led to Ihedioha’s emergence as winner of the governorship election.
Recall that Senator  Ararume and  Nwosu had approached the tribunal to cancel the election on the grounds that the declared winner did not meet the mandatory 25 per cent in two third of the local government areas in the state.
On his part, Senator Uzodimma approached the tribunal and asked that he be declared the rightful winner of the election, based on non-inclusion of results from 366 polling units out of the INEC approved 388 units in the state.

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100 Days In Office: Wike’s Achievements Worth Celebrating -IPAC, Others

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As part of their assessment of Chief Nyesome Wike’s 100 days in office of his second term, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and Inter-Party Adversary Council in the state have said that govenor’s the achievements were worth celebrating.
The state Chairman of the SPN and Publicity Secretary of IPAC, Kukang Joseph gave the assessment during a live radio programme monitored by The Tide in Port Harcourt.
Joseph stated that it was no use engaging on unnecessary criticism all the time, noting that it was important to speak the truth when it is obvious, pointing out that IPAC was happy with the governor’s performance.
“As an individual, as a group and as IPAC, we are very happy with the governor’s performance. My assessment is 100 per cent for the Governor. He (Wike) has done well and his achievements in this 100 days in office of his second term was worth celebrating.
“It is needless engaging in unnecessary criticism all the time. I am here in a neutral capacity. Not for the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). I will say it the way it is. During the last administration of the APC when they did well IPAC commended them.
“Now that we are under the PDP government, where the governor is doing well, we must give it to him. Who was not in this state to see the state of resident doctors in Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH). If you go back there now and see the welfare lift His Excellency has given to the doctors there, you will be amazed.
“Is it the General Hospital, Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area and in other places, I mean the man has done creditably and we must give it to him. I don’t buy into unnecessary criticism because of politics. The governor has done well in terms of Healthcare in Rivers State,” he stated.
On security, Joseph expressed happiness that the new security architecture ‘Operation Sting’ launched by the governor was yielding positive fruits, especially in the Ogoni area of the state.
“Like I said the governor was on point when he launched the new security architecture called ‘Operation Sting’. Let me take it from Khana, Gokana and that Ogoni axis. You recall that in the past two, three months, the security situation was so bad that if you go to churches in Bori, that is the central town of the Ogoni people, you will weep for the displaced persons as a result of what these boys have done and the suffering of the innocent people.

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Lawyer Urges Support For Wike Through Constructive Engagement

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A Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner, Barr Precious Dike, has urged Rivers people to support Gov Nyesom Wike in his effort at developing the state by constructively engaging him and proffering wise counsel as when due.
Barr Dike who made the call while exchanging views with The Tide in Port Harcourt, last week described the state executive as a listening leader who is always inclined to giving heed to useful counsel.
While acknowledging that the governor was well within his constitutional freedom to bid his time in the assembling of persons to form the state executive council, the lawyer said the governor’s for “dedicated and passionate” individual to form his full cabinet was taking too long to materialise.
“The state has many committed, competent and loyal people”, he said, arguing that the delay in the appointment of commissioners in the state was slowing down the developmental momentum that had become the hallmark sort of the government in the past four years.
Barr Dike noted that permanent secretaries were limited in the scope of their duties and therefore could not do as much as commissioners, adding that the “the state has to come up with an economic blueprint which would attract investors”.
The Ubima born legal practitioner encouraged Governor Nyesom Wike not to lose stream in his drive that earned him many accolades including the sobriquet “Mr Projects” in his first term in office while urging him to turn his attention to executing legacy projects in the riverine communities in the interest of even development of the state in his second tenure.
“It would be fair that major infrastructural development are taken to the riverine areas, especially road and educational facilities”, he said, emphasising that the governor needs the cooperation and support of all Rivers people without distraction for him to fully realise his developmental agenda for the state in record time.

 

Tamunoiminabo Fyneface

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