Last week, the Rivers State House of Assembly resumed from its two-month recess. The House had taken a break few weeks to the State local government elections, as it afforded lawmakers the opportunity to participate in campaigns and consultations with their constituents.
On resumption, the floor was opened with the screening of a commisioner-nominee, Hon. John Bazia, who was a one time House member, and is having his second missionary journey into the State Executive Council.
Though Bazia was asked to take a bow, as a former lawmaker, he spoke to newsmen shortly after leaving the hallowed chambers, assuring that the appointment will afford him an opportunity to contribute to the state and at the same time root for good governance under the able leadership of the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
After the screening of the commissioner-nominee, the House proceeded into the business of the day with the petition from Rumuadaolu Community youth presented by member representing Obio/Akpor Constituency II, Hon. Okechukwu Chinda.
Hon. Chinda argued that the petition was as a result of continuous marginalization of the youths by companies operating in their community stretching from Rumuola to some parts of the Government Reserved Area (GRA) covering Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
The petition signed by Chinedu Aguma and Comrade Okekwu Achizie specifically accused an oil firm, Cylopeg Nigeria Limited of not engaging the youth from the community.
The lawmaker submitted that the attitude of the companies was capable of instigating crisis, but that the youths have remained law-abiding and would not take laws into their hands.
The petition was later sent to the House Committee on Public Petitions for further hearing.
Immediately after the youth petition was heard, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani called on lawmaker representing Port Harcourt Constituency I, Hon. Victoria Nyeche to present her bill. The bill titled is “Rivers State Thanksgiving Day Bill 2018 (HA 13)”.
According to Hon. Nyeche, the bill was presented as a private member bill to seek a special day set aside for thanking and appreciating God for His mercies on the state.
She recalled that similar days are being celebrated in the United States of America and Canada, where the citizens dedicate their countries to God and appreciate God.
Nyeche proposed 27th May as “Thanksgiving Day” as it falls on the day the state was created. She sought the support of her fellow lawmakers and the general public to ensure the bill is passed into law.
Also last week, member representing Bonny State Constituency, Hon. Blessing Pepple inaugurated sub-publicity committee ahead the planned “State Power Summit” . The summit is to review and chart a course for the state power sector and is expected to witness attendance from industry stakeholders.
‘Reps Passed 88 Bills In Two Years’
The House of Representatives has passed 88 bills out of 1407 bills in the past two years, its spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) has said.
The House clocked two years on June 11 and has two years left.
Mr Kalu had earlier released different data on the status of legislative activities. However, The Tide source is yet to independently verify this latest data.
Mr Kalu had claimed that the House considered 853 bills and 41 of them passed, in the previous statement.
According to the new statement released on Friday, a total of 554 bills were introduced between June 2020 and June 2021. It was a sharp decline considering that the House introduced 853 bills between June 2019 and June 2020.
Although the decline could be blamed on the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The accurate number of bills considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021 is 1407 out of which the House has passed 88 bills.
“Additionally, the accurate number of motions considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021, is 730 out of which the House has made 98 resolutions on security issues.”
The data released by the lawmaker shows that while the introduction of bills has been easy, the progression of bills has been very slow.
A total of 942 bills are awaiting second reading, only 327 bills have been referred to committees, and 79 are awaiting committee of the whole consideration.
Within the same period, 730 motions were considered by the House. However, out of the 663 referred to committees, only 40 reports have been laid, and only six have been considered by the House.
Legislative activities suffered a great deal in 2020 due to the breakout of Covid-19. The National Assembly was shut down for about two months between March 2020 and May 2020.
At a point, the plenary was reduced to once a week.
However, the lawmakers did not help the situation by embarking on holidays at the slightest opportunity, thereby missing deadlines on passage of key legislation.
Also, a review of the legislative agenda of the House by The Tide source shows that the lawmakers are far behind in fulfilling their agenda.
Accord To Contest In 12 LGAs
Accord Party plans to contest only in 12 local government councils and 37 local council development areas at the July 24 council polls in Lagos State.
Its Publicity Secretary, Dele Oladeji, told newsmen in Lagos, yesterday that the party chose to contest only in its areas of strength rather than dissipate energy across the state.
He said Accord Party would contest chairmanship and councillorship seats in Somolu, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Igando-Ikotun, Agbado Okeodo, Agege, Alimosho, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu, Oshodi/Isolo, and Ifako-Ijaiye LGAs/LCDAs.
Oladeji said that the party had a good outing in these councils at the last council elections in 2017.
“We are set for the election and we are competing in our local governments of strength where we won in 2017.
“We are set to repeat the same feat and even win more than the eight councillorship seats we won in 2017 to become the only opposition party in the local government administration in Lagos State,’’ he said.
Oladeji said that the party was ready to go to court wherever its mandate was stolen as it did in 2017 local government elections.
“As against 2017 when we went to court only in few areas to get back our rigged mandate, this year, we will go to court in any number of local government areas where our mandate is perceived to have been stolen through rigging.
“As the only opposition party in the local government’s administration of Lagos State, we have retained the abiding hope of Lagos residents as the alternative party.”
Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession
The Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, has cautioned the South-East against their agitations for Nigeria’s breakup.
Okorocha warned that Igbos would be the worst hit if Nigeria breaks up.
The former Imo State Governor spoke in Abuja while addressing some women groups yesterday.
Okorocha stressed that the South- East should push towards fixing the country and not its disintegration.
The lawmaker stressed that Igbos are nationalistic in nature, hence they should dismiss the urge for Nigeria’s disintegration.
He said: “It is only an Igbo man that goes to a place and remains put in that place, buys a land and builds a house for his family without feeling insecure. The Igbos will lose more if Nigeria divides.
“Most Nigerian leaders who were successful had one thing or the other to do with the Igbos. It is either they married Igbo women or had some links with them. I can call names like, former President, Obasanjo; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Buba Marwa, just to name a few”.
South-East groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereignty State of Biafra, MASSOB, have been agitating for the disintegration of Nigeria.
IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu has been in the forefront, calling for Biafra’s actualisation.
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