Legislators Deliberate On Petitions


Public petitions dominated proceedings last week at the State House of Assembly.
First, it was the petition from Hon. Sam Ogeh that opened the floor last week, as he drew attention to the pollution ongoing at Akpandele and which affects the Sombreiro River Via Rumuekpe Area in Emohua Local Government Area.
The petition was written by members of Ward 7 in Ndele and presented through Hon. Ogeh who represents the constituency in the house.
Shortly after the Speaker referred the petition to the House Committee Public Complaints and Petitions, the House proceed to screen a commissioner nominee for the Rivers State Civil Service Commission, Mr. Konfaa Abie Harry.
Responding to question from the floor as regards how he (Harry) will improve on his office if finally cleared, the commissioner nominee said he would ensure that the policies and progamme of the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike towards improving the welfare of civil service are implemented.
Harry also pledged to work as a team with other members of the civil service commission for them to achieve set objectives.
After the screening of the commissioner nominee was concluded, Hon. Ogeh presented another petition to the House. This time, the petition was on the worrisome activities of sandminers and dredgers at Okohia, Isiodu in Emohua.
The Emohua Constituency representative submitted that the sandmining was threatening, the environment, and warned that if nothing happens, the situation may deteriorate and affect the East West Road.
In the view of Ogeh, “this sandmining is not for the economic wellbeing of the people but for personal gains, not minding, the negative effects on the environment”.
Worried that the sandmining appears to be unregulated, Ogeh made three pleas, which include for an immediate visit to the site by the Assembly, the interference of the Ministry of Environment and any other action deemed necessary by the assembly.
The second petition by Ogeh sparked debate on the floor of the House when the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani asked for contributions.
Opening the floor, member representing Obio/Akpor Constituency II, Hon. Mike Okechukwu Chinda recommended that first on oversight be carried out on the site of the mining area.
Chinda who was of the view that such matter was in the exclusive list suggested that visit to the site will provide the House ample information on the next line of action.
In his argument, members representing, Asari-Toru II in the House, Hon. Enemi George Alabo posited that protecting the environment was part of the mandate of the Assembly, hence there is need to act swiftly. George Alabo further suggested that the matter be treated with urgency.
Nonetheless, after other lawmakers made their submission the Speaker said the House need to work with caution, especially in coming up with a sound resolution, that will protect the people and the environment.
The Speaker referred the matter to the House Committee on Environment chaired by Hon. Ahiakwo to study the petition before further deliberations.