Government House activities began last Monday with adorning of Eagle feather on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike in Ahoada by the traditional rulers of Rivers West Senatorial district.
The Eze Ekpeye Logbo, Eze Robinson O. Robson who performed the rite on behalf of traditional rulers of the eight local government areas that make up the district said, Eagle is the King of the birds of the air and the honour is a mark of endorsement on the Governor to go for re-election in 2019 as resolved by sons and daughters of the area.
The people of the area, at the event tagged Rivers West-Senatorial District 2018 Mega Rally endorsed Wike for second term. Political Leader of the District, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba said the resolution was predicated on Wike’s rapid development strides in the local government areas in the district.
The death of the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Emmanuel Aguma (SAN0 also affected activities in Government House as individuals, groups and organisations from within and outside the state besieged Brick House to condole the governor and Rivers people over the demise of the legal luminary.
The former Governor of Kano State and Presidential aspirant of the PDP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, paid the governor a condolence visit on Monday night in Government House.
He expressed shock at the news of the Attorney-General’s death and urged the Governor, the people of the state and the bereaved family to take heart.
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) visited with his team last Thursday, saying late Aguma left indelible marks on the legal profession.
“Aguma was an accomplished lawyer. He was one of our very serious lawyers that we are proud of, not only in Rivers State but across the country”, Mahmoud said.
The Service Commanders of Rivers State Security Council also paid Governor Wike a condolence visit in Government House last Monday.
The council, led by the Assistant Comptroller of Nigeria Customs Service, Zone C, Sanusi Umar, comprised of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Air Force, Nigerian Navy, DSS, Nigeria Police, Civil Defence, NDLEA, Nigerian Immigration Service, Customs and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
The council described late Aguma as a reliable and industrious public officer who exhibited professionalism in the discharge of his duties and condoled with the government and people of the state.
Also, the Chairman of Daar Communication Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi was in Government House last Friday to pay condolence visit to Governor Wike on the demise of late Aguma.
Dekposi described Late Aguma as a patriot of the First Order and a person committed to the development of Rivers State and the entire South-South geo-political zone.
Wike had announced 14th and 15th September as burial dates for the late Attorney- General and also inaugurated a burial committee for the deceased.
The committee chairman regretted that instead of a committee to celebrate the patriot at this time, such an illustrious son of the state was to be buried. He promised that the committee would do its best to give the deceased a befitting burial.
The committee, made up of 55 persons drawn from the church, legal profession, the family, government and other walks of life, was given next Wednesday to work out a budget for the state burial.
Another major event in Brick House last week was the 70th Birthday celebration of a former governor of the state, or Peter Odili which was organised by Rivers State Government. The ceremony which opened with a thanksgiving ceremony Penultimate Sunday also had a public lecture and state banquet at Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.
Wike also made a state wide broadcast last Friday to sue for peaceful conduct of Port Harcourt constituency III bye-election and revealed plans by some politicians to disrupt the election.
He warned that any attempt by any person or group to disrupt the election would attract the wrath of the law.
A music mega star, David Adeleke popularly called Davido also visited the Brick House last Friday. The Star who announced his intention to develop music talents in the state solicited for state government’s partnership.
PDP Caucus Demands Prosecution Of NCC Officials
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives has called on the appropriate authorities to arrest and prosecute officials of the National Communications Commission (NCC) for claiming that electronic transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not possible in the country.
The Tide reports that NCC officials led by Executive Director, Ubale Maska, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umaru Garba Danbatta, while testifying before the House, on the adoption of electronic transmission of results from the units, claimed that the 2018 Technical Report of the NCC showed that only about “50 percent of the polling units had 3G while 49 percent had 2G network and below.”
But the PDP Caucus Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said the NCC officials lied to Nigerians while on oath and as such, must be prosecuted for allegedly misleading Nigerians.
Chinda said the NCC officials “cleverly sought to rely on 2018 data in 2021, when they knew or ought to know that internet penetration has advanced substantially in Nigeria since 2018.
“Indeed a perusal of NCC Website even today shows that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 (P .33) says that by September 2019, the ‘Spread of 3G/LTE’ had reached 74.2 percent in Nigeria,” the PDP caucus added.
“We call on the prosecuting authorities to immediately arrest the officials of the NCC, under Prof. Danbatta and all those who procured Ubale Maska and other officials to lie under oath to be investigated and where found culpable, be brought to justice by standing criminal trial, he said,”.
Onochie Makes Case For True Federalism
An elder statesman, Dr Nnamdi Onochie, has again told the Federal Government to come up with a blueprint on true federalism, to address worrisome fault lines keeping Nigeria divided.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, Onochie lamented that Nigeria would continue to wallow in problems until political leaders mustered courage to address endemic problems holding the country down.
Former colonial masters, Britain amalgamated Nigeria in 1914, to give birth to Africa’s largest nation but 107 years down the line, the country has been engulfed in various problems, making the country not to realise its potential to the fullest.
According to Onochie, the way out is for the government to implement true federalism as an article of faith to ensure equity, fair play, justice and equality of all ethnic nationalities in the country.
“Unless the path of equality of all states, as they stand today, is guaranteed without contestation, Nigeria will continue to contend with divisive tendencies and the centre will never hold to build a united indivisible nation.
He reiterated that recurring problems in the country had highlighted the inevitability of genuine federalism to be implemented by government, to make Nigeria truly great to achieve the set goals of its founding fathers.
“I have earlier suggested that government should convene a Peace and Reconciliation Conference of all shades and creeds of Nigeria by October 2021, to map out the path of stable devolution of all functions in the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution.
“The sooner these recommendations are implemented the better for the corporate entity of Nigeria, because no one is excited with current developments threatening the existence of Nigeria from day to day.’’
Onochie, who was a former Nigerian envoy to Algeria and the Philippines, argued that true federalism would address some endemic problems tearing Nigeria apart, including banditry and restiveness in some parts of the country.
He criticised what he described as parochial tendencies displayed in the National Assembly on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, saying that displaying partisanship in critical issues would never promote unity and national integration.
The political stalwart reiterated that he stood for one Nigeria and that he would continue to campaign for Nigeria not to disintegrate as he gets set to offer himself to serve in the highest political office in the upcoming general elections.
On the directive by the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to media houses not to report kidnappings, killings, maiming and other nefarious activities of terrorists, bandits and insurgents freely and openly, Onochie described the directive as draconian and totally at variance with global democratic tenets.
“Nothing should be done to tamper with the freedom of speech as spelt in the constitution to deny Nigerians their freedom of free speech, expression, association and other rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as Amended).’’
He described press freedom as the bedrock of democracy, saying that Nigeria should copy values that promote development and sustain nation building “to make the nation respected in the comity of nations.’’
“Nigerians and the international community must be made to be fully aware of the gains of a free press, rather than allowing the NBC to gag the civil space and disallow media houses from performing their duties as the fourth estate of the realm.”
Onochie, a polyglot, who was a former Commissioner for Special Duties in Delta has been campaigning for Nigerian unity and for separatists in parts of the country to drop their agitations and say farewell to disintegration.
INEC Registers 752,011 Voters In Three Weeks
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that 752,011 eligible Nigerians have completed the online pre-registration as fresh voters in the last three weeks since the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) commenced online on June 28, 2021.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said in Abuja, that in the last 21 days as at 7am on Monday, 19 July 2021, INEC recorded an average of 35,810 registrants per day.
According to him, out of this figure, 562,254 (74.7per cent) are youths between the ages of 18 and 34; and that in terms of gender, 493,128 were male while 369,188 were female.
He said that detailed distribution of registrants by states/FCT, age, occupation and disability has been uploaded on the commission’s website and social media platforms.
“The commission wishes to reiterate its earlier decision that because of the declaration of Tuesday, 20 and Wednesday, 21 July 2021 as public holidays by the federal government, the commencement of physical registration is now rescheduled to Monday, 26 July 2021.
“Online pre-registrants who booked for appointment to complete their registration physically between Monday 19 and Friday, 23 July 2021, will be notified within the next few days of the new dates for their appointments. They may also visit the portal (https://cvr.inecnigeria.org) to choose a new available date and time, if they so desire,” Okoye said.
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