Members of the National Assembly have called on the leadership of both chambers to extend their resumption from September 25 to the second week of October.
A cross section of the federal lawmakers from both the Senate and House of Representatives, who spoke with newsmen on the issue, explained that the September 25 earlier fixed, was no longer feasible.
They argued that it would not be possible for the joint committees on electoral matters and those on appropriation to conclude their assignments before the end of September.
They also said it would not make sense for members of the two chambers to abandon the primaries of their parties in their various constituencies to resume plenary.
The Vice-Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Business, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, said the date of the resumption was not yet in view because the joint committee on INEC had yet to finish their assignment.
Ayorinde stated, “If there are differences in their decision, the principal officers of the two houses would sit and harmonise the differences and take it to plenary for approval.
“It is also not feasible that we would resume in September owing to the fact that primaries of the parties are scheduled to hold between now and the end of September.
“The dates of the primaries of the ruling party extend till the first week in October. Do you now expect someone, who is campaigning for his election, to now rush down to the National Assembly for plenary?
“So, the plenary to consider the reports of INEC may not come up until after the primaries.”
Asked if it was not possible for the two chambers to announce a date and jointly sit in plenary to approve the polls budget request, Ayorinde said, “There is no provision for a joint sitting to approve budget.
“I am very optimistic that within a week or two after our resumption, we would sort it out. The principal officers of the two chambers can even sit and harmonise positions before the reports are presented at plenary to make the process faster.”
Some of the senators include Enyinnaya Abaribe, Shehu Sani, Adesoji Akanbi, Mao Ohuabunwa and James Manager.
Abaribe explained that with the pace of the committee’s work and the timetable of the primaries, the National Assembly would not be able to reconvene in September.
He stated, “The joint committees still have a long way to go. The joint committee on INEC after their assignments will pass everything to the appropriation committee which will bring the report to the leadership.
“The leadership of the two houses would have to meet and decide on when to reconvene and it must be on the same day.
“From the way we are seeing it, there is no way we could reconvene until after the primaries which will even extend to the first week in October.”
Akanbi noted that there was no point reconvening for plenary now when all the parties were holding their primaries.
He added, “Since we have the joint committees of both chambers working on the document, the outcome of their task could represent the position of the whole house while the leadership of both houses could also have a joint sitting and approve the INEC request.
“There is no big deal about it since it is not the annual national budget. We did not sit at plenary before the leadership directed the joint committee to start work on the document. Why should we reconvene to receive their report?”
Sani believed that no member of the federal legislature would resume until after the primaries in October.
“Nobody would come back to the Senate or House of Representatives when primaries are ongoing. Reconvening the chambers is going to be an exercise in futility,” he said.
Ohuabunwa declared that the lawmakers would not resume on the scheduled date.
He said, “If the parties are holding primaries and we also want to return (re-elected) to represent the parties at the parliament, then, it is going to be that the resumption will be extended.
“If my primary election is on the 25th or even 28th (September), what would I be doing in Abuja? Definitely, if the dates clash there will be an extension (of resumption).”
Manager said President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, would take a decision on the issue.
“The leadership of the Senate and the leadership of the House of Representatives know what to do. I am sure that they know what to do,” Manager said.
Another lawmaker from one of the North-East states, who declined to be named for fear of negative reactions from his colleagues, argued that the lawmakers could resume despite the primaries.
A senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his group members are pushing for an early reconvening of the Senate, also said there was no way members would reconvene when the party primaries were taking place across the country.
He said, “We have suggested that the leadership of the two houses should authorise the executive to make necessary withdrawals from the Service Wide Vote to take care of any emergency procurement that INEC may want to take care of before resumption.
“The senators, who demanded the immediate reconvening of the Senate, knew that the INEC budget would not be ready until late September. They have their own agenda.
“Senators on our side are against joint sitting. So, those on Saraki’s side are really not bothered about sitting. They had already devised another means of extending the resumption beyond the earlier agreed date.
“The anti-Saraki senators want the Senate to reconvene so that they could remove the presiding officers with the two-thirds of the members at plenary, which is illegal. I have warned them against such move anyway.”
Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the National Assembly must reconvene to consider and pass requests by President Muhammadu Buhari pending before the legislature.
Lawan stated, “We need to reconvene before then (September 25) to pass the very essential requests by Mr. President, particularly the budget of INEC (for the elections) and the foreign borrowing request to finance the capital budget for 2018 as well as some confirmations (of executive appointments) that are also time-bound.
“We had yet to confirm the appointments of nominees for the board of the ICPC and others. It (delaying the confirmations) will be undermining what this administration considers very important, significant and central to its campaign promises.
“I will also agree with my colleagues who feel that we can extend (the recess) beyond the 25th because the primaries of almost all the parties will have to take place towards the end of September and early October.
“Within that period we should be fair to ourselves; that even if we reconvene from recess on the 25th, we would hardly be able to form a quorum because many senators, if not all, would be in their senatorial districts or participate in the primaries of other candidates of their choice.
“I agree with them on that. But before then, we need to reconvene.”
LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’
The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.
Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.
Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.
The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.
Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.
“What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.
“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”
The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.
Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.
“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.
“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”
Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.
An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.
“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.
“The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.
“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.
“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.
Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”
Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today
All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.
- Sports3 days ago
Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials
- Featured2 days ago
APC’s Ploy To Ban, Regulate Social Media, Hypocritical, Wike Affirms
- Oil & Energy3 days ago
Buhari Thumbs Up For NLNG As NNPC Reviews Activities
- Politics18 hours ago
APC: C’River LP Disowns Decampees
- Oil & Energy3 days ago
Total Nigeria Advocates Petroleum Subsidy Removal
- Sports3 days ago
Hooliganism Won’t Be Tolerated At Match Venues – NFF
- Sports3 days ago
Dettol Becomes Official Hygiene Partner Of S’Eagles
- Politics3 days ago
Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession