A member of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Christopher Wonodi, has lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for offering an olive branch to opposition political parties in the state, saying such move can only come from a focused and true leader.
This is as the monarch expressed the optimism that the Governor will complete the remaining development projects he started, focus on youth development and general empowerment as he prepares for his inauguration for a second term in office on May 29.
Chief Christopher Nnanna Wonodi, who is the Eze Mbam Abali X11, Eze Risioha in Rebisi, Port Harcourt, made the call during an exclusive chat with The Tide in the Rivers State capital at the weekend.
According to him, “You will agree with me that the Governor is very focused going by his people-oriented projects and his large heart to accommodate people. Although there are few of the projects he is yet to complete. I am sure that he will complete them and even deliver more in his second tenure.
“We all know that he (the Governor) was faced with a lot of distractions from the opposition. But thank God all that is over after he was declared winner of the last Governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), an election he won by a landslide victory.
“As a matter of fact, this is why people love Governor Nyesom Wike because while some people are making the place uncomfortable for him, he keeps waxing stronger. So let me say that the acceptance of the olive branch by the opposition parties is good. It is a welcome development.
“They (the opposition) should know that there is time for everything as recorded in Ecclesiastes. They have fought a war, so to speak and now the war is over. Everybody should come together, like they have agreed, they should be sincere in supporting the Governor and make the state move forward,” he noted.
The monarch observed that the people need to be engaged, while expressing worry over the recent spate of cult related activities in some parts of the State; pointing out that it was in the light of these and general insecurity that the Governor met with traditional rulers and other stakeholders recently to chart a new regime of peace aimed at attracting investment and bring more development to the state.
“So we are calling on these boys to stop all these mindless killings and related vices because these are ill wind that blow nobody any good. There must be respect for human life. We need the government to concentrate and work for the state to be safe so that companies can also spring up and provide employment opportunities.
“I believe that his second tenure will focus well on human capital development and empowerment of our people. But our people should learn to be patient. Again it is not just empowerment by doling out monies. People, especially the youths must be ready to work and do something meaningful to be useful to themselves and society.”
867,088 Voters Expected n Bayelsa Poll – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says a total of 867, 088 eligible voters are expected to vote in the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
INEC National Commissioner supervising elections in Bayelsa, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, Edo and Rivers State, disclosed this on Monday in Yenagoa at the official presentation of the voter register to 45 political parties contesting in the election.
Agbamuche-Mbu, who presented soft copies of the register to the parties, explained that the document revealed the number of registered voters by polling unit, registration Area, local government areas and state.
“This is to enable eligible voters to check their details and know the location of their polling units,” she explained.
On appointment of party agents, the commissioner enjoined all political parties to submit names of their agents not later than 14 days before the election.
“Submit the names of your party agent on or before November 2, as the Commission will not extend the deadline for submission,” she urged.
Also, Mr Iro Gambo, the Commission’s National Director, Voter Registry, said that though a total of 923, 182 voters were registered in Bayelsa at the end of the 2017 and 2018 Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, but only 867, 088 voters collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
Gambo, represented by Mr Paul Ayaeze, Deputy Director, Voter Registry, explained that the PVCs were made available for collection during the nationwide CVR exercise at all the local government areas in the state between April 2017 and August 2018.
“In all, the number of uncollected PVCs are 33, 974,” the director said.
In his remark, Mr Monday Udoh, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Bayelsa, restated the Commission’s readiness to conduct free, fair and credible election for the people.
Udoh, who was represented by Mr Edwin Enabor, the Administrative Secretary of the commission in the state, enjoined all political parties to play by the rules and refrain from violence.
Political Scientists Canvass Unicameral Legislative System
A cross section of political scientists in Nsukka, Enugu State, have advocated unicameral legislative system for Nigeria to reduce cost of running governments.
The political scientists, who are senior lecturers in the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said this in separate press interviews in Nsukka on Monday.
They said adopting unicameral system would not only reduce cost of running government but quicken legislative processes in passing bills into laws.
Prof Jonah Onuoha, Head of Department (HOD) Political Science in UNN, said bicameral legislative system was capital intensive especially in a country like Nigeria where federal lawmakers received bogus salaries and allowances.
“It takes huge amount of money to maintain bicameral legislative system especially in a country like Nigeria where federal lawmakers received bogus salaries and allowances monthly.
“Bicameral legislative system is not only capital intensive but delays legislative processes of passing bills into laws since the bill will pass through the two chambers.
“In Nigeria, we have two chambers comprising the Senate (Upper Chamber) and the House of Representatives (Lower Chamber) but if the country adopts unicameral, it will choose either the Senate or House Of Representative,” he said.
The HOD, who is also the Director of American Studies in UNN, urged the country to adopt unicameral legislative system as money used to run two chambers could be used to carry out other developmental projects.
He said that if the country insisted on running bicameral legislative system, number of lawmakers, both in Senate and House of Representatives must be cut down to half as a way of reducing cost.
Contributing, Prof Aloysius Okolie, former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in UNN said that it was as result of bicameral legislative system in the country that every year the budgetary allocation to National Assembly had remained the highest.
“The country is spending much to pay salaries, allowances and maintaining of the two chambers.
“In Senate there are 109 senators and in the House of Representatives, there are 360 members, all of them are paid jumbo salaries and allowances,” he said.
Okolie also said that as part of measures to reduce cost of running government, the country should return to regional government as was obtainable in 1960s.
“If we have one federal parliament and one regional parliament in the six geopolitical zones, it will go a long way in cutting down cost of running government in the country,” Okolie said.
Igbo Youths Task PDP, APC On Presidency
The umbrella group of youth leaders in the South East geopolitical zone, under the umbrella of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has said that it is either the presidency for the Zone in 2023 or nothing.
The group emphatically demanded that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should cede the presidency to the South East zone in 2023 at the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The youth coalition warned that refusal of any big political party to zone the presidency to the South East in 2023 simply means swimming against the tide of the curriculum of democracy in Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement issued by the President-General of the group, Chief Goodluck Ibem, and made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Saturday.
The Coalition warned that those clamouring for the North to take the presidency after eight years of Buhari’s presidency, are not patriotic, but place their personal gain and aggrandisement above the survival, progress and success of the country.
The youth leaders maintained that the zoning arrangement was borne out of doctrine of necessity designed as democracy bond with the sole objective of creating a sense of belonging, harmony, happiness, peace and unity for our dear country Nigeria.
The statement added, “Zoning of the presidency has its moral weight. Zoning of the office of the president to the South East in 2023 is very important to preserve the corporate entity of Nigeria and also calm down political tension.
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