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Wike Takes Oath For 2nd Term

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Amidst thousands of enthusiastic Rivers people, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike and his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, last Wednesday, took Oath of office to commence their second term administration.
The Chief Judge of the state, Justice  Adama  Inyie Iyaye- Lamikanra administered the oath of office on them.
The event which took place at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, marked a huge celebration by  the high and low in the state.
In his inauguration speech, the governor commended Rivers people for their strong support which made it possible to emerge victorious in spite the odds.
He promised to give his second term his all in appreciation of the renewed mandate and solicited for continued support.
Four key bills were signed into law by Gov Nyesom Wike, Friday in Government House, Port Harcourt. That marked  the valedictory session of the 8th Assembly.
They  include the Rivers State  Multi-Door Courthouse Law ( No 2 of 2019), Rivers State Arbitration Law ( No 3 of 2019), Rivers State Pension Reform Law ( No 4 of 2019), and the Rivers State College of Health Sciences and Management Technology Law ( No 5 of 2019).
The governor described the four bills as key and commended the speaker and members of the House for working hard , stressing that the new laws would help the state.
The  governor particularly noted that the new pension law would bring to an end the crisis between the Head of Service and various labour unions who had been kicking against it.
He said, With the new law, the challenge faced by retirees who could not easily get their retirement benefit has become a thing of the past.
Also last Friday, Governor Wike honoured Comoribo Catherine, the police officer who led the parade during the second term inauguration ceremony.
The honour was in appreciation of the officer’s  capacity and competence. She was rewarded with N5 million by the governor as encouragement.
Another major event in the week under review was inauguration of a seven- man committee to investigate the financial transactions of the 23 local government areas in the state between May 2018- May 2019.
The committee has the Deputy Governor, Ipalibo Harry- Banigo as its chairman while the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communications as secretary.
The governor urging the committee to ensure that no council officials or top politicians to influence their work. He gave them three weeks to submit their report.
The deputy governor commended the governor for reposing confidence in members of the committee and assured that the committee would do their best to do a job that the state will be proud of.
On last Thursday, the governor ordered immediate demolition of shanties in and around the state government owned Government Craft Development Centre.
He expressed worry that the shanties were defacing the school environment and also harbouring criminals. On the following day, being Friday, all the shanties were
demolished by the state government.
Wike addressed street traders, roadside mechanics, illegal motor park operators, National Union of Road Transport Workers and other artisans operating in Port Harcourt.
The Governor who expressed dismay over the way the artisans have messed up the city gave them one month to vacate the roads.
The Anglican Bishop of Niger Delta North, Rt Rev Wisdom Budu Ihunwo paid a courtesy visit to the governor, Friday in Government House, last week.

 

Chris Oluoh

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Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy

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The Governors of the 36 states of the federation will hold a virtual meeting today to further discuss the issue of financial autonomy to judicial and legislative arms in states.
This is contained in a statement by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo on Monday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo said efforts were already being made in all states to either constitute State Accounts Allocation Committees (SAAC) or inaugurate them.
This, according to him, is preparatory to the granting of full autonomy to the two arms of government at the subnational level.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) had since embarked on a nationwide strike on the issue.
He said the governors had been working day and night to establish modalities for the autonomy in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
He said that the governors would also be updated on the activities of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who headed the governors’ interface with the committee.
Bello-Barkindo said that the meeting would also review the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC), which would take place a day after.
“Other items on the agenda include the regular update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for results (SFTAS) to provide states’ status on their DLI’s and upcoming deadlines.
The meeting would also receive presentation from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, regarding unlocking liquidity through sale/optimisation of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets,” he said.
He added that the Policy Development Facility (PDF) bridge programme would also discuss diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states in post Covid-19 era.

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2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River

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Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.

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…Vows To Take Over Anambra

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, says the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll.
Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka yesterday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state.
He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state.
He described the success of the exercise as a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election.
“We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll.
“This is not time for distractions. We are focused on taking over government from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The party has shortchanged millions of Anambra people in terms of governance.
Nwobu said he remained the valid chairman of PDP in Anambra, having emerged from a valid process that was upheld by a Federal High Court in its May 24, 2018 judgment.
He said the judgment had not been reversed by any higher court and was “unfazed by any court judgment”, which purportedly removed him.
“My leadership is still subsisting, no superior court has set that judgment aside and a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot do that.
“Our team of legal experts is taking care of that. The decision to appeal will be advised,” the PDP chairman said.
The Tide source reports that Chief Chukwudi Umeaba at the weekend announced that he had taken over the party in the state as the Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
Umeaba, who announced the suspension of the ward congresses, said his action was predicated on the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court.
According to him, the judgment delivered on June 9, nullified the process that produced Nwobu’s leadership.

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