Barely two weeks after the 8th Session of the State House of Assembly held its valedictory, last week, the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike proclaimed the 9th Assembly Session.
The state governor tasked the legislators to join hands to transform the state, and to consolidate on the gains made in the first tenure, as he described the legislature as critical arm of government in democratic governance.
After the House was inaugurated, the 9th Assembly began proceedings in earnest. The first matter on the floor last Monday was the election of the House officers.
The election witnessed massive endorsement of Rt. Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani to preside over the 9th Assembly with Hon. Edison Ehie of Ahoada-East II coming in as the Deputy Speaker. Ehie who as a second term legislator replaced Hon. Marshall Uwom of Abua/Odual State Constituency, who ended his term with the 8th Assembly.
Speaking after he was elected for the second term, Rt. Hon Ibani thanked his fellow legislators for giving him the privilege to preside over the House again.
The Andoni State Constituency legislator described his emergence as providence,as he did not expect that he would be re-elected to lead the legislature.
Rt Hon Ibani thanked the governor and his colleagues for their support in the first term as speaker, and promised that his second term would be memorable, “The office of the Speaker is not a personal estate, it belongs to Rivers people and so whatever I will do to improve it, I will do”.
The Speaker further pledged that he would give participatory leadership, as he enjoined members to provide the necessary advise that would propel the House to greater heights.
Member representing Ogu/Bolo State Constituency, Hon Evans Bipie told newsmen after the 9th Assembly was inaugurated that he dedicated his return to the House to women of the constituency.
Hon. Bipi promised to make his office open and effective, while promising to make the womenfolk the main focus of his legislative business.
Last Thursday, the House reconvened to elect the remaining officers of the Assembly. They include the office of the Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip.
After the House was put to vote, Hon. Martins Amaewhule returned as Majority Leader, Hon Bariene Deeyah came on board as Deputy Majority Leader, while Hon. Bipi came back as Chief Whip. Major Jack also came back as deputy Chief Whip of the House.
The speaker after administering oath of office urged them to put in their best to ensure that the 9th Assembly succeeds.
Senate: Bill Against Small Arms’ Proliferation Passes Second Reading
The Senate yesterday passed for second reading a bill for establishment of the Nigerian National Commission against proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi).
Adeyemi in his lead debate on the general principles of the bill noted that the bill was first read at plenary on Dec . 18 2019.
He said the bill essentially seeks to provide for establishment of National Commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons to coordinate and implement activities to combat the problems of small arms in Nigeria.
This, he said was in line with ECOWAS states on small arms and light weapons.
Adeyemi listed the objectives of the bill to include identifying sources and main routes of small arms, light weapon and reasons why the illicit trade thrives in Nigeria.
He said the bill when passed would help recommend possible ways to monitor, control, halt, and mitigate illegal activities of people involved in arms proliferation.
He said the commission would also help to identify the promoters, users, patrons of the illegal activities.
He said the bill when passed would also make provision for the training and building the capacity of the corps and other security officials towards an effective enforcement of the mandate of the commission.
He said the proliferation of small arms and light weapons has been a stricken issue in the international agenda since 1998.
“It is eating into the survival of emerging nations in the international scene especially in Africa.
“It is a phenomenon that is destabilising the peace, development and threatening the national security of sovereign nations,” he said.
Adeyemi expressed believe that the bill, if passed would further help to curb the insecurity challenges in Nigeria.
Other bills that passed second reading at plenary are: A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy, Pondogari in Niger State, sponsored by Sen. Musa Sani (APC Niger).
A Bill for an Act to provide for establishment of the Federal University of Environment Technology, Saakpenwa, Ogoni Rivers State, sponsored by Sen. Mpigi Barinada (PDP Rivers).
Others are Bill for an Act to establish the Police Academy Wudil, Kano as a degree awarding institution, sponsored by Sen. Jika Halliru (APC Bauchi).
Kwara By-Election: 43,695 Voters Collect PVCs In Patigi LG -REC
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, has said that 43,695 voters collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Patigi ahead of the scheduled by-election into the vacant state assembly seat.
The REC disclosed this on Wednesday in Ilorin during a meeting with the eight political parties that would participate in the by-election and members of Inter-Agencies Committee on Election Security (IACES).
Our source reports that eight political parties have so far signified interest to take part in the March 14, by-election into Patigi state constituency.
The political parties are All Progressives Congress (APC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), People Democratic Party (PDP) and New Nigeria People Party (NNPP).
Others are the Action People Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA), African Action Congress (AAC) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
Attahiru-Madami promised to be open, transparent and give all the political parties participating in the by-election a level playing ground.
According to the REC, there are 52,233 registered voters in Patigi state constituency, while 51,476 PVCs were received from INEC headquarters.
He added that a total of 43,695 PVCs were collected, leaving 7,781 uncollected PVCs which he said were kept in the vault of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Ilorin.
Amaechi Loses Security Aide To Electrocution
Mr. Tony Iwelu, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has passed on.
The aide, who died on Monday, February 17, suffered an electric shock from a shower hose in a Kaduna hotel while on an official assignment.
A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Eric Ojiekwe, said until his passage, Iwelu was in charge of all issues relating to the minister’s security, a job he was reputed to have executed with utmost professionalism.
“There is no gainsaying that the professionalism he brought to bear in the discharge of his job sustained him for the over two decades in the service of the minister,” the document read in part.
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