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9th Assembly’s Leadership: Reactions Trail Lawan, Omo-Agege Others Emergence …Buhari,PDP Congratulate Senate President, Speaker, Deputies …Obasanjo Kicks, Says Position Lopsided

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Reactions have trailed the emergence of senators Ahmad Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege yesterday as President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate, respectively.
Lawan (APC-Yobe) emerged president of the 9th Senate after defeating his only contender, Sen. Ali Ndume with 79 votes. Ndume had 28.
In the same vein, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC-Delta) emerged deputy senate president after polling 68 to defeat former deputy president of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who polled 37.
Reacting, former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara said the outcome of the election was an indication that the members-elect voted their choice.
He urged them to hit the ground running, noting that Nigerians are expecting their contribution to the growth of the economy.
He said the voting was democratic and keenly contested because nobody came unopposed. “The victors should do the needful in the interest of the masses,” he said.
Former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau said the way in which the senators-elect conducted themselves was impressive.
Shekarau, who is a member of the 9th senate, said it is a victory for democracy. “I congratulate all the senators-elect for democratic rights in their voting and I congratulate the president,” he said.
Sen. BarauJibrin (APC-Kano) said the outcome of the election was good for democracy.) He said with Lawan’s leadership, he was optimistic that the 9th senate would be rancour free.
He added that he was hopeful that democracy would get stronger as the years go by and what happened was a clear indication of how much senators-elect believed in Lawan’s leadership style.
Senator Matthew Urghoghide (PDP-Edo) said he was satisfied with the outcome of the election, saying he had no regrets publicly declaring support for Lawan’s emergence. He expressed hope that “the 9th senate will deliver on its mandate.”
Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP-Edo) also identified with Lawan, adding that “what is left is to settle to the business of lawmaking and other legislative activities.”
Our correspondent reports that the inauguration started on a rancorous note after a protest by some senators-elect over announcement by Mr Mohammed Omolori, Clerk of the National Assembly that open secret ballot system was to be used to elect the presiding officers.
It however ended peacefully as the situation was brought under control by the clerk, who officiated the election process.
The inauguration started at exactly 10:a.m. with 107 senators-elect in attendance as against 109 as two senatorial seats in Imo were declared vacant.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated heartily the newly elected presiding officers of the Ninth National Assembly.
President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in Abuja also saluted all the national legislators and their political parties for their display of patriotism and non-partisanship before and during the election.
He commended the transparent and fair nature of the voting process, adjudging it as a plus for the democracy in the country.
President Buhari described the emergence of the new leaders of the legislative branch of government as “a new dawn, different from duplicity and perfidy of the immediate past.”
The President charged the winners to use their exalted positions for the higher interest of the country, her people, and for the growth of democracy.
According to him, “The Executive does not desire a rubber stamp Legislature. While separation of powers is essential, collaboration among all Arms of Government should be the name of the game. Opposition need not be virulent.”
President Buhari noted that, “Stepping into the Next Level, the legislature has a big role to play for the goals of the administration to be achieved,” stressing that, “This is for the ultimate good of the nation.”
The President urged contestants who lost out to be gallant in defeat, and join hands with the victors who should exhibit magnanimity and eschew vindictiveness.
He said, “At the end of the day, we, the people, who elected our representatives at the national level, are the winners.”
On its part, the National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday congratulated the 9th National Assembly for its successful inauguration.
The party commended the newly elected Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege as well as the newly elected Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase for their victory in the keenly contested elections.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party vowed to stand on the side of decency and utmost respect for the institution of the National Assembly and “the values we hold as a people.”
The statement further read: “Our party charges the federal lawmakers, as representatives of the people, to place the welfare, wishes and aspirations of Nigerians above every other considerations by ensuring a strong and independent legislature that upholds the tenets of democracy and the dictates of our constitution.
“The 9th National Assembly therefore must work hard to save our nation from the prevailing despondency caused by the misrule of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, by effectively applying its statutory legislative instruments to guarantee good governance and fiscal prudence, curb corruption, check the excesses of the executive and protect the rights of Nigerians from incessant violations.
“The PDP reminds the National Assembly members to bear in mind that their allegiance is to the people and the constitution and not to any particular leader or group. “Our party charges the legislature to work only in the interest of our nation and resist the manipulations and pressure that might come from quarters that seek to undermine our democratic order.”
The PDP also reiterated its commitment to “the welfare of Nigerians,” stressing that it continue to keep its focus on “the quest for good governance, national cohesion and economic wellbeing of the people, even as we pursue our collective aspiration for the successful retrieval of our stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.”
However, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has decried the present government arrangement in Nigeria, saying the Senate President is from North-East, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria is from the North-East, The President of the country is from the North-West. They are all from what we call the core north.
How can you have that kind of arrangement and then be absolutely insensitive to it (lack of geographical diversity)? this came as he said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is driving Nigeria towards “disaster and instability”. Speaking with newsmen, noted that although the country has made considerable progress since the new dispensation began in 1999, the pace at which it is currently moving shows the nation may be inching towards disaster and instability. “I think we have no choice but to be on the path for sustainable development.
“The progress we are making may be questionable—-Is it fast enough? Is it steady enough? Is it stable enough? Are we taking two steps forward and one step back or one step side-way?
“You can question that, but we have no choice but to be on (the) path for sustainable development. Any other thing will be a disaster. In fact, the pace at which we are going now is tending more and more toward disaster and instability and unsustainability.” ‘No Confidence in the Economy’ “The problem is that we are just not doing what we should be doing Nobody has that confidence, and we cannot develop Nigeria without that confidence in our economy.
Both for domestic investors and foreign investors.” ‘Anti-graft institutions have been corrupted’ said Obasanjo, Speaking further on the state of the nation, Obasanjo said “I set up two (anti-corruption) institutions, I came with two laws that were not there before, to fight corruption. And those who claim they are fighting corruption today have not brought in anything different. If anything, they have corrupted those two institutions.
“And the institutions were open and independent. I never, never, as president had to say to either the head of ICPC or EFCC: ‘Oh, chase this person’.”
“Nigeria was a pariah state. Within the first four years (1999-2003)… we actually hosted the commonwealth. And Nigeria which was kicked out of the Commonwealth became the host of a Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting (CHOGOM). We became the darling of almost all nations. The economy started doing well.
“I remember on one occasion one day or one week, ChukwumaSoludo (then governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria) phoned me and said: “Sir, in one day, we had an inflow of $80 million”. From foreign direct flow; not money from our oil export or cocoa export. Just direct! And he (Soludo) said to me: “Sir, this is almost unbelievable.”
“I said we were not where I want us to be yet. I want us to be $100 million per day. That means in five working days, that will be half a billion dollars. If we are making half a billion dollars a week of five working days; in 52 weeks, it will be $26 billion. It is possible. I got debt relief.”
“I think there is a presumption in our constitution that our system will bring out competent leaders devoid of extremism, religious or tribal bigotry. Leaders who understand what it takes to hold the country together and put it in high gear for development, unity and an inclusive and shared society.
“These are assumptions. And if these assumptions come true, what is meant to be achieved in our country will be achieved. But the kind of situation you have now cannot allow those assumptions to become reality. Now you have a situation where three top officials of government will be from only two northern zones. Ahmed Lawan (who has been pencilled down as Senate President) is from the North-East, the acting chief justice of Nigeria is from the north-east, The President of the country is from the north-west. They are all from what we call the core north. How can you have that kind of arrangement and then be absolutely insensitive to it (lack of geographical diversity)?
“So the prescription that our constitution makes of the kind of leadership that should emerge, we have failed to achieve that with the present leadership we have in place. The Constitution expects the executive to care for the welfare and security of every Nigerian. But in the present situation, they don’t seem to care.”

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We Are Committed To Deepening Democracy, Says Rivers State Governor Wike

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Governor Nyesom Wike inspect, Judges Quarters and Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, 08 July 2020

Rivers state Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has explained that the support given to the judiciary by his administration is to deepen democracy in Nigeria.

He said all the arms of government need to work in synergy in discharging their  responsibilities to serve the people with courage and efficiency.

Governor Wike was speaking shortly after inspecting the progress of work at the reconstructed residence of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal and other judicial staff located in Amadi flat, Old GRA in Port Harcourt and the Judges Quarters for Judges of Rivers State Judiciary in Orazi in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of the state, on Wednesday.

The governor said his administration had commissioned quarters for Judges of the Court of Appeal while the residence of the Presiding Justice and staff of the same court would  be ready soon to boost their morale to confidently discharge their duties.

“We are quite impressed with the level of work that is going on there. You must give the people all it takes to do their best because you can’t talk about fighting corruption and then you will not give the Judiciary the support that it requires.

“You cannot talk about deepening democracy without having the Judiciary or Legislature playing their role.

“The  three arms of government must work together to be able to engender development for the state,” he said.

Commenting on the provision of quarters for Judges of the Rivers State judiciary, Governor Wike said it would solve the problem of accommodation for Judges on retirement.

 

“I did say that we are going to give them owner- occupier residence so that when judges retire, they will get accommodation.

“It is very funny to find that when Judges retire, they do not have a place to stay or are compelled to stay in remote places after years of service. So, we thought that there is need to give them a befitting place after  retirement.

“We are happy that the contractor has completed the building, and now Julius Berger PLC is carrying out the furnishing. In a short time, we believe that it will be commissioned and handed over to the Chief Judge of the state who will then hand them over to the beneficiaries,” he added.

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COVID-19: Rivers State Governor, Wike Sues For Understanding

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on a State broadcast on Wednesday, 08 July 2020

* Imposes night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny LGA and Onne Community in Eleme LGA with effect from July 10, 2020 till further notice

*Sets up Taskforce to enforce wearing of facemasks

* Plans to reopen markets

*Sacks serving Permanent Secretary for flouting COVID-19 guidelines

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has appealed to residents of the State to take personal responsibility to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

He also cautioned that with the commencement of inter-state travels and domestic travels, residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days Isolation.

Governor Wike made the appeal in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, in a state-wide broadcast.

“As at July 8, 2020, the COVID-19 status of our State is as follows:
Total samples collected: 4573
Total samples tested: 3871
Total confirmed cases: 1235
Total discharged cases: 810
Total active cases: 382
Total death: 43
New cases: 30

“From the first days of this virus, we took serious measures and literally set the pace in our country to slow down the spread.

“We have noticed that most affected people are resorting to self medication instead of presenting themselves for treatment at the State’s Treatment Centres.

“Those who experience symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath, among others should present themselves for appropriate treatment at the expense of the State Government.

“Furthermore, in the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents have continued to disregard the mitigating protocols with reckless abandon.

“Public and private transporters, business owners and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols.

“Burial ceremonies are also reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary  had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo,” he said.

The Governor therefore announced the sack of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunny Okere with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of the guidelines.

This, he said, would serve as a lesson to all other public officers who may wish to be irresponsible.

He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.

Government, he said, is also appraising the prospect of opening markets as soon as it is satisfied that it is safe with appropriate guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks.

Governor Wike announced the setting up of a Joint Taskforce made up of security and civilian personnel to enforce the wearing of face masks.

He stated that to sustain the progress made in the state, the State Security Council has imposed a night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny Local Government and Onne Community in Eleme Local Government with effect from July 10, 2020 until further notice.

The Governor assured all health workers, including doctors and nurses that government would continue to cater for their welfare as they continue to serve the state at grave risks to their own lives.

He added that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.

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Governor Wike Is Building The Future For Rivers State – Nsirim …To Collaborate With CoolWazobiaInfo On Development Reportage

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has stated that the State Governor, Nyesom Wike is deliberately building an enviable future for Rivers People.

Nsirim, who stated this on Tuesday, when the Management of CoolWazobiaInfo, operators of Cool, Wazobia, and Nigeria Info radio stations, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, stated  that every step the Governor has taken since 2015  had been targeted at developing the State.

“Within the last five years, His Excellency has demonstrated keenly that his passion to turn around the fortunes of Rivers State is not something that he is  just playing to the gallery. In almost all sectors of the economy of the State you can see the monumental changes that are taking place here.

“That’s what we have found in this visionary leader and we are quite proud to be associated with him”, he said.

The Commissioner noted that the manner in which the Governor executes all the developmental projects in the State is only characteristic of a leader who is driven by the will to serve the  people.

“Do you want to talk about the three flyovers that are ongoing simultaneously? You know, naysayers thought that it was a political gimmick when he said I have paid 70% of the contract sum of the projects.

“The speed with which the work is going on is so amazing. That is what you see when there is political will and you find a man whose passion for selfless service speaks in all that he does”, he said.

While expressing the willingness of the Ministry to partner with the Station in areas that would develop the State, the Commissioner stated that such partnership would be based on the station ensuring strict adherence to the regulatory guidelines set by the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Such guidelines, he said, has to do with the principles of objectivity, fairness and balance, noting that when this is not done,  there is a breach of the NBC guideline, which regulates the operations of the broadcast media in Nigeria.

He stated that media houses  are supposed to be  bridge builders who harness public opinion for the common good.

According to him, no Media house should expose itself to be seen to be antagonistic.

“Every Media house owe society the obligation to create a balance in the reportage of activities.

The Commissioner assured that the State Government welcomes criticism and would  only collaborate with initiatives that will ensure development for Rivers people.

We are looking forward to any partnership that will bring into focus ethics, objectivity, fairness, and balance. A partnership that will engender  development for Rivers people.

“Governor Wike has given governance a  new meaning and we believe that partnership with the media will compel him to do more for Rivers people.

” We welcome constructive criticism that will promote the state as an investors’ haven,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, the Programme Manager of the Station, Carl Orakwe, proposed a collaboration with the Ministry towards the development of the State.

“Part of the reasons why we are here is to extend our support and let everyone know that coolwazobiainfo family as a media outfit would strive to promote good governance.

He pledged that they would collaborate with the ministry to project the state in good light.

Also present was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo and all the Directors of the Ministry, as well as the Head of Station, CoolWazobiaInfo, Jeta Onomewho.

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