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‘Use Veto Power To Achieve LG Autonomy’

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The Paramount ruler of Nembe Kingdom in Bayelsa, King Edmond Dakuru has urged the Federal Government to tackle the lingering issue of local government autonomy by using its veto power.
Dakuru told newsmen last Monday in Port Harcourt, that the measure had become necessary to assist the Federal Government impact efficiently on the local populace.
He urged the Federal Government to exercise its supreme power to achieve financial independence which is key to true democracy for the third tier of government.
The monarch said that local governments over the years had failed in terms of attracting real development to the local populace and so, should be granted autonomy to enable it take full control of its revenue and needs of the local people.
“I don’t believe that legislation is the only way through which governors can effectively supervise local government council chairmen.
” I’m of the opinion that governors should first set good examples, they should remove the logs in their eyes so that they can see clearly the mote in the eyes of their local government chairmen.
“The governors always have the leverage to influence the local government by adopting good leadership and accountability at the state level, after all they are a senior tier,” he said.
Dakuru described as “worrisome”, the insistence by state governors to continue running a joint account with the local government, a strategy which according to him, has been proven to be a hindrance to growth in the third tier of government.
“For the governors to insist that local government allocations passed through the joint account, l think it’s suspicious because this same strategy has been tried over the years and it has not yielded positive result.
” At this point, I think the Federal Government has the right to try other mechanism by proportionately directing local government revenue straight to the local government account.
“We deliberated on local government autonomy during the 2014 Confab and addressing its implementation by this administration will be a step in the right direction.
“If the state governments actually meant well for the local people, they will not kick against local government autonomy as they have no right to deny the Federal Government an opportunity to try other methods aimed at delivering good governance at the grassroots.
“Since the council chairmen live among the local people, it gives the people a higher opportunity of having direct supervision and monitoring in terms of project planning and programmes implementation,” he said.
The traditional ruler also suggested the involvement of technocrats in local government administration, adding that local government council chairmen should be knowledgeable in planning and budgeting to properly address the plight of the rural communities.

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Rivers PDP Extols Wike’s Leadership Qualities

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Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, has described Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as the Joshua of our time who, against all odds, stood up to liberate the people of the state from the forces of darkness and oppression.
Ambassador Akawor stated this on Monday when he received the leadership of Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI, who paid him a solidarity visit at the PDP Secretariat, Port Harcourt.
Ambassador Akawor emphasised that the governor has exhibited enough sagacity  and courage by  bringing  the state out of the pit which his predecessor plunged it, stressing that GDI should be grateful that the governor they worked so hard to install was performing wonderfully well to the admiration of all in the state.
“Most of you who are leaders of GDI joined him when nobody gave him the chance that he was going to succeed”, Akawor said, noting that the party was happy with any GDI member who occupied any position in the administration because he worked hard for it. Ambassador Akawor, who disclosed that local government election would take place next year, said the party would campaign during the election as if it is a national election.
He also warned members of GDI not to associate with any member of the party found to be nursing gubernatorial ambition, saying that at the right time, the party would decide on the direction to go.
“very soon the game will start, various candidates will come up, my appeal to you is that do not get yourself distracted, Rivers state is a peculiar family” he noted, and urged the group to continue to pray for the Governor to actualise his laudable plans for the state.
The state PDP Chairman also told the GDI members not to allow moles infiltrate their fold and cause division among them, urging them to remain vigilant, united and focused.
Ambassador Akawor, who disclosed that all the actions of the Governor were geared towards protecting the interest of the people of the state irrespective of party affiliation, recalled how he  (Governor Wike) saved Barr Joy Nunieh, who is not a member of the PDP from being kidnapped by security forces.

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Ex-Agitator Wants Obaseki To Run People-Oriented Govt

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A peace ambassador and leader of Amnesty Phase II in Delta State, Mr Kingsley Muturuhas described Governor Godwin Obaseki‘s victory as the final blow to godfatherism in Nigerian Politics.
He, however, called on the governor to carry everyone along and ensure that his administration ran a purposeful and people-oriented government.
Muturu said this in a congratulatory message to Gov. Obaseki following his victory at the just concluded Edo governorship election.
He noted that Obaseki‘s victory in the election was an indication that no godfather could succeed whenever the people were determined to take their fate in their hands.
According to him, the era of godfatherism in politics was finally coming to an end as people can effectively protect their votes in spite of all odds.
“I congratulate the governor of Edo who is now the governor-elect on his hard fought and well deserved victory.
“The people of Edo have spoken with one voice and that should be respected.

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Group Knocks Obasanjo Over Comments On State Of Nigeria

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A group of elders in the country, The Patriotic Elders Council, PEC, has faulted ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statement that Nigeria has failed and is badly divided.
PEC said Obasanjo should bury his head in shame because he laid the foundation of the problems currently facing the country and therefore, has no moral right to make such comments.
Obasanjo had during a recent consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum, said something must be done to avert the looming disaster.
He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel at Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and the poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.”
Reacting, however, to Obasanjo’s assertion, the Patriotic Elders Council (PEC) said his comment was least expected of a two-time leader and an elder statesman.
The group in a statement signed by Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska, its Chairman and Chief Simon Shango, Secretary, said Obasanjo was wrong in his statement.
Part of the statement reads: “Though, sometimes Obasanjo’s utterances are right; but unfortunately, most times, he is condescendingly wrong. His latest public statement at the consultative dialogue is a perfect example of the many instances he is wrong and sounds unconvincing even to himself.
“Ex-President Obasanjo, more than any other Nigerian leader, knows the institutionalized, intricate and complex problems of Nigeria, as the country’s democratic leader from 1999-2007. And he midwived all the two successive administrations which came after him.

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