The lawmaker representing Akuku-Toru Constituency 2 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Lolo Opuende has threatened to institute a legal suit against anyone spreading false information over the death of his elder sibling.
Opuende stated that his elder brother died during an attack by sea pirates and dismissed insinuations that a traditional ruler, Hope Daminabo Opusingi masterminded his death.
Opuende while speaking to newsmen warned those alleging that the monarch has a hand in his brother’s demise to put a stop to it, pointing out that his late brother died as a result of sea pirates attack while he was travelling alongside others, saying the deceased had no issues with anyone.
“My elder brother’s death was not planned by anyone. He has never had any problem with anybody. It is unfortunate that he is dead today and some persons want to use his name to play dirty politics.
“You don’t just call someone’s name and start indicting someone who does not even know what happened. Those spreading such falsehood should desist from it in their own interest,” the lawmaker said, adding that it was wrong to accuse anyone without proof of such allegation.
He further said: “On that faithful day, I was there when some persons started calling HRM Hope Daminabo Dan Opusingi or putting his name. It is very wrong. Death is an inevitable end for everyone.
“So whoever that insists on calling his name and naming one or two persons, I repeat, I will take any necessary legal action against that person and his family”, he said.
Reps Threaten To Order Arrest Of Pension Managers
The House of Representatives Committee on Pension has threatened to order for a warrant for the arrest of the Managing Directors (MDs) of Fidelity and AIICO Pension Fund Administrator, if they failed to appear before it.
The Chairman House Committee on Pension, Rep. Kabiru RurmIdr, gave the warning in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the committee had the constitutional rights and mandate to summon or invite anybody, adding however that the two MDs were invited to appear before it but they refused to honour their invitation.
According to him, the pension reform Act 2014 has given us the mandate to summon the Chief Executive Officers.
He said there had been barrage of complains and counter; complaints against the duo of Fidelity and AIICO pension fund administrators by tax payers.
According to him, we have given them another date to appear just to give them the benefit of the doubt to appear.
Rep. Chude Momah, a member of the committee, said that the the MDs should appear in person before it as the chief accounting officers of their organisations
Rep. Kabiru Idris, a member of the committee said it was appalling that the committee would invite the MDs but rather they chose to send representatives.
He said that such act amounted to undermining the authority of the National Assembly.
The Tide reports that Mr Temitope Ajegboje, Regional Manager, AIICO who represented his organisation said his MD was indisposed.
Mrs Oluchi Aneke-Ogala, Branch Manager, Fidelity Pension appeared for Fidelity, claiming that her MD had told the operational manager to stand in for him.
Dissatisfied with reasons for their MDs absence, the duo were sent out of the committee room.
As Imo’s Hope Goes Against Okorocha…
They don’t come any bigger in the political waters of any state. One is a former Senator and sitting governor of the state. The other is a former governor and a sitting Senator. They are political heavyweights of the highest calibre in the state.
Hope Odidika Uzodinma, governor of Imo State was elected Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District in 2011, got re-elected in 2015 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and saw off his tenure in 2019 when he contested for the office of the governor under the banner of the Progressives Congress (APC).
Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011 and became governor of the state same year, flying the flag of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He remained in office until 2019 after gaining re-election in 2015 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to which he had decamped in 2013.
In 2019, Okorocha was declared winner of the Imo West Senatorial seat vacated by Hope Uzodinma.
From the PDP in 2011, Okorocha left for APGA when he could not get the gubernatorial ticket of the party with Uzodinma playing a major role in Ikedi Ohakim securing a return ticket. In 2018, Uzodinma jumped to the APC in his quest to realize his governorship ambition when the odds clearly did not favour him in the PDP. As was expected, Okorocha did not favour him, but he wrested the ticket anyway from the incumbent governor and his anointed son-in-law, Uche Nwosu.
On Sunday, February 21, 2020, Senator Rochas Okorocha was reported to have been arrested and questioned by the Police in Imo State after he was said to have unlawfully gained entrance into Royal Spring Palm Estate belonging to his wife, Nkechi but had gone under the seal of the state government.
Regaining his freedom after several hours with the police on Sunday, Senator Okorocha, while speaking to newsmen on Monday accused Gov. Uzodinma of sending thugs and policemen to harm him. He said his adversaries failed in their mission as his personal aides where on ground to ward them off and ferry him to safety.
“I want to add that the IGP (Inspector General of Police) should order the immediate arrest of Chinasa Nwaneri and Eric Uwakwe. They led thugs that injured one of my orderlies and staff with machetes. They also shot Uzor, my in-law, shattering his feet with bullets”, Senator Okorocha said.
In his reaction last Tuesday, Gov Uzodinma dismissed Okorocha’s claims, alleging rather that it was the Senator who personally stormed the seized property along Akachi Road in Owerri with thugs, injuring some policemen and civil defence operatives in the process.
The governor who addressed State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja explained the circumstances that led to the seizure of the contentious property and accused Okorocha of breaching government order and inflicting bodily harm on security operatives.
“He went there with thugs himself, wounded the policemen there, wounded the Civil Defense people. A Civil Defense officer is currently still in the hospital. He (Okorocha) then broke in to the estate”, he said.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor had earlier issued a statement indicting. Okorocha of working with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to undermine the government.
“It is on record that the senator recently said he is working in cohort with the opposition to achieve his political ambition, and he has not hidden his romance with key PDP figures in Imo State to undermine the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Governor Uzodinma”, the statement read in part.
Of course, groups and factions in Imo State politics have since been speaking, issuing veiled threats on various platforms and media spaces while the generality of the people watch helplessly as their leaders and their supporters engage themselves in a battle for supremacy over their common patrimony and political relevance.
Reacting to the development in a press chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt, legal practitioner and public affairs analyst based in the Rivers State Capital, Barr. Arochukwu Paul Ogbonna described it as a show of shame devoid of integrity on the part of the leaders who constantly generate conflict situations to feather their nests and leave the people with no material benefit.
“The development is a show of shame. It shows the extent to which the ruling class in Nigeria can degenerate in their contest over power; in their contest over the common wealth of the people and creating controversy and rearing insecurity all over the place.
“What has happened in Imo does not show any sign of integrity nor that any of them is worthy of commanding the respect of the people in the position of leadership”, Barr. Ogbonna submitted.
He bemoaned the likely division, confusion and disillusionment the conflict between the political giants could have on the people and advised the citizenry in the state to remain united and refuse being dragged into the fray and thereby lose their (people) power over the ruling class.
“It is going to divide the people the more and definitely, as it happens in local politics, it’s going to be triggering up crises, quarrels, fights and even bloodbath among the loyalists. So, it goes to reinforce and goes further to fortify the argument we have raised in the past that the ruling class in our society are the harbingers of insecurity, they are the creators of insecurity, they are the ones who generate the crises that undermine the entire system and compromise everybody.
“A sitting senator, a sitting governor fighting … definitely it’s a means to excite the people and before you know it, various factions will start fighting and the police will have much more than enough on their hands to handle”, he lamented.
He advised the people of Imo State not to give in to the antics of their leaders and particularly urged the youths to always stand on the side of the law in their engagement with the political elite as they would gain nothing but frustration if they allowed themselves to be used as dispensable in the political power play of those who have gotten it all already and nothing to lose.
“I think the people of Imo State have not been blessed with very good leadership for sometime now and they have to come together.
“First of all, they need to come together. They must do everything humanly possible to stand on the part of the law; let them be very law abiding. Let, particularly, the youths refuse every attempt to use them as shield”, he said stressing that: “These are political office holders whom they expect good governance from; whom they expect to give them the best to represent their interest and to give them good services.
“For such people to fight and use their resources, fight over their resources and employ their resources to fight themselves means they will abandon governance for politics.
“So the youths should resist the temptation to be used as canon fodders, to be employed as supporters of A or B to go fighting political interests for the interest of political office holders. They shouldn’t be distracted. They should demand for political accountability, they should demand for openness in the political process and in the management of their resources at the state.
“But if they derail by allowing themselves to be used as supporters and used as thugs and touts to be fighting each other, then the political office holders have nothing to lose. They have reached a stage in their career where they’re comfortable and therefore the ordinary man will suffer. And the entire citizens of Imo State should resist the temptation of being dragged into the personal quarrel or disagreement of political office holders that have abandoned governance for politics”, he insisted.
To save the people the adverse backlash of the titanic clash of the Imo State political juggernauts, Barr. Ogbonna appealed to the traditional institution, leaders of thought, other notable stakeholders and the APC hierarchy within the Imo West Senatorial Zone in particular and the state in general to wade into the matter with a view to nipping the crisis in the bud.
“It is expected that the elders in their Senatorial district should call them to order, should ask them to exercise restraint and self discipline. Some of the things they drag into the media space are things they can resolve internally and issues worse than this had been resolved internally. When you drag it into the media space, you get innocent people involved and you over heat the polity.
“Let the traditional rulers, leaders of thought, opinion leaders and some other stakeholders, both within and outside the party see how they can bring them together to resolve this thing on the side of the people.
“Any attempt to get factionalised, I think they may spend the next four, five six, seven years or more talking about this one and only issue. As it happens in Nigeria, people will die, resources will be wasted and nothing will be achieved”, he admonished.
LASG Trains Perm Secs, Seeks Better Results
The Lagos State Government yesterday trained its Body of Permanent Secretaries on competence to enhance their jobs.
Speaking during the three-day ‘On-boarding and Executive Development Retreat’ for Permanent Secretaries held in Victoria Island, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged them to perform their duties diligently.
Sanwo-Olu called on the Permanent Secretaries to work collaboratively, in line with the government’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, for the benefit of the citizens.
He urged them to be committed and to understand that they were in the public service to serve the citizens, hence, the need for better results.
The governor told the Permanent Secretaries to engage with, as well as treat their subordinate well, and turn the public service to an enviable one.
“Being Permanent Secretary is an enviable position that comes with a lot of responsibilities, because it also has a lot of expectations from the leadership and the people.
“We are all in public service, what is driving us as government is that we have promised our citizens. We are in the service to serve the citizenship.
“The citizens are more charged, they are more engaging, they are more daring, there are more questions they are asking of us.
“The citizens are not asking for things that are too difficult, they just want us to listen to them more, they just want us to address them on the services for which they are paying, they just want us to do it quicker, faster and better.
“Let us in each of our ministries attend to the demands of the citizens. See yourself as part of that bigger team, ensuring you can deliver a Greater Lagos that we promised our citizens,” he said.
The governor enjoined the Permanent Secretaries to create effective and efficient working environment, so that they could deliver their responsibilities optimally.
In his address, the Head of Service (HoS), Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said that the retreat was a deviation from previous induction programmes held for newly appointed Permanent Secretaries.
He said that it would serve to close the competency gaps observed during the selection process.
Muri-Okunola said that the retreat would equip onboarding appointees with the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the Office of the Permanent Secretary.
He said that it would provide an avenue for existing Permanent Secretaries to evaluate their current performances in their various MDAs with a view to bringing about improvement.
The Head of Service said it would also serve as a refresher programme for existing Permanent Secretaries in some areas.
“In general, this retreat is an intervention programme meant to expose the 21st Century Public Sector Executive Manager to new realities in managing and administering the modern Public Sector workplace and the new normal for effective service delivery, which is the essence of governance,” the HoS said.
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