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MoU’s Non-Implementation: RVHA Summons Firm

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The Rivers State House of Assembly has summoned management of Port Operator, West African Containers Terminal (WACT) to appear before its committee to answer questions bordering on Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Onne, Eleme Local Government Area.
The summon follows a petition presented before the House Committee on Local Contents, Youths and Employment by the Indigenous Contractors of Onne.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Igwe Aforji who disclosed this after meeting with the management of WACT, warned that the Assembly would no longer tolerate the attitude of companies who fail to engage Rivers people in their operations.
Aforji, who is the lawmaker representing Eleme Constituency in the State House of Assembly said the committee also summoned the Onne Community Liaison Officer (CLO) and mandated the company to provide all relevant documents of previous and present MoU’s it signed with indigenous contractors.
He noted that host communities should benefit from businesses operating in their domains and expressed sadness that companies hire hands from other states to occupy positions meant for Rivers people.
“So we want these companies to engage our youths, women, elders and their host communities in what they are doing. Never again would we allow any company to go to Lagos and bring people to work in the position that are meant for Rivers people.
“At this time, Rivers men and women should be ready to take their rightful positions in various companies within and around Rivers State. The State Assembly has sworn an oath to protect lives and property and the lives of every Rivers son and daughter will be protected according to the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Gone are the days when companies take our people for granted. Every host community must benefit from the facilities and businesses that happen within and around their community.”
The lawmaker stated that his meeting with the company reveals that the latter deliberately refuse to engage its host community in their operations.
“After interrogation and their submission. We (the committee) have discovered that no MoU and they deliberately refused to engage the Onne community in the contracting that is happening within the WACT Company.
“So, we have decided as a committee to summon the CLO of the company which they claim they have been relating with to come with documents to prove that they have been engaging Onne sons and daughters in their operations within the free zone.
“As a committee, we have set out 6th November (today) that the CLO appear with the top management of WACT, furnish the committee with details of all contractors from Onne working with WACT,” he said.
But speaking to newsmen, the CLO, Onne, Jima Osaronu said it is not true that WACT has not supported the advancement of Onne community and faulted claims the allegations made against the company by a group of contractors.
Osaronu stated that for over ten years of its operation, WACT has supported the community through the provision of schools, scholarships, youth empowerment, jobs creation and contract opportunities for indigenes.
“The company has done well in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. In carrying out community development, renovation of schools.
The Onne State School was done by WACT in 2004/2005,” the CLO Stated.

 

Dennis Naku

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Politics

Political Space Is Only For Parties Ready To Take Power – Okoye

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s), Festus Okoye, national Commissioner on Information and Voter Education has reminded Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) that political space is meant for political parties that are ready to take power, maintaining that political associations can exist, mobilise, build structures before seeking registration, as soon as they get registered they must be ready to take power.
Okoye said this while speaking on a local media station after the High Court adjourned hearing in the case filed by 33 political parties under the auspices of IPAC, challenging their deregistration by INEC.
The national commissioner reminded IPAC that as registered political parties, they should be ready to take power, because the space was not for learning, as the electoral body would be prepared to de-register any political partyand relegate it to an association if it found out that the party failed to meet the threshold of its registration, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution.
“The political parties contesting did not meet the terms of their registration, neither did they win elections in their various states, nor met the projections. Two of the parties that went to court, Labour Party and African Democratic Party, were not deregistered. They claimed they had court injunctions and I don’t know what they are doing in court.”
“The spirit and intent of the constitution, is that political associations can exist, mobilize people, build up structures. The moment they come for registration means they are ready to take power. If you are not due for political power, you should not apply for registration, because the political space is not for learning or testing the ground”, he said.
Okoye said that 74 political parties had been deregistered and the deregistion had already taken place.
He maintained that because the 33 political parties that went to court were aware that deregistration had taken place, that was why on 14 February they filed an application in court, asking the court to reverse it.
The INEC official stated that the act had already been completed, that was why the court adjourned till 27 February for accelerated hearing.

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IPAC Hails Court Order Restraining INEC From De-Registering 31 Parties

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The Inter-Party Adversary Council (IPAC) has described the judgment stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering political parties as victory for democracy and future generations.
National chairman of the council, Peter Ameh, who made the comment while addressing newsmen shortly after the ruling, said the late Gani Fawehinmi gave the 33 political parties that went to court the courage.
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in her ruling, said, having failed to counter the application by the applicants, the affected political parties had the legal right, which must be protected.
In an interlocutory motion with suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/444/19 between Advanced Congress of Democratis (ACD) and two others vs. Attorney-General of the Federation and another (INEC), the applicants had on October 30, 2019, approached the court.
The IPAC chairman insisted that there was no way the commission would have succeeded in the illegality it perpetrated against the parties and the fundamental rights of Nigerians.
“We have every reason to thank everybody who stood against this illegality, especially Okey Raph Nwosu, who, despite his party scaling the deregistration hurdle, still joined in the suit because he believed in democracy.
“We believe in the spirit of the Constitution as stated in Section 40, which gave Nigerians the right to freely belong to any political association, and the Constitution stipulated that no agency of government can restrict that right.
“We started this case since last year when we saw that there was plan to put Nigeria upside down. It is our right to defend the constitution through section 225 to challenge the commission to stop it from taking this illegal action.
“INEC should know that if the interest of a political party is to talk about free education, the party should be allowed. If the interest is to talk about tree planting in the North-East, it should be allowed to continue with it.

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Group Advises Women On Increased Participation In Politics

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Enugu State chapter of the Nigeria League of Women Voters, has urged women to be very active in politics to avoid marginalisation.
The state chairperson of the league, Mrs Nnenna Anozie made the call in an interview with our source in Enugu yesterday.
was a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that aims at empowering women both politically and economically.
She said that the league encouraged women to participate in election; adding that they discovered that in the last elections, many women did not participate either as voters or contestants in the elections.
Anozie said that the organisation aimed creating more awareness on the girl child and for every woman to be aware of her civil rights in the state and the country at large.
The chairperson said the group recently visited one of the girls schools in Enugu where they shared sanitary pads, carried out sensitisation awareness on dangers of drug abuse, rape and others.
”This is one way of giving back to the society as well as empowering our women because knowledge is power. Most of them are not knowledgeable about their rights and how to keep hygiene.
”Many of them are rape victims and they are not opening up because of stigmatisation.
”We want to embark on the sensitisation drive in all the states in the country; hoping that come 2023 most of our women will be equipped to run for political offices both at the local, state and national levels,” she said.

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