Alhaji Ahmad Abubakar, the suspended chairman of Maradun Local Government in Zamfara, says he is not among the local government bosses that recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Our source recalls that Malam Jamilu Iliyasu, Press Secretary to Gov Bello Matawalle, had, on Friday, announced that chairmen of eight local governments had defected from the APC to the PDP.
Among the defectors was Shehu Mohammed Faru, the Vice Chairman of Maradun, who took over from Abubakar, after he was suspended by the State House of Assembly.
Others were the chairmen of Anka, Bungudu, Birnin-Magaji, Kaura Namoda, Maru, Tsafe and Zurmi.
According to him, the council chairmen announced their defection on Friday, after meeting with Gov Bello Matawalle.
But Abubakar, in a statement issued to newsmen in Gusau on Sunday, said that he was still the chairman of Maradun, and a member of the APC.
”My attention has been drawn to a press release captioned ‘Eight Local Government Council Chairmen have defected to PDP, including Maradun’.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I want to make it clear that I am still constitutionally recognised as Chairman of Maradun Local Government.
“The name mentioned , Shehu Mohammed Faru, is my Vice who defected to the PDP about five months ago.
“Though I have been suspended by the state house of assembly, my legal team is still challenging their action in court.
“The suspension does not strip me of my status as chairman of Maradun Local Government.
”I want to inform the general public to count me out of those council chairmen that defected to PDP”, Maradun said.
“I have no plan to leave the APC.”
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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