The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has said it is pleased with the deregistration of 74 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The State PDP spokesman, Darlington Orji who stated this to The Tide in Port Harcourt said the decision would ensure that only strong parties participate in future elections.
While noting that most of the parties merely exist on the social media, Orji said the constitution is clear on the conditions to meet to become a political party.
According to him, “Some of this political parties only exist in the social media. The constitution is very clear on the conditions to meet before you can be called a political party.
“For me people should be serious in building a political party, rather than making a caricature of the whole thing.
“Take for instance what happened in the 2019 general elections in Rivers State where a political party that did not exist, didn’t even have one ward chairman in Rivers state and their candidate almost emerged as the Governor of the State.
“You see that this people are just there to cause confusion,” the State spokesman of the PDP stated.
Meanwhile, INEC has said the de-registration of 74 parties was not a punitive measure but aimed at sanitising the nation’s electoral system.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Onyekanmi, stated this while speaking to newsmen and urged anyone unhappy with the decision to seek legal redress.
“The commission did not take the decision as a punitive measure against political parties. We were just implementing section 225A of the Constitution, the fourth alteration made by the National Assembly.
“And the alteration set some criteria that political parties must now fulfil moving forward, after every four years,” the media aide explained.
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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