A peace parley between the Rivers State Government and Ndigbos last Sunday, set the tone for events in Government House, Port Harcourt, last week.
The five state governments in the zone were represented in the meeting by either their Governors or Deputy Governors. President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and other notable personalities of Igbo ethnic nationality were present in the peace meeting.
According to the Chairman of South-Eastern Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, the meeting was requested by the forum and approved by the Governor of Rivers State to seek for peace over the crisis in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State and rumours that Governor Wike was chasing Ibos out of his state because he hates them.
However, when the Ibos living in the state were called to explain how they were being treated in the state, it was commendations and praises on how Governor Wike- led government had treated them as if they were Rivers people.
Governor Wike said Rivers State is home to the Ibos, because of the enduring relationship it has with them and that such cordial co-existence would continue.
He explained that the outlawed Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB) killed six soldiers, four policemen, burnt all police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo and that the crisis that ensued led to imposition of curfew by the state government.
He said that the state had nothing against the Ibos but warned them not to take laws into their hands as was done by IPOB, so as to avoid the wrath of the law.
The forum Chairman, Governor Umahi and the President- General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, decried the criminal activities of IPOB and said they were not representing the Ibos. They praised Governor Wike for taking the Ibos in Rivers as his and urged Ibos to be peaceful and to respect the laws of the state.
Also last week, Gov Wike approved the re-opening of the Ikokwu Spare Parts Market.
He however, ordered that security agencies would remain in the area till future notice.
Within the week under review, more prominent politicians defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
A former Director of Finance and Administration in the Niger Delta Development Commission ( NDDC), Henry Ogiri who led those that defected said they were motivated to return to PDP because of the quality of people- oriented projects embarked upon by Governor Wike.
Another major event last week in Brick House was the signing of Executive Order prohibiting street trading, illegal market and motor park around the newly commissioned Rebisi Flyover Bridge.
The Executive Order is titled: “ Executive Order RVSG- 23 202 Pursuant to Sections 1, 3 and 9 of the Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks (Prohibition) Law 2019.
Also last week , Governor Wike declared open the 2020/2021 Legal Year of the Rivers State Judiciary in Port Harcourt.
At a special court session, part of the activities organised to mark the event open, Governor Wike took a swipe at the Chairman of the Port Harcourt branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Prince Nyekwere for alleging that some persons were extrajudicially killed by the military in the aftermath of IPOB killing of six soldiers, four policemen, and destroyed police stations and court buildings.
He wondered why the NBA that was yet to make a former submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the State Government to probe the attrocities of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) would without evidence allege extrajudicial killings in Oyigbo.
Governor Wike lauded the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Adama Lamikanra for her commitment to the progress of the judiciary in the state.
By: Chris Oluoh
Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19.
Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.
Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.
Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders
The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government.
The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.
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