A former Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, has called on the political class in Delta to maintain the zoning arrangement for the governorship position, in the spirit of fairness and justice.
Gbagi made the call on Monday while on a familiarisation visit to the Urhobos in Bayelsa, to solicit for their support, ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Although Gbagi said that he contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries in 1999 that produced Chief James Ibori as candidate, he said that he had since joined hands to build and strengthen the party in the state.
He noted that as the main advocate of zoning arrangement that saw Ibori’s emergence from the central senatorial district as governor, Uduaghan from south and Okowa from north, it was only natural that the governorship position should now return to the Urhobos.
Gbagi, who is also an industrialist, urged the Urhobos to continue to pray and support Okowa for him to finish very strong.
He described the governor as a very shrewd politician who knew the contributions of the Urhobos toward his emergence as governor and owed them the duty of returning governorship to the Urhobos.
Gbagi urged the people to ensure actualisation of the agreement on the zoning of the governorship seat to the central senatorial zone.
The politician also advised them against being influenced by politicians to mortgage their future and that of the generation yet unborn through monetary inducements during the primaries.
He lauded the governor for the monumental transformation going on in the state and promised to sustain the legacies of the governor, if elected.
Early in his welcome remarks, the President of Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), Bayelsa chapter, Chief Charles Oruru, expressed joy over Gbagi’s visit, describing him as an astute industrialist and politician who had impacted the lives of the people of the state positively.
Oruru assured Gbagi of the unalloyed support of the Urhobos living in Bayelsa to ensure his emergence as governor, come 2023.
Similarly, the Delta South Political Assembly (DESPA) has urged the Delta Central Political Movement (DC-03), another emerging political group in Delta State, not to mislead the people of the state on the issue of zoning of the governorship position for the 2023 elections.
The Director of Media, Comrade Abobo Blessing, in a statement made available to news men yesterday, said the state should continue with the existing zoning formula, which he said was based on ethnic groups.
According to him, zoning by ethnic groups, being practiced since 1999 was consistent with the 1999 Constitution, especially Chapter Two, as well as the PDP Constitution, 2017.
The group maintained that for the 2023 governorship election, the pendulum by all fairness, favours the Ijaw and the Isoko ethnic groups.
Abubu said: “The Delta Central Political Movement, DC-03, can focus on their Urhobo governorship ambition come 2023 since it is their constitutional right to do so.
“The movement being floated by the cream of Urhobo political leaders is free to propagate their course of championing Urhobo governorship agenda.”
He maintained that the DESPA disagreed with DC-03 for making reference to the settled issue of the non-existent zoning formula based on the Senatorial Districts.
According to him, some of the members of the said DC-03, who had contested the PDP primary elections in 2006 and 2014, together with other aspirants from the Delta North and South Senatorial Districts, knew that there was nothing like zoning in Delta State PDP, based on Senatorial Districts.
…Urges Ondo Gov To Shelve N2bn Gov’s Lodge Project
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the Ondo State government to shelve its plans to build a new governor’s lodge at the cost of N2 billion in the interest of the state.
Mr Fatai Adams, the state PDP Chairman said this when he spoke with newsmen at the state party secretariat in Akure, yesterday.
Adams expressed concern over mass resignation of doctors in the state due to poor remuneration.
“We are seriously alarmed by the unfortunate resignation of over 109 doctors from the state public service over the inability of the government to pay their due salaries and hazard allowances as at when due.
“I’m sure you will all recall that Ondo State was the destination for medical tourism in the South West because of the first class service delivery found here under the PDP administration.
“According to the Nigerian Medical Association records, no medical house officer has been employed by the state government since 2019, a situation that is responsible for the poor services rendered in the hospitals.
“The present administration has a backlog of unpaid salaries of workers, it is proposing to build a N2 billion new governor’s lodge in Akure. This is not only ridiculous but the surest evidence that the government has completely lost direction,” he said.
Adams added” “Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Oluwarotimi Akeredeolu’s predecessor built a very befitting governor’s Lodge in 2013, a few years before Akeredolu assumed the reins of government.
“To spend N2 billion of tax payers money on another lodge at this time is the height of callousness and wastefulness,” he said.
Senators Rate 9th National Assembly High
Senators on Wednesday at plenary commended the 9th National Assembly at the mid-term assessment of its performance in the last two years.
The lawmakers, who spoke during a special session to mark the second year anniversary of the 9th Senate, commended the various legislative interventions of the National Assembly, especially on security, economy and governance.
The lawmakers, who spoke included the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC-Kebbi); Deputy Leader, Ajayi Boroffice (APC-Ondo); Deputy Whip, Aliyu Sabi (APC-Niger), and Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi).
Others were Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara); Gabriel Suswam (PDP-Benue); Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu); Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos), Olubunmi Adetumbi (APC,-Ekiti), Ibikunle Amosun (APC-Ogun), and Suleiman Umar (APC-Kwara).
The rest were Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (APC-Bayelsa); Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP-Ondo); Istifanus Gyang (PDP-Plateau); Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi); Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo); Nora Daduut (APC-Plateau); Jibrin Isah (APC-Kogi); Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa), and Francis Fadahunsi (PDP-Osun), amongst others.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in a speech delivered at the special session, said 742 bills were introduced by the ninth Senate in the last two years.
According to him, out of the total number of bills introduced during the two sessions of the Assembly, 58 have been passed, while 355 bills have gone through first reading.
Contributing, Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said the realignment carried out on the budget cycle by the National Assembly was to insulate businesses and the economy from going into recession.
Deputy Whip, Sen. Aliyu Sabi, said: “As we celebrate two years, we are guided by the legislative agenda.
“The unity of purpose which we have worked for, has enabled us to achieve those great strides.
“The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) is a testimony on how the National Assembly has been able to work in unity in the interest of the nation.
“We need to work together to find common grounds to problems that beset the country,” Abdullahi said.
In his own remark, Sen. Garbriel Suswam, said: “Inspite of challenges and shortcomings, the 9th Assembly had taken major steps to achieve some of its legislative agenda.”
He said that the executive has been intransigent in implementing the resolution of the National Assembly.
He appealed to the Senate President to ensure that the Electoral Bill presently before the National Assembly was passed transparently, while accommodating provisions for the use of electronic card readers and electronic transmission of results during elections.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi, on his own part, described Executive-Legislative relations under the ninth Assembly as a good one.
The lawmaker, who called for the introduction of State Police, to curb rising insecurity in the country, also advised that the constitutional review exercise, be used to bring the South East region at par with other parts of the country.
Sen. Solomon Adeola similarly said that the Senate had on two occasions rescued Nigeria from a looming economic crises when it slid into recession.
He added that such a prompt response was extended by the National Assembly to the issue of insecurity amid its recommendations to the Executive arm of government, which were aimed at tackling the spate of insecurity faced by the country.
PDP Inaugurates E-Registration Committee
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday inaugurated e-registration Committee to facilitate electronic registration of its members nationwide.
The committee is Chaired by the Governor of Edo, Mr Godwin Obaseki, while Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State is the Vice Chairman.
The party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, at the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, said that the e- registration was a project dear to the party and had been on the card since 2010.
Secondus said that the party decided to digitalise its membership for proper database, due to its size, reach and to move with time.
“When we say that PDP is the largest party in the continent, we are not grandstanding but stating the obvious.
“There is no nook and cranny of this country that you won’t find PDP members.
“In 2019 general elections, the PDP was the only political party that fielded candidates in all the positions: Presidency, Governorship, Senate and House of Representatives and in all the 36 states’ Houses of Assembly.
“Even in states where we are not in power, our members still out number even the ruling party in such states.
“We are the only party since inception in 1998 that has been consistent in name, motto, manifestos and logo,” he said.
Secondus said that reports available to the party across the country showed that many more Nigerians want to join PDP and that the exercise would provide them such opportunity.
Secondus advised members of the committee to use their wealth of experience to deliver on the mandate assigned to them.
“In appointing you as the Chairman of this project, the party took into consideration your background and your love for data and record keeping.
“We have absolute confidence that you and your team will deliver in this assignment that is expected to update the database of our party across the country.
“Membership registration into our party is a continuous programme, what we are embarking on is to digitalise it for proper analysis of issues.
“The place of women and youths in our party cannot be over-emphasised and this programme is going to help toward proper planning in our party,” Secondus said.
Obaseki, in his remarks promised that the committee would reach out to PDP members across the nation.
He promised that the exercise would be all inclusive to the men and women, especially youths who were living in the digital world.
Obaseki said the committee would leverage on the existing platform of the party and produced a membership register that the party would be proud of .
“It is very worthy that our party being a big party has decided to digitalised membership and position the party to take over in 2023,” he said.
The party’s National Organising Secretary, retired Col. Austin Akobundu is the Secretary to the Committee, while the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan; Agbi Emmanuel, Prof. Wale Oladipo, Sani Kutigi, Cyril Maduabum and Hon. Austin Opara will serve as members.
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