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Dep Gov, Others Hail LG Polls

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The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, the state Commissioner for power, Hon Damiete Herbert-Miller and the ex-officio member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Dr Emily Solomon have hailed the conduct of last Saturday’s local government election in Degema Local Government Area.
Dr. Harry-Banigo who performed her civic duty at unit 10 of ward 14 at Obuama thanked the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) for satisfactory delivery on its mandate as expected.
The Deputy Governor who cast her vote at 12:10pm expressed appreciation to the people of ward 14, Obuama, for their peaceful and orderly conduct throughout the exercise.
While also commending the peaceful conduct of the exercise in the area, Hon Damiete Herbert-Miller who spoke with The Tide at Degema, headquarters of the local government area lamented the logistics difficulty usually experienced by parts of the LGA, leading to delay in distribution and arrival of electoral materials.
According to Hon Herbert-Miller, 13 out of the 17 wards of the LGA are riverine with some of them very far away from the headquarters of the council from where electoral materials are usually distributed, adding that the situation poses a lot of challenges at every election period.
The commissioner, however, commended RSIEC for doing its best inspite of the difficulties and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to intervene by splitting Ward 17, comprising Ogurama and Ke towns, into two independent electoral wards.
“Sometimes, it takes as much as five hours for electoral materials to get to some parts of the LGA and gun boats may be required to accompany them at times”, he said, adding that something needs to be done to address the situation in order to change the perennial narrative of late arrival of materials in the area.
He expressed the confidente that the PDP would win because “ Wike had done the campaign for them with his projects” and that the party was more on ground and widely known in the area than any other.
To the people of DELGA, he said, they should expect a new dawn as a new PDP administration would follow the footsteps of Governor Nyesom Wike in embarking on projects that will impact positively on the lives of the people.
Also speaking with The Tide after casting her ballot at unit one Ward 12, Degema Town, Dr Emily Solomon said election materials arrived the ward early and gave kudos to RSIEC, security operatives and the entire community for working together to achieve a violence-free and orderly conduct of the exercise in the area.
Asked if she was satisfied with the PDP giving only vice chairmanship slots to women in the 23 local government areas, Dr Solomon who is also a former Commissioner for Special Duties in the state commended Governor Nyesom Wike for the gesture, stressing that it had never been so good for women in the state.
“ It has opened the way for women, otherwise it would have been very difficult”, she said, adding that participation in governance in particular and politics in general in Nigeria had always been skewed against women and urged successive administrations to build on the foundation laid by Governor Wike and the PDP in Rivers State.
With five councilloship slots she said Degema Local Government Area has the highest member of female councillorship candidates in the state and thanked the Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo for working closely with the governor to bring about the achievement and advised women to always work cooperatively with their men counterparts to make more progress in the political sphere.

 

By: Opaka Dokubo

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Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy

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The Governors of the 36 states of the federation will hold a virtual meeting today to further discuss the issue of financial autonomy to judicial and legislative arms in states.
This is contained in a statement by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo on Monday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo said efforts were already being made in all states to either constitute State Accounts Allocation Committees (SAAC) or inaugurate them.
This, according to him, is preparatory to the granting of full autonomy to the two arms of government at the subnational level.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) had since embarked on a nationwide strike on the issue.
He said the governors had been working day and night to establish modalities for the autonomy in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
He said that the governors would also be updated on the activities of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who headed the governors’ interface with the committee.
Bello-Barkindo said that the meeting would also review the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC), which would take place a day after.
“Other items on the agenda include the regular update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for results (SFTAS) to provide states’ status on their DLI’s and upcoming deadlines.
The meeting would also receive presentation from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, regarding unlocking liquidity through sale/optimisation of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets,” he said.
He added that the Policy Development Facility (PDF) bridge programme would also discuss diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states in post Covid-19 era.

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2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River

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Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.

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…Vows To Take Over Anambra

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, says the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll.
Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka yesterday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state.
He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state.
He described the success of the exercise as a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election.
“We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll.
“This is not time for distractions. We are focused on taking over government from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The party has shortchanged millions of Anambra people in terms of governance.
Nwobu said he remained the valid chairman of PDP in Anambra, having emerged from a valid process that was upheld by a Federal High Court in its May 24, 2018 judgment.
He said the judgment had not been reversed by any higher court and was “unfazed by any court judgment”, which purportedly removed him.
“My leadership is still subsisting, no superior court has set that judgment aside and a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot do that.
“Our team of legal experts is taking care of that. The decision to appeal will be advised,” the PDP chairman said.
The Tide source reports that Chief Chukwudi Umeaba at the weekend announced that he had taken over the party in the state as the Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
Umeaba, who announced the suspension of the ward congresses, said his action was predicated on the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court.
According to him, the judgment delivered on June 9, nullified the process that produced Nwobu’s leadership.

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