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Amaechi Opens CPA Confab In Rivers

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The Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi will on Monday, 20th July, 2009 officially declare open the 40th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), African Regional Conference in the state.

Already, the preliminary conference attracting no fewer than 16 countries from the African Region started on Monday, 13th and is expected to end on the 25th July, 2009 at the magnificent auditorium of the Rivers State House of Assembly, in Port Harcourt.

A statement from the press officer to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Soye Young-Itiye described the regional conference as historic milestone because it is the first time the state legislature is hosting the commonwealth parliamentary association, since the establishment of the body in 1911.

According to him, special commendation should be given to the state governor who had graciously accepted the hosting of the conference during his tenure as the Speaker of the state House of Assembly.

He said apart from the governor’s desire to reposition the infrastructural development of the state, amidst global economic meltdown, the need to host the conference was still provided on the front burner in his policy implementation programmes.

“The CPA is seen as a body set-up to promote and advance parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance, was found in 1911 as the empire parliamentary associations and its affairs was administered by the United Kingdom”, he said.

He explained that the conference which has its theme as Commonwealth at 60: Challenges and Opportunity”, has its pioneer members drawn from Australia, Canada, New Found Land, New Zealand, South-Africa and the United Kingdom, adopted and changed its present name in 1948 to enable members to participate in the association’s management and establish a separate secretariat to manage its affairs.

According to him, more than 50 new parliaments and legislatures joined or rejoined the CPA adding that, there are 17 National branches in the African region.

The 13-day programme, he said, is expected to attract 16 Commonwealth countries with over 600 delegates.

He called on the people of the state to show their hospitality to the delegates during their stay throughout the conference.

In another development, a member, representing Akuku-Toru State Constituency II in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Onari Brown, says the conference will provide opportunity for the people in the state to show case the potential of their cultural heritage.

Apart from the showcasing of tourism potentials in Rivers State, he said, the conference will correct the impression that the state cannot provide the enabling peaceful environment to investors in this region, taunted as the hub of oil and gas industry.

Hon. Brown made this known during an interactive session with House of Assembly correspondents shortly before the conference kick-off in Port Harcourt.

The legislator also chairman, House committee on information, explained that the historic conference will afford legislators the cross fertilization of ideas on challenges, hope, aspiration and democratic ideal in the region.

Member representing Akuku-Toru I Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Brown Onari (right) and his Asari-Toru II counterpart, Hon. Ibinabo Michael-West, going through a document during a deliberation in the House chambers in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: King Osila.

Member representing Akuku-Toru I Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Brown Onari (right) and his Asari-Toru II counterpart, Hon. Ibinabo Michael-West, going through a document during a deliberation in the House chambers in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: King Osila.

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Rivers Lawmakers’ Defection, ‘Monkey Politics’-CSO

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Civil Society Coalition for Good Governance, Budget and Accountability has condemned the defection of the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Executive Secretary, Civil Society Coalition for Good Governance, Budget and Accountability, Amb. Emmanuel Nkweke, who said this in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt also described as illegal all legislations passed by the defected lawmakers.
Amb. Nkweke described the defection as “monkey politics’, queried the rational behind the action of the lawmakers few months after being sworn into office, adding that members of the civil society community were yet to be told reasons for the defection.
“Up till now, we are yet to be told why they defected just few months of being sworn into office. For me, that is monkey politics”, he said.
He urged the lawmakers to go back to their former party and beg Rivers people for forgiveness, adding that if that is done, they may be welcomed back.
Amb. Nkweke also cautioned the lawmakers not to allow themselves to be used to do the bidding of an individual, adding that the present administration in the state needs the support of all to move forward.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the group has commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for giving civil societies the latitude to operate freely in the state.
He alleged that civil societies were caged in the last eight years, adding that there was no breathing space for civil societies in the last eight years in the state.
Amb. Nkweke described civil society as the engine room of democracy as it engages in sensitisation on the policies and programmes of government, regretting, however, that their inputs were never taken into considerations.
“Civil societies give signals, civil society creates the awareness and sensitize the people towards achieving a reliable democracy.
‘’i want to let you know, very frankly, that civil society space in Rivers State, for the past eight years, was suffocated. There was no breathing space, they didn’t breathe. Civil society was dead completely”, he said.
Amb. Nkweke said the situation also affected upcoming activists as some of them had to operate from hideouts.

By: John Bibor

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Sack Incompetent Officials In Your Govt, NANS Urges Tinubu

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on President Bola Tinubu not to condone incompetent personalities in his government.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, NANS President, Comrade Pedro Obi, expressed concerns about the competence of the Minister of State for Youth Development and the SSA to the President on Student Engagement.
Comrade Obi, after staging a peaceful protest at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), reiterated that the NANS will not be intimidated and will continue to fight for the interests of Nigerian students.
He said, “The message is very simple, we have incompetent people who have been appointed to offices. It’s unfortunate and it’s not the President’s fault, of course he believes in Nigerian youths and has also given us the opportunity to showcase our capacity in various roles that he has given us.
“We have the SSA to the President on Student Engagement, who has shown incompetence. He cannot continue to hold that office and we are calling on Mr. President that he should be sacked with immediate effect.
“Also we have the Minister of State for Youth Development. We are also calling that immediately he should be sacked, because he has left what he ought to do and has dabbled into the affairs of NANS.
“These people have displayed incompetence and are destroying the youth community. There are so many competent youths that President Tinubu can pick from.
“NANS can never be intimidated. This is an organisation that we grew up to meet and we will continue to protect the dignity of this organisation.”
Receiving the NANS on behalf of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office in the SGF, Dr. Maurice Nnamdi Mbaeri, assured the NANS of relaying back their complaints to the SGF which he said will land on the listening ears of President Tinubu.
According to him, “I have listened to the complaints you raised. I assure you that your complaints will get to the listening ears of Mr. President.
“Let me assure you that I’m happy this was also re-echoed in the NANS President’s speech that President Tinubu has indebt love for the youths of Nigeria and also for the students of Nigeria. This has been demonstrated by polices that (has) been put in place for the youths.
“I want to assure you that the President has your concerns in his heart and he’s always ever ready to attend to your needs.
“With this, I am going to report back to my boss the SGF, who will take up the matter with the President. I urge you to continue to maintain peace and tranquillity. Don’t do anything that will make Mr. President feel bad about you.”

 

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Ayu Withdraws Case Against PDP Ahead NEC Meeting 

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Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyiorchia Ayu, has withdrawn the court action he instituted against the party over his controversial removal from office barely two years into his four year  term.
His action has removed legal impediments likely to militate against the emergence of his replacement from the North Central.
Several meetings have been held and being planned following this new development.
On Tuesday, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) passed a vote of confidence on the Ag. National Chairnan, Amb. Umar Damagum, whom members said has discharged his functions creditably.
It was gathered that the North Central Caucus of the party had long before now started mobilizing to ensure that the zone produces Ayu’s replacement to complete his tenure which expires in 2025.
In a related development, Amb. Damagum has held series of meetings with various groups to perhaps shore up his chances of retaining his seat as acting chairman.
He led the members of the NWC on Wednesday to interact with the PDP National Ex-officio ahead of the NEC meeting.
Immediately after the meeting with them, he led the NWC members to another meeting with the State Party Chairmen from the 36 States, including FCT, Abuja.
The meetings were  held at the NEC Hall, PDP National Secretariat at Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, in Abuja.

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