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Constitution Review: Delta Advocates True Federalism

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Delta State took its turn at the South South Zonal public hearing of the Review of the 1999 Constitution, advocating far reaching amendments in the constitution that would enthrone true and fiscal federalism.

In the state’s 15-page position paper delivered by the Deputy Governor, Professor Amos Utuama, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), it demanded that the conduct of governorship elections should be the preserve of state electoral bodies.

The state also advocated that in the spirit of true federalism, the activities of federal anti­corruption agencies should be limited to the federal level while states establish their respective agencies to deal with the issue of conuption.

Also, Delta State stated that states be given full powers to control their resources and pay prescribed taxes to the federal government or in the alternative the derivation principle should be increased from 13 to 50 per cent in line with the tenets of fiscal federalism.

Utuama called for the decentralisation of the police force and also want local government to be delisted as a third arm of government and its creation and existence to be the prerogative of the respective states.

He said, “It is the view of the government and people of Delta State that the 1999 Constitution falls short of the aspirations of the state in many respects by not providing enough autonomy for the government and the people of the state in the control of its natural resources and insufficient legal framework to promote and sustain the socio-economic aspiration of its people and environment.

“It is the view of the people and government of Delta State that the Constitution needs radical review in other to enthrone: true federalism and fiscal federalism.”

The state called for the reduction of the legislative executive list from its present 68 matters to about 32 which deals with matters like currency, defense, external affairs, and citizenship among others with the remaining items devolved to the states.

“The election of a governor should be conducted by the state electoral commission. Similarly, electoral disputes relating to the election of governor should be resolved by the state electoral tribunal making the high court the appellate and final court for determination of the election dispute with respects to the office of governor and membership of state house of assembly.

The government and people of Delta State wish to urge that all obnoxious laws such as the Petroleum Act, 1964, Interpretation Act 1964, and the Land Use Act 1978 … among other enactments that contain expropriatory provisions which vest the resources of the Niger Delta in the Federal Government be prescribed unconstitutional and expunged, including Section 44(3) of the Constitution.

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Niger Delta

Four Decades After, Jonathan Hosts Class’81 UNIPORT Alumni …Recommits To United Nigeria, Visits Oloibiri Oil Well One

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Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, recently played host to Class ‘1981’ Alumni Association of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni
Jonathan, who is an alumnus and a member of the pioneer graduate class of 1981 of the federal institution alongside other of his former school mates, participated in reunion activities which commenced 25th November and ended on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
A statement made available to newsmen from the media office of the ex-President notes that activities earlier lined up for the programme include a lecture, an excursion and a dinner and award night, respectively.
The statement added that the reunion programme is part of activities of the alumni aimed at fostering bond among old classmates and a platform to deliberate on issues affecting their alma mater and give back to the school and society in general.
The Tide which monitored the reunion learnt that the Pioneer Students-graduants of the Port Harcourt situated University also paid a reunion courtesy visit to the pioneer Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ebiegberi Alagoa in his Nembe-Ogbolabiri country home, Nembe council area of the oil rich Niger Delta state.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion were King Alfred Diete-Spiff, former Governor of Old River State and Amanyanabo of Twon Brass who was the Royal Father of the event
The Tide gathered that the University of Port Harcourt was established in 1975 as University College, but was upgraded to a full-fledged university in 1977. The school popularly called Uniport has over the years groomed many illustrious leaders and trailblazers of international repute and the reunion was meant to encourage young and upcoming generations on the power of education.
Meanwhile, former president has again harped on the need for a United Nigeria, describing the country as blessed with both human and natural endowment, saying Leaders should focus more on building a United nation where no one society or tribe should be more valued than the other.
“Leaders should focus more on uniting Nigerians, if one society or group of people or tribe is more valued than the other then there’s be disunity and disenchantment from those who feel not being a accorded their rightful respect and value”, he said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,Yenagoa

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A’Ibom Delegation In South Korea To Drive Seaport Realisation

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A delegation from Akwa Ibom State, comprising members of the Ibom Deep Seaport Committee is currently in, Seoul, South Korea to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision for the rapid realisation of the seaport.
Among members of the delegation are Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, and Chairman of the Implementation Technical Committee, Mrs Mfon Usoroh.
They are among the Nigerian contingent to the Maritime Sector and Harbour Development programme in Seoul, South Korea.
The Nigerian contingent is under the leadership of the Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador Ali M. Magashi.
Opening up on the essence of the visit, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport said it was to help offer inputs for the development of lbom Deep Seaport.
According to Commissioner Akan Okon, the visit will also enable Akwa Ibom State tap into the broadening bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Korea, especially in the areas of maritime security and economic development.
“Having invested so much in the Ibom Deep Seaport, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel will continue to seek ways that would ensure the Ibom Deep Seaport is optimally beneficial to Akwa Ibom people, when it is finally established.”
Mr Akan Okon assured that, “on our part, we’ll continue to work tirelessly to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s lofty vision for Akwa Ibom State.”

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Gunmen Kidnap DPO, Demand N50m Ransom

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The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Fugar Division in Etsako Central Local Government Area identified as Ibrahim Ishaq has been reported kidnapped near Ise river along the Auchi – Ekperi-Agenebode road.
It was gathered that the police officer was travelling with his orderly last Friday when they were attacked by the kidnappers.
A source close to the police said: “He was coming from Agenebode to Fugar and he passed through Ekperi Road and they were attacked. He was kidnapped but his orderly escaped and the kidnappers have made contact this morning and they are demanding N50million. The incident happened around 6:30 pm on Friday.”
As at the time of filing this report, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Edo State was yet to respond to a text message sent to him.
But it was gathered that the Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu has ordered immediate deployment of men of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime unit, men of the Tactical and Srike teams of the state Police Command to move to the area to rescue the DPO unhurt.
Fear has enveloped the community, with members debating the incident and arguing that “if a DPO can be abducted, who is safe?”.

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