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Senate Screens Ministers, Today

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Catholic faithfuls raising their palm branches for blessing at St. Peter and Paul Parish, Nyanya, Abuja to mark 2010 Palm Sunday, yesterday

Catholic faithfuls raising their palm branches for blessing at St. Peter and Paul Parish, Nyanya, Abuja to mark 2010 Palm Sunday, yesterday

The upper chamber of the Nigerian National Assembly will, today, commence the screening of the list of 33 ministerial nominees forwarded to it last week by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

Chairman Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Ayogu Eze disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

Senator Eze who said that the screening will commence at noon noted that it would be broadcast live.

 He described as false, reports that some Senators are targeting some of the nominees, adding that each of the nominees will be judged by his or her presentation.

The list which includes 21 former members of the dissolved executive and 12 new ones will be subjected to a gruelling session with the federal lawmakers to ascertain their preparedness to occupy cabinet positions in this crucial part of the nation’s development.

Already, pundits have started speculating on who of the 33 members will eventually make the ministerial list, by getting the nod of the senators .

One name that keeps recurring among political circles is former Information and Communications Minister, Prof Dora Akunyili who The Tide sources in Abuja reveal may have it tough with apologists of ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

This, our sources say, is due to her role in calling for confirmation of then Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President.

By Friday last week, The Tide sources hinted of clandestine moves by some pro-Yar’Adua senators to frustrate Acting President, Jonathan ‘s plan to have Prof Akunyili in the new cabinet.

Another Tide source however, said Prof Akunyili has done creditably and brought honour to Nigeria with her rebranding campaign and should naturally enjoy the support of the ruling party top brass and other stakeholders.

The former Information and Communications Minister’s role in bringing to an end the political impasse created by the 93 day absence of Ailing President Yar’Adua, our source said, earned her a pro-active and nationalistic posture which Nigeria requires of members of the new cabinet.

The Tide also learnt that two ministerial nominees, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) and Godsday Orubebe, respectively may have an easy ride in the upper chambers because of their bridge-building credentials within the mainstream of the party and the government.

However, that may not be the case with many of the other nominees from the dissolved cabinet, our source said.

Of the new ministerial nominees, question have been raise concerning the choice of Mutalab Yar’Adua, of the late General Shehu Yar’Adua, and the wife of Chief Tony Aneinh, former chairman, Board of Trustees of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Josephine Anenih, both of whom critics say have no business in the emerging cabinet.

It is however, not known if it is the outcome of the extensive consultation carried out between Acting President, Jonathan. It would be recalled the Acting :President and stakeholders dissolved the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) on March 17 and on March 23 sent a list of 25 nominees among them seven members of the dissolved cabinet, before increasing the number to  33,in another list sent to the national assembly.

In all 21 of the persons from the old executive made the new list

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Our Legacy’ll Leave Lasting Impression On Rivers People -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured that his administration will collaborate and continue to consult widely in delivering a liberated State experiencing enduring peace.
Fubara said, in doing so, he would not operate as a dictator but as a member of a team that has the best interest of the State at heart and determined to leave a lasting legacy that can be celebrated.
The governor spoke during the formal presentation of Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office to the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, King Ateke Michael Tom, as first class tradition ruler, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Fubara stated that, during the Sixth State Executive Council meeting, N80.8billion was approved with 50 percent contract value paid already as the Government awarded the construction of the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road.
He said the project will be funded from the savings from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to underscore his administration’s prudence without also borrowing to complete the project.
“We are at a crossroad in our State where we all need to stand for what is right. It happens once in a life time. So, for now, be one of those people that will be in the course to liberate and free our dear State.
“And I know strongly that having the support of a peace-loving Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, having the support of the wonderful Council of Chiefs, having the support of the great people of Rivers State, we will bring peace in our State. We will do those things that are right to develop our State.
“We will continue to consult. We will not act as dictators. We will act as people who know that one day, we will leave, and when we leave, the way we have acted will speak for us. We will not force people to talk good about us. Our legacy will be a signature for how we led”, the governor said.
Fubara explained that he acted within the ambit of the law to upgrade the traditional stool upon which King Ateke Tom sits in recognition of his efforts in promoting peace in Okrika, and indeed, the State, and urged him to continue to do justice to everyone.
In his speech, Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon Charles Amadi, congratulated King Ateke Tom for being formally presented with the Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office as first class traditional ruler.
Also speaking, former Transport Minister, Chief Abiye Sekibo, thanked the governor for fulfilling his promise of upgrading the traditional stool of Okochiri Kingdom, and pledged the support of Kirike Se people to his administration.

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We’re Determined To Leave Legacy Of Quality Education -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has promised to give the best attention to the education sector so that standard and quality learning will never be compromised in the State.
The governor emphasised that in achieving such legacy, schools in the State will be driven with a curriculum that will equip school-aged children to become competitive, innovative and self-reliant.
Governor Fubara made the assertion while inaugurating the Governing Council of Rivers State University at Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said: “There is a lot of noise everywhere: people asking what we are doing; that we are not focused, and that we don’t have direction.
”But I want to tell the world that we are focused and aware that we cannot grow if our energies are not channeled to education. Not just education, but purposeful education.
”Education that is creative. Education that gives you independence. We have left the era in the world when you speak too much grammar. We are in such times when it is what you can do with your hands.
”Our purpose for education is that we should bring back our academic programmes to where, at the end of your studies, you don’t need a job but you create jobs. When one creates a job, you automatically employ others. That is what I want this council to see as their task.”
Governor Fubara noted the non-existence of public secondary schools for the male child in the Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
He said such negligence leaves children in that area who have completed primary education, and whose parents cannot afford sending them to far away secondary schools, to roam the streets, and therefore becoming willing tools for criminality.
Governor Fubara assured that such fundamental problem will be addressed by his administration as a measure to curb the negative impression associated with Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
The governor said he trusts in the capacity of the members of the Governing Council of Rivers State University to bring about positive change in the institution while also contributing their quota to improving the general education standard in the State.
”I charge you, not just in terms of administering the affairs of the university, but let us add something different from the normal things that we already have to see new things.”
In her response, on behalf of the other members, the Pro-Chancellor of the Governing Council of Rivers State University, Justice Mary Odili (rtd), thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve in such capacity.
Justice Odili assured they will work assiduously as a team to solve the problems that agitate the mind of the governor and ensure their contributions form part of the legacy that will be bequeathed by his administration.
The members included Justice Mary Odili (rtd) as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council with Barrister Mela Oforibika and Chukwuma Chinwo, Esq.
Others were Adata Bio-Briggs, Esq., Dr. Jonathan Nimi Hart, Ngo Martins-Yellowe, Dr. Nancy Nwankwo, Dr. Igoni William-Park, and Mr. Ogbugbu Barisua.

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Fubara, Others Eulogise Rivers First Lady’s Mother

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, his Deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu, and key stakeholders of the State on Wednesday paid glowing tributes at the Service of Songs held in honour of late Mrs Adeline Jaja, mother of the wife of the Governor, Lady Valerie Fubara, at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the event, Governor Fubara described his late mother-in-law as a great and visionary woman who lived on truth and conviction in what she believes.
“Mama was a great woman. She wasn’t a materialistic person. When she believes in you, she’ll be all out for you. She stood for me. I feel pained that, like my own mother, she left at this moment.
”Mama believed so much in God, and the wonders of God. I thank everyone, particularly the Church. On behalf of the bereaved family, we will support the Church to immortalise her name,” the Governor said.
In his homily, Vicar of the Church, Ven. A. A. Ijon-Ama, who spoke on the gains of death, said physical departure from earth was not an ultimate end but an opening for higher and permanent gain and perfection.
He pointed out that when a man has a good relationship with God, he stands to gain more in death.
Ven. Ijon-Ama described late Mrs. Adeline Jaja as a devout Christian, who exuded deep sense of hospitality, and endowed with accommodating spirit, noting that she will be greatly missed by all.
The Vicar, who prayed for the repose of the soul of Mrs Adeline Jaja, also solicited for Divine fortitude for the family to bear the great loss, and called for the immortalisation of the deceased to keep her good legacies alive.
Some family members, who spoke at the Service of Songs, extolled the virtues of the deceased, describing her as “a great community leader, counsellor, peace maker, and caring mother, who provided for the needy, and participated actively in Church activities.
Highlights of the event were special prayers for the bereaved family, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Evo Diocese, Rt. Rev. Innocent Ordu; remarks by key family members, choir ministration, among others.

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