Last weekend in Government House ended in a mourning
note after the governor Chief Nyesom Wike attended the burial rites and obsequies of late second republic House of Representatives member, Hon. Ovundu Nsirim in Rumueme, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Before attending the burial, the governor had visited the site of the burnt Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office at Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area. Chief Wike described the arson as the handiwork of those who want to scuttle the re-run elections, since they were not prepared.
On the same Saturday in the evening, the governor attended a dinner nght and fund raising organized by the umbrella socio-cultural group, Ogbakor Ikwerre, USA chapter, at the Presidential Hotel. At the dinner, Chief Wike called for direct foreign investing in the state. As far as he was concerned, the state is safe and conducive for investors to do business.
Last Monday witnessed the commencement of the 2016 Annual Conference of Magistrates Association in the State. Governor Wike, at the event, urged judicial officers to play by the rules, so that they can address issues of low quality and poor output in the system. Wike reminded them that they are the bedrock of an effective judicial system and therefore should discharge their duties fearlessly.
The magistrates were later hosted at a state banquet attended by Governor Wike and other top government functionaries.
Following the news of the postponement of the re-run elections slated for July 30, 2016 by INEC, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo in a statement on Tuesday, said the development was in confirmation of Governor Wike’s assertion when he visited Bori. At a campaign rally at Okehi in Etche Local Government Area he reaffirmed that neither INEC nor the APC were ready for the conduct of the elections.
Last Wednesday, the Governor attended the People Democratic Party (PDP) Rivers West Senatorial District Rally at Degema Town in Degema Local Government Area. He thanked the mammoth crowd of supporters that attended and used the rally to explain why he attended a Peace Meeting summoned by the Inspector-General of Police and the Director of State Security at Abuja.
Governor Wike explained that he attended the rally because peace and stability of Rivers State was above party or personal interest.
Last Thursday, the governor played host to the Management team of the federal owned University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). The team was led by its Chief Medical Director, Prof. Aaron Ojule. After an address by Prof. Ojule commending the governor and listing areas of assistance, Governor Wike promised that, among other requests, the State Government would take up the completion of the repair of the hospital’s access road and the abandoned Doctors’ quarters.
The governor, on the same day, played host to the Managing Director of SAIPEM Nigeria Limited, Mr. Guido Daloisio. He assured the SAIPEM boss of state’s partnership in the development of manpower and growth of the oil industry. Assuring him of conducive business environment, the Rivers State Chief Executive hinted that by next year Government will harmonise the tax system and reduce duplication to encourage investors.
Friday last week was busy for the governor. Returning from Abuja he went straight to inaugurate three board. The are the State Universal Basic Education Board, newly established Private Hospital Fund Management Committee and the State Petroleum Task Force.
He specifically mandated the Petroleum Taskforce to ensure all-round availability of petroleum products and avoid touting. He tasked the Private Hospital Fund Committee to be prudent and ensure hospitals at the local centres are incorporated in the scheme. For the Universal Basic Education Board, he tasked them to ensure the reform and improvement in Basic Education.
Last Saturday the governor hosted Editors under the Nigeria Guild of Editors. He took them round to visit project sites and wished them a successful conference in the state.
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.