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PH Residents Reject Proposed Immunity For Lawmakers

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Residents of Port Harcourt have called on the National Assembly to without delay stop the move to grant Immunity for themselves in order to check the maladministration bedeviling the country.
In an exclusive interview with The Tide on whether the Immunity should be accorded to members of the National Assembly or not, some people interviewed backedout, saying that the move to grant them Immunity in the constitution should not see the light of day.
One of them is a Port Harcourt-based Businessman, Mr. Onyeka Otu, who disagreed with the motion on the Immunity opted that such power be taken away from them in order to check and correct the abnormalities in the leadership of this country.
According to him, “politicians use the power vested on them against the masses who voted them into power, adding “In other developed countries like America, India, Britain among others, there is nothing of such, it is only here in Nigeria.
“If you look at the 1999 Constitution undergoing amendment which the present government is claiming to be working on, it is far from the expectation of the people. The constitution in contention was planned and executed by the erstwhile Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubarka”, he stressed.
On the constitution amendment, Mr. Otu urged the National Assembly and other stakeholders to ensure that the Immunity clause in the constitution for Lawmakers and other political office holders is expunged to allow for good governance, warning that any attempt to include such Immunity, will bring doom to the country.
He further advised that a purposeful National Conference on Constitution amendment which should accommodate all shades of opinion in Nigeria, be convened for Nigeria to move forward.
“The only recipe for economic growth in Nigeria is to allow Nigerians with different shades of opinion to contribute toward a better constitution through a national Confab”, he stressed.
Also contributing, a legal luminary, Barr. Chidi Ebiria urged the National Assembly to expunge from the constitution, the Immunity Clause for lawmakers or other public officers whether elected or appointed, saying, “Such power would encourage corruption, incompetence and other malpractices detrimental to the development of the country.
“The only solution to this constitutional amendment is to expunge without delivery the Immunity Clause for public office holders whether elected or appointed to allow for good leadership.
In her reaction, a trader at the Mile 1 Market, Madam Ann Eiemah, called on the state and federal governments as well as the National Assembly to review critically the issue of the Immunity, especially for Lawmakers, Council Chairmen, governors and others, to check their excesses in governance.
She however, noted that they abuse the power vested on them and lord I on the electorate without recourse, adding, “let them remove it completely through well organised constitutional conference where the people’s opinion will be heard”.

Amarachi Anene

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Rivers

‘Police Didn’t Authorise Vigilantes To Carry Arms In Rivers’

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Worried by the alarming concern by members of the public over the manner vigilante groups are bearing arms across the state, the Rivers State Police Command has restated its earlier stand that vigilante groups are not mandated to bear arms in the state .
Spokesperson of the Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, made this clarification while speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt, recently.
She said the state Commissioner of Police (CP) had not approved arms bearing by the vigilante groups across the state .
According to her, “ they are not licensed to bear arms. The CP has directed the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) within every jurisdiction to arrest anyone seen with arms. They do not have such powers to detain”.
She stated that anyone found bearing arms in the name of vigilante would be arrested and prosecuted .
“This clarification is coming as a result of public concern and worries. Of late, it’s been observed that some vigilante group members in Port Harcourt, particularly in Diobu axis, are bearing arms.
“For instance, some are seen at Oando Filing station, at Mile 3, Ikwerre Road, parading with pump action riffles. Some also bear the arms while on patrol in full glare of public. It was also reported that they detain suspects”, she said.

By; Akujobi Amadi

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Rivers

Indigenous Oil Company Reaffirms Commitment To Host Community’s Development

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All Grace Energy Limited (AGEL), an indigenous oil company operating (OML17) in Rivers State, has reaffirmed commitment to the development of its host community in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Development, AGEL, Prof.Adeola Adenikinju, gave the assurance recently during the inauguration of the Board of Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) in Port Harcourt.
Adenikinju noted that the inauguration of the seven-member board would provide a unique opportunity to begin a new era in the development of the community.
According to him, since the signing of the PIA in 2021, the company has ensured commitment to advancing understanding of the act, with regard to establishment of the HCDT.
Adenikinju said that compliance with the PIA would deepen the existing mutual relationship and trust-building between the company and the host community.
He said: “The PIA contains relevant provisions which form the basis of strong governance and management structure for the host communities’ development trust.
“Consequently, we have ensured that our sustainable development initiative is geared towards direct social investment programmes to address development deficits through providing empowerment of women and youths.”
He said this would be done through skill acquisition, scholarships, health outreach, direct community contracts, infrastructure, and a lot of other sustainable development initiatives.
Adenikinju commended the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and Rivers State Government for their continued support to foster positive development outcomes in the host community.
The Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs in Rivers, Engr. Charles Amadi, said that implementation of the act, would enable All Grace Energy Limited and the host community to operate in a mutually beneficial way.
He urged the host community to work together with the company to ensure peaceful coexistence.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Board of Trustee(BOT), Mr Dandyson Onigah, said that implementation of the PIA marked a new dawn where there would be no bickerings between oil companies and host communities,
Onigah said with the operation of the PIA, the community could make plans toward sustainable development, knowing that there would be funds for that purpose.
He said that the newly inaugurated board would work in synergy with the company to ensure peace and achieve success in their operations.
The BoT chairman gave the assurance that every misunderstanding or complaint would be properly addressed to ensure free flow of business in the area.
Also, the Chairman of Ogbakor-Ubima, Mr Emmanuel Azubuike, lauded the company for steps taken to implement the act, saying that the community would continue to sustain the existing mutual relationship with the company.

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Rivers

Engineers Blame Building Collapses On Quackery

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The National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engr. Chukwudi Ezugu, has blamed the incessant building collapses in the country on quacks.
Ezugu, who said this during his investiture in Port Harcourt, recently, advised members of the public to stop patronising quacks and employ the services of professional engineers in their building projects.
Ezugu assured that his administration would improve on the practice of engineering in the country, saying continuous professional development and welfare of members will be given top priority.
“Improving the skills and competence of our members is a priority to this administration. Good professional practice demands that civil engineers will continually be updated with latest technologies which enhance our practice through seminars, workshops and trainings.
“We shall, therefore, collaborate with competent training firms which will update our engineers with latest operating softwares, techniques, materials, processes and procedures,” he said.
Engr. Ezugu said the society would also collaborate with relevant organisations to improve the competence of its members.
“It is our plan to organise a conference in the next few weeks to bring together our universities, research institutions and industry practitioners to start creating an enduring relationship that is key to solving our infrastructural needs.
“It is common knowledge that civil infrastructures in Nigeria are grossly inadequate from urban and rural roads to rail lines transportation systems, housing to potable water supply,” he said.
The NICE chairman said his administration would engage policy makers and government to prioritise development in the country with a view to tackling the ones with higher socio-economic values.
According to him, the present situation where many trunk A roads are in disrepair is counterproductive with the resultant collossal loses to the country GDP and economy at large.
Chairman of the occasion and former Acting Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, urged Nigerian engineers to up their game to enable them compete with their foreign counterparts.
He called on the government to patronise local engineers, stressing that continuous patronage of multinational construction companies at the detriment of their Nigerian counterparts is not in the interest of the country.

By: John Bibor

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