Among proceedings that dominated activities in the Rivers State House of Assembly last week was proceedings on the ongoing Constitutional amendment deliberations. The Assembly approved 15 alterations, with emphasis on the devolution of powers to the states.
The alterations made on the constitution by the House include fourth alleviation Bill, 2017 No 2,4,6,8,9,14,15,16,20,21,22,27 and 28. The House rejected six of the alterations and approved nine.
Among those approved are No. 2 which reduces the maximum period within which expenditure shall be made from previous budget before the passage of a new one from six months to three, No 4 deals with the autonomy of the legislature, No 8 deals with the legislative immunity, No 15: removed of the word “Force” form the Nigeria Police Force.
The House however rejected No 5, the autonomy for local government, No 6 strengthening of the local governments, No 9 INEC’s power and No 14 independent candidacy.
Last Thursday the House in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had a two day workshop to enhance capacity of lawmakers on enacting health insurance scheme legislation in the state.
The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani who spoke at the event pointed out that the Assembly will work towards achieving universal health coverage.
Rt Hon Ibani explained that enacting laws that will legalise the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will reduce health challenges faced by ordinary citizens.
In his words, “Usually, when people pay most of the cost of health services out of their own pockets, the poor are often unable to obtain the services they need even the well off may be exposed to financial hardship in the event of server long term illness”.
On her part, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Justice, Mrs Florence Fiberesima described the partnership between the Rivers State Government and USAID as a most welcome development.
Objectives of the workshop included building capacity of lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly on key concepts of health insurance legislations and their roles, providing information and critical analysis of the highlights and terms of a bill to enable legislators make informed decision on a health insurance bills.
Last Saturday members of the House representing Bonny Constituency, Hon Abinye Blessing Pepple laid his mother, Mrs Christiana Pepple to rest in Bonny.
The burial witnessed the presence of the Speaker and other top House members including Deputy Speaker, Hon Marsahll Uwom, Deputy Chief Whip, Hon Major Jack, Hon Christian Ahiakwo and Hon Adonye Diri of Opobo/Nkoro Constituency.
The lawmaker from Bonny in a speech during the church burial service at St Stephen’s Cathedral Bonny eulogized his mother for being caring and supportive.
Hon Pepple thanked all who came from far and near to attend the burial and prayed God to grant them journey mercies
Ekiti 2022: Oni’s Campaign Slams Fayemi
The Segun Oni Campaign Organisation(SOCO) has described the alleged boast by the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, that he has the judiciary in his pocket to legitimise the election of governor-elect, Biodun Oyebanji, as a product of hallucination.
The organisation said that it is very disgusting and debasing for a failed governor who during his tenure destroyed the legacies that used to make the state one of the enviable entities to now weave the nest to cage the judiciary in order to sustain his hold on Ekiti State resources.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, on Monday by the Director of Media and Publicity of the organisation, Mr Jackson Adebayo, the action of the governor was described as primitive, barbaric and callous.
The statement further read that the impunity with which the All Progressives Congress (APC) rules Nigeria and carries out the activities of their party is too glaring to be ignored by Nigerians hence, the national calamity bedevilling the country today.
Adebayo stressed that Governor Fayemi should explain to the whole world why his party presented candidates with forged results for election and how his party’s governorship primary was manipulated to bring out Biodun Oyebanji who was nominated by an illegal authority elected through front loading of election results.
The group maintained that Fayemi and his party deliberately perpetrated all these political heresies, basking on their culture of manipulating the judiciary as the boasting and antecedents suggest.
According to SOCO, the emergence of Governor Fayemi both in 2010 and 2018 also took the same route, hence, his belief in shortcut to the Ekiti Government House, forgetting that some people in the judiciary can still protect their integrity.
“Fayemi who said that those challenging the election of Oyebanji in court and tribunal are mere entertainers, that they don’t know that he has the judiciary in his pocket, should avail Nigerians how many Judges he has bought for the intended coded outcome of the court and the tribunal.
“We want to remind the governor that the ground which is before the tribunal goes beyond an ordinary technicality and legal masquerading. There are constitutional issues which had been decided at all levels of court in Nigeria, so any clandestine movement becomes suspicion”, the statement read.
The organisation added that leaders, sons and daughters of Ekiti and the leadership of the Nigerian judiciary should beam their searchlight on Ekiti State matters so as to save the last hope of the masses who voted but were cornered by the APC government.’’
PDP Forum Gives Ayu, Anyanwu, Others 48Hrs To Resign
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over recent corruption-related accusations has escalated as National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu and Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum have been given a 48-hour ultimatum to resign at the risk of legal action.
The threat followed a resolution by the Forum of PDP Candidates and Aspirants, which passed a vote of no confidence on the three officers.
They have also petitioned the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on the unanimous demand of candidates for the resignation of the above-mentioned officers.
The candidates who gathered and held their brainstorming session in Abuja, also alleged that the leadership of the party extorted several aspirants during the congresses, primaries and national convention of the party and swapped the names of candidates with the names of persons who did not win.
They pointed out that these “underhand actions of the leadership of the party are largely responsible for the nullification by the courts of the governorship primary in Zamfara State and all primaries held in Ogun State”, while noting that many more are still pending in court.
Chris Ogbu, who presided over the session as the Forum Coordinator and House of Assembly Candidate, also read the communiqué. He was flanked by Dauda Yusuf, the Forum’s Secretary and former governorship aspirant as well as several other members.
They demanded that Ayu, Anyanwu and Damagum step down immediately or be sacked by the party within 48 hours, at the expiration of which a legal action would be instituted to force them out of office, beginning from today.
The candidates/aspirants said that the alleged sharing of money paid for nomination forms by Ayu instead of utilising it for the prosecution of the historic 2023 election was very provocative and impacting negatively on the image of the party.
“Voters now see them as a come and chop or share the money party and that removing Ayu and his gang of party treasury looters will go a long way in showing that PDP is now a party that is intolerant of corruption,” the resolution reads.
FG Disowns National Honours List
The Federal Government has disowned the list of National Honours nominees that has been in circulation in the last four days.
The list contained the names of many public servants, retirees and even some who have died.
A statement signed by the Director of Press in the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and InterGovernmental Affairs, Julie Jacobs, the Federal Government said that the list did not emanate from its officials and that it would publish the authentic list at the appropriate time.
It said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been drawn to a purported list of nominees for National Honours being circulated by some online media organisations.
“While it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari, will be conferring National Honours on deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on 11th October, 2022, the authentic list of nominees is yet to be released to the public. The Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs will publish the list at the appropriate time and medium.
“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the list in circulation as it is an attempt by overzealous reporters whose aim is to break news even when such news is fake.”
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