Workers, Group Hail Wike’s New Pension Law …As Gov Assents To Four Bills
The successful passage and eventual signing into law of a new pension bill in Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike, is generating positive reactions by workers and groups in the state.
A senior civil servant in the state, Mr Chidi Amadi, said the new law has rekindled the hope of workers in the state.
According to him: “The past few years have given workers a sleepless night on what would be their fate if they get to retirement period considering the hell of experience by retirees.
“Because of the Contributory Pension Law, which delayed retirees from getting their pension money. This obnoxious law unfortunately denied some late retirees who suffered, and could not get their pension money while alive.
“I commend Governor Wike for signing the new law as it has brought an end to such a sad moment in the history of pension in the state”.
Another worker, George Barine, also expressed gratitude to the law makers and the governor of the state for the actualisation of the new pension law.
He said: “I will be due for retirement next month and all this while I have been imagining how I would retire and loose my pension benefit as a result of the contributory pension scheme that exposes pensioners to such a nightmare.
“Governor Wike has done so well in the state. But the joy of this new law being passed by the state assembly and now accented to by the governor is great. I commend the Governor for this show of concern”.
Reacting in a similar vein, Mrs Gladys Wegbom, another senior civil servant in the state lauded the speed with which the 8th Assembly concluded the bill and the eventual signing into law by the governor.
“In spit the suffering by retirees, the new bill has ushered in a new hope.
“Thank you my governor for bringing to an end the regime of contributory pension scheme which has done so much harm to innocent workers who served the state diligently but were allowed to suffer while some even died without enjoying their rewards”.
Also expressing happiness to the new pension law, Publicity Director of South-South Youth Consultative Enlightenment and Mobilisation Council (SYCEMOC), Comrade Christian Nnodim, said the new era is a source for celebration.
Nnodim said the old pension law was anti- progressive and a landmark setback for workers.
He said: “In all ramifications, the old contributory pension law was poorly initiated and poorly implemented. I give kudos to the governor of Rivers state and the immediate past assembly for changing the ugly narrative”.
Another group, the Niger Delta Youth Coalition (NDYC), hailed the governor for signing the new pension bill into law, saying it would alleviates the hardship being faced by retirees in the state.
The National Coordinator of NDYC, Prince Emmanuel Ogba, stated that it unfortunate that some innocent retirees who served the state died without their pension because of the old law.
“But it is a source of joy that the administration of Wike saw the need to quickly reverse the ugly trend. He has done well.
“However, let the government consider the interest of workers and pay them arrears of promotion which were denied them for past years in the state”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has assented to four key bills passed by the House of Assembly for the good governance of the state.
The bills signed into law by the Rivers State Governor include: Rivers State Multi-Door Courthouse Law (No 2 of 2019), Rivers State Arbitration Law (No 3 of 2019), Rivers State Pension Reform Law (No 4 of 2019) and Rivers State College of Health Sciences and Management Technology Law (No. 5 of 2019).
Wike said that the (No 3 of 2019), Rivers State Pension Reform Law (No 4 of 2019) will help in resolving the challenges generated by the Contributory Pension scheme.
He said that the state government was committed to ensuring that civil servants and pensioners are catered for, with the challenges they faced completely addressed.
The governor said that the Arbitration Law will help in the resolution of several legal conflicts without resorting to litigation.
He, however, explained that he was likely to seek an amendment of the Rivers State College of Health Sciences and Management Technology Law (No. 5 of 2019) because some stakeholders have raised concerns.
The governor commended the Rivers State House of Assembly for their commitment to the development of the state.
“If you are given the privilege to serve, put in your best for the people. These four years given to us, we will do more for our people.
“I urge the House of Assembly to continue to make laws for the development of Rivers State”, he said.
He called on the state House of Assembly to pass more bills during his second term.
In his remarks, Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi Ibani congratulated the Rivers State governor on his second term inauguration.
“What you are doing for Rivers State serves as a beacon of hope for the present generation”, he said.
He said the goal of the state Assembly was service to the people of Rivers State.
“In the Assembly, our goal is Service First. That is why you can assent to four Bill’s in one day”.
Buhari Pays Tribute To Diya
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday mourned the passing of retired Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya GCON, who served as Chief of General Staff from 1993 to 1997 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994.
The President, in a statement by his Spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja paid tribute to Diya’s bold and courageous career in the Nigeria military.
He particularly lauded him for his dedicated service to the country as General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Commandant, National War College (1991–1993), Chief of Defence Staff and Military Governor of Ogun from January 1984 to August 1985.
Buhari recalled that the late Diya was known for his brilliance, exceptional organisational skills and discipline, and he displayed these virtues in the important roles he held in office as a military officer.
The president saluted the former Chief of General Staff for his love, belief and loyalty to the country he cherished so much and fought gallantly on the frontlines to defend her unity.
Buhari, who extended heartfelt condolences to Diya’s family, friends and colleagues, prayed that “Diya’s soul finds rest with his Creator, and may his contributions to the nation never be forgotten.”
Diya, who was born on April 3, 1944 in Odogbolu, Ogun State, died on Sunday in Lagos.
PDP Suspends Ayu For Anti-Party Activities
The ongoing crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has deepened as the Executive Committee of the party in Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State has suspended the National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, with immediate effect.
They suspended Ayu for anti-party activities after passing a vote-of-no confidence on him.
While reading a resolution, the Secretary of the party in Igyorov ward, Banger Dooyum, said Ayu’s anti-party activities, alongside his allies, contributed to PDP’s loss in his ward and local government in the governorship election.
Ayu was also accused of not paying his annual dues as enshrined by the party’s constitution.
Twelve out of the 17 exco members signed the documents endorsing his suspension.
They also alleged that the PDP chieftain did not vote during the governorship and state assembly elections held on March 18, 2023.
According to them, most of Ayu’s closest allies worked for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) which resulted in the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.
The ward chairman of Igyorov, Kashi Philip, also signed the letter alongside the exco.
I Didn’t Work Against Obi, Wike Fires Back …Describes Obi’s Allegation As Unfortunate
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has taken strong exception to Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi’s allegations that he denied him of victory in the state in the February 25 presidential election.
Wike clarified that there was never a time that the G-5 governors or the Integrity Group endorsed Obi or another candidate as their preferred candidate for the presidential election.
Speaking during a media chat last Wednesday in his home town, Rumuepirikom, the governor described Obi’s accusation that he manipulated the electoral process to his disadvantage as unfortunate.
“I don’t work for INEC, I don’t have INEC documents with me. I am not an ad hoc staff of INEC and so I am not in a place to rig election for anybody. It is when you have the materials of INEC that you talk about rigging. But I take exception to Peter Obi’s comments that I came out against him. People are not being sincere, people are not appreciative.”
The Rivers State governor, maintained that his primary preoccupation as far as the 2023 presidential election was concerned was for a southern Nigerian to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
“I never told Rivers people to vote for the candidate (of the APC). I told Rivers people (to vote) for the unity of Nigeria. As far as Rivers State is concerned, their position is that ‘look, we want a power shift.’ And there are two candidates from the South – Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi.
“If Rivers people have chosen to vote for Asiwaju, and the same Rivers people also voted for Peter Obi, that tells you that their decision was to vote for a Southern President. So, amongst them one must always get the highest vote. If you look at the votes, APC won, followed by the Labour Party. So that tells you what the decision they took. That is the decision of Rivers people”, the governor stated.
Wike said he was among those who recommended Obi to be PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in 2019.
“In 2019, ask Peter Obi, I was one of the team that chose Obi to be the Vice Presidential candidate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. When we met at Abubakar’s house, he said these are the names, I will choose Obi. Obi was invited while we were at Saraki’s house in the night.
“I was fought by people like (Senator Ike) Ekweremadu; my own friend, the governor of Ebonyi State, (David) Umahi, and Pius Anyim. Every blame was on me, why will I be the one that will say Peter Obi? Why should I chose for the South-East? Did he come out to say Wike was the one who supported me to be the vice presidential candidate? He didn’t say so.”
He declared that the G-5 governors and the Integrity Group never during any of their meetings unanimously endorsed Obi or any presidential candidate of southern Nigeria extraction.
He said, “There was never a time the integrity Group met and say it must be this person. We only agreed on southern President. We formulated strategies and the southern President emerged. Our interest is that a southern President should emerge.
“When we went to our meeting, we decided on southern President. We didn’t say it must be this. We said whatever you are doing it must be southern President. The aim of G5 was equity, fairness and justice”.
The governor also said the G-5 governor and members of the Integrity Group cannot be accused of betraying the PDP.
He stressed that those who blatantly refused to implement the provisions of the party’s constitution on rotation of elective and appointive offices are to blame the party’s electoral misfortune.
He said all the G-5 governors consisting of Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Samuel Ortom of Benue; and Victor Ikpeazu of Abia; made tremendous sacrifice to ensure the emergence of a southern president.
The governor particularly expressed delight that the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, who had earlier said he would not mind sacrificing his second term on the altar of equity, justice, and fairness, was re-elected.
“Ortom said even if he loses his senatorial election, let equity, justice, and fairness prevail. He may not gain it now. But history will be kind to him. The same applies to Ugwuanyi and Ikpeazu. Even Makinde said even if he lost his governorship ambition, he was interested in the unity of Nigeria”, Wike recalled.
He boasted that in Rivers State, PDP won the governorship, three senatorial seats, 10 federal and 31 state constituencies in the general election.
He said, ironically, the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who once derided that the G-5 governors are small boys failed to win his ward, local government and state for the presidential candidate in the February 25 election.
According to him, PDP also lost woefully in Niger, Jigawa, Imo, Sokoto, Yobe and other states.
“Ayu lost his polling unit. I won three senatorial seats, and 31 House of Assembly seats. He didn’t get anything. Lamido did not win the presidential election in Jigawa. Babangida Aliyu did not win. So, who is the betrayer? We won to make sure PDP exists. Of what relevance is he as national chairman? He couldn’t deliver his polling unit”, the governor stated.
Wike dismissed insinuation that he would manipulate the Rivers State governor-elect, Siminialayi Fubara, after leaving office.
The governor also clarified that Fubara, who resigned as Accountant General of the state to contest the 2023 governorship election, is not wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
According to him, some disgruntled politicians in the state were behind the rumour.
Wike stated that Fubara on assumption of office will continue from where his administration stopped and would consolidate on the NEW Rivers Vision.
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