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Lawmaker Urges Nass To Commence Electoral Reforms

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A Lagos lawmaker, Mr Victor Akande, yesterday urged the 9th National Assembly to commence work early on constitutional amendment and Electoral Act reforms to deepen the nation’s democracy.
Akande, a two-term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Ojo Constituency I, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
According to him, it is high time the federal legislature give the nation an electoral law that will address challenges facing elections and reduce the number of political parties.
“NASS should know what is right and start working on the Electoral Act cum Constitution. Let them look at it and start now because we know that the process of amending written and rigid constitution is cumbersome.
“So, the earlier the better. In the next six months or one year, significant progress should have been made by the National Assembly on electoral reforms and amendment to some anachronistic and outdated laws that do not meet current realities.
“There is a lacuna in the constitution and in the Electoral Act. The power should come from the constitution to specify the number of political parties the nation should adopt.
“If we want to be a two-party state, let us be a two-party state; if we want to be a three-party state, let us be a three-party state.
“Having a many parties is a problem for the country. It has created a lot of confusion.
“I would have loved us to go back to the days when we had just five political parties. If at all we need up to five, five should be the maximum. The constitution and the electoral act should state this categorically,” Akande said.
The lawmaker expressed the hope that the nation would get it right gradually with various amendments to the constitution and electoral laws.
“We must correct all these anomalies now that we have ample time before next elections.
“The Eighth National Assembly has done well and tried its best on electoral Act amendment. This should continue until we get it right and and receive the president’s assent,” he added.
On INEC’s proposal for de-registration of dormant parties, Akande said that the constitution was clear about registration of political parties but did not envisage dormancy of some parties.

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One Year Not Enough To Judge Tinubu -Kukah

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The Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese and Founder of the Kukah Centre, Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, has been reported to have visited President Bola Tinubu at the State House in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Addressing State House correspondents shortly after meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, the cleric said one year was not enough to pass judgement on President Tinubu’s government.
Bishop Kukah said while the administration was providing solutions to the myriad of challenges, Nigerians need to get a sense of how soon they expect to breathe a sigh of relief.
He, however, said that the government needs to communicate to Nigerians when it will fix the current socio- economic challenges in the country.
According to him, Nigerians were in various levels of pains.
“I’m sure that many people will tell you that one year is not enough to make a judgement. However, from where we all stand, we know that we are all in a very difficult situation.
“Nigerians are in various levels of pain and they are pains that are unintended. But, they are as a result of certain policy decisions that hopefully, with time, can be amended in order to serve the welfare of ordinary people,” Bishop Kukah explained.
He said it is the responsibility of the government to ensure better living conditions and security of the citizens.
“I believe that the essence of government is to guarantee the welfare and security of ordinary citizens. I believe that the times that we are in are very very difficult times, and nobody should be under any illusion.
“But, there are also times for renewal. We just need to commit ourselves to the fact that building a good society takes a lot of time.
“This is politics. I’m very hopeful, we ordinary people cry more than the bereaved. The important thing is that politicians will fix their problems”, he added.
“Rivers State is a place that is very dear to me because I have been associating with them for a very long time. But, look, when politicians fight, don’t get carried away because they have their capacity to fix their quarrels.
“I hope and pray that Rivers State will sooner than later reposition itself because it is not an insignificant part of Nigeria,” he said.

 

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One Year In Office: Unity Road Stakeholders Laud Fubara Over Andoni Section Commissioning 

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Some stakeholders in Andoni Local Government Area have lauded Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the inclusion of the Andoni section of the Unity Road among roads to be commissioned as part of activities to mark his first year in office.
It would be recalled that the Andoni section of the Ogoni/Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Unity Road was initially slated for commissioning on Wednesday, May 15 but later shifted to Saturday, May 18, 2024.
Speaking exclusively with The Tide, some stakeholders commended the Governor for being courageous to complete a road that was abandoned for 24 years.
They said the completion of the road has given the people of Andoni a sense of belonging, adding that it has ended sea piracy in Andoni.
A community leader in Ngo Town, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area, Chief Awajiokaunye Mbosowo, said the people of Andoni, and Ngo in particular, are very grateful to Governor Fubara for the road project.
According to him: “We are very grateful to His Excellency, our amiable, most focused and action-packed Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Joseph Fubara for his timely response and completion  of the Andoni section of Ogoni/Andoni Opobo/Nkoro Unity Road”.
Mbosowo, who is the head chief of Ukumor War Canoe House of Ngo, said Governor Fubara had broken the jinx as far as development of Andoni was concerned.
He said the Andoni people have never had it so good, adding that the road was abandoned for over 24 years by previous administrations.
“The road was awarded by His Excellency, Sir (Dr) Peter Odili, during his second tenure in office .
“We congratulate the governor for his zeal, determination and vigour to complete the road within his first year in office .
“This is most commendable because despite all the challenges, distractions and economic downturn, you braved it all and completed the road in good time and quality. We say Thank You for your unflinching love for the Andoni people.
“We sincerely appreciate and welcome you to the commissioning of this all important project that now links our Ngo, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area and suburb communities that are on the main land.
“Your Excellency, for the purposes of record, this is the first time in history that a project of this magnitude would be completed and commissioned within the first year of the tenure (of an administration).
“We pray that  the good Lord continue to bless, keep and sustain you richly and grant you the grace to finish both your first and second tenures with joy and good health to the shame of your detractors”, he said.
Also speaking, a one time Chairman of Andoni Local Government Area, Apostle Felix Ayayi, said Governor Fubara has shown that he truly loves the people of Andoni and Obolo nation in general.

Apostle Ayayi described the road as a conduit through which billions of Naira in budgetary allocations had been siphoned and yet abandoned for 24 years, adding that because of this feat, the entire Andoni was now fully ‘Simplified’’.

In his response, former organizing secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Andoni Local Government Area, Elder Blessing Tiko, said the people of Andoni have started reaping the benefits of that road.

“People are happy that a road that started in the year 2000 and could not be completed, our son came and completed it in four months time.

“So, every true son of Andoni is happy with the Governor and any one who is not happy with the Governor is a witch”, he said

On his part, the leader of Obolo Sim Vanguard, Engr Kingston Silvanus, said the road has ended piracy and kidnapping along the Ngo water ways, noting that the people of Andoni will not fail to give the Governor total support.

John Bibor

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Fubara Has Created Conducive Investment Climate In Rivers -LG Boss

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The Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam, has commended the Rivers State governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, for creating a healthy investment climate in the state as he marks his administration’s one year in office.
The Council boss stated this while addressing newsmen shortly after the Simplified Movement’s thanksgiving service in celebration of the governor’s election victory and subsequent affirmation by the Supreme Court at Opobo, headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area.
Hon. Cookey-Gam said that owing to Governor Fubara’s pragmatic economic policies, Rivers State has become an investment destination with enormous potential.
He stressed that the governor has, within his first year in office, invested in the 23 local government areas  of the state, saying, “When you have a head of government who understands the role of government and what it takes to govern, he ensures that investors are comfortable”.
He expressed delight with the personality of Governor Fubara and assured him of his council’s support and cooperation towards changing the economy of Rivers State.
“We will continue to create an enabling environment for you to succeed,” Hon Cookey-Gam assured the governor, saying, “Please bring more investments to the state.”
The local government chairman also urged Rivers people and business owners in the state to gird their loins for an imminent investment boom, stressing that the Fubara-led administration was ready to deliver more development programmes across the state.
Hon Cookey-Gam maintained that Governor Fubara, who is set to commission a lineup of people oriented projects he has executed, was poised to bring transformational development initiatives to Rivers people as his government stabilises.
He described the governor’s one year development efforts as a job well done despite some daunting challenges bedeviling the state and Nigeria in general.
“We are solidly ready to back him to achieve the yearned dividends of democracy to the people”, Hon Cookey-Gam said, and encouraged the governor to stay focused as the generality of Rivers people were on his side.

Bethel Toby

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