A university teacher, Ken Nweke, has lauded Governor Nyesom Wike over what he described as his passion in bringing about development in Rivers State, just as he called for the establishment of an Oil Minieral Areas Development Commission.
Nweke who is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, made the commendation when he appeared as guest on a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, monitored by The Tide.
He explained that establishment of such commission will enable the communities derive benefit from the oil resources on their land, noting that it was wrong to play politics with development.
According to him, “I want to advise further that the States in the Niger Delta should begin to buy into establishing Oil Mineral Areas Development Commission so that the 13 per cent that is coming to the States, same should be deployed to those areas so that the development in those communities that produce this thing that we are playing politics will have a part of it.
“How does politics that is playing out in the South-South affect these ones that actually produce the oil? If we have Oil Mineral Areas Development Commission spread around the states of the Niger Delta, it will also bring development to these ones that are suffering degradation, poverty and lack of infrastructure that we are talking about in the Niger Delta. That will also complement efforts at all levels,” he stated, noting that it was rather sad that States in the Niger Delta were interested in what comes to them as opposed to what also goes back to those areas that actually produce this oil,” he said.
The university don further backed Governor Wike for insisting that he will protect what belongs to the State, saying, “the contestation of who gets what, how and when as far as oil is concerned in the South-South, gave the right to protect what belongs to them.
“The Governor of Rivers State has the right to protect what belongs to Rivers State as he rightly says that he will not compromise what belongs to Rivers State and am in full support of that,” Dr. Nweke said.
Nweke further said though the Oil Mineral Areas Development Commission was in existence in Imo and Delta States, he expressed doubts as to the extent they were being funded by the States that created them.
“Since in the law today we have 13 per cent derivation to the States, the States can also make their own laws to establish this oil mineral areas development commission and take 13 per cent that comes into their coffers to deploy to these areas that actually produce this oil to enable government do what it ought to do, while the firms that are also engaged in development activities would ordinarily complement the activities of government.
“Going into 2020, the States in the region need to begin to sit and say how do we help to cushion the effect of underdevelopment in our region? Because I see the passion in the Governor of Rivers State in developing Rivers State. So he (Wike) can take a further step doing this and his name will be written in gold. It is not just establishing a commission without funding the commission or bringing men that have the passion.
“Let me give you an instance, the Governor of Rivers State has passion for the development of Rivers State. I am not just saying it, anybody can challenge me. Successive Governors too in Rivers State have also proven to also have passion for the development of Rivers State.
“If we have governors like our own that have passion to develop Rivers State, if as such a commission is also established, they will ensure that that commission live up to expectation. That DESOPADEC in Delta State failed, does not mean that if one is established in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River or Edo, or Bayelsa, that such commission will fail. If we have governors that have the political will to deliver like we have in Rivers State, such a commission will live up to its expectation,” Dr. Nweke stated.
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.
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