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Plot To Unseat Speaker Will Face Dire Consequences – Wike

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has warned that those hatching plans to unseat the Speaker of the State House of Assembly would face dire consequences, saying they should be prepared to pitch a fight against PDP.
The governor also warned blackmailers and elements whose stock in trade was to create confusion within PDP to know that such indulgence would never fetch anybody the gubernatorial ticket of the party in the state.
He gave the warning last Thursday during the inauguration of the official residence of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly in Old GRA, Port Harcourt.
He vowed that he would never support anyone who does not have the vision and strength of mind to champion the cause of the state progressively to succeed him in 2023.
Performing the inauguration, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Austin Opara , said the administration of Governor Wike had impacted every arm of government, sectors, local government areas and transformed the state to the envy of the people of the country.
Also last week, Governor Wike announced the relaxation of the night curfew across the state with effect from last weekend.
In a state broadcast last Tuesday at Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike stated that the relaxation of the curfew was sequel to the measurable improvements in the security situation in the state as well as other neighbouring states.
The governor, who explained that the primary concern of the state government was the security of the state commended residents of the state for their support and solidarity.
The two months roll out of Programme for inauguration of completed projects and flag -off of new ones by Governor Wike’s administration came to a successful conclusion last week with the flag-off of the 5.33KM  Ogu-Ekporo-Kpogo-Wakama Road in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area last Friday.
It had been a harvest of projects as the state government rolled out projects across the 23 local government areas of the state. More roads, flyovers, the three new campuses of the state university located at Etche, Emohua and Ahoada were flagged off within the period. Other numerous projects on agriculture, education, housing, security, health and several other sectors were showcased.
Speaking at the Friday project flag-off in Ogu/Bolo , Governor Wike restated his vow not to betray the trust bestowed on him by the Rivers electorate.
He particularly acknowledged the doggedness of Ogu and Okrika women in resisting the military against rigging the 2019 election.
“This is one of the local government areas that was very strong for me. During the last 2019 election, it was historic, it was like the Aba Women Riot.
“ It was here that the women revolution started as against the military, that wanted to rig us out in that election. Each time I remember, I say God thank you for using these women”, Wike said.
For their strong support to his administration, Governor Wike, also promised to dredge 25 hecters of land , and to reconstruct the Eteo-Ogu road for them.
Also within the week under review, the governor urged the leadership of the National Union of Rivers State Students ( NURSS) to resist any attempt by disgruntled politicians to use them to cause friction or instigate them  against the state government.
Governor Wike gave the advice last Monday during the inauguration of the ultramodern secretariat built for the student body  at the state university by his administration.
He attributed the current ranking of the state university as one of the best in the country, to the huge investment his administration had made in the past six years to improve infrastructure, capacity building and welfare of workers.
The Rivers State Governor attended the meeting of the Southern Governors Forum ( SGF ) held last Monday at Lagos State Government House, Lagos.
SGF in the said meeting , came up with a six-point communique in which it demanded that southern states should produce the next president of the country; rejected the proposed 3 per cent oil host Communities fund passed by the Upper Chambers of the National Assembly in the Petroluem Industry Bill (PIB).

The Forum set 1st September 2021 as timeline for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all southern states and also rejected the removal of the Electronic transmission of election results from the Electoral Act, among others. 

By: Chris Oluoh

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PDP Reschedules NEC Meeting For Sept 26

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has slated September 26 for its second National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the year.
The date was announced by the party through its 2024 adjusted timetable and schedule of activities for congresses, which were released to party members and stakeholders on Monday.
Ahead of the September NEC meeting, the party has slated July 27 for the conduct of ward/delegate congresses to elect ward executives as well as three ad hoc delegates in 23 out of the 36 states of the country, including Abuja.
The timetable also disclosed that, among other things, the NEC is expected to ratify the list of executives that will emerge from the congresses.
According to the timetable, local government congresses to elect council executives and national delegates in 21 affected states are expected to follow on August 10th.
Recall that in April, the PDP held its first NEC meeting after acrimonious elections in 2023, where many of its high-profile members were involved in anti-party activities.
The party remains polarised, with some members supporting former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party, and others queuing behind the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Nyesom Wike.
The outcome of the election and issues surrounding the role played by its leaders led to the suspension of the National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, by his Igyorov Ward executives from the Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.
However, the effort to remove the Acting National Chairman, Ambassador Illiya Damagum, to allow the North Central region where Ayu hails from to produce its successor was deferred to the next NEC meeting earlier slated for August, which has now been shifted to September.

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Edo, Ondo 2024: INEC Warns Personnel Against Corrupt Practices

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the success of any election largely depends on the professionalism and competence of those responsible for conducting it.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this while warning its personnel against unethical and corrupt practices in the upcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
He spoke on Monday in Abuja at a lecture in honour of late Abubakar Momoh, former director-general of The Electoral Institute (TEI), from August 2013 to May 2017.
Prof. Yakubu, represented by the National Commissioner, and Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, warned that any unethical practice before, during and after those elections would incur severe punishments under the law.
The theme of the lecture was: “Achieving Professionalism Among Election Personnel Through Effective Training in Preparation for the Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections.’’
He advised electoral officers to be guided by the principles of integrity, impartiality, transparency, professionalism, gender and disability sensitivity.
He said it was important for electoral personnel to be knowledgeable, skilled and well-equipped with relevant competencies to handle the complexities and challenges of the electoral process.
“Moreover, the crucial role election personnel play in upholding the integrity of our democratic processes cannot be overstressed.
“The manner in which they discharge their duties and responsibilities affects the degree of confidence voters will have in the electoral process, which will impact their participation and turnout,’’ he said.
Prof. Yakubu said that to ensure credibility and trustworthiness in elections and build trust among the electorate, INEC had always prioritised the professional development of its election personnel.
He said the commission identified effective and efficient electoral training as the key to unlocking professionalism among election personnel.
“The commission’s involvement in effective training programmes has empowered its staff to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in order to strengthen our processes and procedures to serve the interests of all Nigerians,’’ he said.
The Director General of TEI, Dr Sa’ad Idris, in his remarks, said that INEC, in pursuit of its mission and vision, had prioritised professionalism toward achieving free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections.
“As we prepare for the 2024 Edo and Ondo off-cycle governorship elections, the commission is assured that the outcome of effective training of election personnel will manifest in a high level of professionalism”, he said.

 

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Reps Propose Rotational Presidency, Six-Year Single Term

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A bill seeking a single term of six years for the President and state governors was brought up on Monday by 35 members of the House of Representatives.
The bill also canvasses the rotation of the presidency among the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The 35 legislators, under the auspices of Reform-minded Legislators, said the proposition would lead to a reduction in the cost of governance.
Addressing a press conference at the National Assembly Complex on Monday, the spokesman for the group, Ikenga Ugochinyere, added that the move would unite the country and ensure a seamless transition and unprecedented development for the country.
Hon Ugochinyere emphasised the need to interrogate the challenges facing the Nigerian state, saying, “We should not be afraid to meet and discuss our problems, challenges, fears, aspirations, and prospects as a people. We should not discuss in fear and we should never fear to discuss.”
Speaking on the bill, Hon Ugochinyere, who represents Ideato North/Idaeto South Federal Constituency of Imo State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said, “On governance, we are proposing a constitutional alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of states. We are proposing to amend Section 3 of the constitution to provide for the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones.
“And also, to amend the constitution to provide for a single tenure of six years for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the state governors. This will bring about a reduction in government spending and wastage; promote efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and the governors.”
The lawmakers drawn from different political parties are also seeking amendments to the constitution “to create the office of two Vice Presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria.”
Hon Ugochinyere explained that the First Vice President would be a succession vice president, while the Second Vice President would be a minister in charge of the economy, and both shall be ministers.
Hon Ugochinyere said the 35 lawmakers were also pushing for a “constitutional amendment to provide that the President and the First Vice President shall come from the same part of the country (North or South) and the First Vice President shall become President whenever the President becomes incapacitated, that is, VP (succession), VP (Administration and Economy).”
The bill also seeks financial autonomy and accountability of local government councils by prescribing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account solely superintendent by Local Councils. It prescribes long-term imprisonment for any misuse of local government funds.
On electoral reforms, the group proposed amendments to the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to ensure “that all elections (presidential, governorship, National Assembly, state Houses of Assembly, and local Governments) are held on the same day.”
Hon Ugochinyere said, “We are pushing for amendments to relevant sections of the Electoral Act to provide that no declaration of a winner of an election shall be done by the relevant Independent National Electoral Commission officials until such officer has compared the results with the list of accredited voters and ensured that the results to be declared are in tandem with the list of accredited voters and the B-VAS machine or any other electronic device.
“Amend the Electoral Act to provide that any INEC officer who declares a false result will be liable for civil and criminal action personally brought against him by parties in the elections.
“An amendment to the Electoral Act to provide that all election-related litigations must be resolved and determined by the Elections Petitions Tribunal, Appeal Courts, etc before the winners are sworn into the respective elective offices.

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