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NULGE Wants INEC To Conduct LG Polls

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The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take over the conduct of elections at the third tier of government across Nigeria.
President of the union, Ambali Olatunji, who disclosed this in a press conference in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, on Wednesday as part of activities marking the first NULGE National women conference, attributed the near-collapse state of local governments in Nigeria on the mode of the emergence of council chairmen, whom he said emerged through coronation, appointment and promotion, devoid of any form of credibility.
He insisted that only a democratically elected local government administration would be accountable to the people, therefore the state electoral body should not conduct the elections.
Olatunji also called for full autonomy to enable local government allocations to be paid directly into council accounts.
Reacting to the theme of the conference “The role of women in engendering peace and security”, the NULGE National President said the Local Government system was set up to provide employment for youths and women, while the state government should ensure an enabling environment.
He called on anti-corruption agencies to have units in local government headquarters where Nigerians at all levels could demand accountability from local government administrators.
The statement read: “We Clamour for political autonomy for Local Government whereby Independent National Electoral Commission will be conducting the Local Government Elections.
“The creation of state electoral commission has brought in a lot of abuse and lack of transparency in the conduct of LG elections. What they are doing now is not an election, it is a coronation, appointment, and promotion of political jobbers and political cronies into the administration of Local Government, thereby creating an avenue to siphon local government resources.
“That is why NULGE clamour for the conduct of credible and acceptable Democratic election at the LG level. if the process is thorough, the leadership would be a leadership voluntarily elected by the people that would be accountable to the people, not to the state government.
“NULGE is also clamouring for full financial autonomy for the Local Government Area. it is an absurdity to have a meal between a lion and a dog, and you put it in the center to allow the lion and the dog to share the food, when the lion finishes the meal, he will also go for the dog.
“So the local government allocation should be directly paid to the Local government account. The lacuna in the 1999 Constitution called the Joint Allocation Account is no longer acceptable to the Nigerian public and NULGE. It must be scrapped. It gives room for local government funds to be diverted and stolen by state political actors.
“The problem affecting LG is as a result of paucity of funds, if you want them to perform, then pay their allocation to them and hold them accountable. All anti-corruption agencies must have their headquarters at the Local Government levels to be the financial watchdogs that would put political actors on their toes.
“In the constitution, the collectibles of LG are fully listed, these include rate, taxes, advertisement rates, radio and television fees and so many others, but states have swept most of these, how do you want the Local Government to function?”
“The local government system has been consistently raped, as the Local Government allocation has been diverted and misused by the state political actors. We say no to that and as a union we reject it.”

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Islamic Leaders Blame Nigeria’s Woes On Leadership Failure 

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Islamic leaders in Rivers State have blamed the underdevelopment and high level of poverty in Nigeria on greed and bad leadership.
They also  called for an end to the lingering political crisis in Rivers State.
The Islamic clerics who spoke to newsmen  at the just concluded Eidel Fitri prayers at the Port Harcourt Central Mosque, Niger Street, regretted the high level of poverty in the country inspite of the country’s enormous resources.
The Vice President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Awelegbe Uhor, condemned the lingering political crisis in the state, adding that, if not checked, the situation could derail development efforts.
Alhaji Uhor also stressed the need for the various political parties in the state to work with Governor Siminalaye Fubara to move the state foreward.
He said Governor Fubara meant well for the state, adding that Rivers Moslems were beneficiaries of the policies and programmes of the current administration in the state.
Alhaji Uhor, who blamed the ravaging poverty in the country on greed, noted Nigeria has enough resources to make every body rich in the country.
He also said that Nigeria did not need to vote for any president based on religion, adding that moslems and Christians had been ruling the country since independence and the situation had not changed.
Also speaking the leader of Rivers state Moslems, Alhaji Suleiman Akani, warned that Rivers Moslems would not tolerate any impeachment against Governor Fubara.
Alhaji Akani described Governor Fubara as one of the most Moslems friendly governor since the inception of the state.
He said the governor had not neglected the moslems community since the inception of his administration, stressing that some Moslem umars have been sponsored for pilgrimage by the administration.
According to him, “Apart from Odili, this is the most Moslems friendly governor.
We moslems have benefitted so much from the present administration in the state.”
On his part, the Chief Imam of the Port Harcourt Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdul Malik Yahaya, called on Nigerians to cultivate the virtue of love for one another, stressing that the message of Salah was  about love for one another.
He also called on Moslems to show love, not only to fellow Moslems alone, but to  people of other faith as well.
Meanwhile the sole Administrator of the Rivers State Moslem Pilgrims welfare Board, Alhaji Abdul Rasaq Diepriye, has commended Governor Fubara for being the first governor in the country to sponsor Moslems to the Haj.
He said that it was the first time in several years that Rivers Moslems had felt a sense of belonging.
Alhaji Diepriye assured of the continuous support of the Moslem community to the administration.

By: John Bibor

 

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Rivers PDP Chieftain Hails Fubara’s Leadership Qualities

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A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Opobo/ Nkoro Local Government Area, Warisenibo  Tonye Fubara, has described Governor Siminalayi Fubara, his deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu and Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Rt. Hon Edison Ehie, as leaders with unbeatable transformational agenda.
Speaking with newsmen recently in Port Harcourt, Warisenibo Fubara said that they are astute, patriotic and typify leaders with quality mindset Nigerians, especially Rivers people yearn for, as far as purposeful, profit oriented and development -innovative governance is concerned.
He said: “Insecurity, political crisis, hunger and marginalization have become a cankerworms that have eaten deep into the fabrics of the oil and gas -rich state, in particular and the country in general.
He maintained that since Governor Siminalayi Fubara took over the mantle of leadership of the state in May, last year, till now, there has been relative peace across the state, noting that the political crisis in the state orchestrated by some mischief makers and greedy politicians was regrettable.
Warisenibo Fubara, a grassroot mobiliser in Opobo/Nkoro Ward 5, further hailed Governor Siminalayi Fubara, his Deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie for successfully triumphing over dictatorial leadership, describing them as “development pathfinders of our generation.”
He pointed out that Governor Fubara and his team were committed in the task of governing the state in the best interest of the state and  its people, not minding the negative and unproductive distractions of those who do not wish the state and its people well.
Meanwhile, Warisenibo Tonye Fubara has enjoined Rivers people to support Governor Siminalayi Fubara to provide the needed democratic dividends for all and sundry, adding that they should stand their ground to resist any attempt by the Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule -led Rivers State House of Assembly who threatened to impeach the Governor for vain glory and selfish ambition, without following the rule of law, as to please their pay masters.

By:   Bethel Toby

 

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Fubara’s Victory Thanksgiving: Semenitari Challenges Okocha Over Funding Allegation

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Former Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State,  Mrs Ibim Semenitari, has challenged the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha, to show proof that Governor Siminalaye Fubara is funding the thanksgiving services being held across the 23 local government areas in the state by the Simplified Movement.
Mrs Semenitari who said this during the thanksgiving service organized by the Okrika Local Government Area chapter of the Simplified Movement explained that the event was sponsored by simple people from the local government areas who are happy with the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the election victory of the governor.
She said what Rivers people should focus on his good governance, adding that Governor Fubara had shown commitment to keeping to his promises to Rivers people.
“The Rivers State Government is not spending a dime. I challenge him (Okocha) to bring out proof of Rivers State Government funding the thanksgiving service. It is a simple event funded by simple people”, she said.
Mrs Semenitari, who was also a one time Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the occasion was an opportunity for Rivers people to show appreciation to God for what He had done in Rivers State.
‘It is an opportunity to say to God, we are grateful; that we are grateful to God for the victory without rancour; we are grateful that we have the opportunity to celebrate a Governor who had a peaceful disposition. But beyond that, also a prayer by Rivers people that we are tired, we don’t want any more crisis.
“We want our state to progress. We have a Governor who is committed to driving development across every local government area. For us, that is what matters” she said.

By: John Bibor

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