Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has signed a legal instrument into law, as an executive action sequel to the resolution of the state House of Assembly.
With the signing, the recognition that accorded Sir Celestine Omehia the status of a former governor of the state, with accruable rights and benefits, are now cancelled.
Wike signed the instrument at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Friday, when it was presented to him by the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Prof Zacchaeus Adangor.
The governor disclosed that he had always respected resolutions from the state House of Assembly and never had any reason to disagree with them.
“Yesterday, I received a resolution from the Assembly de-recognising Sir Celestine Omehia, who had enjoyed the privileges of a former governor of the state.
“But you will recollect that sometime in 2007/2008, my predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, did not recognise Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of the state.
“When we came on board, there were issues and the Assembly felt that, having served as governor, he should enjoy the status of a former governor. I’ve always respected the resolutions of the Assembly. I’ve never one day disagreed with anything the Assembly has sent to me.”
Wike pointed to the reasons adduced by the leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly that the strength of the information they have now had compelled them to reverse what they did in 2015.
The governor noted that the hallmark of leadership was being able to acknowledge that there was error done in the course of administration and having the courage to correct such error.
“The leader of the House said they have better facts and what are the facts? The facts are the Supreme Court judgement categorically stated that Sir Celestine Omehia was never a governor, because he never stood for any election, and that it will be inappropriate for their (Assembly) legacy that they didn’t respect the judgement of the Supreme Court.
“In this part of our country, people will praise you when it suits them, but when you do the uncommon thing, people will not praise you.”
Wike stressed the need for people to keep politics away from what had been done.
He further urged people to get a copy of the Supreme Court judgement, and understand that it was the right thing to derecognise Omehia in the eye of the law.
“I had to call the Attorney General for him to give me his legal opinion as regards the resolution of the Assembly, and rightly, the Attorney General said they (Assembly) are right.
“That in the first instance, the recognition was extra-judicial, that the Assembly has no power to change the judgement of any court, not to talk of the Supreme Court. So, people should understand, and not begin to play politics with it.”
Wike explained as untrue insinuation in the media that Sir Celestine Omehia was derecognised because he had ceased to be his ally, and now a member of the presidential campaign council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He stated the Assembly had woken to conscience and did not want posterity to blame them for an error they had done which they could correct.
Wike likened it to the position members of the National Assembly also found themselves when they were working on the Electoral Amendment Bill.
“Remember, last time, the National Assembly, when they were making the amendment of the Electoral Act, everybody said they should include the card reader, and that was in 2018/2019.
“The National Assembly did not do it, particularly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) members, and people told them what they were doing will hunt them. ‘Posterity will not forgive you if you do not allow democracy to thrive’.
“In the new Electoral Amendment Act, because they knew they did not do the right thing before, they had to include it, and you can see that members of the National Assembly are happy that they have done the right thing.”
Wike also pointed to the sum of money paid to Sir Celestine Omehia as a proof against those who peddled tales that government does not pay such benefits at all.
“If this did not happen, nobody will even know that the state government has been coughing out such amount of money to pay as benefits.
“I’m sure, they must have told you that no benefits and all entitlements were never paid, that is what you hear everywhere.
“But yesterday, when it was revealed that the state government coughed out such amount of money to pay as benefits as recommended by the Assembly, and now, they have sent the resolution to me, I thank God today, without looking back, I have signed it as instrument, and it will be gazetted for record purposes”, Wike said.
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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