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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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Ex-Senate President’s Body Arrives Nigeria After 33 Months

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The body of Nigeria’s Second Republic Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas, has arrived Nigeria 33 months after his death in the United Kingdom.
The remains of the elder statesman, which arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday morning, were received by his family members; Cross River North Senator, Jarigbe Agom; Hon. Peter Akpanke; kinsmen, and other stakeholders.
The body was thereafter deposited at the morgue of the National Hospital, Abuja, after two years and nine months at a London morgue.
Senator Jarigbe, Hon. Akpanke and the family members of the late former two-time Senate President, were full of praises for Cross River State governor, Prince Bassey Otu, for his spirited efforts in facilitating the transportation of Dr Wayas’ remains to Nigeria.
They also commended the efforts of the Convener of the Who is Who Forum of Cross River North, Papa Dorn Cklaimz Enamhe and his Co-convener, Mr Johnny Agim, SAN, in mobilising Cross Riverians and Nigerians to ensure the successful return of the remains of the former Senate President.
Recall that Senator Wayas, who hailed from Cross River State, was Nigeria’s Senate President between 1979 and 1983.
Late Wayas was born on May 21, 1941. He died on November 30, 2021 in the United Kingdom following a protracted illness. Disagreements among members of his immediate family had delayed his burial rites since then.
Two years and nine months later, his body has been flown home from Heathrow Airport in London aboard a British Airways flight 083 and arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Wednesday at about 4:40am.
Speaking to journalists on arrival of the body of the elder statesman, the Senator representing Cross River North, Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, said “We have come to receive the body of late Senate President, Joseph Wayas, who died two and half years ago, and we just succeeded in bringing the body back to the country through the efforts of the Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Prince Bassey Otu.
“We are going to prepare for the funeral, report back to the Governor, and the Governor is going to take it up from there because the late statesman is the responsibility of the government and he will be accorded a state burial.”
However, he said the issues that caused the delay in bringing the body of the late Senate President back home “have been sorted out finally.”
Meanwhile, the lawmaker also thanked the leadership of the Who is Who in Cross River North led by the Convener, Dr Doncklaimz Enamhe, for their collaborative effort and support as he proceeded to sign the condolence register at Dr Wayas’ Asokoro residence in Abuja.
Also speaking, the member representing Obanliku/Bekwarra/Obudu Federal Constituency, Hon. Peter Akpanke, also said, “We are here to deposit the corpse of our political father, mentor, and former Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas. His body was flown today into Abuja from the United Kingdom, UK, and was received by the Distinguished Senator and all of us. So we came to the mortuary and the corpse has been deposited.”
On the contributions of the late Senate President to his people and national development, Hon. Akpanke noted that, “He was a two term Senate President without impeachment, impacted the lives of most of the people today, and he brought them up. Like FC Obudu, he brought that school, and built a lot of leaders today, and he was our political leader.”
Meanwhile, the Convener, Who is Who Forum of Northern Cross River, Dr Doncklaimz Enamhe, expressed gratitude to God for resolving everything that caused the delay, and appreciated the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu for his intervention that made everything to go well.
“The people of Northern Cross River under the aegis of Who is Who Forum of Northern Cross River realised that our father and our leader who had passed on two years and nine months back was still in a London morgue. So the first thing we did was to allay the fears of Nigerians by going to view the corpse, which we did in London, then now we have brought back our father.
“Everything has been resolved because the family is back, our leader is here, now we will bury him. Every family has issues once in a while, the good thing is that God has a way of resolving issues. When all of us met the corpse of our father we all became sober, weeping and crying, and to God be the glory our Senator, House of Rep Member, and Governor, they are all together with the Federal Government, the Senate President, and everybody is going to give Rt Hon Joseph Wayas, two term Senate President and acting President a befitting burial.”
Other stakeholders and leaders in attendance included; Senator Eteng Jonah Williams, Rt. Hon. Mike Etaba, Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, Jonny Agim, SAN, Hon. Cletus Obun, amongst others.

 

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Urges IGP To Stop Ex-lawmakers From Disrupting Rivers Governance

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, to caution the ousted 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly against actions capable of disrupting the smooth running of the state by Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Disclosing this in a press statement on Wednesday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, reminded the lawmakers loyal to the immediate past governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, that they publicly declared their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Citing the 1999 constitution in the statement, Mr Ologunagba insisted that by their defection, they had given up their legislative seats in the Assembly and, therefore, had lost the right to meet as the state’s lawmakers, let alone issue directives to the governor.
Mr Ologunagba, in the statement, said, “The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the umpteenth time, cautions the former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who lost their seats upon defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) @OfficialAPCNg to desist from actions and utterances that are capable of disrupting peace and governance in the State.
“The Party counsels the former lawmakers to wake up to the reality that they are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly by virtue of the self-executory provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and as such cannot gather or issue any notice to the State Governor in the capacity of members of Rivers State House of Assembly,” he explained.
According to the party’s national spokesperson, the caution followed the former lawmakers’ purported seven-day ultimatum issued from an unknown location to the governor to re-present the 2024 state’s budget already passed and signed into law.
Mr Ologunlagba said the action by the pro-Wike ex-lawmakers’ seeking to assume the powers of the state assembly “is apparently with the intension to cause crisis, undermine and disrupt the Democratic and Constitutional Order in the State in clear violation of Section 1 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
“Having irretrievably lost their seats upon their defection from the PDP, the political Party platform upon which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly, they cannot enjoy the powers, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly,” Mr Ologunagba insisted.

The party, therefore, charged the IG “to note the subversive action of these former lawmakers and take immediate action to protect the Institution of Democracy, peace and security in Rivers State.”

He also called on the people of the state to remain vigilant and law-abiding and continue working together for the continued stability, peace and delivery of democracy dividends in the state on the party’s platform.

 

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PDP Cautions Amaewhule, Others Over Ultimatum To Fubara

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The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again cautioned the Martins Amaewhule-led former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to desist from actions and utterances that are capable of disrupting peace and governance in the state.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary, the party reminded them that they had lost their seats upon defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party counselled the former lawmakers to “wake up to the reality that they are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly by virtue of the self-executory provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and as such cannot gather or issue any notice to the State Governor in the capacity of members of Rivers State House of Assembly.”
The PDP said that it was constrained to sound the warning against the backdrop of a purported seven-day ultimatum issued by the former lawmakers “from an unknown location to Governor Siminialayi Fubara to re-present the 2024 Rivers State budget which has already been passed and signed into law.”
The statement added: “This action by these individuals seeking to assume the powers of the Rivers House of Assembly is apparently with the intension to cause crisis, undermine and disrupt the Democratic and Constitutional Order in the State in clear violation of Section 1 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Having irretrievably lost their seats upon their defection from the PDP, the political Party platform upon which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly, they cannot enjoy the powers, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.”
The PDP charged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to note the subversive action of these former lawmakers and take immediate action to protect the Institution of Democracy, peace and security in Rivers State.
The party enjoined the people of Rivers State to remain vigilant, law-abiding and continue to work together for the continued stability, peace and delivery of democracy dividends in Rivers State on the platform of the PDP.

 

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