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Fubara Rejigs Rivers Traditional Rulers Council  …Appoints Eze Wodo As Chairman …Urges Unity, Quality Service Delivery



Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has announced the Paramount Ruler of Apara Kingdom, Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, as the new Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers following the inactivity and the absence of effective leadership of the council under Eze Ohna Sergeant Chidi Awuse.

Governor Fubara made the announcement at a special meeting he had with members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Eze Chike Worlu Wodo is the Paramount Ruler of Apara Kingdom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State.

The Governor, in announcing the new chairman, terminated the appointment of the Paramount Ruler of Emohua Kingdom, Eze Ohna Sergeant Chidi Awuse, who, within his statutory one-year tenure as chairman, failed to steer the affairs of the council aright, and unable to promote cordial relationship among members and with the State Government.

Governor Fubara pointed out that, under Eze Sergeat Awuse, the council produced a calendar for the year 2024, and insulted the State Government by deliberately refusing to include the photographs of the Governor and the Deputy Governor.

Such posture, Governor Fubara noted, among others, clearly demonstrated that the council under that kind of leadership had not, and would never live up to expectations.

He said, “I want the council to live up to its responsibility. From my observation, the council is moribund. So, I can feel that the council, for a while now, has been very inactive. Inactive because, maybe, the chairman has decided not to be responsible as a chairman. I think that is the best way to describe it.

“I am not talking about other things that have been happening. But I feel there are responsibilities of the chairman, and so far, I have not felt it and you can also attest to that, that you are not seeing that leadership that you expect.

“I would like to draw your attention to a special insult that was meted to this government. The council produced a calendar for the year of our Lord 2024, and the Governor’s picture, and the Deputy Governor’s picture are not in the calendar.

“I want to ask you: does it show any sign that, that leadership is working with this government? I hope you have a copy of it? Does it show that your chairman is working with this government?

“So, I have decided today, we have to move forward. By the special grace of God, the administrative life-span of the chairman is one year, which is renewable. So, at this particular time, I have to say that with the power vested on me, I announce that the tenure of Chief Sergeant Awuse has been terminated.”

Governor Fubara said, at such critical time of his administration, when peace is cardinal with traditional rulers, who are closer to the people, not properly coordinated, it will be difficult to achieve the required harmony and coexistence among the people.

The Governor pointed out that there was need to have a more competent and diligent traditional ruler with the presence of mind, and ability to carry everybody along, stressing that Eze Chike Worlu Wodo most appropriately fits into that cap, with a fatherly personality, mature character, integrity and pedigree.

Governor Fubara clarified that Eze Apara Kingdom can also access every traditional ruler, elicit their cooperation and be able to provide the needed direction that the council dearly needed.

“So, going forward, there is need to have a leadership that will accommodate everybody and move this council forward.

“Let me, before saying other things, announce here that the new chairman from this particular moment will be Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, Eze Ohna Apara, Paramount Ruler of Apara Kingdom. He will be the chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, and I believe strongly that he is going to do better and accommodate everyone.”

Governor Fubara said: “Traditional Rulers are the closest to our locals. If you want peace in the community, we must work with the traditional rulers. And our government is a government that pays serious priority to peace. So, I want everyone of you to ensure that we maintain peace in our localities.

“Let me request from our new chairman that: please, as we leave here, there is every need for you to call for meeting immediately and commence the process of uniting the council.”

Governor Fubara recalled how a former governor in the State had sternly warned a traditional ruler in Ahoada East Local Government Area during a public event but added that he would not take that route.

Instead, the Governor said that his approach would be, as a respecter of elders, rather appeal to all traditional rulers to ensure cooperation with the State Government.

Governor Fubara said, it is such cooperation that will ensure the peace in your domains, notwithstanding your political inclinations, and will foster a stronger and united Rivers State.

He said, “I am not bothered or interested in your political affiliations, but when it comes to issues of the council, that should bring you together, your decision should and must flow in the direction of government.

“If you are doing anything outside, that is your own, but you cannot, I repeat that when it comes to the issues of the council, government has given you recognition to belong, you cannot go against the government, it’s very wrong.

“You can be in whatever it is, but when it comes to our own interest as a State and Government, you must work with our interest. I remember when we went to Ahoada-East, in Ekpeye land to perform an activity, a former Governor openly threatened one of you, and warned that if you try it, I will do this, I will do that.

“But I am not going to warn any of you because you are our fathers. I will appeal to you to please give us all the necessary support and cooperation so that we can have a united State that everyone of us will be proud of.

“Let me appeal to everyone of us, today is an opportunity that God has provided to Eze Chike Worlu Wodo. Tomorrow, it can be any other person’s. You need to give him the respect. You need to give him the support to succeed; so that when it comes to your turn, that same measure will be given to you.”

Governor Fubara assured of addressing the issues of making available official vehicles to the traditional rulers, and other allowances due them soonest.

The Governor also urged the new chairman to commence the process of updating the record of all First Class, Second Class and Third Class traditional rulers in the State, and make it available to his office next Tuesday.

In his acceptance speech, the new Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, the Eze Ohna Apara, Paramount Ruler of Apara Kingdom, said he was overwhelmed with joy for the opportunity to serve the State in such capability.

Eze Wodo pledged that he will foster unity, devote his time and energy to the assignment given to him, and work in synergy with every member of the council to ensure that there was peace within their various domains.

He also assured the readiness of the council to synergise with the State Government to maintain peace and harmony in the communities so as to fast track the development of the entire State.

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Tanker Inferno: We’re Saddened By Extent Of Carnage -Fubara



Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has described as very unfortunate the fire incident caused by a tanker conveying premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol which burnt motorists and commuters beyond recognition and destroyed a good number of vehicles.
The incident occurred between Indorama Gate and Aleto Bridge on the popular and ever busy Eleme section of the East-West Road now undergoing major reconstruction by the Federal Government.
Governor Fubara expressed his sadness at the gory sights that he saw when he visited the scene of the incident, accompanied by the State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, and the State Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Uchechukwu Nwafor, on Saturday morning.
The Governor explained that he got a call from the Managing Director of Indorama Petrochemical and Fertiliser Company Limited in Eleme Local Government Area, informing him of the incident.
At the news of the incident, Governor Fubara stated that he immediate routed a call to the security agencies and instructed that they visit the scene to take charge of the security of the area to avoid escalation of the situation.
Governor Fubara said: “We are here to see for ourselves and get a first hand information of the incident of what happened yesterday night.
“About 7.30 – 8pm, we got information of the gravity of the incident. I was told that it was caused by a tanker vehicle that was conveying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“In fact, I got the information through the MD of Indorama, and I immediately alerted the security agencies to make sure they take control of the security situation in the area.
“And from what we are seeing this morning, it was not a pleasant case. We recorded a huge number of vehicles being destroyed and lives lost.
Governor Fubara explained that he had already requested the relevant government agencies to provide him a detailed account of their findings to enable the State Government take appropriate decisions and actions to significantly remedy the situation and reduce the negative on the affected people.
“I have already asked the relevant agencies to give us a full brief so that we can come into the situation fully by seeing to how much we can support the families that are bereaved, and also cushion the effect of the loses, which I believe, is no fault of a good number of them.
“We all know the situation of this road. It is really unfortunate. Most of our people, when plying this road, should ply it with caution.
“I believe very strongly that this situation would have been avoidable, if the motorists had behaved properly. But it is late already. The damage has happened. This is the situation we have found ourselves. We will see how we can control the aftermath,” he added.

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Fubara Vows To Tackle Inadequate Manpower, Corruption In Healthcare System



Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has promised to make the State first choice medical tourism destination in Nigeria and Africa at large.
The governor made the promise yesterday while speaking to newsmen in Government House, Port Harcourt, on the modest achievements of his administration in the health sector since assumption of office.
According to a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, Fubara identified some challenges that have frustrated smooth delivery of healthcare services in the State, and promised to tackle them.
He identified lack of manpower, corruption, indiscipline and poor management as part of the challenges confronting the healthcare system in the state, assuring that he would nip them in the bud.
The governor said to achieve the vision, his administration is seriously paying greater attention to improving healthcare infrastructure and services available to the people, particularly at the primary level to bridge observed gaps between the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services in the State.
He stressed that the ongoing reconstruction, rehabilitation and upgrade of all primary healthcare facilities across the State, with a view to integrating them with existing secondary and tertiary institutions, was intended to deliver immediate, but quality healthcare services to majority of the people.
He said: “With all these on ground, it is evident that the primary challenges in our healthcare system are more with inadequate manpower, corruption, indiscipline and ineffective management.
“We will deal with all identified challenges and ensure that the healthcare system functions optimally to deliver affordable and efficient services to all citizens of the State.”
He stated that, besides the construction, renovation and upgrade of primary healthcare centres across the State, the capacity of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) has been improved with the training of personnel, and establishment of critical units, equipped with modern equipment to deliver sterling expertise services to patients.
Fubara said: “We are proud of our modest achievements in the health sector, particularly in the construction of primary healthcare centres. We are also supporting the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital to perform optimally. Do not also forget the contributory healthcare insurance law that we have started implementing.
“I assure you that we will complete all the ongoing healthcare infrastructure projects that we have around the state.”
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Oreh, said that under the leadership of Governor Fubara, the State has experienced formidable strides in building a rigorous and robust primary healthcare system.
Dr Oreh noted that the current emphasis was on renovating and upgrading already existing primary healthcare facilities in order to enhance their functionality so that Rivers people can have access to affordable and accessible primary healthcare services in the State.

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RSG Faults Assembly On Assembly Service Commission Law



The Rivers State Government has faulted the State House of Assembly over the passing into law of the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission Amendment Bill, 2024.
The Tide learnt that 24 lawmakers loyal to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, were present at last Friday’s emergency plenary where the new law was enacted without the governor’s assent.
The action of the lawmakers to override the governor was sequel to an observation by the House Majority Leader, Major Jack, that the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission Amendment Bill which was sent to Governor Siminalayi Fubara since February 19, 2024 had yet to be assented to by the governor.
But the Chief of Staff, Rivers State Government House, Hon. Edison Ehie, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Saturday and made available to The Tide, said the lawmakers lacked the powers they intend to assume.
Ehie stated, “The Rivers State House of Assembly lacks the powers, legal or otherwise, to remove the power of appointment of the Chairman and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission from the governor and vest that power on themselves.
“The provision in the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Law, 2024 seeking to vest that power on the House is in clear contravention of the 1999 Constitution, and therefore, a nullity in the eyes of the Law. See the case of MacFoy v UAC (1961) 3 All ER 1169 where the court held that you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand.”
Ehie argued that the alteration to the Third Schedule, paragraph 1A provides that the composition, tenure, structure, finance, functions, powers, and other proceedings of the Commission shall be as prescribed by a law of the House of Assembly of the State, but that the appointment of the Chairman and members of the Commission is not listed therein.
He, therefore, asserted that the power to appoint the Chairman and members of the House of Assembly Service Commission lies with the governor, as is the case with the other bodies listed under Section 197 of the 1999 Constitution.
“There is nothing in the Alteration that, by any stretch of imagination, can be inferred to confer the power of appointing the Chairman and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission on the Rivers State House of Assembly, notwithstanding the fact that the law creating the Commission was enacted by the Rivers State House of Assembly”, he said.
The Chief of Staff further argued that the purport of Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution is that the Assembly Service Commission is not an appendage of the legislature but under the control of the State Government, adding that, “Even at the national level, the members of the National Assembly Service Commission are appointed by the President in collaboration with the National Assembly.”

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