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Governor Bulldozes Parliament And No One Bothers? By Felix Oboagwina

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Governor Bulldozes Parliament And No One Bothers?

By

Felix Oboagwina

I care little for former Rivers State’s Governor Nyesom Wike and the 25 pro-Wike lawmakers in the State House of Assembly. However, in their current quarrel with the incumbent Governor Simi Fubara (the godson who succeeded Wike), only one factor works against Wike in the court of public opinion: In the 2023 elections, the Rivers strongman worked for the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President; and Tinubu has today raised Nigerians’ pain and poverty to record proportions! President Tinubu’s failures solely win for Fubara massive support in this lingering faceoff with Wike, his erstwhile godfather, predecessor and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

 

Governor Bulldozes Parliament And No One Bothers?

By
Felix Oboagwina

 

This colourless former Rivers State Accountant-General emerged as the Dark Horse and clinched the Rivers governorship completely by the grace of Wike. How? In the penchant of political godfathers to prepare for themselves a soft post-office landing, by planting spineless acolytes as successors, Wike manipulated Fubara over far popular and formidable aspirants, and handed him PDP’s Rivers State governorship ticket. Wike financed all the campaigns, swayed the rostrum with his oratory and persona, brought in the votes and handed Fubara the election on a platter of gold. But talk of Karma. Not only has Fubara turned around to bite the fingers that moulded him, he has injured Democracy in the most unimaginable fashion.

Fubara Speaks On Tinubu's Intervention In Rivers Crises

 

As the Yoruba say, the new king devours the kingmaker first. Fubara turned against Wike and rubbished him. Not done, Fubara, late 2023, stormed the Rivers State House of Assembly (having majority 25-7 as Wike PDP loyalists), with police firing gunshots and water cannons to keep the rampaging Governor at bay!

His supporters thereafter set ablaze the Parliament building.

Fubara then sent the demolition squad to bulldoze the entire complex to smithereens.

Every single one of these anti-legislative steps amounted to a desecration of Democracy and an assault on a sacred institution of popular government. It amounts to treason!

This much President Tinubu told Fubara to his face when the First Citizen brokered peace between these gladiators. The Parliament, everywhere, exists as the truest representation of the people and the incontrovertible custodian of Democracy. Whereas the Executive and the Judiciary exist in other forms of government (autocracy, military, monarchical), the Legislature’s participation distinguishes Democracy from all of them. Thus, demolishing its habitation connotes the highest threat to Democracy. The Congress is an institution; and we have always mouthed the need to build strong institutions as opposed to strong politicians.

Fubara went further. Most recently, he AGAIN stormed the makeshift accommodation that the Rivers Parliament resorted to at the Assembly Quarters. Then, on May 10, “Emperor” Fubara enacted an Executive Order to force the House of Assembly to hold its sittings inside the Government House! Sacrilege! Whatever happened to the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers?

Imagine the contradiction. An Executive Order passed on the Legislature! The Executive ORDERS the Legislature! How can? Nowhere does the Constitution place the control of the Legislature (and the Judiciary) under the Executive.

These assaults the Rivers State Legislature has endured.

Pray, who advises this guy?

The Legislature is made so potently powerful that the Constitution allows it to overrule the Governor and railroad a Bill into law without his consent.

Section 96(5) says:

Where the Governor withholds assent and the bill is again passed by the House of Assembly by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the Governor shall not be required.

Even the budget of the Legislature, like that of the Judiciary, goes by first-line charge, all in order to ensure its independence and the Separation of Powers.

How can a Governor with the vast resources at his disposal prove incapable of lobbying, courting and winning over the State House of Assembly, and instead His Excellency resorts to thuggish, strong-arm tactics? You wonder what terror this character wouldn’t unleash if backed by a Rivers State Police Force completely at his beck and call!

Fubara-Wike’s wahala factionalised the House of Assembly 25 to seven and the Accountant-General-turned Governor chose to work with the minority, in clear violation of Section 96 that says:

(1) The quorum of a House of Assembly shall be one-third of all the members of the House.

(2) If objection is taken by any member of a House of Assembly present that there are present in that House (besides the person presiding) fewer than one-third of all the members of that House and that it is not competent for the House to transact business, and after such interval as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the House, the person presiding ascertains that the number of members present is still less than one-third of all the members of the House, he shall adjourn the House.

The majority of Rivers legislators, for political expediency and most likely to take cover under the Federal might, crossed carpet to the ruling APC.

Commissioners are resigning from Fubara’s cabinet, citing the toxic atmosphere working with him.

The 23 local government chairmen have drawn a battle line with him.

All these could be predictable because most of those officials owe their emergence in office and pledge loyalty to Wike. They all jumped ship after Fubara, egged on by whomever, flung reconciliation with Wike against the rocks.

Contrary to President Tinubu’s peace agreement that Fubara and Wike’s group signed December 2023 at Aso Rock, the Governor refused to re-present the 2024 budget to the State House of Assembly, continuing to work with an illegal Appropriation Act passed by a mere seven out of 32 lawmakers. This he did even when, in the spirit of that agreement, the majority Wike group of legislators withdrew their lawsuits against him and aborted impeachment proceedings on the understanding that the budget would be properly presented for passage.

Bottom line? The crisis in Rivers goes beyond a Fubara-Wike brouhaha. It queries the very essence of Nigeria’s Democracy and the sanctity of the Nigerian Constitution. Everyone taking sides does so with the mentality of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those beating the drum for Fubara’s dance of madness are pushing Nigerian Democracy to ride the back of a tiger. How do you end the ride without Democracy ending up as a meal down the tiger’s throat? If Fubara’s style of burning, demolishing and choking the Legislature becomes a culture, then what fate befalls this Democracy? If the President takes a cue and chooses to tackle the National Assembly in a similar style? What species of Legislature will the Upper and Lower Chambers turn to, being Executive-ordered to perform legislative duties right inside the Aso Rock Villa, under the nose of the President?

The problem that lovers of Democracy must tackle is stopping Fubara becoming a role model for how the Executive can emasculate and stifle the Legislature’s independence at the state and Federal levels. Or are we going to let Fubara get away with this abuse of the Parliament because of the disdain we nurse for his adversaries, Wike and Tinubu?

OBOAGWINA IS AN AUTHOR, JOURNALIST AND PUBLISHER, REACHABLE VIA: [email protected]

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RIVERS UNREST: IGP CONDEMNS KILLING OF OFFICERS, SECURITY THREAT, ORDERS INVESTIGATIONS, HEIGHTENED SECURITY

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Commiserates with Family, Loved Ones of Deceased

 

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, condemns in the strongest terms the recent outbreak of violence and subsequent breakdown of law and order at various Local Government Council secretariats in Rivers State, where supporters of two political factions clashed over the tenure of Local Government Council Chairmen, which unfortunately led to the tragic deaths of a Police Officer – Inspector David Mgbada, and Samuel Nwigwe, a vigilante member at Eberi-Omuma in Omuma LGA.

 

In response to these heinous acts, the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, CP Olatunji Disu, to heighten security measures across the state and institute thorough investigations into the killing of the police officer and the vigilante operative, as well as the general violence which erupted in the state. The IGP has specifically deployed operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) to assist the Rivers State Command in apprehending the killers of the police officer and the vigilante member. The IGP seriously warns individuals and groups of people who have a penchant for senseless attacks and mindless killings of police officers and other security operatives across the country to desist forthwith as the fullest force of the law will be meted on them.

 

The CP has also been directed to focus on increased patrols, strategic deployment of officers, and enhanced intelligence operations to prevent further violence and ensure the safety of all residents. The IGP extends heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the deceased police officer and the vigilante member noting that their dedication and sacrifice in the line of duty will not be taken for granted.

 

The Inspector General of Police calls on all residents and political stakeholders in the State to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means of resolving differences.

 

ACP OLUMUYIWA ADEJOBI, mnipr, mipra, fCAI,

FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

FOR: INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE

 

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CSOs back Shippers Council Regulatory Bill

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CSOs back Shippers Council Regulatory Bill

 

A group of 45 civil society groups under the auspices of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria for Promotion of Accountability and Transparency in Governance (CCSGNPATG) have thrown their weight behind the proposed Nigeria Shippers Council regulatory agency.

 

Recall that the Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigeria Shippers’ Council Act and enact the Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill and Related Matter passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

 

This crucial legislation aims to empower the Nigerian Shippers Council to effectively regulate the shipping industry, protect the interests of shippers, and promote economic growth.

 

Speaking on behalf of the groups at a press conference on Monday,  Patriot Nwogu Ndubisi hailed the

Committee on Shipping Services for its inclusivity, giving stakeholders the platform to make inputs to the bill at a public hearing.

 

He said the bill will bring much-needed transparency, accountability, and efficiency to the sector while strengthening the Shippers Council’s regulatory powers, reduce costs, increase competition, and improve service delivery.

 

He, therefore, said that the passage of this bill will have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy and the lives of citizens.

 

“Our coalition is pleased to note that 99% of the opinions expressed at the public hearing were in favour of the Bill as presented,” Ndubisi added.

 

“We also note that a few amendments were suggested, which the House Committee on Shipping Services, ably led by Honourable Abdulsamad Dansuki, has promised to take notice of. Such an accommodating disposition is what the electorates expect of our lawmakers, and we look forward to the House sustaining this trend.

 

“We want to specifically commend the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Rt. Hon. Tajudden Abbas for the speedy consideration of the Bill by the People’s House under his leadership.

 

“This is even as we use this opportunity to appeal to the Right Honourable Speaker to help sustain this tempo given the significance of this bill and its importance to the national economy and the positive impact it would have on the lives of citizens.

 

“We, therefore, plead with Senate President Godswill Akpabio that Nigerians are eager to see the Senate replicate the pace the House has adopted in treating the Bill.

 

“We are of the view that such accelerated handling of the Shipping Council Regulatory Bill aligns with the Senate President’s avowal to tackle inflation, economic hardship, and difficulties that Nigerians are facing. We look forward to commending the Senate for the manner it will treat the bill when it comes to the Red Chamber for concurrence.

 

“Our final appeal goes to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his speedy assent when the Bill is transmitted to the Presidency. With the passion he has shown for rebooting Nigeria’s economy to its optimum, we do not doubt that Mr President will greet the Shipping Council Regulatory Bill with the same urgency with which the Students Loan Bill was greeted to become an Act.

 

“Meanwhile, we laud the Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for getting it right with the Shipping Council Regulatory Bill.  The support he has mobilised so far shows his level of transparency and zeal to regulate the maritime economy. Posterity will be kind to him and all his subordinates who made the progress of the Bill a reality.

 

“To our compatriots, Nigerians, we ask that as stakeholders we continue to collectively support our lawmakers in the National Assembly to make the eventual delivery of a ‘Shipping Council Regulatory Act’ a reality.“

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Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

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Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

Former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai felicitates Muslims on the occasion of Eid Kabir Sallah celebration, calling for peaceful coexistence among Citizens irrespective of ethno-religious difference.
In a speech delivered shortly after the Eid Prayer, Buratai emphasized the importance of prayer in addressing the challenges of life and security in Nigeria.
The remark, which was given in an interview with a journalist shortly after Eid prayer, stated, “Prayer is the weapon of the believer, so there is a need for prayers for peace and prosperity in the country.”
“I also want to use this occasion to urge the community to cooperate with the security forces to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.
“There is need to remind ourselves on this special occasion of the significance of unity, prayer, and cooperation in building a peaceful and prosperous society”. Buratai said.
Sallah: Buratai Felicitates Muslims, Calls for Prayers, Cooperation for Peaceful Coexistence

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