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Stop Fubara From Presenting Budget Afresh, Rivers Elders Tell Court

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Some elders in Rivers State have filed a motion ex parte urging the court to stop Governor Siminalaye Fubara from presenting the 2024 budget afresh to the state House of Assembly.

The governor had in December presented an N800bn 2024 budget to a faction of the Assembly, comprising four lawmakers.

Following the passage of the budget by the lawmakers, Fubara subsequently signed the budget into law.

The Rivers Assembly became factionalised following a move by 27 lawmakers loyal to ex-governor Nyesom Wike to impeach Fubara.

The crisis saw the destruction of the Assembly complex with an explosive on the night of October 29.

READ ALSO: Rivers Elders Write Tinubu, Fubara, Say Presidential Intervention Death Sentence

The weeks after revealed that the relationship between Fubara and his political godfather, Wike, had become strained.

President Bola Tinubu, however, waded in in December and summoned the parties to a meeting in Abuja on December 18, where they signed an eight-point resolution to settle the political crisis.

Among the resolution was that Fubara would present the 2024 afresh to the pro-Wike lawmakers, led by the Speaker, Martin Amaewhule.

Another important item on the resolution was that the 10 pro-Wike commissioners who resigned from Fubara’s cabinet in the heat of the crisis would be screened afresh by the Assembly and reabsorbed.

The resolution was, however, criticised by the Rivers elders, who said it was skewed in favour of Wike against Fubara.

READ ALSO: Rivers Lawmakers Withdraw Impeachment Notice Against Fubara

They also faulted the role played by President Tinubu, saying it was unconstitutional.

In their fresh suit, they listed as defendants, President Tinubu; the Attorney General of the Federation, Fubara, the Rivers Assembly, Speaker of the Rivers State Assembly, and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

The plaintiffs, led by a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Bonny State Constituency, Victor Jumbo, are Senator Bennett Birabi, Senator Andrew Uchendu, Rear Admiral O.P. Fingesi, Ann Kio Briggs, and Emmanuel Deinma.

They had in December 2023 asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to declare the purported peace agreement Fubara entered into at Abuja meeting as unconstitutional and “an usurpation, nullification, and undermining of the extant/binding relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.”

The matter has not been heard.

The Rivers elders, through their lawyer, Kayode Ajulo (SAN), in the motion exparte, called on the court to restrain the state House Assembly and the Speaker of the House from allowing the 27 lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to participate in the plenary.

READ ALSO: No Regrets Making Fubara Governor – Wike

They want “an order of interim injunction restrainingthe Rivers State House of Assembly and Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, their agents, loyalists, privies or representatives by whatever name so called from passing another 2024 fiscal budget of the Rivers State government pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”

Ajulo particularly urged the court to take cognizance of the motion on notice attached with the suit and stop the holding of plenary sessions by the 27 members of the state House of Assembly out of the 32 members.

Meanwhile, in fulfilment of the Abuja resolution,the Rivers Assembly, on Wednesday, conducted a fresh screening and confirmed the 10 pro-Wike commissioners from resigned from Fubara’s cabinet for reabsorption into the cabinet,

The commissioner nominees, who appeared before the lawmakers led by the Speaker, Amaewhule, on Wednesday morning, were given a clean bill of health after they made a brief introduction of themselves.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Threatened, Imposed Resolution On Fubara, Says Ex-Rivers Commissioner

This followed a motion moved by the House Leader, Hon. Major Jack, who said since the nominees had been screened previously it was needless to do so a second time and craved the indulgence of his colleagues to allow them ‘take a bow and go’.

The Speaker then directed the Clerk of the House, Emeka Amadi, to forward the names of the commissioners’ designate to the governor for action.

Amaewhule disclosed that Governor Fubara had written a letter to the House requesting the screening of the nine commissioners’ nominees.

The commissioners-designate, who are loyal to Wike, are Prof. Zacchaeus Adango, (SAN), Dr. Jacobson Nbina, Dr. Gift Worlu, Mrs Ineme Aguma, Chukwuemeka Woke and Prof. Chinedu Mmom.

Others are Dr Des George-Kelly, Isaac Kamalu and Auten Ben-Chioma.

The Speaker explained that the re-screeni g of the nominees was in line with the presidential proclamation following the intervention of President Tinubu.

Amaewhule, however, fumed that Fubara had yet to respond to some correspondences sent to him by the Assembly.

The Speaker threatened that the Assembly would reject further correspondences from the governor if the trend of not responding to their letters continued.

“It is important we make this very clear that we need to work for the interest of the people of Rivers State, mindful that it is the people who will gain or lose when we choose not to do what we are supposed to do in line with the Constitution,” the Speaker remarked.

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Climate Change: Foundation Trains Students On Impacts, Adaption

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Group photograph of students, teachers and the foundation staff

In a bid to mitigating the effect of climate change in our society, a non-profit organisation, LILBECKKING DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION in conjunction with The Social Change Nest, recently trained and enlightened students from selected secondary schools in Benin on how best to cope with the present situation.

INFO DAILY reports that the programme which was held at Leaders College, Ugbiyhoko, Benin, had in attendance: Stone Bridge Academy; Hallmark International School; Joyce Scholars Educational Centre, all in Benin city.

INFO DAILY also reports that 33 students and few teachers were trained and enlightened in the programme themed: ‘Youth Action on Clean Energy.’

Cross section of students trained during the training programme.

Enlightening the students, Secretary of the foundation, Mr. Destiny Aigbokhae, said climate change has significant impacts on youths and young people, hence the training.

READ ALSO: Valentine’s Day: Foundation Puts Smiles On Faces Of Less Privileged

He said the focus was to train young ones so that they too “will be able to spread the message on climate change, it impacts and how best to adapt to it.”

Mr. Destiny Aigbokhae taking the students during the programme

According to him, “climate change does not just affect our lives alone, but it affects us socially and economically.”

Enumerating health risk, disrupted education, limited economic opportunities, inter-generational equity, etc, as impacts of climate change, Aigbokhae urged the society to embark on recycling of waste as a way of mitigating climate change.

He said to mitigate climate change, there’s a need for electrification of industrial processes; greater use of renewable energy and efficient means transport implementation.

 

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Wike Lists His Priorities As FCT Minister To British High Commission

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has told the British High Commission in Abuja that security, agriculture and job creation are among the top priorities of the FCT Administration.

The minister made this statement when he received a delegation from the British High Commission in Nigeria led by the British High Commissioner, Richard Montgomery, on a courtesy visit to the FCT Administration on Tuesday.

The British High Commissioner had sought to understand the priorities of the FCT Administration for the development of the FCT in order to improve bilateral relations.

Responding, Wike said the creation of jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, is being prioritized to ensure that the teeming youth in the FCT are provided with a source of livelihood. He added that the FCT Administration, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has also provided the necessary support to the security agencies to address the security challenges in the FCT.

READ ALSO: Wike Places N20m Bounty On Two Wanted Abuja Kidnappers

He said the ongoing provision of infrastructure in the Abuja city center and the Area Councils, apart from accelerating the development of the FCT, are also avenues for job creation for the youths who would be engaged during the course of the projects.

According to the Minister, “When you say priority, creation of jobs is key. If you are not able to create jobs, of course, you know what that will mean for the teeming youths. So, we believe that the creation of jobs is not only in the white-collar sector. Through these activities, many of the youths are employed.

“If you go to the area councils today, there are lots of jobs going on that have created opportunities for the youths to be employed. So, the creation of jobs is a priority for this administration.”

Stressing that the FCT has vast arable lands for agriculture, the FCT Minister also expressed the readiness of the FCT Administration to collaborate with investors in the agricultural sector to create employment for youths and promote food security.

READ ALSO: SERAP Drags Wike, Others To Court Over Missing LG Funds

We have to remove the youths from the streets. So, we believe that in partnering with investors in the area of agriculture, that will also create jobs. So, that, in fact, to us, is a major priority. We will be interested if we can see partners in these areas,” the minister stressed.

Wike also added that the FCT is open to investments and collaborations in the tourism sector to make the city a major tourist attraction.

Speaking further on the security challenges in the FCT, the Minister stated that remarkable improvements have been achieved in the last few months due to the level of support and commitment of the security agencies.

The FCT Minister, who blamed the heightened insecurity in the FCT in the recent past on the activities of kidnappers and bandits, from the states sharing borders with the FCT, noted that the security agencies have done quite well to tame the activities of the bandits and other criminal elements.

He expressed confidence that the improved security in the FCT will also increase investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital.

We cannot say that we have been able to solve all the problems, but it is important to know that we are making progress, particularly on the issue of security, which has been a source of concern, not only to residents but the diplomatic community,” Wike said.

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Alleged Diversion Of Palliatives: Sacked Kogi Council Boss, Atawodi Breaks Silence

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Hassan Atawodi, the sacked Transition Chairman of Ofu Local Government Area, has opened up on why he was removed.

The Secretary to Kogi State Government, Folashade Arike Ayoade, had on Monday announced the sack of Atawodi in a statement by Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, for allegedly diverting palliatives meant for his local government.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Atawodi said he was removed from office courtesy of some political leaders who do not like him.

He added that the palliative meant for Ofu LGA was not handed over to him, saying, “How can I divert what was not given to me?”

While noting that it was a gang-up against him, as there was no time he diverted any palliatives meant for his people, Atawodi stressed that he was denied the clearance letter that would have allowed him to collect the palliative.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Launches expatriate Employment Levy

“My travails began from the first day I was appointed, possibly because I was not the choice of some alleged power brokers in my local government. After signing for the palliative for Ofu, the next day I could not get the clearance letter because of orders from above.

“Upon assumption of office, I appointed my five aides and six special advisers. Later, they reported me to the powers that be that I made the appointments without consulting them.

“They went to the extent of sending pictures of somebody I appointed to say he was a member of an opposition party.

“I was asked to meet with the Leader of the local government in the company of the House of Assembly member, the local government, and the zonal party chairmen, which I did and asked that they should please forgive me, following their report, with a call on them to please join me so that we can work together.

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: Agencies That May Be Scrapped Based On Oronsaye 800-page Report

“Following my appeal to those who reported me over the appointment, I was asked to dissolve the aides I appointed, which I did by going on air as promised and dissolved all the SSAs.”

The former Transition Chairman said he is innocent of the allegations of diversion of palliatives leveled against him, calling on the State Governor of Kogi State to look into the matter critically, as the said palliative was never handed over to him.

Continuing, he said, “I was not given a palliative to share. On hearing about the palliative, I went to the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, who said there is an instruction for me not to be given the palliative.

“The ommissioner asked me to put a call across to the Deputy Governor before it could be released. I called from the morning through till about 4:00 pm on the said day, without my calls being picked.

“I later went back to the Commissioner, who said the Deputy Governor is yet to call. I had to leave to return the following day.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Begins Sales Of Dollars To BDCs

“The next day, upon arrival at the Government House, I saw the DLG, SLG, and the APC Chairman for my local government. The commissioner said he has been directed to release the palliative to them.

“I was asked by the Commissioner to remain calm, particularly that with the several leaders I have in my local government, he doesn’t think I should bother myself with how the palliative would be shared.

“After they moved the palliative from the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Centre, I called the DLG to ask about the whereabouts of the palliative, that is the 1200 bags of rice. He said it was off-loaded at the residence of the Zonal Chairman in Ejule. I asked if it was safe there, as I would have guaranteed that if brought to the Local Government Secretariat, it would be safer and would reach the intended beneficiaries.

“I was at the Governorship Tribunal in Abuja yesterday when somebody called me to inform me that a letter of replacement was being typed to replace me, after which I was later told that I had been replaced.”

While the former Transition Chairman said he has taken the power play against him as the will of God, he lamented that he was surprised to read on social media that his sack was connected with the alleged diversion of palliatives that were never given or handed over to him.

“My hands are clean, and I know that my God will fight for me. Since my assumption, it’s been one battle to another. The DSS are all aware of my travails.”

The former Transition Chairman called on Gov. Ahmed Usman Ododo to constitute an investigation into the reason behind his removal, pointing out that it could not have been over a palliative that was not handed over to him.

 

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