The Rivers State House of Assembly last week rejected the appointments made by Governor Similayi Fubara over alleged disregard for extant laws in the appointment of people into government offices.
The same week, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors back calls for the establishment of state police as the ultimate solution to the country’s security challenges.
These and three other stories we tracked dominated public discourse in the country last week.
1. Rivers Assembly rejects Gov Fubara’s appointment
On January 31, the Rivers Assembly rejected the appointments made by Governor Fubara over alleged disregard for extant laws on the appointment of government officials.
However, the state government in a statement issued by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Joe Johnson, insisted that the governor has not violated any law in his appointments.
He said: “Local Government Service Commission is like EFCC, it is a commission. You remember that Magu was the acting chairman of EFCC until his last day in office. When a governor appoints you in an acting capacity it is a tendency that you should hang on till it is ratified.
“The governor has the right to appoint you in an acting capacity and then will eventually forward your name to an Assembly. In the cabinet where I am a commissioner now, the man who resigned last month alongside the commissioners who returned a few days ago, the Acting Chairman of the Bureau of Public Procurement, was in an acting capacity and was appointed by the former governor of the state. The current speaker of the house was the leader of the same assembly when Thompson was appointed.”
Why it matters
The Assembly’s position on the governor’s appointments as well as the recent court’s order on some of his loyalists show that there is no end in sight in the Rivers State crisis despite President Tinubu’s intervention.
The latest developments mean that resolutions reached at the peace meeting have barely resolved the crisis, putting the state, regarded as Nigeria’s oil capital, and the country’s economy at risk due to the craving of some individuals for power and control of state resources.
There are signs that peace may continue to elude the state unless the president calls to order individuals who are determined to foist a reign of terror in the state because of their greed and lust for power.
2. PDP governors back calls for state police
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum on February 1 declared full support for the creation of state police as a solution to the current security challenges in the country.
The Chairman of the forum, Bala Mohammed, stated this when he led his colleagues on a visit to the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, at the Government House in Jos.
He said: “The ratio of police to the citizens is very low and the governors know the peculiarity of their states and how to tackle this challenge.
“So, we have been advocating for this.
“Again, it will allow us to engage the structure of the security agencies, training our youths and making sure the rules of engagement are not abused and there are no extrajudicial killings.”
Why it matters
The PDP governors’ position reinforces the decentralization of the country’s security system to achieve lasting peace in the country.
It is also a reminder of the unfinished discussion on restructuring of the country which demands an honest dialogue between and among its various entities in a bid to address the various misgivings in Nigeria.
All said, the governors should go beyond this rhetoric occasioned by the recent murder of innocent Nigerians in Plateau and other states and push for devolution of power to the federating units to address the myriad of challenges pushing the country to its knees.
3. Ndume wants Tinubu to move against Nigerians with questionable wealth
The Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, on January 30 charged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sign an Executive Order on Unexplained Wealth to empower anti-corruption and security agencies to go after Nigerians with questionable riches.
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He made the call while answering questions from journalists in Abuja.
Ndume said: “The next thing now if President Tinubu wants to fight corruption, would be to sign an Executive Order on Unexplained Wealth in this country.
“Let all these people explain where they got their money, including myself. People should stop talking about trivialities or personal issues; they should talk about national issues.”
Why it matters
Although the lawmaker’s position might sound reasonable, the question remains whether the current government has the political will to go after individuals with questionable wealth, many of whom are in the ruling party or friends of the government.
Rather than playing to the gallery, Ndume and his colleagues in the National Assembly should help the government by coming up with legislation that will aid the anti-graft drive and deter corrupt elites and self-centered individuals from continuing with the criminal enterprise at the expense of the country.
4. Keyamo confirms EFCC’s investigation of Nigeria Air deal
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, said on January 31 that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has started an investigation into the Nigeria Air deal sealed by his predecessor, Hadi Sirika.
Keyamo, who spoke on a Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, said: “The EFCC is investigating that deal. There is a criminal investigation going on. I have called for the report.”
Why it matters
The controversy trailing the handling of the Nigeria Air project speaks to the level of corruption by successive government officials in the country.
The shady handling of the project by the former minister and other officials of the last government should not be swept under the carpet with those indicted in the ongoing investigation punished accordingly to serve as a deterrent to other corrupt individuals who might want to continue in the same manner.
5. Killing of monarchs in Ekiti
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on January 29 killed two monarchs in Ekiti State.
The monarchs – Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba David Ogunsakin, and Onimojo of Omojola-Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola – were killed between Oke-Ako and Ipao-Ekiti in Ajoni local government area of the state.
The spokesman for the state police command, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the killing to journalists in Ado-Ekiti.
Abutu said: “The command’s tactical and intelligence teams had been deployed to the scene of the incident.
“The suspected killers will not go unpunished.”
Why it matters
The killing of the three monarchs underscores the need for the government to find a lasting solution to the escalating insecurity in the country.
This unfortunate development reinforces the assertion that nobody or nowhere may be safe in the country.
Without a sustained effort to contain the terrorists and other criminals who are now roaming, the country may well brace for total anarchy and rapid descent into a failed state.
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