Acrimony In Rivers As Amaechi Signs 2014 Budget Into Law; PDP, APC In War Of Words

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CP Mbu PDP Member Working For “Our Abuja Brothers,” Amaechi Alleges

The all too familiar scenario of allegations and counter allegations has continued in Rivers State following Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s signing of the 2014 Appropriation Bill into law, a move some observers have described as the fasted budget signing event by a state in Nigeria.

Amaechi signed the budget into law barely 24 hours after his N485.524 billion proposal was presented to the State House of Assembly, which wasted no time in approving it.

Amaechi had said the budget would be used to fund ongoing projects in health, education, roads, transport, power, water, agriculture and other critical infrastructure.

The Governor, who commended the lawmakers for promptly passing the 2014 appropriation bill, noted that the move would enable his administration to sustain the provision of more people – oriented projects in the state.

He said the state commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, and “our Abuja brothers” had failed in their bid to prevent the House from carrying out its lawful responsibilities.

Amaechi said: “Let me thank the House (of Assembly) for your actions yesterday. There was the need to defeat those who wish the state evil and I’m sure the whole state is extremely pleased with the level of patriotism that you have displayed.

“The initial plan of those led by our so-called ‘Abuja brothers’ and the commissioner of police is to stop you (lawmakers) from dealing with legislative functions. I hear that one of them is telling people that he has been able to stop the House from sitting, he has been able to stop the judiciary from functioning.

“The truth of the matter is that none of such things could be happening other than the fact that they are using the state apparatus which is the police. The commissioner of police is completely not a policeman, he’s a known PDP politician who attends meetings with them and carries out illegal action but yesterday, you were able to assert that democracy is about people and that when you talk about democracy it begins with the legislative arm of government for the reason that you represent each unit of our people and you actually go down to the people”, he said.

The embattled leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Chidi Lloyd, said members were impressed with the current achievements of the Amaechi administration.

He said, “May I by leave of Mr. Speaker (Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan-Amachree) invite Your Excellency to kindly assent to the 2014 appropriation law as passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly. Your Excellency, we urge you to continue to deliver on the dividends of good governance as you have done.”

Budget realistic says Interim APC chairman Ibiamu Ikanya

The interim chairman of the APC Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya has described the budget estimate of N485.5 billion as realistic and a good example to the Federal Government and other State Governors since there is no need deceiving the public by making unrealistic promises.

“The 2014 budget is 0.98 per cent lower than the 2013 budget of N490.32 billion, which shows a lot of wisdom in view of the reality of steadily declining revenue to the State due to the wicked ceding of some of the oil wells of Rivers State to neighbouring States of Baylesa, Abia and Akwa-ibom by the Public Deciving PDP led Federal Government and mismanagement of the oil sector by the Federal Government and the massive corruption that has drastically cut what is available to be shared by the federating states,” he said.

But the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the process that led to the signing of the budget as “unconstitutional, kangaroo and criminal” noting that the budget’s “presentation, passage… and ascent” took place on “the same day, in less than one hour.”

 

Reacting on behalf of the party, Jerry Needam, the media aid to the state PDP chairman, Felix Obuah, noted that Amaechi and Leyii Kwane, the deputy speaker had severally denied wanting to present the budget.

“Both Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Leyii Kwane are pathological lairs, lacking in character and credibility. They owe Rivers people and indeed Nigerians an apology. They are real messengers of darkness, enemies of democracy and Rivers people. Governor Rotimi Amaechi has set false foundation in motion. The picture looks frightening for sure.

“As a State, we have so many opportunities for greatness, but Governor Amaechi and the like of Leyii Kwane have chosen to take the path of infamy. They have rejected the road less travelled, the path of honour, heroism, and character and preferred the broad road way to corruption, abuse of power, cronyism, nepotism, debauchery, selfishness, and infamy.

Ameachi wants to control the resources of the State so badly, that he hates independent mind, and prefers stooges like Leyii Kwane around him.

“By some account, if you reckon with revenue from federation account, internally generated revenue, excess crude, SURE-P, Rivers State gross revenue would be about three trillion naira, between, 2007 and 2013, but where is the money?”

Budget illegal, says factional Speaker Bipi

Similarly, the factional speaker of the state assembly, Hon. Evans Bipi has rejected the budget, noting that it is not binding on Rivers people.

Bipi said: “The alarm I had raised of a plot by Governor Amaechi to host illegal session of the Rivers Assembly at the Government House, Port Harcourt to pass the 2014 budget into law and reject the National Judicial Council’s recommendation of Daisy Okocha as Chief Judge of Rivers State has been confirmed.

“I, therefore warn all financial institutions, contractors, companies, local and foreign agencies and individuals in Rivers, the country and outside the country not to have any dealings with the Rivers State government based on the 2014 illegal budget. Whoever deals with the Rivers State government does so at his or her own risk.”

 


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