In a significant political development, the Rivers State House of Assembly has voted to bypass Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s authority and enact four new bills into law. This decisive action occurred during a plenary session at the House of Assembly Quarters, where Speaker Martin Amaewhule read letters from the governor declining his consent to the bills.
The Assembly invoked Section 100, Subsection 5 of the constitution, which states that the governor’s consent is not required if a two-thirds majority passes a bill. This move reflects the Assembly’s determination to assert its legislative power.
Speaker Amaewhule criticized Governor Fubara for his reluctance to conduct local government elections. He highlighted that one of the critical aspects of the new laws is removing the governor’s power to appoint caretaker committee chairmen for local governments, a point of contention between the Assembly and the governor.
The four laws passed include the Rivers Local Government Amendment Law, the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Amendment Law, the Rivers State Advertisement and Use of State-Owned Property Prohibition Repeal Law, and the Rivers State Funds Management and Financial Autonomy Law.
The recent move by the Rivers State House of Assembly to override Governor Siminalayi Fubara and pass four new bills into law is a bold statement in the practice of democracy and legislative autonomy. This action demonstrates the Assembly’s commitment to exercising its constitutional powers and ensuring that executive reluctance does not hinder legislative processes.
The passage of these laws, mainly concerning local government autonomy, is a step towards decentralizing power and enhancing local governance. By removing the governor’s authority to appoint caretaker committee chairmen, the Assembly promotes a more democratic and participatory governance structure at the local level.
However, this development also underscores the need for a balanced and cooperative relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government. While the Assembly’s assertiveness is commendable, both branches must work collaboratively to benefit the state and its citizens.
As Rivers State navigates this new legislative landscape, the focus must remain on the welfare and development of the state. The new laws should be implemented to promote transparency, accountability, and effective governance at all levels.
Did You Know?
- Rivers State, also known as the Treasure Base of the Nation, is one of Nigeria’s 36 states and was created in 1967.
- The state is a central hub for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and plays a significant role in the country’s economy.
- Rivers State is home to the Port Harcourt Refinery, the largest refinery in Nigeria.
- The state has a rich cultural heritage, with the annual Port Harcourt Carnival, also known as CARNIRIV, being one of the most prominent cultural events.
- Rivers State boasts a diverse ecosystem, including the Biseni Forest, home to various wildlife species, including the endangered red colobus monkey and a wide variety of bird species.