* State PDP Hails Buhari On Action On Ogoniland Cleanup
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday assented to a new anti-kidnapping law passed by the state House of Assembly which stipulates that persons convicted of kidnapping would forfeit their assets to the state.
This is as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State commended President Muhammadu Buhari for fast-tracking the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the clean-up of Ogoni land
While signing the bill alongside two others, Wike declared that the new anti-kidnapping law would help in checking the rising wave of the crime in the state.
The bills signed into law include the Rivers State Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori (Amendment) Law, 2015; Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) Amendment Law, 2015 and Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No.4 of 2015.
He said with the law becoming operational, criminals convicted for kidnapping and accessories to kidnap would forfeit their assets, funds and proceeds from kidnap.
“I am happy to assent to this anti-kidnapping bill as it will help the security agencies in their fight against kidnappers and their sponsors,” he said.
On the Rivers State Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori ( Amendment) Law, 2015, Wike said the renaming of the school became necessary because of the contributions of the late Saro-Wiwa to the development of the state.
He also said the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No. 4 of 2015 was aimed at returning dignity and respect to the traditional institutions.
The governor said there was no reason why traditional institution in the state should be politicised.
He commended the State House of Assembly for always putting the interest of the state first in their consideration of bills.
Presenting the three bills to the governor for assent, Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Martins Amaehule, said the three laws were vital to the good governance of the state.
Speaker of the House, Mr Ikunyi Ibani, assured the people of the state that the Assembly would continue to work with the executive for the development of the state.
In a statement issued yesterday on behalf of the state Chairman of PDP, Felix Obuah, by his media aide, Jerry Needam, the party said it “Welcomes the announcement by the Presidency of fast-tracking the clean-up of Ogoniland as part of the recommendations contained in the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Report on the devastation pollution of Ogoniland by oil exploration activities of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and allied multinational corporations.
“The PDP commends President Buhari for not discontinuing a process started by previous administrations, which led to the commissioning of UNEP activities in Ogoni as well as setting up of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), particularly by the Jonathan’s administration, all of which were being gazette”, the statement said.
It said fast-tracking of the cleanup of Ogoniland as recommended in the UNEP report was important considering the deteriorating situation in the affected communities in the region, noting that the life of the people of Ogoni, who had contributed much to the sustenance of the country should be paramount and of much concern to any government at all times.
“The Party also views the amendment of the structures on the implementation of the exercise in Ogoniland as also relevant to the present time, believing that if the full details of the recommendation are carried out accordingly the government will further be commended for a job well done,” the statement said.
While appealing to Buhari to match his words with action by committing himself to full implementation of the details of the UNEP report, the party urged all stakeholders and handlers of the project not to sabotage the good intention of the president in that regard but to ensure that proper work was done according to international specification.