Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers State House of Assembly is set to deliberate on the executive bill forwarded to it by Governor Nyesom Wike, that would empower him to demote of some first class traditional rulers in the state.
Based on the executive bill the lawmakers are to repeal the Council of Traditional Rulers Law, 2014 and assured that they would sanitize and bring respect to traditional institution.
The Eight Assembly had in its sitting on Thursday accused the Seventh Assembly of contributing to the crisis in the state, by hurriedly enacting several laws which they claimed were not in the overall interest of the people of the state.
Governor Wike had presented an executive bill to the legislature Wednesday, to repeal the Council of Traditional Rulers Law, 2014 passed by the Seventh Assembly.
During the debate, lawmakers, who contributed to the issue, condemned the Seventh Assembly for always being in a hurry to pass bills into laws to “massage the ego of past executive” government.
Principal officers of the House, including, the leader, Martin Amaewhule representing Obio/Akpor 1, the Deputy Leader, Lolo Donabari, representing Khana 1 and the Chief Whip, Evans Bipi representing Ogu/Bolo constituency, and others maintained that the law, which the executive bill wanted to repeal was not in the interest of the state.
The lawmakers argued that it was disheartening that the last administration “disjointed and balkanized” traditional stools in the state.
According to the lawmakers, the law passed by the Seventh Assembly caused confusion in the state and should be thoroughly addressed in the interest of Rivers people.
They stressed that the law, which the executive bill sought to repeal, turned traditional stools and turned traditional rulers to politicians.
The legislators also stated it was time the Assembly regulated the appointment of traditional rulers to forestall crisis in the communities.
In his contribution, Speaker of the House, Rt.Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, said he was a victim of ‘traditional sadism’, emphasizing that, if customs and norms of the people were respected, chieftaincy squabbles would not occur.
After the debate on the floor of the House, a seven-man ad hoc committee headed by Jones Ogbonda representing Port Harcourt 1 was set up to conduct a public hearing on the issue.
The State House of Assembly last week repealed the Rivers State High Court Law 2014.
The state government has since signed the bill into law. The law now replaces the law which allowed the Chief Registrar to assign cases in the absence of the Chief Judge.