Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has noted that most socioeconomic and educational problems linger in the country because Nigerians elect people who cannot solve problems.
Governor Wike made the observation at the signing into law three bills passed by the State House of Assembly at the Executive Chamber of Government House in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
The three laws are; the Rivers State Prohibition of the Curtailment of Women’s Right to Share in Family Property Law No. 2 of 2022, Rivers State Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Law No. 3 of 2022, and the Rivers State Pension Reform (amendment) Law No. 4 of 2022.
Speaking on the law to prohibit the curtailment of women’s right to share in family property law, Governor Wike expressed displeasure at how most cultures, particularly in Rivers State, do not encourage what engenders growth among the people.
He wondered why women are deprived from sharing in the inheritance of their families when they are often the most useful members of the society in comparison to most male children.
Wike said that the law is important to the development of the State, because it will enable its people to actualise their potentials, as women will be allowed by law to inherit their entitlements.
“I don’t know why it’s a taboo; because you’re a girl, a woman, you’re not entitled to inherit what belongs to your father.
“It is not you who decides whether you will have a girl or you’ll have a boy, it is God. So, put yourself in their shoes today where, by the mercy of God you have three children and they’re all girls and you struggle in life to see what you can keep for your children.
“Tomorrow, one of their uncles comes, and says, my friend, girls don’t inherit their father’s property. With all your efforts in life, somebody comes to discriminate against them, why? We have even found out that women are more useful to us than even the men.
“The day you’re getting old and dying you’ll know that you need more daughters than men. They will leave their husbands’ house and come to take care of you.”
Governor Wike urged women not to be afraid of any threat from members of their families concerning inheritance. He asked them to stand up for their rights and challenge any discrimination against them in court, using the law in order to access their entitlements.
Speaking on the pension reform law, Governor Wike said, when pensioners protest, it is because they do not quite understand the good intentions of the government.
He explained that because of paucity of funds, the government must prioritise its spending in order to have funds for the provision of services, projects and also pay workers’ wages.
“The government has good intentions and wants to do it at its own time. Only the government knows when it can carry out this responsibility. Government will pay when it will pay.”
He further added: “Government cannot carry everything at the same time. Whether you like it or not, a huge chunk of our resources goes into the civil service.”
Concerning the law on compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots, Governor Wike stated that within the confines of the law, any victim of gunshot would be required to be properly identified, so that such a person can be traced should the person run away after treatment.
Governor Wike however, explained that the law is in furtherance of the responsibility of government to protect life because even the criminal needs to be alive to be tried and made to suffer for his crime.
Speaking further, Governor Wike said the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is right in what it is demanding from the Federal Government.
However, Governor Wike said any government that releases this kind of money that ASUU requires, given the current economic reality, will crumble.
He counseled that both parties should rather sit at the table and make concessions within no winner, no loser context in the interest of the students.
“The problem didn’t start today. It has been there. Again, it is that we elect people who cannot solve problems.”
Governor Wike also acknowledged receipt of a report from the State House of Assembly on the revocation of ownership of the land currently occupied by AIT in Ozuoba, Rivers State, because they do not have requisite titled documents.
The governor said the days of Rivers being seen as a father Christmas is gone, because nobody can illegally acquire what belongs to the State.
Governor Wike also directed the state Attorney General to take appropriate action and act on the report.
Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani said the healthy synergy between the executive and the legislature exemplifies what is expected of a true democracy.
According to him, while the executive commits to delivering high quality and people focused projects, the legislature is also delivering people focused high quality bills which serve the needs of the State and its people effectively.
Leader of the house, Hon. Martin Amaewhule informed that while Hon. Michael Chinda, representing Obio-Akpor constituency II initiated the bill on prohibition of curtailment of rights of women, the bill on treatment for gunshot victims was introduced by Hon. Samuel Ogeh, representing Emohua state constituency.