Wike: Meeting ASUU demands will crumble govt

By Chris Ezeonoh

Rivers governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has said that any government that tries to meet the demands being made by the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities, (ASUU) would crumble.

The Governor said though ASUU is right in what it is demanding from the Federal Government, however, in the light of the current economic
reality, the government would crumble should it try to do all that ASUU is demanding.

He counselled that both parties should rather seat at the table and make concessions within a no winner, no loser context in the interest of
the students.

The governor blamed the lingering ASUU-Government face-off on the emergence of leaders, who he said do not have what it takes to solve problems.

“The problem didn’t start today. It has been there. Again, it is that we elect people who cannot solve problems,” he maintained.

Governor Wike spoke Thursday in Government House, Port Harcourt while signing three bills passed by the State House of Assembly.

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 of sharing in the inheritance of their families when they are often the most useful members of the
society in comparison to most male children.

Governor Wike asserted that the law is important to the development of the State because it will enable its people to actualize their potential, 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, because this is 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 men.

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“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.

WikeSpeaking 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 the paucity of funds, the government must prioritize 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 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, 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 a gunshot would be required to be properly identified, so that such person can be traced should the person runway after treatment.

Governor Wike, however, explained that the law is in furtherance of the responsibility of the government to protect life because even the criminal needs to be alive to be tried and made to suffer for his crime.

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.

The Governor 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 need 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.

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