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Why screening of Iboroma is strategic as Rivers slim House begins work

Why screening of Iboroma is strategic as Rivers slim House begins work

Screening of important appointees of any administration was taken for granted all these years but it has now become a big matter in Rivers State. That is why the screening Monday, 13, May 2024, of a commissioner-nominee has raised both dusts and dew.

The Rivers State House of Assembly was taken away from Governor Sim Fubara in the wake of the political crisis in the state which pitched the former governor and Fubara’s political godfather, Nyesom Wike, against the governor. This seemed to castrate the administration because of inability to send any list for screening.

Now, some three lawmakers who did not defect claimed authority and elected their speaker, and then commenced business, the first being screening of appointees, testing with Dagogo Israel Iboroma, a SAN.

The world stood still to see if this would be possible. By end of the morning, the SAN was standing tall, now commissioner-designate. Next, he was sworn in by the Governor.

The successful screening and swearing in seems to have opened the floodgate of screening and appointments which may include local council administrators. So, the Iboroma episode seems to be a huge test-running exercise. At the end, the House affirmed confidence in the nominee, and subsequently confirmed him to serve as commissioner in the State Executive Council. Oko-Jumbo instructed the Clerk of the House, G. M. Gillis-West, to convey the resolution of the House to the Executive Governor of Rivers State.

The speaker of this group of lawmakers (because the other group of defected lawmakers also have their own speaker) recalled the genesis of the crisis and said, “You will recall that we woke up on October 30, 2023, to see that some hoodlums and miscreants who did not mean well for our dear State and our people had set the hallowed chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly on fire, which caused a temporary setback in the performance of our legislative functions. His Excellency’s intervention was indeed swift and timely, and we are grateful.”

Many wondered why the Governor did a testrun with the Ministry of Justice when there are other ministries that are either vacant or dormant.

A seasoned bureaucrat and protocol expert, Blessing Nwikina, explained thus: “The only portfolio in Government listed in the Constitution is the office of the Honourable Attorney General and maybe, the secretary to the government (SSG). Daily in the courts across the land, there are myriad of cases involving the Attorney-General. For this, therefore, one cannot sue a ghost office. There must be somebody there to validate suits in courts. That’s why that slot can’t be vacant.

“It is always the first cabinet member, and in terms of protocol, it may have a higher status over other cabinet members.”