GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike on Thursday ended the denial of women inheritance prevalent among cultures and traditions in Rivers state as he signed into law three new bills passed by the State House of Assembly.
Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt, signed into law, the Rivers State Prohibition of the Curtailment of Women’s Right to Share in Family Property Law No. 2 of 2022 along with the Rivers Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Law No. 3 of 2022, and the Rivers Pension Reform (amendment) Law No. 4 of 2022.
Explaining the significance of the new state laws, the Governor said he couldn’t comprehend why it is considered a taboo in many parts of Rivers for female children not to share in family inheritance.
He said, “Because you’re a girl, you’re a woman, you’re not entitled to inherit what belongs to your father. It is not you who decides having a girl or a boy. It is God. So, put yourself in their shoes today where, by God’s mercy you have three children, all girls and you struggle in life to see what you can keep for them.
“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’ houses and come to take care of you.”
He asserted that the law is important to the development of the State because it will enable people actualise their potentials and women allowed by law to inherit their entitlements, urging the women to henceforth stand up for their rights and challenge any discrimination against them in court, armed with the new law.
On the pension reform law, he said pensioners do protest unpaid entitlements due to ignorance of the good intentions of the government, adding, “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. Government cannot carry everything at the same time. Whether you like it or not, a huge chunk of our resources go into the civil service.”
On compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots, Wike said 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.
The Governor however explained that the law is in furtherance of the responsibility of government to protect lives because even the criminal needs to be alive to be tried and made to suffer for his crime.
Cautions on ASUU, FG faceoff
Governor Wike backed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the body of lecturers demands on the Federal Government, but said any government that releases the weight of money ASUU requires would crash, given current economic reality.
He urged both parties to resolve the lingering conflict in an atmosphere of give and take, asserting that, “The problem didn’t start today. It has been there. Again, it is because we elect people who cannot solve problems.”
Revocation of AIT land
Governor Wike also acknowledged receipt of a report of the State House of Assembly revoking ownership of the land currently occupied by AIT broadcast network in Ozuoba, Rivers State for allegedly not possessing requisite titled documents.
The governor said the days of Rivers being Father Christmas were gone as no one can illegally acquire what belongs to the State, directing the Attorney General to take appropriate action on the land revocation report.