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1995/1997 Military Coup D’etat FG Pardons Diya, Others

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Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (right) discussing with Engr Sani Ndanusa, Minister/Chairman National Sports Commission at the National Sport commission meeting held at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, yesterday. Photo: Ibioye Diama

Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (right) discussing with Engr Sani Ndanusa, Minister/Chairman National Sports Commission at the National Sport commission meeting held at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, yesterday. Photo: Ibioye Diama

Twelve years after their conviction, former Chief of General Staff, Lt. General Oladipo Diya, and 44 other military officers, convicted for their alleged roles in the phantom coups in the General Sani Abacha administration in 1995 and 1997, finally got presidential pardon yesterday. This followed the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM), which was approved by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and was considered for final reprieve yesterday by the National Council of State meeting scheduled in Abuja. Others to be granted the presidential pardon and compensation include: Major Generals Abdulkareem K. Adisa (deceased) Tajudeen Olarewaju, Col. Lawan Gwadabe, 41 Other officers, four other ranks, a current serving Senator Chris Anyanwu, the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti and a journalist, the late Bagauda Kalto, former special adviser to the Chief of General Staff, Professor Odekunle, an activist, Comrade Shehu Sani and two State Security Service operatives, namely, Anthony Awoloyi and Julius Badejo. In a document,dated 23rd June 2009, copies of which have been given to state governors, former Heads of State, Senate president and speaker of the House of Representatives, President Yar’Adua has accepted to grant the former convicts presidential pardon in accordance with the provisions of 175 of the 1999 Constitution. The document prepared to apprise the National Council of State of the intention of President Yar’Adua to grant the ex-convicts presidential pardon is categorised into four different groups for which the first set included 68 persons convicted by the Abacha administration for alleged participation in the 1995 and 1997 phantom coup d’état, but most of whom are no longer in detention and were earlier granted clemency. The presidential document further stated that those in the first category, include those earlier granted clemency, but not full pardon thus their properties were still forfeited, while category two contained list of 87 persons who are 60 years and above serving various terms in prisons all over the country. Category three include 12 eligible serving prisoners convicted of federal offences. The fourth category comprised 2 persons, namely the former Managing Director of Bank of the North (BoN), Alhaji Shettima Mohammed Bulama and Dr. Chiichii Ashwe, who were convicted for contravening financial laws but crave for the removal of the stigma attached to their names for purposes of re-integration into the society. In the recommendation of the presidential pardon to the Council of State, following the advice of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM) for 2009, the debilitating ill-health likely to incapacitate or terminate in death of the inmates, as well as young persons of 16 years and below and all those that have spent 15 years and above on life sentence, were part of the consideration for the presidential pardon. The list of other military officers granted the presidential pardon include; Colonels G. A. Ajayi, O. Oloruntoba, R. S. B. Bello-Fadile, R. N. Emokpae, J. Isa, Olu Craig, E. I. Jando, D. Ndubueze and Y. Bako, while those in the Lt. Col. group include K. H. Bulus, S. E. Oyewole, M. A. Igwe, R. K. Obiki, C. P. Izeogu, O. L. Nyong, V. O. Bamgboye and S. B. Mepaiyeda. Others are A. Lawal, M. A. Ajayi. G. P. Okiki, O. O. Akiode (deceased), Navy Cdr, D. A. Omessa, L. M. Fabiyi, Majors J. O. Edeh, E. Obalisa, N. U. Okoro, A. Umar, A. A. Akinyemi, O. O. Fadipe, B. Mohammed, Capt. A. A. Ogunsuyi, U.S.A. Suleiman, M. A. Ibrahim, Lt. Olowookere (Navy), Lt. D. K. Olowomoran, 2nd Lt. R. Emouhe, Sgts. M. Potiskum, and P. Usikpeko (deceased) as well as Cpl. Godspower Ogbinovia.

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Be Role Models In COVID-19 Campaign, Nsirim Charges Religious Leaders …RSG To Arrest People Who Refuse To Wear Face Mask

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In furtherance of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has called on religious leaders in the State to path the way for their congregation.
The Commissioner, who made the call on Saturday, during a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, hinted that by their status they represent a section of the society with notable group of followers, hence the need for them to be role models.
One way to show this, he said is for them to strictly obey the State Government’s advisories on measures to prevent COVID-19 infection, including ensuring that not more than 70 persons are allowed per session of service.
Citing churches, he noted that they have so far flouted this directive. “and that is something that is worrisome”, he said.
He continued that “Christians need to be role models. If there’s a group of people who should show good example, it should be Chriatians. When Christians begin to flout

government directives, I don’t think there’s any hope for society.
“This is a Clarion call to religious leaders. We shouldn’t sacrifice the lives of our members on the alter of church worship. Jesus Christ is our role model. Jesus Christ was a man who obeyed authority, who did not come in confrontation with the law, and the Bible teaches us to obey those in authority”, he emphasized.
Also, against the backdrop of high non-compliance to the COVID-19 advisory of wearing face mask in public places, the Rivers State Government (RSG) says it will soon begin to arrest defaulters.
This is sequel to the declaration of the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in his last State broadcast on Wednesday, in which he stated that those who refuse to wear face mask risk arrest.
Confirming the Governor’s statement, the State’s spokesman unequivocally said defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
“If you go around the State since the Executive Order on face mask was introduced, you’ll notice that less than 30 per cent of the populace are really obeying the Executive Order. What we see in the State is that people just put the mask under their chin, including in the churches.
“The Governor is saying that to grant the wearing of face mask the kind of weight it deserves, to save our people, a special Task Force to monitor it will be put in place. That is the only sure way”, he said.
He recalled that the Governor in his broadcast expressed concern that a lot of people in the State are not obeying the protocols of social distancing and wearing of face mask.
“Government will introduce policies. The onus is on the populace to obey those policies … The COVID-19 pandemic has defied medical solutions for now. So, to flatten the curve, everyone living and doing business in Rivers State need to take responsibility.
“It’s important that everyone living and doing business in Rivers State should have the kind of passion that His Excellency has to flatten

the curve. He’s desirous that Rivers State remains safe.
“That’s why every day he’s enunciating policies to ensure that strategically, the State is isolated from the national spread.
“He’s one man who would require the cooperation and understanding of citizens here to ensure that what he has in mind for the State is actualized”, the Commissioner concluded.
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Governor Wike’s Reply To Governor Uzodinma Was Concocted – RSG

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The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to the news circulating in the Social Media that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State denigrated his Imo State counterpart, Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The purveyors of the deliberate falsehood alleged that Governor  Wike  replied Governor Uzodinma over a recent statement where he allegedly boasted that “the All Progressives Congress (APC)  will teach the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor  Wike how to conduct a  transparent election in the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election.”
The concocted story only existed in the imagination of the authors and so there was also no disparaging comment by Governor Wike.
Members of the public are hereby advised to discountenance all the information contained in the said publication as they did not emanate from Governor Wike.
Paulinus Nsirim
Commissioner for Information and Communications
July 10, 2020.
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Calls To Head COVID-19 Team Handiwork Of Mischief Makers Says Rivers State Deputy Governor, Ipalibo Banigo

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has dissociated herself from calls by mischief makers urging the Governor to let her head the COVID 19 Team in the State.

In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, the Deputy Governor expressed regret that despite the concerted efforts by Governor Wike to protect the Rivers People and stem the spread of Covid 19, some faceless enemies of the State sponsor e-rats to publish junk in the social media, what an absurd way to play politics.

The Deputy Governor of Rivers State is a part and parcel of the Governors team in this fight against the Killer Virus and she is contributing her quota, she must not head the team.  There is no law that says she should head the team so why the fuss.

Governor Wike is the leader and he has demonstrated great capacity and leadership in the Country not only in the quest to defeat Covid 19 but in providing democratic dividends to the Rivers People and beyond.

Governor Wike was the first to close his boarders even before the Federal Government thought of it, decontamination of public places is on-going, he has put strict restriction on social gathering, imposed lockdown, curfews, provided all the necessary logistics for health professionals to do their jobs efficiently, intensified public enlightenment campaigns, etc.

What these mischief makers and their political sponsors do not realize is the fact that Covid 19 is not just a Medical or Public Health issue. It goes far beyond health, it is also a security as well as a Socio -economic and political issue, so flaunting the resume’ of Dr. Banigo as a Public Health Physician

and urging Governor Wike to make her head the team is an exercise in futility.

We are facing a novel corona virus; Covid 19 pandemic which no one knows enough about. It is a war and we must all be on board to fight it. This is not the time for distractions.

Please obey all the protocols as elucidated by NCDC and the Rivers State Government which includes the correct wearing of face masks, regular washing of hands with soap and running water as well as the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, improve personal hygiene, avoiding crowded environment and stop stigmatization of people with the virus. Together we will win the war against Covid 19.

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