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Rivers Defers Jonathan’s Visit …Amaechi, Mitee, Others Mourn Yar’Adua

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Acting President Goodluck Jonathan (right), taking his oath of office as the President of Nigeria before Chief Justice of the Federation,Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu in Abuja, on Thursday.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan (right), taking his oath of office as the President of Nigeria before Chief Justice of the Federation,Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu in Abuja, on Thursday.

Sequel to the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the planned three-day official visit by the then Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to Rivers State  scheduled for yesterday has been postponed indefinitely.

A statement by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Hon Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, regretted any inconveniences the postponement  may have caused the people of the state.

The statement thanked all those who had worked towards the planned visit of Dr Goodluck Jonathan to the state and sympathized with the family of president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua over his demise.

Meanwhile, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has described Yar’Adua as a friend of the Niger Delta people, saying his death is a huge loss to the nation and Africa at large.

“In a statement in Port Harcourt, Amaechi said Yar’Adua was a friend of the Niger Delta, especially Rivers, who made deliberate choices to change the situation in the region against all odds,’’ He said Yar’Adua’s commitment to the amnesty programme was a signal of his love and concern for the region.

Similarly, some prominent stakeholders from Rivers State have eulogized late president Yar’Adua who passed on Wednesday night in Abuja after a protracted illness.

In a telephone interview with The Tide on Thursday, they described the late Nigerian president as a man of peace and integrity.

Fromer chairman of the Rivers State council of Traditionasl Rulers and the Oba of Ogbaland, Sir Chukwemela Nnam Obi II said Yar’Adua exemplified humility and showed sincerity of purpose on assumption of office in May 2007 in the words of the traditional ruler,” he was the first president who accepted that fact that the elections that brought him to power was not flawless. And right from the time he assumed power he demonstrated a spirit of sincerity”.

The Oba of Ogbaland also said the former Nigerian leader would be remembered for displaying transparency as he reversed the controversial sale of government owned companies under  former President Olusegun Obasanjo immediately he assumed office.

Expressing shock over Yar’Adua ‘s death, President of the Movement for the Survival Of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Barrister Ledum Mitee observed that the late president showed commitment to end the crisis in the Niger Delta.

Mitee added, ‘ Yar’Adua was the first Nigerian president to publicly declare his assets and he showed tremendous humility, but the manner in which his health challenges were politicized might diminish some of his legacies”.

In similar vein, former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the state owned University of science and Technology (RSUST), Prof Bedford Fubara, however noted that with Yar’Adua’s death, the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan would not have succession problem.

Prof Fubara stressed that the constitution was clear hence Dr Jonathan would fill in the shoes of late Yar’Adua in order not to create an impasse.

For Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Social Science in Port Harcourt, Dr Sofiri Peterside, the Niger Delta would gain from the recent development.

Though Dr Peterside described the late head of state as a lover of rule of law and peace, he believed the political equation would change to right the wrongs perpetrated on the people of Niger Delta in the past 50 years.

Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Asari Dokubo said Yar’Adua’s death was painful considering the pains he had gone through during his ailment.

However, he submitted that the plight of the Niger Delta people are yet to be fully addressed, “ the demand of the people goes beyond the presidency and the individual, it’s about sovereignty, it’s about self determination”.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers from the state have expressed shock over the death of President Yar’Adua.

Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Dumnamene Deekor said Yar’Adua’s death was a big blow to the nation.

The RSHA deputy speaker lauded late Yar’Adua for maintaining peace and security across the nation during his regime.

Also speaking, the House Acting Committee Chairman on Information, Hon Onari Brown stated that Late Yar’Adua pursued good programmes and polices during his tenure.

Consequently, the Action Congress in Rivers State through its leader, Prince Tonye Princewill expressed his deepest condolences to the family of the late Nigerian leader.

He noted that late Yar’Adua would be remembered for establishing the Ministry of Niger Delta and amnesty programme even though they had lapses.

In his tribute, Chief Lawrence Nwuruku, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Mexico described death of president Yar’Adua as a tragic loss not only to Nigerian, but to Africa.

Nwuruku, currently in Nigeria on vacation said in a telephone interview that Yar’Adua promoted peace and development in various African countries through support to Nigeria’s peace keeping missions.

 

Victor Tew with additional report from Kevin Nengia, Akujobi Amadi, John Bibor, Ike Wigodo

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Governor Wike Releases N450M To 2019 Presidential Election Violence Victims In Abonnema

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The State Chief Executive Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has released the sum of Four hundred and fifty million naira to the victims of the 2019 Presidential election violence in Abonnema.
Speaking during  a meeting preparatory to giving out the cash, Governor Wike  said the gesture is in fulfilment of his promise to the people of Abonnema  at the Church service to honour those who lost their lives, the injured and those who lost properties during the crisis.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government Dr. Tammy Wenike  Danagogo, Governor Wike said no amount of money could adequately compensate the people for the harrowing experience they suffered in the hands of the Nigerian Army, stating that he appreciates the support and commitment of the People of  Akuku Toru Local Government Area before, during and after the elections. He said he would continue to execute programmes that would positively impact on the lives of the people of the  Area.
He assured them that the second phase of the Abonnema ring road would be commissioned before the end of June, stressing that the contractor has been fully paid.
According to him in the face of the Covid 19 Pandemic he has continued to stand by the People of the State by taking practical steps not only to protect Rivers People but to also provide palliatives to bring succour to the vulnerable and less privileged unlike the   selfish politicians in other political  parties who only visit the people to solicit for votes during elections but do not have the interest of the people at heart.
In his remarks the Amayanabo of Abonnema King Disrael  Gbobo Bobmanuel thanked  Governor Wike for fulfilling his promise to the Abonnema People, noting that the Governor has proven over the years that his word is his bond.
According to him the Governor is a man worthy of trust and support because he has fulfilled all his promises to the Abonnema People. He Advised beneficiaries to make judicious use of the Money the Governor has graciously given to them.
Earlier the Chairman of Akuku Toru Local Government Area Hon. Roland Sekibo who said he is still traumatized by the events that took place during the Presidential election in 2019 expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for his kind gesture, stressing that the People of his Local Government Area would continue to support the Governor in his quest to improve the lives of Rivers People.
Also speaking one of the beneficiaries Mr  Minamiango Romeo  who sustained gunshot injuries  expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for not abandoning them in their time of need and promised to continue to support his Administration and the leaders of the Local Government Area.
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PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government

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The Rivers State Government says its attention has been drawn to a fresh wave of media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the officials of the state.

According  to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, “the latest attempt contained in today’s edition( May 24,2020)of The Nation Newspaper alleged that the State Government has refused to release top officials for interrogation in connection to the withdrawal of N118 billion in cash between 2015 and 2018.

 

“We have repeatedly said that the State Government will not release its officials to the EFCC for investigations until the commission approaches the Court  to set aside Subsisting orders of perpetual  injunction granted by various courts of competent jurisdiction restraining the EFCC from investigating or inquiring into the financial transactions of the Rivers  State Government including its ministries, departments and  agencies.

 

“In view of these  Subsisting judgments, it would amount  to an act of brazen  illegality for the EFCC to  insist  on  interrogating  any official OF the Rivers State Government.
For the avoidance of doubt, no official of the Rivers State Government would appear before the EFCC until the subsisting judgments in favour of the Rivers State Government are set aside on appeal.

“Resorting to the Media can only be described as cheap blackmail and witch-hunt to turn away public attention from the development strides in the State.

“This media trial that they engage in all the time will not take the place of our extant laws no matter how hard they try.

“The EFCC should stop playing to the gallery and pursue its war against corruption within the ambits of the law.

 

“Rivers State Government is committed to the Rule of Law and cannot be intimidated by the EFCC.

“Those who want to use the EFCC to promote their political agenda in the State will fail because we know their antics.

“Targeting Rivers State for this occasional media trial should be seen by the public for what it is, “political witch-hunt,” the statement said.

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Rivers Records 27 New Coronavirus Cases …Manager Of Prodest Hotel Among The New Cases

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Rivers State has recorded 27 new positive coronavirus  cases.

A statement signed by the Rivers state Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that the Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme is among the new positive cases.

According to the statement, the latest development validates the State Government’s proactive approach towards the fight against COVID-19.

Recall that Prodest Hotel was demolished two weeks ago because the owners violated Executive Order 7 which banned the operation of hotels.

The COVID-19 Taskforce members from the Local Government who went to enforce the Executive Order were brutalized and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them.

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