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Four Days In Kidnappers Den

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I was travelling from Aba in Abia state back to PortHarcourt where I reside after a marriage introduction ceremony of my youngest sister Nene in my family house in Aba. I left the house at about 4pm that day, May 15, 2010 with my small uncle Anayo and a cousin Maureen. Maureen dropped somewhere in Aba while I proceeded to Portharcourt with Anayo. We had barely travelled 11km when we met what appeared to be a routine Police check point at Ihie.

Normally, we were flagged down for routine check at about 5pm or even later. I was asked for my driving license which I produced, I was asked to come down and open my booth and it was at this point that I was told to enter a waiting Kia saloon car facing right and at right angle to the main express road. Other vehicles were stopped simultaneously for stop and search. An SUV that refused to stop was sprayed with bullets with apparent missing of targets and within about 5minutes the operation was over.

About 2 vehicles carried the victims, a Kia saloon and a Pathfinder SUV. Some of us were loaded in the booths. After 5minutes drive into the village we were all blind folded and now driven through untarred bush roads to an isolated location which was a transit point. It took about extra 5minutes to get there. You know things were happening fast and it was so easy to lose tract of time. At this temporary site, we were thoroughly beaten with the butts and barrels of the gun. I never knew pains could be felt in quick succession after trauma to a particular point.

When I was hit at the back with the AK47 assault riffle, I felt the first superficial pain and this was followed immediately by another crushing pain much deeper. We were about 15 people, men, women and children. After about 4hours, the women and children were driven back to the road to find their way home. We the men, about 9 in number now waited for the next 1.5hours to be taken to their so-called police cell were they kept captives. In the transit camp where we were kept, there is one small house inhabited by a woman and some 2 or 3 children. The woman had normal conversations with our captors and her small baby was always crying. We left the temporary area in the same 2 vehicles and by 10minutes we were in the cell. The place was surrounded by bushes and harboured a roofed but un-completed block house with doors. A standby generator was on and I had lifted the scarf over my eyes a little long before we left the transit location. We were bundled into a dark room with one window, and with 8 captives inside already. The mode of capture of these previous 8 was targeted and not as random as ours.

Example the councillor was visited by them as a Police team in a Police vehicle and informed that he was wanted in the police station in connection with certain matters. He followed them willingly. We could only sit or lie down with our eyes covered.  We were 17 in number in my cell. These include 3 royal highnesses (the Eze of Isuochi, the Eze of Omuma, and another very important Eze that I couldn’t quite identify well because he was taken away shortly for ‘special treatment’ and remained there after I left), the councillor representing a constituency in Omuma (hypertensive and diabetic), a retired NNPC manger (diabetic), a retired CBN supervisor, a PTI lecturer/pastor, 2 yahoo fraudsters, drivers, a tailor, and some others.

Our cell phones, money and every other belonging were taken from us apart from our clothing. Food is never given to the captives and water is dispensed at extreme discretion of the captors and by my calculation this amounted to 500mls alternate daily. At a point the councilor drank my water as I moved a little out of my position to urinate. As it was close to midnight, the captors encouraged us to pray and came in periodically to check on us. I must tell you that we all prayed as never before till morning. We also continued to pray like that every day. For me it was as true as daylight. The next day was a Sunday and at about 9am, the captor in-charge of making contacts for the captives came into our cell enquiring for people needing to contact their people for early release. It followed the sequence from interrogation about yourself and work to brutality and torture, bargain for release and possible mortal injury following failure to reach an amicable settlement.

One of the captive’s phone lines was always used for these contacts. The man in charge of the contact making is called a name. I figure he is the 3rd in command in the camp. He comes with aides who brutalize the captives mercilessly on failure to agree to a stated bill which runs into millions of naira. My initial bill was N10million even though it came down to N2 million later. I was now asked to talk to my people. I talked to my people and returned the phone to the captors for negotiation with my people.

The first bidding amount from my people was N100,000 which earned me the beating of my life in the hands of his aides. I was hit with the gun repeatedly and while pointed close to my neck with the gun corked and uncorked severally and with several simultaneous kicks on the head and body, I was asked to talk to my people. The beating was temporarily halted when I impressed it on my people of the need again to be ‘reasonable’ amidst my cry of pains. I was one of the youngest captives. One can now imagine the impact of the brutality on an elderly man and the sick people. On that Sunday, the councillor was beaten blue and black on failure to accept the N10million request fast.

This was a frail looking man with 10 children, a wife and with the whole extended family as dependants. He collapsed with repeated hits on the head, ribs, hands and every other parts of the body with the butt, barrel of the gun and woods measuring 2inch x 2inch in thickness. He was literally left helpless on the floor. He constantly bemoaned his fate and wished to die in his house where his corpse will at-least be seen and given a burial unlike the camp here where our captors will bury him. He recovered a little by Monday but that never gave him any reprieve as he continued to receive thorough beating like the rest of us.

Many of us all cried like babies. The councillor got his people to sell his new car, his lands, and several other belongings and all amounted to the sum of N450,000. He also sought to collect the month’s contribution among 10 of his colleagues amounting to N500,000 which never materialized by the time I left them. My brother it was pathetic for the diabetic and the hypertensive. It is noteworthy that age was no barrier to the brutality because we had 2 people who were above 70years of age, the Eze of Omuma and the Eze of Isuochi. The first received thorough but a moderated level brutality which increased sequentially with each daily failure to meet the captors’ demand while the second, though brutalized, had some significant consideration because he is 74years.

His wife had to walk virtually the whole streets begging for money and he also had to sell lands. The rest received the same level of brutality and torture which increased with every passing day. I tried to get close to the retired NNPC man who is also a pastor because I felt he never understood the psychology of this group that prefer to call themselves Abia State Militants. He never agreed to any fixed amount and I felt he mistook the initial moderation of the brutality on him as a spiritual effect. He is a retired man and probably over 60yrs of age. However, he was soon to understand that his judgment was wrong. The mercilessness of the boys was un-paralleled because by the time I was leaving the camp on Tuesday night, there was a special torture session carried out simultaneously by over 20 of the militants which I myself may have found difficult to recover from despite my good physical fitness. The captors had claimed that a cell phone had been stolen in the camp and all the captives that refused to bargain ‘properly’ were responsible.

The captors appear not to have much interest on what they regard as poor fools like drivers, gaunt looking people, mechanics, tailors etc. Even though the ‘poor fools’ sometimes pay all their savings to the captors, they tend to receive good considerations in terms of length of stay only. I left the camp after the direct negotiation between my people and my captors went through. We left the camp at about 10pm on Tuesday. Those released that night were the Professor (Eze of Isuochi), one pastor, one driver and my humble self. Three of us were bundled into the booth of a Nissan Pathfinder SUV while Prof was given the privilege of sitting down comfortably inside the car. As we left the camp, one or two small boys were moving about close by and our captors questioned the supposed strangers in a loud voice asking “who be that” and the small boys (I say small boys from their voice on reply) answered “I beg na indigenes”.   The Eze of Omuma was released a day earlier after paying the sum of one million two hundred thousand naira. After about 5minutes into our journey to freedom, the SUV stopped suddenly and refused to start again.

After a few futile attempts to start the car, the four armed captors disembarked and called the camp for another vehicle. They identified their position as opposite the Nigerian Police Station. In less than 4 minutes, a new Toyota corolla arrived for us to continue our journey. I was asked to enter the booth with the pastor/PTI lecturer. They discharged us at Ihie junction and gave us transport money. We all walked bare footed because even our shoes were collected. I received N500.00.

They also informed me that my vehicle was at the police station.

The Prof and the released driver proceeded to Port Harcourt while I proceeded to Aba with the pastor. I arrived my family house at Aba at about 12:09am on Wednesday to the jubilation of my parents and every other person in the house and on the street. I am grateful to my relatives who contributed immensely for my release. They include my parents, my wife, my brother, my sisters, my cousin, my uncles abroad, my in-laws, my mother’s uncle, my aunt, the pastors who prayed continually, my local church, my genuine friends who acted promptly and several well wishers.

I did not involve the police and it was the best decision. The location of the camp is not hidden. The subdued villagers know them and also know all their locations.  Again the terrain of the area consisting of thick bushes, well spaced houses and the bad nature of the road all combine to favour the use of those locations by the militants. The militants tend to wear military uniforms in the camp and police uniforms with police bullet proof vest outside the camp for their normal operations. They carry AK47 assault riffles and perform drills each morning in the bush around the cell building- the so-called camp. All the boys spoke the local dialect- asa/ngwa version of igbo language.

The chairman/leader of the group who authorized each release has facial tribal marks, speaks same dialect. It may not surprise me if he is a northerner and security personnel. It is impossible that the security agents do not know their position. The joy of release subdued all the pains. I also forgot I had not eaten for 4days. I proceeded to Ihie Police station to collect my car as I was informed by my captors as my car was too old for an operational vehicle. I saw the vehicle at local police station at Ihie. I fulfilled their formalities, made statements and informed them of the release of Prof. In doing these I guarded my utterances because you never know who the insiders were. I also spoke with the DPO of the station. I also met some special police units who came on routine patrol to the police station and narrated my ordeal to them. On this visit to retrieve my car, I also observed that the security agents concentrated their presence on the express road leaving the entire village empty. My brother even the people you are supposed to report to are scared and appear helpless. You also cannot rule out their support from politicians because of several boasts of installing candidates come 2011. Information flow freely in the camp there; it is unimaginable how the information comes without government/security insiders. It also appeared they were planning relocation soon based on the insiders’ requests; possibly because of impending raid by government forces. They claim to pay some insiders-the normal Nigerian settlement.

It is pathetic the level Abia state has degenerated to. It is a level just slightly above those of animals and the bottom line is greed, corruption, power drunkenness. I understand Imo-state is following closely.

I became ill on Thursday- the cumulative effects of the ordeal. My heart goes out to the innocent men still in captivity. I wonder if they will make it alive. They include the retired NNPC manger/pastor in Winners chapel (Yoruba), retired CBN supervisor (igbo), the councillor (Omuma), The Eze who I could not identify well.

What if these kidnappers were ritualists; what would have been our fate; it is all greed, corruption, power drunkenness. Until there is good and committed leadership, everything will continue to go downhill.

  

Nzegbule wrote from Port Harcourt.

 

Emmanuel Nzegbule

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Nigeria Info And Finger Pointing Proverb 

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It is said that as you point one finger at a person, the remaining four fingers point at you. In other words, if you must come to equity, then you must come with clean hands.
Today (Monday), a friend drew my attention to one of the programmes of Nigeria Info, Port Harcourt where a duty continuity announcer took time to dress me down. The nature of the job I do entails that I receive personal insults/attacks on a regular basis.
These attacks come from all corners.  But, one cannot shy away from the truth because we are scared of being insulted by duty continuity announcers.  We owe the society this responsibility to effect positive transformation.
In my earlier piece where I questioned the sincerity and professionalism of Nigeria Info, Port Harcourt and her sister station, it wasn’t done just for Governor Wike.  I simply used Governor Wike as a standard to measure the weak gate-keeping process of these stations, the anti-Rivers agenda of the ownership structure and the deliberate attempt to mislead Rivers people, using the duty continuity announcers as the attack heads.
I have pointed out clearly cases of deliberate anti-Rivers acts by the Lebanese-owned stations.  These acts cannot be swept under the carpet by throwing stones at Simeon.  What does Nigeria Info Port Harcourt stand to gain by deliberately refusing to canvass for federal projects in Rivers State? What are the benefits to Rivers State if Nigeria Info continues to defend the Federal Government in its inability to promote security in Rivers State? What are the benefits to Rivers State,  if Nigeria Info continues to side with the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army even when their personnel were captured on national television invading the Port Harcourt INEC office in an attempt to disrupt the collation of results and subvert the will of Rivers people?
What are the benefits to Rivers people when Nigeria Info consistently floats phone-in programmes skewed in favour of their sponsors (the APC) with the same callers making similar unverifiable statements daily? The questions are endless.
To hold government to account, a station must be accountable.  What I am simply demanding is accountability.  If Nigeria Info demands good governance, nobody would raise eyebrow. But for them to become politicians, we are duty bound to question the rationality of their partisan mischief.
It is unhelpful to seek the attention of the National Broadcasting Commission because Nigeria Info is pro-APC. Otherwise, the content of Nigeria Info is below the guidelines and specifications of professional broadcasting. It is even below the standard of the Lebanese- owned station in Abuja and Lagos.
Imagine a duty continuity announcer on Nigeria Info declaring that local government councils are non-existent in Rivers State. On what premise did he reach that conclusion? Did he conduct a survey and what was the methodology of the survey?  Such careless declaration on radio is reckless and unprofessional.
The real question that must be answered by the owners of Nigeria Info is: what are the mechanisms on the ground to check the reckless partisanship of her duty continuity announcers? Both Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Port Harcourt seem to be stations where duty continuity announcers engage in free-for-all to please their paymasters.  There is never any disciplinary process.  I think the absence of any form of disciplinary platform is deliberate.  It is aimed at ensuring that the overriding anti-Rivers agenda is achieved. It is not coincidental that the duty continuity announcers detailed to drive the APC negative agenda in Nigeria Info are not under any form of supervision.
The Lebanese owners of Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM must, as a matter of urgency and necessity, spell out a code of conduct for their duty continuity announcers, especially in Rivers State where the National Broadcasting Commission has allowed pro-APC media outlets the free space to misinform, mislead and generate anti-Rivers sentiments. As they say, power is nothing without control.
The Lebanese owners must also put in place an official public complaint system for its duty continuity announcers. Sanctions must be attached to cases where duty continuity announcers deliberately misinform the public.  Even on trucks, companies place phone numbers to check the excesses of truck drivers.
On Sunday, Governor Wike called members of the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks for a meeting to appraise their operations.  He pointed out where they fell short and urged them to step up or face sanctions.  However, a duty continuity announcer embarked on blatant mischief.  It was as if he read the press statement of the APC.
In Port Harcourt, Nigeria Info is duty bound to retrace its step. It must purge itself of sponsored partisanship.  There is no reason to grandstand.
Nigeria Info Port Harcourt should be truthful and reduce the dose of mischief and manipulation of information it feeds the populace. It should be an advocate for Rivers State.  It should join other well-meaning Rivers people to demand federal projects from the APC Federal Government.  Since 2015, there is nothing from the Nigerian Info as official partner to Rivers people. Yet these guys want to belittle the developmental strides of the pillar of development in Rivers State.
Accountability is a two-way traffic.  As the auditor audits a firm, he must not rape the finances of that firm. Information management is serious business.
It is said that a man breaking groundnuts for a blind man must continue to whistle. The whistleblowing is key to convince the blind that the groundnut breaker is transparent and is not involved in CHOPPING the groundnut.  For Nigeria Info Port Harcourt, the time has come for transparency in its operations.  We can no longer keep quiet and assume that the pro-APC Broadcast is coincidental.  It is more painful because APC HAS FAILED THE PEOPLE OF RIVERS STATE.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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When A Radio Station Goes Political …

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It is true that the media have a responsibility to hold the government to account.  But that responsibility must be discharged with utmost regard for objectivity,  fairness and commitment  to the development of the society.
Therefore, a medium is under strict obligation to work towards the growth and development of the society where it operates.  This is because the sustenance of any medium lies in the serenity  of its host environment.
Nigeria Info Port Harcourt,  a radio station owned by a Lebanese businessman,  has constituted itself into a propaganda tool for anti-Rivers elements.  It is the same story with its sister station,  Wazobia FM Port Harcourt . They broadcast falsehood,  half truths and outright concocted reports to mislead their listeners. This is a recurring and ever-present reality  in Rivers State.  Everyday, these stations assault the listening public with misleading information , aimed at promoting a negative political and  social order.
The falsehood and negative information order of the Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM stations is deliberate, planned and sustained  to cause disaffection.  It is politically  crafted and funded to generate negative opinion about the Rivers State Governor and Rivers State.
The activities of these foreign stations have nothing to do with media practice.  If it was to hold the government accountable,  it wouldn’t  be horribly one-sided. This is not the style of practise adopted by Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Lagos. Of course, in Lagos, the owners align with the political party in power. It is not the practice of Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Abuja. We know who controls the Federal Government.
The official policy is to continually misinform the listening public at every turn. It is not coincidental that all the duty continuity announcers of the two stations are hostile to the state and its government.  Using the phone-in programme format, the stations deliberately broadcast wrong and unverified information.  There is virtually  no respect for the ethics of broadcasting, as long as the goal of destroying the governance process is targeted.
The stations are still  in a vicious  campaign mode. Canvassing  for the immediate-past administration and its officials.  In some instances,  one would think Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM are fielding candidates for a yet-to-be-determined election.
I am compelled to write this piece after I listened to a paid feature broadcast by the said organization attacking the federal  lawmakers from Rivers State who protested the neglect of East-West Road and Aleto Bridge by the Federal Government.  It was rather disheartening that these radio stations  placed their political and financial interests above that of the environment where they operate. The commercial fee for the sponsored broadcast opposing the completion of the East-West Road has been aired and money banked, but the entire State plus the Niger Delta region continue to suffer.
Just a few weeks ago, the Federal Government awarded different road contracts amounting to over N180 billion. Rivers State and majority of the South-South States were excluded.  These Lebanese stations saw nothing wrong with the development. Rather, they focused on their goal, which is to always defend the APC  and its failed Federal Government.
These radio stations are unperturbed by the deliberate and frustrating marginalisation of Rivers State by the APC.  They play the ostrich,  pretending  that they enjoy the fruits of this ugly marginalisation.  They air their politically-motivated programmes with a seeming declaration: “We told you so”.
Whenever Rivers State is short-changed,  there is a clear spirit of celebration  at Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM,  Port  Harcourt.
For these stations, there is nothing like responsibility to the community,  outside consistent negative media hypes.
The manner security infractions are reported on Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM,  Port Harcourt connotes that nobody lives in Rivers  State.  Yet they ply their trade here. Security reports are broadcast in very unprofessional manner to belittle the efforts of the security agencies and the supporting state government.  No attempt is made to indicate that the Rivers State Government can only support,  fund and encourage the security agencies when there are infractions. They deliberately  forget that the entire country is having major security issues and Rivers State is one of the few states where the State Government and the security agencies have worked hard to tackle emerging challenges.
When the Nigerian Army was used by the APC to frustrate the take-off of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, it was Nigeria Info,  Port Harcourt that justified the anti-Rivers action.  Continuity announcers took to the airwaves with pre-arranged phone-in programmes to defend an illegal action that negatively affected Rivers security.
The issue of the delivery of projects in different sectors is one area that these Lebanese stations have worked quite hard to misinform people. Hiding under contrived phone-in programmes, duty continuity announcers of the two stations throw up highly incorrect information and insult the Rivers State Government.  The phone-in programmes are cooked to allow same APC supporters to air disparaging and false allegations daily.
If by any stroke of luck, a pro-PDP caller comes on air, he/she is hounded by the desperate duty continuity announcers.  There are times when they even insult such callers or bang the phone on them.
At the rate which Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM propagate their anti-Rivers agenda, one would expect them to field candidates in any forthcoming elections.  No credible medium de-markets where it operates and makes money. Irrespective of the ownership structure,  no station should constitute itself into an opposition political party.
It is surprising and a total lack of judgement of facts for Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM not to have realised that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and Rivers people are into a positive developmental alliance.  This alliance is beyond the evil machinations of mischief makers.  Irrespective of the plot or deadly propaganda,  Rivers people will never be misled.
In case these Lebanese propaganda merchants have forgotten, the Nigerian Army and NTA teamed up a few days to the 2019 General Elections to unleash the worst propaganda onslaught against Governor Wike and the PDP.  This ungodly assault, funded by the APC,  failed woefully before the watchful eyes of all Nigerians.  Right inside the fortified compound of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army,  the plot of the Army/NTA/APC was resisted by those abducted by the Nigerian Army.
Perhaps the Lebanese propaganda merchants have forgotten how the AAC/APC/ARMY alliance failed, despite the top level coordination and execution during the elections.
I am surprised that there is no institutional check within the Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Port Harcourt.  I am shocked that the Lebanese owners have not found it expedient to change the anti-Rivers agenda.  It has not worked and it will never work.
Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM, Port Harcourt should honourably leave the political arena and resume their place in the media space.  This continued assault on the sensibility of Rivers people is unfortunate; very regrettable.
We understand their affinity to the APC, but they should, at least, pretend by masking their bias.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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100 Days In Office: Wike Remains Nigeria’s Best Performing Governor

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After the first 100 days of his well deserved second term, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has lived up to the expectations of the people of the State. By far, he remains the best performing Governor in Nigeria. This is a position he intends to maintain till the expiration of his second mandate.

Right from the beginning of his second term, Governor Wike set out with an agenda to maintain the good works of his administration. All through the key sectors, the Rivers State Governor continued to deliver the very best for Rivers people.

Taking his oath for a second term, Governor Wike outlined the key areas that his government would concentrate on to improve the living standard of the people. On his inauguration day, Governor Wike assured Rivers people that he will tackle security, environmental sanitation, job creation, further infrastructural development, quality education for the people, improve healthcare, develop agriculture and economic development.

Since May 29, 2019, Governor Wike has kept his promise to the people of Rivers State. He has continued with infrastructural development, enhanced the state’s security architecture, developed a framework for environmental sanitation and set the framework for general economic development.

 

His commitment to the rapid growth of Rivers State is growing by the day. The results of his administration’s investments are visible, even to the most critical opponents.

There are pointers that Governor Wike will continue to wax stronger in governance as he progresses in his second term. He has launched key programmes in the education, health and security sectors of the economy.

EDUCATION

One of the key achievements in the first one hundred days of Governor Wike’s second term is the abolishment of all forms of fees and levies in primary and secondary schools.

The Governor explained that his administration abolished all forms of fees to encourage less privileged parents to send their children to school.

By 2020, the Rivers State Government will commence the payment of fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms for all indigenes and non-indigenes in the state.

To improve the quality of education in the state, Governor Wike established the Committee for Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools. This committee has led to private schools improving the standard of their staff and facilities.

For public schools, Governor Wike has continued to develop quality facilities in the Basic, Senior Secondary and the Tertiary Education levels. Some of the projects executed across the education sector would be inaugurated as part of the governor’s first 100days.

HEALTH

The Health sector has received a major boost in Governor Wike’s First 100days in his second term . The administration has commenced the process of equipping recently completed Zonal Hospitals to take quality tertiary healthcare closer to the people.

The Zonal Hospital, Degema and Zonal Hospital, Bori, have been completed and the equipping process is ongoing. The final construction works at the Mother and Child Hospital are ongoing. The equipment of the Hospital are on ground for installation.

Governor Wike abolished the payment of user-fees for persons living with HIV/AIDS to ensure that more persons access treatment at state-owned health facilities. Governor Wike said that the state government will take over the payment of the user-fees to encourage more Rivers people to seek treatment for HIV/AIDS.

 

In the last 100days, the Rivers State Government has enterred into a partnership with the United States Centre for Disease Control to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike commended the United States Government for working with the State Government to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the State.

Under this partnership, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) administered by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing an Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) surge program in Rivers state to identify and provide treatment to approximately 180,000 PLHIV who have not previously received such.

Governor Wike has approved the commencement of public ambulance service by the State Ministry of Health. The Ambulances would be parked at strategic locations in major towns for the purpose of responding to distress calls. The phone numbers of the ambulance service have been circulated.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In the course of the first 100 days in office, Governor Wike has executed two key projects that will enhance the economic development of Rivers State.

The Fruit Garden Market and the Rumuwoji (Mile One) Market in the heart of Port Harcourt, are two projects that will help in empowering traders, promote safety and environmental sanitation. The Markets are set for business after Commissioning and the traders are happy.

PROMOTION OF SECURITY

Across the country, insecurity has become the order of the day. This further heightened by the failure of the Federal Government to properly fund the Federal Security agencies.

To promote security of lives and property in the state, Governor Wike launched a new security architecture, codenamed Operation Sting. This is a modern security outfit with the relevant technology, funding and logistics to tackle insecurity.

The State Government donated 116 Patrol Vans fitted with communication equipment to Operation Sting. The Administration also donated 8 armoured fitted gunboats, to tighten coastal security and protect the state’s waterways from the activities of criminals; 2 Armoured Personnel Carriers for Police swift response actions; 450 hand-held mobile radios to enhance communication.

TASK FORCE ON STREET TRADING, ILLEGAL MARKETS AND MOTOR PARKS

In a bid to sanitise the streets and return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status, Governor Wike inaugurated the State Government’s Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks.

Inaugurating the Task Force   at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that the Task Force is a product of law, following his assent of the Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets & Motor Parks (Prohibition) Bill No. 8 of 2019 .

The operatives of the Task Force were profiled by the Department of State Services and the Police.

The Task Force has started work. The results of their work have gladdened the hearts of Rivers people, with Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas regaining their beauty. The streets are wearing a new look with sanity and security .

Closely linked to this achievement is the improvement of environmental sanitation in the state capital.

COMMISSIONING OF PROJECTS

As part of the 100days in office, Governor Wike will inaugurate some completed projects in different parts of the state. These projects emphasise the importance of accountability and service to the people.

The projects lined up for inauguration include: Bonny Street, AdakaBoro/Elliot Henry Streets, Community Secondary School, Ubima Birabi Street , Rumukwurusi Elelenwo – Akpajo road and Sea bed Model School.

Others are: Rumuwoji Market, –   Government Craft Centre, Civil Servants Quarters, Real Madrid Academy; SUG Secretariat RSU , Fruit Garden Market , Rivers State NLC Labour Secretariat and Shell Location Road, Rumuepirikom.

MORE PROJECTS CLOSE TO INAUGURATION

After the first 100days of the second term, the Wike Administration will roll out another set of major projects undergoing finishing touches. These projects include the Mother and Child Hospital, the Government Secondary School, Abua, the Zonal Hospitals in Bori, Degema and Ahoada, Judges Quarters among others.

STILL RECREATING RIVERS STATE

The first 100days of Governor Wike’s second term has shown that the administration is still recreating the state. He is still in the business of building a new Rivers State.

The Governor is carefully applying scarce resources to ensure Rivers State gets value for money. It is obvious that the State is on the right path to the consolidation of development. Truly, Rivers people were right to insist of the re-election of Governor Wike.

 

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: NIGERIAN AMBA-SSADOR TO SPAIN APPLAUDS GOVERNOR WIKE

The Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Susan Aderonke Folarin has commended the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for his love for children.

She also applauded the governor for investing in the development of youths and also ensuring that the talents abound them do not go to waste.

Ambassador Folarin gave the commendation when she played host to the players of Banham Model School Port Harcourt who have been sponsored by the Rivers State Government on a two-week training programme to the prestigious Real Madrid Academy, Spain.

She urged the boys to be good Ambassadors of Nigeria wherever the future takes them.

Ambassador Folarin did not forget to applaud the efforts of their sponsor and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

While thanking God for the privileges they’ve enjoyed, the boys also did not forget to thank the Rivers State Government for investing in them.

With their visit finally over, the boys then proceeded then headed back to the Real Maddrid Academy to continue with their training programme.

 

WE ARE DEVEL-OPING PORT HARCOURT PLEASURE PARK INTO A WORLD TOURIST ATTRACTION SAYS GOVERNOR WIKE

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that his administration is developing the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park into a major global tourist attraction.

Addressing journalists on Friday after inspecting the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park Cinema completed by his administration, Governor Wike said that key facilities are being developed to improve the quality of experience at the Park.

He described the new Cinema Constructed within the Park as a five star facility that raises the standard of entertainment available to people in the Niger Delta.

”We have just completed a five-star cinema within the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park. This cinema is about the best in the country.

”It will offer first class entertainment to the people of the region and beyond. Instead of going to Dubai for relaxation and tourism, you come over to Port Harcourt to enjoy the pleasure of this Park “, he said.

Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government will continue to develop new facilities that will complement existing structures within the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.

The Governor said that the new Cinema would be thrown open to the Public after the Commissioning programme on September 11, 2019.

He said that his administration is determined to ensure that the beauty of Port Harcourt is restored and Port Harcourt made a major tourism destination in the country.

Governor Wike expressed happiness that sanity is returning to the streets of Port Harcourt, with the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal markets and motor Parks doing a splendid job.

Governor Wike also inspected ongoing projects in GRA and other parts of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

He said that the administration will roll out several projects to mark the first one hundred days of his second term.

Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

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