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Nwonfu’s Assassination And Political Killings

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One week after the assassination of the Rivers State Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Pastor Julius Nwonfu,the families of the late politician are still in shock over the unfortunate incident that took away the life of the breadwinner of the family.

Pastor  Nwonfu who hailed from Ozuoba,in Obio/Akpor Local Government of Rivers State was attacked, shot and  killed last week by yet to be identified gunmen while the deceased and his wife were coming from the Port Harcourt International airport,Omagwa.

The families of the late politician believed that the killers must have monitored and trailed deceased from the Airport to the point where he was murdered.

The assassination of the late ANPP Chairman has brought to six the number of political killings in Rivers State since year 2001.Hon Monday Ngbor, was the first victim of this type of killings, a  member of the Rivers State House of Assembly before he was murdered in 2001.Many believed that his murder opened the chapter of political killings in the State since the present democratic dispensation

Dr.Mashall Harry,the pioneer State Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the pioneer National Vice Chairman, South South of the party and a Chieftain of the All Nigeria Peoples Democratic Party (ANPP), before he was killed, was next after Hon .Ngbor as he was killed in like manner. The flamboyant urged politician was killed in a build up of the 2003 general elections . Dr Harry had left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)for the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) where he pinch tent  with Chief Sergeant Awuse to oppose the second term bid of the then Governor, Dr.Peter Odili. Chief Awuse was then the ANPP Governorship candidate in Rivers state. The death of  the ostentatious politician then demoralized and deflated  the opposition party in Rivers State.

Chief  Dikibo ,former National Vice Chairman of PDP and the predecessor  to Dr Mashall Harry was also murdered on his way to Asaba,Delta State.

In 2009,Hon Charles Achor Nseigbe,former member of Rivers State House of Assembly  and Ambassador Ignatius  Ajuru were killed in cool blood before  the 2011 general elections. In all these,many believed that the killings of these prominent citizens of the state and others  were politically motivated.

After the killings of Hon Ngbor and Dr.Mashall Harry and Chief A.K.Dikibo,it was believed that the political killings had ended in Rivers State,but the assassination of Hon Charles Nsiegbe and Amb. Ajuru sent a wrong signal to the political class in Rivers State.

It is unfortunate that  in all these killings,the police have failed to track down the killers and the perpetrators of these acts.

It is, however , on this note that the  Widow of the late ANPP chairman Mrs  Blessing Nwonfu ,urged the Police and the Rivers State government to do everythings  to bring the killers  of her husband to book. She urged the police not to  those who killed her husband to go scot free as in the case of other politicians who have been killed before her husband.

Mrs Nwonfu who is yet to  come over the shock of the incident of last Tuesday, noted that the incident that claimed the life of her husband will   not be easily forgotten.

The widow who spoke in an interview with The Tide at the family resident said her husband was killed,living a work load of seven children to carter for.

While narrating the incident, Mrs Nwonfu , a petty trader,said  her husband called and asked her to come over to the airport to pick him ,but  she complained of tiredness and requested that he should pick an airport taxi and come home, but he at the other end also complained  of not having a  enough money to pay for a taxi and that coming with the family car would be cheaper and  as well save cost.

It was at this point I try to reach my children on their phones ,but I couldn’t, so I decided to go myself after I had informed him that I was coming to the airport to pick him knowing the family financial situation.

“I got to the airport and picked my husband, on our way back from the airport , the devil struck, we  heard sounds of gunshots from all sides, bullets coming from all directions which forced me to stop the car and  lied down in the car under the stirring  ,the gunmen shot at us several times, they  thought I was dead, as I heard them say ,”let’s go they are dead ‘’in a local language.

At that point, they have already shot and killed my husband and took away my bag and mobile phone believing that I was dead. One of then turned me and I pretended to be lifeless, so they flew in their vehicle leaving me and the lifeless body of my husband.

When they have left, she said she raised alarm and started calling people to come to her rescue. I did not believe my eyes as I am yet to recover from the shock.

Mrs  Nwonfu who is a petty trader appealed to the state government and security agencies in the state to ensure that those behind the death of her husband are apprehended.

According to her, “With the current situation of things ,I am finished ,I don’t know how to continue in life, I have seven Children, Three are abroad schooling while the rest are in Nigeria. How do I cope with their up keep and studies? She said the killers have succeeded in making her  a widow at an unexpected time.

“I can not cope with my petty trading. The government should help ensure that the police get to the root of the matter and find the killers of my husband. Where do I start from she queried””

 

The son of the late politician ,Bar.Chimaovu Nwonfu ,believed that the Police are not doing enough to find the killers of his father.

Bar Nwonfu  revealed that before the last Tuesday incident which his father was killed,two  assassins had come to the house of the late Pastor Julius Nwonfu but they did not succeed  in their mission as at then, the two suspect  were caught ,arrested  and charged to  court.

But ,unfortunately, he said ,the two suspects who were  standing trails in the court  jumped  bail and have not been seen since them. We also reported the threat messages which my father have been receiving from unknown persons to the police even though the police were unable to investigate on the issue before his father was killed last Tuesday.

He said it is a great shock that they lose their father at this time,but we plead that the police should help unravel and untangle  those behind the murder of their father.

He commended   the River State Government  for the concern shown so far to help the police apprehend the killers,adding that the family is in dare need of help and assistant from Nigerians.

According to him, the police revealed that over 36 bullets were spread on the vehicle and pump into my father’s body which points to the fact that it was an assassination and not robbery even though the assassins took away my mother’s handbag and mobile phone.

He confirmed that the police have started investigations into the matter but the family are not happy with the  pace they are going.

Acoording, to him , the homicides department of the police has taken over the matter ,their slow pace is making us  get worried. I  was asked to contact the D C in charge of the case but several calls put across  to him  on Friday were ignored.

Mr Nwonfu commended the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi for charging the police to ensure that they find the killers of his father,noted that his father was a peace loving man and wondered why people would want him out of, this earth leaving seven children behind.

Meanwhile,  the Rivers State Police Command   said they have open up investigation into the murder of the late politician .

The Police Public Relation Officer,Rivers State,Ben Egwubulam said already investigation had commenced  and that the Police would do everything within its powers to bring the perpetrators to book.

It is our view that it is not enough not  by assuring the people that those involve in the killing of Pastor Nwonfu would be arrested ,but they should brought to justice, he said.

Nigerians are tired of promises without getting much from the police and the governments. The present administration in the state has done enough to ensure a relatively  stable security ,but more has to be done to ensure that the state is free of crime and other killings within and outside the state.

The State government has invested enough in ensuring that Rivers State is free from crime.Apart from donating patrol vans and  communication equipment, the Amaechi’s   administration has also trained some anti -riot police officers in Israel to fight terrorism which also assisted our neighboring state,Abia to fight the militants and criminals during the reign of Osisi kangwu in Aba.

The ball is now  in the court of the police to commence work having giving  the necessary support and  assistant it required to fight crime from various government organs.

Many residents were not happy with the recent attitude of the police who go about arresting innocent citizens with the aim of extorting money  from them.

If the police will for ones do their legitimate and constitutional obligations, those behind the several political killings in Rivers state would be arrested and brought to book.

Let’s keep our fingers accros and expect that the police will this time brought to book all those involve in the killings of our heroes.

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End Poverty, Okowa Urges Political Appointees

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has urged political appointees to be repository of ideas that will end poverty and social vices in the country.
The governor stated this yesterday, while inaugurating eight newly appointed Special Advisers at Government House, Asaba.
He noted that the times were difficult for Nigerians and that this was not the time for them to be lazy in their duties.
Okowa urged political appointees to commit themselves to more work to revive the economy and create opportunities for the younger generation.
He decried the high rate of youth unemployment which, he said, had driven many into self-help, leading to the current social vices in the country.
The governor said that his administration had created jobs through various empowerment programmes, which had greatly impacted many, with its great multiplier effect.
“Available records indicate that we have so far trained and resourced over 100,000 persons to become successful entrepreneurs.
“Yet, our cities and communities continue to brim with many youths who have yet to find succor, while some, regrettably, have chosen the path of infamy by embracing underhand methods to personal success that now pose danger to the rest of us.
“The signs are ominous and we cannot afford to play the ostrich or even be deluded into thinking that all is well. All is not well,’’ he said.
Okowa urged leaders to work with the consciousness that leadership was service.
“Service to the people for whom we hold our positions in trust. Thus, it is incumbent on appointees to devise means and methods of discharging their callings and responsibilities.
“Leaders and political appointees, at whatever level, should be repository of ideas that will proffer solutions to the problems of unemployment, poverty, anti-social vices, suspicion and distrust that breed inter-ethnic feuds in our communities,’’ he said.
 The governor stressed the urgent need for mindset reorientation among the people.
While congratulating the appointees, Okowa urged them to consider it their duties to connect with their communities and engage in regular advocacy that would remold the youth and set them on the right path.
“Where there is a will, there must be a way.
“This administration is of the belief that the stability, peaceful coexistence and prosperity of the state depend on ability to run an all-inclusive government, powered by men and women of competence, capacity and character.
“Hence the new Special Advisers are additional key resources in our governance team, painstakingly assembled to be architects and builders of a stronger Delta.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Mr Johnson Erijo, thanked God for the opportunity given them to serve the state.
He expressed appreciation to the governor for finding them worthy of the appointment, while pledging to work and sustain the Okowa-led administration’s agenda of service of the people.
The Tide  reports that the new Special Advisers are: Messrs Ignatius Ziakegha, Matthew Tsekiri, Chukwudi  Dafe,  Martins Okonta,  Dan Yingi, Ernest Ogwuezzy,  Johnson Erijo and Edward Ekpoko.
The Tide also reports that the appointment brings the number of special advisers in government to 16, following the devolution of the State Executive Council on May 18.
Meanwhile, the Delta House of Assembly has screened and confirmed additional 11 nominees as Commissioners in the state.
Those confirmed are Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, former Commissioner for Higher Education; Mr Chika Ossai, former Commissioner for Trade and Investment and Mr Basil Ganagana, former Commissioner for Energy.
Also confirmed is Mr Emmanuel Amgbaduba, former Commissioner for Oil and Gas. The others are Dr Mordi Ononye, former Commissioner for Health; Mr Ovie Oghoore; Mrs Bridget Anyafulu; Mr Solomon Golley; Mr Isaiah Bozimo; Mr Henry Dakota; and Mrs Jennifer Anderson.
The motion for the confirmation of the nominees was unanimously adopted yesterday, by the Assembly when the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori put it to a voice vote and seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr Innocent Anidi.
The Tide reports that Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa on July 1, sworn in 18 confirmed nominees as commissioners.
The governor dissolved the state Executive Council on May 18.

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2023: Group Insists On S’ South Presidency

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A non-partisan advocacy group, South-South Presidency 2023 (SSP2023), has given reasons for insisting on the return of power to the zone in 2023.
The group, which ended its three-day delegates conference in Calabar, said there was need for a President of the South-South extraction to complete the zone’s tenure of eight years since it was truncated by massive gang up and that a South-South Presidency would stabilise the Nigerian polity.
In a 10-point communique signed by the National Protem Chairman of the group, Chief Diekivie Ikiogha, the Cross River State coordinator, Hon Ekpenyong Eyamba and others, the group said the South – South was blessed with competent and qualified human resource to take the country to another height and so should be given a chance.
They observed with nostalgia the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu road and requested that the Federal Government should urgently fix it.
The group also frowned at what they described as the continuous intimidation, blackmail and harassment of politicians of South – South extraction.
The three-day conference climaxed with a visit to the Chairman of the State Council of Chiefs, His Royal Majesty Etinyin Etim Okon Edet at the Council of Chiefs Chambers.
At the Chamber, Chief Ikiogha called on the traditional institution to support the agitation of South – South people to produce the next president that would do four more years to complete the zone’s turn.
“By this arithmetic, South will do 18 years and when it goes to the north they will do eight years to add up to their tenure of 10 years which will be completed by President
“The South – South has an already constitutional four years which its ex president, Goodluck Jonathan can readily fit in,” he stated.
In his response, HRM Etim Okon Edet , who doubles as Paramount Ruler of Bakassi Local Government Area, said there was nothing wrong with a South – South producing the next president, saying the former president Goodluck Jonathan would be best fit to complete his tenure but feared whether the Bayelsa-born leader would be willing to throw his hat into the ring.
The Monarch said, “Yes, he is best fit to go and complete the four years remaining for South South regardless of any party. I will take the message to His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade for his opinion.”
Among delegates who attended the Conference were Dr Princewill .W. Igbagara (Bayelsa), Engr. Ini Charles Udonwa (Akwa Ibom), Dr Didi Opiuyo (Rivers), High Chief (Major) A.O.Oputa (Bayelsa), Hon. Barr. Oyemah-Iwe Jahswill (Delta), Dr. Uwamose Amadasun (Edo), and Comrade Francis Etang of Cross River state , among others.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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INEC Commences Physical CVR In Rivers

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State has commenced the physical aspect of the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) at the state office and in the local government offices.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, Mark Usulor and made available to The Tide last Monday, July 26, 2021.
The statement however, regretted that due to the blockade on a stretch of the East-West Road by some persons, reportedly protesting about the poor state of the road yesterday, movement had been impeded along the route.
{As a result, some of our personnel and materials have been unable to arrive some of the local government offices of INEC to commence the exercise”, he said.
He listed the affected local government areas as follows: Andoni; Bonny; Eleme; Gokana; Khana; Ogu/Bolo; Okrika; Opobo/Nkoro and Tai.
“INEC Rivers State wishes to assure potential registrants in such local government areas that the exercise will commence in their locations later in the day and as soon as the situation permits.
“It also hopes that registrants in the affected areas avail themselves the opportunity to key into the physical Continuous Voters’ Registration as soon as normalcy returns back to the area.
It is worthy to note that INEC in line with keeping to its promises to ensure no one of age is disenfranchised introduced the CVR for all as well as those who wishes to change their voters’ card due to their present location as such it is pertinent for those concerned to take full advantage of this window of opportunity”, he added.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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