Most of the activities of Governor Chibuike Amaechi were done outside the state, as he was represented by other state officials within the week in various state functions.
He was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr George Feyii, during the inauguration of the new State Education Quality Assurance Agency.
Commissioner for Commerce, Chienye Chuma also stood in for the governor during the setting up of a Business Roundtable Committee in the state penultimate week.
Last weekend, the Secretary to the State Government, represented Governor Chibuike Amaechi as he bade farewell to visiting students of Institute of Security Studies (ISS), Abuja, who were in the state for a three-day study tour.
Last week Tueday however, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Rivers State Chapter, led by its chairman and Mayor of Port Harcourt, Chimbiko Akarolo, briefed newsmen on the brewing wranglings within the fold of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The body was responding to the controversial judgment by an Abuja High Court dissolving the Chief Godspower Ake-led PDP Executive on Monday. ALGON vowed not to recognise the court instituted exco led by Chief Felix Obuah, whom they said did not contest elections.
Mr. Akarolo declared that, “We shall not support or do business with new exco. The decision is a bad luck to democracy in Rivers State.” It, therefore, pledged support to the Chief Ake-led executive.
ALGON insisted that the country must be ruled on the platform of truth and therefore urged party faithfuls to be peaceful and law-abiding, as justice is sure to reign again with an appeal already instituted in the matter.
On Tuesday evening last week, the state governor played host to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which was in the state for the 5th Quadrennial Confereence and elections of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUCPTRE).
The NLC led by its president, Abdulwaheed Omar, was welcomed with a dinner party during which the Secretary to the State Government expressed happiness for AUCPTRE holding its conference in Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State Government scribe said, “it may interest you that Port Harcourt is 100 years and you will be duely informed about the centenary festivities.”
Mr Feyii urged the labour union to enjoy their stay in Port Harcourt as the state was peaceful, while reminding them that the government was labour-friendly.
The NLC and other AUCPTRE executives finally paid courtesy visit to Governor Amaechi on Friday. Comrade Omar thanked the Rivers State governor for the hospitality and love shown to them.
Omar described Governor Amaechi as “pillar of democracy in Nigeria,” noting that labour and Nigerians are watching with interest the political developments in Rivers State.
The NLC president assured that labour will continue to associate with “good things,” while lauding Amaechi for his educational programmes. “I have not seen anywhere children are learning under that kind of atmosphere,” he said.
On his part, Governor Amaechi thanked the group for choosing Rivers State as venue of their election and urged them to ensure they choose the right leaders, adding “I think it’s criminal not to allow workers elect those who will lead them.”
He further stressed, “the day we begin to elect our leaders ourselves then corruption will die.”
On Saturday, a massive solidarity rally besieged the gates of Government House, Port Harcourt. Youths, women, lawmakers in both the national and state assemblies spoke against the sack of Chief Godspower Ake-led PDP executive in Rivers State by an Abuja High Court on Monday.
A PDP youth leader, Bethel Oko-Jaja, described the judgment as a “collasal judgment” and vowed that the PDP will pursue the matter to a conclusion. He further said, “our support is total and we call for total endorsement and support for Chibuike Amaechi.
Senator Magnus Abe and Hon Chidi Llyod, including chairman of Etche Local Government Area, Reginald Ukwuoma all took turns to speak. Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru represented the governor at the rally.
Engr Ikuru warned that when once Nigerians lose their right to get justice then they have loost their fate. He added, “If we do not rise up now, we have lost our charter.”
Later, Saturday, Governor Amaechi took part in the coronation of Amanyanabo of Ogoloma in Okrika Local Government Area.
He assured the new king that his administration will work with him to bring peace and development to the area. “I tell my Okrika friends that you are peace-loving man, with you Okrika will know peace.”
APC: C’River LP Disowns Decampees
The Labour Party (LP) has disowned one Mr. Maurice Ekeng, who claimed to be Chairman of the party in Cross River State, and his purported exco who defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC)
The party, in a press statement made available to newsmen, yesterday, described the action of Ekeng and others as “laughable and unfortunate for an old man who parades himself as an elder of the church”.
The statement signed by Comrade Dr. Ofem Lekam, State Publicity Secretary of the party said, “The attention of the leadership of Labour Party in Cross River State led by Ambassador Ogar Osim as Chairman and Comrade Asuquo Etim as State Secretary has been drawn to publications claiming that the State Chairman and members of his executive have decamped to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“Mr Ekeng is an impostor who was never made a State Chairman at any Congress. We challenge him to publish the names of his executive, pictures taken in 2021 extra-ordinary NEC meeting in Benin City where the National Chairman, Julius Abure and the Secretary, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim were elected, as well as that of Home Land Hotel Calabar where the National Leadership represented by the Vice Chairman South South, Prince Reuben Nuka inaugurated the current State Caretaker
“The impostor from all available evidences is a member of APC sponsored to create confusion in a peaceful party of idealists who are making sacrifices in travelling round the nooks and crannies of the state to revive the structures of the party at all level in the state which is already making monumental impact in the state ahead of 2023.
“We want to put it on record that, Labour Party is intact, and is not contemplating merging with All Progressive Congress (APC) and any other political party; rather it is a party to beat come 2023.
“We appeal to the general public to disregard any news making the rounds that the LP Chairman and his executive have decamped, it is the imagination of political jobbers and mischief-makers whose occupation is to sacrifice their integrity and ideology just for peanuts.
“It is also instructive to advise Mr. Bassey Ita serving at APC Secretariat at Marian Road Calabar not to allow the temporary excitement of the moment to cloud his sense of reasoning by accepting people claiming a platform without verification.
“It is pathetic that Mr. Bassey Ita is yet to realize that with Governor Prof. Ben Ayade now as leader of APC CRS, the days of kangaroo administration of APC CRS should have been over by now in Cross River State.”
INEC To Deploy 5,346 Personnel For CVR
INEC said on Monday in Abuja that it would deploy 5,346 personnel to 2,673 registration centres for Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) resuming nationwide on June 28.
Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration at the presentation of INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) and online registration portal for the exercise at a meeting he held with media executives.
IVED is an Android tablet to be used in place of the existing Data Capturing Machine used for CVR in previous exercises.
Prof. Yakubu said that before now INEC had 1,446 registration centres where it registered 14. 2 million voters between 2017 and 2018.
“Learning from the experience of what happened, we have now almost doubled the number of those centres.
“Our hope is that unlike 14.2 million we registered in the previous exercise, we are targeting a minimum of 20 million registrants this time. It will take the number of registered voters to about 100 million,’’ Yakubu said.
He said that majority of the 5,346 personnel to be deployed would be INEC officials, while ad-hoc staff would be used where the Commission lacked the required number of personnel.
He said that the Commission was working with stakeholders for the security of personnel and equipment to be deployed.
Yakubu disclosed that the design for both the online portal and IVED were done by INEC engineers, taking into consideration Nigeria’s peculiarity, including weather, for its durability.
He said registrants would be able to know where machines for registration are located via the portal.
He also noted that the Commission was working on ensuring that Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for internally-displaced persons were reproduced for them so as not to be disenfranchised.
Many would have lost their cards while under siege, he said.
Prof. Yakubu also said that PVCs for newly-registered voters would be produced on quarterly basis after the registration, noting that the list of the registrants would be displayed at the registration units for claims and objections.
Presenting the online portal and IVED, INEC’s Director of ICT, Mr Chidi Nwafor, said that the online portal was designed to serve various needs of eligible Nigerians for the registration.
These, according to Nwafor, include new registration, review of registration, and review of personal details or voting centres, PVCs replacement or collection.
“As a new voter, you can pre-register online, or as a registered voter, you can revalidate your voter registration, request to update your information or transfer your voter registration to another polling unit, Nwafor said.
He said that registrants could register their details online before going to the nearest registration centre selected by them for photographs and finger prints capturing to complete the exercise.
Nwafor said that the portal was designed in a way that once an intending voter completed the online registration, an appointment for physical registration would be generated by the portal for the registrant.
He added that any registrant who could not meet up with the appointed date and time could reschedule the appointment via the same portal.
He said that the portal also made provision for people to contact the Commission in the event of challenges during online registration.
He noted that a registrant had 14 days to complete the online pre-registration and a year to complete the whole process.
He advised registered voters to make use of the portal to identify polling units or centres nearest to them.
Nwafor also assured that the Commission was putting adequate security in place to protect the device and the portal against hacks or cybercrime.
He also said that concerns about underage voter registration would be taken care of as those that registered online would still visit the registration centre before the process could be completed.
The media executives in a communiqué issued after the meeting suggested that the CVR be devolved to INEC LGA Council offices based on thorough appraisal of security situations and related factors.
They also recommended that the CVR be gradually devolved to other designated registration centres nationwide after assessments of security situations and other factors relating to safety of personnel and materials.
They tasked relevant stakeholders, especially political parties, traditional institutions, religious leaders and Civil Society Organisations to mobilise all eligible registrants to participate in the CVR.
PDP NWC Harps On Unity Over Anambra Guber Poll
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) has called for unity among stakeholders in Anambra state, ahead the June 26 primaries for the state governorship election.
The party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, made the call during the NWC meeting with the party aspirants, leaders and other stakeholders from Anambra, held in Abuja on Monday.
Secondus said the meeting was called to enable the NWC to interact with stakeholders, as elections held off season were always very stormy and tough.
“We are here basically for us to make sure first and foremost that all our leaders and all our aspirants are in unity. It is very important for this trying period and you know the period, we are in,”he said.
Secondus said that unity was key, especially now that the country was passing through challenges including insecurity that must not be taken for granted.
He said the only way to get out of that was to make sure that things were done properly.
“Let there be fairness, equity and justice, which is in deficit in our country; and that is what the PDP stands for.
“We stand for fairness, equity and justice under the rule of law. This is a party that believes that all Nigerians are one. We must live together as brothers and sisters,” he said.
The party chairman said that Anambra was key to the mission of rescuing Nigeria and uniting the country.
“Anambra is the economic key of our country and we must conduct our affairs to show the world that PDP is different and ready to rescue this country.
“That is why we are to interact with leaders of our party, and at the end of this meeting, I think we will go home happy that on Saturday it will be the freest congresses ever that are conducted.
“So, Anambra, we want to advise, we want to call our people, the time to put down ourselves is now.
“This is the time to look at each other. We must not allow both Anambra and our country to fail. We must show that good example.
“You have been leading in several areas, you must lead politically now. Our leaders must be statesmen. They must look beyond an individual and narrow interest.
“It is time for us to look at Nigeria. If we get it wrong, the consequences will be great. It will reflect on other parts of the country,” Secondus said.
Also, PDP National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu, said the meeting was customary anytime PDP had major contests.
Akobundu said the meeting was called to ensure everybody was carried along in the primary to ensure peaceful outcome.
“It is for this reason that the NWC directed to meet with all stakeholders in Anambra.
“This is just a cross section of our quality stakeholders in Anambra that were invited to attend this meeting.
“It is simply to rub minds, have an interactive session and discuss ways and means that we can employ to have hitch-free primary with everybody on board.”
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