Rivers State House of Assembly, says the conspiracy and betrayal of trust by Abuja-based Rivers politicians are intended to orchestrate a breakdown of law and order with the aim of bolstering a state of emergency.
The Speaker of the state Assembly, Rt Hon Otelemaba Amachree and 24 other lawmakers disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt while briefing Assembly press corps on the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
Hon Amachree said the lawmakers were aware of the plan to annihilate and destabilise the administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi through series of planned arrests, intimidation and threat to lives and property of Rivers State Government officials.
The Assembly alleged that the plot of the power drunk Abuja-based Rivers politicians include the economic strangulation of Rivers State to hinder early completion of on-going projects in the state.
“We condemn, in strong terms, the conspiracy and betrayal of trust by politicians who, are beclouded by the guinea pig syndrome and bent on distorting history, events and development of the state in their bid to massage their inordinate ambitions”, the Speaker stated.
He said they would be consoled in the faith as lawmakers that the judiciary, which is the last bastion of hope of Nigeria, would save itself from the desecration of her sanctity.
Hon Amachree, who read a written statement signed by 25 out of the 32 members of the House, said they would not recognise or do any business with the Felix Obuah-led PDP executive.
Meanwhile, members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have swollen the number of persons and groups rejecting the new executive members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that came to existence through the instrumentality of An Abuja High Court.
Addressing newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Speaker of the state Assembly, Hon Otelemaba Amaechree, with 24 other lawmakers, said the Felix Obuah-led executive would not be recognised because the members of the exco never presented themselves for election.
According to the Speaker, “we were physically present and voted in the state congress of the party as delegates in line with the constitution of the PDP, wherein the congress was devoid of rancour as members of the party freely voted for candidates of their choice, and regretted that several months after, persons who did not show intent or contest the election, were later to go to court to seek redress”.
The Speaker, who read a written speech signed by 25 out of the 32 members of the House, said the pronouncement of the Abuja High Court could best be described as “judicial anarchy”
He, therefore, stated that the lawmakers remain absolute and have unflinching confidence in the leadership of the state Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi, and shall do everything within out powers to resist, defend and promote the collective social contract vested in our mandate as representatives of the people”.
The Speaker said the lawmakers would continue to stand and support the state government by giving the necessary legislative backing to actualise the promises made to the people of Rivers State.
He remarked that the lawmakers’ unalloyed support remained with the duly elected Chief Godpower Ake as chairman and Mr Adokiye Oruwari as secretary of the party respectively, and would not recognise or do business with any other state executive borne out of the unfortunate judicial recklessness of the Abuja High Court.
“We condemn in strong terms the conspiracy and betrayal of trust by power drunk Abuja-based Rivers politicians, and salute the courage of those of our representatives at the National Assembly who stand for the truth with the people of Rivers State “, the Speaker declared.
The House members dissociated themselves from the statement purportedly credited to Hon Kingsley Chindah on behalf of Rivers State Legislators’ Forum, and called on their constituents to remain calm, law-abiding, committed and loyal to the aspirations of the party’s leadership.
The Niger Delta Youth Leaders Council (NDYLC)) , the Amaechi Movement (AM) and the Etche Ethnic Youth Congress, have equally described last week’s judgement against the Godpower U Ake -led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) executive as a patched judgement of obscurity and jargon.
The groups, in their joint congress recently in Port Harcourt, re-affirmed their undaunted and unshakeable solidarity and support for the Governor of Rivers State and Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi,.
In a press statement signed by National President of NDYLC, Engr Ogbueri Japheth, Secretary of Amaechi Movement, Comrade Tammy Ubani and Secretary of EEYC, Emma Echebe Nwokogba, they further noted that the judgement by Justice Ishak Bello which sacked the Chief Ake-led PDP state executives fell short of being an empty judgement.
According to them, the affidavit by the Chairman of PDP, Edo State, Mr Dan Orbih, who also doubled as former Personal Assistant to Chief Tony Anenih and the returning officer in the primary election upon which the judgement was anchored was not enough basis to deliver judgement.
“We are baffled as well as bewildered by the desperate contradictory desires of Justice Bello who ordered for the inauguration of Elder Felix Obuah’s factional PDP state executive who never participated in the state congress of the party in 2012 unless in their dreams and imaginations”,they said.
The three groups noted that the ignominious judicial pronouncement remains an indelible watershed and reiterated their unalloyed solidarity and support for Governor Amaechi and G.U Ake in the state.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
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