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Speaker Alleges Threat To Life Of Gov, Public Officials

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Last week, Rivers people were introduced to another dimension of the crisis rocking the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

First, the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Otelemaba Dan Amachree wrote an “Open letter to the President,” Commander-In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, calling for the removal/transfer of the State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu over his perceived partiality in the state PDP.

The Speaker alleged in the letter that the state governor, legislators and prominent government officials have been marked for assassination, following series of meetings held in neighbouring state and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Rt Hon Amachree buttressed his allegation with the revelation that 18 unnamed notorious armed robbers and kidnappers currently in detention would be arbitrarily released to carry out the assassinations of the marked officials. He also cited instances of the partiality of the police boss, saying that the state House of Assembly had no option but to call for his redeployment.

Secondly, forty-eight hours after the Speaker raised the alarm over the alleged plan to assassinate the governor and top government functionaries, including himself, he raised another alarm over the withdrawal of all security personnel attached to him for his protection.

The chief lawmaker in the state alleged that following his open letter to President Jonathan, the state police commissioner ‘unceremoniously’ withdrew the police orderly and escort attached to him. This, he continued, confirms his earlier fears regarding plans to withdraw security operatives from the governor and top officials of the state government.

He said his fears were worsened by the recent murder of an aide to Chief Godspower U. Ake, Mr Eric Ezenekwe, and the Police Commissioner’s alleged inaction over the murder.

The killing, he said, had sent shockwaves around government circles, as politicians and government officials now see the alleged withdrawal of police orderlies and aides as a big security threat to their lives.

Although the police had denied the withdrawal of the speaker’s security details saying that they only withdrew nine additional personnel the Speaker allotted to himself, in addition to the ones officially assigned to him by law.

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Ayade Orders Recruitment Into Civil Service

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has ordered immediate recruitment into the state civil service to fill the vacuum that may occur due to workers’ retirements.
The new Head of Service (HoS), Mr Timothy Akwaji, disclosed this on Wednesday during his maiden meeting with permanent secretaries on Wednesday in Calabar.
Akwaji said the creation of AkwaIbom from Cross River in 1987 caused a mass exodus of civil servants to the new state, leading to mass recruitment by the state government to fill the attendant vacant positions.
“Most of these workers will be exiting the service, having completed their mandatory 35 years in service and this may create a bureaucratic vacuum if there is no mentoring of those who may be left behind to keep the service running.
“The governor has, therefore, given approval for the recruitment of workers to cushion the effect of the impending mass retirement from the state civil service.”
The Head of Service stressed the need for the permanent secretaries to mentor their subordinates, as directors and for other civil servants to look up to them as role models.
He said mentorship in the service had become necessary to enable civil servants discharge their responsibilities effectively.

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APC Releases Timetable For Nat’l Convention

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The All Progressives Congress has said it will begin the sale of forms for aspirants vying for its national positions ahead of the National Convention from February 14.
National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, announced this in a statement he issued on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said, “The APC CECPC at its 19th regular meeting on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at the party’s National Secretariat considered and adopted the timetable/schedule of activities for the February 26, APC National Convention.”
According to him, the schedule of activities ahead of the party’s national convention is as seen below:
“Receiving of the interim report of the National Reconciliation Committee, January 31, 2022.
“Consideration and adoption of Reports of State Congresses February 2, 2022.
“Inauguration of the State Executives February 03, 2022.
“Sale of forms to all aspirants vying for National Offices at the APC National Secretariat, February 14, 2022.
“Submission of completed forms and accompanying documents at the APC National Secretariat on or before February 19, 2022.
“Publication of Sub-Committees February 19, 2022.
“Screening of all aspirants vying for National Offices February 20 February 22.
“Screening Appeals to hear and resolve complaints arising from the screening exercise February 23, 2022.
“Accreditation of all statutory and elected delegates to the National Convention – February 24 to February 25, 2022.
“National Convention to elect National Officers to the National Executive Committee February 26, 2022.
“National Convention Appeal to hear and resolve complaints arising from the National Convention February 28, 2022.”
The APC scribe, at an interaction with newsmen at the party’s National Secretariat, had earlier described as fake, reports that the party’s leadership had zoned its national chairmanship position to a particular zone.
Akpankudohede said the report should be disregarded, adding that there was no decision on that.

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INEC Dismisses Tinubu’s Comment On PVCs

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have not expired.
The commission said this while responding to the comment credited to Senator Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking while addressing the women leaders of the party who paid him a visit recently, Tinubu asked voters to obtain new PVCs.
Earlier in the month, after so much speculations, Tinubu formally announced his intention to contest for the 2023 presidency.
“In case they do not announce to you on time, the PVC you have has expired,” Tinubu said.
“Take one family member, two family members, knock on all doors and make sure that the new registration… Because they may not announce to you on time. The PVCs you have have expired. Yes!
“You need to spread it to various local government and wards at each levels. No matter how difficult it is. To me, I look at it closely and you look at other elections being held, you will see that it’s diminishing because those cards (is) expired. It’s mandatory that you go and register to vote and achieve your aspirations. May God bless you and bless Nigeria.”
But reacting, the Chief Technical Adviser to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, said those who have registered for election do not need to do so again because their cards are valid for future elections.
“This information is not correct. The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains valid. This kind of statement will certainly push eligible voters to register more than once thereby creating the problem of double and multiple registrations,” he said.
In the same vein, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, said that Nigerians who already have their PVCs do not need to register again.
He warned, “In fact, double registration is an offence under our laws. Eligible Nigerians are entitled to register only once.”

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