The Rivers leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF), an association of ex-student union leaders in Rivers State has described the purported rift between Governor Chibuike Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan as the handiwork of Abuja-based politicians.
The president of the foundation , Sir Alex Wele, who said this during the inauguration of the Etche and Omuma chapters of the foundation last weekend at Okehi, also warned Abuja based politicians against spreading false rumour in the state.
Sir Wele, who is a special adviser to the River State Governor said that both Governor Amaechi and President Jonathan have cordial relationship, and urged the people of the state to disregard any purported rumour of misunderstanding between them.
In his word, : these same people are trying to sow seed of discord between Amaechi and Jonathan because of 2015.
“There is no problem between Amaechi and Jonathan. All that you are hearing is politics”, he said.
He said that both the people of Etche and Omuma owe debts of gratitude to Governor Amaechi for developing their area, noting that this the time to pay back.
The RIVLEAF president also urged the people to be prepared for one man one vote in 2015 as only the people will decide who takes over from the governor.
A member of the National Assembly representing Etche and Omuma Federal Constituency, Hon Ogbonna Nwuke, urged the people not to shift their attention from the governor as the crisis would soon be resolved.
Hon Nwuke, who described the crisis rocking Nigeria to misplacement of youth vibrancy, said that Governor Amaechi was tackling this problem through his robust youth programme.
The chairman of Etche Local Government Area, Barrister Reginald Ukwuoma said that before the advent of the Amaechi’s administration, Etche was without a viable government presence, contending that this situation has , however, been changed by the government.
He described as satanic, those criticizing lack of Amaechi’s presence in Etche, and urged the people to rise to the demand of the moment, by giving their total and unflinching support to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, High Chief Ambrose Nwuzi said that Amaechi’s model of leadership should be emulated by all leaders in the country.
High Chief Nwuzi also urged RIVLEAF not to relent in its current sensitization campaign across the state.
Meanwhile the chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Hon Allen Nma has warned politicians in Rivers State against gambling with the future of their communities and the state in the name of politics.
Hon Nma, who gave the warning last Saturday while speaking at Ogbakiri in Emohua Local Government Area , during the return and reintegration of sons and daughters of Oduoha after a protracted communal crisis, said those gambling with the future of the state are not working for the interest and future of the state.
He urged the youths to always be of good behaviour and shun evil tendencies and things that would create confusion to their communities.
Hon Allen regretted that those who have benefitted from the present administration are working against and criticizing the same government, advised the youths not to be used to cause crisis in the state.
Speaking at the occasion, the former Chief Registrar of the University of Port Harcourt, Dr Emmanuel Ngozi Acheru, who led over 200 members of the community back home expressed happiness that peace has finally returned home, noted that ‘ what was not achieved by external mediators has been achieved by ourselves”.
Dr Acheru commended the Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi, Dr Peter Odili, Rev Ignatius Kattey, Ogbakor Ikwerre Convention and others for their efforts.
He pledged to maintain peace in the area as he announced the abolition of Rumueziokwu community formed in the heat of the crisis.
According to him, “all those bearing the title of chief from Rumueziokwu community should be dropped such titles.
“The paramount ruler of Ogbakiri and Oduoha should be accorded due recognition while the title, “traditional prime minister from Rumueziokwu should be dropped”, he advised.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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