The Abubakar Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to call his aides to order so as to avoid plunging the country into avoidable chaos.
The PDP also asked the President to stop his men from portraying his administration as promoting corruption to the high heavens.
In a statement yesterday signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the new PDP said that the advice had become necessary following the uncovering of a plot to massively bribe House of Representatives members with a view to getting them pass a vote of confidence on President Jonathan while at the same time putting in place strategies to impeach the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal and some other principal officers for their alleged sympathy for the Baraje-led PDP National Executive Committee of the party.
The breakaway party explained that information available to it indicated that the Bamanga Tukur’s faction of PDP, working in concert with some Presidency officials, has set about to induce members of the House of Representatives with a view to passing a vote of confidence on President Jonathan and impeaching its (new PDP) principal officers.
Meanwhile, the new PDP has berated the Presidency for the sack of Senator Joy Emordi as Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters following her candid advice on the right way to handle simple political issues instead of bribing lawmakers to do the President’s bidding.
“We have equally read reports that Senator Joy Emordi was sacked as Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters because of her candid advice that inducing members of the National Assembly financially to impeach their principal officers would be counter-productive.
“If this is true, we hereby demand her immediate reinstatement. For Senator Emordi to be bold enough to tell Mr. President the implication of such a corrupt inducement of lawmakers should earn her commendation rather than a sack.
“Instead of sacking such a forthright and patriotic Amazon, the President should sack those hawks around him planning to ridicule him by encouraging him to embark on acts capable of making him unpopular amongst his supporters and followers,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the immediate sack of the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah following allegations that she was instrumental to the unnecessary delay in the completion of the remodeling of Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
In a statement signed yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the new PDP said that “if it is true that the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Odua, has abandoned the remodeling of the Port Harcourt International Airport while completing those started at the same time because of the assumed conflict between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, we demand her immediate sack before she causes further damage to your administration.
“We plead with you, Mr. President, not to embark upon any further act or impunity that will endanger the peace and unity of our troubled nation,” the statement added.
It would be recalled that Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, last Saturday accused the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, of abandoning the remodelling of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state because of his rift with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Amaechi, who said this in an interview with Channels Television, monitored by our correspondent, said that apart from leaving the airport in deplorable state, the minister impounded the aircraft belonging to the state “for no reason.”
The governor said he had reported the minister to the President to no avail.
He said, “I have gone to the President and told him that because of the disagreement between Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is not Rivers State, and the President, the Minister of Aviation has abandoned the airport.
According to the governor, “they started that airport with Kano, Lagos, Abuja, Benin, and Calabar. The rest have been completed, including Enugu, which has been commissioned. It is hatred. The Minister of Aviation is reckless on that.”
Amaechi raised the alarm that with the state of the international airport, terrorists could have easy access and attack it at will.
He added that due to his rift with Jonathan, Oduah had prevented the state government from fulfilling its responsibility of securing the state and fighting crimes, including oil theft, using surveillance helicopters that it had paid for.
“We paid for two surveillance helicopters that would fly around Rivers State (and detect crime), including oil theft, and report real crime to police, air force, army and the Government House. She (Oduah) refused the helicopters from coming. They are there in America and the government of America has been wondering why we don’t want to take our plane and the President (Jonathan) is aware,” he said.
But in response, the Special Assistant (Media) to the Aviation Minister, Joe Obi, described the allegations as untrue and false, insisting that huge work was going on at the Port Harcourt International Airport.
“Port Harcourt Airport is among the 11 airports in the first phase of airport remodelling. If you go to that airport now, it is completely different from what it was two or three years ago,” Obi said.
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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