Rivers State Governor and Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has urged Ogoni people to vote out the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and get the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report implemented.
Addressing a huge crowd of Ogoni people at the sensitisation rally of the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) last Saturday in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area, Amaechi asserted that the UNEP Report was germane to the development of Ogoniland.
Amaechi said, “without the UNEP report, the Federal Government cannot develop Ogoniland.”’
He recalled that the report had recommended only $1billion for the development of Ogoniland, which was just a meager amount of the $49.8billion crude oil proceed allegedly missing from the Federation Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Amaechi said that with that amount of money domiciled into an Ogoni domiciliary account for the development of the area, the Federal Government would have doused tension in the area, and brought meaningful development closer to the long neglected people of Ogoni.
Calling on Ogoni people to fast for change and vote the ruling party out, the governor insisted that that was the only way to ensure transformation and development in Ogoniland, charging the Ogonis to come out on Election Day and vote en masse against the PDP.
The Rivers governor recalled that prior to his administration; the area was beset by violence and insecurity, further asserting that since he assumed office, Ogoni communities have experienced change and peace.
He warned them to be wary of corrupt and greedy politicians whose plan was to get their vote for their selfish ambition, while assuring them that he would stand by them to ensure that their rights were given and their voices heard.
Amaechi, therefore, urged them to eschew violence, adding, “I don’t want you to take laws into your hands, but also make sure nobody shoots you.”
Speaking earlier, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Gorge Feyii called on the people to support the quest by the Save Rivers Movement to rescue the state from the clutches of those who want to continue to run the state as their personal estates, emphasizing that SRM has the interest of the Rivers people at heart.
Also, House of Representatives member representing Khana and Gokana Constituency, Maurice Poronen commended the governor for the courage in ensuring that the rally was successful.
Poronen said that the governor’s action had shown he loves the Ogoni people.
According to him, “we are saving Rivers State from impunity and liars. We are here to tell you that lies have a time limit.”
In the same vein, Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Leyii Kwanee said the SRM sensitization had come at a time the state was in dire need of change.
He expressed thanks to Governor Amaechi for advocating change, saying, “Nigeria needs more men like you to move the country forward.”
An Ogoni Woman Leader, Caroline Nabo, said the rally, which was earlier botched by hoodlums, was an indication that God was with SRM.
Nabo said that Amaechi had come to deliver the Ogoni people, as he had shown boldness and firmness in the face of mounting challenges.
The Rivers State Coordinator of SRM, Hon. Igoh Aguma while inaugurating local government coordinators of the body, said the rally was a testament of the good governance the Amaechi-led administration had instituted in the state.
Aguma called on Ogoni people to spread the message of change to all nooks and crannies of the local government, as he challenged the newly inaugurated coordinators to sensitize their wards on SRM vision and goals.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has defied his detractors by braving the odds to attend yesterday’s rally organised by the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) in Ogoni land, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said.
“Against all odds, Governor Amaechi once more proved to be a man of his words by attending the rally against the misguided advice of his detractors, who resorted to scaremongering to dissuade him from doing so. By so doing, Governor Amaechi once more proved that he would never abandon his followers but would always be in the forefront of the crusade to defend the rights of Rivers people no matter the degree of danger ahead”, Rivers State APC Interim Chairman, Dr. Davies Ikanya, said in a statement issued yesterday in Port Harcourt.
Ikanya, who also attended the rally and was moved by the huge attendance by APC faithful and Ogoni people, declared Governor Amaechi as The People’s General and emancipator of the people of Rivers State.
“Contrary to the impression being created by Amaechi’s detractors that he is a promoter of violence, the Ogoni rally went peacefully and successfully without any incidence of violence, thus putting the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and CP Mbu to shame,” Ikanya said.
He commended Governor Amaechi for his inspirational speech at the rally held at Bori in Khana Local Government Area, saying: “By making a strong case for the implementation of the UNEP report on the need for the cleanup of Ogoniland – which the PDP-controlled Federal Government has so far sabotaged – Governor Amaechi left no one in doubt of his great love for Ogoni people and his commitment to ensuring the development of Ogoniland.”
The Rivers State APC Interim Chairman commended the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, for providing enough security for the rally. He condemned the controversial Rivers State Police Commissioner, CP Joseph Mbu, for encouraging the disruption of the previous rally scheduled for last week Sunday by armed hoodlums, describing him as an enemy of Rivers people.
Dr Ikanya wondered how a Governor who has contributed much to the development of Policing in Nigeria should be so disparaged, maligned and facing the type of persecution Gov Amaechi is currently going through in the State. He recalled that Gov Amaechi purchased and donated over seven Armored Personnel Cars (APC), bought over 200 patrol Vehicles for the Police, paid allowances to the Police, trained most of them and employed the wives of those that died in the course of the struggle to free Rivers State from militancy which he said CP Mbu and his cohorts were bringing back to harass people. This he said simply demonstrated that CP Mbu is either misguided or just evil. “All these notwithstanding, the fact remains that, the blood of the two innocent people killed at that aborted rally as well as the blood of all those killed in the needless violence orchestrated by CP Mbu in connivance with Rivers PDP is on Mbu’s head,” Dr. Ikanya said.
Dr Ikanya commended all members of the National Assembly particularly Hon. Chief Andrew Uchendu who reaffirmed that all the 37 members of the House of Representatives that have dumped PDP for APC will never go back to the sinking ship of PDP. He congratulated Hon. Chief Dakuku Peterside Chairman, Downstream Petroleum Committee of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Leyii Kwanee and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, SSG George Feyi and all the State Executive Council members, Chief Tony Okocha the Chief of Staff to Governor Amaechi, Leadership of APC, SRM, Journalists and all the Ogonis that braved all odds to attend the rally.
He predicted a rosy future for APC in Rivers, saying that “the enthusiastic way the people have embraced the party is an unmistakable signal to PDP that it has been vehemently rejected by Rivers people”.
Similary, Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has called on the Ogoni people to declare a one-day fasting for God to make the Federal Government to release $1billion (about N170 billion) from the $49.8 billion allegedly missing from crude oil sales for the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoni.
The governor, who spoke in Bori, Khana Local Government Area headquarters during the inauguration of the local government executive of Save Rivers Movement (SRM), a pro-All Progressives Congress (APC) group, flayed the delay on the part of the Federal Government to release the money for the cleanup of oil pollution in Ogoniland.
“UNEP finished all they did. They said ‘spend $1billion to cleanup Ogoni’. Have you seen the $1billion? Without the UNEP Report, you cannot fish, you cannot farm. $49.8 billion is missing. If they say it is not true, let them tell us where it is. They should bring $1billion from the $49.8billion to do UNEP”, he said.
Amaechi thanked the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar for providing tight security for the rally, which could not hold, penultimate week, because some hoodlums came shooting sporadically to scare the organisers. But the governor lashed out at the state Police Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, over alleged abuse of federal might, describing his political foes in the state as hungry politicians.
According to him, their target was to plunder the state’s resources. “They are thieves, corrupt people who say they want to serve you. They have a problem, stomach infrastructure problem”, he said.
While urging his supporters not to take the law into their hands, Amaechi urged them to ensure they got their voter’s cards, adding that they should also be part of the APC membership registration exercise billed to commence in February.
“I don’t want you to take the law into your hands. But make sure nobody shoots at you.
If a man slaps you and gets away with it, he will come back tomorrow. Go to INEC for your voter’s card. It is the weapon you have to vote out bad government”, he said.
The governor also said he was apologising to the gathering on behalf of the police for the rally which was aborted, penultimate Sunday, by suspected hoodlums in Bori even as he spoke on some of the successes his administration had recorded in Ogoniland.
Some members of the National Assembly, commissioners in the state and local government chairmen were present. Some of them who spoke drummed up support for the APC.
There was heavy presence of security men in the community. Vehicles were not allowed about hundred meters to the venue of the event. The anti-bomb disposal unit of the police was on ground.
Community sources told newsmen that some hoodlums still shot sporadically in the early hours of the day, a situation that forced some residents to flee the community.
Some people ran to Port Harcourt after they heard gun shots early Saturday morning.
“They feared that there might be a clash between them (bad boys) and the organizers”, one of the sources said.
Most stores on Hospital Road that leads to the venue of the programme were locked up.
It could not be confirmed if it was in compliance with a directive from security men or if the owners were among those who ran to Port Harcourt fearing there could be crisis.
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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