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Monorail: CPS Replies Wike

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Chief Press Secretary to the Rivers State Governor, Mr. David Iyofor says comments made by the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, on Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Rivers monorail during a television interview with Channels TV were misleading and false.
Iyofor who addressed pressmen after taking journalists on a facility tour of the Rivers State monorail project along Azikiwe Road, last Monday in Port Harcourt said contrary to Wike’s claim that nothing was happening at the Rivers monorail, work was going on even at the time he spoke to journalists at the project site. The site engineer also spoke to the journalists.
Iyofor said: “Gentlemen of the press, as you can see work is ongoing at the monorail project, so it’s funny when we hear the supervising minister for education, Nyesom Wike say that work is not going on. I mean, today is Monday, February 3, 2014 and this morning you all heard him on TV saying there is no work going on the monorail. Wike had been  asked pointedly, he said, no, nothing  was happening on the monorail project, he said no work is going on at the Rivers Monorail project but I’m glad you all are here today and you can see that work is going on  the monorail and as you heard the site engineer say, they even work day and night so that they could meet the target for completion and that  the monorail is already 85 per cent completed according to him, so it’s even funny if a minister that is supposed to be an honourable minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) could come on national TV to  attempt to deceive Nigerians.”
“It’s something that all can see, I mean anybody that drives through Azikiwe road could see that work is ongoing, work has been ongoing on this project and is ongoing on the project, and Wike can come on national TV say that nothing is happening at the Rivers monorail.
The governor’s Chief Press Secretary described as outrageous and a wicked lie the claims by Wike that the new schools that the Governor has built all over the State are only in Port Harcourt city.
Iyofor also refuted Wike’s claim that Governor Amaechi did not make him Minister in President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, recalling that Governor Amaechi pleaded with President Jonathan for Wike to be accepted as a ministerial nominee.
“The bottom line is that Governor Amaechi nominated him (Wike) to be a minister. Wike said his name was number 2 or number 3  the ministerial list sent to the President by the governor. So what does he want? For the governor to put number one, Nyesom Wike, number two, Nyesom Wike, number three, Nyesom Wike, number four, Nyesom Wike?.
Like the governor said at the Ogbakor Ikwerre Convention that the president clearly refused, that he did not know Wike, the governor said at the Ogbakor Ikwerre convention and Sampson Agbaru was at that meeting with the president when the president said he did not know Nyesom Wike from Adam and he refused to make him a Minister but Governor Amaechi had to beg and beg and beg for Wike to be made a minister, so how else does a man make somebody a minister?”
Also speaking to journalists on the monorail project, the site engineer, Mr. Dele Mateola, who was at the project site at the time of the interview said, work was in progress and nearing completion.
He said the Azikiwe station of the monorail was 85 per cent completed, stressing that his men work day and night to meet the target date.
He said: “Actually, with the level we are going now, especially on Azikiwe station we have gone up to 85 per cent completion and we are expecting by maybe ending of February we should be rounding up especially for the external works. Maybe, by the time you come here in the next two weeks we will have put asphalt on the road and that is to show that we are working seriously.
“Look around, you see that there are a lot of workers working, a lot of noise around here, that is to show that we are moving very fast according to the programme of work. The only thing that can delay us, because most of these materials that we are using, they are state-of –the –art materials and they are not something that is readily available, they have to be imported and that is the only time lag that we may have. So before the end of February, if those materials come in we should be saying bye bye. We even work in the night also to make sure that we meet up”, Mateola said.

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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