Governor Chibuike Amaechi has adviced the new state Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin to steer clear of politics to succeed in his new assignment.
Amaechi gave the charge yesterday in Government House, Port Harcourt, when he played host to Mr. Ogunsakin, who was last week posted to the state to replace Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu.
The Rivers State governor, who recalled that the state had had several commissioners of police in his administration before Mr Mbu came, noted that it was hectic challenge to return the state to normalcy during the heat of the militancy period.
He expressed worry that the criminal elements who were driven away in 2007 were returning to the state, and urged him to rise to the challenge of restoring the state security status to where it was.
He said that the state government was ready to cooperate with the police, saying “ whatever it takes to restore order and security, the state is willing to support’, we are willing to buy as much security vehicles as a cost for peace and security.’’
Amaechi also urged him to be non- partisan, saying. ‘Don’t support PDP, don’t support APC, your support should be for Rivers people”.
He urged the commissioner to remain steadfast and committed to his duty as a professional security personnel stating that what the state needs now is a neutral commissioner of police who will carry out his functions without bias or take directives from any politician.
He used the visit to re-assure the support of the state government in ensuring that the welfare of serving policemen were well taken care of, as he prayed for him to succeed in his duties.
Earlier, Mr Ogunsakin, who read a speech, assured the governor that the police was ready to partner with all strata of society, including established institutions. “ It is my conviction that together we shall deliver qualitative policing services to the government and people of Rivers State, he said.
He promised to commence wide consultations and meetings with the various stakeholders with a view to addressing grey areas of disagreements.
” The issues in Rivers State are of public knowledge and peculiar for some obvious political interests, but they can be addressed,’’ Ogunsakin declared.
“ There shall be a paradigm shift in addressing those issues based on the peculiar situation in the state for the benefit of all stakeholders. This is more so as every group in the state wants to demonstrate political strength by regularly holding public assembly, political rallies, public protests, processions and so on’’, he said.
“ I want to use this medium to sound a note of warning to all criminals in the state to either have a change of mind and become law abiding citizens or relocate from Rivers State immediately. This is so because they shall be made to face the full wrath of the law, as there will be no hiding place for them,’’ the new police chief warned.
Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Tunde Ogunsakin has assured duties in the state with a promise to discharge his duties professionally to the satisfaction of the government and people of the state.
Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Ogunsakin said he had paid a courtesy visit to the state Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state, adding that the reception accorded to him by the State Chief Executive was warm and gives hope of a cordial working relationship.
According to him, his mission in the state is to enforce law, maintain peace and order and ensure a crime-free society for the purpose of enabling good governance and conducive atmosphere for economic activities.
“As the Commissioner of Police, I am on a national assignment to enforce and maintain law and order in the state. I want to assure you that I shall discharge my duties professionally to the satisfaction of the government and good people of Rivers State and Nigeria at large. “By my training as a professional law enforcement officer, I will deploy my expertise to manage the affairs of Rivers State Police Command in the best possible professional manner”, he declared.
Speaking on the political situation in the state, Mr. Ogunsakin said that as a law enforcement officer, his role will be to insist that political activities in the state are carried out within the ambits of the law.
He posited that nobody will be allowed to take the laws into his or her hands under the cloak or guise of political activities, adding that in accordance with Section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act, political rallies are not allowed to hold or commence in any part of Nigeria until 90 days preceding the date of the election, insisting that the state is not exception.
The state commissioner police, however, stated that any person (s), political associations, pressure groups who intend to hold any public gathering in the state must give the police not less than five days notice to enable the police provide adequate security and protection to them.
According to him, it is important to emphasise that the duty to provide adequate security is imposed on the police by statutes, including the Police Act and Electoral Act, particularly Section 94 (1) of the Electoral Act.
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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