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Ekiti Polls: Fayemi Concedes Defeat …Jonathan, Afenifere, CNPP Hail Fayose

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Director, Nike Centre for Arts and Culture, Chief Nike Davies-Okundaiye (left), with Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion, at the 2014 Ogidi-Ela Day in Kogi State, last Saturday.

Director, Nike Centre for Arts and Culture, Chief Nike Davies-Okundaiye (left), with Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion, at the 2014 Ogidi-Ela Day in Kogi State, last Saturday.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose won 203,090 votes against 120,433 votes recorded by Governor Kayode Fayemi to become the next governor of the state.
Declaring the result in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that Fayose won in all the 16 local councils in the state.
In a quick reaction yesterday, the governor-elect of Ekiti, Ayo Fayose, dedicated his victory to the people of the state.
Fayose said in Ado-Ekiti that his victory reflected the wishes of the people of the state.
The governor-elect, who spoke through his Chief Press Officer, Mr Idowu Adelusi, described the election that produced him as free, fair and credible.
He promised to improve the living standard of the people by providing job opportunities and making education affordable.
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who is also the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has congratulated the governor-elect and candidate of the PDP, Ayodele Peter Fayose over his victory at the polls.
Addressing a press conference in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, Fayemi said if the outcome of Saturday’s election was the wish of the people, “so be it.”
He said, “Yesterday, Ekiti State decided. Following the gubernatorial elections held in the land of honour, Ekiti State, Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has officially returned the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election.
“If indeed this is the will of the Ekiti People, I stand in deference to your will. If the result of the elections is an expression of the voice of our people, we must all heed your voice.
“I have just spoken with my brother, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, congratulating him on his victory. In a few hours from now, I would be meeting the Governor-elect to discuss the future of our dear state and how we would work together to institute a smooth transition programme.
“It has been a hard fought election. As expected, in the course of the campaigns, there were unsavoury episodes as the candidates toured the nooks and crannies of the state to sell ourselves to the people. Elections tend to be highly divisive affairs that often see brother rising against brother.
“Despite our diverse party affiliations, and regardless of which way we voted on Saturday, we must remember that we are all sons and daughters of Ekiti State. Ekiti is ours to build together”.
He added: “On our part, over the course of the campaigns, we presented our scorecards before the people of Ekiti State. We never at any point took your support for granted. We campaigned, we canvassed and we traversed the nooks and crannies of this state.
“Our performance and achievements in office will remain the backdrop against which the next government and indeed future governments will be assessed. We are proud that with the support of Ekiti people, we have raised the bar of excellence in governance. In all, we gave our best, for conscience and for posterity.
“Indeed a new sociology of the Ekiti people may have evolved. However, the task of understanding how the outcome of this election has defined us as a people will be that of scholars. For us as an administration and a cadre of political leaders in Ekiti State, we have fought a good fight, we have kept faith.
“To members of our party, our campaign team and indeed all Ekiti people who defied the siege on our state to cast their votes for our party, I salute your exemplary courage and doggedness in the face of harassment. Thank you for staying the course.
“The incidences of brazen harassment, intimidation and allied infractions on fundamental human rights, which many of you suffered in the hands of agents of the state, would be documented and communicated to the appropriate authorities, for the records.”
The Labour Party candidate in Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti, Mr Opeyemi Bamidele, has also expressed appreciation to indigenes of the state for their support.
Bamidele said in a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti that the election conducted by INEC was a true reflection of the people’s wishes.
He commended  INEC and all security agencies involved in the electoral process for their roles, saying they all ensured that the people of the state contributed to the  nation’s democratic process.
The Labour Party candidate particularly thanked his supporters in Iyin Ekiti,  his hometown, saying their support ensured he triumphed in the community inspite of the party being only five months old in the state.
Bamidele,  who got 18,135 votes came third out of  the 18 candidates  who participated in the election.
In his reaction, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan urged the governor-elect of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose to see his electoral victory as a sacred mandate from God and an opportunity to serve his people for the second time.
He, therefore, urged him “to be humble and magnanimous in victory and commit himself to forming an administration that will work for the advancement of the interests of all Ekiti people irrespective of their political affiliations or loyalties.”
Jonathan gave the advice in a message of congratulations to the Governor elect. The message was signed by Dr. Reuben Abati, the presidential adviser on media.
President Jonathan commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Security Services and the people of Ekiti State for the peaceful conduct of the elections “in keeping with the present administration’s avowed commitment to ensuring that elections in all parts of Nigeria are progressively freer, fairer and more credible”.
The President also gave an assurance to Mr. Fayose that the Federal Government will give all necessary support and assistance to his incoming administration and cooperate fully with him in furtherance of the present administration’s objective of significantly improving the living conditions of Nigerians in all parts of the country.
Similarly, the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, and the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), yesterday congratulated the governor-elect of Ekiti, Mr Ayo Fayose.
Afenifere spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said that the election of Fayose reflected the people’s choice.
“The Ekiti people have spoken and we congratulate the governor elect, “Odumakin said.
Odumakin, however, urged the governor-elect to utilise the opportunity of his re-election to correct any mistakes he may have made during his first term.
“He should come to office with better maturity and make life better for the Ekiti people, “ the Afenifere spokesman said.
He further urged Fayose to govern with the fear of God and justify the trust reposed in him by his people.
The South West Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Mr Austin Nnorom, also urged Fayemi to accept defeat in the spirit of sportsmanship.
He urged the people of Osun to emulate the conduct of Ekiti people by making sure that their votes counted.
In a related development, the Ndigbo Cultural Society of Nigeria (NCSN) has urged the  governor-elect to ensure that the interests of the Ndigbo community in the state were taken into consideration.
The group, in a congratulatory message signed by its President, Chief  Udoka Udeogaranya, said promoting a spirit of  inclusion would enable non-indigenes contribute their quota to the development of the state.

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Rivers’ll Ensure Safe, Secure Environment For Economic Growth -Wike .

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration would continue to support security agencies in the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for the economic prosperity of citizens.
He said the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Operation Sting and the revitalised C4i security outfits were set up to help provide security to stimulate growth and prosperity of all in Rivers State.
The governor spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the 2021 Conference/Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Rivers State chapter, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
“This administration has embarked on aggressive infrastructural development and a very deliberate urban renewal efforts around the capital to attract local and foreign investors to stimulate our economy.
“We have also opened up local governments through quality road networks. Upgrade of various social and recreational facilities in various local government areas,” he said.
He commended the state chapter of the NIPR for the choice of the theme of the conference: “Nigeria’s Security Situation: A Factor in Reputation and National Development”, adding that stakeholders must begin to act in a very different, drastic and positive strategy to remedy the already battered reputation of Nigeria.
He urged the NIPR to use its expertise and experience to thrive to galvanise and stimulate the populace and government at various levels for the resuscitation of citizens sense of pride and responsibility of whatever was left of the nation’s image and reputation.
“All hands must be on deck, especially reputation managers to call on government at all levels to begin to act in ways and manner that will help to revive the battered image of this country,” he added.
Welcoming guests and participants to the conference, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, who is also the state chairman of NIPR, commended the cordial relationship existing between the institute and the state government under the leadership of Governor Wike who is a honorary fellow of the institute.
“Governor Wike has been very supportive of all the activities of the Institute. That is what you also get from a visionary leader who has changed the landscape of Rivers State with infrastructure, with various developmental projects that touch the lives of the ordinary man,” he said.
Nsirim said the state chapter of NIPR was proud to associate with Governor Wike for the giant strides he has recorded and would continue to record until the end of his tenure in 2023.
“As a chapter that is responsive to the development of Nigeria, we have chosen the theme for this year’s conference as our own way of contributing to the national discourse,” he said.
He said the conference would produce a blueprint that would guide national discourse and urged participants to contribute robustly to the conversation.
“It is expected that the fallout of the conference will re-engineer national security and national development with the aim to put our country on the path of rapid growth,” he said.
In his speech, the President and Chairman of Governing Council of NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, emphasised on the need for all Nigerians to collaborate to fight insecurity currently confronting the country’s economic and political stability.
He welcomed the theme of the conference, saying that it was coming at the time the institute had gotten sufficient worry about national security, peace and economic development.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ike Neliaku, chronicled the increasing violent crimes that had claimed thousands of lives in the various parts of Nigeria, and submitted that the rising insecurity situation in the country had impacted and would continue to impact negatively on corporate and national reputation.
He said the worrisome development would have concomitant consequence on individual and national development.
Chairman of the conference, Chief Felix Otuwarikpo, said the conference was put together to dissect the current carnage affecting the Nigerian nation.
“As an institute, we will leverage on the conference to proffer solutions to the security challenges affecting the nation,” he said.
The conference also featured the presentation of awards for good public relations and community development to some distinguished members and organisations.

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Church Of Nigeria Honours Wike, Sanwo-Olu, Akeredolu, Others

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The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has bestowed awards for exemplary leadership qualities in a challenging economy and dedication in the service of God and humanity on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Ogun State Governor, Adedapo Abiodun.
Also honoured is the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Abayomi, with an award for quality and equitable healthcare delivery.
The awardees were honoured at the standing committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, at the Diocese of Lagos, Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos State.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who conferred the awards on the recipients, said the political leaders were considered for the award for their outstanding role, courageous leadership, and standing firm in defense of Nigerians against insecurity, provision of basic infrastructure to the citizenry and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the congregation on the state of the nation and the role of the church, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, admonished the leadership of the church to encourage its members to be part of the governance process in the country.
The governor noted that a situation whereby Christians leave governance for politicians alone is no longer obtainable.
According to Wike, the effect of bad leadership will also affect the church if they remain passive to the issue of governance.
“You must be part of choosing leadership. Don’t say you have no role, you have a role. When you don’t participate, bad leaders will emerge and when bad leadership emerges, you are part of it.
“You must encourage your people to be part of leadership. I didn’t go to any school to study leadership.
“So, nobody should say that as a Christian you cannot be a governor, no. The head of SUBEB in my state is a priest and you can see the leadership he has given to that agency today. You will feel proud about it. That used to be the most corrupt agency, but today it is headed by a priest and you can see the difference.”
Wike decried the inherent injustice that has characterised the Nigerian State, and urged the church to speak against socio-political issues adversely affecting the progress of the country.
“We say we are all one Nigeria. We went to World Bank to borrow money to do specific projects. One of the states that make up Nigeria I hear is Rivers State. And I also know in paying this money back to World Bank, money that comes from the resources of my state will be used in paying back this money. But my state was denied to have projects from that loan.”
The Rivers State governor said a situation where states depend on the Federal Government to survive can no longer be tenable, and insisted that states must be allowed to collect revenues such as Value Added Tax (VAT) to enable them improve the welfare of their people.
“You have gone to take loan and I am one of those states that will pay back those loan and you deny me to benefit from the projects that that money will be used for. I have no problem with that.
“Allow me the one (VAT) the Constitution says I am entitled to, let me collect that one and develop my state.”
He regretted that some governors in Nigeria have refused to think out of the box on how to boost economic activities in their states.
“There is flood in my state, it requires N200millon, I will go to Abuja to beg. Even as a governor, I will knee down before a DG of an agency of government. You will knee down for a director just because of N300million. That is the status of some of the governors of some states.”
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the church for its support, and announced the waiver of N2billion for land acquired by the Church of Nigeria in Lagos State.
The governor stated that Nigeria and the rest of the world are going through difficult times amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and used the occasion to canvass for mass vaccination of the citizens.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, while speaking on the theme of the conference: “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World”, lamented that Nigeria was fast becoming a land flowing with tears and blood because of the impact of terror, banditry, herdsman attacks on communities and kidnapping.
He said a situation in which communities that are predominantly Christians are targeted one after another in some parts of Kaduna State and North-Central of Nigeria was unacceptable.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the bandits and herders attackers as terrorists and let them be treated as such.”
The Primate urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity 2023 general election offer to exercise their right to choose new leaders.
He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address the free fall in the value of the country’s currency because of the attendant impact on the store of value and confidence of investors.

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Rivers Begins Process To Check Flooding

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The Rivers State Government has said that it was working with relevant agencies to roll out the process that would check perennial flooding in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Nsirim, therefore, called on those living and doing business in the state to play their part in line with the programme that would be executed by government to address the problem of flooding.
He frowned at the situation where residents of Port Harcourt had turned the drainage systems into refuse bins, and warned that “that is not what it should be.
“The present administration under Governor Nyesom Wike is desirous to make Rivers State a destination of choice and that is why the government has embarked on massive infrastructural development in line with its urban renewal programme.
“So, what is expected of those living and doing business in Rivers State now, is to co-operate with government to ensure that the urban renewal programme and the plan by government to make this state a destination of choice is realised,” he said.
He noted that the state government could not do it alone as it required the support of corporate organisations, civil society groups, religious organisations and the media to enlighten their publics on the need to behave as responsible citizens.
He called on the media to embark on massive enlightenment programmes along the line of the roles of citizens in checking flooding in the state.
“We believe that if the citizens cooperate with government, as government is out to ensure that everyone living and doing business in the state does so in a healthy environment, we believe that in the next few days or weeks we will find a solution to this (flooding),” he said.
Nsirim also announced the names of entrants selected for the essay competition on the title, “Our State Our Responsibility” introduced under the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign of the ministry launched at the beginning of this month.
He said those shortlisted were expected to be at the conference room of the ministry by 11am on Monday, September 27, 2021, for a physical test to ascertain their original ownership.
Those shortlisted are: Jessica Hart, Samuel William, Amarachi Chimezie, Jasper Dorcas, Jaja Tamunoimiegba Christian, Sophia Oyibo, Blessing Pepple, Anyiam kelechukwu, Deborah Adegbami, Gift Samuel, Okiche Golden, Okiche Miracle, Orovwigwo Deborah, Otuka Goodluck and Ziga Paago.

By: Beemene Taneh

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