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2015: Vote For Change, Not Party, Amaechi Tells Nigerians

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Civil Servants during the Civil Service week in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: Obina Prince Dele

Civil Servants during the Civil Service week in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: Obina Prince Dele

Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has emphasized the need for Nigerians and Rivers people to vote for change to usher in a performing government that will guarantee the protection of lives and property in the state and the country.
Amaechi spoke Monday while declaring open the Nigeria Girls Guild Association National Camp and 95th Anniversary Celebrations at the Archdeacon Brown Education Centre in Port Harcourt.
The governor urged Nigerians to begin the process of assessing democratic and visionary leaders by their performance in office to establish change in the system; and advised Rivers people to shun any political interest that do not place the people first.
He said, “Assess all of us by our performance, not by religion.  Always ask the political leaders, what is the outcome of what the people voted you for? If you do that and you vote for the right people, it will lead to change. And for me, I think we need change.  Vote for your conscience, I didn’t say vote for me. If you feel that a PDP person is better in performance than the APC person, please vote for that PDP person, and if not, reverse it for a change. All I am asking for is change.”
Amaechi also called on women to guide their children and wards to be of good behaviour and resist all acts of impunity, propaganda and intimidation by those in authority who fail to follow democratic norms and values to choose credible leaders to form the right government.
“For you our mothers, we should not only guide the children to good behaviour. Good behaviour for me is that we must go home and tell our brothers that we should choose the right government, if not hunger will kill us.
According to him, “What we should do now in Rivers State is to do what the people of Osun State did.  Do you know what they did?  Three to four days before the election, law enforcement agents were shooting to scare people away from preparing to vote in the election. I hear that while the people were shooting, instead of the people to run into the bush, they were running towards the direction of the gun shots and singing ‘APC Aregbosola, APC Aregbosola.’  I was impressed by that boldness.  And the essence of releasing the gun shots was to intimidate voters from coming out to vote at the polls.
“I charge you Rivers people to carry your chairs and come out on the day of election and seat down at your polling units and vote for credible candidates of your choice.  If the queue is long, please, remain on the line until it is your turn to vote,” Amaechi said.
He decried the lapses in the current administration, stating the utmost importance of an oath of office and allegiance of a serving governor or president which is the commitment of protecting lives and property in their domain.
“Let me tell you about the oath of office of a serving governor or president. The oath of office is not that he will provide you with light, hospital or road.  The oath of office is that the governor or president will protect lives and property. What about the lives of the Chibok girls? What have we done with their lives?
Meanwhile, Amaechi condemned the mayhem unleashed by the radical Boko Haram sect against innocent and law-abiding Nigerians in the North-Eastern part of the country, and equally warned desperate politicians to stop the attempt to divide the country.
“Boko Haram is after everybody, they care even after themselves.  They are a group of people murdering people in the name of Islam. Some politicians are beginning to divide the country into Muslims and Christians. We cannot cover the failure of government with our religions, if not, there will be trouble. There is no difference between the Muslim in Yobe and the Muslim in Ekiti State. If Boko Haram had focused on killing Christians alone in the North-East, there would have been war by now, and the country would have been divided. It is only people who are not intellectually prepared that delve into religious bigotry,” Amaechi said.
He also explained the role played by his administration in providing economic infrastructure to tackle the problems of poverty and unemployment which incidentally triggered militancy in the Niger Delta region.
“As governor of Rivers State, what I did when I assumed office in 2007 was to think on how to put food on the table of our people as an alternative to militancy. And what I did was to build an economic infrastructure and you can see those infrastructures yourselves.  In every school we built, we employed 50 persons and we have built about 500 model primary schools.
“And for every health centre we built, we employed a minimum of 50 persons and we have built 140 Model primary health centres. When we came, our hospitals had only 200 medical doctors, and we employed 200 more to make it 400. We knew that 400 will not be enough, and we employed another 200 to make it 600 medical doctors. With these plans we were able to reduce poverty and employment,” Amaechi stated.
Presenting an award of good governance to Governor Amaechi at the event, Chief Commissioner of the Nigerian Girls Guild Association and wife of former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dame Christie Toby said, the association found Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi worthy of his performance in office as governor, especially, the priority on education, including the building of several model primary and secondary schools and the free education policy of his administration.
In her keynote address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Bene Willie Abbey urged the Nigerian Girls Guild Association to strengthen their volunteer services towards making girls and women to be productive elements in nation building.
As part of activities marking the Nigerian Girls Guild Association 95th Anniversary in Rivers State, Governor Amaechi led members of the association tour of ongoing and completed projects in the State, including the ongoing Woji bridge and road construction, model primary and healthcare centre at Elekahia, Ambassador Nne Furo Kurubo Model Secondary School, Ebubu, Eleme, the Afam Power Gas Turbine Station and the Songhai Farms Rivers Initiative.

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IPPIS: FG, ASUU Meet, Today, As Fresh Strike Looms

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Delegations from the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are expected to meet, today, in a bid to avert a fresh strike.
The chairmen of ASUU branches had expressed readiness to commence a fresh strike over the non-implementation of their agreement with FG on IPPIS.
One of them, Chairman, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, said the protracted strike, which was to press home the union members’ demands for the continued survival of the public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues and providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items in the agreement.
Inuwa said over seven months after the MoU was signed only two out of the eight issues had been addressed.
He listed some of the outstanding issues to include payment of the earned academic allowance, funding for revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and setting up of visitation panels.
Others are renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of check-off dues.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room,” the letter read.
The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had said that the union was invited by the Ministry of Labour to discuss issues surrounding the Memorandum of Action, which was signed with the Federal Government in December, 2020.
However, Osodeke, explained the last time the union met with the government was around March/April.
He said, “The Ministry of Education, which is our ministry, has not called us to any meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Action. But the Ministry of Labour, which is just an intervention ministry, around March/April called us to a meeting in which we discussed and they promised to implement all those things.”

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30 Of 65 Private Jets In Nigeria Owe Duties, Customs Insists

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified owe duties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday.
He said some of the airplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation Agreement which allows them in without payment because it was secured by bond.
The spokesman noted that many later fail to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement.
The customs explained that the verification was not meant to embarrass anyone but to collect payments due to the government.
The service has given another two-week extension which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Attah said with the increasing economic challenge, every revenue is important.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country.
“The owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides convenience. That is what these extensions stand for,” he added.

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FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.

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