The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the sudden death of the Mayor of Port Harcourt Local Government Area (PHALGA), Hon. Charles Paul Ejekwu, as a rude shock and very devastating.
The party, in a statement by the state Chairman, Dr. Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, prayed God to grant Hon. Ejekwu’s immediate family, the Rivers State APC Leader and Chairman of Governors’ Forum (NGF), Governor Chibuike Amaechi, the entire APC family and Rivers State people in general, the fortitude to bear this great loss and grant the departed eternal rest.
“We hope to do our best to live his principles and stand on our common struggle to emancipate and free our people from the hands of greedy and visionless politicians plotting everyday on how to take our state back to the inglorious past before God decided to send to us Governor Amaechi to secure us and change the politics of our State,” Dr. Ikanya said of Hon. Ejeukwu, who died Wednesday morning in Port Harcourt.
Ikanya said: “Regrettably, instead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respecting the death of this young man who did his best to contribute his quota towards a new Port Harcourt, they rather preferred to continue with their ugly mission of using thugs to cause havoc in their desperation to destabilise the Amaechi administration.
“Like crazed vagabonds, PDP thugs attempted to sabotage and disrupt the Meet-the-People Tour of Governor Amaechi by destroying the canopies and chairs arranged at strategic locations in Obio/Akpor, shooting sporadically into the air, breaking bottles on the roads, destructing property and injuring innocent persons on Wednesday, 13th August, 2014 the very day we lost the Mayor of Port Harcourt to death,” APC said.
Rivers APC commended Governor Amaechi for postponing his Meet-the-People Tour not because of the madness of the PDP tugs and their wicked sponsors but in the honour of the late Mayor Ejekwu.
“By this act, the Governor has once again demonstrated his humane and caring qualities as the people’s leader. As we console him over this great loss, we pray God to continue to guide and inspire him as he submits himself as a tool in the hands of God to emancipate our nation politically. Amaechi should not be deterred by the politics of men who do not know what politics is all about,” the party said.
It called on the security agencies to prevail on PDP to toe the path of peace and discontinue their devilish mission to turn the State into a battlefield.
According to Rivers APC, “PDP wants to create unrest, fear and panic in Rivers State. We are calling on the police and other security agencies in the state to prevail on the PDP to stop attacking APC gatherings.
“We also appeal to our brothers in PDP to allow peace to reign in the state. Even before Governor Amaechi started his visit to the people, the police were properly informed. Despite the presence of the police, these hoodlums still went ahead to cause confusion. The police should confront those that want to turn the state into a battlefield.”
APC urged Amaechi not to be intimidated into abandoning his well-intentioned tour designed to be used to interact with the people and get their views on the services rendered to them.
In his own reaction, Chief of Staff to Governor Amaechi, Chief Tony Okocha, a chieftain of APC, described the use of thugs and reintroduction of violence in the politics of Rivers State by PDP as very sad, unfortunate and condemnable.
Okocha said: “I think they resort to the politics of thuggery and violence because they have no ideology, vision for any development of Rivers State, exposing themselves as being bereft of ideas on what modern politics is all about. It is unfortunate that the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, is still living in the past, not knowing that the 2015 elections will be based on ideas and conviction of the people and no longer on the amount of violence one can unleash.
“The earlier he wakes up from his slumber the better for him and those who are following him sheepishly. Rivers State people can now understand what Wike and PDP stand for – violence. I know our people very well as peace-loving people who will not want the reintroduction of violence into our state. The only way to stop this evil is to collectively vote out PDP and all it stands for in 2015 and I am confident that the good people of Rivers State will do just that,” the party stated.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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