Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has stated that equity, natural justice and fair judgement were the salient criteria used in selecting Hon. (Dr) Dakuku Adol-Peterside, from the Rivers South-East Senatorial District as gubernatorial flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2015 general elections.
Amaechi stated this during the All Progressive Congress, APC Gubernatorial Primary election held at the Main Bowl of the Alfred Diette-Spiff Complex in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
He maintained that the Rivers West Senatorial district and the Rivers East Senatorial district have taken their gubernatorial zoning slots in the past years, adding that, equity must reign supreme in ensuring that the governor after him comes from the Rivers South-East Senatorial zone in 2015.
According to him, “Rivers West Senatorial district and Rivers East Senatorial district have taken their slots, and now, equity demands that it should go to Rivers South-East Senatorial district. The All progressives congress, APC in Rivers State had earlier agreed that the governorship slot should go to Hon, (Dr) Dakuku Adol-Peterside…From today, I will continue to be in the front of Hon (Dr.) Dakuku Adol-Peterside until all elections are concluded.
“My joy is that, today, we have shown the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP that, there can be another popular party in Rivers State. In the last elections in 2011, we gave the PDP over 1.8million votes. This time, we challenge them to come and get such votes again let us see. This is the time to prove our point. Our delegates for this gubernatorial primary election is 4,574. This is an opportunity to ensure that, we do not suffer any longer”. Amaechi said.
The APC leader in the state also commended Senator Magnus Abe and his Deputy Engr. Tele Ikuru for their sterling qualities and useful contributions to his administration, urging them to remain steadfast and committed to the party.
“That does not mean that, one of my bosom friends, Senator Magnus Abe is not qualified. There are two distinct Rivers people I respect so much because of their intellect. They are Senator Magnus Abe and Odein Ajumogobia, SAN, but, it is unfortunate, Ajumogobia will not be allow to win the PDP guber primaries. In the same way, I have mentioned that the Deputy Governor , Engineer Tele is also qualified. With my Deputy, I have never watched my back. If I am overseas or in London, and I call him to handle some assignments, he has been doing well beyond my expectations. He is a man of due process”. Amaechi noted.
Governor Amaechi equally explained that, the choice of Hon. (Dr) Dakuku Adol-Peterside is hinged on the struggle for the return of the Soku oil wells bequeathed to Bayelsa State and the Etche oil well to Abia State being masterminded by the federal government.
“We have suffered long in the hands of the Federal government. All the oil wells in Soku, owned by the Kalabari people have been taken away to Bayelsa State and that of Etche to Abia state. We will fight with everything to deliver APC in the 2015 general elections. As APC faithfuls, I expect all of us, to have Soku and Etche oil wells at the back of our minds. The oil wells belong to our people. When I leave office, I expect the next Governor to continue the struggle for the return of the oil wells to our people, the Rivers people”, Amaechi explained.
The State chief Executive tasked the Military and the Police that will be deployed to monitor the 2015 general elections in the state to be neutral and ensure the protection of lives and property.
Amaechi advised the Military and the Police not to be partisan in politics as such attempt could be regarded as an act of impunity against civilians.
“I hear the PDP and the Federal government are planning to use the military and the Police to stop me from moving around during the 2015 general elections. I am the chief security officer of the state and if they stop me, you will see what will happen. The duty of the Military and the Police during the elections is to ensure protection of lives and property”, Amaechi said.
He further commended stakeholders and party faithful for choosing and giving automatic tickets to Assembly members in the All Progressives Congress, APC and advised those who lost out to remain steadfast in moving the party forward.
Governor Amaechi used the opportunity to urge Rivers people to foster a free, fair and credible election in the 2015 general elections, adding that their Permanent Voters Card is key in choosing credible candidates.
Earlier, the Chairman of the APC Guber Primary election, Prince Austin Nweke thanked Governor Amaechi and party faithful for making it easy for the panel to conduct the party primaries in an atmosphere devoid of rancour and acrimony.
“What Governor Amaechi and you, the APC supporters have done is a new step that has ushered in peace and harmony in the state. Without your earlier decision, it would have been difficult to conduct the Guber primaries. Some APC states have over 18 guber aspirants, but this committee or panel is overwhelmed by the decision taken by Governor Amaechi and the party. We are at a new level”, Prince Nweke said.
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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