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Wike Shuns Elders’ Ultimatum To PDP

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From right, the President General of NUR, Comrade  Raphel Okoro, the Eastern District Union Chairman, Orji Kalu Innocent and the  state chairman, Pastor Woyengidengiyefa Ikoni during the Eastern Rail line flag-off last Tuesday. Photo: Egberi A. Sampson

From right, the President General of NUR, Comrade Raphel Okoro, the Eastern District Union Chairman, Orji Kalu Innocent and the state chairman, Pastor Woyengidengiyefa Ikoni during the Eastern Rail line flag-off last Tuesday. Photo: Egberi A. Sampson

Barely few weeks to the 2015 governorship election, elders of Rivers State have given the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a week ultimatum to substitute its governorship candidate in the state, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike with a candidate from the riverine axis of the state.
The elders, under the auspices of Rivers Elders and Leaders Council (RELC) also appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on the national leadership of the PDP to ensure the withdrawal of Wike in the interest of equity, justice and fairness to various ethnic nationalities that make up the state.
Chairman of RELC, Chief Albert Horsfall, who disclosed this yesterday while speaking to newsmen at Omagwa, near Port Harcourt, shortly after the meeting of the elders, said if by January 5, 2015, the PDP fails to substitute Wike, the people of the state would be mobilised to vote for the riverine candidate of any other political party that can win the 2015 governorship election in the state.
Horsfall said, “What we are saying here is that if the Peoples Democratic Party fails to substitute Nyesom Wike by January 5, 2015, all true Rivers people will vote en masse for the riverine candidate of any other party that can win election in Rivers State.
“Mr President is our son; we are appealing to him to prevail on the PDP to substitute Wike, but if they fail, we will encourage other aspirants to close ranks and produce a riverine candidate who has the potential to win the governorship of this state.”
He said, as elders, they were not opposed to the reconciliation initiated by the PDP governorship candidate, adding that true reconciliation within the party would commence once Wike withdraws as the party’s standard bearer.
The former Minister of State for Education yesterday, made a bold attempt at wooing women of the state when he presented Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, as his running mate ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Wike explained that he decided to choose a woman as his running mate as a result of the desire to create a place for women to play active role in the political and economic development of the state.
He stated that the task of choosing a running mate took him some time, attributing the situation on the rot in the governance of the state.
Describing Mrs. Banigo, who is a former Head of Service in the state, as a rare breed and a leader with uncommon traits, Wike expressed optimism that the ex-Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the State Government would join his team to rebuild the state.
Banigo, who is from Degema Local Government Area, attended various universities, including the University of Ibadan where she obtained her Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (1976), the Harvard (1981) and the University of London (1990).
Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt while presenting his running mate, Wike observed that though the history of the state was awash with the input of great women, no woman had been given the opportunity to hold an office as high as that of the state deputy governor.
He said, “The search has ended. Dr. (Mrs) Banigo is a rare breed and a leader with uncommon traits. She will join us to rebuild the state. Her choice was informed by the need to create a special place for women to play active role in the politics of the state. Since 1967 when the state was created, no woman has been given such an opportunity. Yet, the history of the state is replete with women of great achievements. The time has come to give women the chance to play pivotal roles in the state.
“Rivers PDP is determined to move away from the primordial era of treating women with disdain and indignity. We want to move away from the acts of our opponents who relish giving out token to women. As a first step, Rivers PDP decided that a woman should occupy the post.” He added.
However, Mrs. Banigo, in her acceptance speech, expressed gratitude to the party and the governorship candidate for picking her as running mate to Wike.
She observed the challenges facing the state and added that such challenges became tougher in the face of the dwindling revenue and security issues in the country.
Describing her nomination as the running mate to the PDP governorship candidate as an honour to Rivers women, Banigo pledges to bring her experience while serving the state to bare and ensure the empowerment of women.
She joined Wike to appeal to the women in the state to reciprocate the state PDP’s gesture and vote massively for the party in the forthcoming election.

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RSG Alerts On Orchestrated Media Campaign

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The Rivers State Government has raised alarm over alleged moves by some critics of the government to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the state government.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, reads, “The Rivers State Government is aware of clandestine plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the government of Governor Nyesom Wike.
“This is as a result of the intimidating sterling performance of Governor Wike in infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, rural transformation, housing development, administration of justice, social welfare and sports development.
“This orchestrated campaign spearheaded by a defeated and dumped governorship aspirant of the APC, Dr. Dakuku Peterside is designed to portray the government of Governor Wike as one that is not meeting the developmental aspirations of Rivers people.
“However, the uncommon transformation of the 23 local government areas as witnessed during the last six years of projects commissioning and flag off shows clearly that Governor Wike is actually meeting the yearnings of the people.
“The fact that Rivers people that turn out en mass at the various projects sites to heartily welcome their beloved governor and his guests drawn from all political divides is a clear indication that Rivers people can no longer be swayed by cheap politically induced blackmail.
“The truth of the matter is that the APC government that boasted that Governor Wike will not see money to pay workers’ salaries and execute projects has been humbled by the revolution in governance currently witnessed in the state.
“Instead of people like Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his acolytes to eat the humble pie, they are busy looking for cheap popularity through sponsored appearances in the media.
“No matter how hard these detractors push their propaganda, Governor Wike will never be distracted in executing his social contract with the people of Rivers State.
“In the next few weeks, more projects that have direct bearing to the lives of Rivers people will be unveiled.
“Governor Wike’s promise to continue working as if this is his first tenure and not abandon any project remains sacrosanct.
“Rivers people are watching those whose stock in trade is to dance naked and pray that they continue as merchants of mischief, falsehood and baseless allegations.”
“The people of Rivers State love Governor Wike whose outstanding achievements in salvaging the state from the dearth of basic infrastructural development required for speedy socioeconomic transformation has received national and international applause.
“Therefore, no amount of negative propaganda by the failed APC can diminish the legacy of Governor Wike in Rivers State.
“Rather than launder the thoroughly battered image of the APC, such media appearances by Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his cohorts will further expose APC’s penchant for lies and deception which is now a public knowledge.
“The former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, has confirmed that Governor Wike is the best Rivers State has produced.
“’I have been there. And I make bold to say Governor Nyesom Wike, you are the best,’ Dr. Odili said.
“Odili’s comment serves as an answer to those masquerading as informed commentators with puerile and suffocating commentaries”, the statement added.

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Bandits In Trouble As Super Tucano Aircraft Arrives

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The first batch of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft has arrived in Kano, yesterday, at about 12.34 pm.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the arrival of the fighter aircraft in a statement.
“On hand to receive the aircraft were the Hon. Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Farouk Yahaya; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao”, he said.

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We’ve No Patience With Failure, Oyedepo Lashes Out At Sacked Pastors

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The General Overseer and Founder of The Living Faith Church International also known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has reacted to the recent sack of over 40 pastors by the church.
One of the affected Pastors, Peter Godwin, took to social media, claiming they were sacked for not generating enough income.
Godwin, who was in one of the church’s branches in Ekiti State, had claimed, “I was told by the management that the church doesn’t operate at a loss.
“They also told me that the total income that is being generated from my station should be able to cater for my welfare and accommodation, so as a result of low income, I’m hereby dismissed.”
Reacting to the allegation in a video posted on the social media, Oyedepo said the sack of the pastors was not about money, adding that the latter were sacked as a result of their failure and the church “has no patience with failure.
“Money? Nonsense! We have never lacked it, and yet, we have never prayed for it.
“We are just simply obeying God, and He is backing up what He is asking us to do. Awesome God,” he noted.
On those criticising the sack, the GO said, “People are confused about our ministry. I learnt some fellows said, you know, they are not bringing income, that is why they asked them to go”.
He added, “We asked you to go because you are unfruitful. Unfruitful! Blatant failure. Doing what there? We have no patience with failure here.
“When we employed 7,000 people at a time, social media was dead.
“We have more employees in this organisation than most of the states. No one is owed a dime salary and we don’t borrow, we don’t beg. Ask our bank whether we take overdraft.
“We are covenant bound, working in the light of God’s word, enjoying an open Heaven.”

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