Ahead of the February 14 and 28, general elections, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has visited the Eze Ndigbo Rivers and Bayelsa States, Eze Adiele Maduagwu, at his palace in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The APC candidate was accompanied by his running mate, Hon. Asita Honourable, Chairman of the state APC, Dr. Davies Ibiam Ikanya, members of Greater Together Campaign Organisation and party supporters.
Peterside told the monarch that he was in his palace to brief him on his political journey so far and to pay respect to the Ndigbo, their culture and tradition, and praised the Igbo entrepreneurial spirit, describing them as good neighbours and supporters of Rivers State economy.
“The Igbo and Rivers people have peacefully cohabited from time immemorial. All of us were once part of what used to be called Eastern Nigeria. If the Rivers man has any true brother, it is the Igbo. Even today, some persons want to rewrite history. Beyond that, even before the Civil War, our parents told us that the Igbo have always been the pillar that holds Rivers State’s economy. Without the Igbo, our economy will not flourish and anybody who wants to turn truth upside down will not succeed.
“After the Nigerian Civil War, when our fathers were trying to rebuild the state and rebuild our economy, the Igbo were also on hand to help rebuild our state and our economy. So, they are an important part of our society, nobody can deny that fact. If anybody is trying to deny that fact, then the person is being very uncharitable, unkind and I know God does not like injustice, God does not like lies.
“If before, those who helped to build the economy were neglected, we can’t afford to neglect them today because if we do, they will go elsewhere and help other people build their economy and our own will go down. I don’t think that is what we want. And so, we must respect those who live with us, those who contribute to our economy, those who render service, those who pay tax here and those who add value to our society. I am proud to say that the Igbo add value to what we are doing in Rivers State, the Igbo contribute to the building of our economy and the Igbo man has been a good brother and good neighbour”.
Peterside called on the Ndigbo to be guided properly by these realities as they vote in this month’s elections, adding that February elections are too critical to be taken lightly.
“As we march into these elections, there are many candidates running for the office of the governor but the Ndigbo know which one will be good for them and the one that will not be good for them. They don’t need soap to wash their eyes well to know.
“They can see, especially if you look at our antecedents. I was Commissioner for Works in Rivers State, I was special assistant to the governor in Rivers State, I am a member of the National Assembly, I was a local government chairman. People who know my path can say that I respect elders, I respect traditional institution, I have integrity, I respect laws, I fear God. They know that about me. I wish they can say the same about others who are contesting with me.
“For others, you know them. You know that if you give them opportunity, they will intimidate and harass people, they will promote hatred and violence. Your Highness, I don’t think that is what you want and I don’t think that is what the Igbo want,” he said.
Peterside pleaded with Eze Maduagwu to educate his people on the need to vote right so that good people can emerge.
He called on the Ndigbo to vote for him because he is the only one who will serve their interest and protect every non-indigene living in Rivers State.
The APC governorship candidate warned that those who want to govern by force are already threatening to sack non-indigenes in the state civil service and also suspend Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s scholarship to non-indigenes, if they are elected.
Responding on behalf of Eze Maduagwu and the entire Igbo community, Onowu Ndigbo, Chief Ray Anajemba, who described Peterside as a humble and God-fearing candidate, commended the APC standard bearer for his words of hope and encouragement.
He pleaded with the candidate to look into the issue of multiple taxation and the welfare of the Ndigbo and non-indigenes when he is elected.
On his part, the Onowu assured: “we will remember you and we will do the right thing”.
Meanwhile, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Dakuku Peterside APC in Rivers State has assured the people of the state that love, unity, peace and progress will form the building blocks of his administration if he is elected as governor.
Peterside said this in Omoku at the palace of His Royal Majesty, Eze Chukwuemeka Nnam Obi, the Oba of Ogbaland while responding to the monarch’s welcome address during a courtesy call.
The APC candidate promised to bequeath to Rivers people, a legacy of peace, unity and development.
“As a leader, I am conscious of my role and the expectations of our people. Hon. Asita, my running mate also appreciates this. On the day we are called to give account, we will stand before God to answer for our actions. We shall take full responsibility of our actions. We shall conduct ourselves in such a way that at the end of the day, we will not account to any man. “We are indeed clear-headed and mindful of where we are going. And the people of Rivers State can count on our integrity and track record,” he added.
Peterside later proceeded to Omoku Local Government Council Pavilion where he received a rousing welcome from APC leaders and supporters. He reeled out his economic development agenda for Rivers State people, promising to be faithful in all his dealings.
2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence
The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.
Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC
The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.
Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death
The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.
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