The Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has only this evening received the news of the resignation of his Deputy Governor Engr Tele Ikuru from the All Progressives Congress.
Whilst the news remains unofficial at this time, as the Deputy Governor is yet to notify His Excellency the Governor of his move, Governor Amaechi however wishes Engr Ikuru all the best in his future political endeavours.
He however wishes to note that the reasons adduced by Engr Ikuru are shocking as Deputy Governor lkuru has consistently been the one driving political activities in his local government area of Andoni. He has also been the second in command driving politics and governance in Rivers state.
On a personal note, Governor Amaechi has accorded Engr Ikuru all the privileges and respect due the office of the Deputy Governor and has treated him with love as a friend and brother.
Though the Governor had hoped that the numerous rumours of Engr Ikuru’s double-faced membership of the APC and open romance with the PDP were not true, he however appreciates the fact that every individual has a right to pursue his political dreams, as he deems most appropriate
It is however regrettable that Engr Ikuru has chosen the dishonourable path of bare faced lies and name calling rather than the more honourable path of simply retracing his steps to where he has always been.
Meanwhile, the APC in Andoni, home town of Engineer Tele Ikuru, Rivers State Deputy Governor has described his defection to PDP as a mere scratch on the surface of the towering popularity of APC in the State from the ward to the State.
Speaking to newsmen in PortHarcourt, a leader of the Party in Andoni Local Government, Hon Esuku Esuku described Tele Ikuru as an appendage of Prince Uchewaju Secondus who has been a mole in the system all these years.
Esuku Esuku said that the defection of Tele Ikuru was long expected since after he failed to secure the Governorship ticket on the platform of the APC.
The APC in Andoni said that both Tele Ikuru and his uncle Prince Uchewaji Secondus have never returned to Andoni on election day as they remain in Port Harcourt to write results. This is the first time that election results will be determined by actual followership as the electorate will be expected to cast their votes using their PVC under the card reader system.
Mr Esuku believes that Tele Ikuru’s defection is to save him from the embarrassment he will receive confronting his uncle Prince Uchewaji Secondus on Election Day since their plan to secure the APC Governorship ticket did not materialise.
The APC leader called on party faithful to ignore the mole Tele Ikuru and forge ahead to deliver APC’s Presidential candidate General Mohammadu Buhari on Saturday March 28th, 2015 as well as Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside on April 11, 2015.
Also speaking, the former chairman of Andoni Local Government Area, Hon Orom Nte Ereforokuma said Ikuru was never part of Rivers APC, adding that his defection to PDP was simply to play to the gallery.
The Vice Chairman of APC in Andoni Local Government Area, Jeremaiah Ebelo, said the party was aware of Ikuru’s plan to defect to PDP several months ago, adding that APC in Andoni also planned a huge celebration.
At Ngo, headquarters of the area there was jubilation over the defection of Ikuru, as the people described the defection as a welcome development that would enable APC to forge ahead in the area.
An APC leader in Ward 9, Asarama in Andoni Local Government Area, Chief Luke Edam said, the defection did not come as surprise, explaining that Ikuru’s presence in APC was to source for funds to finance PDP.
He said, Ikuru finally left APC because he was not given the opportunity to produce caretaker committee chairman to enable him divert money to fund his uncle, Prince Uche Secondus in PDP.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru, on Sunday dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Tide gathered that the defection of the deputy governor, who has worked with Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for about eight years now, is not unconnected with the rivalry between him and the chairman of APC in the state, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, over the composition of ward and unit executive committees of the APC in Andoni local government area.
Ikuru, hails from Andoni local government area of the state and a nephew to the Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.
Sources revealed that Prince Uche Secondus brought the former deputy governor to political limelight.
Meanwhile a female politician, Hart Harrison urged Rivers people to be calm, adding that Tele Ikuru or not, Rivers people will vote for APC.
According to her, If one hundred should fall, a thousand would rise to sail and stand in battle-ship with the Lion of Ubima’’
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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