The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike is conveniently leading in the governorship election results declared in the state, even as three governorship candidates in the state have rejected the results.
The election results of 21 local government areas declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as at the time of filing this report last night show that the PDP candidate won in 19 local government areas, beating his closest rival, Dr Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to a distant second.
The local governments where Wike won include Omuma, Ahoada West, Ahoada East, Andoni, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Tai, Khana, Gokana, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Abua/Odual.
The PDP candidate also won in Okrika, Ogu/Bolo, Oyibo, Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt, Ikwerre, Etche and Degema local government areas of the state.
Peterside on the otherhand, won in Opobo/Nkoro and Eleme Local Government Areas.
The results in Bonny and Emohua local government areas were yet to be declared as at the time of filing this report.
Rivers State Governor and Director-General of Buhari Campaign Organization, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has described Saturday’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state as a sham.
Amaechi bared his mind while fielding questions from journalists after casting his vote at Ward 8, Unit 14, Ubima in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
He said the elections witnessed thuggery and ballot box snatching in most parts of the state coupled with violence.
The governor said: “I think it is a sham. You noticed what happened in Omagwa, what happened was that somebody called me and said they were being attacked at a particular polling booth, and I went there, the thugs were overwhelming until another group of soldiers came before they ran away.
“Don’t forget that the report was that our people were being attacked, so I came to rescue the people who were being attacked. When we came, you saw the thugs yourselves, so how do you stabilize the system when already the system has been taken over by thugs?”Amaechi queried.
He carpeted the police for failing in their responsibility to the people to provide peaceful atmosphere for the electoral process.
“I think there must have been an arrangement between the police and the PDP for the state to be overrun by thugs and you know, the funniest part is that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) promised us over 2,800 mobile policemen. What you see is just one Deputy Commissioner of Police John Amadi conniving with the PDP to orchestrate all these violence against APC members and Rivers people.
(Yesterday (Friday), Mr. President (Goodluck Jonathan) withdrew the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Tunde Ogunsaki and ordered him to go back to Calabar just because he arrested a DPO who took out four wards’ result sheets and gave to militants working for PDP”.
Amaechi maintained that widespread thuggery, violence and hijacking of electoral materials marred the electoral process across the state.
“You have been following me around and I am sure you must have seen the kind of thuggery that was on display, you have seen materials being hijacked”, he said as he noted some election officials were ambushed along the way by political thugs.
He blamed the retention of INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Gesila Khan in the state for the election malpractices that rocked the state.
“If INEC had posted the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) away, we wouldn’t have been here. If the Commissioner of Police and the President had allowed the police to function properly, we won’t be here.”
“In the Ogoni area, you have one Area Commander, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, harassing people, arresting APC members. Then you have in the state DCP John Amadi. By 2a.m this morning, he was busy in Nyesom Wike’s father’s house writing results.”
But the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Nyesom Wike dismissed Amaechi’s allegation and described the election as peaceful.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidates of three political parties in Rivers have called for the cancellation of the governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
The candidates are Dr Dakuku Peterside of the APC, Charles Harry, APGA and Rev. Minaibim Harry, SDP.
The APGA candidate, Charles Harry, who spoke on behalf of others, called on INEC to cancel the election because it was marred by irregularities.
Harry said thugs allegedly made away with election materials and fired indiscriminately to scare voters, so that they could manipulate the election results, while manual accreditation was used in most areas against INEC directive
‘’ In Buguma, headquarter of Asari-Toru Local Government; there was no accreditation because there were no election materials in place.
‘’ Elsewhere, the disenfranchisement of Rivers people was taken to a level unprecedented in the history of electioneering in the state.
‘’ There was intimidation, harassment and outright manipulation of the electoral process,’’ he said.
Harry said they were aware that some arrests were made by the police of those allegedly compromising the election.
Mr Dakuku Peterside of the APC, said the election was characterized by widespread violence that made it impossible for the people to come out to vote.
He urged INEC to cancel the election and fix a new date for a re-run.
In her reaction, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Mrs Gesila Khan, said elections were successfully held in the state.
She said the commission had cancelled elections in nine wards and ordered for re-run, where it was established that no election took place.
Unlike most other states where the governorship and House of Assembly elections were concluded on Saturday, the Rivers State elections were extended into yesterday (Sunday) by the INEC following series of irregularities in some polling units and cancellation of the elections in few others.
Nine wards were affected by the extension. These include Asari-Toru ward 13, Abua/Odual ward 1, Bonny ward 12, Degema wards 11,12 and 13, Emohua ward 4 and Obio/Akpor wards 15 and 16.
There were also reported cases of open snatching of sensitive election materials by hoodlums in some areas leading to cancellation of the elections by the INEC, while in some instances, key election materials were never brought to polling stations.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs Gesila Khan confirmed the election cancellation, but did not specify how many areas were affected.
Saturday’s election in the state recoded violence in some areas. Heavy shooting was reported in Ozuoba and Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, while three persons were feared dead in Buguma in Asari-Toru Local Government Area.
A policeman was also reportedly killed at Borokiri, Port Harcourt while on election duty.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Mohammadu who confirmed the killing of the police cop, traced his death to election violence.
‘The policeman killed whose name was not given was one of those deployed to monitor the election on Saturday.
‘We see that there was evidence of violence before he was killed ‘, the police spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the house of the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Joeba West, a police patrol vehicle and INEC’s polling centre in Kalabari National College, Buguma were raised by unknown arsonists.
There were also reports of massive card reader failure in Okrika and Abua/Odual Local Government Area, where electoral officers resorted to the use of incident forms.
Boye Salau, Ike Wigodo, Taneh Beemene & Kevin Nengia,
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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