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Plot To Rig Bayelsa Rerun: PDP Fingers Amaechi, Defence Minister …As Ijaw Women Threaten To Protest Naked

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L-R: Chairman, Orient Group, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, Director, Planning, Research and Strategy, Voice of Wisdom and Vision International, Prof. Funmi Adesanya-Davies, and Mrs Atim Ita, after receiving their certificates of UN Peace Advocates in Port Harcourt, yesterday

L-R: Chairman, Orient Group, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, Director, Planning, Research and Strategy, Voice of Wisdom and Vision International, Prof. Funmi Adesanya-Davies, and Mrs Atim Ita, after receiving their certificates of UN Peace Advocates in Port Harcourt, yesterday

Indications have emerged of a fresh plot by a former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and Minister of Defence, Mohammed Dan Ali, to rig the rerun election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in the yet-to-be-concluded governorship election in the state.
The Coordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, raised the alarm in a statement issued on Friday night in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Onaiwu alleged that Amaechi and Ali met in Abuja during the week to perfect ways to rig the poll in favour of the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, who trails behind the incumbent and candidate of the PDP, Hon. Seriake Dickson, in the results announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
While Dickson had won in six of the seven local government areas announced so far by INEC, the votes from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area had become a source of concern because of the violence that attended the poll there.
The state has eight local government areas.
According to Onaiwu, the APC remains desperate in its bid to capture the oil-rich state, which he said fits into the suggestion by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, who alluded to the fact that all oil-producing states should be taken over by the APC in the interest of national security.
The statement by Onaiwu reads: “It is on good authority that the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has held two meetings with Mohammed Dan Ali, Minister of Defence, on how the military can once again be used to intimidate voters and rig the Bayelsa poll for the APC in Southern Ijaw local government in the rerun election for the Bayelsa governorship.
“It would be recalled that the PDP Governors Forum had raised alarm before the inconclusive poll that there were plans by the APC to camouflage as the military to abuse the process in their desperation to capture oil-producing states under the PDP.
“Today we have been vindicated by several reports of independent observers and the bold move by the INEC to reject Southern Ijaw local government poll.
“From what we know, the threat to use the military to perpetrate heist of the mandate of the electorate of Southern Ijaw and by extension all Bayelsans still remains as Ministers Amaechi and Dan Ali remain the arrow head of the planned theft of the votes of Bayelsa people through intimidation, fake military personnel and doctored voters cards manufactured in Port Harcourt by Indian IT mercenaries imported by the APC.”
Onaiwu urged security agencies to remain impartial, non-partisan and called on the people to once again reject any attempt by any group or individuals to hijack their inalienable right to decide who to govern them as they did the last time.
Meanwhile, women under the aegis of Ijaw Women Liberation Movement have threatened to protest nude over the killing of innocent voters in the state if nothing is done urgently.
The women who dragged perpetrators of violence during the governorship election in Bayelsa state to the National Human Right Commission, said that people of the state have the right to freely vote for the candidate of their choice, without harassment and intimidation.
In a statement issued by the women leader, Chief Ebebi Agnes, where they threatened to protest naked, the women described the actions of the military as an infringement on the right of the citizens of Bayelsa state, criticising security operatives for failing to protect the people, particularly the women from attacks by political thugs and criminals.
“The Ijaw women wish to state emphatically that the conduct of the military during the unconcluded elections, which saw such a respected institution colluding with known common criminals in the creeks to manipulate the electoral process, is sad and sends a very dangerous signal to the advancement of our democracy.
“We have also resolved not to allow the killing and harassment of the people of Bayelsa state as a result of the election wherein the law enforcement agents were watching, to go unaddressed, by the Human Right Commission, with a view of seeking justice for the dead and protecting the living who are still vulnerable to such barbaric conduct in future elections in Bayelsa or elsewhere in the country,” the statement read in part.
According to the Ijaw women, the military’s actions proved that they are incompetent and unprofessional. The women wondered how operatives could watch with indifference while political thugs killed law-abiding citizens who were out to exercise their franchise.
Addressing President Muhammadu Buhari, the group reminded him that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution.
“We are peace loving in Bayelsa and will not allow the desperation to hijack power by some greedy individuals, truncate the peace that has been enjoyed in our state over the years.
“We are hereby calling on all the people of Bayelsa, particularly the women, to arise and resist the tyranny that the military occupation of our land during the election brought and be prepared until the conclusion of the process on a date, to be set by INEC for elections to hold in Southern Ijaw local government.
“We are determined to pursue this to a logical conclusion and will not hesitate to nakedly protest any further attempt to militarise, what ordinarily should be a civil process in our state,” the statement added.
It could be recalled that the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, had set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the violence and breach of peace that occurred before and after the governorship election in the state.

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COVID-19: Interministarial Committee Takes Enlightenment Campaign To Religious Leaders

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The Rivers State Inter-Ministarial Committee on COVID-19 Enlightenment on Sunday, commenced another phase of its campaign with a focus on religious organisations, beginning with Churches.
Addressing volunteers to the campaign at the State Secretariate Complex, Chairman of the Committee, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, charged the volunteers to take this phase of the campaign as serious as they had taken the previous one.
Nsirim, who is also the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, stated that the need to embark on this phase of the campaign is necessitated by the revelation that many people are not adhering to the COVID-19 prevention advisories of wearing face mask and social distancing.
Recalling that the State Governor noted this in his last State broadcast, the Chairman said the Governor “lamented that people in the State are not observing the protocols of social distancing and wearing of face mask.

“The danger”, he continued, “is that if we don’t adhere to these protocols, we may likely enter community transmission of coronavirus in the state”.

 

Consequently, he explained, “We are going to be doing targeted sensitization. The three Sundays that we have in this month we will use to sensitize churches, and on Fridays, we will also do targeted sensitization to Muslim community”.
He further explained the importance of reaching religious leaders in the fight against the coronavirus, saying they are strategically placed to reach a considerable population.
According to him, the churches and mosques are very important because “the religious leaders wield a lot of influence. Members of their congregation listen to the things that they say. If we are able to get the churches to begin to observe the protocols, we are going to get to a greater number, a greater population in the society”.
He, therefore, charged the volunteers to go beyond the jingles currently being aired by the Committee in delivering COVID-19 enlightenment messages to interfacing with the people, noting that they shouldn’t add the role of enforcement to their assignment.
“As you interface with people, you must be wearing your face mask very well. Don’t put it under your chin.
“You are not an enforcement team. Don’t go and give yourself the power of enforcing the wearing of face mask. Don’t go and harass people that are not wearing face mask. Don’t go and assault people that are not wearing face mask. Your duty is purely enlightenment and sensitization.
“When you see people who are not wearing face mask, you enlighten them on the importance of wearing face mask. We don’t want to hear that any member of this team went and entered into any form of altercation”, he charged.
While assuring them of immeasurable rewards accruable from selfless service to humanity, the Chairman also reminded them of the innate desire of the the State Governor, which is ultimately to make Rivers State safe, as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
“Anyone that is called to do patriotic duty needs to understand that the crux of the matter is that you are here to save lives, and for you to save lives, you must have the passion to render selfless service. It’s important that I underscore that fact”, he said.

Responding on behalf of the volunteers, one of the Team Leaders, Adata Brown, assured that they will do their best to ensure that Rivers

people get the required message to enhance their safety from the virus.
“We want to say we are going to put in our best, we are going to work and make the governor of the state proud, and to make the whole Rivers State proud”, she said.
Other members of the Inter-Ministarial Committee present were the Commissioner’s of Environment, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, and Youth: Dr Igbiks’ Tamuno, Barr Olisaeloka Tasie-Amadi, and Prince Ohia respectively.
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Be Role Models In COVID-19 Campaign, Nsirim Charges Religious Leaders …RSG To Arrest People Who Refuse To Wear Face Mask

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In furtherance of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has called on religious leaders in the State to path the way for their congregation.
The Commissioner, who made the call on Saturday, during a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, hinted that by their status they represent a section of the society with notable group of followers, hence the need for them to be role models.
One way to show this, he said is for them to strictly obey the State Government’s advisories on measures to prevent COVID-19 infection, including ensuring that not more than 70 persons are allowed per session of service.
Citing churches, he noted that they have so far flouted this directive. “and that is something that is worrisome”, he said.
He continued that “Christians need to be role models. If there’s a group of people who should show good example, it should be Chriatians. When Christians begin to flout

government directives, I don’t think there’s any hope for society.
“This is a Clarion call to religious leaders. We shouldn’t sacrifice the lives of our members on the alter of church worship. Jesus Christ is our role model. Jesus Christ was a man who obeyed authority, who did not come in confrontation with the law, and the Bible teaches us to obey those in authority”, he emphasized.
Also, against the backdrop of high non-compliance to the COVID-19 advisory of wearing face mask in public places, the Rivers State Government (RSG) says it will soon begin to arrest defaulters.
This is sequel to the declaration of the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in his last State broadcast on Wednesday, in which he stated that those who refuse to wear face mask risk arrest.
Confirming the Governor’s statement, the State’s spokesman unequivocally said defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
“If you go around the State since the Executive Order on face mask was introduced, you’ll notice that less than 30 per cent of the populace are really obeying the Executive Order. What we see in the State is that people just put the mask under their chin, including in the churches.
“The Governor is saying that to grant the wearing of face mask the kind of weight it deserves, to save our people, a special Task Force to monitor it will be put in place. That is the only sure way”, he said.
He recalled that the Governor in his broadcast expressed concern that a lot of people in the State are not obeying the protocols of social distancing and wearing of face mask.
“Government will introduce policies. The onus is on the populace to obey those policies … The COVID-19 pandemic has defied medical solutions for now. So, to flatten the curve, everyone living and doing business in Rivers State need to take responsibility.
“It’s important that everyone living and doing business in Rivers State should have the kind of passion that His Excellency has to flatten

the curve. He’s desirous that Rivers State remains safe.
“That’s why every day he’s enunciating policies to ensure that strategically, the State is isolated from the national spread.
“He’s one man who would require the cooperation and understanding of citizens here to ensure that what he has in mind for the State is actualized”, the Commissioner concluded.
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Governor Wike’s Reply To Governor Uzodinma Was Concocted – RSG

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The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to the news circulating in the Social Media that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State denigrated his Imo State counterpart, Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The purveyors of the deliberate falsehood alleged that Governor  Wike  replied Governor Uzodinma over a recent statement where he allegedly boasted that “the All Progressives Congress (APC)  will teach the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor  Wike how to conduct a  transparent election in the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election.”
The concocted story only existed in the imagination of the authors and so there was also no disparaging comment by Governor Wike.
Members of the public are hereby advised to discountenance all the information contained in the said publication as they did not emanate from Governor Wike.
Paulinus Nsirim
Commissioner for Information and Communications
July 10, 2020.
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