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Wike, Ekweremadu Hail Mark’s Victory

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has congratulated former Senate President, Senator David Mark for emerging victorious in last Saturday’s re-run polls.
Mark ,a candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defeated his closest rival, Mr. Daniel Onjeh of All Progressives Congress (APC) after winning in five of the nine local government areas of Benue South Senatorial district.
According to the results announced by the INEC Returning Officer, Professor Isiaka Eneji, Mark had 18,468 votes in Otukpo, his native local government, while Onjeh polled 12,203.
In Obadigbo LGA, Mark scored 6,844 while Onjeh scored 8,882. Others are Ado LGA, Mark 6,513, Onjeh 6,370; Agatu LGA, Mark 7,986, Onjeh 3,456; Okpokwu LGA, Mark 11,935, Onjeh 6,830; Apa LGA – Mark 9,191, Onjeh 4,942.
In a congratulatory message to Senator Mark on his victory at the rerun Benue South Senatorial District Election, Wike praised the people of Benue South Senatorial District for the revalidation  of the mandate of former Senate President, stating that  they have proven that power resides with the people.
He said that the people of the senatorial district with their choice have appreciated Senator David Mark for his contributions to their development, democracy and National growth.
He noted that  by casting  their votes for the distinguished  former Senate President, the Benue South Senatorial District constituents extended a worthy gift to the outstanding lawmaker.
He urged Senator David Mark  to continue  to  play his stabilising  role at the National Assembly for the present dispensation  to benefit  from  his vast experience in legislative  matters.
While praying God to grant Senator  David Mark good health to discharge his responsibilities  to his constituents and the nation,  Wike appealed to him to accommodate his political  opponents as a political  father for the  greater good  of the Benue South Senatorial District.
Recall that the Court of Appeal, sitting in Makurdi, had on November 28 last year nullified the election of the former senate president, upturning his confirmation last October as winner of the March 28, 2015 senatorial election by the election petitions tribunal.
The appeal court also ordered a rerun of the poll within 90 days of its ruling.
Similarly, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday, congratulated the immediate past Senate President, David Mark, on his victory in the rerun election for the Benue South Senatorial seat, held on Saturday.
Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Uche Anichukwu, in Abuja, described the victory as one, which reaffirmed Mark’s April 2015 victory in the senatorial district.
He, therefore, tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission, to remain focused in the conduct of the remaining rerun elections.
He commended the people of the Benue South district for their vigilance and gallantry in defence of democracy.
He noted that the people, “proved, once again, that you cannot deceive all the people all the time.”
He stressed that both the senatorial district and the nation’s democracy were better off with the victory of Mark, who was the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party for the poll, given his national pedigree, institutional memory, legislative experience, and commitment to national development.
Ekweremadu said, “I congratulate Senator Mark and our loyal party men and women on this well-deserved victory, which reaffirms his previous victory in April 2015.
“We have always been confident that even if the election should be conducted a million times, PDP and Senator Mark would still win as many times.”
Ekweremadu, expressed worry over the postponement of the National Assembly rerun election in Imo North Senatorial District.
But he urged the people to remain calm and steadfast, just as he called on INEC to do everything within its powers to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process.
He said,  “I urge the people of areas where reruns are being expected to emulate the vigilance and determination of the people of Bayelsa and now Benue South because they not only voted, but defied intimidation and manipulations to ensure that their votes counted; and they did so within the ambit of the law.
In a related development, the PDP also won the three legislative positions contested for in Saturday’s House of Representatives rerun polls in Taraba State.
In Kogi State results of the rerun ordered by the Court of Appeal for eight constituencies were only partially declared as the senatorial rerun election in two districts, Kogi East and Central, were declared inconclusive based on reasons yet to be fully disclosed.
The PDP, however, received some boost in the Ogirimagongo/Okene federal constituency where its candidate won unopposed as well as getting three additional new members in the state assembly rerun election.
In Benue South as well as in Taraba, the closeness of the vote tally showed how tense the repeat polls were . Already, the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, on behalf of the National Working Committee (NWC) has congratulated Mark on his victory which he said left no one in doubt of the popularity of the veteran senator and the PDP not only in Benue State, but also in the North Central geo-political zone.
The party, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary,
Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday described Mark as a valuable statesman and national leader intensely needed in the Senate, while thanking Nigerians for their renewed support for the PDP and its candidates as demonstrated in recent elections across the country.
“It is instructive to note that the PDP had won 70 percent of all the polls conducted since May 29, 2015, a development that underlines the fact of its deep roots and popularity as a brand, irrespective of the temporary setback of the 2015 general elections.
“We therefore call on all members of our great party to respond to the gesture by Nigerians by uniting behind the ideals of the PDP and visions of its founding fathers and reposition the party for the challenges ahead.”
Taraba Resident Electoral Commissioner Habu Zarma who announced PDP’s victory at a press briefing yesterday in Jalingo said the PDP candidate, Dan-Asabe Hosea, won the Sardauna/Kurmi/Gashaka Federal Constituency with 37,645 votes, while his closest rival, Ibrahim Elsudi of the APC got 37,609 votes.
The commissioner added that the former Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Abel Diah of the PDP, also defeated Emmanuel Bongo of the APC for the Mbamnga state constituency with 7,825 votes as against 5,642 votes.
He said that Emmanuel Dame of the PDP got the victory for Ardo Kola state constituency with 12,138 votes over Sanusi Janbawaile of the APC who got 11,047 votes. The REC thanked stakeholders for ensuring peaceful elections across the affected areas in the state.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Yola had in December 2015 nullified the elections in the constituencies and ordered a rerun in some polling units across the three local government areas of the state.
In Kogi East senatorial rerun, the returning officer declared the exercise inconclusive following a controversy stoked by one Abdulwahab Yunusa who claimed to be the Labour Party (LP) candidate.
Ibrahim Itodo the original candidate whose name was submitted to INEC had withdrawn from the race but the party substituted him against the directive of INEC that they could not substitute their candidates for the rerun.
The PDP candidate, Attai Ali Aidoko was leading 46, 800 against LP’s 11, 090.
INEC seemed not too sure of what to do on a petition by a candidate they did not recognise hence they had to confer with the headquarters.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner Halilu Pai was not available when The Guardian called to ascertain the true position of things .
However, the Head of Department , Voter Education in the INEC office, Daniel Kure said they were still consulting and were waiting for directives from their Abuja office.
In Kogi Central Senatorial rerun , Ahmed Salau Ogembe of the PDP scored 45, 468, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi of Progressive People Aliance (PPA) 31, 163, while Dr. Moses Wakili of Social Democratic Party (SDP) scored 9, 962.
INEC Returning Officer Mr. Salihu James, declared the result inconclusive following the cancelation of over 20,000 votes which affected the entire Otutu ward, two polling units at Upogoro in Okene Local Council and also in Karaworo , Eresuha and Inozomi wards in Adavi Council due to disruption of the process.
In Okene/Ogorimagogo Federal Constituency, Tijani Damisa of PDP was elected unopposed.
For Kogi East State Assembly rerun, Hassan Baiwa Abdullai of the APC won in Okura Constituency, with 8,515 t while in Dekina/Biraidu Idoko Moses Ododo also of the APC, won.
Earlier, former Senate President and winner of the February 20 Benue South Senatorial District re-run election, David Mark, had appealed to his main challenger, Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to join him in moving Idomaland forward.
Mark made the call yesterday during his first press conference after the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC declared him winner.
“I want to thank all sons and daughters of Idomaland because this victory is for us, not for David Mark. I also want to urge those whose political interest might have clashed with mine to join hands with me in moving Idomaland forward,” he said.
He declared that election is over and all efforts must be geared towards the betterment of the people.
“I want to thank the people of zone c for their support and promised that I will not disappoint them.
“The election is over and I am ready to serve Idomaland again,” he added.
Dismissing calls by the APC that the election should be declared inconclusive, Senator Mark said his major concern is on how to ensure that Idomaland is better than it was in the past, adding that strength is in unity.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had earlier declared former Senate President, David Mark, of the Peoples’ Democratic Party as the winner of the rerun election in Benue South Senatorial District.
Mark defeated former student union leader and candidate of the All Progressives Congress to secure a fifth term in the Senate.
Announcing the results, yesterday morning, the Returning Officer, Prof. Ishaku Eneji, declared Mark winner with 84,192 votes; ahead of Onjeh who polled a total of 71,621 votes.

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Rivers Monarchs Begin Another Round Of COVID-19 Vaccination, Today

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Members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers will, today, begin another round of COVID-19 vaccination exercise in the state as part of the state government’s policy of ensuring that all Rivers people and residents of the state get fully vaccinated from the pandemic.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the council, Dr. Ogwuokwa Jonah, and made available to The Tide, last Monday, invited all government recognised traditional rulers to turn up at the council’s secretariat in Port Harcourt, for the crucial exercise.
The statement reads in part, “I am directed to invite you to take part in the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccination exercise scheduled for Wednesday,January 19 through Friday, January 21, 2022, at the council’s secretariat.
“Vaccination begins at 10.00am each day. Please, note that there are other free medical examinations that have been arranged for you during the period.
“You are entitled to 15 persons either from your family or area/district council. Kindly attend during the turn of your LGA”, the statement added.
According to the statement, Abua/Odual, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Andoni, Asari-Toru, Bonny and Degemawould receive their vaccinations today.
To be vaccinated tomorrow are traditional rulers and members of their families from Eleme, Emohua, Etche, Gokana, Khana, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor and Oyigbo local government areas.
However, monarchs and their families from Opobo/Nkoro, Ogu/Bolo, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Okrika, Omuma, Port Harcourt and Tailocal government areas are due to get their shots on Friday.
The statement appealed to all affected traditional rulers to take the exercise seriously, and come along with the required number of persons to enable government reach as many Rivers people as possible.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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PDP’ll Surely Produce Next President -Ayu

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the party as it was poised to produce the next president of the country.
He maintained that the current inept rule of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, which has pulled the country backwards economically, has to be changed.
Ayu gave the assurance at the gala night hosted by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for PDP governors at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Sunday night.
The PDP national chairman emphasised that the APC leadership has been unable to harness the rich diversity of Nigerians into better fortunes that should strengthen the bond of brotherhood and promote peaceful coexistence.
“Unfortunately, a very poor leadership has presented Nigeria at home and abroad as an extremely divided country.
“We must change this narrative, and the only way to change this narrative and harness not just the culture, but the environment and the richness therein, is to back the Peoples Democratic Party which is determined to produce a new leadership for this country.”
Ayu also enthused that Nigeria would bounce back again with the PDP at the saddle because the project of rescuing the country and making it great was realisable.
The PDP national chairman stated that the expected leadership they would offer at the national level would change the negative characteristics associated with the APC that have been used to deepen the divide among Nigerians in the country.
“The PDP will definitely produce the next president and take the country back to the days when we were in power, when we cleared all foreign debts, when we were developing this country at reasonable speed.
“At a time, we became the richest country on the African continent. But today, we are the poverty capital of the world. All that will change”, he said.
In his welcome address, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said the gala night was a pride to the usual meeting of PDP governors, adding that it was rotational.
He stated that such meetings have always been used to discuss salient issues of economy, politics and others that bother on how to chart a virile Nigerian society.
“It has been ritual for PDP governors to gather and meet and discuss about the welfare of the party. And this has been rotating from one state to the other.”
On his part, the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal said the PDP governors and other party leaders were already working in synergy towards rebuilding the party.
He said the focus was to rescue Nigeria, which would also require all Nigerians of goodwill to join forces with the PDP to achieve that goal.
“All Nigerians of goodwill who believe in this country, who believe Nigeria is going the wrong direction, ought to join us.
“And like I always say, there are two divides in Nigeria today. Those who are happy with the confusion because they are benefiting from what is happening at the centre, and those of us who are truly patriotic enough to disagree with the way our country is being governed and being run.
“I appeal and beseech every Nigerian, even those in APC that are patriotic enough, to join hands with us as we continue to march towards rescuing Nigeria together.
“I believe it is our responsibility to do so, not for ourselves but for our younger ones and generations unborn.”
Governors present at the gala night were, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Mohammed Bala (Bauchi); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Also in attendance were the deputy governors of Rivers and Zamfara, Dr Ipalibo HarryBanigo; and Aliyu Gusau; PDP National Secretary, Senator Sam Anyanwu; and several other dignitaries.

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UPTH Begins Transplant Procedures In 2023 …Launches Five-Year Strategic Dev Plan

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The management of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has said that the hospital would begin transplant procedures in 2023.
The UPTH said it was its desire and dreams to transform the hospital to a five-star hospital in the region.
The management said the infrastructure for the transplant procedures and Cardiac Unit would be completed soon.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), UPTH, Prof. Henry Arinze Ugboma stated this during the official Hospital Strategic Development Plan Implementation Workshop and Roll Out held in the hospital Auditorium, in Choba, near Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Ugboma said the Amenity Ward project was also mapped out in its five year strategic plan, which began from June, 2021 to 2026.
He noted that the hospital was ready to begin the transplant procedures as arrangements had been concluded for its take off next year.
Ugboma said as part of the commencement of the project, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited had donated $500,000 to support the hospital.
“Transplant procedures are an important area we need to invest, as a hospital, such will be beneficial to the hospital and the society”.
The CMD said, as part of its capital projects in 2022, the hospital would change its aesthetics and make the hospital more beautiful.
“We shall change the aesthetics of the hospital to attract investors and beautify the environment”.
On the problems faced by the hospital, Ugboma said workers’ poor attitude to duty was a great challenge to the management.
“Work ethics, relationship to patients and visitors are not encouraging and must improve for a better hospital.
“If workers change, UPTH will grow faster.People come to work whenever they like and leave whenever they also like”, Ugboma said.
“You look for files, you will not see, most of our consultants are not always on duty call, there is no handover note amongst them”, he lamented.
He also said that part of the plan was to build residential quarters for staff of the hospital to enhance efficiency and productivity.
Earlier, the Board Chairman, UPTH, Muktar Anka, had appealed to the staff of the hospital to be diligent to duty and shun truancy.
Anka noted that a change in the attitude to work would enhance productivity and efficiency in the hospital.
The chairman insisted that idleness and truancy on duty promote bad attitudinal behaviours and tarnish the corporate image of the organisation.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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