Connect with us

News

Rerun Polls Favour PDP Candidates …As Rivers Voters Count Losses Under Amaechi Govt

Published

on

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Sotonye Wakama (left), in a chat with Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Rivers State, Aniedi-Ikoiwak, during an accord meeting with politicians and candidates for the 19th March  rerun election on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Sotonye Wakama (left), in a chat with Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Rivers State, Aniedi-Ikoiwak, during an accord meeting with politicians and candidates for the 19th March rerun election on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.

As the Rivers electorate go to the polls tomorrow for the Appeal  Court-ordered rerun elections into both the National and some state Assemblies public opinion weigh heavily in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates.
Exit polls conducted by The Tide shows that 89 per cent of civil servants do not want to have anything to do with any candidate of All Progresses Congress (APC) who worked under the administration of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Nearly all 200 respondents polled said the candidates on the platform of the APC were with Amaechi when the government in preference for politics spent state resources on party activities at the expense of three months workers pay and about five months retirees benefits.
Such insensitivity they said, did not present the candidates as persons capable of representing the people’s interest.
The non-payment of workers affected trade and commerce , Rivers being a predominantly civil service state, as market women and other small enterprises owners groomed for lack of businesses.
Appolus Nna, a fisherman who supplies fish to traders at the dry fish market along Creek Road, said those final months of the Amaechi government were hell for him and his colleagues.
“Fish that we would normally sell for N10,000 was priced N3,000 by buyers who complained of lack of funds on account of poor business”.
Madam Oberenisiki  Appolous, a trader explained that most of their customers bought their wares on credit promising to pay as soon as their salaries were paid. “But it dragged on from one to three months until the administration of Chief Nyesom Wike cleared the arrears and brought our business back on track”.
A retiree, Pa Abednego Berthwell said it would amount to madness for anyone to vote any enemy of his progress to govern him.
“A government that abandoned retirees, indeed senior citizens to die of hunger for more than five months does not have any moral justification to meet the same people for their votes” Berthwell said.
According to him, many  retirees who couldn’t endure the five months starvation lost their lives. “will the children of such parents be foolish enough to still elect such sadists? he wondered.
Ironically, what APC failed to do was what the new Wike Administration did, and which endeared the PDP even more to the Rivers electorates.
Frank Udom, a commercial bus driver said the single fact that the new government broke the jinx of using rain as excuse and upgrade many hitherto impassable roads marks it out as a people-oriented government.
“Before the roads repair, nothing would make me to load passengers going to Borikiri and New Road areas because of the state of the road and long queues. Today, that road is my goldmine” Udom said.
Infact, go to the Isaac Boro Flyover area, opposite The Tide office, along 4 Ikwerre Road, even former Governor Amaechi would not believe that such transformation could occur with the years old big gully that nearly cut the road into two impassable parts.
“What of the UTC junction? At lest Amaechi used to use that part of Port Harcourt while he was governor. Can he not tell the difference,” Udoh wondered.
According to him, most of his colleagues plying other parts of the state also speak well of the government on road construction. Areas which they used to avoid as no-go areas are now goldmine commercial routes, Udoh further explained.
From Ogu/Bolo Local Government Areas, Mr Longinus Gad, a youth leader said he was wondering what the APC candidates would give Rivers people as reasons why they should be voted.
“I was proved right, because they had nothing, they did not bother to campaign. They instead, relied on the Transport Minister and former Governor Rotimi Amaechi to resort to threats of using soldiers to intimidate Rivers people, Mr Gad said.
“The Rivers Youth, Mr Gad said can no longer be exploited as thugs during elections and labeled cult boys thereafter and abandoned or killed”, Gad said and assured that the electorate would vote according to their conscience and based on facts on ground.
However, an APC ward officer, Mr Dere Ishmeal said his party’s candidates will win not just because of the former government achievements but because the party enjoys Federal support and protection of armed security to carry the day.
“APC too will win, after all PDP won when they were in power at the federal level, Dere opined.
Apart from that and very few respondents, virtually all are unanimous that the Court of Appeal judgement that annulled the valid election of the people’s elected representatives was a waste of time and resources.
This is because, according to them, Rivers people are prepared to defend their votes in favour of those who stood beside Governor Wike to pay workers salary arrears, repaired and constructed roads, renovated abandoned schools, built bridges and restored the judiciary’s pride of place, among many other achievements.

 

Our Correspondent

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking Of Ancient Arts

Published

on

The Federal Government and the United States, yesterday, signed the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA) Agreement.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the CPIA would reduce the pillage of Nigeria’s ancient arts which are mostly smuggled to Europe, the US and other places for the benefit of art collectors.
Mohammed said the signing of the MoU became necessary because, despite all efforts by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, with the assistance of law enforcement agencies, to prevent illicit export of the nation’s archaeological and ethnological materials, widespread looting and illicit excavation of these materials still continue.
He said this when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the CPIA with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking of Ancient Arts.’
Mohammed was quoted as saying, “This legislation was enacted by the United States to restrict the importation into the US of archaeological materials ranging in date from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1770 as well as ethnological materials, including those associated with royal activity, religious activity, etc from nations that have entered into the kind of bilateral initiative that we are signing here with the United States today.”
The minister said on the basis of the agreement, Nigerian antiquities being imported into the US without the requisite export permit will be seized at the border of the US and returned to Nigeria without the arduous and costly task of going through the labyrinth of judicial and diplomatic processes.
“We are optimistic that this agreement will reduce the pillage of our irreplaceable archaeological and ethnological materials, as the market for these materials is being shut in the United States against illicit traffickers.
“The agreement will last for an initial period of five years. If it works well, as we anticipate it will, it shall be renewed for a longer term. We implore other friendly nations to take a cue from the United States of America and join us in finding means to prevent the illegal importation of our antiquities into their countries,” he said.
The minister, who thanked the US Government, in particular the US Embassy in Nigeria, for making the MoU possible, said the Nigerian Government looks forward to a diligent implementation of the landmark agreement, so it can become a game-changer in the nation’s efforts to prevent the looting of its priceless ancient works of art.
In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Beth Leonard, said the agreement was aimed at preserving, restoring and protecting Nigeria’s cultural heritage.
“In Nigeria, over the past decade, the US Mission has partnered with the Nigerian government and state institutions to preserve cultural landmarks and sites through projects worth over one million dollars and funded by the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
“Just last November, I signed a grant award to digitally survey the Busanyin Shrine located within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove. That $125,000 grant will help document a series of shrines within the Grove and provide training to local professionals in digital tools and cultural heritage management,” she said.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Three Out Of 10 Nigerians Are Mentally Sick -Reps

Published

on

The House of Representatives has said that three out of every 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or another.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the House added that over 20,000,000 Nigerians were currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
To this end, the House mandated its Committees on Health Institutions and Healthcare Services to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health towards improving mental health facilities around the country and further carry out serious sensitization of Nigerians on this issue.
It also asked the Committee on Health Institution to explore the modalities of liaising with stakeholders in the health sector to promote, educate and sensitise Nigerians on mental health.
The resolution, however, followed a motion titled “Need to Address the Rising Cases of Mental Health in Nigeria” presented by Hon. Uchechuku Nnam-Obi from Rivers State and considered by the House at yesterday’s plenary.
Presenting his motion, Nnam-Obi noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual can cope with the stress of life, work productively and contribute to the community.
According to him, mental illness manifests in mood disorder, anxiety disorder, trauma-related disorder, personality disorder, old age-related disorder, substance abuse disorder or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.
He said: “According to the World Health Organisation statistics, over twenty million Nigerians are currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
“Three out of 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or the other, presently there is no mental health legislation in Nigeria. However, the Nigerian mental health policy is the only framework that has access to mental healthcare, dealing with mental and neurological disorders in Nigeria, discouraging stigmatisation against persons with mental disorders and has institutionalised standards for Psychiatric practice.
“The increase in cases of depression is traceable to multifactorial inter and intrapersonal issues which leads to suicidal death in the country and this requires urgent attention.
“Nigeria has only 130 Psychiatrists with over 20million citizens suffering from mental disorders.
“With the few functional Mental Health Facilities and inadequate mental health practitioners in the country, mental health cases are left for traditional practitioners, hence the upsurge in mental health in Nigeria.
“The statistics are troubling and the continued lack of a legal framework on mental health in the country will simply cause the situation to degenerate”
Adopting the motion, the House gave six weeks to the committees within which to carry out the assignment and report back to it for further legislative action.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Wike, PDP Govs Commiserate With Tambuwal Over Brother’s Death

Published

on

Representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, yesterday, paid a condolence visit to the Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal over the death of his elder brother, Alhaji Muhammed Bello.
Bello, who is also the Waziri of Tambuwal, passed on in Sokoto, last Tuesday night at the age 87.
He was the head of the Tambuwal family.
On the PDP governors’ delegation were, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State.
The Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who led the delegation, said they were in Sokoto to commiserate with Tambuwal and his entire family over the sudden death of his elder brother.
“We feel your pain, and we understand that a great vacuum has been created, not only within the caliphate, but across Nigeria and other places where Daddy had sphere of influence. We believe that God Almighty will grant you the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“We are, however, consoled by the fact that Daddy left legacies that will remain indelible; one of them is your very good self and your impact and contributions to our dear country.”
The governors urged the Tambuwal family, particularly the Sokoto State governor, to remain strong, steadfast and uphold those virtues which the late Waziri of Tambuwal, cherished so much.
In his response, Sokoto StateGovernor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is the PDP Governors’ Forum chairman, said the entire Tambuwal family was gladdened by the condolence visit.
According to him, his late elder brother, who lived his life in the service of community, held the family title, Waziri of Tambuwal for 37 years after the demise of their father.
“We are, indeed, very highly consoled not only by your presence, but your words of consolation. For you to have left behind whatever you are doing in your respective states to come all the way to Sokoto this afternoon, shows clearly how you sympathise with us and how close you are to us. I assure you that we appreciate this.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending