The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has appointed Bethel Iheanyichuku as the new Commissioner for Works with immediate effect. This followed the sack of Engr Kevin Wachukwu.
Swearing-in the new commissioner, Wike took a swipe at Wachukwu, accusing him of laxity and negligence of duty.
The governor explained that his administration will not tolerate complacency as he was determined to develop Rivers State, in spite of all the odds.
According to him, “I have a covenant with the people of Rivers state to develop this state. And anybody that is going to work with me must work at my speed and not at his or her own speed.
“Nobody should come and drag me back like the former commissioner. If you are handling any project, you should be the one to brief me, and not me briefing you,” Wike said.
The governor further charged the new works commissioner to always be on the road supervising projects and reporting progress of work at all times.
He said: “The former works commissioner is intelligent, but he could not meet up with the pace of work at the ministry. Take your work very seriously. There should be no compromise.
“The day you misinform me on the status of projects, will be the day you will be sacked. The day you begin to use your office to form rings, will be the day you will lose out”.
The Tide reports that the Rivers State House of Assembly had earlier screened and confirmed Iheanyichuku as a commissioner-designate.
His screening followed a request by the state governor.
The Tide reports that the new commissioner for works hails from Ogbogoro in the Akpor area of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
In a separate development, Governor Wike also sworn-in 17 Local Government Caretaker Committee chairmen with the task to liaise with security agencies with a view to improving security situation in their areas.
The state governor also tasked them to pay salaries of staffers before anything else.
The Tide gathered that in addition o the 17 earlier secreened by the State House of Assembly more would be sworn in later after screening.
He said under no circumstance should caretaker chairmen deduct their security votes before paying salaries.
Wike further directed the caretaker council chairmen to ensure they improved sanitation in their respective areas.
He particularly charged the chairmen of Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Eleme, and Ikwerre local government areas to improve on environmental sanitation.
The Tide recalls that barely one month after the dissolution of the 23 local government caretaker committees by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, the state House of Assembly, had last Monday, unanimously confirmed the appointment of caretaker committee chairmen for 17 local governments of the state.
Their confirmation follows the submission of the request by the state governor to the Assembly to confirm the caretaker committee chairmen.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Adams Dabotorudima, has said that the confirmation was imperative for administrative efficiency in the third tier of government.
Adams said that the local government administration was necessary for the development of the rural communities.
The CTC chairmen are Michael Amadi (Etche), Sunny Ejekwu (PHALGA), Samuel Nwanosike (Ikwerre), Oye Igenewari (Abua/Odual), Britain Ewor (Ahoada East), Rowland Sekibo (Akuku Toru), Kangban Offings (Andoni), Charles Jumbo (Bonny), Johnson Wogu (Eleme), John Wokoma (Emohua), and Prince Collins Onunwo (Obio/Akpor).
The rest are Prince Isaac Emerunu (Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni), Titus Wakama (Ogu/Bolo), Bibigoka Jackbara (Okrika), Uchenna Akowa (Oyigbo), Stanley Eze Wuju (Omuma), and Parkins Kelu (Tai).
Kevin Nengia , Enoch Epelle & Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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