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Rivers

APC Shuns ABOLGA Stakeholders’ Parley

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As the Independent Na
tional Electoral Commission (INEC), gears up for the rerun legislative elections on 30th July, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers state, has shunned a stakeholders’ meeting called by the electoral body to discuss how to ensure smooth and violence-free polls in the area.
The parley, held last wwek in Abua Central, headquarters of the local government, was attended by the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Marshall Uwom; the state Women Affairs Commissioner, Mrs Ukel Oyaghiri; the LGA CTC Chairman, Chief Oye Fubara Igenewari; the LGA PDP Chairman, Mr Optimist Wariboko; and representatives from other political parties in the LGA.
Speaking at the event, the Electoral Officer, Mr Emmanuel Ebifa, expressed shock that the All Progressives Congress chairman and representatives were absent, stating that invitation letters were sent to all the political parties and stakeholders in the same manner, and wondered why the APC was absent in the meeting.
Ebifa further informed those present at the meeting that he even called the APC chairman in the LGA, Hon Gift Igoma, while the meeting was ongoing, and that the chairman, in response, promised to send a representative.
The electoral officer, however, stated that the upcoming election scheduled for Saturday, 30 July, 2016, will hold only in wards 11 and 12 of the LGA, and appealed for the co-operations of all to ensure a smooth exercise.
Speaking, the Abua/Odua Council Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Oye Fubara Igenewari commended the security agencies for their untiring efforts at sustaining the existing peace and security in the area but denounced their activities in the last rerun election.
According to him, “I stand here as the head of government of this place, and we are to provide, in conjunction with the security agencies, a level playing field. We are not known to be partisan when it comes to security, and it is also my complaint that during the last election, I was treated as if I was not holding the office I am holding in this place.
‘’I was not recognized as the chief security officer of this LGA. At some point, I was even molested,” he said.
He, however, appealed for a change of attitude, and called on the electoral officer to clarify which wards and units the election would take place in the LGA.
On his part, the Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Marshall Uwom also commended the security agencies for the sustained peace in the LGA but frowned at the indiscriminate arrest of members of a particular political party in the area during the last rerun election.
Uwom appealed for their cooperation to ensure that the upcoming exercise was smooth, free and fair.
The state Women Affairs Commissioner, Mrs Ukel Oyaghiri, appealed to INEC to ensure quick and timely distribution of election materials and personnel in view of the difficult terrain of the affected wards and units.
In an interview shortly after the parley, Mr Emmanuel Ebifa, told newsmen that election will take place in wards 11 and 12, adding that “for other units, the head office will confirm to us and we shall inform you in the same way we have called for this meeting.”
In a communique signed after the meeting by all political parties present except the APC, the parties agreed to refrain from violence on, before and after the elections.

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Niger Delta

Association Tasks Old Boys On Alma Mater

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The Okrika Grammar School Old Boys Association (OGSOBA), has called on members of the association to work towards the development of the school.
Speaking at a dinner night organised by the association at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, recently, as part of events marking the 80th anniversary celebration of the body, the National President of OGSOBA, Sam Nwakohu, appealed to members to take matters concerning the school seriously.
He stated that the school has assisted many of the old boys to be what they are in the society, in terms of discipline and otherwise.
“I implore all of us to take matters pertaining to the development of the school as seriously as we take our personal progress.
In this age, our students need to be educated in an improved environment and with better facilities for learning in terms of academics and extra curricula activities “ Nwakohu said.
The National President noted with dismay that the association could not finish a building project for over 15 years.
“We should try and improve infrastructure of the school. It is not pleasant to note that we could not complete one building for over 15years. While most of us have houses in UK, US and some living in mansions”, he stated.
Also speaking, the chairman of the anniversary committee, Engr. Daso Derefaka, appealed to members to consider the school’s progress.
While noting that the school was currently in need of major repairs, especially auditorium, he thanked members that attended the anniversary and reunion celebration.

 

By: Tonye Orabere

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Rivers

Oversight Functions Take Centre Stage

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Oversight functions dominated activities in the Rivers State House of Assembly in the week under review though there had been other programmes by the various legislators.
Last Monday, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie unveiled some projects he personally built to appreciate his constituents at Idoke and Edoha in Upata kingdom of Ahoada East Local Government Area.
The projects includes classrooms at Idoke and lock up shops at Edoha. He noted that they were not constituency projects but his own personal donation to the people.
Calling on the people to utilise the projects, Chairman of the Council, Barrister Benjamin Eke commended the lawmaker for his love for the people.
Tuesday last week, member representing Asari Toru ll in the House and Committee Chairman on Information and Training, Hon. Enemi George Alabo met with members of the Assembly correspondents corps.
The lawmaker said the Assembly planned to reorganise its information management policy towards improving public enlightenment and to consolidate some of the achievements of the House.
He sought for synergy between the Assembly and the press corps as a way to further inform the citizenry on what the legislature was doing.
Henceforth, he hinted that a central information structure would be set up for a unified dissemination system.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Assembly Press Corps, Ijeoma Tubosia congratulated and at the same time commiserated with Enemi George on his victory at the polls and death of his father respectively.
She said the meeting was part of steps to intimate the House authorities of a new press corp management executive.
Tubosia sought for the incorporation of the press corps in activities of  the House and to ensure that the public is fully updated of its programmes.
Last Thursday, House Chairman on Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Matthew Dike and that of Employment and Local Content, Hon. Dumle Maol met with Community Liaison Officers(CLOs) in South East Senatorial District.
Dike and Maol urged the CLOs to ensure they champion the interest of their communities and that of the companies to foster peace and conducive operations for development of the state.
They stressed the need to implement Memorandum of Understanding and Local Content policy for fairness and equity for host communities of these companies.

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Rivers

Wike Appeals To PH Residents Over Massive Construction Work

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has appealed to the people and residents of Port Harcourt City and its environs to bear with the State Government  on the inconveniences they currently face as a result of the massive construction work in the city.
The Governor made the plea in a state-wide broadcast he made Friday night in Government House, Port Harcourt.
He urged the people to see the inconveniences as part of the sacrifices they have to make in the development of the state promising that the projects would be completed within the contract period .
Rivers State Government led by Governor Nyesom Wike has commenced construction of the three flyover bridges he promised people of the state at the inaugural ceremony of his second term administration.
Apart from the three flyover bridges, construction work is going on in parts of the Old and New Government Reserved Areas of Port Harcourt. The city is at present experiencing traffic congestion due to the fact that these massive construction work is going on simultaneously.
However, the Governor assured that his administration and other relevant stakeholders were working out measures to mitigate the impact of the traffic congestion.
Another major event that took place in Government House, Port Harcourt, last week, was the courtesy visit of the Governing Council of the National Youth Service Corps.
At the event held in the Executive Council Chambers, last Friday, the Governor disclosed that the State Government had released the sum of One hundred and thirty-two million naira (N132m) for the payment of monthly allowance to corps members serving in the state.
The State Chief Executive also announced the release of fund for the construction of a 5000 capacity auditorium, drainages, 3000 mattresses and 1500 double-bunk beds at the NYSC permanent orientation camp at Nowa in Tai Local Government Area.
He gave assurances that his administration would sustain its support to NYSC in the state to enable corps members serve better .
Leader of the delegation and Acting Chairman of the Council, Mr Binta Muazu,  praised the Rivers State Governor for the huge investment his administration has made to the development of NYSC in the state.
She expressed delight at the construction of 5000 capacity amphitheatre ongoing at the permanent orientation camp, donation of SUV to the state director, the regular payment of monthly allowance to corps members serving in the state among others.
She noted that across the nation , Rivers State remained outstanding in terms of support to the NYSC and commended the Governor for his generosity.
Also last week, Governor Wike played host to some  high profile visitors in  Government House. Among them were the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, who were in Brick House last Thursday .
Others were the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who came also last Thursday and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye who came Friday.
Meetings with the high profile visitors were private as their deliberations were not made known to the Government House Correspondents.
Governor Wike mourned the death of the River’s born Professor of Virology and former Petroleum Minister, Prof. Tam David- West, last week.
Wike noted that the late David-West was an accomplished academician who served the state and the nation well in various capacities and prayed  God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Within the week under review, the Governing Council of the Eastern Bar Forum paid a courtesy visit to Governor Wike in Brick House.
The Forum led by its chairman, Long William had lauded the Governor for his huge support to the judiciary and invited him to the forum’s Quarterly meeting holding in Port Harcourt.

 

By: Chris Oluoh

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