As Nigerians who were hoodwinked to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC), in 2015 become restives because of their unfulfilled electoral promises and manifest incompetence, the Coalition of Rivers Patriots says the party especially in Rivers State is resorting to dubious predictions, blackmail and more falsehood against reality and self deception.
In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Barr. Barilede Thompson, the Coalition of Rivers Patriots said Nigerians no longer have confidence in the APC, and that the party is on its way out of power at the centre.
It regretted that Nigerians, who are pained that the APC has put the nation’s development on the reverse gear in the last two years, failing in all fronts, as well as setting new records of governance by proxy.
The groups further maintained that Nigerians are now wiser, having realised that APC do not have a credible road map to take Nigeria to greater heights.
It described as laughable a press statement issued by the APC in the state, showcasing as usual its traditional hallucination, but rechristened as prediction, that Governor Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State is destroying the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at state and federal levels.
The Patriots said Rivers people have not forgotten in a hurry how Senator Magnus Abe and other APC chieftains in Rivers almost set the state on fire a couple of days ago because of the party’s fraudulent non – elective congress, but for the intervention of the police in the state, dismissing the APC as a balkanised party, lacking in credibility.
The group contends that the lies that brought APC to power can no longer sustain them in office, as disappointed Nigerians are now rooting for the PDP, having realized that it is a better platform for the transformation of Nigeria.
The Patriots recalled how former Governor, Rotimi Amaechi destroyed governance in Rivers State by not only selling off valued assets of the state, but by mismanaging the proceeds, insisting that the Rivers State Government had no option than to prosecute him and his collaborators.
The group advised Amaechi to prove his innocence in court if he strongly feels that the documents being used to prosecute him are forged, adding that no amount of blackmail will stop the state government from going ahead to ensure that those who betrayed the trust of Rivers people do not go unpunished.
It stated that while Amaechi inherited a robust state, he left behind an empty treasury for his Wike who he had boasted will not be able to pay salaries.
The group expressed joy that Wike, right from his inaugural, began to roll out plans, programmes and policies that quickly reversed the enormous damage done by Amaechi and his co-travellers, restoring the glory of the state which is now playing host to visitors and investors from all over the world.
Among the steps that Governor Wike took to right the wrongs of former Governor Ameachi and restore the confidence of Rivers people in government, according to the Patriots included the opening of courts that were shut by Amaechi for more than one year, restoration of the dignity of the legislature and payment of arrears owed civil servants, as well as the reconstruction of all the abandoned roads in the state.
“APC in Rivers can only be advised to embrace Governor Wike to increase the tempo of infrastructural development in the state as that is the only option open to them rather than resort to cheap blackmail, given the fact that he has shown that he has the capacity and capability to run the affairs of the state and promote inter ethnic harmony for the benefit of the people of the state”, the Patriots emphasised.
FEC Okays N13.08trn Budget Estimate For 2021
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved the sum of N13.08trillion as budget estimate for 2021.
Yesterday’s meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, at the end of the meeting, told journalists that that FEC had approved the budget estimates for 2023.
According to her, the budget proposal was N379 per dollar exchange rate; oil benchmark of $40 barrel per day; and oil production volume of 1.86 million per day.
Buhari had written the National Assembly, last Tuesday, to notify his intention to present the 2021 budget before the joint Assembly next week.
The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, had said during plenary, last Tuesday, said the president would present his budget next week for quick passage of the appropriation bill into law.
The Senate President while commending the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning for carrying out comprehensive legislative work on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, stated that consideration of its report by the upper chamber would precede presentation of the 2021 budget estimates next week by the President.
“The Joint committee will present its report to the Senate today for consideration. This is a precursor to the presentation of the 2021 Budget Estimates by the Executive Arm of Government soon. I am aware that the Executive will be presenting the 2021 Budget Estimates by next week,” Lawan said.
INEC Plans Migration To E-Voting, Meets Machine Producers
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday, commenced the processes that would lead to the replacement of manual voting with an electronic voting system.
Already, the commission has invited manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world to practically demonstrate how the machines work, preparatory to the full migration.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this during the demonstration of electronic voting machines.
He said, “Over the years, the commission has been automating the critical pillars of the process. The biometric register of voters has been updated continuously. At the moment, the INEC register of voters is the largest database of citizens in Nigeria.
“In addition, the combination of biometric voter cards commonly known as the Permanent Voter Card and the Smart Card Reader have revolutionised the accreditation of voters during elections.
“More recently, the introduction of a number of portals has facilitated the seamless nomination of candidates for elective offices by political parties as well as the accreditation of observers and the media.
“Most significantly, the commission now uploads polling unit level results in real-time on Election Day to a portal for public view. These are significant innovations that have deepened the transparency and credibility of elections and the electoral process in Nigeria.
“The commission developed the specifications of the functions required of the machine. After extensive discussion and review, the commission took the decision to invite original manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.”
Yakubu revealed that over 40 companies, which indicated interest, would demonstrate to the commission how their IT solutions meet its specifications.
“The commission is aware that Nigerians want us to deepen the use of technology in elections. Let me reassure Nigerians that the commission is committed to expediting the process leading to the deployment of the EVMs in elections in earnest,” the INEC chairman said.
PDP Knocks Akeredolu Over Comments On Mimiko, Ex-CJ
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Ondo Governorship Election has condemned a statement credited to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu against a former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, and a former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi.
Akeredolu was alleged to have said on a television programme that Mimiko and Kumuyi were his “enemies for life” for not supporting him and his party, the APC, ahead of the October 10, 2020 governorship election.
The PDP campaign council described the statement as hate speech.
This was contained in a statement titled, “PDP Condemns Akeredolu’s ‘Enemy For Life’ Comment On Mimiko, Kumuyi,” which was signed by the Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee of the council, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday.
He said Akeredolu and the APC had become deflated and overwhelmed by the massive support for the PDP’s candidate, Eyitayo Jegede across the state.
The PDP said it was unfortunate that “the governor can toe such ungodly path in his desperation to cling to power despite being rejected by his people due to his failures.
“Akeredolu’s recourse to hate comments against patriotic leaders and citizens of Ondo State over the consensus by the people to replace him with the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede.
“Our campaign wants Governor Akeredolu to note that the Ondo people cannot be cowed by his enmity towards them. Ondo State belongs to the people and Governor Akeredolu cannot intimidate anybody to submission.”
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Hon Donald Ojogor, declined to react to the matter.
“They deserve no comment for their misdirected aggression,” Ojogor added.
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