Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike will be receiving the Silverbird Man of the Year 2017 Award today while on Saturday, he would receive The Sun Man of the Year 2017 Award for the second time back- to- back.
Chief Wike was announced as the Silverbird Man of the Year early this year by a board and management of Silverbird Communications after he polled the highest votes to beat other personalities.
The management of Silverbird Communications which visited the governor to announce his emergence early this year said Wike was nominated for embarking on a massive infrastructural development in the state, earning him the title, “ Mr Projects”.
The award will be conferred on the governor this evening at the Prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos.
Wike will be honoured alongside Deji Ali, Leo Stan Ekeh and Dr Ola Orekunrin who are to receive Silverbird Extra- Ordinary Business Award. Senator Ike Ekweremadu will receive Silverbird Legislator of the Year Award.
On Saturday, the governor will also receive The Sun Governor of the Year Award, which he has won for the second time in a row.
The emergence of Chief Wike as The Sun Governor of the Year was conveyed to him by Managing Director of The Sun Newspaper, Eric Osagie with other members of the paper editorial board team in Port Harcourt early this year.
Osagie said the award was based on merit by those who have contributed in diverse fields of development of the nation and improvement in the quality of lives of the people.
Meanwhile, as commendations herald the choice of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for the prestigious 2017 Silverbird Man of the Year and The Sun Governor of the Year Awards, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bro. Felix Obuah has expressed joy, saying that the choice of Wike, as the candidate of the party in 2015 was a good and wise one.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Obuah lauded the governor for his developmental efforts, especially in areas of infrastructure and human capacity development.
While commending Wike for winning the prestigious Silverbird Award, which presentation would be made in Lagos, today, and the Sun Newspaper Governor of the Year Award, which presentation will hold tomorrow, Obuah said the party was not surprised that the governor’s giant strides were being appreciated, even by those outside the state.
He recalled that less than three years in office, Wike has remarkably reshaped the state, proving that, indeed, good governance was possible if done with sincerity of purpose.
Obuah said Wike deserves to be applauded for winning the Silverbird Man of the Year and The Sun Governor of the Year Awards, respectively, considering the pedigree of those who were shortlisted before the pendulum swung in his favour.
The PDP chairman declared that based on merit, all the projects constructed and executed by Wike remain a model and unparalleled among similar projects by previous administrations in the state.
Obuah said the party was also thankful to the board and management of Silverbird Group, The Sun Newspaper and all Nigerians, who voted for Wike online for finding him deserving of the awards, adding that the awards have further showcased Wike’s good works to the good people of Rivers State and Nigeria at large.
“Surely, a gold fish does not have a hiding place and that explains why Wike’s excellent performances will continue to attract attention from local, state, national and international communities. That is what democracy and good governance is all about.
“With less than three years down the line in his four-year tenure, the governor has garnered awards from a horde of reputable organisations around the globe, including the major media houses in the country. These awards just go to show that Wike is working”, Obuah said.
Against this backdrop, the PDP chairman urged the people of the state to continue to support the governor, adding that their support and appreciation would spur him to do more.
“Wike had also won Independent Newspaper Political Icon of the Year Award, New Telegraph Newspaper Man of the Year Award, amongst others. These are exceptional great feats, and we celebrate him, giving thanks to God for the achievements”, Obuah added.
Also, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Ghali Umar Na’abba has described Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike as the type of leader needed for the rapid development of the country.
Na’abba endorsed Wike’s brand of politics, which he said was focused on the development of all communities, kindness to all politicians, irrespective of their political affiliation, and display of uncommon maturity in all political situations.
The former speaker spoke, last Wednesday, after he commissioned the Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba Road in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He said with his political attitude and high level performance in office, Governor Wike will grow to be the President of Nigeria.
Na’abba said: “The message I have for Governor Wike is that this kind-hearted politics, this statesmanship that you have demonstrated, please continue.
“Nigeria needs politicians like Governor Wike. With this kind of posture, one day, you will become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Should you declare for the Presidency one day, count on my support and that of those under me. What we need in this country is this kind of attitude: Attitude of friendship”, he added.
Na’abba commended the Rivers State Governor for playing inclusive politics that promotes development.
He said it takes statesmanship for a governor to construct projects in the communities of his opponents, and noted that the brand of politics being practised by Wike will introduce sanity into the political terrain.
Also speaking, ex-Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Prince Chibudom Nwuche said Wike was not just a politician, but a statesman.
Nwuche said the Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba Road was abandoned by the former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi because of him (Nwuche).
The former deputy speaker noted that Wike released funds for the construction of the road, despite the fact he (Nwuche) was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said: “I tell people that politics is about the people. People love Wike for his good works. They love him for the roads he has done for Ahoada people. I urge Governor Wike to keep being the good person that he is”.
Responding, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike stated that he constructed the Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba Road in fulfilment of his promise to Prince Chibudom Nwuche.
Wike said: “This road was abandoned because of Chibudom Nwuche, and I gave him my word that we shall construct the road.
“We cannot allow our people to suffer simply because their leader belongs to another political party”, Wike said.
The governor noted that under his leadership, there was no politics of victimisation because everyone is carried along in the spirit of New Rivers State.
“There is no politics of victimisation in Rivers State. The only political party we have in this state is Rivers State. All of us are working for Rivers State”, he said.
The governor urged all the people of the state to attract developmental projects, whenever they have the opportunity.
2019 Rivers Guber Poll Tribunal: PDP Tenders Polling Units’ Results To Affirm Wike’s Victory …Election Held In Substantial Compliance With Electoral Act -Counsel …Conduct Of Poll Peaceful, Lawful, Akawor Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday, tendered strategic polling units’ results from different local government areas to the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to justify the re-election of Governor Nyesom Wike.
The polling units’ results were tendered in respect of the petition filed against the election of Wike by the Governorship Candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi.
Tendering the polling units’ results from the Bar, counsel to the PDP, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) said the polling results were from 356 polling units.
Obla told the tribunal that the result sheets were from some of the polling units in Obio/Akpor, Khana, Ogu/Bolo, Bonny, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada East, Opobo/Nkoro and others.
He informed the tribunal that the PDP resolved to tender results to prove that elections held across the state at the polling units and declarations made under very peaceful atmosphere.
The counsel added that since INEC and Wike have called witnesses to prove that the Governorship Election was conducted in line with the Electoral Act, the PDP chose to prove the conduct of the elections through documentary evidence.
Addressing journalists after closing the PDP defence, Godwin Obla said that from documentary evidence and oral testimonies of witnesses, it was clear that the 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State was held in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act and that Wike emerged victorious.
He said: “This morning on behalf of the 3rd respondent, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), we tendered a total of 356 exhibits in support of our case. We feel satisfied that the requirements of the law required of us, have been fully met and that is why we decided to close our case today.
“Don’t forget that the 1st respondent, INEC, called witnesses, the 2nd respondent, Governor Nyesom Wike, who is the candidate of the 3rd respondent, PDP, also called witnesses and tendered a lot of documents that relate to this same subject matter. The interests of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents are actually the same”.
Also speaking, counsel to ADP, Mr Dolapo-Telle Attoni, said “The PDP presented from the Bar a bundle of electoral documents they claimed INEC used in conducting the governorship election. They tendered about 356 alleged polling units’ results. We had asked for few minutes to study these same documents, and also obtain Certified True Copy of the said documents which was not complied with by INEC”.
Following the PDP closing its case, the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has adjourned till September 16, 2019 for the adoption of addresses by parties in the petition filed by Action Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Mr Victor Fingesi.
Earlier, the Director-General of Rivers State PDP Campaign Council, Amb. Desmond Akawor, had said that the 2019 Governorship Election held throughout the state with Governor Nyesom Wike emerging victorious.
Testifying at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, last Wednesday, as the last witness for Wike in a petition filed by the candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi, Akawor said that the governor won the election by the lawful votes cast on March 9, 2019.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea told the tribunal that he received his party’s duplicate certified copies of election result sheets for all the units, wards and the 23 local government areas.
Responding to a question by counsel to the ADP governorship candidate on why the state government set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the 2019 Elections, Akawor said that the commission of inquiry was established to find out what happened at the collation centres, because voting took place peacefully at all polling units.
However, after closing his case on cross-examination of DW31 (Akawor), the ADP counsel sought to tender an application which is a certified copy of The Tide Newspaper of April 29 in respect of the commission of inquiry.
But Counsel to the governor, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) urged the court to refuse the application, arguing that the petitioner voluntarily closed his matter on July 16 with 23 witnesses.
Ukala noted that in accordance with the rules of the tribunal, each witness was cross-examined within the time given; adding that conduct of proceedings was guided by truth and not by sympathy.
Ruling on the application after hearing arguments from the counsels, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Orjiako, stated that “this application in our view cannot be allowed, the implication being that it should have been tendered within the time allocated to him, therefore, the application is overruled and refused”.
Justice Orjiako had adjourned the matter till yesterday for further cross examination.
In an interview, counsel for Governor Nyesom Wike, Emmanuel Ukala, explained that the ADP application was refused as a result of improper filing.
He said, “The 2nd respondent (Governor Wike) called all together 20 witnesses, and we closed our case. So, it is left to the PDP, if they wish to call any other witness. They may call, and thereafter, we will all address the court”.
Stop Deducting Money From Rivers Statutory Allocation, Court Orders FG
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court in respect of OML112 offshore and stop the deduction of the sum of N502, 298,943.03 or any sum whatsoever, forming the proprietary rights of the Rivers State Government.
The presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, also ordered the defendants to make full refund of the accruable 13 per cent derivation illegally denied the plaintiff from crude oil and gas production within OML 112 and sale from September, 2018 till the determination of the suit; and thereafter.
The judge equally ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federation and the RMAFC to pay monthly interests at the various commercial rates at no less than 15 per cent per annum on the illegally deducted 13 per cent derivation due to the plaintiff from OML 112 until the liquidation of all outstanding and accruing debt.
Justice Taiwo further restrained the defendants, their agents, assigns, representatives, privies or howsoever called from disregarding the finality of the Supreme Court judgment delivered on March 18, 2011 in Suit No: SC/27/2010, between: Attorney General of Rivers State and Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State & Anor as it relates to the proprietary rights of the plaintiff in respect of OML 112.
The suit was instituted by the Attorney General of Rivers State to challenge the deduction of the sum of N502, 298,943.03 accruing from OML 112 from the statutory allocation of the state by the defendants.
Biafra: Fresh Questions Over Future Of Campaign
Just as the recent physical attack on former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu in faraway Germany is trending globally for the bizarre affront it represents, so many questions are raging over the integrity and future of the campaign for the actualisation of the Biafra secessionist agenda. It is no more news that Ekweremadu was ambushed and attacked during his visit to Germany to participate as a guest speaker at a traditional Igbo ‘New Yam’ festival. The trailing reactions not only captured the wide divide between the proponents and the opponents of the ‘Biafra’ agenda across the world. It also betrayed and reinforced a more profound aspect being the unmasked, hysteric xenophobic mindset to which the most ardent proponents of the Biafra agenda subscribe to. Primary among these is the endorsement of the outrage of the assailants by Nnamdi Kanu, the now exiled leader of the IPOB, which is just one of the active groups canvassing for the actualisation of the Biafra dream.
From the now trending video clips of the incident,the aggrieved assailants could be heard lamenting about the killing of their kit and kin in the ‘Operation Python Dance’ military assaults on Iboland, at the peak of the IPOB domestic activism phase. Until that point, the German assault on Ekweremadu could easily have passed as a result of the bereaved lamenting and perhaps, over-reacting over the death of their loved ones at home. However, the intervention of IPOB especially with the claim that responsibility for the attack fell on its members changed the entire narrative. First of all, information in the public domain did not specifically mention that the occasion was organised by IPOB. Hence, the intervention of the organisation by persons later identified as IPOB operatives captures the event as having been hijacked by the IPOB for reasons strange to the organisers. Now, the blame or whatever ascription from the event goes to all Ibos, just as the proverb that when a finger picks up oil, it soon spreads it to all the other fingers.
And this is where the various stakeholders of the Biafra agenda, comprising the Igbo represented by the OhanaezeNdigbo, the Eastern minorities and even the entire country need to take the Ekweremadu attack with appropriate discretion. Whatever circumstances that will instigate members of a political pressure group to leave the shores of its home country and brazenly attack a home government official in public glare and in a foreign country, deserves more than a slap on the wrist. The situation calls for renewed discretion especially by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo which can be credited with the misfortune of living in a hut on which roof a snake has climbed. That is putting it in classical Igbo metaphor.
For anybody especially the leadership of the Ibos to see the situation otherwise, is to indulge in a mis-read of the festering situation, and expose Ndigbo to a future of miasma in the politics of Iboland as well as that between Ndigbo and the rest of the country. IPOB may remain a most divisive factor in the political calculus of the Ndigbo both at home and abroad as has been dramatically demonstrated in the German attack on Ike Ekweremadu, both for now and in the unknown future. And against the backdrop that not all Ibos and even Ohanaeze are members of IPOB, the need for the group to tread with care becomes most acute. Most Ibos simply want to be left alone to pursue their legitimate businesses in which they are already excelling, and do not want to be bothered by a pie in the sky called Biafra. After all, was it not the great novelist, Chinua Achebe who cited the Ibo proverb that all lizards lie on the ground making it difficult to know which one has stomach pain.
As for the Eastern minorities whose youth especially are being enamoured with flashes of paradise in the Biafra dream, all that needs to be said is that they should go and study the history of the previous Biafra, which occurred before they were even born. They will find out not only why it failed, but also why the mainstream of Ibo intelligentsia is not supporting the campaign – at least spiritedly. Fortunately for them, there are still some survivors of that failed exercise who can provide them valuable insights, to lead them aright. On a cautionary basis, let it be stated here that a child found toying with the very strain of mushrooms that killed his or her parents, is asking for nothing better than the very fate that befell the parents.
As structured today, the Nigerian federation cannot be restructured along secessionist lines without elaborate dialogue and negotiations, in place of a full scale war, no matter the grievances of its component ethnic parts. Meanwhile, IPOB has not demonstrated willingness or capacity for negotiations and the rest of the country is not ready for war. Until further notice therefore, Biafra and all it represents remain hanging in the balance.
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