Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has alerted the country of the plot by some opposition politicians to set up illegal vigilante groups that will clash with the State Neighbourhood Watch to pave the way for the police to ban the new security outfit.
Governor Wike said such political plots will fail as the State Neighbourhood Watch has come to stay. He stated that only a court of competent jurisdiction can stop the Neighbourhood Watch.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Calabar, Usman Abubakar, at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday, Governor Wike said that the Neighbourhood Watch is strictly a security organisation that will support security agencies with intelligence to promote the security of the state.
He said that the Neighbourhood Watch is fashioned in line with the operations of a similar agency set up in Lagos State to support security agencies.
”In setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch, we adopted the process established in Lagos State. This is a replica of what is already in existence in Lagos State .
”We are setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch for intelligence gathering. Policemen and other security agencies cannot be everywhere. They need the relevant support to maintain security across the state “.
Governor Wike announced that the State Government has acquired six gunboats for the State Police Command to help it fight criminals along the waterways.
He warned against the politicisation of security operations, saying that such actions will be detrimental to the stability of the country.
He reiterated his advice to INEC and the Police to work towards the successful conduct of the 2019 general elections. He said that the police should not be used to indiscriminately arrest opponents of the ruling party ahead of the elections.
In his remarks, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Calabar, Usman Abubakar, said that the Zone 6 Police Command is fashioning out ways to reduce cultism, kidnapping and violent crimes in the area.
He appealed to stakeholders to work with the Police to reduce crime ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police called on all groups to come to a round table to work for peace as the police will not tolerate lawlessness.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has stated that the APC-led Federal Government has no choice, but to construct the Bonny-Bodo Road.
Also, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has flagged off the upgrading and remodelling of Bonny National Grammar School, Bonny.
Flagging off the upgrading and remodelling of the school yesterday in Bonny, Governor Wike regretted that the APC-led Federal Government was playing games with the Bonny-Bodo Road project after the NLNG committed N60billion as counterpart fund for the all-important road.
The governor said that the Bonny-Bodo Road is important to the economy of the area in view of the resources that the Federal Government gets from Bonny Island .
He said: “I was the one that approached the NLNG to contribute to an arrangement for the construction of the Bonny-Bodo Road. Shortly after that meeting, the NLNG wrote to me that they will contribute 50 percent to the construction of the road, while the Federal Government will contribute the other 50 percent.
“There is no year that the NLNG contributes less than $1billion (USD) to the national economy. The contribution of N60billion for the construction of this road is nothing to the Federal Government “.
He said that there is no need for the Federal Government to play games with the Bonny-Bodo Road. He assured the people of Bonny Island that he would continue to work for the completion of the road.
The governor charged Rivers leaders in the APC to also work towards convincing the Federal Government to site key projects in the state.
“The APC is under obligation to keep her promises to Nigerians. The people are tired of these excuses on why they must not succeed”, he said.
On the Bonny National Grammar School , Governor Wike said that the school will be completed on schedule and the people duly empowered.
He said that all the contractors involved in executing the project are from Bonny, noting that it was a deliberate step by the administration to empower the people.
“None of the contractors doing this job is from outside. This is to show that we are interested in empowering the people”, he said.
While stating that the State Government has acquired six gunboats for improved security on the waterways, Governor Wike informed that the administration will improve the marine transportation system for safety and security.
He said that the Bonny/Bille/Nembe Jetty which is nearing completion will be commissioned soon.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Education, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja said since 1966 when the Bonny National Grammar School was established, there has been no major intervention.
He said that the upgrade will witness the construction of new laboratories, libraries, hostels, Christian Chapel and improved classrooms.
Caretaker Committee Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Mr Cyril Hart praised Governor Wike for the intervention in the remodelling of Bonny National Grammar School, saying that the people were neglected by the Amaechi administration.
He also commended Governor Wike for the construction of the Bonny/Bille/Nembe Jetty, urging him to work for the initiation of a cheap and safe transport system to the Island.
Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate
Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.
Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members
President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”
Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.
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