Rivers professionals under the aegis of Rivers Professionals for Wike (RIVPROW) have endorsed Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for a second term.
The Rivers professionals announced their endorsement of Wike during their solidarity visit to the Rivers State governor at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Leader of RIVPROW, Mr Enemi Alabo George said that professionals in the state were satisfied with the performance of Wike, hence their decision to support his re-election.
He said: “As professionals, we subscribe to your vision. We are willing to work for the success of the New Rivers Vision.
“You were elected by Rivers people and you have proved to be a good governor. Professionals have resolved that they want to be part of the process and to add value.”
He added that the professionals are ever ready to make their contributions to ensure that Wike continues to succeed in the state.
George stated that the policies of Wike have led to the growth of the economy of the state and the emergence of growing small and medium sized businesses.
Responding, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike charged professionals to be directly involved in politics in order to shape the direction of the society.
He said it is unwise for professionals to allow hooligans to hijack the governance structure, noting that the society would suffer for professionals staying away from politics.
“Professionals cannot give their destiny to those who don’t know anything. Professionals must show interest in politics to churn out quality policies.
“Don’t be afraid. You have the tools to make contributions for the development of the society. Don’t hand over Nigeria to hooligans”, he said.
The governor challenged Rivers people who are well-to-do to contribute their quota to the growth of the state.
He wondered why some politicians continue to fight the administration instead of attracting development to the state.
“When I talk about Rivers people, I mean indigenes of Rivers State, people born in Rivers State and people who live and do business in Rivers State.
“If they allow the ports to work, jobs will be created in the state. If the airport is working, more jobs will also be created”, he said.
He berated the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government for failing the country, noting that the administration only intimidates Nigerians with insecurity.
He assured Rivers professionals that his administration would work with them by creating more employment opportunities for them.
Wike said that the state government would, in the coming weeks, employ 7,000 professionals into the state civil service and 14,000 teachers into the state education sector.
Highpoint of the solidarity visit was the presentation of the communique endorsing the governor by an official of RIVPROW, Golden Tamuno.
The group also presented a condolence letter to Wike through the Secretary, Prince Nyekwere.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Head of Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins and Commissioner of Sports, Boma Iyaye.
Also, the Rivers State Chapter of Peoples Democratic Party-Grassroots Support Foundation, has endorsed the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for second term in office based on his sterling leadership qualities, commitment to grassroots development and prudence in the management of state resources for the good of Rivers people.
Addressing newsmen shortly after an indoor meeting of the group, the Rivers State Coordinator of the group, Comrade Bala Abiye, revealed that the endorsement was unanimously approved by the members of the group after considering the innumerable result-oriented projects executed by the governor since inception in 2015.
The state coordinator said the PDP-Grassroots Support Foundation, a non-profitable group affiliated with the People’s Democratic Party, could not afford to ignore the relevance and performance of Governor Nyesom Wike in sustaining democracy and good governance.
He opined that the governor, so far, had delivered government of transparency and accountability which had transformed the trajectory of governance from the woeful performance of the past.
According to him, the Wike-led administration has proved to all and sundry that it was delivering in her campaign promises and making lives of Rivers people much better through quality projects and programmes.
X-raying some of his achievements, Abiye said the governor was truly ‘Mr. Projects’.
“Everyone in Rivers State will agree with me that our jubilee governor is working. He started working on his very first day in office”, the state coordinator stated.
“Let me remind you that on the day of his inauguration on May 29, 2015, Wike declared ‘Operation Zero Potholes’ and had completed 23 out of the 26 strategic road projects inherited from the previous administration in the third year in office”, he said.
Abiye, confirmed that the group also saw on record the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of several roads, schools and hospitals, reclamation of lands, agricultural development and provision of other critical infrastructure across the state.
On human development and empowerment, among several others, the Wike-led administration, early this year, awarded a five-year full scholarship to 100 Rivers State indigent students to study medicine and surgery and other medical-related courses in one of the reputable indigenous medical universities.
“This, the governor promised, would continue for the next five years. Many other scholarships have also been awarded to several indigene students in different tertiary institutions”, Abiye said.
Abiye reiterated the commitment of the group, to work together with the governor and other pro-PDP organizations, stakeholders, countless members of the party and all well-meaning Rivers people in ensuring that ‘Mr. Projects’, was re-elected and returned as the governor of Rivers State come 2019.
Also speaking, Secretary of the group, Comrade Mbaba Smart, described the governor as Nigeria’s democracy icon who defends Rivers people.
His stout defence of democracy, according to him, has prevented the country from sliding into full-blown dictatorship.
Mbaba further disclosed that one of the greatest achievements of Wike was the creation of access to justice in the state.
“At inception, the governor opened the courts which had been closed down for two years by the past APC-led administration. Wike also swore-in the first female state Chief Judge and President of Customary Court of Appeal, and granted financial autonomy to the judiciary,” he said.
Commending the efforts of the governor, the Legal Adviser of the group, Barrister Tamunotoku Obelemabo, said the Wike-led administration has allocated a cumulative sum of over N12billion of the yearly budget to the relevant line-ministries to implement various youth and women development.
According to her, the administration has so far created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs through projects, family empowerment, among others.
“Just recently, the Rivers State Government has started the process of recruiting 10,000 teachers and 4, 000 non-teachers into all the state-owned schools”, Obelemabo added.
2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence
The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.
Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC
The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.
Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death
The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.
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