Rivers State Government has advised the Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to stay away from Port Harcourt if he feels the State is unsafe.
Reacting to a statement by the Minister during a thanksgiving church service in honour of the APC guber candidate, Tonye Cole in Port Harcourt, yesterday in which he said Rivers State was unsafe, the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Barr. Emma Okah said Amaechi should show his anger by hosting his party activities, church programmes, birthday parties, etc in Abuja outside the State since he says Rivers State is unsafe.
“Normal people cannot take Amaechi seriously any more because he lives in bitterness. Evidence abound to show that the Rivers State Government and the security agencies are doing their best to secure lives and property in Rivers State and only a deluded or mischievous mind denies this fact” Okah said
Condemning the reckless manner Amaechi talks, Okah said that in normal climes, a former governor and a serving Minister qualifies to be a statesman but the case of Amaechi is a harvest of shame as he maliciously discredits everything the Rivers State Government is doing to develop the State and provide security for the people.
“Amaechi needs to know that any failure of security under our democracy where the Governor has played his role is an indictment on the Nigerian Police and the security agencies who are under the control of the Federal Government and Amaechi should ask the heads of security agencies he posts to the State why there are lapses if any, he said, noting that Rivers State Government will not join him in the journey to perdition by condemning the hard working security agencies.
“Instead of Amaechi to empathise with those who sadly lost their loved ones, he was spitting on the graves of the deceased and mocking them because he knows he is seeking political mileage with the blood of the innocent and has not supported the State to fight crime since he became a Minister.
Rather than allow security agencies to do their work unhindered, Amaechi has continued to politicise the security architecture to achieve only political ends since his stooge lost the guber elections in 2015.
He must explain to Nigerians why security challenges still exist in all states in the country. Are those Governors also not doing enough or should that also not be the reason they and the President should lose elections? Okah asked, noting that even the APC-led Federal Government has not been able to address all security challenges in Nigeria despite their superior war chest, resources and imprimatur.
On the issue of people leaving the State, Okah said Rivers State is the leading investment destination in Nigeria and dismissed Amaechi as blowing hot air, talking without facts and statistics.
“Amaechi should explain why over 12 million Nigerians lost their jobs since 2015. Is he also alerting Nigerians that his boss is inefficient as President? Okah queried.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government says she is ready to host thousands of delegates from the various states of the Federation and Abuja as all arrangements are in place to ensure a successful National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2018) in Rivers State.
A statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Barr Emma Okah says Governor Nyesom Wike has provided the needed support, facilities and all logistics to ensure a smooth and remarkable festival.
According to the commissioner, the Governor has renovated hostels in Rivers State University to accommodate the delegates while efforts have been raised to ensure adequate transportation, security, venues, etc to make the festival one of the best in the history of NAFEST.
He urged the people of Rivers State especially those in the hospitality, food, leisure, culture, arts, transport and entertainment industry to put in their best and ensure the satisfaction of visitors and delegates and protect the image of the State.
Similarly, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has berated the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government for intimidating the judiciary through unfounded allegations and trumped up charges.
Speaking at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Saturday, during a courtesy visit by Class 1984 of the Nigerian Law School, Wike said the illegal actions of the APC Federal Government have made it impossible for the dispensation of justice in the country.
He said: “Where the country is heading to, there is little hope. The judiciary has been so intimidated. It is unfortunate that the Nigeria Bar Association buckled when it mattered most.
“Today, it is most difficult for any judge to be courageous to write fearless judgments. When they do, the security agencies will claim they saw money in the account of the judge”.
He said lawyers and other Nigerians should work towards the sustenance of the nation’s democracy.
“We must do everything to ensure that we have a country. If there is no democracy, we won’t have a way forward.
“Time has come when we must rise up and speak up against the failures of this government”, he said.
The First Vice President of the Nigerian Law School Class 1984, Bukhari Bello (SAN) commended the Rivers State Governor for his investments in the development of Justice sector infrastructure.
He urged other states to emulate Rivers State Government in the construction of befitting quarters for judges.
Bello also praised the governor for quality projects across the state, especially the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.
“Highpoint of the visit was the inspection of the Judges’ Quarters.
Similarly, the Judiciary of Rivers State has been re-dedicated to God for greater service to humanity in the vineyard of Justice.
The re-dedication of the Rivers State Judiciary took place, last Friday, at the State Ecumenical Centre as part of the opening of the 2017/2018 Legal Year.
The re-dedication service had in attendance, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, the State Executive Council, state lawmakers, the Bench and the Bar.
The wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike was also present.
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike took the first lesson for the re-dedication service from Joshua Chapter 1, Versus 1 to 18 while the Chief of Rivers State, Justice Adama Inyie Iyaye-Lamikanra read the second lesson.
In his sermon, Anglican Bishop of Evo Diocese, Rt Rev Innocent Ordu said that justice was a divine service.
The cleric said that Justice is a divine service which requires that those in charge of the justice system to adhere to the tenets of the law.
Ordu said: “Justice is relevant for the promotion of social order. Judgment is necessary”.
The actual re-dedication witnessed the filing out by the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Lamikanra; the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Christiana Gabriel-Nwankwo; judges of the High Court and Customary Court of Appeal, the chief registrar and secretary, State Judicial Service Commission and deputy chief registrars for prayers by the cleric.
On behalf of the Rivers State Judiciary, Chief of Rivers State, Justice Iyaye-Lamikanra declared: “Our Father in Christ, I present ourselves representing the entire Rivers State Judiciary to be re-dedicated to God for the 2017/2018 Legal Year and for prayers of the church.
Selected re-dedication hymns were rendered all through the service, backed by the Archbishop of Anglican of Niger Delta Province, Most Rev Ignatius Kattey and Rev Monsignor Pius Kii conducting the re-dedication process.
The judicial officers publicly made pledges committing themselves to the delivery of justice.
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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