In appreciation of his massive roll out of projects in Ijaw Local Government Areas, Rivers Ijaws have endorsed Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for a second term.
Thousands of Rivers Ijaws, last Monday, trooped to the Government House, Port Harcourt from different Ijaw-speaking local government areas of the state, where they declared their support for the re-election of Wike.
Leader of Rivers Ijaws, Chief Ferdinand Alabrabra said that Wike has lived up to the expectations of the people in the last three years.
“The entirety of Rivers Ijaws endorse you (Governor Wike) for a second term. We are happy with your projects and performance”, he said.
Also speaking, Senator George Sekibo said that Wike earned the respect and support of Rivers Ijaws through his dogged support for former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan during his political travails.
He said: “We will never abandon you. Ijaw people see you as their own son. In three years, you have executed projects in all the Ijaw-speaking local government areas of the state.
“From the very first day when we gave you the mandate, we agreed that you should serve the state for eight years. We cannot change that agreement in the middle of the ocean.
“We are here to renew the mandate. We will vote for you again in 2019. Nothing will take you away from the Government House in 2019”.
Similarly, Niger Delta Rights Campaigner, Ankio Briggs assured that Rivers Ijaws would wholeheartedly work for the re-election of Wike in 2019.
Briggs said that once credible polls are conducted in 2019, Wike would coast to victory on the strength of his performance.
Responding, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike thanked Rivers Ijaws for their endorsement and solidarity.
He noted that they have not only indicated support for his re-election, but have demonstrated their support through donations.
Wike said: “This battle, which we have won, we are prepared for it. Any promise that I have made, I will keep to it.
“You must work as a team. A house divided against itself cannot achieve much”, he added.
He warned the people against any consideration for the All Progressives Congress (APC), pointing out that an APC governor would not support restructuring.
Wike berated the immediate past Rivers State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for de-marketing Rivers State through falsehood about the security situation in the state.
He said: “It is unfortunate that a minister from Rivers State is de-marketing the state. Since he became minister, what has he attracted to Rivers State, except to de-market the state.
“They talk about security in Rivers State, when there is insecurity in the entire country. Look at the killings in Kaduna and Plateau states. The entire country is facing a security crisis. What the minister is saying is that Buhari should go, and he will go in 2019”.
He said that the attempt by the minister to impose his business partner as governor was merely to siphon state resources for personal reasons.
“You sold gas turbines to your business partner, sold Olympia Hotel to your partner, sold Abonnema Wharf to your partner, and now, you want to sell Government House to your business partner.
“You have federal might, but we have God’s might. In this forthcoming election, we will teach them a lesson. All these Egyptians you see today, you shall see no more!
“God rules over Rivers State. Nobody can conquer this state”, Wike said.
Highpoint of the occasion was the donation of a Toyota Coaster Bus to the Wike Campaign Organisation by the Rivers Ijaws.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Ijaw Peoples’ Forum has endorsed the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for a second term in office.
Speaking at a press conference, last Monday, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Port Harcourt, Leader of the forum, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, noted that Governor Nyesom Wike has lived up to the expectations of Rivers people for the past three years, hence the resolve of the Rivers Ijaw Peoples’ Forum to support him for a second term.
According to him, “As Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has given Rivers people purposeful leadership, and endeared himself to all in many ways”.
Alabraba stressed that the decision of the Rivers Ijaw Peoples’ Forum to endorse Wike for a second term was predicated on his leadership style, which he pointed out, includes “good governance, inclusiveness and transparency, which has effectively mobilized and united the people of Rivers State for progress and development”.
He also observed that Wike earned the support of the Rivers Ijaw Peoples’ Forum when he astutely stood behind President Goodluck Jonathan during his political travails, saying “With deep appreciation, the strong bond of brotherhood amongst the people of the Niger Delta as manifested in the noble role played by Chief Nyesom Wike…who when it became necessary to be our brother’s keeper, rose to the occasion and stood by our Ijaw son, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2015.”
The Rivers Ijaw peoples’ leader noted that they were aware of the clamour for an Ijaw son or daughter as governor, stating that the forum was not averse to that clamour.
According to him, “We wish to make it abundantly clear that the Rivers Ijaw Peoples’ Forum whole-heartedly support the concept of an Ijaw son or daughter being a governor, but honestly believe that it must be pursued at the appropriate time and strategically too, through consultation, cooperation and collaboration with other ethnic nationalities.”
He thanked the governor for picking an Ijaw daughter, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo as his running mate for a second term in office.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that Nigerians should work towards electing a president with administrative and economic experience to move the country forward.
He said that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has destroyed the foundations of governance and stagnated development across the country.
Wike spoke, last Monday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, when the National President and Executive officers of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) visited him.
He said: “We need a man with experience and economic understanding to drive the country forward.
“We must save Nigeria. We have suffered. We must make a statement that we cannot continue like this.
“We must do the right thing and that is the only way this country can move forward. We should no longer have a president controlled by the cabal”.
The governor said that there should be no difficulty in sacking the failed Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, since the incoming President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was also from the North.
“Luckily, the next president is coming from the North. The excuse of North and South is no longer tenable. Nobody should deceive us”, he said.
He berated the APC-led Federal Government for politicizing the fight against corruption by using anti-corruption agencies to fight the opposition.
“Nigeria is stagnated. It doesn’t matter where you come from. As a medical doctor, ask yourself, in the last three years, has the country made any progress?
“This country has never been this divided. You must be healthy in a healthy country. You cannot be well in an unwell country”, he said.
While thanking the doctors for visiting Rivers State, he said that his administration would continue to invest in the development of the health sector.
He directed the State Head of Service to immediately reinstate Dr Sofiri Peterside in the Rivers State Civil Service.
Earlier, the First Vice President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Tijo Kenneth Mingeh, had praised Governor Nyesom Wike for his investments in the health sector.
Mingeh said that the doctors were in the state for the Physicians’ Week 2018 with the theme, “Universal Health Coverage: Leaving No One Behind”.
The NMA leader said that the theme was motivated by the need to improve health for all people and stamp out quackery.
Rivers’ll Ensure Safe, Secure Environment For Economic Growth -Wike .
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration would continue to support security agencies in the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for the economic prosperity of citizens.
He said the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Operation Sting and the revitalised C4i security outfits were set up to help provide security to stimulate growth and prosperity of all in Rivers State.
The governor spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the 2021 Conference/Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Rivers State chapter, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
“This administration has embarked on aggressive infrastructural development and a very deliberate urban renewal efforts around the capital to attract local and foreign investors to stimulate our economy.
“We have also opened up local governments through quality road networks. Upgrade of various social and recreational facilities in various local government areas,” he said.
He commended the state chapter of the NIPR for the choice of the theme of the conference: “Nigeria’s Security Situation: A Factor in Reputation and National Development”, adding that stakeholders must begin to act in a very different, drastic and positive strategy to remedy the already battered reputation of Nigeria.
He urged the NIPR to use its expertise and experience to thrive to galvanise and stimulate the populace and government at various levels for the resuscitation of citizens sense of pride and responsibility of whatever was left of the nation’s image and reputation.
“All hands must be on deck, especially reputation managers to call on government at all levels to begin to act in ways and manner that will help to revive the battered image of this country,” he added.
Welcoming guests and participants to the conference, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, who is also the state chairman of NIPR, commended the cordial relationship existing between the institute and the state government under the leadership of Governor Wike who is a honorary fellow of the institute.
“Governor Wike has been very supportive of all the activities of the Institute. That is what you also get from a visionary leader who has changed the landscape of Rivers State with infrastructure, with various developmental projects that touch the lives of the ordinary man,” he said.
Nsirim said the state chapter of NIPR was proud to associate with Governor Wike for the giant strides he has recorded and would continue to record until the end of his tenure in 2023.
“As a chapter that is responsive to the development of Nigeria, we have chosen the theme for this year’s conference as our own way of contributing to the national discourse,” he said.
He said the conference would produce a blueprint that would guide national discourse and urged participants to contribute robustly to the conversation.
“It is expected that the fallout of the conference will re-engineer national security and national development with the aim to put our country on the path of rapid growth,” he said.
In his speech, the President and Chairman of Governing Council of NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, emphasised on the need for all Nigerians to collaborate to fight insecurity currently confronting the country’s economic and political stability.
He welcomed the theme of the conference, saying that it was coming at the time the institute had gotten sufficient worry about national security, peace and economic development.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ike Neliaku, chronicled the increasing violent crimes that had claimed thousands of lives in the various parts of Nigeria, and submitted that the rising insecurity situation in the country had impacted and would continue to impact negatively on corporate and national reputation.
He said the worrisome development would have concomitant consequence on individual and national development.
Chairman of the conference, Chief Felix Otuwarikpo, said the conference was put together to dissect the current carnage affecting the Nigerian nation.
“As an institute, we will leverage on the conference to proffer solutions to the security challenges affecting the nation,” he said.
The conference also featured the presentation of awards for good public relations and community development to some distinguished members and organisations.
Church Of Nigeria Honours Wike, Sanwo-Olu, Akeredolu, Others
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has bestowed awards for exemplary leadership qualities in a challenging economy and dedication in the service of God and humanity on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Ogun State Governor, Adedapo Abiodun.
Also honoured is the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Abayomi, with an award for quality and equitable healthcare delivery.
The awardees were honoured at the standing committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, at the Diocese of Lagos, Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos State.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who conferred the awards on the recipients, said the political leaders were considered for the award for their outstanding role, courageous leadership, and standing firm in defense of Nigerians against insecurity, provision of basic infrastructure to the citizenry and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the congregation on the state of the nation and the role of the church, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, admonished the leadership of the church to encourage its members to be part of the governance process in the country.
The governor noted that a situation whereby Christians leave governance for politicians alone is no longer obtainable.
According to Wike, the effect of bad leadership will also affect the church if they remain passive to the issue of governance.
“You must be part of choosing leadership. Don’t say you have no role, you have a role. When you don’t participate, bad leaders will emerge and when bad leadership emerges, you are part of it.
“You must encourage your people to be part of leadership. I didn’t go to any school to study leadership.
“So, nobody should say that as a Christian you cannot be a governor, no. The head of SUBEB in my state is a priest and you can see the leadership he has given to that agency today. You will feel proud about it. That used to be the most corrupt agency, but today it is headed by a priest and you can see the difference.”
Wike decried the inherent injustice that has characterised the Nigerian State, and urged the church to speak against socio-political issues adversely affecting the progress of the country.
“We say we are all one Nigeria. We went to World Bank to borrow money to do specific projects. One of the states that make up Nigeria I hear is Rivers State. And I also know in paying this money back to World Bank, money that comes from the resources of my state will be used in paying back this money. But my state was denied to have projects from that loan.”
The Rivers State governor said a situation where states depend on the Federal Government to survive can no longer be tenable, and insisted that states must be allowed to collect revenues such as Value Added Tax (VAT) to enable them improve the welfare of their people.
“You have gone to take loan and I am one of those states that will pay back those loan and you deny me to benefit from the projects that that money will be used for. I have no problem with that.
“Allow me the one (VAT) the Constitution says I am entitled to, let me collect that one and develop my state.”
He regretted that some governors in Nigeria have refused to think out of the box on how to boost economic activities in their states.
“There is flood in my state, it requires N200millon, I will go to Abuja to beg. Even as a governor, I will knee down before a DG of an agency of government. You will knee down for a director just because of N300million. That is the status of some of the governors of some states.”
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the church for its support, and announced the waiver of N2billion for land acquired by the Church of Nigeria in Lagos State.
The governor stated that Nigeria and the rest of the world are going through difficult times amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and used the occasion to canvass for mass vaccination of the citizens.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, while speaking on the theme of the conference: “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World”, lamented that Nigeria was fast becoming a land flowing with tears and blood because of the impact of terror, banditry, herdsman attacks on communities and kidnapping.
He said a situation in which communities that are predominantly Christians are targeted one after another in some parts of Kaduna State and North-Central of Nigeria was unacceptable.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the bandits and herders attackers as terrorists and let them be treated as such.”
The Primate urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity 2023 general election offer to exercise their right to choose new leaders.
He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address the free fall in the value of the country’s currency because of the attendant impact on the store of value and confidence of investors.
Rivers Begins Process To Check Flooding
The Rivers State Government has said that it was working with relevant agencies to roll out the process that would check perennial flooding in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Nsirim, therefore, called on those living and doing business in the state to play their part in line with the programme that would be executed by government to address the problem of flooding.
He frowned at the situation where residents of Port Harcourt had turned the drainage systems into refuse bins, and warned that “that is not what it should be.
“The present administration under Governor Nyesom Wike is desirous to make Rivers State a destination of choice and that is why the government has embarked on massive infrastructural development in line with its urban renewal programme.
“So, what is expected of those living and doing business in Rivers State now, is to co-operate with government to ensure that the urban renewal programme and the plan by government to make this state a destination of choice is realised,” he said.
He noted that the state government could not do it alone as it required the support of corporate organisations, civil society groups, religious organisations and the media to enlighten their publics on the need to behave as responsible citizens.
He called on the media to embark on massive enlightenment programmes along the line of the roles of citizens in checking flooding in the state.
“We believe that if the citizens cooperate with government, as government is out to ensure that everyone living and doing business in the state does so in a healthy environment, we believe that in the next few days or weeks we will find a solution to this (flooding),” he said.
Nsirim also announced the names of entrants selected for the essay competition on the title, “Our State Our Responsibility” introduced under the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign of the ministry launched at the beginning of this month.
He said those shortlisted were expected to be at the conference room of the ministry by 11am on Monday, September 27, 2021, for a physical test to ascertain their original ownership.
Those shortlisted are: Jessica Hart, Samuel William, Amarachi Chimezie, Jasper Dorcas, Jaja Tamunoimiegba Christian, Sophia Oyibo, Blessing Pepple, Anyiam kelechukwu, Deborah Adegbami, Gift Samuel, Okiche Golden, Okiche Miracle, Orovwigwo Deborah, Otuka Goodluck and Ziga Paago.
By: Beemene Taneh
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