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2019: Ensure Votes Count, Wike Tasks Broadcasters

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on broadcasters to work to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count in 2019.
“You have a responsibility. You have a role to play. If you don’t play that role, history will not forgive you. You owe this country truthful reportage of the emerging political events”, he said.
The governor also announced the immediate sack of the General Managers of Rivers State Television, Garden City FM and Radio Rivers for failing to participate in the activities of the Broadcasting Organisation Nigeria (BON).
“I hereby sack the General Managers of the three state-owned Radio Stations. BON will be here in Rivers State for their AGM and the General Managers of the three state-owned are not here, when those from other states are here. People must learn to take their jobs seriously “, he said.
He spoke at the Government House, Port Harcourt last Monday during a courtesy visit by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
“BON must work towards telling the world that things are not working in the country. This federal government has failed”, he said.
He said that BON must strive to hold the Federal Government to account on issues of credible elections.
The governor said: “Why are you not broadcasting on key issues that negatively affect the people ? Why are you not telling the people the truth? BON should play their critical role as we head into 2019”.
The governor declared that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the fifth amended Electoral Act because they want to rig the 2019 General election.
“ You must work to ensure that the votes of the people count in 2019. For us in Rivers State, nobody can rig us out. We are prepared to ensure that the votes of our people count. There is only one party in this state and that is the PDP”, he said.
He noted that INEC as an institution has become irresponsible, working against the processes for credible polls.
Governor Wike said that the build up towards 2019 does not indicate that there will be credible elections.
Earlier, the Chairman of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, Mr John Momoh thanked the Rivers State Government for hosting the organisation.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government says Rivers State is a media friendly environment.
The State Chief Executive, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike made this assertion while speaking at the 71stGeneral Assembly of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, 27th November, 2018.
Represented by His Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Governor Wike said ”out of over 250 radio and television stations in Nigeria under your organization; over 25 of these stations are located in Rivers State”, noting that the State has provided the needed investors’ friendly environment for them to operate.
He said the State Government also embarked on a number of projects that positively impacted on the lives of people resident in the State which includes good road networks, bridges, jetties, schools, hospitals, markets amidst adequate security.
Governor Wike however regretted that some media houses do not present the true positions of events in Rivers State.
“They collaborate with the opposition to paint and present Rivers State in bad light before the national and international communities. This is unbecoming of the media profession and grossly unfair and we call on BON to do the needful to bring such erring members to sanity”. Governor Wike stressed.
The Governor reminded BON that it has a great role to play in the upcoming 2019 General Elections, stressing that Prompt and accurate reportage of events would go a long way in curbing incidences of election rigging in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed who spoke through the Director of PR/Protocol in his Ministry, Sunday Baba expressed delight that the meeting came at the commencement of the 2019 electioneering campaigns, noting that under the guise of freedom of speech and information some people had disparaged individuals and institutions with fake news which according to him is counterproductive.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, John Momoh said it was a wakeup call for broadcasters to re-examine their roles and discern for themselves the next step forward in the complex space of the art of today’s broadcasting, noting that the General Assembly offers broadcasters another opportunity to do this which according to him is justified by the theme”Changing Media Landscape.”

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RSG Restates Readiness To Empower Farmers, Fishermen

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The Rivers State Government has urged all farmers and fishermen in the state to gather whatever produce they have to their respective local government chairmen at the centres designated by their chairmen for immediate purchase.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, stated this shortly after the inaugural meeting of the Committee to Purchase Food Stuffs from Farmers and Fishermen for Distribution to the Rivers State people at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
According to Danagogo, who is the chairman of the committee, the essence is to make sure that our farmers and fishermen are empowered and encouraged to continue to produce what they are producing and to stockpile enough food stuff to enable us win the war against COVID-19 and looming starvation.
Danagogo, who disclosed that his committee has started work immediately, said all the local government chairmen are expected to go back to their LGAs to start the process of engaging the farmers and fishermen to sensitize them to bring their products for purchase and onward distribution to the citizens and residents of the state.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said the initiative of Governor Nyesom Wike was primarily designed to ensure that nobody complains of hunger during this trying period.
He pleaded with the farmers and fishermen, who would be approached at the various local government areas that this was a time for sacrifice and selfless service and not a time for racketeering and hoarding of produce, stressing that the state government would pay for all the products produce by the farmers and fishermen.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Fred Kpakol said farmers and fishermen in the state should redouble their efforts to produce more, noting that agriculture remains a major policy thrust of the present administration in the state.

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Buhari’s Subsidy Regime, Monumental Fraud -PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the fuel subsidy regime under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration as a monumental fraud and an unpardonable scam against the Nigerian state.
The party stated this, yesterday, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondoyan, and made available to newsmen in Abuja.
This is even as the party counselled officials of APC-led government to “stop lying to Nigerians and tell the truth of how trillions of naira, claimed to have been paid as a subsidy, was cornered by APC leaders and members of the cabal in the Buhari Presidency.”
The PDP also described last Monday’s declaration by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, that there will be no more subsidy and under-recovery as dramatic.
The statement read in part: “Our party notes that if the Federal Government is running away from its subsidy policy, the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, President Buhari or his Minister of State, Timipre Sylva, should muster the courage to announce this to Nigerians through a policy statement.
“Our party holds that this sudden announcement of an end to fuel subsidy and commencement of a deregulation regime of the oil sector is a desperate step by the Buhari administration to stave off an investigation into the siphoning of trillions of naira by APC leaders using phoney subsidy claims.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how President Buhari set the stage for unprecedented subsidy looting under his regime.
“It would be recalled that in his bid to smear the PDP, President Buhari, while leading the agitation against the decision by the PDP administration to deregulate the oil sector in 2012, declared that fuel subsidy does not exist. He had called the subsidy regime and its operators a fraud.
“Rather than riding on this declaration on the assumption of office, the Buhari Presidency provided official cover for the cabal and APC leaders to use his ascendancy to power to engage in underhand dealings, plunder our nation’s subsidy resources, pillaged trillions of naira from the oil cashbox, only to now turn around to announce an end to a subsidy, seeing that there is nothing left to steal with the current international price crash.”
While chiding President Buhari for alleged lack of openness in the handling of petroleum subsidy since he assumed power in 2015; the PDP said nothing but an alleged scam on the part of APC leaders was responsible for the first citizen’s inability to speak up on the issue.
“We ask, could this be the reason behind Mr. President’s inability to make any concrete statement on the exposed subsidy scam under his administration in the last five years?
“Could it also be the reason the oil subsidy, which Nigerians where enjoying under the PDP, was adjudged a fraud but suddenly ceased to be a fraud from 2015 till Monday, even when Nigerians no longer enjoyed any benefit from the payout within this period?
“Nigerians now know the reason the APC administration had refused to allow for an independent inquest into the alleged N1.4trillion oil subsidy sleaze through which certain APC leaders were benefiting from alleged N58 hidden toll per litre which Nigerians were forced to bear for years after fuel price was increased by the APC administration from PDP’s subsidized cost of N87 to N145 per litre.
“It is now clear to all why the APC administration had resorted to muddling up oil revenue transactions, refused to open up on federation equity of crude while frustrating free flow of information on product exchange and revenue remittances, and why they have been promoting reports on imaginary pipeline losses as well as other opaque and non-transparent transaction in a sector that is directly under the supervision of Mr. President.
“This is in addition to the over N14trillion stolen through various shady oil subsidy contracts, including the stolen N9trillion detailed by the leaked NNPC memo and the N1.1trillion worth of crude stolen with 18 unregistered vessels linked to APC interests, all of which the Buhari Presidency had refused to investigate despite demands by Nigerians.
“The PDP, therefore, insists that the decision of the APC-led administration to embrace subsidy now that oil price had crashed cannot foreclose the irretrievable demand for a forensic audit of all the fraudulent under-recoveries, through which funds meant for subsidy was diverted to private pockets of APC leaders.
“The PDP is also demanding a forensic audit of over-bloated 60 million litres of petrol that NNPC claimed it was importing under its former GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, to justify the fraudulent subsidy payout.
“The PDP urges the National Assembly to stand on the side of Nigerians, expose all those involved, who got what in this huge scam against our nation as well as take steps to recover the over N14trillion stolen by the cabal and certain APC leaders and channel same for the welfare of Nigerians especially at this critical time.”

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COVID-19: RSG Distributes Foodstuffs To Vulnerable People

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In order to cushion the effect of the stay-at-home directive to Rivers people to check the spread of coronavirus, the Rivers State Government, yesterday, commenced the distribution of foodstuffs to the downtrodden.
The Rivers State COVID-19 Palliative Committee set up by the governor, yesterday, distributed foodstuffs to the Home of the Elderly, Port Harcourt Children Home, Port Harcourt Remand Home and Cheshire Home.
Chairman of the Committee, Amb Desmond Akawor while speaking at some of the homes visited said that the distribution has nothing to do with politics.
He stated that all sections of the state would be reached.
He said “As you can see the members of the committee, we have the clergy men, security agencies and civil servants. These are people who will not want to associate themselves with the politics of the day.
“It is not in anyway to be political. Hunger does not know political parties. So, these materials are going to our people and whatever we do with God on our side we will ensure it gets to the targeted population.”
Inmates and managers of the homes that received the COVID-19 Palliatives of the Rivers State Government thanked Wike for remembering them at this point..
Matron, Port Harcourt Children Home, Mrs Gift Eke, thanked the government for remembering the children in the home at this trying time, and prayed for more wisdom for the governor.
The Matron, Cheshire Home, Mrs Stella Gbobo, appreciated the governor, and prayed that God should bless Rivers State Government and most, especially the governor who is in charge of the mandate for remembering the physical challenged.
Also speaking, the Matron, Home of the Elderly, Rev Sister MaryJane Raphael, appreciated the governor and his team, prayed God to give them gracious old age.
Mr. Omubo Gillis Harry, Warden, Port Harcourt Remand Home lauded the Rivers State Government for taking care of the less privileged.

 

Denis Naku

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