The Rivers State PDP Campaign Council has warned the embattled factional governership aspirant of the APC, Arch Tonye Cole and other APC aspirants dropped by the INEC to face their problems with courage by clearing the mess they brought upon their party instead of blaming Governor Nyesom Wike for their woes.
The dropped APC aspirants had in a press conference, yesterday, accused Wike of colluding with the INEC and meddling in the affairs of the APC.
But in a swift reaction, the Director of Information and Communications of the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council, Barrister Emma Okah said these aspirants are being haunted by their greed and inordinate ambition to reap where they did not sow in the APC.
He denied that Wike is colluding with INEC or meddling in the affairs of the APC.
“These candidates are being clever by half. They are running and they know what is chasing them. They know what they did in the APC to give rise to what befell the party”, Okah said, pointing out that they need to summon the courage to eat the sour food they cooked for themselves.
According to Okah, “Governor Nyesom Wike has no hand in the self inflicted problem the APC brought upon itself through recurring acts of impunity, lack of respect for the judiciary, and want of internal democracy in their party.
“Wike is not a member of APC. He never asked the APC to disobey court order or refuse to resolve internal problems.”
Going further, Okah said this latter day lamentation is understandable and pathetic but can somebody tell them that those who play God dance the music the gods play for them, and advised them to appease their party men and seek the face of God.
On the threat by these aspirants to disrupt the polls if they are not restored in the ballot, Okah said it would be a joke taken too far, describing them as unrepentant products of lawlessness, impunity and disorder.
According to Okah, no amount of press conference or insults on Governor Wike by these aspirants will stop him from reaping the fruit of support and solidarity which the people of Rivers State have placed at his disposal. The result will be a landslide victory in the forthcoming polls.
Earlier, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, had threatened that the forthcoming elections may not hold in Rivers State if the names of its candidates are not in the ballot papers.
The candidates of APC seeking various positions in the state made the threat at a media conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The position of the party candidates is not unconnected with recent judicial pronouncements and the follow up actions by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which said it would respect court judgement.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of other candidates, the House of Representatives candidate for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and Ahoada Federal Constituency, Henry Odili, lamented that INEC treated the candidates of APC unfairly by removing the names of National Assembly candidates from the ballot, even when the law has been clear on removal of names of candidate.
In a smilar development, the Director of Information and Communications if Rivers State PDP Campaign Council Emma Okah has dismissed the press conference organised yesterday by the embattled Accord Party Governorship Candidate in the State Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as white wash and mere jamboree.
Okah said, the comments made by Chief Lulu-Briggs were mere street talks and didn’t address the fundamental issues of development as Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is doing in his campaigns.
In a press statement issued in Port Harcourt today, Okah said he was not surprised that Lulu-Briggs could not do better as there is nothing to say against Gov Wike.
”The huge challenge before him as a member of APC until a few weeks ago is to show what he and his party did for the people of Rivers State since 2015″ Okah said pointing out that it is no longer enough for him to point one finger at the PDP while 4 fingers are pointing at him.
“Spreading falsehood in a press conference is only a cheap way to admit that you either abhor the truth or you are ignorant of them. It is uncharitable to ask “what purpose has poliical leadership served Rivers State since 1999? “Okah added, noting that the state has moved forward since 1999.
On the issue of security in the state, Okah said Lulu-Briggs is still under the cronic influence of the APC whose stock in trade is to demarket their state at will. As a stakeholder, we challenge him to cite any contribution he has made to advance the security of his community, LGA or state not even when the Federal Govt of Nigeria turned her back against the state in times of security need.
“Rivers would not forget in a hurry how he led APC members to protest on the streets of Port Harcourt against the call by the government and people of Rvers State to transfer the politically poluted Commander of SARS in Rivers State.
On infrastructure, Okah said Wike is a project supremo and challenged Lulu-Briggs to name one governor in Nigeria who has done more peojects and received more unsolicited awards of excellence like Governor Wike.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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