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Guber Polls: 2,000 Communities, Female Youths, Traders Endorse Wike

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Over 2,000 communities spread across the 23 local government areas of Rivers State, have endorsed Governor Wike for a second term,
The endorsement was made at a conference of UCDC Chairmen and Secretaries in Port Harcourt.
The Coordinator-General of the United Community Development (UCDC), Mr. John Onwubualili who said that the more than 2,000 communities in the 23 local government areas of the state would support the Governor for second term of office.
Mr. Onwubualili also said it was the desire of the organisation to work with the various stakeholders to ensure free, fair credible and peaceful elections in the state.
“We shall not allow any form of intimidation from any agency to deprive Rivers people from participating in the elections.
“We are also ready to collaborate with INEC and security agencies to ensure that our votes are well counted”.
Onwubualili further said that the group would embark on a one week protest, if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies refused to allow free and fair elections in Rivers State.
He also said that the group would not allow any form of postponement of elections in the state.
According to him, the group will collaborate and synergise with the government and the various development partners to identify needs and ensure proper project sitting and maintenance in the various communities.
The Coordinator-General said the UCDC would hold town hall meetings in the 23 local government areas and in the various constituencies with the view to sensitizing the people on the importance of appreciating the various developmental projects of the present administration in their various communities.
He also requested the government to use the next four years of the administration to embark on human capital development/empowerment, attract foreign investment into the state for job creation as well as the renovation of schools.
Also requested were, the provision of office space for the organisation in Port Harcourt, appointment of a Special Adviser for CDC Affairs as well as financial assistance to the body for the town hall meeting.
Meanwhile, thousands of Female Youths from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State have endorsed Governor Nyesom Wike for a second term.
Governor Wike was also endorsed by Non Indigenous Female Youths residing in the 23 Local Government Areas of the state .
In a programme tagged: “Female Youths For Governor Wike “, the young ladies took over the Obi Wali Cultural Centre where they displayed their preference for Governor Wike in dance, music and songs.
The mobilisation was so massive that the female youths spread across the vicinity of the Obi Wali Cultural Centre.
All the female youths expressed gratitude to the Rivers State Governor for his developmental strides and commitment to the advance the welfare of Female Youths.
Special Assistant to the PDP Rivers State Governorship Candidate on Female Youths, Hon Soibi Ibibo Jack said female youths from the 23 Local Government Areas are totally in support of the Governor’s re-election.
She said Governor Wike is the most gender-friendly governor since the creation of the state. She that Governor Wike has created opportunities for women to be in government.
Hon Jack said female youths apart from voting for Governor Wike will defend their votes across the polling units of the state.
She said that Governor Wike is the best thing to happen to Rivers State. She said supporting the re-election of Governor Wike will help women get more presence in government.
It was a declaration of profound commitment to the re-election of Governor Wike by the Female Youths of Rivers State.
Selected Female Youths from the different ethnic groups of Rivers State took turns to profess their endorsement of Governor Wike. They stated they will promote the governor’s re-election and deliver their respective units.
Female Artiste, Jikume Bethelem thrilled the audience with some of her popular tunes.
Accepting the endorsement of the Female Youths, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike stated that he is overwhelmed by the mobilisation and support of the female youths for his re-election.
The governor said that the time has come for Rivers women to take their rightful place in the governance of the state. He said that he will continue to promote the growth of women and female youths in governance, politics, business and the Civil service.
“This is an opportunity for the female youths to express themselves. This mobilisation is awesome. What you have done here is to give female youths a voice in the politics of the state.
“By this mobilisation, you are saying that female youths must be involved in governance. You are saying no government will be formed without female youths “, he said.
The governor urged the Female Youths of Rivers State to sustain their mobilisation beyond the elections to enhance their relevance in the polity.
He urged the women to fight for their positions and not wait to receive positions on a platter as has been the case.
He said: “The women should fight for their place in government. They should not wait to be given positions because they are qualified to struggle and win such positions.
“Time has come when women must take their appropriate places in Rivers State”.
The governor stated that with their number, female youths are in the right position to stop anyone from manipulating the electoral process in the state.
Governor Wike directed the Female Youths to go to their respective polling units to form association of women and female youths to mobilise for votes .
“As registered voters, go back to your respective units and form associations of girls/women in each unit. From the Coordinator of Female Youths for Governor Wike, we require 4442 names of girls who will serve as leaders of each of the 4442 polling units.
“In each polling unit, each leader must lead in the mobilisation of girls/women “, the governor said.
He charged the female youths to also lead the charge to defend their votes across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
“This is not the period to tie wrapper. This is the period of jeans and canvass. You have to be prepared to defend your votes.
“This is a war between darkness and light. When you are confronting darkness, you get prepared. APC is dictatorship and PDP is freedom. To crush dictatorship you have to be prepared “, he said.
The governor said that in his second term, Female Youths will be appointed as Commissioners and Special Advisers. He added that during the next Local Government Council polls, the state will produce nine female local government council chairmen.
Speaking further, Governor Wike announced that female youths will get allocation of shops at the Mile One Market and Fruit Garden Market when they are completed.
He added that the female youths will receive interest free loans and be given 40 percent of employment out of the new 7000 appointments into the State Civil Service.
Governor Wike urged Rivers State Female Youths to vote massively for Atiku Abubakar and other PDP candidates for the emancipation of the country.
For the February 11 Presidential Rally in the state, Governor Wike directed the Female Youths to mobilise 500 young ladies per local government and wear a distinct uniform for the programme.
Highpoint of the occasion was the defection of Female Youths from APC to the PDP.
Also, traders and construct ion workers have declared their unflinching support for the re-election of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
This is as the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike assured traders at the Fruit Garden Market that his administration would deliver the market next month.
Addressing the traders after inspecting the ongoing construction of the burnt Fruit Garden Market, last Saturday, Wike said work would be sustained because he wants the traders to sell in a conducive environment.
The governor thanked the traders for their support, saying that he will always live up to their expectations.
He said unlike the failed All Progressives Congress (APC), he runs a promise-keeping administration that caters for all sections of the state.
Wike charged the traders to use their permanent voters’ cards to re-elect him and vote for other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in order for his administration to deliver more dividends of democracy.
The traders, who trooped out in their numbers to welcome Wike, sang his praises, and assured him of their votes.
Wike took out time to make purchases at the Fruit Garden Market.
Also, last Saturday, the governor inspected the concluding construction works at the Judges’ Quarters in Port Harcourt.
The construction workers, on sighting the governor, broke into singing and dancing, declaring their support for the re-election of Wike.

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SSANU, NASU Threaten Warning Strike Over Unpaid Arrears

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), University of Jos, have threatened to embark on warning strike next Monday, if the Federal Government does not pay their N30billion unpaid arrears.
The Chairperson of ASSANU and Chairperson of Joint Action Committee (JAC), Esther Ezeama disclosed this, yesterday, during a peaceful protest at the premises of University of Jos, Plateau State.
She said the staff are protesting the poor condition of service, non payment of arrears accumulated to N30billion and noted that Federal Government has being paying lip service to their plights.
“If Federal Government does not look into our matter we will be going for a compulsory five days warning strike, after that we will go for indefinite strike if our demands are not made.
“We have being on this struggle since 2009 and government is no other willing to meet their demands, it has being promising them and failing, we are saying enough is enough. We want them to do something urgent to arrest the situation.
“We want the National Assembly, the office of the Accountant General, the National Universities Commission (NUC) should all put their heads together to resolve our problem before the system is shut down.”
The staff, who were protesting and holding placards with inscriptions reads, “Government must stop lip service, Federal Government should pay us our N30billion arrears, Federal Government must respect NIC judgment on staff school” among others.

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Gunmen Kill Scores, Raze Houses In Ogoni Communities

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No fewer than 10 people were killed and property worth millions of Naira destroyed when gunmen, suspected to be cultists, invaded Okwale and Taabaa communities in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Tide reports that the first attack was launched about 6pm in Okwale community on Tuesday leaving, at least, four persons dead with the residence of one Chief Monday Abueh and others touched by the rampaging gunmen.
Also, similar violent attack was carried out in Taabaa community on Wednesday morning with about five persons killed; while the assailants razed the Palace of the Paramount Ruler of Taabaa, M.S.K Nule and burnt cars packed in the compound, three generator sets and other valuable properties.
The incident also spilled over to Nyokuru community in Khana, where the daredevil hoodlums set fire on the residence of the President, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Comrade Legborsi Pyagbara, just as it was further leant that three policemen were injured.
It was not exactly clear what led to the invasion and sporadic gunshots as residents of the area ran in different directions and into the bushes to avoid being hit by bullets.
Recounting the incident to newsmen, the Paramount Ruler of Taabaa, M.S.K. Nule said efforts by the community to have a police checkpoint near the area has been unsuccessful, saying, “”This morning (Wednesday), some cult boys invaded Taabaa through our neighbouring community called Luekum. They entered into the community at about 6am. They moved straight to my palace and burnt down the entire place. And some ancestral properties of the palace were removed by the hoodlums before they set the buildings ablaze.
“They moved from my palace into the community, where they killed five people, four indigenes of the community and one outsider (stranger) who ran away from Kpor for refuge in Taabaa. They burnt people’s cars; my elder brother’s was also burnt.
“When those people came into the community, we ran and reported to the policemen at a police checkpoint in Taabaa along East-West Road. They were over 20 policemen at that checkpoint, with three Hilux vehicles and their private cars as at the time of the attack.
“They (policemen) told us that their duty is to protect the East-West Road and not the community; that we should call the Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura. The whole people in the community were there begging them but they insisted that it is not their duty to protect the community, except directed by the CP,” Nule narrated tearfully.
Nule revealed that he had written a petition to the State Police Command when he got wind of a planned attack on his community, saying, “While the operation was going on, I also called the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni and reported to him.
“There has never been any crisis in the community since 2014 that the community had such experience,” Nule said, just as he called on the state government and security agencies to intervene and return normalcy in the area.
In her account, a resident who did not want her name in print for fear of being identified and attacked said, ”At about 6am this morning (Wednesday), I was preparing to travel to Port Harcourt. As soon as I got to the road, everywhere was dried; nobody was seen on the road and is a busy area. About 15minutes later, somebody came on a bike and asked me to run that the whole village is under siege. They said some militants have entered the community and that they have started killing people.
“I ran back to the house in safety. By the time the gunmen left the community, they have killed about five people, burnt cars and houses. Our Highness’ house was burnt and another building was also burnt. After they left my community, they went to Nyokuru, and we are not sure of the number of persons killed there. They invaded Okwale yesterday (Tuesday) evening and killed some people. They burnt cars and houses in the community, and one person was taken alive”.
A male resident of Taabaa told The Tide that “From 8am to 9am on Wednesday, some group of boys came to our community and started chasing people and shooting. We ran into the bush.”
Meanwhile, the member representing Khana/Gokana Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Dumnamene Dekor has promised to support security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the attacks were unmasked and made to face the law.
Dekor, who stated this after he visited the affected communities and the hospital where the injured policemen were being treated, said, “I understand in Okwale, there are about five persons killed; four corpses have been recovered; one person was taken alive. In Taabaa, five persons killed, several cars burnt, houses destroyed and it is quite sad.
“While thanking the security operatives for the swift way they acted to prevent loss of more lives and property, I want to call on them to improve on the security, especially in Khana Local Government Area.
“For those who carried out this dastardly act, everything is being done to unmask them and bring them to book,” the federal lawmaker stated.
Commenting on the incident in a statement, MOSOP expressed sadness over what it termed “unjustified attacks”, and called on security agencies to ensure that peace returns in the area.
The statement issued by MOSOP’s Publicity Secretary, Sunny Zorvah reads, “MOSOP receives with sadness reports from some Ogoni communities of the sudden emergence of violence and killings carried out by members of some cult groups in the area.
“Reports say the renewed violence, which took place in Okwale on Tuesday (yesterday), spilled over to Taabaa and Nyokuru communities, all in Nyokhana district in Khana LGA of Rivers State.
“MOSOP is pained over this unjustified attacks leading to the burning down of the house of the MOSOP President, Comrade Legborsi Pyagbara, in Nyokuru community.
“The movement also feels distressed over reports of the killing of about four persons early today (Wednesday) and razing of the palace of His Highness, “Chief Nule (Jnr) in Taabaa community, and yesterday’s killing of scores of persons and attack on the residence of Chief Monday Abueh and others in Okwale community by cult gangs.
“This ugly situation demands urgent and thorough actions by the security agencies and every necessary action required of the government.
“We call on the police and the Special Joint Military Task Force to ensure the return of peace to the troubled communities, go after perpetrators of this barbaric and retrogressive onslaught on the communities, but without hurt on innocent persons.

 

Dennis Naku

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‘FG Not Committed To Ending Gas Flaring’

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The Environmental Rights Activist, Nnimmo Bassey, has stated that the Federal Government lacks the commitment to bringing gas flaring by companies to an end.
Bassey, who is the executive director of Environmental Rights Action, stated that if the government was ready to end gas flaring that it should ensure that companies pay fines for gas flared.
The activist spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, yesterday, at the Youth Climate Incubation Hub, organized for youths of the South-South zone by the Federal Ministry of Environment with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Bassey said that the government has not shown enough commitment to ending gas flaring in the nation, noting that the process requires a lot of investment.
He said: “We need to get youths active in the issues of climate change. We need to place Nigeria on a better foothold for the future. We are losing our habitat and our environment. So, we are for restoration of mangrove forests. If we are serious about tackling global warming one of the ways is tree planting.
“The only problem is that the government is not ready. If the Federal Government is committed to make companies pay fine for the gas they flare, the menace will be stopped. We have to take steps to stop global warming and climate change. Gas flaring has been going for over 62 years now and that is the primary thing that needs to be tackled.
“The deadline to end this malady is 2030, some of us feel it is too far. We are feeling that the deadline should be 2020. We should end it next year. It is achievable we should only be ready to invest.”

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