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March 9 Polls: WCM Condemns Military Invasion Of Rivers …Urges INEC To Declare Wike Winner

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A pro-Wike group in Rivers State, Wike Continuity Movement (WCM), has condemned in strong terms the invasion of the political landscape in the state by the military during the March 9, 2019 governorship elections.
The group, which made the condemnation during an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt yesterday expressed shock over the indefinite suspension of the electoral process in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the activities of soldiers and other security agencies during the elections.
Making the position of the group known to newsmen shortly after the meeting, Mazi Felix, on behalf of the state Chairman of WCM, Chief Uchenna Okokoba, said the manipulation of the electoral process by soldiers was uncalled for and most unfortunate, and urged INEC to declare the Governor of the state and governorship candidate of the PDP, Chief Nyesom Wike, the winner of the governorship election without further delay.
According to him, members of the group participated in the elections in the 23 local government areas of the state where Governor Wike won the election convincingly in all the polling units.
He said the group condemned in all totality the harassment and unlawful arrest of PDP leaders in the state and urged the military hierarchy to do the needful by investigating and bringing to book those described as men in military uniforms and political thugs, who perpetrated the mayhem on election day.
The group also condemned the statement credited to the governorship candidate of African Action Congress (ACC), Mr Awara Biokpomabo, calling on INEC to declare him winner of the election, saying the statement was a coup d’etat against democracy and an attempt to subvert the will of Rivers people.
The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government, civil society organisations, the international community and all well-meaning Nigerians to call to order the Chief of Army Staff, the military, security agencies and the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, to refrain from the excessive use of power to the detriment of the Rivers people.
He called on members of the group to remain calm and law-abiding, “putting their trust in God, and believing that evil can not triumph over good.”
Members of the group who spoke to The Tide in separate interviews affirmed and corroborated the position of the WCM leadership, insisting that Governor Wike clearly won the election in all the polling units across the state.
Coordinator of the body in Eleme Local Government Area, Hon John Egwim expressed shock over the development and thanked Chief Okokoba for the steps taken so far by the group to put things in proper perspective.
The women leader of the group, Lady Christy Anosike, said she was saddened by the way things were playing out, stressing that the election was free and fair in her ward in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, and wondered why the results had not been declared up till now.
The Chairman of WCM’s Elders Forum, HRH Emmanuel Ogene, also condemned the invasion of the electoral process in the state by the military, saying it was very embarrassing.
Dr Henry Kanu said the election was highly militarised in Oyigbo Local Government Area where he said a youngman was killed, saying, in his unit, PDP won massively, describing the current scenario as a rape of democracy, not only in Rivers State but also in Nigeria.

Donatus Ebi

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Wike Gives Taskforce Marching Orders On Street Trading, Illegal Markets

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has inaugurated the state’s Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks, with a charge to the task force to sanitise the streets and return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status.
Inaugurating the committee, last Wednesday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said that the task force was a product of law, following his assent to the Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets & Motor Parks (Prohibition) Bill No. 8 of 2019.
The governor, who had earlier in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, appointed with immediate effect, Mr Bright Amaewhule, as the Special Assistant to the Governor and Coordinator, Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks, said that all the operatives of the task force have been profiled by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the police, while those found wanting have been flushed out.
Wike insisted that henceforth, every appointment that he would make, must pass through security checks, adding that this would enable him have thorough knowledge of the security profile of whoever he would be giving appointment.
He said: “Every appointment I will make now must pass through security. I want to know who is who”.
Wike explained that the reason government sent the task force members to the State Security Services and the police for screening was for proper identification and to ensure that government did not take people who will put it in trouble, and assured that more appointments would be made into the task force to replace those screened out by the security agencies.
He said: “All of us love the state and we must love it fully. Not in half measures. When we build roads, before you know what is happening, the roads are taken over by street traders and illegal motor parks.
“The task force has the responsibility of cleaning up the streets. Ensure that nobody trades on roads. You must wear your vests and identity cards during your work period”, he emphasised.
He said that mobile courts have been established on a zonal basis, and directed the task force operatives to take arrested street traders, mechanics and illegal motor park operators to the mobile courts were offenders would be tried, jailed or fined.
The work of the members is to arrest offenders and take them before the mobile courts in each zones.

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CACOL Faults EFCC’s Raid On Ambode’s Residence

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The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in allowing themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe area of Lagos.
Adeniran spoke, yesterday, during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.
It would be recalled that, last Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption, but could not find anything incriminating.
But Adeniran said, “That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State Government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government, and that is because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually, and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that he should not be investigated or brought to justice.
“The reason why we have to believe that you have to connect with it is that, that is the only corruption allegation that has been levelled against the former governor. And we don’t have anything against that, if on reasonable ground that have reasons to believe that maybe the cash is starched in that house just like that found in Osborne’s house, Falomo, Ikoyi or shopping complex. They could raid the place and they can break it down if they refuse to open the place. But then, you have to have reasonable reasons to do that too zealous to protect one of their own, that might be the reason.

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INEC’s Claim Of Not Having Place For Data Storage, Laughable -PDP

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The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in allowing themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe area of Lagos.
Adeniran spoke, yesterday, during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.
It would be recalled that, last Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption, but could not find anything incriminating.
But Adeniran said, “That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State Government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government, and that is because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually, and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that he should not be investigated or brought to justice.

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