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Rivers PDP Blasts APC For Using Chiefs, Others To Mislead Nigerians …Says Novice Can’t Be Rivers Gov …We Don’t Take Orders From Anybody, INEC Tells APC

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The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on Transportation Minister, and factional leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to stop daydreaming about the governorship of Rivers State as no amount of propaganda and recruiting of hirelings dressed in chiefs or elders’ attire to look respectable can hides their childish inclination and pecuniary interest for the job.
The PDP also advised the APC and AAC to stop daydreaming about governing the state for a third-term by plotting to foist a neophyte to administer the people, stressing that Rivers people have already made their choice.
The state Chairman of PDP, Bro. Felix Obuah, in a statement, stated this following a poorly concocted footage purportedly proclaiming the Action Alliance Congress (AAC) Governorship Candidate, Engineer Awara Biokpomabo as ‘winner’ of the March 9, 2019 Governorship election in the state, and described the video with imaginary figures, as highly malicious and an embarrassment to Rivers people.
The statement, issued in Port Harcourt, and signed by Obuah’s media aide, Jerry Needam, yesterday, said the video footage would achieve nothing but only embarrass its sponsors and producers.
Obuah said Rivers people cannot be deceived by the APC-sponsored footage as it was very obvious that all the characters featured in the video were not people of the state.
He said it was obvious looking at the malicious content of the footage; it was clearly intended to insult the sensibility of Rivers people, adding that the sponsors had failed on arrival as they were embarking on what he called a voyage of discovery.
Obuah added that the footage with fictitious figures, which featured the minister addressing a crowd, was made to look as if it had something to do with AAC, whereas it was actually clips from 2014 APC campaign and the ill-fated Presidential rally of the APC at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in November, 2018.
“Amaechi and his AAC fantasy are only deceiving themselves. You can see that the event featured in that video took place last year when Amaechi had yet no inkling of what lay ahead for the APC in the state.
“In their stupidity, they made the video look as if it was a crowd of AAC supporters living in the fantasy of producing a governor. This is but the height of political 419”, Obuah said.
The state PDP boss advised the APC, which was delisted from the ballot in Rivers State by the INEC, to put its house in order and stop interfering with the electoral process in the state.
“I think that what is sensible for APC to do rather than dissipating energy to brew crisis in the state, should be to channel those energies into putting their house in order and prepare ahead of elections in 2023”, Obuah said.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it would not remove its Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Obo Effanga, saying that it does not take directive from anybody.
INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, stated this while responding to an enquiry from newsmen, last Monday.
Among other demands, the spokesman for the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, had in a statement, last Sunday, said the redeployment of Effanga became necessary to prevent him from skewing the forthcoming supplementary elections in favour of the opposition.
He had alleged that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, through Effanga, engaged the PDP card-carrying members as local government area collation officers in the last poll and was capable of repeating same in the forthcoming elections.
But when asked if the commission would accede to the demands of the APC, Osaze-Uzzi, said it was the prerogative of the commission to move resident electoral commissioners.
He said, “We have been hearing that for a long time, it is not new. Did we change the REC in Akwa Ibom? The prerogative of moving RECs is that of the commission. INEC doesn’t take directive from anybody. If the commission sees the need to move anybody, at the appropriate time, it will do that and if there is no need, it will keep them where they are.
“It is the complete prerogative of the commission; if and when the need arises, we will make the necessary adjustments. So, we don’t take dictation or pleas from external groups, more so principal players in the game.”
The commission had suspended the collation of the results of governorship and the House of Assembly elections in Rivers State due to violence and disruption of the electoral process.
In a related development, ahead of today’s meeting of stakeholders to decide the way forward in the completion of all activities in the electoral processes in Rivers State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a group, Coalition of Rivers State Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), yesterday, asked the electoral umpire to release the names of the 17 local government areas whose results had been declared collated.
It would be recalled that INEC, in a statement, last weekend, while announcing the report of its Fact-Finding team sent to Rivers State, had revealed that the outcome of the process had already been declared in 17 out of the 23 local government areas in the state before it announced the suspension of the process on March 10.
But rising from a meeting, the coalition of Rivers NGOs, which claimed to be an amalgamation of both indigenous and other NGOs in Rivers State, said INEC should be transparent enough to unveil names of the 17 local councils to inspire the confidence of the electorate, the political actors in Rivers and entire Nigerians in the electoral process in the state.

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana & Dennis Naku

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APC’s Ploy To Ban, Regulate Social Media, Hypocritical, Wike Affirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says it is hypocritical for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contemplate banning or regulating social media after using it to hoodwink Nigerians to attain power.
He argued that the APC-led government has miserably failed, and wants to use its disagreement with Twitter as a false premise to suppress criticism of the administration’s appalling handling of the affairs of the nation through the dubious regulation of social media.
The governor, who make this assertion during the inauguration of nine reconstructed streets: Nzimiro, Herbert Macaulay, Amassoma, Arochukwu, Atako, Ogoja, Akure, Yola and Chinwo in Old Government Residential Area of Port Harcourt, noted that APC, having become the butt of jokes on social networks, was desperate to trample on freedom of expression of Nigerians.
“You have misled the country. You told us lies through social media. The same social media that you used to take over government, the same social media you want to regulate and ban. The same social media you used to tell Nigerians lies of how former President Goodluck Jonathan did not do this, how PDP did not do that.
“Now, you want the same social media to be regulated. You don’t want freedom of speech. Now, you want to gag them. Did anybody gag you when you were using them?”
Wike said the kidnap of scores of students at Federal Government Girls College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, last Thursday, was a further demonstration of APC’s gross ineptitude to guarantee safety of lives and property of Nigerians.
According to him, Nigerians are anxious for the APC to quit power and allow the more experienced Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to once again restore stability in the polity and dignity of the nation.
“You wake up every morning to hear 20 people have been kidnapped; 30 people have been kidnapped and people are telling us to keep quiet. Is it when they have kidnapped your own daughter?”
The governor also took a swipe at the Presidency for berating PDP governors, who demanded for transparency and accountability in the way the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was managed and that the APC-led government should be alive to its constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property.
“In Kebbi, 40 to 50 girls have been kidnapped, our young daughters. And then, you are telling me we (PDP) have not proffered solution. Which solution are you talking about? The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is the president that appoints all the security heads in this country.
“No governor has the power or any role to appoint even a Commissioner of Police. And then, you are telling me that we have not proffered any solution. What solution do you want us to proffer, when you have taken your oath of office that you are going to guarantee the lives and property of Nigerians?”
Wike noted that even President Muhammadu Buhari during his recent television interview, had disclosed to Nigerians that he has nothing left to offer the country in terms of good governance.
“The president spoke to us the other day and Nigerians were happy the way he spoke to them, he told them the truth. And the truth is that whether you like it or not, I have nothing again to offer and that was the truth. And people must agree to that.”
The governor said his administration has deliberately embarked on massive urban renewal drive aimed at restoring the Garden City status of Port Harcourt.
According to him, it was regrettable that past administrations in the state did not consider it appropriate to restore the lost glory of Port Harcourt.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Senator Walid Jubril, who inaugurated the nine streets, commended Wike for transforming Port Harcourt, such that even the blind can attest to it.
Jubril said the entire board of trustees of the PDP was proud of Wike’s steadfast commitment to the PDP.
According to him, party stalwarts across the country, are impressed with the governor’s remarkable achievements and leadership.
“Anybody, who is from this state and is trying to go astray, I am not with him. I am with the people of this state, and I will remain with you (Wike).”
The Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said the nine streets have a combined length of 4.2km and 6.5km of drains.
He explained that the scope of work includes; road expansion, construction of drainages, walkways, asphalt overlay, street lighting and road marking.
He listed some of the benefits of the reconstructed streets to include: ease of movement, reduction in travel time, reduction of vehicle wear and tear, protection and enhancement of real estate values, and improving living standards.

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Fulfill Promise To Complete East-West Road, Wike Charges FG

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged the Federal Government to expeditiously complete the abandoned East-West Road because of its economic importance.
He said the neglect of the East-West Road, particularly the Eleme axis where the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone, Port Harcourt Refinery, and Onne seaport were situated, was unacceptable.
Wike stated this during the inauguration of Community Secondary School, Eteo, Eleme; and Community Secondary School, Obeakpu-Ndoki, Oyigbo, respectively, last Friday.
“I urge the Federal Government under the APC to please fulfill promises they made to Nigerians, fulfill promises they made to Rivers State.
“It is unfortunate; look at the East-West Road, this part of it has almost collapsed. The money comes from where? The money comes from us. Can you see this part of the road anywhere in this country?
“They are taking us for granted because we have nobody. God in his infinite mercy will give us somebody. The kind of treatment we are receiving from this Federal Government is unacceptable.”
The governor charged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to visit the Eleme section of the East-West Road to appreciate the agony of the people of the area.
He further decried the failure of the Minister of Transportation, who hails from Rivers State to ensure that both the Port Harcourt and Onne ports function optimally for the benefit of the state.
Wike explained that prior to the reconstruction of Community Secondary School, Eteo, students were learning in a very unconducive environment, worst still, without chairs.
He stated that the state government decided to reconstruct the 24 classrooms school to improve access to quality education in the state.
“We are not only focusing on road, we are also focusing on health and we are also focusing on education. This will improve access to quality education.”
The governor appealed to the teachers and students of the school to utilise the facilities provided by the state government and make sure that the school is protected.
Wike commended Eleme youths for resisting attempts by some persons with secessionist agenda to use the community as a base for their nefarious activities.
According to him, Rivers State believes in the unity of the country, and will continue to insist that every section of the country should be accorded equal opportunities and privileges.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Senator Walid Jubril, who inaugurated the Eteo Secondary School, said the party was proud of the developmental strides of Wike.
Jubril further commended the governor for his steadfast defence and support of the PDP.
Similarly, former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, who inaugurated the Community Secondary School, Obeakpu-Ndoki, said the achievements of Wike were worthy of emulation by other governors.
He explained that as a party man, Wike has displayed total commitment, total loyalty and total faith in the survival and management of the PDP.
“Governor Wike remains a role model, worthy to be emulated. I advised other governors to come to Port Harcourt to see what Governor Wike is doing.”
Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, said the two inaugurated schools will further create access to quality education in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, George Kelly D. Alabo, said the reconstructed secondary school at Eteo has 24 classrooms, library, laboratory, chapel and connected to the national grid.

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Don’t Borrow Money Without Approval, Wike Warns New LG Chairmen

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has told newly sworn-in chairmen of the 23 local government areas of the state not to approach any financial institution to borrow money without first clearing with the state government.
The governor gave the warning shortly after the elected chairmen of the 23 LGAs took their oath of office at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
According to Wike, the caution has become necessary in order to stem unguarded desire of some council chairman to access money without any development plan.
“Don’t go and borrow money without the state government approval. Some of you tried it last time and started with your blackmail, saying help us, we are finished. You have no authority to go and borrow money. Even we as state government, before we go and borrow money we get approval from the Debt Management Office. No bank will even give us.
“Before you borrow money, the state must know what you want to use it for, and how you will pay it back, so that others who are coming will not suffer because of your indebtedness.”
Wike also charged the council chairmen to pay proper attention to issues of security in order to stem likely security breaches in their various councils.
The governor particularly urged them to establish a robust working relationship both with the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and the traditional rulers that will engender having regular security meetings for proper briefings.
“Stay in your council areas. Don’t stay in hotels and in Port Harcourt. If you’re not at home, how do you know about the security situation in your local government? Security is key!
“Relate with your DPOs. It does not cost you anything. Even if it cost you, governance is not easy. Governance is expensive. Security is expensive. Some of you cannot relate with the DPOs.
“It’s only when you have a problem that you relate with your DPOs and some of them are intelligent and when you call them that time, they turn their face the other way. You must make effort to relate with your DPOs.”
The governor urged the council chairmen to ensure they hold Security Council meeting weekly or better still, once in every two weeks for proper briefing.
Speaking further, Wike warned them against embarking on needless travel outside of the state and the country without notifying the state government.
He also encouraged them to work to strengthen the unity of the party in their various councils, consult widely with the leaders over appointments, and on other issues that will give everybody a sense of belonging.
Wike frowned at the worsening sanitary conditions particularly in Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt City, Eleme, Oyigbo LGAs, and charged the council chairmen to work assiduously to regularly evaluate refuse dumped on major roads in their councils.
The state governor revealed that the state government prevented the former chairmen whose tenure ended, last Wednesday, from paying local government workers salary due to security report and complains by some councillors and political appointees that they will not be paid what was due them.
“So, I decided to suspend the payment of local government workers and political appointees, so that the newly sworn-in chairmen will have to pay them without any crisis whatsoever.”
He said the state government will set up a committee to oversee the payment of all entitlement of immediate past chairmen, their political appointees and councillors.
According to him, “All the former council chairmen, all political appointees and councillors must be paid their money.”
Wike said he has received intelligence report that some council chairmen have sworn that they will not swear in some elected councillors who they perceive to be opposed to them.
He warned that if this happens, appropriate sanction will be taken against the erring council chairmen.
The newly sworn-in chairmen are, Daniel E. O. Daniel (Abua/Odual); Benjamin Eke (Ahoada East); Hope Ikiriko (Ahoada West); Rowland Sekibo (Akuku-Toru); Barrister Awortu Erastus (Andoni); Onengiyeofori George (Asari-Toru); Irimagha David ( Bonny); Michael Williams (Degema); Obarilormate Ollor (Eleme); Dr. Lloyd Chidi (Emohua); Obinna Anyanwu (Etche); Deko Confidence (Gokana); and Engr Nwanosike Samuel (Ikwerre).
Others include, Bariere Thomas (Khana); Barrister Ariolu George (Obio/Akpor); Nemieboka Vincent (Ogu/Bolo); Akuro Tobin (Okrika); Nwaiwu Chisorom (Omuma); Vincent Job (Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni); Enyiada Cookey-Gam (Opobo/Nkoro); Nwaogu Akara (Oyigbo); Ihunda Allwell (Port Harcourt City); and Mbakpone Okpe (Tai).

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