Wike Suspends 12 LG Chairmen …Seeks State Assembly’s Ratification …Opposition Leaders Laud Wike’s Inclusive Governance …As Gov Inaugurates 233-Member C’ttee On 2nd Term

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike (middle), with his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo and Chairman, Fourth Anniversary and Inauguration Committee , Hon Austin Opara, during the inauguration of the committee by the Governor in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has notified the Rivers State House of Assembly of the suspension of 12 Local Government Council Chairmen.
Wike, in a letter to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, titled: “Notice of Suspension of the Chairmen of Twelve Local Government Councils,’ premised his action on Section 64 (3) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.
He wrote: “I hereby serve you notice of the suspension of the following twelve Local Government Council Chairmen for security reasons for approval and ratification”.
He listed the council chairmen as Hon. Philemon Kingolo (Okrika); Hon Tom Aliezi (Emohua); Daniel E.O. Daniel (Abua/Odual); Hon Tony Phimoore (Degema); Hon. Lahteh Loolo (Khana); and Hon. Paul Kobani (Gokana).
Others include Hon. Ben Eke (Ahoada East); Hon Samuel Nwanosike (Ikwerre); Hon. Philip Okparaji (Eleme); Paul L. Paul (Andoni); Christian Nwaiwu (Omuma); and Hon Erasmus Victor (Ogu/Bolo).
The governor informed the state House of Assembly that in accordance with proviso (a) to Section 64 (3) of the Rivers State Government Law of 2018, he has directed the vice chairmen of the mentioned local government councils to act during the period of suspension.
Meanwhile,Leaders of opposition political parties in Rivers State have praised Governor Nyesom Wike for involving them in the governance process of his administration, declaring that they will take advantage of his olive branch.
They expressed happiness that Governor Wike has lived up to his pledge by constituting a multi-party committee to commence the transition into his second term.
Former AAC Deputy Governorship Candidate, Mr. Bombar Yeeh lauded Governor Wike for his kind gesture by extending the olive branch to the opposition.
He promised to bring his expertise as a former security officer to bear in collaboration with the government and relevant stakeholders to ensure that peace reigns supreme in the state.
“My contribution is to cooperate with the government of Rivers State to ensure that peace reigns for the progress of all the people in the state. As a former security officer, I will ensure that I work hand in hand with every member of the state to ensure peace which is one of those things the state is looking for is properly restored for the benefit of all,” he observed.
Former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly for Bonny Constituency, Hon. Aye Pepple thanked God Almighty for the all inclusive government in the state spearheaded by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike . He said critical stakeholders will contribute their quota for the overall development of the state.
He lauded Governor Wike for bringing the opposition to join hands with him to engender peace and move the state forward.
“I want to thank God for the politics of inclusion spearheaded by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. We are critical stakeholders in the state and it is time for us to join hands with the Governor to contribute our quota for the development of the State. Rivers State as you know is a very peaceful state. The people must continue to ensure that there is peace by supporting the government of the day”, he said.
Immediate Past Rivers State Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Pastor Samuel Ihunwo noted that over twenty members of opposition political parties were included in the inaugurated State Committee on Thanksgiving, Four-Year Anniversary and Inauguration of the Governor’s Second Term.
He hailed Governor Wike for keeping to his promise, saying the Governor has demonstrated that he is really willing to work and serve the interest of Rivers people.
“I want to appreciate His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for the wonderful gesture. He made a promise and we are here today for the inauguration of the transition and inauguration committee. Over 20 opposition political parties are involved and it’s a very welcome development. I want to tell you that we didn’t lobby, it just came and that is to show that the man is actually willing to work and serve the interest of Rivers State and to fulfil his promise of unity government and I want to say kudos to him”
In his comment, the Governorship Candidate of the Democratic People’s Party, DPP, Emmanuel Nwabriji thanked God for the prevailing peace in the state as according to him without peace, no meaningful development can take place in the state.
He commended Governor Wike for bringing the opposition to join hands with him to develop the state, promising to bring to bear his expertise to ensure that the state become a rally point among the comity of state.
“I want to say a very big thank you to Almighty God for making it possible for peace to prevail. We cannot actually thrive or do anything for greater heights without peace. So now that the peace has returned and in God’s wisdom, His Excellency, Governor Wike has deemed it fit to bring everybody on board and I am involved, am going to bring to bear my experience as a well trained and seasoned journalist, sound administrator and sound professional manager to ensure that Rivers State gets to its eldorado among the comity of states,” he opined.
Also speaking, former Special Adviser to former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Hon. Kuro Briggs lauded the Governor for deeming him fit to be part of his government, promising to contribute his quota to move the state forward.
“First of all, I want to thank His Excellency, the Governor of the state who is our brother for deeming it fit to bringing me on board to be part of this inauguration. Am happy and I will contribute my quota to the state and we believe the state must move forward which is the hallmark of Governor Wike’s government” he asserted.
In a related development, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, yesterday, inaugurated a committee for end of first term Thanksgiving Service and inauguration of his second term administration.
The committee, which is made up of 233 members, has the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Austin Opara as chairman.
At the event which was held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor said some names were omitted in the list.
He said the committee involved many interest groups in the spirit of his avowed all-inclusive government.
He congratulated the committee members, and urged them not to see it as an opportunity of making money, rather as an opportunity to serve the state.
“Please, take it as an opportunity to serve the state very well for the first time”, he said.
The governor stated that the committee was mandated to organise for the Thanksgiving Service for the end of the first term as well as inauguration of the second term of the governor which takes off 29th May, 2019.
Responding to the governor’s charge, Chairman of the committee, Rt. Hon. Austin Opara thanked the governor for finding them worthy of serving as members.
He said, “the governor’s second term is worth being celebrated, and we would not disappoint you”.
Opara promised that the committee would do a job the country would be proud of.
The chairman further remarked that extending membership of the committee to various interest groups was a testimony of the all-inclusive government that the governor promised.
He used the opportunity to congratulate Wike for his re-election victory.
However, the governor has suspended 12 local government chairmen in the state.
The suspension of the council chairmen is with immediate effect.
The council chairmen affected were those of Okrika, Emohua, Abua/Odual, Degema, Khana, and Gokana.
Others were Ahoada East, Ikwere, Eleme, Andoni, Omuma and Ogu/Bolo local government areas.
The affected chairmen were suspended for failure to participate in the inauguration of the committee.