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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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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.

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RSG Cancels Lockdown Of Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt Local Government

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* Imposes state-wide curfew 8p.m to 6a.m from June 2, 2020 till further notice
* Uncovers plan by one Bobosky to instigate violence in 6 LGAs
* investigating alleged outbreak of coronavirus in Bonny LGA

Rivers State Government has cancelled the proposed lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas scheduled to resume tomorrow.

Governor Nyesom Wike who stated this in a state-wide broadcast also announced the imposition of 8p.m to 6am curfew in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State with effect from June 2,2020 till further notice.

The Governor also revealed that government has uncovered plans by some criminal elements led by one Bobosky to cause security breaches in Khana, Eleme,Gokana, Tai, Oyigbo and Ikwerre Local Government Areas.

“After a comprehensive review of the measures taken and further considerations placed before us by well-meaning members of the public, the State Security Council has decided to cancel the proposed lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the State.

“In essence, no part of Rivers State is or will be under any lockdown from this moment and this will be so, except where it becomes necessary again.

“As we all know, the regular washing of hands, religious wearing of face masks, keeping effective physical and social distance of between 1.5 to 2 meters from other people, completely avoiding touching of faces with unwashed hands, and cleaning of surfaces we regularly touch have been identified as some of the most effective measures against contracting this virus in the absence of vaccine, ” he said.

 

According to the Governor, government would re-enforce the decisions on the continuous implementation of the following measures throughout the State:

(i) All land borders, including all exit and entry routes into Rivers State shall remain closed to human and vehicular traffic, except those on essential services and duly exempted.

(ii) All residents must wear face masks or covering into any public space, including our roads, banks, shopping malls, shops, hotels and in any lawful social gathering.

(iii) The State task force and the security agencies have been directed to arrest and summarily prosecute any person seen on our streets or any other public place without wearing face masks.

(iv) All banks, motor parks, hotels, restaurants, shops, business centres, shopping malls, and offices must maintain social distancing and enforce the wearing of face masks in their premises.

 

(v) The State task force and security agencies have been directed to seal up, prosecute and confiscate to the State any bank, shopping mall, restaurant, shop, business place or office that fails to enforce social distancing and the wearing of face masks in its premises.

(vi) In addition to providing daily guest list to the Police and the Department of State Security, hoteliers must not host large gatherings, including parties and receptions. Defaulting hotels will be sealed-up and the owners summarily prosecuted.

(vii) All bars, beer palours, or drinking joints, night-clubs, viewing centres, open markets and cinemas shall remain closed until further notice;

(viii) Oil mill market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall remain closed until further notice;

(ix) Oginigba Slaughter market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall similarly remain closed until further notice.

 

(x) Mbiama market in Ahoada West Local Government Area shall also remain closed until further notice;

(xi) All public weddings, burials and large social gatherings shall remain banned.

(xii) Churches and other religious gatherings should continue to comply with the existing advisory on social distancing, initiate temperature checks and enforce the wearing of face masks during their activities;

(xiii) Dealers in Ikoku Spare Parts markets are warned for the last time to stop converting public roads to mechanic workshops or risk final closure.

(xiv) Similarly, no mechanic workshop should be found along Ikwerre road as Government will prosecute defaulters and confiscate any vehicle being repaired on any public road.

(xv) Private and commercial vehicles, including tricycles must continue to limit their passengers to the number earlier established and enforce the wearing of face masks by all passengers. Defaulters will be prosecuted and their vehicles confiscated by the Task force.

These measures, he said, are in the best interest of our State, to protect our lives, businesses, and jobs as well as, to prevent our troubled economy from suffering irreparable damage.

“This also means that, residents now bear much greater responsibility to stop and prevent our State from suffering the exponential and potentially devastating spread of the virus being experienced across the

“As 60% of the positive cases recorded in the State are connected with oil company workers, we have initiated a meeting with all the major oil companies to work out strategies on how we can stop this trend and stop the risk this category of workers now pose to the State.

“Government is also investigating the rumored or suspected outbreak of the coronavirus at Bonny Island.

 

“Our team of medical personnel led by the Commissioner for Health has visited Bonny Island and collected samples from suspected cases for analysis and immediate intervention should the results indicate the outbreak of the virus in the area, “the governor said.

The State Chief Executive also revealed that intelligence has intercepted a clandestine plan by some criminal elements led by Bobosky to cause security breaches in the State by instigating violence and burning down churches in Khana, Eleme, Gokana, Tai and Oyigbo Local Government Areas of the State.

He  assured all residents that the State Government is fully ready and prepared to deal with the situation and continue to guarantee the protection of lives and property throughout the State.

The Governor implored all residents to be vigilant and report all suspicious characters and movements in their neighbourhoods to security agencies.

 

“Leaders and vigilante groups in our communities are to work with the security agencies to enforce  curfew in their localities and arrest and prosecute anyone that violates the curfew order.

“We urge our people to stop the fake news on social media; stop the baseless bickering, the needless blame game, and the seditious rumours that does no good to our image or provide any solution to the common challenges that we face.

“Rather, we should all come together, put our fate in our own hands and work for the common good of all, whether as individuals, families or as communities,” he stated.

The Governor commended all health workers who have continued to put their lives at risk in the forefront in the battle against  COVID-19.

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Governor Wike Releases N450M To 2019 Presidential Election Violence Victims In Abonnema

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The State Chief Executive Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has released the sum of Four hundred and fifty million naira to the victims of the 2019 Presidential election violence in Abonnema.
Speaking during  a meeting preparatory to giving out the cash, Governor Wike  said the gesture is in fulfilment of his promise to the people of Abonnema  at the Church service to honour those who lost their lives, the injured and those who lost properties during the crisis.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government Dr. Tammy Wenike  Danagogo, Governor Wike said no amount of money could adequately compensate the people for the harrowing experience they suffered in the hands of the Nigerian Army, stating that he appreciates the support and commitment of the People of  Akuku Toru Local Government Area before, during and after the elections. He said he would continue to execute programmes that would positively impact on the lives of the people of the  Area.
He assured them that the second phase of the Abonnema ring road would be commissioned before the end of June, stressing that the contractor has been fully paid.
According to him in the face of the Covid 19 Pandemic he has continued to stand by the People of the State by taking practical steps not only to protect Rivers People but to also provide palliatives to bring succour to the vulnerable and less privileged unlike the   selfish politicians in other political  parties who only visit the people to solicit for votes during elections but do not have the interest of the people at heart.
In his remarks the Amayanabo of Abonnema King Disrael  Gbobo Bobmanuel thanked  Governor Wike for fulfilling his promise to the Abonnema People, noting that the Governor has proven over the years that his word is his bond.
According to him the Governor is a man worthy of trust and support because he has fulfilled all his promises to the Abonnema People. He Advised beneficiaries to make judicious use of the Money the Governor has graciously given to them.
Earlier the Chairman of Akuku Toru Local Government Area Hon. Roland Sekibo who said he is still traumatized by the events that took place during the Presidential election in 2019 expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for his kind gesture, stressing that the People of his Local Government Area would continue to support the Governor in his quest to improve the lives of Rivers People.
Also speaking one of the beneficiaries Mr  Minamiango Romeo  who sustained gunshot injuries  expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for not abandoning them in their time of need and promised to continue to support his Administration and the leaders of the Local Government Area.
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PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government

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The Rivers State Government says its attention has been drawn to a fresh wave of media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the officials of the state.

According  to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, “the latest attempt contained in today’s edition( May 24,2020)of The Nation Newspaper alleged that the State Government has refused to release top officials for interrogation in connection to the withdrawal of N118 billion in cash between 2015 and 2018.

 

“We have repeatedly said that the State Government will not release its officials to the EFCC for investigations until the commission approaches the Court  to set aside Subsisting orders of perpetual  injunction granted by various courts of competent jurisdiction restraining the EFCC from investigating or inquiring into the financial transactions of the Rivers  State Government including its ministries, departments and  agencies.

 

“In view of these  Subsisting judgments, it would amount  to an act of brazen  illegality for the EFCC to  insist  on  interrogating  any official OF the Rivers State Government.
For the avoidance of doubt, no official of the Rivers State Government would appear before the EFCC until the subsisting judgments in favour of the Rivers State Government are set aside on appeal.

“Resorting to the Media can only be described as cheap blackmail and witch-hunt to turn away public attention from the development strides in the State.

“This media trial that they engage in all the time will not take the place of our extant laws no matter how hard they try.

“The EFCC should stop playing to the gallery and pursue its war against corruption within the ambits of the law.

 

“Rivers State Government is committed to the Rule of Law and cannot be intimidated by the EFCC.

“Those who want to use the EFCC to promote their political agenda in the State will fail because we know their antics.

“Targeting Rivers State for this occasional media trial should be seen by the public for what it is, “political witch-hunt,” the statement said.

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