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NEW Rivers: The Beginning Of A Historic Revival 

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From whatever angle you view the Rivers story, you will eventually come to the conclusion that Rivers State is on the right path,  craved by the people when they first opted for Nyesom Ezenwo Wike,  as their Governor in 2015.
As a reporter/observer who has  witnessed this life-changing relationship between Governor Wike and Rivers people,  I will take the next few weeks to discuss key aspects of this phenomenal drive to re-position Rivers State.
It is necessary to start this narration from the beginning.  Governor Wike was drafted into the leadership race by Rivers people in response to the worst political and economic treachery against the people by the immediate past APC Administration in the state.
Rivers people co-opted Governor Wike to place a derailed state back on track. Between 2013 and 2015, the failed then outgoing administration had weakened the foundations  of governance, destroyed the fabric of brotherhood and sold the soul of Rivers State to external political marauders . Rivers people needed a political tactician and warrior to save the state from total political slavery and economic  damnation.
Therefore, the preference of Wike ahead of 16 other Governorship Aspirants was for the reason of rebuilding and re-positioning Rivers State from the ashes of failure imposed on the state by the immediate past APC Administration. From the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State,  leaders opted to elect Governor Wike and entrench the PDP in the state. They fought against the huge financial  war-chest of the immediate past APC Administration.
On December 8, 2014, PDP Delegates from all the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State unanimously voted for Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2015 election in the state. On April 11, 2015, the good people of Rivers State overwhelmingly voted for Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as their governor.  He polled 1,029,102 votes.
This was fundamentally the people’s project.  It has always been driven by the people. That is why the entire structure  is impregnable from within and without.  True, some political engineering has been deployed,  but the strength of Rivers people is deep and solid. It cannot be swept away easily.
Once the Rivers decide to flow, no quantum of machinations,  no matter how well crafted can stop the flow. In the beginning,  Rivers people set on a mission in one voice and they have remained  undefeated ever since.
In the decision to create a new Rivers State,  people came from the 23 Local Government Areas.  They defied the riverine and upland divide and placed Rivers ahead of other reasons.  They refused to hand their destiny into the hands of a treacherous few. Collectively,  Rivers people became their own godfather. They handed over the state to God on the platform that: “the voice of the people is the voice of God “.
Despite the overwhelming victory in 2015, officials of the defeated APC moved from court to court shopping for illegal injunctions to stop the oath taking ceremony.  Where ever they went, the hand of God frustrated Governor Wike’s  first duty after taking over the reins of governance on May 29, 2019 was to restore the institutions of governance and democracy destroyed by the immediate past APC Administration.  This is one of the most vital actions taken to kick-start the process of development in Rivers State.
Governor Wike re-opened the courts and appointed an Acting Chief Judge and Acting President of the State Custumary Court of Appeal.  The Judiciary which was castrated by the past administration was revived. The Rivers State House of Assembly which relocated to the Government House,  Port Harcourt under the previous administration was duly proclaimed and given the rightful autonomy to carry out its legislative  functions.
According to the Former Rivers State Governor,  Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi,  the State had collapsed  irretrievably at the time Governor Wike was handed the mandate by Rivers people.
Amaechi said, ‘’ I’m not joking, we have no money anywhere. In Rivers State, no money. I think Nyesom Wike is coming, we are waiting. He will look for money for salary; there is none. So, he will have to manage. But when he pays out salary, we will see whether they can build the schools, the roads, even to get a loan”.
Governor Wike inherited four months of unpaid salaries and three months of unpaid pensions. Governor Wike cleared these salary  and pension arrears. The weakened economy was duly reflated,  with mass economic activities set in motion.
Ever since, the Rivers economy  has been on the ascendancy.  It is a given that workers and pension welfare take precedence over other considerations .
Steps were taken to revive the state’s security architecture which was destabilised by the failure of the immediate past APC Administration to fund monthly  financial obligations for security operations.  With this, Governor Wike rebuilt the security infrastructure of Rivers State.
After reviving the state, Governor Wike set out to implement the New Rivers  Development Blueprint.  His careful implementation of this programme has seen  Rivers State emerge as the country’s headquarters of projects and progress.
The Wike  administration ended  the misery of Rivers people and set the people on the path of development.
He has used Rivers mandate to create an atmosphere of hope where the people genuinely yearn for more. In every community,  Rivers people have keyed into the season of stability,  prosperity , new vision, new thinking, and better possibilities.
Governor Wike has planted the process of  purposeful and rewarding leadership propelled by a dynamic team.
He has delivered on the social contract he entered with Rivers people in 2015. The people have renewed his mandate because they want him to Consolidate on the gains of his first term. We shall  provide details  of his outstanding  accomplishments  in his first term .
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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Edo Guber Poll: Crisis Of Confidence Tears APC Apart

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A crisis of confidence is tearing the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State apart as countdown to the governorship election in the state, slated for next year commences.
The Tide reports that bigwigs in the party are no longer seeing eye-to-eye, raising fears over the chances of the APC in the high-stakes governorship election, billed for August next year.
Speaking on the development in an interview with our correspondent in Benin yesterday, a chieftain of the APC, retired Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, raised the alarm over what he described as “heightened crisis and tension in the party’’.
He said that the APC in Edo had witnessed series of threats, brigandry and actions capable of destroying the fortunes of the party in the upcoming governorship election.
Airhiavbere cited situations, where according to him, APC leaders’ homes have been threatened by some interests in the state.
“We condemn these acts. They are unacceptable to genuine leaders of the APC in Edo State.
“We use this opportunity to also condemn the attack at the residence of our National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by thugs.’’
Airhiavbere, who contested the governorship primaries in 2016 with the incumbent Edo governor, described as sad, the current political turmoil in the state’s chapter of the APC.
“The crisis originated from the fact that the trio of Gov. Obaseki, his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie were sponsored into office by Oshiomhole.
“But today, the three men have vowed to dethrone Oshiomhole as the leader of the APC in Edo State.
“But let me state categorically that we will not allow them to embarrass Oshiomhole.
“He remains the leader of our party in Edo State just as Mr Lawrence Okah remains the authentic state secretary of the APC.
“Let me warn Obaseki that he met us in this game of politics and he should know that he has no monopoly of violence.
“We are only playing it cool because he has perfected plans to defect to the Action Alliance. So his intention is to destroy the APC in Edo State.
“But I don’t think we will fold our arms and allow him destroy this party.
“We will meet him fire for fire, energy for energy and word for word,” Airhiavbere said, alleging that the governor’s plan was “to cow everybody in his bid to get a second term ticket.’’
But reacting to Airhiavbere’s outburst on a looming crisis in the state, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Ohonbamu, described Obaseki as a humane, civilized and refined personality, who hates thuggery, lawlessness and impunity.
“Because of this, there has been a shift from the old order, where people constituted themselves into informal entrepreneurs of violence, intimidating people and extorting monies from them.
“So the governor stopped them, starting with the community development associations and all others.
“So, because of the innovative measures, people who are now losers both in the political market and economic space are now annoyed.
“As for Obaseki, you know he does not believe in thuggery or that violence should be employed as a primary weapon of interaction.
“There is nobody who is a thug around him. He does not want it. They are not comfortable with him because he has turned the thing around.
“That old system of diminutive accumulation of forcing people or of dominating people by force, he said no; that can no longer be and many of them have been dealt with on that ground.’’
Ohonbamu said that the governor’s policies were geared at liberating the Edo people from the stronghold of illiterate thugs and violence-inclined people.

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PDP, Police Bicker Over Assassination Attempt On Dickson’s Aide

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The Senator Douye Diri Governorship Campaign Organisation (SDDGCO) and the Bayelsa State Police Command have disagreed over an alleged assassination attempt on the Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson on Youth Matters, Mr Boboleyefa Owoupele.
The Director of Media and Publicity of SDDGCO, Dr. Jonathan Obuebite said there was an attempt on the life of Owoupele but the police maintained that investigation did not point to that conclusion.
Obuebite in a statement while condemning the “curious release” of three suspected thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who were arrested in connection with the assassination attempt described the decision of the police to release three suspects as worrisome and shocking.
Obuebite said the Campaign Office commended the police for the prompt response to the crime noting however that the police commander in charge of the squad that arrested the three suspects released them only to promise that they would be produced on request.
He said that the police action was ominous, distressing and brazenly partisan and called on the Inspector General of Police and the Bayelsa State Commissioner to investigate the scandalous release of the three suspected assassins.
He urged the IGP and the commissioner to give priority to the defence of the police image and integrity as a foremost law enforcement agency in the society by ordering the re-arrest and prosecution of the suspects who have been released under most questionable circumstances.
The Campaign spokesman said that it was a sad commentary on security maintenance that the police had not prosecuted the killers of the Government House Photographer and a PDP Ward Leader in Oweikorogha, Mr. Taribi Seidougha.
He urged the Commissioner of Police to speak out on the curious release of attempted murder suspects barely 12 hours after their arrest.

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Rivers PDP Denies Sponsoring Anti-Amaechi Protest

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Rivers state chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed claims that it was supporting a planned protest against the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, saying it would benefit nothing from such exercise.
PDP State Publicity Secretary, Darlington Orji who made the denial while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday was reacting to accusations by a group, the Initiative for Transparent Strategy and Good Leadership, which alleged that N300million was released to three Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to carry out the said protest.
Recall that President General of the Initiative, Chizi Enyi, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who made the allegation in Port Harcourt, alleging that the protest would be staged in Abuja, the nation’s seat of power.
Enyi further alleged that the protest which will take place in the coming days was being sponsored by the Rivers State PDP in collaboration with the Senator Magnus Abe faction of the APC with the aim of expelling Amaechi from the APC.
But speaking to The Tide, Orji described the allegation as false and baseless, noting that the Wike led administration had no- plan to support a protest against the former Rivers State Governor.
The State PDP spokesman further said the PDP was desirous of a viable oppositions in Rivers, noting that the said group is being sponsored by Mr. Amaechi himself.
“That group is being sponsored by Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. PDP will lose nothing if APC comes together in Rivers State. We will even appreciate it more to put the government on check as a formidable opposition.
“Rivers State is PDP and PDP is Rivers State. PDP will have no interest or benefit nothing from putting people together, putting resources of about N300 million as being alleged together to go and sponsor protest against a man that has already lost touch with his political party and people of Rivers state.
“My advice to the public is for them to disregard such malicious rumour that is being sponsored by a group of individuals who are maybe seeking for relevance,” Orji stated.

 

Dennis Naku

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