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We ‘re Committed To Peace Building -Wike …As Commission Ends Sitting In PH

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has declared that his administration is committed to the peace process he initiated for the development of the state.
Speaking during a solidarity visit by selected clergymen of Ikwerre extraction to Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said that the state government needs peace to entrench development across the state.
The governor said: “We are sincere about the peace process that we initiated. We are not playing politics with the peace process. It is for this reason that the Honourable Attorney General entered a ‘nolle prosequi’ for some persons.
“Government needs peace to entrench development in different parts of the state. However, we are committed to peace that is not against the interest of the state. We are not working for conditional peace”.
Wike said that he will continue to work for the entire state, which he sees as his primary constituency.
“As a governor, I am from a particular ethnic group, but I am not a governor for only that ethnic group. I am a governor of Rivers State.
“So, my interest is for the entire state. But somebody must come from somewhere”, he added.
The governor thanked the clerics for their role in the promotion of peace and reconciliation. He enjoined them to continue to build peace across the state.
He said that the success recorded during the elections prove that the prayers of Rivers clerics worked for the people.
Earlier, the Leader of the selected clergymen of Ikwerre origin and President of Ogbakor Ikwerre Worldwide, Rev Canon Simeon Achinewhu congratulated the governor on his re-election.
Achinewhu, who is also an academic professor, said: “Your re-election for a second term is a general acceptance by the good people of Rivers State that you performed creditably well in your first tenure.
“We join the good people of Rivers State to appreciate you on your performance in your first term and pray that God will give you more wisdom to perform even better in your second term”.
The group lauded the Rivers State governor for initiating a peace and reconciliation process by extending the Olive branch after the elections.
“We commend your courage for extending the Olive branch for total peace and reconciliation in Rivers State. We pray to God to touch everybody concerned to accept this Olive branch and fully participate in the process of reconciliation and total peace in Rivers State”.
The Ikwerre clerics assured the governor that they would work towards bringing all interest groups together for a joint solidarity visit to the Government House.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commission of Inquiry investigating the invasion and attack on the state Judiciary Complex, last year, yesterday, completed its public sitting in Port Harcourt, with a firm promise that its recommendations would be based on the evidences given by witnesses who testified during the proceedings of the commission.
The Chairman of the commission, Justice Simeon Amadi, stated this during the last sitting of the commission at the state Judiciary Complex in Port Harcourt.
Amadi, who is also a serving judge with the state Judiciary, said the commission tried to reach out to all parties whose names were mentioned in the matter through electronics and print media.
He averred that some of the persons who were invited by the commission refused to honour the invitation on their own volition.
The chairman reiterated the commission’s earlier resolve to be fair and give equal opportunities to all affected persons and groups, adding that the commission remained a fact finding one, and therefore, not set up to witch-hunt anybody.
“We tried to ensure that everybody mentioned in the allegation was invited for fair hearing and to give equal opportunity to all.
“But a lot of the people decided not to appear before the panel, we shall visit the premises to inspect the damaged items within the Judiciary Complex to ascertain the level of damage as well as know the items replaced and those still pending”, he added.
Amadi thanked all the people who attended the proceedings of the commission for the cooperation they accorded to the panel, and assured that their report would capture all the correspondences taken from the witnesses.
Earlier before the commission rounded off its sitting, it also grilled the former mayor of Port Harcourt City, Prince Orukwem Amadi-Oparali and the Registrar of the state High Court, Mrs V. Kobani Esq.
While the state High Court Registrar, Mrs V. Kobani, who had earlier testified before the commission was recalled for further cross-examination and clarifications, the former mayor, Prince Amadi-Oparali was admitted into the witness box to give his evidence as the mayor of city at the time of the incident.
Kobani while submitting the list of unrecovered items during the judiciary invasion told the commission that the judiciary archive containing both government and private information was damaged by the hoodlums during the rampage.
She told the panel that there was never a time the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike drove Justice Chinwendu Nworgu into the Judiciary Complex on that day.
On his part, the former mayor of Port Harcourt, Prince Orukwem Amadi-Oparali told the commission that the thugs, who invaded the judiciary on that day, were supporters of the two contending factional members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state loyal to the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Senator Magnu Abe, respectively.
He disclosed that he could not establish the identity of the leaders of the protesters because the crowd was much but stressed that his main concern alongside some members of the State Executive Council who were there at the time of the attack, was to ensure that the court was open, which they succeeded in facilitating.

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RIVERS Approves Review Of 2020 Budget

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The Rivers State Executive Council has approved the review of the 2020 Budget in line with the present economic realities occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Accordingly, the State’s 2020 Budget has been reviewed by 48 percent from N530,813,357,619.00 Billion to N300,370,071,183.00 Billion.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Supervisory Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Isaac Kamalu announced on Wednesday, while briefing journalists after the State Executive Council Meeting presided over by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Mr. Kamalu stated that the State Executive Council also gave approval for the review of the 2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, accommodating a downsizing of the budget, pointing out that the decision was taken in consideration of all necessary parameters geared towards offering the state purposeful service and effective leadership.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Sunny Ejekwu said the State Executive Council also approved a Free Bus Scheme with a fleet of 28 Luxury Buses to convey commuters free of charge during this COVID-19 period.
He said the Scheme which would start from Monday, June 1,2020 is part of measures introduced by government to ameliorate the sufferings faced by those living and doing business in the state.
Mr. Ejekwu announced that the Free Buses would convey commuters in Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt, Eleme and Oyigbo Local Government Areas.
The Commissioner also stated that wearing of facemasks would be a compulsory requirement for any commuter who would want to enjoy the free service.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim announced the setting up of an Executive Council Committee to work out modalities that would outline conditions that would be met by those who intend to bury their loved ones  during this period.
According to him, the Committee is headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo while the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccheus Adangor, Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Thomas Bariere, Commissioner for Youths, Mr.Prince Ohia and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, Mr Dax Kelly are to serve as members.
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COVID-19 Decisions Are Taken By State Security Council – Governor Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the State Security Council takes all decisions  in  the prosecution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

Governor Wike who stated this on Tuesday when the Executive of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Rivers State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt pointed out that he has never taken any unilateral decision.

The State Chief Executive noted that all decisions taken by the State Government are for the overall good and interest of the Rivers people as no right thinking government would deliberately take decisions that would negatively affect the lives of the people.

 

“I don’t take decisions alone in the fight against COVID-19. All decisions are taken  by the State Security Council and they are for the overall interest of Rivers people.

” You know people applaud government decisions when it  suits them but when it does not favour them they say it is  politically motivated.

“Rivers State Government does not have anything against hoteliers in the state, but decided to shutdown their activities because some cases of  COVID-19 were recorded in hotels,” he stated.

Governor Wike also blamed the hoteliers for failing to assist government in providing relevant information regarding those that test positive of the coronavirus in their hotels.

According to him, adequate information would have helped  the State Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies to carry out proper contact tracing.

“Its not possible that the State Government will intentionally close down hotels. But what I see is that people play politics with everything.

“The  demolition of Prodest Hotel and Etemeteh Hotel in Eleme Local Government Area by the State Government became necessary because the owners failed to comply with  Executive Order 7,” he said.

 

The State Chief Executive stated that he is more pained than any other person in the state that churches and mosques are not holding their full religious activities because of COVID-19.

“I can’t believe that I will be sitting here as a Governor and take a painful decision that will make  churches and mosques not to hold full religious activities, ” he said.

The Governor lauded members of the State Chapter of Nigeria Hotel Association for identifying with government efforts in the fight against COVID- 19.

 

Earlier, the State Chairman, Nigeria Hotel Association, Mr. Eugene Nwauzi commended Governor Wike for leading the fight against coronavirus in the country.

Mr. Nwauzi noted that but for the efforts put in place by the Governor, the spread of COVID-19 would have taken a dangerous dimension in the state.

He however appealed to the State Government to  relax the ban on hotel businesses, assuring that all protocols put in place for the containment of the spread of the virus would be fully observed by hoteliers.
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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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