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APC, PDP Govs Conspired To Seize Rivers -Wike …Inaugurates Audit Panel On LG Accounts

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike yesterday alleged that the All Progressives Congress and some governors of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) joined forces to take over the state.
However, the governor said his re-election was as a result of God’s miraculous intervention in the face of internal and external conspiracy to truncate the will of Rivers people on March 9.
He made the remarks at a thanksgiving service held at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt to mark his electoral victory, noting that God rescued Rivers and its people from internal and external conspiracy.
Among others, the thanksgiving service was attended by former Rivers State Governor, Chief Peter Odili; the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa and the Presiding Pastor of Salvation Ministries, Pastor David Ibiyeomie.
At the service, the governor alleged that some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) worked with the opposition to ensure that the PDP was cheated out of her victory in Rivers State.
He noted that the fight “was not just with the opposition. It was also within our party. When we lost the election in Ekiti State, one of our leaders in the South-West said that Fayose is finished and the next person is Wike.
“Some governors within the party joined forces with the opposition against the State. But then, the will of God prevailed. I was not bothered by what the opposition did, but what some of our party members did was worrisome.
“Some persons working with us in the state betrayed us. They felt there was no way that we would make it. They became agents of the opposition. But God’s intervention rescued Rivers and its people.”
Wike commended the clergy and Rivers women for standing by him and the PDP all through the electioneering, noting that their support ensured that the PDP emerged victorious.
The governor noted that the women of the state “indeed showed so much concern. Some of them were ready to die because of our election. I do not know how to thank them.
“For the first time, I saw women like Aba Women Riot, coming out to say no and we will not agree. Let me assure you that I will not disappoint the Christian community in Rivers State,” he said.
Wike assured the people of Rivers that he would work like a first term governor, delivering on his pledges and that his performance will not be affected by the second term syndrome.
He reiterated that he would remain committed to the olive branch that he extended to the opposition in the State. He said that it was done to promote peace and not out of fear of political fight.
He said that the state government would not abandon the families of courageous Rivers people who died in defence of democracy, praising the PDP Governorship Election Collation Agent, Dr Ferry Gberegbe who was allegedly murdered by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad for defending democracy.
Wike singled out his wife for praise on the positive roles she has played in sustaining his family.
Former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili said without God’s intervention, the people of Rivers would not be on ground for this thanksgiving.
He called on Rivers elders “to unite and work for the restoration of peace in the state. Power comes from God. Hence, all leaders should support Wike to move the state forward.
“Power comes from God. Therefore, we must all stand behind our leader and governor. Enough is enough. It is time to work for the growth of Rivers State,” the former governor said.
Also at the service, Secondus said the states of the Niger Delta were under siege by the authorities during the elections.
He said that it was God that delivered Rivers State, noting that God confounded the army commanders and secular authorities to ensure the victory of Wike.
“It was written in Abuja. They issued several press statements. Security agencies and generals stood, but who can beat the Army of the Lord. They planned to take Rivers State by Force.
“In their plans, they excluded God from their plans. It was the power of God that delivered Governor Wike. When the Army Commanders took over, God intervened,” Secondus said.
He, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to involve the 36 Governors and other relevant stakeholders in any strategy aimed at tackling the worsening security situation in the country.
The PDP chairman explained that the security problems are overwhelming the federal government because it’s detached from the people through its isolationist system of governance.
He lamented that the federal government has lost focus and idea of how to handle the security challenges, saying Buhari “cannot isolate the people he governs and expects necessary cooperation and support needed to tackle issues like security.
“That is why they must try to carry the state governors along if they hope to decisively tackle the security challenges. They were in Abuja playing God sending military saying it will never happen. But they forgot that nobody can surmount the army of God.”
He commended the people of Rivers state for standing up in defence of democracy pointing out that the supreme sacrifice of deaths and other stress they were subjected to during the election cannot be in vain.
Ohuabunwa, currently representing Abia North Senatorial District, urged all PDP senators to work with Wike at all times. He said that they will continue to give him unflinching support to deliver on his mandate.
In a sermon, Ibiyeomie said an attitude of thanksgiving provides a platform for development, saying God deserved gratitude for the blessings He bestows on the State.
The cleric, therefore, prayed for peace to be restored in Rivers State through the direct control of God.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has approved the setting up of a “committee to investigate and audit the financial transactions of the 23 local government councils from May, 2018 to May, 2019.”
The seven-man committee has the state Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo as chairman; with Dr Zaccheus Adango, Barrister Isaac Kamalu, Mrs Bunmi Akaakar, Prof Kaniye Ebeku, and Mrs Inime Aguma as members while the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim would serve as secretary.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, indicated that the committee would be inaugurated by the governor on Tuesday, 28th May, 2019 by 11am at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The statement further directed the affected members of the committee to be seated at the chambers by 10:30am.
The Tide learnt that the setting up of the committee has triggered panic and anxiety among top officers of the 23 local government councils, particularly the elected and appointed officers.

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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