A body of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria, the Coalition of Civil Societies, Rivers State chapter has called on the government at all levels to stop the killings across all parts of the country.
The group made this call in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, during a national road walk campaign against killings in the country.
The road walk, which started from Rumuola at 8:30am and terminated at Isaac Boro Park in Port Harcourt by 10.30am, was used to draw public attention to the increasing spate of wanton killings in the state and the country at large.
Addressing newsmen at Isaac Boro Park after the morning walk, the Coordinator, We The People (WTP), Mr Ken Henshaw said that the security agencies in the state, especially the Nigeria Police have failed in their responsibility to protect lives and property, adding that the role and responsibility of any government was to protect lives and property of citizens in the society.
“Therefore, any government that fails to do so has failed in its duty. Nigerians are no longer happy with the present administration in the country”, he lamented.
According to him, the civil society organisations in the country want an end to the killings going on in the country, noting that the killings were increasing on a daily basis.
“In the month of April in Rivers State alone, we documented 46 cases of violent killings and deaths. The government needs to do more for the safety of Nigerians.
“We urge the police to swing into action that would lead to unravelling the possible causes of these killings and ensure the documentation of the deaths in order to know their identities as well as their killers.
Also speaking, Chairman, Rivers State Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Comrade Enefaa Georgewill, urged the security agencies to track the perpetrators of the inhuman acts, and prosecute the killers in accordance with the relevant laws of the country.
He called for the withdrawal of police men and other security personnel attached to politicians and very important persons (VIPs), adding that these security men were meant to protect lives and property, not individuals who do not need them.
“Federal Government should send back the security agencies to the state, local government areas and communities for the protection of lives and property”, he added.
In his speech, a third-year student of University of Port Harcourt, Department of Sociology, Ojukwu Tochukwu said that the security agencies should be able to create a database for all the deaths that occurred in the state during the period under review.
Tochukwu, who is also a pioneer member of Students Watch (STUWAT), appealed to the security agencies to do their best in protecting lives and property of citizens in the society, which he said, was their primary obligation.
APC Has Failed Nigeria -Wike ….Affirms PDP Is Only Hope For Nigeria
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has failed Nigerians on all fronts.
Governor Wike made the remark when the Rivers State executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Governor recalled how the APC promised Nigerians of solving most challenging national issues but has continued to give excuses for their failure.
“Nigeria is hoping for PDP, APC has failed Nigeria. This is no more time for promises. You have promised and you have failed. There is nothing to try you again.
“Nigerians have realised that it is better they stay with the PDP that has the interest of Nigeria at heart than a Party that gives excuses everyday.
“You know there are problems in Nigeria and you made promises, asking Nigerians to vote for you and for five years, nothing has changed”, he stated.
Governor Wike told the delegation that his attention is focused on governance and delivering service to the people.
“Let me say clearly that this is no time for politics. My concern now is to make sure we deliver all the promises we have made to the people of the state. When politics comes, we will have our report card to show the people.
“It has never happened in the history of this country. Within one year, a State Government will construct five flyovers projects at the same time.
“In October last year, three flyover projects were flagged-off and they will be completed this December, 2020. In July, we started expansion of Rumuola flyover and tomorrow, we will sign contract papers with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC for the GRA junction flyover, that includes the dualisation of Ezimgbu Link Road and Tombia Road extension.
“So many people ask us where we get money for the projects during this COVID-19 pandemic. I tell them if God is with you, you will not have any problem. God has given us the opportunity at this point in time and he will not abandon us.
“We will be executing projects and also continue to fight to make sure our people are safe. We will provide basic infrastructure for our people and also improve the economy of our State. We cannot give excuses but we will continue to do our best,” he stated.
Governor Wike urged the Party executives to show more love to the party by being loyal and committed.
He endorsed the action plan of the Party executive and urged them to do their best in consolidating the gains of the Party in the State.
“As Officers you owe the Party a lot. You have to consolidate the gains we have already recorded.
“No State can say they are better off than Rivers State. We have successfully conducted our Congresses without problems. God has given us what it takes. With all the people working with us and showing commitment, we will move this State to the next level of positive development.
“I plead with you all to work cooperatively with the chairman and be united. We are going to work together to draw up a plan that will make us more effective.
“Let nobody deceive you to attend any meeting anybody will call because he wants to run for governorship. We have not come to that point. I have just stayed one year in office in my second tenure. We are working for our Party to be united to make sure that APC does not have a breathing space in our State.
“There is nothing the APC can say to Rivers people today as the reason they should be voted for. Whether it is the federal government, or their political appointees, they have nothing to tell us.
“The money they have approved for us as refund has not been given to us. But I am not worried. I will continue to work. We have something we can show to Rivers people,” he said.
The governor reminded them that local government primaries would be held this year and urged them to commence consultations on how to achieve success.
On COVID-19, the Governor enjoined them to adhere to the protocols of wearing of face mask in all public places, social distancing, washing of hands with running water and soap, and use of hand sanitizers.
Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Desmond Akawor said the Party has passed a vote of confidence on Governor Wike for the various people- oriented projects executed in the 23 local government areas of the state.
He noted the swift response of the governor to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state including the restoration of the glory of the State.
Ambassador Akawor presented the action plan of the new executive that will guide their activities in consolidating on the gains made by the past executive.
He assured that they would embark on aggressive membership drive and reconciliation of aggrieved members.
RSG Debunks Receipt Of N78bn Refund From FG …Dissolves Taskforce On Illegal Street Trading, Motor Parks …Pulls Out Of FG’s Public Works Programme
Rivers State Government has debunked the misconception that it has received N78 billion refund from the Federal Government.
The State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, made the clarification yesterday in a Radio Programme.
Pastor Nsirim explained that there is a huge difference between approval and release of funds.
“As at today, the Rivers State Government is yet to receive the N78 billion. There is so much misconception out there. There is a difference between approval and release of funds.
“When the money is released it cannot be a secret because in government circles such an information cannot be hidden.
“Let me state categorically that if the money is received today, it will be made public. So, this idea of peddling propaganda that the money has been received by mischief makers is quite unfortunate,” he stated.
He also used the opportunity to clear the air on the questions being asked in several quarters over what the State Government needs more loans for when it has N78 billion, saying, “you cannot plan with what you do not have.”
The Commissioner also assured Rivers people that when the refund is finally received, the State Government would use it judiciously for the benefit of the people.
“If the refund is received they can always count on Governor Nyesom Wike to use it judiciously to increase the infrastructural development of the State.
In another development, the State Government has approved the dissolution of the State Taskforce on Illegal Street Trading and Motor Parks with immediate effect.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim said “consequently, the Special Assistant to the Governor in charge of the Task Force, Mr. Bright Amaewhule has been relieved of his appointment”.
The statement continued that “members of the Taskforce are hereby directed to return the operational vehicles and Identity Cards of the body to the Office of the Secretary to State Government not later than 4pm tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
“They will be paid their salaries as they return the vehicles and Identity Cards. Government will reconstitute the Taskforce after proper orientation and training”.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has pulled out of the Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government where 774,000 unskilled Nigerians were supposed to be employed.
Nominee of the Rivers State government in the committee, Erastus Awortu, made the decision of the state known in a letter addressed to the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, SAN.
Awortu, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on NDDC, alleged that the implantation of the programme, which was designed to employ 1,000 persons per local government area, has been hijacked by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
The Rivers State nominee described the Special Public Works Programme as a scam.
Awortu said in the letter, “At the beginning, some guidelines were set on how the slots should be shared among the various interest groups. The various interest groups are 35 and have representatives in the committee but unfortunately, that is not being done by the committee. The guidelines are not being followed.
“The committee has been asking people to process their applications but we found out that they also gave out forms to APC members in the state. Which means they already know those they will shortlist for the programme and they are only stressing other people to apply. They are doing that to justify that due process is being followed but that is not the case.
“I find it very misleading and as the representative of the governor, I will not be part of that kind of process where the populace will be made to apply for what is not available. It is an absolute scam.
“Accordingly, I want to say that since the slots are not defined as per the guidelines that the state is willing to allow the programme be run fully as an APC empowerment programme for their members and cease to be part of it forthwith,” Awortu said.
The Chairman of the Special Public Works Programme in River State, Dr Innocent Barikor, had on a radio programme over the weekend in Port Harcourt, said the committee had no plans to undermine the state government in the implementation of the programme.
According to the letter made available to The Tide, Awortu copied the Rivers State Governor, Chief NyesomWike and the Chairman of the Public Works Programme, Dr Innocent Barikor, in the withdrawal letter.
Assailants Murder Obiano’s SSA On Security
Unknown assailants yesterday stormed the residence of Mr Azubuike Ekwegbalu, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on Security, leaving him dead after allegedly stabbing him with a kitchen knife.
Our correspondent gathered that the incident occurred early hours of yesterday at his residence at the Commissioners’ Quarters, Awka, a high brow area for government officials.
An eyewitness said the late Ekwegbalu, who hails from Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area of the state, was a close relation to the wife of the governor.
“He was murdered by unknown men last night at the commissioners’ quarters, Awka.
“This is barbaric. May his soul rest in peace.
“Security operatives must do all that is possible to bring the killers to justice,” the source said.
Confirming the incident in a statement, the spokesman for the Police Command in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed, said one suspect, who was seen in the premises had been arrested.
“On August 9, 2020, about 1:30 a.m., there was a report of alleged murder of one Azuibuike Ekwegbalu, aged 43 years, native of Ogbunike in Oyi LGA but resident at the Commissioners quarters Awka.
“Following the report, Police detectives attached to ‘B’ Division Awka led by the DPO, CSP Emma Ogbuanya visited the scene and rushed victim who was found in a pool of blood to COOUTH Awka for medical attention.
“He was certified dead by the medical doctor on arrival while his corpse was deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy,” he noted.
Mohammed said a careful observation on the deceased body revealed stab wounds while a blood-stained kitchen knife was also recovered as an exhibit at the scene.
“Consequently, one suspect who allegedly was in the premises has been arrested and the case is under investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident,” he stated.
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