The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has stated that his second term administration would feature leaders from within the state structure, with a few new officials drawn from outside the system.
Speaking during a Special State Luncheon for members of the Rivers State Second Term Inauguration Committee at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, Wike assured that he would always involve those who worked hard for the success of the administration, especially those who served in the committee.
Wike said: “Most of you or some of you must still be part of the government, the cabinet and other parts of the administration.
“Those of you who are prayer warriors should continue to pray. Generally, it cannot be outside this area. It cannot be. It will be people within the system and some from outside.
“Don’t feel that we have abandoned you. Not at all! Government House is still open to you”, he enjoined members of the committee.
He commended members of the Second Term Inauguration Committee for delivering a world-class transition from first to second term for his administration.
Wike expressed happiness that the committee worked tirelessly and religiously to deliver quality programmes that shaped the commencement of his second term.
“After the successful second term inauguration, the deputy governor and I decided to host the committee for the wonderful inauguration.
“We were filled with happiness, particularly on the day of the second term inauguration. The only day we had a challenge was the day of the Thanksgiving Service. But the committee made amends”, he said.
Responding, the Chairman of the Second Term Inauguration Committee and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara, thanked the Rivers State governor for the opportunity given them to serve the state.
He formally recommended all members of the Second Term Inauguration Committee for different responsibilities in the forthcoming administration, saying that they lived up expectations.
Opara thanked the Rivers State governor for monitoring the preparations and activities of the committee, which ensured that the members delivered.
Also speaking on behalf of other committee members, Prof Ngozi Ordu, expressed gratitude to Governor Nyesom Wike for the opportunity to serve.
She said that members of the committee went the extra mile to ensure the transition into the second term was successful.
It would be recalled that members of Governor Wike’s Second Term Inauguration Committee were drawn from the former Rivers State Executive Council, former Special Advisers, former and re-elected State and National Assembly members, the academia, top class professionals, members of the business community, local government council chairmen, party chieftains, youth groups, women leaders, opposition party leaders and non-indigenes.
Meanwhile, the former militant leader, Alhaji Asari Dokubo says the scourge of cultism and kidnapping ravaging Nigerian society should not be handled with kid gloves but rather, government should deal decisively with those involved.
Dokubo stated this, last Tuesday, in an interview with correspondents in Government House, Port Harcourt.
The activist expressed opposition to the approach of offering amnesty to cultists by government, saying “instead of treating them as criminals”, which they are, “government is encouraging them by rewarding terror merchants through amnesty.
“My advice has always been that cultism and gangsterism have never helped. The root cause of this is the amnesty programme that was introduced.
“How can you pay money to people who are not working? When they brought this amnesty, I rejected it. This amnesty programme is a bad omen.
“Your father’s salary who has been working is N50,000. He has worked for 30 years, his salary is N50,000. Then you, who has refused to go to school, you are a rapist and a common thief, government will now reward you for being a rapist and a common thief, and pay you N65.000, and ask you to stay at home”, he complained.
He stressed that reward for criminality has discouraged people from embracing hard-work and the dignity and reward that go with it since other youths would emulate those who committed these crimes and ironically get sustained reward through amnesty.
Dokubo regretted that the situation has degenerated to the point that before you build house or embark on any project in the communities, you see group of youths asking you to pay them, such that people have abandoned villages as they take refuge in the cities.
“It is so disgraceful that you wake up in the morning, and you see severed head of a fellow human being decorating our streets”, he said, and urged government not to leave any stone unturned to cleanse the society of the evil of cultism and kidnapping.
He advised government to end the present era of entitlement to criminality in the form of amnesty, stressing that those behind the persistent kidnapping, which he called, ‘stealing of human beings’, and cultism were very few in number, and should be decisively dealt with.
“The government should work with the various security agencies concerned with maintaining law and order to make sure that these people who are few are dealt with.
“Once you cage these few people, the society will be very free, and let us not reward terror merchants.
“Our society today is rewarding terror merchants, and people see them as role models, and also follow suit to make money from criminality”, he said.
He noted that until government does the right thing, the scourge would persist, adding that some traditional rulers that attempted advising the cultists and kidnappers against what they do have become victims.
However, the former freedom fighter noted that his community has not faced the effects of criminality because it has a mechanism that checks criminals, and advised other communities to put in place such needed mechanism to check miscreants, instead of the use of entitlement.
“We have told them that this entitlement mentality, forget it, it is not going to work.
“In my community in Oboma, it doesn’t happen. There is no ‘kpo fire’, there is no one stopping you from building house. Government project comes and nobody stops them; everybody is happy, because there is a mechanism to control these people.
Rivers’ll Ensure Safe, Secure Environment For Economic Growth -Wike .
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration would continue to support security agencies in the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for the economic prosperity of citizens.
He said the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Operation Sting and the revitalised C4i security outfits were set up to help provide security to stimulate growth and prosperity of all in Rivers State.
The governor spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the 2021 Conference/Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Rivers State chapter, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
“This administration has embarked on aggressive infrastructural development and a very deliberate urban renewal efforts around the capital to attract local and foreign investors to stimulate our economy.
“We have also opened up local governments through quality road networks. Upgrade of various social and recreational facilities in various local government areas,” he said.
He commended the state chapter of the NIPR for the choice of the theme of the conference: “Nigeria’s Security Situation: A Factor in Reputation and National Development”, adding that stakeholders must begin to act in a very different, drastic and positive strategy to remedy the already battered reputation of Nigeria.
He urged the NIPR to use its expertise and experience to thrive to galvanise and stimulate the populace and government at various levels for the resuscitation of citizens sense of pride and responsibility of whatever was left of the nation’s image and reputation.
“All hands must be on deck, especially reputation managers to call on government at all levels to begin to act in ways and manner that will help to revive the battered image of this country,” he added.
Welcoming guests and participants to the conference, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, who is also the state chairman of NIPR, commended the cordial relationship existing between the institute and the state government under the leadership of Governor Wike who is a honorary fellow of the institute.
“Governor Wike has been very supportive of all the activities of the Institute. That is what you also get from a visionary leader who has changed the landscape of Rivers State with infrastructure, with various developmental projects that touch the lives of the ordinary man,” he said.
Nsirim said the state chapter of NIPR was proud to associate with Governor Wike for the giant strides he has recorded and would continue to record until the end of his tenure in 2023.
“As a chapter that is responsive to the development of Nigeria, we have chosen the theme for this year’s conference as our own way of contributing to the national discourse,” he said.
He said the conference would produce a blueprint that would guide national discourse and urged participants to contribute robustly to the conversation.
“It is expected that the fallout of the conference will re-engineer national security and national development with the aim to put our country on the path of rapid growth,” he said.
In his speech, the President and Chairman of Governing Council of NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, emphasised on the need for all Nigerians to collaborate to fight insecurity currently confronting the country’s economic and political stability.
He welcomed the theme of the conference, saying that it was coming at the time the institute had gotten sufficient worry about national security, peace and economic development.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ike Neliaku, chronicled the increasing violent crimes that had claimed thousands of lives in the various parts of Nigeria, and submitted that the rising insecurity situation in the country had impacted and would continue to impact negatively on corporate and national reputation.
He said the worrisome development would have concomitant consequence on individual and national development.
Chairman of the conference, Chief Felix Otuwarikpo, said the conference was put together to dissect the current carnage affecting the Nigerian nation.
“As an institute, we will leverage on the conference to proffer solutions to the security challenges affecting the nation,” he said.
The conference also featured the presentation of awards for good public relations and community development to some distinguished members and organisations.
Church Of Nigeria Honours Wike, Sanwo-Olu, Akeredolu, Others
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has bestowed awards for exemplary leadership qualities in a challenging economy and dedication in the service of God and humanity on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Ogun State Governor, Adedapo Abiodun.
Also honoured is the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Abayomi, with an award for quality and equitable healthcare delivery.
The awardees were honoured at the standing committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, at the Diocese of Lagos, Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos State.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who conferred the awards on the recipients, said the political leaders were considered for the award for their outstanding role, courageous leadership, and standing firm in defense of Nigerians against insecurity, provision of basic infrastructure to the citizenry and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the congregation on the state of the nation and the role of the church, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, admonished the leadership of the church to encourage its members to be part of the governance process in the country.
The governor noted that a situation whereby Christians leave governance for politicians alone is no longer obtainable.
According to Wike, the effect of bad leadership will also affect the church if they remain passive to the issue of governance.
“You must be part of choosing leadership. Don’t say you have no role, you have a role. When you don’t participate, bad leaders will emerge and when bad leadership emerges, you are part of it.
“You must encourage your people to be part of leadership. I didn’t go to any school to study leadership.
“So, nobody should say that as a Christian you cannot be a governor, no. The head of SUBEB in my state is a priest and you can see the leadership he has given to that agency today. You will feel proud about it. That used to be the most corrupt agency, but today it is headed by a priest and you can see the difference.”
Wike decried the inherent injustice that has characterised the Nigerian State, and urged the church to speak against socio-political issues adversely affecting the progress of the country.
“We say we are all one Nigeria. We went to World Bank to borrow money to do specific projects. One of the states that make up Nigeria I hear is Rivers State. And I also know in paying this money back to World Bank, money that comes from the resources of my state will be used in paying back this money. But my state was denied to have projects from that loan.”
The Rivers State governor said a situation where states depend on the Federal Government to survive can no longer be tenable, and insisted that states must be allowed to collect revenues such as Value Added Tax (VAT) to enable them improve the welfare of their people.
“You have gone to take loan and I am one of those states that will pay back those loan and you deny me to benefit from the projects that that money will be used for. I have no problem with that.
“Allow me the one (VAT) the Constitution says I am entitled to, let me collect that one and develop my state.”
He regretted that some governors in Nigeria have refused to think out of the box on how to boost economic activities in their states.
“There is flood in my state, it requires N200millon, I will go to Abuja to beg. Even as a governor, I will knee down before a DG of an agency of government. You will knee down for a director just because of N300million. That is the status of some of the governors of some states.”
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the church for its support, and announced the waiver of N2billion for land acquired by the Church of Nigeria in Lagos State.
The governor stated that Nigeria and the rest of the world are going through difficult times amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and used the occasion to canvass for mass vaccination of the citizens.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, while speaking on the theme of the conference: “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World”, lamented that Nigeria was fast becoming a land flowing with tears and blood because of the impact of terror, banditry, herdsman attacks on communities and kidnapping.
He said a situation in which communities that are predominantly Christians are targeted one after another in some parts of Kaduna State and North-Central of Nigeria was unacceptable.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the bandits and herders attackers as terrorists and let them be treated as such.”
The Primate urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity 2023 general election offer to exercise their right to choose new leaders.
He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address the free fall in the value of the country’s currency because of the attendant impact on the store of value and confidence of investors.
Rivers Begins Process To Check Flooding
The Rivers State Government has said that it was working with relevant agencies to roll out the process that would check perennial flooding in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Nsirim, therefore, called on those living and doing business in the state to play their part in line with the programme that would be executed by government to address the problem of flooding.
He frowned at the situation where residents of Port Harcourt had turned the drainage systems into refuse bins, and warned that “that is not what it should be.
“The present administration under Governor Nyesom Wike is desirous to make Rivers State a destination of choice and that is why the government has embarked on massive infrastructural development in line with its urban renewal programme.
“So, what is expected of those living and doing business in Rivers State now, is to co-operate with government to ensure that the urban renewal programme and the plan by government to make this state a destination of choice is realised,” he said.
He noted that the state government could not do it alone as it required the support of corporate organisations, civil society groups, religious organisations and the media to enlighten their publics on the need to behave as responsible citizens.
He called on the media to embark on massive enlightenment programmes along the line of the roles of citizens in checking flooding in the state.
“We believe that if the citizens cooperate with government, as government is out to ensure that everyone living and doing business in the state does so in a healthy environment, we believe that in the next few days or weeks we will find a solution to this (flooding),” he said.
Nsirim also announced the names of entrants selected for the essay competition on the title, “Our State Our Responsibility” introduced under the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign of the ministry launched at the beginning of this month.
He said those shortlisted were expected to be at the conference room of the ministry by 11am on Monday, September 27, 2021, for a physical test to ascertain their original ownership.
Those shortlisted are: Jessica Hart, Samuel William, Amarachi Chimezie, Jasper Dorcas, Jaja Tamunoimiegba Christian, Sophia Oyibo, Blessing Pepple, Anyiam kelechukwu, Deborah Adegbami, Gift Samuel, Okiche Golden, Okiche Miracle, Orovwigwo Deborah, Otuka Goodluck and Ziga Paago.
By: Beemene Taneh
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