The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has stated that the State Government would continue to encourage private investors to invest their resources in the State.
Addressing the second matriculation ceremony of PAMO University of Medical Sciences (PUMS), Port Harcourt, last Friday, Wike praised the former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili, for establishing the first and only private medical university in the State.
Wike said: “We express joy with the establishment of this university, as the first and only private university in the State.
“My pledge to support the growth of the university is aimed at encouraging other Rivers indigenes to make same investments in the State”.
He urged the students of the PAMO University of Medical Sciences to take their academic work seriously, so that they can contribute to the future development of the State and the country.
“As students of this university, you must count yourself lucky. A degree in any field of medical science will always be in demand”, he said.
He said the growth of the healthcare sector was dependent on the quality of personnel available to the system, hence the Rivers State Government has invested in the training of healthcare professionals by setting up the College of Medical Sciences at the Rivers State University and upgrading the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital.
He expressed happiness with the speed of development at the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, saying that in just 14months, the university has made significant progress.
The Governor assured the governing council and management of the state government’s continued support to ensure the sustained growth of the state.
The former Rivers State Governor and Pro-Chancellor of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Dr Peter Odili lauded Wike for his support for the growth and sustenance of the university.
He urged students of the university to imbibe a culture of discipline and allow the training of the school mould them into health professionals with outstanding qualities.
Odili said: “The restrictive red lines in the school are not meant to punish the students, but to prepare them for tomorrow”.
The Chancellor of the university and former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) said it is gratifying to see the progress made since the university came into existence.
He thanked the Rivers State Governor for the special grant to the university and scholarship to Rivers students.
Representative of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Salim said the involvement of the private sector in the education sector has positively impacted the sector and increased access to quality university education.
Vice Chancellor of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Prof Michael Diejamaoh said that the university has zero tolerance for cultism, drug abuse and other vices.
PDP NWC Insists Rigging Of Kogi, Bayelsa Cannot Stand Says Killers of Woman Leader, Will Never Escape Justice
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says that the violent rigging of the Kogi and Bayelsa states’ governorship elections by the All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot stand.
In a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, after an emergency meeting of the NWC, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “The NWC maintains that there is no way the PDP will fold its hands and watch the mandates clearly given to its candidates, Engr. Musa Wada in Kogi State and Senator Douye Diri in Bayelsa State, left in the hands of repressive usurpers, manipulators and murderers.
“Indeed, the nation is still at shock over the brazen show of violence, where security forces coordinated the invasion of polling units, shooting and killing of voters and carting away of ballot boxes to government facilities where results were altered and fictitious figures given to INEC to declare the APC candidates as winners.
“Nigerians watched with horror as APC thugs and security forces traumatized and held voters hostage, murdered our compatriots, injured and maimed many more in violent attacks that involved the deployment of police helicopters.
“Our party has been made aware of the roles played by the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as well as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in the elections.
“While we urge these officials to do some introspections on the anguish they have caused the people since the rigging of the elections, the PDP NWC assures that it will never hesitate to expose such ignoble roles at the appropriate time.
“The irreversible fact remains that though evil may appear to thrive for a while, truth and justice will always prevail at the end.
“The APC and its candidates must bear in mind that what they could not get through the ballot box, they cannot get by violence, manipulation and killing.
“The PDP is therefore undeterred in the determination to use all legitimate means available and allowed within our democratic practice to confront the usurpers and retrieved our mandate in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
“The PDP will also file legitimate actions against identified INEC and security officials who aided the APC in the violent rigging of the election.
“The NWC therefore urges all members of the PDP as well as all Nigerians of good faith to remain strong, united and undeterred as the NWC commences lawful actions in the pursuit of our mandates.
“Our party once again mourns our compatriots killed by the APC in this election, including our Woman Leader, Acheju Abuh, who was burnt to death by APC thugs at her home on Monday.
“While invoking the wrath of God on the perpetrators of the gruesome killings, the party calls on the police to immediately track down and bring their killers to book.
“Indeed, their death will never be in vain as the mandates for which they were killed will surely be recovered”, Ologbondiyan added.
Similarly, the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would challenge the result of November 16 governorship election in court.
Dickson disclosed this while addressing a world press conference in Yenagoa, yesterday.
He maintained that the PDP did not lose the election as it was characterised by violence and widespread malpractices which were carefully documented.
Dickson, however, said he would set up a transition committee to work out modalities for smooth handover on February 14, 2020.
“Our candidate, Senator Douye Diri and the party chairman have been speaking about the charade called an election that took place in Bayelsa on Saturday, and the invasion of our state by security forces.
“The dehumanisation of our people and how in the majority of areas and places, our people were denied the right to vote for the candidate of their choice.
“The story is all out there that what took place in the state on November 16 was not a democratic election.
“So, today, I’m here to add my voice to all that has been said already. It was so brazen, it has never been like this in this state before,” he said.
Dickson added, “I know that in 2015, we went through a very tough time, there was a display of federal might, but at least, it was not as bad as this.”
He said the endorsement of Mr David Lyon, the governor-elect by ex-president Goodluck Jonathan was regrettable and a ploy by the APC to strategically take over the state.
He said that the perception that he alienated PDP stakeholders including the former president was unfounded, adding that the primary election that produced the PDP candidate was credible.
“Jonathan remains my Oga (boss) and I respect him, but there are lots of efforts by certain interest to create a rift between us, there is no politician that has been there for the former president than me.
“He has also helped me but it is unfortunate that I am being misconstrued in this matter of the election. I tried to meet Jonathan 16 times and he opted to support a candidate that does not wish me well.
“I will soon write my memoirs and people will have a fair view of what happened, the visit of some APC governors to Jonathan who congratulated the APC candidate without congratulating the candidate of his party.
“It is strategic for APC leaders to use Jonathan to legitimise the illegitimacy that happened on Saturday,” Dickson said.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has rejected the outcome of the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The Minority Leadership, led by the Minority Leader, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, stated this while briefing newsmen, yesterday, at the National Assembly.
The minority leader called on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the violence that marred the election in the two states, while disclosing that the party will approach the court.
“We are not impressed with what happened in the just concluded Bayelsa and Kogi elections. We are not in favour of the outcome of the election, us as PDP members and other minority parties and therefore we are 100 per cent not in support of the outcome of the election.
He continued, “We have also come here to register our grievance contrary to the Point of Order earlier raised by our colleague, Hon Abejide Adeleke (ADC, Kogi) commending the outcome of the election adjudging to be fair and credible. We want to state that, we are displeased with the violence actions meted out on innocent Nigerians which led loss of lives and properties”
Adeleke, who is a member of the Africa Democratic Congress from Kogi State, had earlier during plenary, yesterday, used the word “We” when thanking for the election, and the minority leader, rejected the statement, disclosing that the PDP caucus was not in support of the statement.
Also speaking at the briefing, the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu said, “We are particularly sad with the loss of lives whereby the PDP woman leader was burnt alive and the killing of Senator Dino Melaye’s nephew was quite disheartening. We condemn the violence perpetrated in that election. I want to state clearly that we would contest the elections in court. I also feel this is the time to amend the Electoral act, we need to correct the imperfections.”
Later, Adeleke also addressed newsmen concerning the controversy.
He stated: “At plenary, the speaker asked me to brief the house about Kogi election, which I did by raising a point of order whereby I thanked my colleagues for their prayers and success of the election that this time around, the election was not inconclusive.
“ However, on the issue of whether lives were lost, I told them that the election was peaceful in my own area. So, I didn’t do anything wrong as my colleagues in the PDP are already agitating.”
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the North, Aminu Yakudima, says the party should sanction, suspend those who worked against its interest in Bayelsa State.
Recall that the flag-bearer of the opposition, David Lyon emerged winner in the election with 352,552 votes to defeat Douye Diri, candidate of the ruling PDP, who polled 143,172 votes.
Lyon’s victory means that the APC has broken the 20-year reign of the PDP in the state.
According to Yakudima, “Some people worked against the interest of the PDP; therefore, the national leadership should investigate and discipline them to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Those found guilty should be suspended or sanctioned in line with the provisions of the PDP constitution. By and large, there was this issue of persistent thuggery but also, there was a problem within the PDP.”
The ex-President Goodluck Jonathan is one of those who may be suspended for the PDP’s failure in the state because some of the party’s leaders believe that his indifference gave the APC an easy ride to power.
It would be recalled that Ogbia Local Government, where Jonathan hails from, with over 40,000 votes, heightened suspicion on the role of the former president in the PDP’s defeat.
The former president’s hosting of two APC governors in Otuoke; the visit by Lyon and other APC leaders in the state; his non-support for the PDP candidate during the primary election; his non-attendance of the PDP grand rally; his visit to Buhari at the Presidential Villa, and the prayers made by his mother in support of Lyon have fuelled the speculations.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party’s National Working Committee will investigate why the party lost in Bayelsa and Kogi.
“The National Working Committee (NWC) will meet soon to conduct a post-mortem on the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states,” he said.
A former member of the PDP board of trustees (BoT), Sam Nkire, blamed the party’s loss on Seriake Dickson, governor of the state.
Sowore Still Mobilising Nigerians From Detention -DSS
The Department of State Services (DSS) has accused political activist and convener of the “Revolution Now” movement, Omoyele Sowore, of capitalising on the latitude of freedom provided to him at the service’s detention facility to use his telephone to mobilise Nigerians for violence and revolution against the government.
Speaking at press conference at the service’s headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, dismissed claims by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, that he was at the DSS to secure Sowore’s bail, saying that the legal activist lied.
The DSS spokesperson argued that the service deserved commendation instead of condemnation for protecting Sowore’s life by keeping him in its custody, insisting that no credible Nigerian has come forward to secure his bail.
He argued that the service could not release Sowore from its detention facility because he may be knocked down by a vehicle on his way out.
Afunanya said, “We cannot just release Sowore and ask him to go because he may be knocked down by a vehicle at the gate.”
Pointing out that Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana, was yet to come forward and fetch him from their facility, Afunanya said the senior lawyer had not been to the headquarters of the service since the activist was granted bail.
He maintained that the secret police was following administrative procedures by insisting that Sowore’s sureties come forward for proper documentation.
“We respect rules and orders of the court and there was never a time the Director-General said he would not release Sowore,” he said.
Sowore is currently held in custody of the secret police against court order.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court in Abuja had recently ordered the release of Sowore alongside Olawale Adebayo.
The DSS is yet to comply with the order and claimed that no surety had come to take Sowore on bail.
Few weeks ago, a group of protesters led by Deji Adeyanju alleged that they were given N1million to stop the protest demanding Sowore’s release.
The DSS, however, said it will release Sowore if his sureties come forward for documentation.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has expressed confidence in possible release of activists, Mr Omoyele Sowore and Mr. Olawale Bakare, who remained in the arbitrary detention of federal security agents despite a court order for their release.
The organisation’s expression of confidence followed the response of Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Portal Welby to an earlier open letter for intervention in the matter.
Recall that SERAP had on November 11, 2019, in an open letter to Archbishop of Canterbury, urged him to use his good offices and leadership and his “friendship with President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on him to promote the rule of law in words and in action by obeying all court orders including the order for the releasing of Sowore and Bakare from arbitrary detention.”
Journalist and activist, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare are facing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari, simply for exercising their human rights.
Sowore, was arrested on August 3 by Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS) for planning a protest.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted Sowore and Bakare bail but the security agents have continued to refuse to release them despite being served with the court orders.
The SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, who made the response of the Archbishop known in a statement, yesterday, expressed delight over the positive response.
SERAP had in the earlier letter expressed “serious concerns about the disturbing trends by state governments and federal government to use the court as a tool to suppress citizens’ human rights.”
Cleric’s Wife Warns Women Against Promoting Child Trafficking
Mrs Martha Ibezim, the wife of the Anglican Archbishop, Province of the Niger in Awka Diocese, Most Revd. Alexander Ibezim, has called on women to shun any activity that would promote girl child trafficking.
Ibezim made this appeal in an interview with The Tide’s source in Awka yesterday.
She urged women to be mindful of the activities of their children, more importantly the girl child as girl child trafficking had become the order of the day.
“It is an abominable act that must be checked by women, all mothers to ensure that they do not engage or encourage such act of inhuman activity against a girl child,” she said.
Ibezim said such act would be curtailed if not eradicated when women resolved to play their active role of home building entrusted into their hands by God as mothers and nation builders.
“Materialism must come last in our list of nation building by prioritising grooming of our children and tending of our husbands,” Ibezim said.
She reminded women of their role as women within and outside the home, as a sacred duty given to them by God, which must not fall below expectation.
Ibezim said that women from all the 17 Archdeaconries in Awka Diocese must be very vigilant in these last days, where craze for materialism was fast taking over the homes
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