The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that the state government would not permit the proliferation of vigilante groups, stating that youths interested in helping to build the state’s security architecture should join the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency.
This is as traditional rulers of Ahoada East and Ahoada West local government areas submitted arms retrieved from repentant criminals in the areas, after a local amnesty programme.
Speaking at a brief ceremony where he received the Ekpeye Traditional Rulers from Ahoada East and Ahoada West local government areas at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said that the decision became necessary after OSPAC from Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area started over-stepping their boundaries.
Wike said: “I am being very careful about vigilante groups in all the local government areas because of what OSPAC is doing. They are now going beyond their boundaries.
“We will reintegrate OSPAC into the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. Anyone who wants to support the security structure should join the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. We will not approve local vigilante for different local government areas”.
He said that some of the criminals may pretend to have repented, only for them to renege after re-arming themselves.
Wike said that the Rivers State Government would no longer operate an amnesty programme, since many of the criminals reneged during the first exercise.
The governor said: “We granted amnesty in the past and some boys went back to crime. For now, we are doing what is called, ‘Binding Over’. If they renege, the law will take its course.
“When the court binds you over, it will be difficult for you to renege”.
While saying that the security agencies were determined to fight crime across the state, Wike commended the traditional rulers of Ekpeyeland and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison, for taking proactive action to improve security in the areas.
The governor said the state government would reward the Divisional Police Officers of Ahoada East and West and the Joint Task Force Commander in the area, Major Nwachukwu for their roles in promoting peace and security.
Earlier, the Eze Igbu Ukpata, Dr. Felix Otuwarikpo had said that traditional rulers from Ahoada East and West local government areas worked with the security agencies to ensure that peace returned to Ekpeyeland.
He said that the Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison, supported the peace process which included confidence building and the return of arms by repented criminals.
He said that 113 former cultists have repented and they turned in their arms, adding that a cultist known as VIP and his group would also surrender on Friday.
Otuwarikpo urged the Rivers State Government to take steps to ensure that the boys don’t return to their criminal ways, and praised the Divisional Police Officers of Ahoada East and West and the JTF Commander for their commitment to peace in the areas.
He said that the Ekpeye Traditional Rulers organised a local amnesty programme, wherein all repentant criminals were taken to the ancestral home of Ekpeyeland for traditional oath taking, explaining that anyone who goes against the oath would face dire consequences.
Wike and the service commanders later inspected the arms surrendered by the repentant criminals.
The Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison, commended the peace initiative of the governor.
He said Ekpeye people appreciate the developmental efforts of the governor.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has stated that the commencement of Turkish Airlines flights to the Port Harcourt International Airport would lead to greater economic development for the state.
Speaking during a ceremony marking the maiden flight of Turkish Airlines to Port Harcourt International Airport, yesterday, Wike said that Rivers State Government was ready to partner with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for more airlines to operate international flights from the state.
Wike said: “We are happy that Turkish Airlines is now operating from the Port Harcourt International Airport. This will positively impact the economy of the state.
“Outside Lagos and Abuja, Port Harcourt International Airport should be the next destination for international flights and other business opportunities. The Rivers State Government is willing to partner with key stakeholders to ensure that more airlines operate from the state”, he noted.
The governor said Rivers State has great economic opportunities that would be beneficial to investors, explaining that the economy of the state can sustain itself.
He reiterated his approval for the dualisation of the road leading to the Port Harcourt International Airport, saying that engineers of the state Ministry of Works have taken road measurements, yesterday.
In his remarks, Senior Vice President of Turkish Airlines, Mr Karem Sarp said that the Port Harcourt route was the 324th destination of the airline in 124 countries, adding that it was the 57th destination in Africa.
Sarp said that Turkish Airlines was committed to improving social and economic connections in different parts of the world.
According to him, “We are recognised for our unique flight services. We will continue to grow and this is an important destination”.
He said that the Port Harcourt route would link India, United States, China and other important global destinations.
The Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Group Captain Usman Sadiq said that the Port Harcourt International Airport deserves more flights, and promised that FAAN would continue to work towards more flights for the state.
Similarly, the Nigerian Ambassador to Turkey, Mr Audu Paragalda said the new destination would improve relations between Turkey and Nigeria.
The General Manager of Turkish Airlines, Lagos/Port Harcourt, Mr Yunus Ozbek thanked the Rivers State Government and FAAN for creating the opportunity for Turkish Airlines to operate from Port Harcourt, and assured that the airlines would live up to the expectations of the people.
The event witnessed the exchange of gifts between the Rivers State Government and the management of Turkish Airlines.
The maiden flight of Turkish Airlines at the Port Harcourt International Airport was greeted by celebration from Rivers people.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike had assured that the state government would make critical interventions at the Port Harcourt International Airport to improve the international acceptance of the facility.
Speaking, last Monday, during a courtesy visit by the new General Manager of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for South-South and South-East regions at Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said the Rivers State Government was committed to making the Port Harcourt International Airport the destination of choice in the country.
Wike said: “I will dualise the access road to the airport from the Port Harcourt-Owerri Road Junction into the airport. I will also reconstruct the road leading to the VIP Lounge at the Airport.
“The state government will also demolish the existing VIP Lounge and construct a befitting lounge. The new lounge will be a storey building. You have made these requests, which I have granted”.
Wike said that in addition to dualising the access road to the airport, the Rivers State Government would install streetlights on the road.
The governor called on the Federal Government to complete the construction of the domestic terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport.
“In the beginning, I pleaded that I be allowed to intervene in the completion of the local terminal of the airport, but they declined because of politics. Why can’t they complete the construction of the local terminal? Is it because it is Rivers State?”, he asked.
He urged the authorities to forget political considerations and complete the local terminal in the interest of Rivers people and other users of the facility.
In his remarks, the new General Manager of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for South-South and South-East regions, Mr Felix Akinbinu informed the Rivers State Governor that the maiden Turkish Airlines would land at the Port Harcourt International Airport, yesterday, June 25, 2019.
He appealed to the Rivers State Governor to assist in the dualisation of the access road to the airport and the reconstruction of the VIP Lounge.
The airport manager explained that Port Harcourt and Kano international airports were being posted for aerodrome certification, saying that the airport requires the assistance of the Rivers State Government to get through the certification process successfully.
Rivers State Needs College of Education-Don
Following the upgrade of the former College of Education to a university, a university teacher has sued for the establishment of a new college of education to replace the old one.
The plea was made by a lecturer in the political Science Department of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Dr. Iwarimie Uranta.
Uranta who made his views known in an interview with The Tide pointed out that College of Education if established will address the middle manpower in the educational system of the state.
For now, Uranta said “there is a vacuum,” National Certificate of Education (NCE) will help bridge the gap of middle manpower in the teaching profession.”
He continued”, it will boost the teaching of core courses, because NCE teachers are trained as teachers in those courses”.
The university don pointed out that currently there is a limited number of people who wants to do education. It reduce pressure on the universities and reduce social vices by the youths, Uranta stressed.
Besides, he said the current reforms in the educational system will benefit as many private schools will have manpower to recruit instead of engaging quacks in their schools.
In a similar vein, Head of Educational Psychology/ Guidance and Counselling in the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Dr. Sunday Ordu has commended the State Government
for the policy to sanitise privately schools in the state.
“A lot of private schools don not have professional teachers so the policy is in the right direction.
It will improve manpower faculties to enhance educational growth. The environment must be conducive” he added.
RSG Implements TSA To Block Revenue Leakages, Soon …Tasks State Internal Revenue Service To Grow Monthly IGR To N10bn …Seeks Informal Sector’s Support Through Payment Of Prescribed Taxes
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has announced that the state government would soon commence the operation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) to boost its revenue base.
Wike also charged the Rivers Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) to grow the state’s monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to N10billion.
He spoke during the flag off of Informal Sector Tax Drive with vehicles donated by Access Bank Limited at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor said: “We will initiate the Treasury Single Account to block revenue leakages. I assure that very soon, the Treasury Single Account will become operational.
“The Treasury Single Account will be implemented to checkmate what is presently going on. It is not good to have several accounts which lead to unnecessary leakages.
“Our revenue base fluctuates. The board has been directed to expedite action for the state to hit N10billion Internally Generated Revenue every month.”
Wike explained that the Treasury Single Account will be diligently implemented in the interest of Rivers State, and restated that his allegiance was to Rivers people who voted him, because he was not sponsored by any group.
He urged the informal sector to support the Rivers State Government by paying their taxes as prescribed by the Rivers Internal Revenue Service (RIRS).
“The drive for informal sector tax is key. I believe it will boost our revenue base, and we need it”, he said, and thanked Access Bank Limited for supporting the revenue drive of the state with the donation of 10 buses.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Rivers State Internal Revenue Service (RIRS), Mr Adoage Norte said that the flag off of the informal sector tax drive would ensure that informal sector entrepreneurs pay their taxes.
He said that at present, the informal sector has not been paying taxes, explaining that the flag off would unlock the tax potentials of the informal sector.
Norte lauded Access Bank Plc for supporting the informal tax drive of the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service with the donation of 10 buses, pointing out that the buses would be used across the state.
He added that the service was also in dire need of branded kiosks for point of sales transactions, and suggested the operation of Treasury Single Account to optimize revenue generation in the state.
Representative of the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr David Tinad, thanked the Rivers State Government for the opportunity to partner on revenue generation.
He assured the Rivers State Government that Access Bank Plc would continue to support efforts by the state government to improve its revenue base.
Fake Policemen Disrupted Polls In Bayelsa, Kogi, IGP Admits …Says We’re Aware People Planned To Wear Police Uniforms …As Senate Moves To Okay E-Voting For Future Polls
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has said that ‘policemen’ alleged to have disrupted Saturday’s governorship polls in parts of Bayelsa and Kogi States were “fake” and not the personnel officially deployed for election duties.
Adamu stated that all security personnel, who worked during the polls had “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.
He spoke with State House correspondents after President Muhammadu Buhari and security chiefs held a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
However, he said an investigation was ongoing, while 11 arrests had been made.
Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday, said that the police were aware of the plan by politicians to sew police uniforms for their supporters during the Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship elections.
The IGP also said that ‘policemen’ alleged to have disrupted the November 16 governorship polls in parts of the two states were “fake” and not the personnel officially deployed for election duties.
Briefing State House correspondents after a security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, Adamu stated that all security personnel, who worked during the elections were given “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.
The IGP, who said that the security situation in the country was stable, however, said investigation was ongoing to unravel the identities of those that caused violence during the elections, adding that 11 arrests had been made.
On the alleged police extortion of motorists in South East by police officers at checkpoints, he advised that people should always copy the names of such police officers and report them to the police hierarchy in the area.
Meanwhile, the Senate has begun a fresh electoral reform which has mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt the much-awaited electronic voting method for future polls.
The lawmakers also compelled INEC to operate an electronic database into which all results in an election should be transmitted.
A bill to amend the Electoral Act 2010 through which the reform would be achieved has already been published in an official gazette and debate on its general principles may begin on the floor of the Senate during the week.
A copy of the bill, made available to newsmen, also stipulates that data of accredited voters must be transmitted to the central data base upon the conclusion of the accreditation of voters which would be done through the use of the card reader.
“At the end of accreditation of voters, the presiding officer shall transmit the voter accreditation data by secure mobile electronic communication to the central database of the commission kept at the national headquarters of the commission.
“Any presiding officer who contravenes this provision shall be liable, on conviction, to a minimum of imprisonment of at least five years without an option of fine,” the bill also stipulates.
It prevents INEC from shutting down the central data base until all petitions arising from the elections are determined by a tribunal or court.
“In respect of data of accreditation of voters, including polling unit results, for an election, the commission shall not shut down its central database kept at its national headquarters until all election petitions and appeals pertaining to that election are heard and determined by a tribunal or court.”
On the specific provisions for the adoption of the central database, the bill, which is being sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege and Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno State), seeks amendment of Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2010 by introducing a “National Electronic Register of Election Results.”
It states: “The commission shall compile, maintain and update on a continuous basis, a register of election results to be known as the National Electronic Register of Election Results which shall be a database of election results from each polling unit, including collated results of each election conducted by the commission.
“National Electronic Register of Election Results shall be kept by the commission at its national headquarters and any person or political party may obtain from the commission, on payment of reasonable fees as may be determined by the commission, a certified true copy of any election result kept in the National Electronic Register of Election Results for the federation, a state, local government, area council, ward or polling unit, as the case may be and the certified true copy may be in printed or electronic format.”
On electronic voting, the Electoral Reform Bill seeks amendment of Section 52 (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act and introduced a new provision stating that “the commission may adopt electronic voting or any other method of voting in any election it conducts as it may deem fit.”
It was learned that many lawmakers are not comfortable with the additional clause which permits INEC to use any other method it deems fit and may delete that option during the consideration of the bill.
The current law completely prohibits the use of electronic voting as it states: “The use of the electronic voting machine, for the time being, is prohibited.”
The reform bill has also slashed the nomination fees charged by political parties.
Presidential aspirants are to pay not more than N10million while governorship aspirants are to pay N5million.
Specifically, the bill states: “For the purpose of nomination of candidates for election, the total fees, charges, dues and any payment howsoever named imposed by a political party on an aspirant shall not exceed: N150,000 for a ward councillorship aspirant in the FCT; N250,000 for an area council chairmanship aspirant in the FCT; N500,000 for a House of Assembly aspirant; N1,000,000 for a House of Representatives aspirant; N2,000,000 for a senatorial aspirant; N5,000,000 for a governorship aspirant; and N10,000,000 for a presidential aspirant.”
The Bukola Saraki-led National Assembly had attempted the electoral reform but failed to get the presidential approval at the end.
The bill sought to strengthen internal democracy, reduce the cost of politics, widen political participation and the conduct of free fair and credible elections through technological innovations and an electronic database.
However, there were concerns raised over the enforceability of some of its provisions.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in refusing to sign that bill, had said: “I am declining assent to the bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.
“Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.”
Sports2 days ago
CAF Confed Cup: ‘I knew I Was Going To Score’
Front Pix2 days ago
Wike Carpets Oshiomhole, Peterside At Book Launch …Urges EFCC To Fight Corruption Within The Law …As Rivers Set To Launch Security Trust Fund
News2 days ago
Oil Theft: NEITI Calls For Review Of Legislation
Transport2 days ago
Lagos Public Transport To Run On Gas In 2020 – Commissioner
News2 days ago
Rivers Council Chairman Impeached
Housing/Property2 days ago
Staff Housing Loan Boss Cautions Public Servants Against Corruption
News2 days ago
Final Year Law Student Raped, Stabbed To Death
Business2 days ago
RSG Extols Firm Over Community Dev Projects