The Second Term of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State is fundamentally the making of God and the endorsement of Rivers people. It was a collaboration made in heaven. A destiny attained because God gave life to the voice of Rivers people.
The people sacrificed their lives. They paid the ultimate price to ensure a continuation of the Wike era. Most of these heroes we may never know. They have no media of expression, but they insisted on their voices being heard.
Rivers State became the highpoint of the nation’s 2019 General Elections. The centre of the will of the people.
According to United States Consul-General in Nigeria, John Bray :
“As I come from a democratic country, I am very proud of the Rivers people. During the last difficult elections, the people won. So, I raise my glass to you the people of Rivers”.
Since taking the oath of office on May 29, 2019, Governor Wike has dedicated his second term to serving Rivers people. He has committed himself to improving the lives of less privileged Rivers people, ensuring that they feel the impact of Government.
At the second term inauguration , Governor Wike pledged: “I stand here today with a humble spirit, conscious of the enormous responsibility that you have again entrusted in us and confident in our potential and with God on our side, we will surely discharge our mandate to the benefit of all and leave our dear Rivers State better off than when we started four years ago”.
In line with his pledge, Governor Wike commenced his second term with total commitment to lift the living standard of Rivers people. Since May 29, 2019, Governor Wike has been committed to touching the lives of Rivers people in very positive ways.
Abolition of Fees /Education Levies
In a bid to create access to quality education, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike announced the total abolition of all forms of fees and levies in public primary and secondary schools across the state.
Governor Wike directed State-Owned Primary and Secondary Schools to stop collecting fees and levies from students and pupils with immediate effect.
Governor Wike stated that henceforth the State Government will be sending direct allocations to all primary and secondary schools management for their operations.
He said: “From today henceforth, no child either in primary and secondary schools should pay fees and levies in any school across the State.
“The monies you collect from these children are just used for your personal purposes. If I hear that any school head collects any fees or levies, be they examination , NECO or WAEC fees, that school head would be sanctioned.
“We shall not only dismiss the school head who collects fees or levies, we will prosecute the person involved.
“Government will work out grants that will be sent to the schools for their regular management and operations “.
Bankroll of UTME Fees
Governor Wike approved that State Government will henceforth bankroll the form fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board(JAMB) for all Indigenes and non-indigenes in the state.
He said that the gesture of the Rivers State Government will commence with the 2020 UTME to be conducted by JAMB.
Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government is committed to ensuring that less privileged students are not denied the opportunity to sit for the examination.
He said: “From 2020, UTME forms for Indigenes and non-indigenes will be paid for by the Rivers State Government. It is important for us to ensure that children of the less privileged don’t bear this burden.
“This offer is to ensure that no qualified candidate is denied the opportunity to write the UTME. For some parents, the fee is nothing, but there are families that cannot afford the fees”.
Payment Of NYSC Corps Members Allowances From July 2019
Governor Wike approved the immediate payment of monthly allowances to Corps Members serving in the state with effect from July 2019.
The immediate past APC Administration in Rivers State stopped the payment of allowances to Corps Members Serving in the state.
He spoke at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Permanent Orientation Camp in Nonwa, Tai Local Government Area during an interaction with Corp Members.
He said: “As from July 2019, the State Government will begin the payment of allowances to Corps members. The State Coordinator should send the list and account numbers to the office of the Secretary to the State Government.
“Recall that the allowances were stopped by the immediate past Administration. If I had started payment before the elections, they would have said I was playing politics. Now I am no longer seeking another term”.
Governor Wike also direct the resumption of the posting of some professionals to Ministries with shortage of manpower.
The Governor donated an official Prado Jeep to the State Coordinator of NYSC, a transformer to power the camp, and the furnishing of the hostels constructed by the Rivers State Government. He directed the immediate construction of the road to the Camp.
Governor Wike inspected the 5000 Capacity auditorium being constructed at the Permanent Orientation Camp by his Administration.
Revalidation Of Private Schools To Promote Quality Education
In a move to ensure that only standard schools operate in the state, Governor Wike directed all private schools in the state to apply for 2019 operational approval.
The Governor spoke in a meeting with all private school Proprietors in Rivers State at the Government House Port Harcourt.
He said: “All the schools must apply for operational approval within the next two weeks. We will set up committees that will recommend the approval of schools. All the schools in the state must be the required standard”.
The Governor said that his second term is committed to improving the right standards in the education sector for the good of Rivers people.
“The governor’s office will review all the approval of schools. All the existing approvals by the Ministry of Education have been cancelled. For this process, there will be no room for bribery and corruption “, he said.
Governor Wike has inaugurated three committees on a Senatorial Basis to carry out this all-important review.
Abolition Of Payment Of User Fees For Hiv/Aids Treatment And Free Antenatal Care In Government Hospitals
One of the highpoints of the young second term of Governor Wike is the abolition
of payments of user-fees for persons living with HIV/AIDS who want to access treatment at State-owned Health facilities.
Governor Wike said that the State Government will take over the payment of the user-fees to encourage more Rivers people to seek treatment for HIV/AIDS.
He spoke during a Courtesy Visit by an American Delegation of from the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention under the auspices of the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria at the Government House Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike said: “We will stop all fees collected as user-fees for persons under the HIV/AIDS Treatment Programme . This is our contribution to the partnership with the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We will take over the payment of the HIV/AIDS user-fees for the Public Health facilities in the state.
“The Deputy Governor will be in charge of the programme since she is a medical doctor. We are committed to working with the United States Government to ensure we tackle this disease “.
He said that the Rivers State Government will support the efforts of the United States Centre for Disease Control and prevention and Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria in the programme against HIV/AIDS.
He said: “The Rivers State Government will take all necessary measures to assist the centre in this current push across the state.
“All the necessary support will be extended to the agency as they work in different locations of Rivers State “.
The Administration has also bankrolled all antenatal charges at Government Hospitals in the state. This is aimed at further reducing child and maternal mortality across the State.
These two key policies are already in operation as the Rivers State Government flagged off the waiver of user fees and antenatal charges at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt on Thursday, 11th July 2019.
Payment Of Pensioners Under The Contributory Pension Scheme
In fulfillment of the pledge made by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike after he signed into law, the Rivers State Pension Reform Law (No 4 of 2019), the Rivers State Government has commenced the payment of pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Head of Service of Rivers State, Mr Rufus Godwins in an interview said that 800 Pensioners under the scheme who have completed their biometrics have been paid.
Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Pension Reform Law (No 4 of 2019) will help in resolving the challenges generated by the Contributory Pension scheme.
He said that the State Government is committed to ensuring that civil servants and pensioners are catered for, with the challenges they faced completely addressed.
International Partnerships to Create Employment
Early in his second term, Governor Wike is building International partnerships to create mass employment through commercial agriculture.
He said: “We will continue to solicit for targeted development interventions in Rivers State from the European Union Missions.
“Increase your unconditional development grants to Rivers State, and deploy same to fund programmes, projects and services that will sustainably advance the socio-economic wellbeing of our people and communities; and encourage European companies and investors to come over to Rivers State in particular and the Niger Delta in general, and invest in commercial agriculture, manufacturing, maritime services, oil and gas exploration, quality healthcare delivery, quality education, especially, in science and technology, roads and transport infrastructure, affordable housing, water provision and effective waste disposal systems”.
He said, though Rivers State and the Niger Delta have their security challenges, the region is relatively peaceful, well governed and with a crime rate that is lower than the national average.
“Rivers State is effectively being governed. Law and order is in place; people are freely going about with their social and economic activities; the entire State is largely peaceful; and the crime rate is relatively low on the national average.
“This is also true with the other Niger Delta States as none is under a state of pervasive insecurity or violence as we have in some other parts of the country”.
“As a Government, our desire and resolve is to ensure that Rivers State is sustainably peaceful, secure and safe for citizens and visitors to reside, do business and have fun. And we have done a lot in the last four years of our administration to advance the security and wellbeing of the State and our citizens through personal initiatives as well as through the national security institutions”, he said.
He outlined all the key support and investments of the Rivers State Government under his leadership in the promotion of peace and security, but pointed out that State Governors though called Chief Security Officers, are constrained constitutionally in the administration of the security architecture of their respective states.
He said: “State Governors face legal, administrative and political constraints when dealing with internal security issues. Although we are held out as the chief security officers of our States, but in reality, we do not have even the slightest of legal and administrative control over security personnel, deployments and operations in our States.
“And if that was not frustrating enough, we also suffer from the politicization of security agencies and operations, which was taking to absurd levels, when the Federal Government prevented us, that is, the Rivers State Government, from operationalizing the Neighbourhood Watch Corps established by law to provide intelligence and other necessary security support and services to the formal security agencies in our communities, despite allowing some other States of the same political party with the Federal Government to have there own internal security outfits. With such and other effective drawbacks, there is a limit to what any State Governor can do to ensure all round security in his State even with the best of intentions, efforts and inputs”.
Kick Start of Employment at Rivers State University and Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic
Already the State Government has commenced the process of employment into the Rivers State University and Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic. Similarly, other employment processes into other areas of need.
Returning Port Harcourt To Its Garden City Status
This is a major focus of the second term of Governor Wike. He is working round the clock to stop street trading, street operation of mechanic Workshops and uncontrolled siting of car sale points.
Governor Wike met with artisans and traders where he outlined the direction of his administration in this regard. He gave the artisans and traders an ultimatum , which has been extended.
Promotion Of Peaceful Economic Environment
Through very positive engagements, Governor Wike is developing a wonderful economic environment to encourage private investors to function in the state.
He has engaged with Stakeholder Communities, Oil Companies and security Services to ensure peace in the operational environment.
Governor Wike said under no circumstances should communities take laws into their hands by preventing oil production companies from working.
Speaking during a meeting with Chairmen of Cluster Development Boards in Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas with Oil Companies and Security Agencies at the Government House Port Harcourt , Governor Wike directed the immediate revival of the State Steering Committee on Cluster Development Boards. This directive has been implemented by the office of the Secretary to the Rivers State Government.
Also, Governor Wike initiated a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Stakeholder Communities and Shell Petroleum Development Company ( SPDC) on Oil Mining License ( OML) 25. All parties have since signed an agreement and the process of re-opening the oil facility has commenced.
The Governor also intervened in the conflict between Shell and Mgbuesilaru community. The Oil Company has since met its obligation to the community.
Still the Defender of Rivers State
In addition to his superlative start to his second term, Governor Wike has continued to defend the interest of Rivers people. Here, there is no room for RUGA, no room for imposition of any external religion and no apologies to any expansionist group. Governor Wike holds the mandate to the delight of Rivers people.
Governor Wike is Nigeria’s Star of comprehensive development. He works on all grounds to move Rivers State forward.
Igbo Youths Task PDP, APC On Presidency
The umbrella group of youth leaders in the South East geopolitical zone, under the umbrella of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has said that it is either the presidency for the Zone in 2023 or nothing.
The group emphatically demanded that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should cede the presidency to the South East zone in 2023 at the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The youth coalition warned that refusal of any big political party to zone the presidency to the South East in 2023 simply means swimming against the tide of the curriculum of democracy in Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement issued by the President-General of the group, Chief Goodluck Ibem, and made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Saturday.
The Coalition warned that those clamouring for the North to take the presidency after eight years of Buhari’s presidency, are not patriotic, but place their personal gain and aggrandisement above the survival, progress and success of the country.
The youth leaders maintained that the zoning arrangement was borne out of doctrine of necessity designed as democracy bond with the sole objective of creating a sense of belonging, harmony, happiness, peace and unity for our dear country Nigeria.
The statement added, “Zoning of the presidency has its moral weight. Zoning of the office of the president to the South East in 2023 is very important to preserve the corporate entity of Nigeria and also calm down political tension.
Police Have Abandoned Duty For Political Thuggery – PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kogi State has warned against looming anarchy in the state, saying police authority has left its duty post for political thuggery, intimidation of electorate by the State government and APC.
Deputy Director of Public Communications of the PDP in Kogi State Campaign Council, Austin Usman Okai in a press statement on Sunday said the state Commissioner of Police has refused to stop the rising political thuggery and intimidation of electorate by APC thugs in the state.
Okai alleged that the State Commissioner of Police was giving technical support to the All Progressives Congress, APC, political thugs in the state, which has made them untouchable for security agencies despite glaring evidences of violence against them.
The council called on Police authority, Departments of State Security to call the outgoing governor of Kogi State to order, stating that, “nobody has monopoly of violence but in PDP we believe in peace.”
“No amount of gun importation into Kogi State will make Bello popular, we warned that we will not continue running for help, and we must not be pushed into self defense as that will amount to anarchy, if police failed, we will protect ourselves, the IGP must guarantee our safety as we will not fold our hands and watch some APC government officials intimidate us using police and SARS.
“In Dekina local government, the government officials have contracted some boys whose responsibility is to go after our candidate posters and billboards, the boys are armed in Sienna buses and guns, the police are aware of their activities but decided to look the other sides, while the thugs are boasting they have police and nothing will happen.
Okai also expressed worries over the level of sporadic gunshots across Abejukolo the headquarters of Omala local government area of the state, stressing that activities of the local government administrator, Hon. Aboh in sponsoring thuggery activities against the main opposition party, PDP, under the guise of electioneering campaigns needs to be checked.
He noted that the LG administrator has contracted miscreants fully armed who move in Siena and Sharon buses across the entire local government to create panic, among members of opposition political parties in the area.
“Honourable Aboh is known to be harbouring hoodlums under the cover of vigilante group, but their main mission is to attack the PDP members and their families in the local government.”
He said the decision to start now is to create uneasy calm, instill fears into the electorate and supporters of PDP from the local government under the supervision of the state government.
“This ugly trend has also spread to Olamaboro Local Government where the coordinator of PDP in the local government, Enefola Charles Agada and his family have been harrassed severally, his properties destroyed and other members of the party chased out of the area”.
“This developement is expected to go round the local government as the election draws nearer,not for anything, but to ensure PDP members are chased out of their homes on the instructions of APC leaders who are viewing the election as a war.
He called on security agencies in Kogi to without further delay address the issue of thuggery from the ruling APC government in the state, noting that the APC’s only strategy in winning the election is to instill fear in the minds of the people not to come and vote in next month’s election.
“The APC have devised several means to spread to other local government areas of Kogi East to ensure voters particularly PDP supporters and sympathizers are not allowed to come out to vote.”
Ekiti PDP Disowns Members Urging Boycott Of LG Poll
Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), on Sunday, declared its readiness to participate in the forthcoming local government elections scheduled for December 7.
In a statement by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Jackson Adebayo in Ado Ekiti, PDP maintained that there was no amount of shenanigan that would stop the party from its resolve to participate in the election.
This position has also been corroborated by all the 16 Local Government Chairmen of the party in the state as the party threatens to brand members working secretly against its interest as rebels, with appropriate sanctions awaiting them.
The party described its members calling for boycott as fifth columnists working for the ruling APC.
“We are aware of some fifth columnists among us who, perhaps, are working in collaboration with APC to stop PDP from participation in the election due to public opinions that favours us.
“It is not unusual for some members to want to play fifth columnist in any political party, but whenever such action is established, it would be naturally treated as an anti-party activity
“We therefore call on all our members to ignore the ranting of some individuals against our participation in the council election.
“Rather, we should concentrate our energy on strategies that can win the election for us instead of allowing some black agents to plant distractions in the party,’’ he said.
Adebayo, who said that apart from the decision of the State Executive Committee of the Party to participate in the election, the State Working Committee (SWC) had also been up and doing in preparation for the election.
According to him, all necessary forms had been obtained by candidates while the party has concluded all documentation at the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and only waiting for substitution if any need arises.
The PDP spokesman also explained that the party had put some mechanisms in place to ensure unity in the party which informed why imposition of any form was not allowed in the primaries of the candidates of the party.
The PDP state Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuwase, in an interview confirmed the stand of the party.
“The position of the extended EXCO and the SWC, with all party chairmen of all the local governments remains same.
“We met and we discussed extensively on what the PDP should do concerning the local government election.
“We all resolved that, in the overriding interest of the party, so that there will be activity in the party, so that Ekiti people will have option, so that the fundamental provision of the constitution that we all have right to vote and be voted for would not be blotted out by unnecessary emotions and sabotage, we should participate in the elections.
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