The faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State led by the immediate past senator who represented Rivers State East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Magnus Ngei Abe has vowed to boycott the party’s forthcoming ward, local government and state congresses in the state.
The latest development is a new twist to the rivalry between the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Abe before the 2019 general election.
It would be recalled that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, recently appointed a five-member executive caretaker committee to oversee the party’s affairs in the state, even as it rolled out a timetable for fresh congresses in the state.
A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, had indicated that the APC in the state would be chaired by Barrister Isaac Abott Ogbobula, with Mr. Friday Kinika Owhor, Mrs. Beatrice Amobi, and Prince Abolo Stephen as members while Mr. Baridon Badom serves as secretary.
The NWC also published a Notice/Timetable of Congresses showing that ward congresses to elect leaders would hold on Tuesday, 17th September, 2019 while appeals arising from ward congresses would be treated between Wednesday, 18th and Friday, 20th September, 2019.
It further said that LGA Congresses to elect leaders would hold on Saturday, 21st September, 2019 while appeals arising from State Congresses would be treated between Monday, 23rd and Wednesday, 25th September, 2019.
The Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC added that State Congress to elect a substantive executive would hold on Saturday, 28th September, 2019 while appeals arising from the State Congress would be addressed between Monday, 30th September and Wednesday, 2nd October, 2019.
However, the aggrieved members of the party were jolted to action after the Isaac Abott Ogbogbula-led committee assumed office in Port Harcourt after their swearing-in by the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole in Abuja.
While briefing newsmen at the party secretariat at Garrison axis of Aba Road, Chairman of the CTC, Ogbogbula assured of free, fair and transparent congresses.
Ogbogbula while disclosing that their mandate was to run the affairs of the party pending the conclusion of the congresses, encouraged all APC members in the state to give the necessary support to the committee and allow peace reign to enable them take the party to the next level.
But reacting to the twist, the Director General of Freedom House (Abe’s campaign office in the 2019 general poll), Barrister Wogu Boms said while reading a 9-point communique issued at the end of an extraordinary APC stakeholders’ meeting in their secretariat near Waterlines, Port Harcourt, that none of the issues that led to the legal crisis and the exclusion of the party in the 2019 Governorship election in Rivers State have been addressed.
Boms, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state under Amaechi, said, “as critical stakeholders of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who toiled and sweated under very difficult and dangerous circumstances to build the party in Rivers State, we are appalled and dismayed by the current situation of the party in the state.
“That Nigerians are aware that the crisis in Rivers APC was set off by the manner in which last congresses were deliberately mismanaged in 2018, resulting in catastrophic and unprecedented consequences for the party.
“That various efforts by different leaders of the party across the nation to find a solution to the challenges of Rivers APC before the 2019 elections were all rebuffed by the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, meaning that all well intended efforts came to nothing.
“We note with concern that the party is yet again threading the same route of exclusion and disdain for the rights and feelings of party members that plunged the Rivers chapter of the APC into needless crisis resulting in the party being denied participation in the last general elections in Rivers State.
“That as critical stakeholders, and bearing in mind the circumstances of Rivers APC, we were not consulted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in its decision to appoint a caretaker committee in Rivers State nor does the Committee reflect the diversity of the party in the state. The so called caretaker committee members are simply cronies of the Minister of Transportation, their objective and purpose is clear, they were parties and participants in the actions that brought the party to its knees in Rivers State. Apart from being unknown to the constitution, by all rules of justice and fairness they cannot provide a solution to our present challenges.
“We, therefore, reject the caretaker committee as it is clearly an orchestration to deepen the woes of the party, and we urge all members of the APC in Rivers State to remain steadfast in the pursuit of justice.
“Based on extant judicial pronouncements, and the report of the Governor Lalong Committee as adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party which stated clearly that where congress could not hold, the existing executives were to manage the affairs of the party; Chief Peter Odike by the rules of the Party should have been consulted as Chairman of the APC in Rivers State.”
Also speaking, Senator Wilson Ake, described the forthcoming congresses as unreasonable, saying that the step taken by the NWC of the APC was not the best for the party in Rivers State.
He, however, noted that many APC members were in pains after the party lost out during the 2019 elections.
He said, “Members of the party can create the kind of party they want for themselves if they are determined.
“I urge my supporters to remain calm because as long as what they are fighting for is honest, they will definitely get justice.”
Similarly, Senator Magnus Abe said he was not consulted by the party’s NWC before they went ahead to schedule congresses, but noted that he has no bitterness against anyone in the party.
Abe said, “The Honourable Minister of Transportation immediately after he was sworn-in announced there and then that there will be congresses in Rivers State and that everybody should go and prepare for congress.
“I was amazed and I was amused. I responded then as an individual to say that I am not aware that he has powers to announce the date of congress.
“That I am also not aware that anybody has been consulted to determine the way forward for the party, and we discussed with our stakeholders, nobody was aware of where that was coming from and nobody was in the picture”, Abe added.
Abe insisted that he would continue to support the fight against injustice and wrong doings in the Party.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for the spirit you have exhibited. A party that has this kind of committed and dedicated members cannot die. Nobody can kill it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Peter Odike being referenced by the aggrieved members has called on Senator Magnus Abe and others to sheath their swords, toe the path of reconciliation, and work towards a United APC.
Odike, who led the Abe’s faction of APC in the famous Ibrahim Umar case in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, said the constitution of a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party means there was an end in sight for the crisis rocking the APC.
UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers
As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.
Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0
Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment
The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.
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