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RSG, Ethiopian Airlines Sign Agreement On Permanent Flight To PH

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Last week, Rivers State Government and the management of Ethiopian Airlines reached an agreement in principle for the operation of permanent international flights from the Port Harcourt International Airport. The agreement is however, subject to the approval of the relevant federal agencies.
Rivers State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike led a high powered delegation of the state government to the headquarters of Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa on Wednesday and Thursday last week where they met with representatives of the management of the airlines and deliberated on the issue.
The Chief Commercial Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Esayas Wolde Marian, in an address, said Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to fly permanently from Port Harcourt International Airport.
He solicited for the assistance of the Rivers State Governor to enable the airline get the nod of relevant federal agencies.
He said: “ We are willing and capable to fly into Port Harcourt on a regular basis. For now we have exhausted our bilateral Air Agreement Approval and we need another approval to operate  the Port Harcourt route.
“ We need your help to ensure that approval comes from the federal authorities. At least there should be a temporary operating permit, pending the final approval “.
He promised that Ethiopian Airlines will also embark on advertisements to promote Port Harcourt as a tourism and investment destination.
In his response, Governor Wike declared the willingness of the state government to provide an enabling environment for Ethiopian Airlines to operate in the state and assured that he will meet with the Minister of Aviation to ensure that Port Harcourt International Airport is approved for Ethiopian Airlines as a destination.
He disclosed that his administration is working towards making Port Harcourt a regional air transport hub for greater economic development of the state.
Governor Wike said: “ As we therefore consolidate on our achievements, we want to also focus on making Port Harcourt city a regional air transport hub through the Private Public Partnership approach while leveraging on existing aviation infrastructure and related market and other advantages of the state.
“ I wish to assure you that we are willing to do everything within our powers and spheres of authority and influence to facilitate the realisation of your interest and desire to directly and sustainably fly from Port Harcourt to Addis Ababa and other parts of the world.
The state Chief Executive thanked the management of the airlines for its interest in expanding and retaining their services in Port Harcourt adding that Rivers State Government will offer it’s social partnership, goodwill and support.
He noted that Port Harcourt city is strategically located to serve as a transit point for the entire South South and parts of the SouthEast.
The Governor also stated that the state government will sponsor indigenes of Rivers State to study at the Ethiopian Aviation Academy, a subsidiary of Ethiopian Airlines.
Stressing that benefit derivable from the partnership are in many areas, the governor said as an emerging regional aviation hub, there was the need to train aviation professionals.
Wike directed his Executive Assistant on Research and Documentation, Dr Jacob Beredugo and Professor Kaisirm Nwuke, a Rivers professional working with an international agency in Ethiopia to liaise with the management of Ethiopian Airlines to actualise the goals of Rivers State Government/Ethiopian Airlines partnership.
Governor Wike was accompanied on the trip to Addis Ababa by the Former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara, PDP Chairman of Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah, the Director General, Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr Thompson Emmanuel, a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Felix Nwaeke, former chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Chief Ejor N. Ejor, and President of Port Harcourt Investors and Entrepreneurs Forum , Ibifiri Bob- Manuel.
Another major event last week was inspection of ongoing projects by the governor, last Friday . He inspected hostels of the newly constituted Real Madrid Football Academy, Port Harcourt and ongoing road projects in the Phase 11 GRA.
The Governor urged contractors to ensure that they deliver their work on schedule.
The governor was accompanied by the Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt City Authority, Ambassador Desmond Akawor.

 

Chris Oluoh

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Edo PDP Decries Obaseki’s Poor Performance

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The Edo State Chapter of the PDP has again descended on Governor. Godwin Obaseki, describing his tenure as a hardship phase for the people.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday in Benin, the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, said that Obaseki had failed to offer leadership to make the people enjoy the dividends of democracy.
According to Orbih, the governor should face governance and stay out of the endless crisis rocking the state’s chapter of the APC.
Orbih, who has been a vocal critic of Obaseki’s style of governance, said his advice was imperative because the crisis in the APC had become a distraction for the governor, preventing him from offering meaningful governance.
He lamented that Obaseki’s three-year tenure had only brought agony and deprivation to the populace, denying them the benefits expected from democracy.
The PDP chieftain also advised Obaseki to desist from the “yearly jamboree” of inviting people for talks in the name of marking anniversary but to channel resources to tackling problems.
“It is obvious that the APC has nothing to offer to the people of Edo State. As at today, Edo State is the only state where only a few elected members of the State Assembly are sitting.
“More so, the governor has not delivered on the 200,000 jobs he promised youths in Edo State.
“Our roads are begging for attention. There is worsening insecurity, in spite of the huge amount of security vote he withdraws monthly.
“He should, henceforth, commence the support of security agencies in the state for efficiency and if he cannot, he should stop withdrawing or collecting security votes.
Orbih also decried the inability of the government to pay bursaries and grant scholarships to Edo students in various institutions of learning, lamenting the dilapidation of various schools in the state.
According to him, the least the government can do for the youths is to employ more teachers to tackle the dearth of teachers in the state.
“The APC promised better days for Edo State and more than 11 years after the people have nothing to show for the promise.
“Edo people should remain resolute and committed in effecting a change in government come 2020.
Orbih also condemned the state government’s clampdown on civil society groups for demanding accountability to determine the status of infrastructure in the state.
“The governor owes it a duty to account for every action of his in the state.”
On the defection of Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the PDP’s flag-bearer in the 2016 gubernatorial elections to the APC, Orbih said that Ize-Iyamu was yet to inform the PDP of his decision, noting however, that the PDP in the state was intact, stronger, more united and bolder.
He disclosed that the party had concluded plans for mass mobilisation of voters, ahead of Edo 2020.
According to him, Edo PDP knows how to manage itself, and in 2020, we will do the needful because we want a party that can manage crisis.

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Kogi Poll: Court Hears Suit Challenging Bello’s Eligibility, Today

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A suit challenging the eligibility of Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State to contest the November. 16 governorship election in the state will be heard today, Friday, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The originating summons, which is instituted by Natasha Akpoti, the Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming poll, will be mentioned at Court 5 before Justice Inyang Ekwo.
The Tidereports that while SDP candidate is the plaintiff, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
The suit, dated October. 10 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019, filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Akpoti’s behalf, sought the court’s determination on the eligibility of Governor Bello in the Saturday election, having allegedly been involved in double registration as a voter.
Akpoti said “that by his wilful act of making double registration as a voter, Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election, having committed an act of electoral fraud.
“That Mr. Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st Defendant.,was initially registered as a voter sometime in 2011 in Abuja, by the 2nd defendant.
“That Bello. the candidate of the 1st defendant again fraudulently procured from the 2nd defendant. a second registration as a voter on 23rd May,. 2017, at Government House. Lokoja, while his 2011 first registration as a voter in Abuja was still live, extant and subsisting.
“That the said Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant carried out the double registration with the 2nd defendant so as to scuttle due electoral process.
“That such a person is not a fit and proper person to be voted for in any election, let alone for the high office of the governor of a state.”
Recall that Justice Ekwo had, on Tuesday, delivered judgment, disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in Bayelsa, Sen.

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Udom’s Victory, Justice Directed By Law

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The Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State chapter, has described the victory of Governor Udom Emmanuel at the Appeal Court in Calabar as justice directed by law and not through federal might or political colouration.
The Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Ini Ememobong said this in a reaction to the ruling of the Appeal Court on Wednesday which upheld the verdict of the Governorship election petition tribunal.
In a statement, Ememobong said, “the judgement of the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar on the Appeal filed against the verdict of the Governorship election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress and her Governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere, delivered today has again aligned with reality by confirming the sanctity of the ballot.”
“ In the well-considered judgement, the noble Lords of the penultimate court, held that the Appeal was lacking in merit, agreeing with the tribunal that the APC did not lend credible evidence to prove their case and that they had dumped documents in the panel without linking them, as required by law.
“By this judgment, the judiciary has again shown that justice is directed by law and not federal might, partisan colouration or other extra-legal dispositions. To this, we are deeply grateful to the court and wholeheartedly welcome the judgement.”
The Publicity Secretary, however, renewed the call for partnership with the opposition APC, in the execution of Akwa Ibom Project.
He noted, “We acknowledge the zeal and emotional investments committed to the Governorship quest by Obong Nsima Ekere, an illustrious Akwa Ibom son, who rose to the exalted office of Deputy Governor through the instrumentality of our party. He has fought the fight, ran the race, but the results are not in his favour. We urge him to avoid the temptation of escalation of commitment and rather view the Akwa Ibom project as the cynosure and act in the benefit of the larger interest of the people.
“We commend Akwa Ibom people who have continually stood firm with our party, through their votes. Our legal team for diligent and excellent representation. The legal department of our Party led by the State Legal Adviser, Goddy Umoh Esq has shown great dedication in the pursuit of this case deserves commendation. God Almighty deserves our praise for His mercies and protection throughout the elections period.”

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