The Rivers State Government and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, last Friday, signed an agreement for the construction of three flyover bridges to develop the landscape of Port Harcourt and resolve traffic congestion in the city.
The three flyover bridges are worth an estimated N21billion.
The Attorney-General of Rivers State, Dr Zaccheus Adango led officials of the Rivers State Government during the signing process, while the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter led the Julius Berger team.
The length of the flyover bridges include: Artillery 1 and 2, measuring 517.5metres; Rumuokoro, measuring 360metres; and Garrison, measuring 360metres.
Speaking after the agreement signing ceremony, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike assured that the flyover bridges would be completed within 16months and in line with approved specifications.
He said that the Rivers State Government would pay 70 per cent of the contract sum to ensure that the contractor execute the three flyover bridges on schedule.
The governor said: “These three flyover bridges will be completed within 16months as agreed with the contractor. This contract will cost about N21billion.
“We are going to pay 70 per cent of the contract sum upfront. After payment, we expect Julius Berger to give us the required quality and on schedule”.
Wike said there will be no excuse for variation or extension of the time of project completion.
“There should be no excuse. This contract should be completed within schedule. When the government pays Julius Berger the 70 per cent upfront, there will be no variation.
“Everything has been done. What is left is compensation. The money for compensation has been set aside”, he said.
Wike said that the simultaneous construction of the three flyover bridges would generate thousands of jobs for Rivers people within the period of construction.
The governor charged the management of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to ensure that Rivers people were given priority in the employment of construction workers, insisting that Rivers people would always benefit from Rivers resources.
Aside the construction of the flyover bridges, Wike said that his administration has awarded contracts for the reconstruction and expansion of key roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas.
He said: “Most of the roads have been awarded for construction. We have the New GRA, the Old GRA, Ikwerre Road and other key roads. They will be handled by major contractors.
“Our second term will be like the first term. I appreciate the opportunity that Rivers people gave to me, and I will repay them with quality service and projects’ delivery”.
He called on host communities of the flyover bridges to cooperate with the contractor to ensure speedy delivery of the contract.
“Our people should make sacrifices for us to achieve success. We want to change the landscape of Port Harcourt. The flag off will take place next week Tuesday” (tomorrow), he said.
Wike said that he would continue to place the interest of Rivers State above other considerations
He said: “The only political party that I belong to is Rivers State. Anything that is against the interest of Rivers State, count me out.
“For this project, I am directly responsible for community relations. I will liaise with the communities to ensure that nobody stops the development process”.
He stated that the Rivers State Government chose Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to execute the project because of the administration’s commitment to quality.
The Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter, assured that the company would deliver the three flyover bridges within the approved 16months period.
He said: “Julius Berger will deliver the projects in the record time of 16months. Governor Wike, I assure you that Julius Berger will deliver”.
Richter said that Julius Berger would continue to partner with the Rivers State Government to deliver quality projects across the state.
He said that Julius Berger has also delivered quality projects under the Wike administration.
During his inauguration for a second term, Wike had promised Rivers people that he would construct three flyover bridges in Port Harcourt.
However, the official signing of contract for the construction of three flyover bridges in Port Harcourt by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has elicited reactions from residents of Port Harcourt City.
Some residents, who spoke to our correspondent in Port Harcourt, over the weekend, described the project as a crucial step that would redefined the socio-economic landscape of the city.
Hon Eric Ejigini said that the three flyover bridges would transform the transport situation in the city and its environ.
“Rumuokoro Flyover Bridge has been expected for a long time from the past administrations in the state and the Federal Government.
“This is the most significant project by any administration in the state. I commend Wike for this bold and pragmatic step”, he said.
Another respondent, Mr Chinedu Egbom hailed the governor for the projects, saying the step would check the traffic challenges in the city.
“Kudos to our hardworking governor, what we have been begging the Federal Government to do for us has been embarked upon by Mr Project”, he added.
Another resident, Mr Ibim Clifford, hailed the governor for the projects, saying, “What excites me most is the choice of Rumuokoro, Artillery and Garrison for the flyover projects. This is because of the traffic challenges residents of the city suffer daily at these places”.
Also speaking, Chief Tams David, a businessman and resident of the city, lauded the project, and said it would influence positively every sector of the economy in the state.
“They call Governor Wike ‘Mr Projects’ and by the day, he lives by the name. If all the state governors in Nigeria work like Nyesom Wike, Nigeria will be transformed”, David argued.
A commercial driver in Port Harcourt, Chima Madume, applauded the state governor for the huge project, and said it would enhance transport operations in the city.
“It is true that during the construction of the three flyover bridges, there would be obstruction of traffic particularly as the three flyover bridges would be done simultaneously. But by the time they are completed, we shall enjoy the projects”, he added.
PDP’s Diri Set To Be Sworn In As Gov …As Lyon’s Sack Shocks APC …We’ll Obey Supreme Court Judgement, Says INEC …Warn Oshiomhole Not To Destabilise Nigeria, Wike Tells FG
The Supreme Court, yesterday, sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.
The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili, held that Degi-Eremieoyo presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Eremieoyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of the November 16, 2019, governorship election in the state, contained false information of fundamental nature.
Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgement, reinstated the November 12, 2019, judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja that disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo from participating in the governorship poll.
The apex court held that since Degi-Eremieoyo shared a joint ticket with the governor-elect, his disqualification invalidated their nomination by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Consequently, it ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return that was issued to them, and issue a fresh one to the party that secured the second highest number of votes and got the required constitutional spread in the election.
The judgment followed an appeal that was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its governorship and deputy governorship candidates in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri and Lawrence Ewhruojakpo.
Reacting to the Supreme Court ruling which nullified the election of Bayelsa State Governor-Elect, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, congratulated the party over the ruling, and described the verdict as victory of democracy and rule of law over impunity and tyranny.
Ologbondiyan, in a tweet, wrote: “Congratulations to the PDP family.”
Reacting to the judgement, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Diran Odeyemi, said the development is a confirmation of the truism that indeed, the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man.
According to him, judges sitting in other election disputes have a lot to learn from the Justice Mary Odili-led panel which directed the issuance of a certificate of return to the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Duoye Diri, adding that courage is what distinguishes a great judge in the pack.
“We want to salute the Justices for upholding the rule of law. They have demonstrated that there are still good judges in our country. We won the election and the learned justices have now proven that.
“I heard that some people are saying we should forget Imo now that we have gotten Bayelsa but that is not the way to go. What we are asking for in the case of Imo is a review of the apex court’s judgment and we know there is a window of hope that the right thing will be done.
“We congratulate our governor-elect and we are looking forward to working with him in his quest to further consolidate on the legacies of the outgoing governor,” he said.
Similarly, following the sack of Bayelsa governor-elect, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo by the apex court, the presidential candidate of the PDP in the last general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said that Nigerians are solidly behind Supreme Court in their verdicts.
Atiku, who congratulated Senator Douye Diri, the newly declared winner of Bayelsa gubernatorial election, advised the apex court to show consistency in its judgments.
Atiku opined: “I received the verdict of the Supreme Court, declaring the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Bayelsa state gubernatorial elections, Senator Douye Diri, as the duly elected Governor of the state, with gladness.
“Senator Douye Diri had cause to visit with me before the elections and received my blessings and counsel. I am fully satisfied that he has what it takes to make Bayelsa the ‘glory of all lands’. His intellect, personality and character, are a credit to Bayelsa and the PDP.
“I congratulate Senator Douye Diri and his running mate, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrujakpor. I also felicitate with the Peoples Democratic Party. The Lords Justices have given us another opportunity to show Nigerians that power belongs to the people, and we must make good use of this opportunity.
“I call on all the people of Bayelsa to make peace with the recent past and embrace the future together, united in the mission to transform the state into a haven of peace and prosperity.
“Finally, I urge the Supreme Court to show consistency in its judgments and find the resolve to always deliver just-judgments no matter whose ox is gored. The people of Nigeria are behind the apex court in whatever they do to free themselves from the dominance of dictatorial forces.”
In his reaction, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike called on the Federal Government to warn the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to stop making inflammatory remarks capable of destabilising the country.
Wike also berated the APC national chairman for saying that there will be no swearing-in of the PDP candidate in Bayelsa State, saying he has no such powers.
He said: “The Federal Government should warn Oshiomhole to stop making remarks that will destabilise Nigeria.
“What he is doing in Edo State is not proper, and he should not bring it to the rest of the Niger Delta.”
He said that Oshiomhole lacks the power to make pronouncements after the Supreme Court has ruled on the Bayelsa matter.
“Who is Oshiomhole to determine who has spread in a state? Supreme Court has made a ruling. It is unfortunate for Oshiomhole to come forward to say that nobody will be sworn in”, he said.
He said that Oshiomhole was making unguarded statements because he has lost the support of APC governors; hence he wants to curry favour through careless talks.
He said: “It is most unfortunate what Oshiomhole is doing because he wants to retain his position as national chairman. APC governors have rejected him, that is why he is struggling to prove that he is fighting for the party.
“He is making statements as if he owns the country. This is the same way he is carrying on in Edo State fighting the governor.
“He believes that he has the forces to cause crisis. He is arrogating powers to himself, which is not good”, he said.
Wike described Oshiomhole as a man who preaches one thing, then goes ahead to practise a different thing.
He said the situation in Edo State has exposed Adams Oshiomhole as a godfather who once preached against godfathers.
He said Oshiomhole would not be allowed to destroy the Niger Delta, adding that the rule of law must continue to prevail at all times.
Also, the Delta State Governor, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa, congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the Supreme Court ruling sacking Bayelsa governor-elect, Mr David Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, Okowa described the ruling as a welcomed development for the PDP and its candidates in the governorship race, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor.
He stated that his confidence in the Judiciary had been rekindled by the didactic ruling of the apex court.
He urged PDP and the governor-elect to take steps to reconcile all stakeholders in Bayelsa in order to strengthen the party for future elections.
“The news of the Supreme Court ruling on the Bayelsa governorship election came to me with joy, because we have been writhing in pain on the loss of Bayelsa to the APC in the last governorship election in the state.
“We are happy because the Supreme Court has once again restored the confidence of the people in the judiciary.
“This victory is a clarion call on the party and the governor-elect to take steps to reconcile all aggrieved party members who defected or worked against the party in the November16, 2019 Governorship Election in the state.
“This is very important, because there is need to rebuild the confidence of the people in our party, going forward,’’ the governor said.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate our great party, the PDP, on the victory at the Supreme Court.
“It is my prayer that God will usher in a new lease of life for Bayelsans as a new administration takes over in the state.
“I also congratulate my brother Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, for a successful tenure in office”, he added.
Nonetheless, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared its readiness to act on the Supreme Court judgement sacking Bayelsa State Governor-elect, David Lyon, and his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo but cannot do so now.
Reason: It is yet to get the court order sacking the APC candidates, who would have been sworn-in today.
The INEC said it would act on the judgment of the Supreme Court directing it to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC in Bayelsa State, Chief David Lyon.
INEC, however, said it was yet to be served with a copy of the judgment as at Thursday afternoon.
“I am not sure the commission has been served with the judgment of the Supreme Court yet. I will keep you posted”, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi said.
Also, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye said the commission would check its record to see which party came second in the election with a view to issuing its candidate a Certificate of Return.
He said INEC would carry out the judgement of the Supreme Court.
“We would do that when we get the judgement of the Supreme Court so that we would know clearly what the Supreme Court want us to do and we would carry it out”, he said.
Lyon polled 352,552 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Duoye Diri, who scored 143,172 votes.
Few days to the election, the PDP and its candidate secured a court order disqualifying Degi-Eremieoyo but the appeal court cleared the APC candidate to run.
However, the Supreme Court, Thursday, held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Eremieoyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of November 16, 2019, governorship election contained false information of fundamental nature.
Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgement reinstated November 12, 2019, Judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja that disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo from participating in the governorship poll.
The apex court held that since Degi-Eremieoyo shared a joint ticket with the governor-elect, his disqualification invalidated their nomination by the APC.
Consequently, it ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return that was issued to them and issue a fresh one to the party that secured the second-highest number of votes and got the required constitutional spread.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa & Albert Ograka, Asaba
Council Boss Inaugurates Community CDC
The Executive Chairman of Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon Tony Philmoore, has inaugurated a 21-man Community Development Committee of Bakana Community at the council’s head quarters, Degema.
Speaking to members of the committee, Dr. Philmoore enjoined them to work in synergy, avoid conflicts in the course of performing the task of attracting development to the community.
He appealed to them to make Bakana the fulcrum of their activities, focus on the things that would unite and jump start development, adding that CDCs were legal community based organisations that partnered government in developing rural communities.
The council boss promised to give a grant of N250,000 to the committee at the end of February, this year to defray administrative cost.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the CDC Secretary Sir Victor Iyalla, thanked the Executive Chairman for his commitment and love for the community. He assured him of the CDC’s determination to succeed and implored the chairman to give them all the support they would need.
Those inaugurated as executive members were: Pst. Tonte Davies Chairman, Chief C.C. Braide Vice Chairman, Victor Iyalla Secretary, Asiton-a William Duke PRO, Vincent Iboroma Treasurer and Owunari Edwin Iyalla Legal Adviser.
By: Wokoma Emmanuel & Theresa Ebizimor
Residents Cheer As Wike Inspects Flyover Bridge Project
Hundreds of Port Harcourt residents, yesterday, celebrated Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike as he inspected the ongoing construction of Rebisi Flyover Bridge (former Garrison).
The Rebisi Flyover Bridge is one of the three iconic bridges under construction by the Wike-led administration to ease traffic congestion and facilitate business activities in the state.
Wike expressed satisfaction with the quality and pace of work, thanking the workers for their commitment to delivering the project on schedule.
The governor, who trekked all through the length of the Rebisi Flyover Bridge, interacted with the workers on site.
He also took out time to talk with residents who trooped out to sing his praises for promoting the development of Port Harcourt.
The inspection visit to the Rebisi Flyover Bridge revealed that the contractors have finished the preliminary works, while works have been concluded on the substructure of the flyover bridges.
It was also discovered that the piers and abutments have been completed, alongside the foundations.
The super-structures of the flyover bridges, especially the main pillars, are now in place with Port Harcourt residents appreciating the quality of work by the contractors.
Earlier in January, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike personally met with traders and residents to seek their support for the timely completion of the flyover bridges.
Wike said that though the exercise was painful, all residents must contribute to ensure the flyover bridges are delivered.
“I am here to personally appeal to the people because I feel their pain. But this is a sacrifice everyone must make for the state to move forward.
“To do three flyover bridges the same time is not an easy task. Therefore, we must work hard to achieve the target. The target is that Julius Berger must hand over the three flyover bridges on February 20, 2021,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Government had, last October, flagged off construction work on three flyover projects at Rumuogba (Artillery Junction), Rumuokoro Roundabout (Okoro-nu-odu), and Rebisi (Garrison Junction) at a total cost of N21billion.
While flagging off the projects, the governor also directed the contractor handling the three projects, Julius Berger, to deliver the flyover bridges within 16 months in line with agreed timeline, and according to specifications.
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