Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has assured the Ejamah Community and other host communities of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 that the Rivers State Government will defend their right in any ensuing legal battle over the oil facility acquired by the Rivers State Government.
Wike spoke during an appreciation visit by the leaders of Ejamah Community of Eleme Local Government Area at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday.
The Governor commended the community for standing firm and fighting through established due process.
“While I remain Governor, one thing I will never do is sell the interest of our people.
“The property of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) were auctioned and the Rivers State Government bidded and acquired them.
“There will be legal battles. The Rivers State Government will stand for Rivers people,” he said.
He reiterated that with the acquisition of the 45 percent stakes of SPDC at OML 11, the Rivers State Government will extend some percentage to the host communities to give them a sense of belonging.
He praised Ejamah community for engaging in the legal battle for 29 years and refusing to be swayed by financial proposals by SPDC.
He said: “I am ready for the legal battle. The interest of Rivers State must be protected at all times. But for your fight, who will be talking of Rivers State Government acquiring OML 11. OML 11 is not only for Ogoni, it extends to Okrika, Andoni, Oyigbo and Ikwerre.
“Any community linked to OML 11 should be eternally grateful to you. I know some communities that only N300million will change them. You refusal to collect N7billion led to the auctioning of Shell Interest.
“If the Federal Government wants to talk, it is the Rivers State Government it should talk with, because we have acquired Shell’s interest. I am with you. God knows I have no personal interest.”
The Governor recommended the style of Ejamah Community, which is based on legal struggles to other communities. He said without violence, Ejamah community defeated SPDC in the courts.
He said no matter the schemes by SPDC, the judgment of the Supreme Court must be implemented.
The Governor commended the lawyer to the community, Lucius Nwosu (SAN) for his trustworthiness.
Governor Wike formally recognised the Traditional Ruler of Ejamah community as a second class chief. He also directed the reconstruction of Ebubu Community Secondary School.
Earlier, the Leader of the Ejamah Community, Chief George Osaro said that the people of Ejamah community are happy with the governor’s intervention in OML 11.
He said: “The people of Ejamah community do hereby express our profound gratitude to you for wading into the matter and ensuring that the Rivers State Government purchased the 45percent interest of SPDC in OML 11.”
He said that the intervention of the governor should not be misconstrued, as it in the overrall interest of the host communities. He said that the action has liberated the people.
Chief Osaro said that Ejamah Ebubu suffered one of the worst oil spill, which negatively affected their environment.
“We must understand that the Governor’s Plan is to boost the state economy, create employment and alleviate the suffering of the people, the State and the Niger Delta entirely as well as the nation”, he said.
He described Governor Wike as a pace setter, a visionary leader and emancipator of the people.
The Ejamah community conferred on Governor Wike a chieftaincy title: “Oneh Owese Oboru Ejamah.”
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has stated that the time has come for unnecessary politics to be relegated and governance enthroned for the good of Nigerians.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Ministers of Education and Women Affairs at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, Wike said that Nigerians require good governance for development.
He said: “Leadership is not party affair. Leadership is about the people. It is about development. For now, governance is what our people require.
“We should relegate politics to the background. Political parties as vehicles take us to a certain point for us to disembark and face governance.”
He said rather than politicise the development process, focus should be on how to move Nigeria forward.
Wike said that Rivers people are not happy with the high level of marginalisation against the state.
He said with the conclusion of elections, Rivers State should benefit like other states.
“Honourable Minister, when you go back, inform Mr President that the people of Rivers State are not happy with the high level of marginalisation. Rivers State should benefit from projects like other states of the federation”, he said.
He warned against any attempt to run a one-party state.
“We cannot run a one-party state. If we do that, the country will collapse. You cannot take every state. It is not possible”, he said.
Wike said that even though he wished that President Muhammadu Buhari lost the last General Election, immediately the court pronounced him winner, he was left with no option but to congratulate him.
The governor advocated the promotion of girl-child education.
He said that during his days as a minister of state for education, he advanced the ideals of girl-child education.
In his remarks, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu commended the Rivers State governor for his dedication to the development of education.
He also praised the governor for supporting the hosting of the National Council on Education (NCE).
Adamu thanked the Rivers State governor for his total support for the sustenance of Federal Government agencies operating in Rivers State.
He said that the Rivers State governor left indelible marks at the Federal Ministry of Education, which the current management has struggled unsuccessfully to surpass.
The minister praised Wike’s brand of politics, which is devoid of bitterness.
He specifically lauded the governor for congratulating the President on his victory and also being on ground to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari when he returned from a medical leave.
“You play politics with fairness and without bitterness “, he said.
Also, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has stated that the nation can only attain development when the citizens are empowered with the right knowledge and appropriate skills to contribute to national growth.
Declaring open the 64th Meeting of the National Council on Education (NCE) in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said that educational empowerment would equip the citizens to sustain themselves.
He said: “The reality is that no country can be politically stable, economically robust and socially secure and cohesive if the citizens are not empowered with knowledge, appropriate skills and the right values to sustain themselves and contribute meaningfully to the progress of the country.”
Wike called for the promotion of inclusive and equitable quality education to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
He said: “Agenda 2030 is therefore a call to action on our collective commitments to transformative education by addressing all forms of exclusion, disparities and inequities and ensuring that every child, irrespective of social background, cultural affiliation, location and family or income status is not left behind but have equal and equitable access to quality and transformative public education.
“This requires providing the enabling legal framework, adopting the right policies and programme of action, deploying adequate resources and manpower, including qualified teachers in addition to a strong political will from the government at all levels.”
He said the lack of political will by government, inadequate allocation of resources; lack of commitment and by parents, teachers and school leaders, lack of or ineffective monitoring policy implementation are some of the serious factors responsible for the deteriorated status of education across the country.
He said: ”As a former minister of state education, I am quite familiar with the NCE and what it stands for as the highest national policy organ on education. During our time and under my watch as minister, we initiated and implement several policies and programmes, such as the girl-child education programme, the Almajiri education policy and programme, and the Special Vocational/Basic Education programme for boys as well as the national policy on Albinism. We also strengthened the quality of learning with the provision of modern e-libraries for the Federal Government Colleges.
“While I am not very sure of the present status of these laudable programmes, I do believe that they are fundamental to resolving some of the age-long underlying problems with our education system that borders on lack of universal access, equity and gender inequality. And if you reflect for a moment on the state of our country – the chaos, the misery, stagnation and hopelessness among the majority of our people, you will appreciate the cost of inadequate investments in education.”
The governor stated in Rivers State, his administration has invested in the development of education for the rapid growth of the state.
He said: “Here in Rivers State, our commitment is to provide equal opportunity to all our children to attend great schools, be taught by committed and well-motivated teachers at all levels and enable them to acquire the training and skills they need to realize their full potential and be successful citizens. We have successfully renovated, expanded and equipped over 400 basic education schools while 68 new schools are under renovation with this year’s grant.
“We have rebuilt, expanded and fully equipped a number of our secondary schools across the State while many more are undergoing similar reconstruction and expansion. We have also expanded the carrying capacity of all our tertiary institutions with additional faculties and infrastructure to enable more of our youths to access tertiary education.
Besides effectively banning the collection of all forms of levies from parents in the public-school system, we have released adequate funds through the Ministry of Education to school heads for the sustainable administration of all our public schools.”
In a keynote address, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said that the Federal Government was working towards developing a functional educational system that would make citizens self reliant.
He said: “There is no doubt that Technical and Vocational Education and Training holds the key to the development of our country’s industrial sector, thus the challenges of youth unemployment can best be addressed through quality education that guarantees self reliance.
’Entrepreneurship education and training is globally acknowledged as an important strategy for tackling youth unemployment. In our drive to reposition education for self reliance, particular attention has been given to the development of technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills in learners as the present administration has trained over 500 science, vocational and mathematics teachers on the use of modern equipment and new approaches in schools.”
He said that the Federal Government has granted approval for the establishment of new Federal Science and Technical Colleges in 16 states.
Adamu added that the Federal Government was improving access to quality education in different parts of the country.
Also speaking, Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen praised Wike for being a promoter of girl-child education.
Tallen said educating the girl-child would empower the family and the nation, and called on all stakeholders to work towards educating the girl-child.
Tallen stated that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs would partner with the Federal Ministry of Education to promote girl-child education.
The Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Education, Dagogo Adonye Hart said the National Council on Education was relevant to the development of vital policies and programmes to improve the quality of education.
The theme of the 64th National Council on Education is: “Education for Self Reliance: A Tool for Achievement of 20:30 Agenda.”
The meeting attracted education commissioners, permanent secretaries and FCT secretary of education from across the federation.
State Of The Nation: PDP Takes Protest To Foreign Embassies …Insists Buhari, APC Threat To Democracy
For the second time in the past three weeks, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, took its protest to the embassies of the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and France, condemning among other things, what it termed, threat to democracy by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The protest, which took off from the party’s National Presidential Campaign Headquarters, Maitama, Abuja, attracted key members of the National Working Committee (NWC), led by National Secretary of the party, Senator Ibrahim Tsauri.
At the European Union Embassy, Tsauri, who stood in for the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, flayed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for allegedly constituting itself a clog in the wheel of the nation’s electoral progress since it first assumed office in 2015.
In a petition submitted by its leadership, yesterday, the party urged the international community to press on the government of President Buhari to preserve democratic institutions in the land at all cost even as they reminded them that most of their reports on election observations in the country recently showed in decline in the preservation of democratic ethos.
Addressing newsmen after the submission of the petition at the European Union, Deputy National Chairman (North) of the party, Senator Suleiman Nazif, expressed the party’s dissatisfaction at what he called the takeover of the Judiciary and the judicial arms of government by the APC-led government.
He said, “We are not happy, we are not satisfied with the way democracy is being run in Nigeria. We have come here to complain because we have realized that the National Assembly is being intimidated by the Executive.
“The Judiciary is being arm-twisted, the rule of law has become a mockery and we thought it wise to come and lay our complaint because they no longer listen to anybody and that is why the PDP decided to reach out to the international community to lay complaint with respect to the electoral act that has not been accented to up till now.
“You are aware of the systematic collapse in our electoral processes, the way elections are being conducted. In Kogi, we saw what transpired in the last election. Nigerians have seen for themselves what the opposition party is going through.
“We saw what happened in Bayelsa, we saw what happened in Imo with respect to the Supreme Court judgement and we are calling for a review of that judgement and we believe that with the amount of pressure from intentional organisations, I think the right thing would be done”.
On his part, Tsauri said, “Democracy is being derailed in this country. Democracy in Nigeria has been built on five pillars: the media, the electoral empire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agents, the Judiciary, and the international community. These are the pillars that support democracy in Nigeria. If one of these pillars collapses, democracy will derail on that side.
“Out of the five, only two are left. The electoral umpire is compromised, you all know it. Security agents are part and parcel of APC government. Judiciary is being threatened and nobody has any confidence in the Judiciary again.
“The only one that is now left is the media and the international community. The international community, any where there is going to election, they go and monitor. They bring in their reports and most of these reports are negative.
“This is why we came to the international community to tell them that this is the expectations of Nigerians from them and we want them to do exactly what is expected of them to do.
“In Nigeria today, if you talk about security, it is zero. When Buhari came into government, he said that he was going to fight corruption, he was going to intensify effort on the economy and then security but none is working now. This government does not listen to any voice except the international community. That is why we are here”.
However, the officials of the three embassies failed to make statements after receiving the part’s petition.
Also, in the protest march were the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, National Woman Leader, Hajia Maryam Waziri and the National Youth Leader, Hon. Stanley Udeh-Okoye, amongst others.
RSG Begins E-Registration Of Businesses …As Nsirim Heads C’ttee On Investment Promotion
The Rivers State Ease of Doing Business Council headed by the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has taken far reaching decisions to give impetus to the mandate given to the council by the State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said that with effect from yesterday, an e-Registration Platform for all businesses in Rivers State has been put in place to ensure that all businesses in the state come under one database.
According to him, a help desk has also been established in the office of the deputy governor in line with the decision.
He further disclosed that the Ease of Doing Business Council also set up an Investment Promotion Committee headed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim.
Other members of the committee include, the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwankpa, Chairman, House Committee on Commerce and Industry, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Ezu Chibudhom, and President, Nigerian Entrepreneur and Investment Forum, Engr. Dozie Abajue.
2021 AFCON: NFF Moves S’Eagles’ Games From Benin
After several weeks of speculations, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), May have shelved the idea of playing Super Eagles first international match of the year at the refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, Edo State.
The refurbished stadium with a sitting capacity of 19,500 stands as one of the best in the country today and is equipped with modern facilities.
The venue was due to be formally opened with the Super Eagles’ Day-four match of the ongoing AFCON 2021 qualifying round clash with Sierra Leone on the 22nd of March, 2020.
However, it has been confirmed from a top official of the Glass House in Abuja that the ancient city of Benin which last staged Super Eagles match in 2011 against Boswana which ended goalless with Late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi in charge of his first match as gaffer, may have to wait for another time.
“We have a strong bond with Edo State Government and this explained why we’ve had many events in Benin lately but due to some reasons, this important match against Sierra Leone will not hold in the new stadium,” the top official told our source in a telephone chat last night.
With Benin no longer in sight, the NFF is looking in the direction of either the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State or Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Both stadiums hosted Super Eagles’ matches in the past. Uyo Stadium in particular was were Eagles secured their qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia
The Asaba ground became new home to the Super Eagles lately following the massive support the team enjoy from Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa.
Delta bankrolled the sent forth match for the Super Eagles to the last AFCON tournament in Egypt where they claimed the bronze medal.
Although no clear reason was given for why NFF decided to move the Sierra Leone game from the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, our checks revealed that it may have something to do with the forth coming National Sports Festival (NSF) which the state will host next month to early April.
Physical infrastructure needed for the games are being completed at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium with base for the track being laid, as the football pitch is ready. Work at the tennis section is completed, while the swimming pools are being furnished.
Organisers of the festival have scheduled the football events at other designated venues leaving the edify to stage only track and field events, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
With the Uyo and Asaba as options for Eagles, NFF has at least two weeks to communicate the new venue to CAF as well as the visiting team in accordance with the tournament rules and regulations
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