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Kogi Poll: CAN Warns Against War

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kogi State chapter, has urged the people of the state to pray fervently for the peaceful conduct of the November 16 elections for the interest of all, saying election is not war.
Dr. John Ibenu, the state chairman of the association, made the call at the CAN Second Plenary Session, held at Chapel of Freedom Int’l, Lokoja, yesterday.
Ibenu enjoined the people, especially Christians, to pray fervently for peaceful, free, fair and credible polls, our correspondent reports.
He urged all political parties and their followers to conduct themselves with the fear of God, knowing that God would bring all their actions to judgment.
“We request all Christians and indeed Kogites to get their PVCs ready and come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise for the parties of their choice.
“We demand that INEC and security agencies should carry out their duties without fear or favor and to ensure neutrality, protection of votes, lives, and property so as to make sure that every vote counts.
“We plead with all Kogites to conduct themselves in the most civil way by respecting one another and assisting INEC, electoral officers and security agencies to carry out their duties without interference.
“We advise that people should not take laws into their hands if there are infractions but to report to the appropriate authorities.
“CAN is a responsible spiritual and mature organisation which is working to get the best for the Christians and the people at large.
“All our members should be law abiding at all times. CAN is here for the interest of all Kogites.,” the chairman said.

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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

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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

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Council Boss Inaugurates Community CDC

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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

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Residents Cheer As Wike Inspects Flyover Bridge Project

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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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