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Our Aim Is To Promote Rivers Interest, Wike Insists …Says After Elections, Time For Governance …As Appeal Court Upholds Gov’s Re-Election, Strikes Out ADP’s Appeal

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the State Government’s investment in Oil Mining Licence (OML) 11 is aimed at promoting the interest of host stakeholder communities, and ensure peace for the operation of the oil facility.
Speaking during a solidarity visit by the Ogbakor Etche yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said the efforts of the State Government are geared towards ensuring that the communities get the best from the acquisition of OML 11.
“What Rivers State Government wants is for the interest of our state to be protected. Whoever that is coming to take over will have the interest of the communities protected.
“When the communities are part owners of OML11, there will be peace. But some people sit down and engage in unnecessary propaganda”, he said.
Governor Wike stated that the acquisition of OML 11 is the height of resource control struggle, and urged the people of Ogoni to appreciate the efforts of the Rivers State Government in this regard.
“When you talk about resource control, this is resource control. Instead of Ogoni people to thank us, they are allowing criminals and charlatans to go on radio and talk, with their leaders pretending not to be aware, when they know.
“They talk as if OML 11 belongs to them alone, which is not correct. Etche, Bonny, Oyigbo, Ogu/Bolo and Okrika are part of OML 11”, he said.
The Governor took time to explain the process that led to the acquisition of OML 11, saying that the Rivers State Government stepped in after the High Court ordered the sale of Shell’s stakes already attached as part of the enforcement of the court’s judgment initiated by the Ebubu Community.
On the OML 25, which was eventually given to Shell Petroleum Development Company by the Federal Government, Governor Wike stated that a fraudulent businessman claimed that the Federal Government would grant him the license of the facility.
He noted that when it turned out that the man was lying, the State Government worked with stakeholder communities to ensure that their interests were protected.
Governor Wike said it turned out that the businessman, who sponsored falsehood on OML 25, was merely seeking surveillance and labour supply contracts from Shell Petroleum Development Company.
The Governor assured Etche people that his Administration would always invest in the development of the area, while outlining the projects that will be commissioned in Etche land during the first year of his second term.
He informed the Etche delegation that his administration will revive the Delta Rubber Company through Public Private Partnership, adding that by May 2020, the Rivers State Government will commission the Cassava Plant.
He said with the commissioning of the Cassava Plant, the Rivers State Government will purchase cassava from farmers at prevailing market prices for processing.
“That way, the farmers will be empowered to remain in business”, he said.
Earlier, the President-General of Ogbakor Etche, Sir Machy Nwodim commended the Rivers State Government for acquiring the oil facility. He said as part owners of OML 11, Etche Ethnic Nationality views the action as a welcome development.
He used the opportunity to appeal to the Governor to take a similar action on OML 17, where the bulk of Etche oil is found.
While congratulating the Rivers State Governor on his electoral victory, he called for electronic voting to ensure credible violence free elections in 2023.
The President-General of Ogbakor Etche urged the Rivers State Governor to sustain his developmental projects in Etche land and initiate new projects.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Government fully acquired Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) 45% interest in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 of the State following its auction by the High Court.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that with elections effectively over across the country, the focus should be on governance for the good of Nigerians.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim at the Government House, Port Harcourt last Monday, Governor Wike said politics should be de-emphasised at this time.
“We are here to assist. We are not fighting with anybody. We are here to complement the efforts of Government.
“Politics has come and politics has gone. We have won the election here, they have lost. But they have won in other places. Politics has ended and we are now talking about governance”, he said.
The Governor decried situations in which corps members devise different schemes to ensure that they are posted back to their home state, saying “We should try and discourage the idea that you must serve in your state. That is the essence of the NYSC scheme.”
He assured that the Rivers State Government will continue to promote the welfare of corps members serving in the state.
“The corps members posted here serves our state. So, it is our responsibility to take care of their welfare. They are working for the benefit of Rivers State “, he said.
Governor Wike further said the State Government is still willing to assist the family of the Late Corps Member killed during the rerun elections.
He assured that the Rivers State Government will deliver the auditorium at the Permanent Orientation Camp and other projects during the first year of his second term.
Earlier, the NYSC Director General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim thanked the Rivers State Governor for what he called his outstanding contributions to the development of facilities at the permanent Orientation Camp of the NYSC.
He commended the Rivers State Governor for the payment of allowances to Rivers Corps Members and the construction of a 5000 sitter auditorium at the Orientation Camp.
He described Governor Wike as an NYSC friendly Governor who has encouraged Corps Members to give their best.
“I thank you most sincerely. Others are watching. I encourage them to emulate the Rivers State Governor “, he said.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt on Monday upheld the re-election of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike as they struck out the appeal filed by the defeated Governorship Candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Victor Fingesi.
Fingesi had approached the Court of Appeal after the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal on October 5, 2019 dismissed his petition challenging the re-election of Governor Wike, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate during the 2019 Election.
The Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgment struck out the Appeal by Mr. Victor Fingesi of ADP for lacking in merit. The Tribunal also said that the appeal was incompetent.
In a lead judgment, Justice H.N Ogunwimiji declared that the ADP Governorship Candidate failed to prove that the election was marred by irregularities.
Justice Ogunwimiji stated that the ADP Governorship Candidate couldn’t adduce evidence that would invalidate the election of Governor Wike.
The Court of Appeal stated that he or anyone who asserts must present relevant evidence to prove such allegations.
The Court also declared that INEC has the power to take action on elections when emergencies arise. The Appeal Court noted that INEC derived such powers from Section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act.
It also held that the petitioner lacked the locus standi to file the petition as earlier ruled by the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal.
The presiding Judges, Justice T.N Orji Ababua, Justice U. Omyenenn, Justice H.A Barka, and Justice I.B Idiris, agreed with the lead judgment.
INEC’s Counsel, Dr Garba Tetengi (SAN), on his part, said the appeal was struck out for incompetence.
Counsel to the Rivers State Governor, Ike Udenna, said the Court of Appeal came to the conclusion that the Tribunal was right to uphold the election of Governor Wike.
It will be recalled that the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal declared that the petitioner (ADP Governorship Candidate) failed woefully to prove that Governor Wike did not score the highest number of lawful votes during the March 9, 2019 Governorship election. The Tribunal declared that the petitioner’s complaint is vague and merely speculative.
The Appeal Court further described ADP’S Petition as “An Adventure to discover the Non-Existent “.
INEC on April 3, 2019 declared Governor Wike re-elected after he polled 886,264 votes, while his closest challenger of African Alliance Congress (AAC), Biokpomabo Awara, scored 173,859 votes.
Victor Fingesi of the ADP polled a paltry 1860 votes during the 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election.

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We Are Committed To Deepening Democracy, Says Rivers State Governor Wike

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Governor Nyesom Wike inspect, Judges Quarters and Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, 08 July 2020

Rivers state Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has explained that the support given to the judiciary by his administration is to deepen democracy in Nigeria.

He said all the arms of government need to work in synergy in discharging their  responsibilities to serve the people with courage and efficiency.

Governor Wike was speaking shortly after inspecting the progress of work at the reconstructed residence of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal and other judicial staff located in Amadi flat, Old GRA in Port Harcourt and the Judges Quarters for Judges of Rivers State Judiciary in Orazi in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of the state, on Wednesday.

The governor said his administration had commissioned quarters for Judges of the Court of Appeal while the residence of the Presiding Justice and staff of the same court would  be ready soon to boost their morale to confidently discharge their duties.

“We are quite impressed with the level of work that is going on there. You must give the people all it takes to do their best because you can’t talk about fighting corruption and then you will not give the Judiciary the support that it requires.

“You cannot talk about deepening democracy without having the Judiciary or Legislature playing their role.

“The  three arms of government must work together to be able to engender development for the state,” he said.

Commenting on the provision of quarters for Judges of the Rivers State judiciary, Governor Wike said it would solve the problem of accommodation for Judges on retirement.

 

“I did say that we are going to give them owner- occupier residence so that when judges retire, they will get accommodation.

“It is very funny to find that when Judges retire, they do not have a place to stay or are compelled to stay in remote places after years of service. So, we thought that there is need to give them a befitting place after  retirement.

“We are happy that the contractor has completed the building, and now Julius Berger PLC is carrying out the furnishing. In a short time, we believe that it will be commissioned and handed over to the Chief Judge of the state who will then hand them over to the beneficiaries,” he added.

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COVID-19: Rivers State Governor, Wike Sues For Understanding

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on a State broadcast on Wednesday, 08 July 2020

* Imposes night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny LGA and Onne Community in Eleme LGA with effect from July 10, 2020 till further notice

*Sets up Taskforce to enforce wearing of facemasks

* Plans to reopen markets

*Sacks serving Permanent Secretary for flouting COVID-19 guidelines

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has appealed to residents of the State to take personal responsibility to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

He also cautioned that with the commencement of inter-state travels and domestic travels, residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days Isolation.

Governor Wike made the appeal in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, in a state-wide broadcast.

“As at July 8, 2020, the COVID-19 status of our State is as follows:
Total samples collected: 4573
Total samples tested: 3871
Total confirmed cases: 1235
Total discharged cases: 810
Total active cases: 382
Total death: 43
New cases: 30

“From the first days of this virus, we took serious measures and literally set the pace in our country to slow down the spread.

“We have noticed that most affected people are resorting to self medication instead of presenting themselves for treatment at the State’s Treatment Centres.

“Those who experience symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath, among others should present themselves for appropriate treatment at the expense of the State Government.

“Furthermore, in the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents have continued to disregard the mitigating protocols with reckless abandon.

“Public and private transporters, business owners and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols.

“Burial ceremonies are also reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary  had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo,” he said.

The Governor therefore announced the sack of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunny Okere with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of the guidelines.

This, he said, would serve as a lesson to all other public officers who may wish to be irresponsible.

He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.

Government, he said, is also appraising the prospect of opening markets as soon as it is satisfied that it is safe with appropriate guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks.

Governor Wike announced the setting up of a Joint Taskforce made up of security and civilian personnel to enforce the wearing of face masks.

He stated that to sustain the progress made in the state, the State Security Council has imposed a night time curfew from 8p.m to 6a.m on Bonny Local Government and Onne Community in Eleme Local Government with effect from July 10, 2020 until further notice.

The Governor assured all health workers, including doctors and nurses that government would continue to cater for their welfare as they continue to serve the state at grave risks to their own lives.

He added that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.

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Governor Wike Is Building The Future For Rivers State – Nsirim …To Collaborate With CoolWazobiaInfo On Development Reportage

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has stated that the State Governor, Nyesom Wike is deliberately building an enviable future for Rivers People.

Nsirim, who stated this on Tuesday, when the Management of CoolWazobiaInfo, operators of Cool, Wazobia, and Nigeria Info radio stations, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, stated  that every step the Governor has taken since 2015  had been targeted at developing the State.

“Within the last five years, His Excellency has demonstrated keenly that his passion to turn around the fortunes of Rivers State is not something that he is  just playing to the gallery. In almost all sectors of the economy of the State you can see the monumental changes that are taking place here.

“That’s what we have found in this visionary leader and we are quite proud to be associated with him”, he said.

The Commissioner noted that the manner in which the Governor executes all the developmental projects in the State is only characteristic of a leader who is driven by the will to serve the  people.

“Do you want to talk about the three flyovers that are ongoing simultaneously? You know, naysayers thought that it was a political gimmick when he said I have paid 70% of the contract sum of the projects.

“The speed with which the work is going on is so amazing. That is what you see when there is political will and you find a man whose passion for selfless service speaks in all that he does”, he said.

While expressing the willingness of the Ministry to partner with the Station in areas that would develop the State, the Commissioner stated that such partnership would be based on the station ensuring strict adherence to the regulatory guidelines set by the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Such guidelines, he said, has to do with the principles of objectivity, fairness and balance, noting that when this is not done,  there is a breach of the NBC guideline, which regulates the operations of the broadcast media in Nigeria.

He stated that media houses  are supposed to be  bridge builders who harness public opinion for the common good.

According to him, no Media house should expose itself to be seen to be antagonistic.

“Every Media house owe society the obligation to create a balance in the reportage of activities.

The Commissioner assured that the State Government welcomes criticism and would  only collaborate with initiatives that will ensure development for Rivers people.

We are looking forward to any partnership that will bring into focus ethics, objectivity, fairness, and balance. A partnership that will engender  development for Rivers people.

“Governor Wike has given governance a  new meaning and we believe that partnership with the media will compel him to do more for Rivers people.

” We welcome constructive criticism that will promote the state as an investors’ haven,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, the Programme Manager of the Station, Carl Orakwe, proposed a collaboration with the Ministry towards the development of the State.

“Part of the reasons why we are here is to extend our support and let everyone know that coolwazobiainfo family as a media outfit would strive to promote good governance.

He pledged that they would collaborate with the ministry to project the state in good light.

Also present was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo and all the Directors of the Ministry, as well as the Head of Station, CoolWazobiaInfo, Jeta Onomewho.

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