The immediate past representative of the Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has pleaded with Transportation Minister and other top officials of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State to end the in-fighting and let peace return to the party.
He said that no member of the APC in Rivers State is indispensable.
Abe’s statement was made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Parry Saroh Benson where he said that for the party to rise above its present predicament, it required all hands to be on deck.
He bemoaned a situation where stakeholders of the party throw tantrums at each other, stating that such behaviour, cannot pull the party out of its political doldrums and urged the leaders to desist from such unruly acts.
The Senator, who was responding to what he described as Senator Andrew Uchendu’s comments in the media posited that in an atmosphere of mutual respect and acceptance, members should be able to make compromises that can move the party forward.
“I believe that any sensible politician who understands politics and can see where the APC in Rivers State is today after all the sacrifices that members have made over the years, would be very unhappy and I am very, very unhappy.
“We need peace in the party and if we can change our language and stop talking the way we do, do things differently, we can have different results.
“I have been circumspect about my choice of words when talking about Rotimi Amaechi and have said it over and over again that he is the leader of the party. But, a leader must lead in such a manner that your supporters and followers can have confidence in the leadership. Leadership should not be designed to hurt anybody or group.
“As far as the party is concerned, we need to bring everybody together, even Senator Andrew Uchendu, if only he will behave like an elder. We cannot be chasing one another in the public. He was my colleague at the National Assembly.
“We sat together at the Senate and common decency demands that there are certain things we should not say about one another in the public. That decency he cannot respect.
“If we can change our behaviour, rearrange our ways, curtail the excesses of our supporters, the party will unite again as one indivisible group.
In response to Senator Andrew Uchendu’s offer that himself and Senator Abe should renounce their ambitions for the sake of the party, Abe said: “I am ready to do whatever we need to do to bring the party together, but if the foundation of the peace is that Senator Abe should announce that he has no ambition, I will not make that announcement. In the same vein, I will not sit here to say whether I will contest or not, that question is for the future.
“People supported me for governorship because they could see that I was close to the fruit and if given a little push, I can catch it and they thronged behind me, if tomorrow am not in a good position and somebody else is better positioned, I will support that person”.
PHALGA Shuts Over 18 Markets
Following the confirmation of the index case of Coronavirus in the state by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the concurrence of the proactive government of Governor Nyesom Wike, of the positive case, last Thursday, the administration of Mayor Victor Ihunwo of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, has keyed into the subsisting policies of the state government to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
Consequently, the Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon Victor Ihunwo has swung into action by enforcing the directives of the governor on the closure of more than 18 markets within the jurisdiction of the council administration.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Mayor of PHALGA, Bob Abayomi, quoted Hon Victor Ihunwo as saying that, “It is regrettable that this disease has unusually found its way into our dear state.
“In line with the new directives of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, that all markets in the state should remain closed effective Saturday, March 28, 2020, Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon Victor Ihunwo, has announced the closure of all markets in Port Harcourt City with effect from the aforementioned date.
“The following markets in Port Harcourt City must remain closed from Saturday, 28th March, 2020, till further notice.
“The markets include Rumuwoji Ultra Morden Market, Nkpolu Oroworukwo Market, Ogubum-Nu-Abali Fruits &Vegetables Garden Market, New Market, Garri Market, Creek Road Market, Trans Amadi Maami Market, all community-based markets, Goat Market, and all markets in abattoirs.
“All staff of Port Harcourt City Council from Grade Levels 1-10 are to stay at home from Friday, 27th March, 2020, till further notice.
“The Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon Victor Ihunwo, will lead a high-powered task force of the council to move around and ensure that this directive is carried out effectively.
“Any trader that violates this directive will have his goods confiscated and that trader will be summarily dealt with.
“The mayor reiterates that the earlier ban on public activities subsist, all public burials, weddings, child dedications, religious crusades remain prohibited while activities of night clubs, public parks, cinemas, lounges, and public drinking bars of over 10 persons without proper social distancing remain banned till further notice.
“Hon Victor Ihunwo appeals that residents of the city should continue to maintain proper personal hygiene and observe proper social distancing.
Coronavirus: Anger In Delta Market As Prices Of Foodstuff Soar
Following the announcement by the Delta State Governmental that there is going to be a total lockdown in the state starting from tomorrow as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, Deltans have lamented the high rate of foodstuff in the markets.
In a bid to ensure that they stock their houses with foodstuff, many Deltans who have stormed the markets to buy food were taken by surprise as the prices of goods have skyrocketed.
The prices of garri, one of the staple food in the state were increased with about three hundred per cent. Garri which used to sell for N500 was increased to N1500 and N1800 respectively.
At Effurun market in Uvwie Local Government Area, the hike in prices of garri did not go down well with the youths in the area, who mobilized to the market to ensure that the price was brought down to N800. Those who flount the order had their produce taken away from them and were sold to the public by the youths at the price of N800. This development forced those who could not sell at the agreed price to lock their stores and go home for fear of the youths who were bent on enforcing the agreed prices.
Some of the market women who spoke to newsmen said they bought the produce at high prices adding that they had no choice than to sell at a high rate.
One of the garri sellers who spoke under strict anonymity said, “We bought this garri at a very high price because those that sold to us told us that government is closing the borders on Wednesday. So we have no option than to sell at a very high price too because that is how we bought. But with what the youths are doing now we are selling at a loss.”
Some who supported the actions of the youths said it was wrong for the women to increase the prices of garri stressing that government has not increased prices of petroleum products so there was no need to increase the prices of foodstuff just because of lockdown.
Mrs Ofuoma Andrew who came to the market to buy foodstuff said, “We were all taken by surprise this morning when we came to the market. The prices of foodstuff just tripled. We don’t see any reason why they should increase things like this. It is not faring at all.
Please government should do something about this if not we will die of hunger during the coming lockdown.”
Meanwhile, the closure of the popular Igbudu market by warri South Council Chairman, Dr Michael Tidi ahead of Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa’s shutdown order which will begin tomorrow, has generated misgiving among residents of the area.
It was learnt that Pessu, Okere,Ugbuwangue and main markets were operational in the heat of the panic of Coronavirus, without social distancing”.
In a chat with newsmen, the Council boss said,”The closure of the market is not to punish anybody” stressing that,”It is for their own good.
“People should not give it unnecessary interpretation. By midnight today, nobody will even come out. The issue of people trying to insinuate that it has anything to do with Ethno-political differences is totally out of place.
World Bank, EU Distribute Computers To MDAs In C’River
The World Bank and European Union (EU) have donated computer sets to critical Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Cross River.
The state Commissioner for International Development Cooperation (MIDC),Dr Asibong Inyang who distributed the computers, said they were to aid the MDAs in combating the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“This is under the auspices of the European Union funded/World Bank supervised State and Local Governance Reform (CR-SLOGOR) Project under its State Integrated Financial Information Management Systems (SIFMIS).
“It is to enhance efficacy and accountability in public financial management in Cross River State,’’ Iyang said.
According to her, the distribution of four set of computers each to the State Ministry of Health and Internal Revenue Service (CRIRS) is due to the critical nature of their activities, especially in this critical period.
The commissioner further reiterated the state government’s commitment toward courses that would improve and engender development in the state.
Responding, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, described the gesture as timely.
She added that the equipment would help in video conferencing, monitoring and evaluation, as well as other virtual communication among the ministries, staff and partners at this period of global health crisis.
She thanked the state government for the proactive approach towards containment and prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Edu urged residents of the state to comply with the precautionary measures put in place by the government.
Also speaking, Chairman of Cross River State Internal Revenue Service (CRIRS), Mr. Akpanke Ogar, thanked the EU/World Bank for their intervention in ensuring that the state revenue agency carries out its activities in line with international best practice.
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