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Mass Protest Rocks S’ East Over S’Court’s Sack Of Ihedioha …As PDP Begins Nationwide Protest, Today …Says S’Court Destroying Nigeria’s Democracy

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in Imo, Abia and Anambra states, yesterday, shut down Owerri, Umuahia and Awka, the states’ capitals, in protest over the removal of Emeka Ihedioha by the Supreme Court and the declaration of Senator Hope Uzodinma as the duly elected governor of the state.
This is even as security operatives, including policemen and army officers took over the nooks and crannies of the states to maintain law and order.
Adorned in black attires, the PDP members in Imo paraded the state capital, calling on the apex court as well as the jurists that presided on the Tuesday’s verdict which sacked Ihedioha, to revisit their judgment.
The dissatisfied party members said that the protest would persist if the apex court refused to revisit the matter.
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Henry Nwawuba, who spoke to journalists, said the Supreme Court jurists had murdered democracy in the state with their judgment.
Nwawuba, who represents Mbaitoli/Ikedduru Federal Constituency of Imo State, said that the apex court had done grave injustice to the people of the state.
He said, “I am a Lawmaker and I believe that the Supreme Court must redeem the Judiciary. Since the judgment was delivered, the state has become a graveyard (and) this is unlike what was happening when PDP was holding sway”.
Nwawuba, who was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2015, said that the state had become a graveside since the Supreme Court delivered the judgment.
“How the Supreme Court justices gave victory to a candidate who came fourth in an election remains a mystery to many of us. We call on them to revisit the Imo case and do justice. “
Also, the PDP Women Leader in the state, Maria Mbakwe, who burst into tears while speaking to journalists, said that women in the state are devastated with the verdict.
She said, “I have never seen this kind of injustice since over 50 years I have been in Imo State. Imo women in the market and all over the state are crying. We are begging the Supreme Court justices to revisit the matter. We know that they are human beings and they can make a mistake.”
However, the Nigeria Police Force, Imo State Command said it barricaded Owerri, the state capital, to forestall possible clash between the members of the People Democratic Party and those of the All Progressives Congress, an action which caused traffic gridlock in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, told our correspondent that the police were being “proactive instead of being reactive.”
Ikeokwu said that the inasmuch as the PDP had the right to embark on a peaceful protest, the police did not want them to clash with APC members.
He said, “We barricaded the town because we don’t want protesting PDP members to clash with APC members or for hoodlums to hijack the protest. We are being proactive instead of being reactive. The police do not want any bloodshed.
“The PDP members have the right under the law to protest peacefully but we do not want anybody to hijack it or threaten the peace of the state,” adding that the situation could turn worse should APC members also take to the streets.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State, yesterday, said that the Supreme Court was destroying the country’s democracy with its Tuesday judgment which sacked Emeka Ihedioha and declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress as the duly elected governor of the state.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Damian Opara, said that the justices of the apex court had “ ridiculed and annihilated democracy “ by sacking Ihedioha from office.
Describing the judgment as “ provocative “ and at variance with the tenets of the law, the PDP spokesperson said that the jurists arbitrarily awarded votes to Uzodinma, when the APC did not win a single seat at the state’s House of Assembly when the elections held the same day.
Describing the judgment as “infamous”, the main opposition party said that it did not agree with the verdict of the Supreme Court justice as it concerned the state’s governorship debacle.
It, therefore, urged its supporting members to remain law-abiding, saying that the apex court increased the valid votes in favour of the APC.
He said “ In the wake of the infamous judgment of the Supreme Court on the Imo State gubernatorial election petition, the State Executive Council of THE State’s chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party met and thoroughly examined the atrocious judgment that removed Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as Governor and Hon. Gerrald Irona as Deputy Governor of Imo State.
“Arising from the meeting on Friday, January 17th, 2019, the party described as unbelievable, ridiculous and annihilation of democracy, the decision of the apex court to void the lawful election of its candidate, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who polled 276,404 votes and awarded victory to Sen. Hope Uzodimma of the APC, with just 96,458 votes.
“The party in the state finds it difficult to understand how the Supreme Court arrived at its verdict, even to the point that the seven panellists who sat on the petition gave a unanimous judgment.
“The party noted that It is on record that the Total Accredited Votes as declared by INEC stood at 823,743, with Total Votes cast and Total Votes cancelled amounting to 739,485 and 25, 130 respectively, while Total Valid Votes remained 714,355.
“The Supreme Court increased the Total Valid Votes to 950,952 which accounts for 127, 209 votes in excess of Total Accredited Votes of 823,743.
“The apex court unilaterally manufactured votes from 388 units where INEC rightly did not turn in results for obvious reasons such as violence and electoral malpractice and awarded the same to Senator Hope Uzodinma/APC.
“It is shocking that the Supreme Court by its judgment said that all the votes from the alleged 388 polling units were for the APC alone, in an election that was contested by over 60 candidates.
“Even where the Supreme Court awarded all extra 127, 209 accredited votes it manufactured to Senator Hope Uzodinma/APC, it was not enough to make him the winner of the March 9 election. It will be 223,657 votes, still less than Ihedioha and PDP’s votes of 276,494, with a difference of 42,747 votes.
“The party further questioned the rationale of the Supreme Court in declaring Senator Uzodinma winner of a gubernatorial election that simultaneously held with that of the State Assembly [both having one accreditation] in which the APC did not win any of the 27 available seats in the Imo State House of Assembly whereas PDP won 13, AA won 8, and APGA won 6.
“The PDP Imo State Chapter, therefore, resolved that it does not agree with the judgment, as it is unfair, unjust and provocative.
“However, the Party advised her teeming supporters to remain law-abiding in the face of this adversity and extreme provocation.
“The Party in the state also urged its members to be united, resilient and be more committed to the party in this trying moment.”
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abia State chapter, has asked the Supreme Court to reverse its January 14, 2020 judgment which sacked Emeka Ihedioha from office and declared Senator Hope Uzodinma, as the elected governor of Imo state.
The party described the Judgment as an attempt to destroy democracy, stressing that it believes that the Supreme Court can reverse the erroneous verdict for the sake of posterity.
The Chairman of Abia PDP, Chief Johnson Onuigbo, who stated this while addressing PDP faithful during a protest march over the judgment, in Umuahia, yesterday, explained that the PDP national office had mandated state chapters of the party to organise demonstrations to register their disgust at the pronouncement of the apex court.
The party faithful, who marched through Ikot Ekpene, School and Bende roads to the PDP secretariat at St. Finbarrs Road, also displayed placards which read; “We cherish democracy passionately, Judiciary, please don’t truncate it”. “Can a government that doesn’t obey the rule of law allow justice to thrive?”, “Judiciary, stop being cowed by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, “President Buhari, leave judiciary alone”, amongst others.
Onuigbo told journalists that the Supreme Court appeared to have acted under pressure which was why they postponed the initial judgment from 13th to 14th January.
In the same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, yesterday, protested the judgment of the Supreme Court of January 14th, which sacked it’s candidate for the 2019 Imo Governorship election, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha for Senator Hope Uzodinma of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Members of the party in their thousands who thronged the Anambra State Judiciary complex, led by the state chairman, Mr Ndubuisi Nwobu, called President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly wade in, while also urging the judges of the Supreme Court to reverse themselves, describing the judgment as a travesty of Justice.
Nwobu, who addressed journalists at the complex said, “We request that the Judiciary should act as an independent arm of government.
“PDP in Anambra wish to state clearly their unreserved rejection of the Supreme Court Judgment delivered on January 14, 2020 with respect to the Governorship election of Imo State.
“They want to foist Hope Uzodinma on the people of Imo State. There is no way a panel of seven judges, no matter how erudite can sit and decide the fate of the entire Imo people, after the people have made their choice.
“There have been instances where the Supreme Court reversed itself, so we are calling to question that judgment and asking the judges to accept their mistakes and remedy it urgently. That is what we urge the Supreme Court to do and not to ever make such a mistake,” Nwobu said.
Also, the former governorship candidate of the party in the state in 2017, Mr Oseloka Obaze speaking on the court being the Apex court in the land said the judges are not infallible, and should be able to accept their mistakes.
“The only thing that is impossible is to live forever. The judges that passed this judgment are not infallible and the things (judgment) they did is not right and they must find the courage to reverse themselves.”
Members of the party who dressed in all black and numbering over 3,000 carried placards with different inscriptions against the Supreme Court to protest the recent judgment.
Meanwhile, the National Secretariat of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has directed its chapters across the country to begin a nationwide protest, today, against the judgment of the Supreme Court in the specific case between Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A notice by the party, last Friday, directed all stakeholders to commence the protest from 7am in all the states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
In the same vein, the former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha has said the Supreme Court judgment nullifying his election has placed the nation’s democracy on trial.
Ihedioha stated this, last Saturday, while playing host to the National Working Committee (NWC), of the Peoples Democratic Party, which paid him a solidarity visit in his Abuja residence.
Decked in light green attire with a trademark green cap to match, Ihedioha was full of life and betrayed no sign of anyone battling psychological pain.
Addressing newsmen, the former House of Representatives deputy speaker said the event of last week has thrown up more questions than answers, noting that in the fullness of time, truth would win.
He said: “I believe that that event will define obviously our democracy. I am certain that the judiciary and electoral system are well aware that they are on trial.
“We are as shocked as yourselves; it (judgment) was never anticipated. All legal pundits and democratic watchers never imagined and anticipated it, so for us, it remains a mystery. But we take solace in the Book of Ecclesiastics 3:1 that to everything, there is a season and time for every purpose under heaven.
“And what is fundamental about this is that the facts of the matter as relates to Imo State governorship election is that the foundation of our democratic processes, the elections in Imo were closely monitored, well advertised and everybody in Nigeria followed it through. The results were very clear, the electoral umpire still have the results, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has stated clearly that the results in question and the figures are not summing up.
“It is not about Emeka Ihedioha, it is not about Imo state. It is about the future of our country and democracy. It’s about what do we do tomorrow. Do you go into an electoral process without having an idea?
“It has to be resolved one way or the other. I am calm and we are calm, and that is why you see in Imo, there is calmness. The calmness is coming out of shock; it is coming out of belief. It is coming out of the fact that people are saying let us still see, can this be possible? We are waiting for answers and I believe there will be answers”.
And despite the loss of the plum seat, Ihedioha said his faith in God remains strong and unwavering.
“We are faithful believers in God and God does not sleep. This will make history in many ways and so this is a historical process, historical action, and I am sure there will be historical answers at the end of the day”, he added.
He chided those who have rolled out the drums in celebration, saying, “this is not the time to celebrate, I pity anyone who is celebrating that sad event. If anyone is celebrating, that person is not a student of democracy.”
Earlier in his remarks, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, charged eminent Nigerians to speak up on the Imo Supreme Court judgement, saying what happened was too dangerous for silence.
“Very eminent people are not speaking out. Today, it is at the door of Imo, tomorrow it will be at the door of another person. So, people must speak out. The truth is what we are seeking,” Secondus added.

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COVID-19: Interministarial Committee Takes Enlightenment Campaign To Religious Leaders

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The Rivers State Inter-Ministarial Committee on COVID-19 Enlightenment on Sunday, commenced another phase of its campaign with a focus on religious organisations, beginning with Churches.
Addressing volunteers to the campaign at the State Secretariate Complex, Chairman of the Committee, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, charged the volunteers to take this phase of the campaign as serious as they had taken the previous one.
Nsirim, who is also the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, stated that the need to embark on this phase of the campaign is necessitated by the revelation that many people are not adhering to the COVID-19 prevention advisories of wearing face mask and social distancing.
Recalling that the State Governor noted this in his last State broadcast, the Chairman said the Governor “lamented that people in the State are not observing the protocols of social distancing and wearing of face mask.

“The danger”, he continued, “is that if we don’t adhere to these protocols, we may likely enter community transmission of coronavirus in the state”.

 

Consequently, he explained, “We are going to be doing targeted sensitization. The three Sundays that we have in this month we will use to sensitize churches, and on Fridays, we will also do targeted sensitization to Muslim community”.
He further explained the importance of reaching religious leaders in the fight against the coronavirus, saying they are strategically placed to reach a considerable population.
According to him, the churches and mosques are very important because “the religious leaders wield a lot of influence. Members of their congregation listen to the things that they say. If we are able to get the churches to begin to observe the protocols, we are going to get to a greater number, a greater population in the society”.
He, therefore, charged the volunteers to go beyond the jingles currently being aired by the Committee in delivering COVID-19 enlightenment messages to interfacing with the people, noting that they shouldn’t add the role of enforcement to their assignment.
“As you interface with people, you must be wearing your face mask very well. Don’t put it under your chin.
“You are not an enforcement team. Don’t go and give yourself the power of enforcing the wearing of face mask. Don’t go and harass people that are not wearing face mask. Don’t go and assault people that are not wearing face mask. Your duty is purely enlightenment and sensitization.
“When you see people who are not wearing face mask, you enlighten them on the importance of wearing face mask. We don’t want to hear that any member of this team went and entered into any form of altercation”, he charged.
While assuring them of immeasurable rewards accruable from selfless service to humanity, the Chairman also reminded them of the innate desire of the the State Governor, which is ultimately to make Rivers State safe, as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
“Anyone that is called to do patriotic duty needs to understand that the crux of the matter is that you are here to save lives, and for you to save lives, you must have the passion to render selfless service. It’s important that I underscore that fact”, he said.

Responding on behalf of the volunteers, one of the Team Leaders, Adata Brown, assured that they will do their best to ensure that Rivers

people get the required message to enhance their safety from the virus.
“We want to say we are going to put in our best, we are going to work and make the governor of the state proud, and to make the whole Rivers State proud”, she said.
Other members of the Inter-Ministarial Committee present were the Commissioner’s of Environment, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, and Youth: Dr Igbiks’ Tamuno, Barr Olisaeloka Tasie-Amadi, and Prince Ohia respectively.
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Be Role Models In COVID-19 Campaign, Nsirim Charges Religious Leaders …RSG To Arrest People Who Refuse To Wear Face Mask

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In furtherance of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has called on religious leaders in the State to path the way for their congregation.
The Commissioner, who made the call on Saturday, during a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, hinted that by their status they represent a section of the society with notable group of followers, hence the need for them to be role models.
One way to show this, he said is for them to strictly obey the State Government’s advisories on measures to prevent COVID-19 infection, including ensuring that not more than 70 persons are allowed per session of service.
Citing churches, he noted that they have so far flouted this directive. “and that is something that is worrisome”, he said.
He continued that “Christians need to be role models. If there’s a group of people who should show good example, it should be Chriatians. When Christians begin to flout

government directives, I don’t think there’s any hope for society.
“This is a Clarion call to religious leaders. We shouldn’t sacrifice the lives of our members on the alter of church worship. Jesus Christ is our role model. Jesus Christ was a man who obeyed authority, who did not come in confrontation with the law, and the Bible teaches us to obey those in authority”, he emphasized.
Also, against the backdrop of high non-compliance to the COVID-19 advisory of wearing face mask in public places, the Rivers State Government (RSG) says it will soon begin to arrest defaulters.
This is sequel to the declaration of the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in his last State broadcast on Wednesday, in which he stated that those who refuse to wear face mask risk arrest.
Confirming the Governor’s statement, the State’s spokesman unequivocally said defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
“If you go around the State since the Executive Order on face mask was introduced, you’ll notice that less than 30 per cent of the populace are really obeying the Executive Order. What we see in the State is that people just put the mask under their chin, including in the churches.
“The Governor is saying that to grant the wearing of face mask the kind of weight it deserves, to save our people, a special Task Force to monitor it will be put in place. That is the only sure way”, he said.
He recalled that the Governor in his broadcast expressed concern that a lot of people in the State are not obeying the protocols of social distancing and wearing of face mask.
“Government will introduce policies. The onus is on the populace to obey those policies … The COVID-19 pandemic has defied medical solutions for now. So, to flatten the curve, everyone living and doing business in Rivers State need to take responsibility.
“It’s important that everyone living and doing business in Rivers State should have the kind of passion that His Excellency has to flatten

the curve. He’s desirous that Rivers State remains safe.
“That’s why every day he’s enunciating policies to ensure that strategically, the State is isolated from the national spread.
“He’s one man who would require the cooperation and understanding of citizens here to ensure that what he has in mind for the State is actualized”, the Commissioner concluded.
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Governor Wike’s Reply To Governor Uzodinma Was Concocted – RSG

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The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to the news circulating in the Social Media that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State denigrated his Imo State counterpart, Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The purveyors of the deliberate falsehood alleged that Governor  Wike  replied Governor Uzodinma over a recent statement where he allegedly boasted that “the All Progressives Congress (APC)  will teach the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor  Wike how to conduct a  transparent election in the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election.”
The concocted story only existed in the imagination of the authors and so there was also no disparaging comment by Governor Wike.
Members of the public are hereby advised to discountenance all the information contained in the said publication as they did not emanate from Governor Wike.
Paulinus Nsirim
Commissioner for Information and Communications
July 10, 2020.
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