Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has expressed dismay that since 2016 when the Ogoni Clean Up exercise was flagged off by the Federal Government, no tangible milestone has been achieved.
The Governor said rather than tell the world the level of success attained, Federal Government continues to deceive the people by circulating same story of handing over remediation sites to contractors and wondered if handing over sites to contractors means that the contractors have done the job.
Governor Wike who bared his mind on the issue last Thursday when the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt, attributed the failure of the programme to undue politicisation.
He further stated that the Rivers State Government was alienated from the programme to the extent that nobody has ever briefed the state government since the inception of the exercise, stressing that the only way the programme would work is when the stakeholders , including the state government work together.
He urged the Federal Government to stop playing politics with the programme if it is serious about it and to also stop using unqualified contractors in executing the project.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, said they were in the state to handover additional 36 remediation sites to contractors as part of the clean up.
Also last week, the Rivers State Executive Council approved the sale of the abandoned 17-storey Stock Exchange building in Port Harcourt.
The State Executive Council meeting which was presided over by the state governor reached the decision following reports that criminal elements have turned the structure acquired by the state government to their hide-out.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim who briefed Government House correspondents after the council meeting yesterday disclosed this, adding that the council also approved that the property be advertised for sale.
Another major event in the Brick House within the week under review was Governor Wike’s reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on the Bayelsa State gubernatorial election which declared the PDP candidate, Douye Diri winner and the threat by the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole that the PDP candidate would not be sworn-in.
Wike, who berated Oshiomhole for making such unguarded utterances said the APC National Chairman had no such powers to make pronouncement after the Supreme Court had ruled on the matter.
He appealed to the Federal Government to warn Oshiomhole to desist from making inflammentory utterances capable of destabilising the country.
“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”, Gov Wike stated.
The demise of Governor Wike’s uncle, Chief Charles Wike attracted the Governors of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and Akwa Ibom State, Dr Udom Emmanuel who were in Brick House to commiserate with the Rivers State chief executive. While Governor Udom visite penultimate Sunday, the Abia State Governor came last Tuesday.
Both Governors had described the late Chief Charles Wike as an upright man who not only lived a life worthy of emulation but also gave Governor Nyesom Wike strong support and prayed God to give Wike and the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Governor Wike also joined prominent politicians and top personalities in the country to attend the funeral service of Mr Alozie Anyanwu, late son of an elder statesman, Prince Emmanuel Anyanwu at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State governor declared last week that the contributions of late Chief Emmanuel Wonukwuru Aguma to nation building should spur upcoming leaders to work harder for the people.
By: Chris Oluoh
Bauchi Declares 14-Day Lockdown, Closes Borders
The Bauchi State government has ordered a 14-day lockdown and closure of all the state borders with effect from 6 pm. on April 2, as part of efforts to control the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mohammad Baba, and made available to newsmen in Bauchi yesterday.
“In an effort to control the
spread of COVID-19, the Bauchi State government has imposed a lockdown throughout the state for a period of 14 days, with effect from 6 pm. on April 2.
“Consequently, all borders to Bauchi State will be closed.
“Governor Bala Mohammed appreciates the sacrifice of members of the public in these agonising times.
“He has subsequently to secure food items, movement will be allowed between 10 am. and 4 pm. on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” he said.
directed that in order for the public to secure food items, movement will be allowed between 10 am. and 4 pm. on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” he said.
Baba, however, added that the ban would not affect essential services.
Fayemi Names Committee For COVID-19 Support Account
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, yesterday, named an eight-man management committee for the COVID-19 Pandemic Support Account recently set up by the state government.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti, said this was part of the efforts at curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
He said that the account was opened specifically to receive donations from corporate bodies, philanthropists and well-meaning members of the society, who were willing to support government’s efforts at combating COVID-19.
According to him, the funds will be targeted at providing palliatives for the vulnerable persons in the state.
Oyebode added that the committee was set up in line with the governor’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
He listed members of the committee to include the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, who would serve as the Chairman, with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Development Partnerships, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo as Secretary.
Other members were the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayoola Owolabi, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Femi Ajayi, Commissioner for Health and Human Services Dr Moji Yaya-Kolade, as well as Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu.
The committee also has Prof. Bolaji Aluko, Special Adviser/Director-General, Office of Transformation and Strategic Development and Dr Hakeem Bakare, Director, Directorate of Inter-Communication Technology as members.
Coronavirus: UN, AU, Others Must Do More – Obasanjo, Ex-Presidents
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and 11 other former leaders have appealed to governments in Africa to do more in the fight against coronavirus.
They also advised international organisations to draw up a concrete, effective and continental emergency plan to combat COVID-19 outbreak in the continent.
The ex-Presidents/Prime Ministers warned that “with porous borders all over Africa, national efforts will not be enough but regional and continental were required”.
Their position was contained in a joint statement yesterday titled: “Appeal for preparation for Africa to confront the onslaught of COVID-19”.
It reads: “We have seen the mitigation effect or otherwise by the preparatory and preventive actions made by different nations and international organisations to combat the killer virus.
“The results have been related to seriousness of preparation and preventive measures taken including the level of healthcare measures and delivery. The epidemiological progression in already affected areas has indicated that the worst case is yet to occur in Africa.
“Taking into account the weak healthcare bases in Africa, the conurbation, and the communal living of our people particularly in ghettos and poverty-stricken areas of our cities, the outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas of African communities and cities will be a monumental disaster.
“We, as concerned African leaders, note the efforts that African governments are making within their limited resources to deal with this global challenge.”
The statesmen urged the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and G-20, to urgently come up with a plan to alleviate social and economic effects of the disease.
The call for action was co-signed by Obasanjo, Festus Mogae (Botswana), Hailemariam Desalegn (Ethiopia), John Kufour (Ghana), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Joyce Banda (Malawi) and Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique).
Others are Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Kgalema Motlanthe (South Africa) Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) and Mohamed Marzouki (Tunisia).
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