The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has explained that the embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his associates came from a background of armed robbery to steal the mandate of Rivers people, but were strongly resisted, hence Oshiomhole’s bitterness towards Rivers State.
Wike, who stated that he was not a violent politician, emphasised that under no circumstances would Rivers people allow Oshiomhole and his associates to temper with Rivers mandate.
The Rivers State governor called for the resignation of Adams Oshiomhole in view of his failure to stop the inauguration of Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, as he boasted.
He spoke in an interview at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Saturday.
Wike said: “This is a country where you see people who do not have character, today, they sing a song, tomorrow, they sing another song. I think Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not a character that anybody should associate with.
“First of all, I have never been violent and I will never be violent. However, when you see an armed robber come to your house, will you plead with the armed robber, and say, please, I beg you, leave my house. People think that armed robbers are only those who cart away people’s money. The worst form of armed robbery is when you steal people’s mandate, just like what Oshiomhole is noted for.
“He thinks because he’s in the ruling party, he can use security to steal the mandate of the people. He was taught a lesson, a bitter lesson, and I want to repeat, if you come to steal our mandate, the people will respond accordingly. They will oppose your stealing of their mandate, and so, Oshiomhole thinks that because he is in the ruling party, nobody should say anything or do anything. Stealing is not only when you go to rob a bank. The worse form of armed robbery is when you steal the mandate of the people.”
Wike described Oshiomhole as a politician without character, noting that the APC national chairman was always driven by survival instincts.
He stated that Oshiomhole cannot lay claim to having canvassed for one man, one vote because he was not practising the philosophy.
The governor noted that he stopped attending the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting because Oshiomhole turned it into a forum to bash former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, when he had gone to praise Jonathan at Aso Villa for ensuring credible elections.
“When Jonathan made sure the election was free and fair, Oshiomhole came to the Villa and thanked Jonathan. When Jonathan left office, one of the reasons why I don’t go to NEC meeting is because of Oshiomhole. When he was a member, when Jonathan left, there was no day at the NEC meeting Oshiomhole will not bring Jonathan down. Meanwhile, that was the same man Oshiomhole went to praise for allowing one-man, one-vote. But when the man left, Oshiomhole changed. That is his character,” he added.
Wike said that Oshiomhole became governor through questionable means, emphasising that the questionable emergence of Oshiomhole led to constitutional amendment for governorship matters to terminate at the Supreme Court.
He said: “Nigerians know one matter that led to the amendment of the Electoral Act, where governorship election has to go to the Supreme Court is because of the Oshiomhole matter. So, he cannot come out and say he was clean in terms of electoral process. That will be very bad.
“Oshiomhole said he fought godfatherism and the same time he wants to install himself as a godfather in Edo State. Why is he fighting Obaseki? It is because the man doesn’t take instruction from him. He preaches what he doesn’t practice.”
The Rivers State governor maintained that Oshiomhole lacks the powers to challenge the pronouncement of the Supreme Court.
Wike said that Oshiomhole’s comments questioning his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were the unintelligent talk of an illiterate, and declared that he was a strong and unrepentant member of the PDP.
He said the fact that he speaks out his mind at all times does not mean that his membership of PDP was in doubt.
The governor said that he was not at the same level with Oshiomhole, noting that what Oshiomhole was doing was to regain the confidence of APC governors and leaders.
He said: “I will not be a member of their party, I have always been a member of PDP, and they know that. Oshiomhole knows that his party did not even score up to 25 per cent in my state. He cannot tell me that. There is a saying in my place: ‘Somebody who has nothing to say, he says see how you are’. So, Oshiomhole has nothing to say about me. And I want to tell him that his party is probing him about the so-called hospital he says he built. I am not the one.
“So, he should face his problems but shame should be on him that at the end of the day, the PDP candidate has been sworn-in as the governor of Bayelsa State. You can’t come out and open your mouth, and say ‘it will never happen’. Now, it has happened.
“If I were him, I will resign, I will leave. I am not his friend, so, he cannot say ‘my friend’. How can I be a friend to somebody who will say one thing today, tomorrow, he says another thing. In the night, he visits same person, that’s not me. When I want to see you, I see you in the day time. Oshiomhole visits people at night. It is very unfortunate for him, and I pity him. All his efforts to regain his chairmanship have failed.
“All he is doing today is because the governors and some leaders of the party are saying that this man cannot lead our party. Oshiomhole has failed. He is a man who opens his mouth anyhow. And this should be his last time, the moment he goes further; then, he will know that Rivers State is not what he thinks it is.
“We will tell him where he belongs. I will tell him where he goes in the night, and where he goes in the day time.”
Wike said the former unionist was very corrupt, as he used proceeds from workers to build his political career.
He said: “Oshiomhole claimed he was a unionist. He said he worked in the textile industry. Mention one man who works in the textile industry and is as rich as Oshiomhole today. He used to wear ordinary Khaki, today; he wears Safari with diamond buttons. Simply because I said Oshiomhole cannot destabilize this country, who the hell is Oshiomhole to say that nobody can be sworn-in when the Supreme Court has made a pronouncement whether good or bad.”
On Oshiomhole’s parable that he (Oshiomhole) was an antelope, while Wike was a tortoise, the Rivers State governor stated that his pedigree and education were beyond the embattled APC national chairman.
He said: “It’s unfortunate that Oshiomhole will use that word to say ‘a tortoise’ challenging ‘an antelope’. It’s like saying in a country where Chimpanzee can be anything. How can Oshiomhole compare himself to me? I’m well read. I am a lawyer. I am a life bencher. I have my first degree in Political Science, and my second degree in Law. I went to the Nigerian Law School, and I passed very well.
“Let Oshiomhole tell me which university he attended. As a unionist, he enriched himself. How did he become the governor of Edo State, who doesn’t know? It’s just the country that we are in; people who cannot boast of any certificate can be national chairman. Let Oshiomhole tell me one university he attended. I attended the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University and served in old Gongola State.
“How dare he open his mouth and call himself an antelope. Oshiomhole has become an antelope because he is the national chairman of a ruling party. It’s now a ruling party because they told Nigerian lies. Let Oshiomhole come out and tell us his background except that he became a governor through a dubious way and that was what led to the amendment of the Electoral Act that says governorship matter in terms of the election will not end at the Court of Appeal but will get to the Supreme Court. I have become a local government chairman, chief of staff, minister and governor, and by the grace of God, a second-term serving governor.
“Oshiomhole has the audacity to say nobody will be sworn-in in Bayelsa State; causing crisis in the country and nobody wants to call him to order but for people like us in Rivers State. Because of people like Oshiomhole and his style of leadership, his party lost so many areas they ought not to have lost. What made them not to have candidates in Rivers State and Zamfara? It’s because of Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole led to the problem they have in Bayelsa. Oshiomhole takes from two sides. He is not a man of integrity, and nobody should take him seriously.”
Wike added: “It is not my position to say it is right or wrong but Oshiomhole cannot open his wide mouth to say it can never happen, and now, it has happened. What will he do? Don’t destabilize the country. Don’t cause crisis for this country. You may be closer to the President and that is not the way to retain your position as chairman of the party because Oshiomhole doesn’t have the support of most of the governors because of his style of leadership. It is very clear, so, Oshiomhole doesn’t have the right to tell me that I am a man of violence.
“Oshiomhole came from the background of an armed robber to steal the vote of Rivers people and we defended our vote. Oshiomhole is ashamed that we defended our votes, and we still defend our votes till tomorrow. Rivers State is not like his Edo State where he can talk to anybody the way he likes.
“This should be the last time Oshiomhole should open his mouth and talk to anybody in Rivers State. We are not at the same level in terms of education. Rivers State is not like Edo State where you bring down a sitting governor because he wants to install another governor. It depends on the people of Edo State to allow that, but for Rivers State; we won’t allow anybody who wants to be a godfather”, he emphasised.
Wike, Driver Of Nigeria’s True Federalism -Nsirim
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has described the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, as a man whose vision is to place Nigeria on the path of true federalism.
Nsirim, who said this when he appeared as guest on a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, as part of the ministry’s second phase advocacy campaign programme, #OurStateOurResponsibility, emphasised that Wike has remained the face of democracy in Nigeria today.
“The point I would want every Rivers person to understand first is, today we have a Governor Wike, a visionary leader beyond Rivers State and beyond the shores of Nigeria.
“What you have seen with the VAT issue just clearly shows that we have a man at this time in history who has taken it upon himself to right the wrongs and place Nigeria on the path of true federalism,” he said.
He said the second phase of the campaign would encompass issues evolving around the developmental strides of Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration in the areas of infrastructure, healthcare delivery, education, agriculture, rehabilitation of the less privileged, security architecture and sports.
“Remember, and I like making this point because people need to know where we are coming from. In 2015, this man was told they would see where he would see money to pay salaries and do projects.
“He inherited four months’ unpaid salaries. He inherited five months’ pension arrears. This was the only administration in Nigeria that did not get a handover note from the previous administration, but look at where we are. We are in a place of glory.
“Development here has entered a golden era. I also make the point that because Governor Wike is a people-oriented governor, even the less privileged feels the impact of his administration. The Rehabilitation Centre we have at Iriebe today is the best in the country”, Nsirim said.
The commissioner said that the governor would always welcome constructive criticism from the public, and would treat them legitimately but regretted that some of the criticisms, which he said, emanate from the vocal minority, were armchair criticisms.
He emphasised that the ultimate desire of the governor was to make Rivers State the destination of choice.
He said the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility campaign would, therefore, focus on enlisting citizens’ participation in the policies and programmes of government.
“The second phase is now citizens’ participation. We have done advocacy, let us feel the pulse of the people. How much have they internalised the message. So, we are starting first with essay competition and the target group is between 16 and 25 years.
“We really want to feel the pulse of the younger people because those are the leaders of tomorrow. Then we have a team song competition.
“We want to develop a team song for the campaign and the skit competition. That too we want to use to get everybody involved. The grand finale will be the film competition,” he said.
He said winners of the competitions would have prizes, consolation prizes and would be celebrated as the face of the ministry’s #OurStateOurResponsibility campaign.
He said the competition would also be used to set the right values in place for people to begin to showcase merit, hardwork and integrity in society.
Jonathan Wants NARD To Suspend Strike
Former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan had appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government to quickly resolve the ongoing industrial conflict to save lives in the country.
Jonathan made the plea during the 57th annual conference and scientific workshop of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State.
He stated that the importance of the medical profession could not be over-emphasised, just as he commended members of the Medical Laboratory Science Association for their steadfastness during the pandemics which had taken place recently in the nation.
The ex-president charged the Medical Scientists to continue investigating the causes of diseases,with a view to also working on prevention mechanisms and possible cure for it when ever they occur, saying that if the country must develope, the medical sector has to play a pivotal role.
In same vein,the Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri has charged the Federal Government to work on an harmonised salary structure for all medical workers in the country.
He said if there had been an harmonised salary structure for all personnel of the medical profession in Nigeria, the issues of unending industrial strikes due to wages-related matters would have been a thing of the past.
Diri, represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said all personnel in the healthcare delivery chain were important and therefore should be treated fairly on the platform of equity.
According to the governor, medical laboratory scientists are indispensable to the physician’s ability to properly diagnose and treat ailments in the health system.
He pointed out that although the medical laboratory profession is at the forefront of investigating diseases, it has not been accorded the recognition it rightly deserves in Nigeria.
Governor Diri, who urged the Federal Government to carry out a holistic reform in the health sector, suggested that states and local governments should be given more responsibilities and resources to provide services to the people, just as he said the Federal Government was currently being overwhelmed by the challenges in the health sector, hence there is the urgent need for devolution of power to save the sector from total collapse
“I want to call on the Federal Government to carry out a holistic reform in the health sector of our country. The salaries and allowances for all categories of health personnel in Nigeria should be harmonised.
“All personnel in the health sector are important and should be treated on the platform of equity. The medical laboratory scientists are involved in the proper investigation of diseases, but they are least recognised in Nigeria.
“Only an harmonised salary structure in the health sector will bring about equity. Experience has shown that if you satisfy the medical doctors, the nurses would complain”, he said.
“If you satisfy the nurses, then the pharmacists will complain; if you satisfy the pharmacists, the environmental health workers would complain and come up with their own fresh demands.Let’s reflect on this issue of disparity of pay package in the health sector in this conference. However, here in Bayelsa State, the challenges facing the AMLSN are being addressed by government, as follow up to our health summit. We are working on the legal framework, and also to incorporate task-shifting to achieve better results and outcomes”, he added.
In a keynote address, Dr. Azibapu Eruani, Group president,Azikel Companies called for effective collaboration in funding and promotion of research in preparing against the outbreak of any pandemic in the future to forestall its attendant human, social and economic losses.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, said the AMLSN was in the forefront of building capacity for guiding medical doctors in the handling of clinical cases and treatment of patients.
Represented by the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Dr. Dennis Alagoa, the Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari had set up the health sector reform committee to address challenges facing the sector and improve healthcare delivery in the country.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Delta Revokes Asaba-Oko Road Contract
Delta State Government on Tuesday announced that it had revoked the multi-million naira contract for the construction of Asaba/Oko-Amakom/Oko-Obiokpu/Oko-Anala Road over poor performance.
The road contract which was awarded in 2018, transverses Oko communities in Oshimili South Local Government Area of the state, and has been a major challenge to the state government over the years due to the peculiar topography of the area.
Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, told journalists at the end of the state’s Executive Council meeting in Asaba, that the meeting presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, revoked the contract because the contractor was not working in line with the speed expected by the government after collecting mobilisation funds
He explained that government would check its records and evaluate the contract performance with a view to finding out if the contractor would refund some money to government or not.
He disclosed that the state government would engage another contractor with adequate capacity to complete the job in line with the speed required for the completion of the project.
On the other decisions of the Council, Aniagwu disclosed that as part of efforts to provide potable water and reduce communicable diseases, the state government had approved the construction and reticulation of a major water scheme in Okerenkoko in Warri South Local government Area.
He also added that the council approved the inclusion of certain erosion sites in Warri as part of efforts to address flooding in the twin cities of Warri and Effurun.
“On education, Exco approved the demolition and reconstruction of a two-storey building not in best of shape at West End Grammar School, Asaba.
“The project includes expansion of the building to 20 classrooms to enable the school run one session instead of the morning and afternoon sessions it was currently operating and the provision of a conference hall for assembly as well as toilets.
“Exco today also approved the renaming of Ogini Grammar School, Oghara to Ogini Model Secondary School, Oghara and the approval of training and acquisition of starter packs in ICT for youths in the state for the Ministry of Science and Technology.
“At today’s Exco, we also discussed the provisions made for the various ministries in the 2022 proposed budget and the possibility of a supplementary budget for 2021,” he stated.
On Covid-19 pandemic, Aniagwu said Exco has directed that a massive sensitisation of members of the public be carried out again on measures being taken to control the spread of the pandemic.
“With the return of the third wave and Delta variant, a number of persons have paid the supreme price on account of the attack including members of government.
“The Governor has directed that there was need to continue sensitisation on members of the public to continue adhering to the non-pharmaceuticals of regular hand washing, wearing of face masks and social distancing.
“Government is not considering another lock down in view of the hardship the pandemic has posed to the economy.
“We however, appeal to everybody to be personally responsible in helping to curb the spread of the virus
“Beyond that, government has asked everybody to come out for vaccination because we have made at least six points available in every local government and markets across the state,” he further stated.
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