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Bad Roads: Senate, Minister Spa Over Budgetary Allocation

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The Senate has described as, “fallacy of the highest order,” a statement credited to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on the state of Nigerian roads.
Fashola, according to the red chamber, had alleged that the National Assembly members should be held responsible for the poor state of the federal roads in Benue State.
But the upper chamber accused the minister of trying to incite members of the public against the federal lawmakers by his allegation.
The Senate stated this in a statement by its spokesperson, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, titled, “Senate debunks Minister’s claim on budgetary allocations to road construction,” issued in Abuja, yesterday.
The red chamber said it took exception to the statement credited to Fashola, that the National Assembly should be held responsible for the dilapidated state of federal roads in Benue State, describing it as a “fallacy of the highest order.”
Basiru said the minister was quoted to have made the allegation in his office in Abuja during a courtesy call on him by retired Generals and ‘other leaders of thought’ from Benue South Senatorial District led by Air Vice Marshal Morgan Monday.
The Benue elders were said to have visited Fashola, to complain about the deplorable state of roads in the senatorial district.
Basiru said the National Assembly could not, and should not be held responsible for the dilapidated state of roads whether in Benue State or in any part of the country.
The Senate said it would not want to engage in any unnecessary altercation with the minister, but stated that it had to speak up because the issue of roads infrastructure was important and controversial.
The statement read in part, “It is necessary to put all the records straight so as to disabuse the minds of the unsuspecting public about the acts of the National Assembly.
“The records are needed to be set right so that the two arms of government should not be seen as working at cross purposes in the course of delivering dividends and good governance to electorate.
“Putting the records straight, the Senate gave the figures of the 2020 proposal for capital expenditure as N265, 868 037,093 by the Executive which the National Assembly passed.
“The Executive later brought revised allocation of N256, 734,983,667 which we also appropriated.
“As we talk, even in the budget proposal for 2021, the Executive proposed a capital expenditure of N363, 266, 425, 976.
“The Senate then wondered where the Hon. Minister got his figure of N600illion which he said was the figure proposed to the National Assembly by his ministry and which was allegedly not supported or approved by the National Assembly.
“The Senate, therefore, invites Nigerians and specifically the minister’s guests from Benue State South Senatorial District to note that ‘figures do not lie’.
The Senate listed three road constructions that are ongoing in the Benue South to be Oju -Adum Okuku road at N91,180 000, Oturkpo Township road at N357, 200, 000, and Oju/Loko – Oweto bridge at a cost of N357, 200, 000.
Basiru said, “On the minister’s allusion and or allegation to prioritising constituency projects over other projects, the Senate affirmed that the minister was merely calling a pity party and being sentimental.
“The (Fashola’s) statement was made to set the National Assembly on collision course with the people they are democratically representing.
“It should be emphasized therefore that never has allocations specifically meant for other projects ever been diverted to constituency projects as constituency projects are having allocations in the budget”.
The Senate said that execution of the much talked about constituency projects lie within the Executive Arm of government through its various ministries, agencies and parastatals.

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Residents Nab Man Dumping Fresh Corpse In PH

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A middle-aged man has been caught dumping the fresh corpse of a male with suspected machete cuts on it.
The suspect identified as Israel Israel, who claimed to be a native of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, was apprehended, last Friday, while carting away a truck used in dumping a fresh male body on the Cherubim Road Bridge, Mile 3, Diobu axis in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of the state.
A local security personnel in the area, Richman Jogwe, said the suspect was apprehended with the truck used in dumping the dead body.
Jogwe said: “This truck was used in dumping a dead body with machete cuts in the face, head, leg and hands. So, in early hours of today, this man came to take the truck, and we got him arrested.”
He further disclosed that the suspect had been handed over to the Nkpolu Divisional Police Headquarters, Mile 3, Diobu, for interrogation.
In his reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Nnamdi Omoni, said he was aware of the incident, but insisted he had no detailed information.
Omoni was quoted as saying: “I am aware that the man who brought the truck has been arrested. When I get the full details, I will let you know.”

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Wike, Real Madrid Sign Cooperation Ratification Pact

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Real Madrid and the Rivers State Government have signed a cooperation ratification agreement for promotion of sports amongst children and youths at the Real Madrid Academy, Port Harcourt.
The signing of the ratification of the framework for cooperation agreement between the international football club and the Rivers State Government took place over the weekend at the Auditorium of Real Madrid Sport City, Fuerzas Armadas Avenue, 402, Madrid, Spain.
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, on behalf of the Rivers State Government; the Executive Vice President of the Real Madrid Foundation, Mr. Enrique Sanchez; and President of Interact Sports, Mr. Jihad Saade; jointly signed the agreement.
Speaking at the event, Wike commended the Real Madrid Foundation and the Interact Sports for the opportunity given to the Rivers State Government to partner with the Real Madrid Football Club in order to encourage Rivers’ youths to develop their talents and skill through sport.
He said the state government was pleased to ratify the agreement with the Real Madrid Foundation, and assured that everything has been done to fully kick-start the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who was accompanied by the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), explained that the initial intention was to admit only boys as students into the Real Madrid Academy, but following the huge application received from prospective female students, the state government had to reconsider the policy.
“We had to stop to include the girls. We are very ready to kick-start the school, and we believe that this is a very good opportunity for our people. We are honoured to be identified with the Real Madrid; it is a good brand for us.”
Wike reaffirmed his belief that sport was an important factor in social integration and in the promotion of ethical values such as solidarity, participation, team spirit, respect for one’s opponent and non-discrimination.
The Real Madrid Foundation maintained its resolve to continue to promote sports amongst children and youths in the understanding that sports contributes to the comprehensive development of a young person’s personality, offering positive alternatives to situations of risk and fostering healthy habits and ways of life amongst children and youths.
On his part, the President of Interact Sports, Jihad Saade, said that Interact Sports has been an active contributor to the dynamic transformation of Nigeria, moving forward with modernity without forgetting Nigeria’s rich culture and heritage.
All the parties mutually acknowledged that they have the necessary legal capacity and authorisation to execute and subscribe to the protocol.
The Real Madrid Foundation is the instrument by which Real Madrid uses to promote, both in Spain as well as abroad, the values inherent in sports, and the latter’s role as an educational tool capable of contributing to the comprehensive development of the personality of those who practice it.

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…Omehia Hails Wike On Feat

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Former governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia, has said that The Sun Man of the Year 2020 Award conferred on Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, was very fitting and timely.
Omehia also expressed gratitude to The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun, Sunday Sun and Sporting Sun for recognising the achievements of Wike for the third consecutive time.
In a statement, yesterday, Omehia said that Wike was deserving of the award considering the giant developmental strides he has recorded in Rivers State.
He described Wike as an astute administrator and a distinguished politician who listens to the needs of the people of Rivers State and implements them accordingly.
Omehia said that Wike has during his over six years’ stint as governor of Rivers, performed excellently in the different facets of the lives of the Rivers people.
He maintained that as someone who has had the opportunity of occupying the coveted office, he can bear testimony to the fact that the Nyesom Wike-led administration has done excellently well.
According to Omehia, “his records in infrastructural development, security, urban and rural development, human resources development, including his political prowess, are unrivalled.
“Governor Wike has deployed the resources of the state to the benefit of the people, justifying the mandate massively and duly given to him by the people of Rivers State.”
Omehia also called on the opposition political parties in the state to emulate the leadership qualities of Wike, and join hands with the performing governor to move the state forward.
While noting that in unity, the state stands to gain in all ramifications, Omehia stated that division would do no one any good, irrespective of his status or political affiliation.
He further said he was not regretting his performance during his short stay in Government House, Port Harcourt as governor of the state, saying that he left significant landmarks for residents of the state.

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