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PDP Condemns Attack On Wike’s Father’s Church …Urges FG To Allow Govs Control Security Agencies

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned, in very strong terms, the devilish attack on the church of the father of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, in Port Harcourt, last Saturday night.
The PDP also demanded for a comprehensive investigation into the explosion that rocked the Christian Universal Church, in the Azikiwe Street area of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Making its position known in a statement, yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Our party condemns this dastardly attack on the church, which we believe was well planned and targeted to cause harm to worshippers and persons close to Governor Wike, particularly, his father.
“The PDP is disturbed by the intentions of the attackers in detonating an explosive in a religious place, particularly given the large number of persons that usually gather at such places.
“While we demand for a thorough investigation into the attack as well as prosecution of all those involved, we hold, as a party, that the time has come, more than ever in our contemporary history, for the amendment of our extant laws to allow state governors to be in charge of the security of their respective states.
“We restate our call for the amendment of relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution (as emended) to allow states more control of security issues in their respective domains.
“Our party, however, commends the people of River state for their alertness, which led to the arrest of the attackers. Such courageous act by the people also points to the need to allow greater participation of communities and state governments in the handling of security issues in their environment.
“The PDP, especially commends Governor Nyesom Wike, for his efforts towards ensuring the security of his state despite the daunting challenges.
“The PDP urges Governor Wike, the members of the Christian Universal Church and the people of Rivers State not to be deterred by this attack but to remain at alert, especially at this critical time”, the statement added.
Earlier, the Rivers State Police Command had confirmed the attack on the church of Governor Nyesom Wike’s father in Port Harcourt, last Saturday night.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the development, yesterday, said that three suspects have already been arrested.
Omoni, who promised to give more details of the development, said: “I can confirm the attack on the church, and three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack.
“They (arrested suspects) are helping us in our investigation. The church has been swept by the Bomb Department. More details will follow later.”
It would be recalled that two suspects, who allegedly detonated dynamite at Governor Nyesom Wike’s father’s church, popularly called, Christian Universal Church International at #25, Azikiwe Street, Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt, last Saturday night, around 12midnight were nabbed by vigilant youths of the area shortly after attempting to detonate the explosive device.
It was gathered that the youths, who gave the suspects the beating of their lives, also handed them over to the police, on arrival at the crime scene a few minutes later.
One of the youths, who is the Assistant Chief Security Officer of the area, Collins Johnbull, in an interview, said that they saw five men entering the church at about 9pm adding that the youths had assumed that the suspects were church members.
Collins disclosed that after some minutes, they heard a loud sound suspected to be dynamite, explaining that shortly after the explosion, they saw the hoodlums running out of the church with guns.
The assistant chief security officer said that he quickly mobilised his men, and arrested two of the suspects before arrival of the police.
Johnbull said, “On Saturday, 28th day of November, 2020, while I was on my duty post, we observed some movements around 8pm to 9pm, and we were on the alert, before then, we saw some strange faces, about five of them, that entered into the governor’s father’s church, and we thought they were church members having their normal evening programme, but we were suspicious of them because of the way they were moving.
“About five minutes after the boys entered the church, there was an explosion, we heard a banging noise like that of a bomb from the church, and we immediately approached the church, and saw them (the suspects) jumping out of the church wearing masks and carrying guns, and they started shooting at my men.
“By God’s grace, we were able to apprehend three of the criminals that attacked the church, while two escaped. We did everything in our power to apprehend the hoodlums. As we are talking now, one of my men who was hit by a bullet, is receiving treatment.”
Another member of the security team, Uche Brown, said one of their members was in the hospital because of the injury he sustained while going after the hoodlums, but also corroborated Johnbull’s narrative that three suspects have been taken into custody.
According to Brown, “Around 8.43pm, some hoodlums who attacked the state governor’s father’s church at Azikiwe Street tried to bring down the building by throwing dynamites into it but (they) did not succeed.
“When they noticed that the security men were approaching them, they tried to escape, and we apprehended three of them, while two escaped, before the arrival of the police who took them into custody.”
They pleaded for assistance from the governor to ensure the payment of medical bills of the security personnel, who helped in the arrest of the suspects.
When The Tide visited the area, yesterday, there was heavy presence of security agents around the area, including Omoku/Azikiwe to UBA through Azikiwe Street, as the entire area had been cordoned off from vehicular traffic.
It was also discovered that a little part of the window glass in the building was shattered.

 

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Wike Uncovers Rivers’ Aircraft Secretly Abandoned In Germany

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The Rivers State Government has discovered one of the state-owned Legacy 600 aircraft, that was flown to and abandoned in Germany since 2012 by the former Governor, HonChibuikeAmaechi-led administration.
The state Governor, Chief NyesomWike, who disclosed this, said the government discovered the aircraft through credible intelligence.
The governor said it was unconscionable for the immediate past administration to have surreptitiously taken a state-owned asset to Germany and abandoned same there, without any documentation.
Wike, who led a delegation of Rivers leaders to General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany, where the aircraft had been abandoned for 10 years, said efforts to repair and retrieve the aircraft have cost the state government over €3million.
Speaking during a meeting with the General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, the governor explained that his administration, in a bid to recover state assets, had through intelligence, discovered that the Legacy 600 jet purchased by the Dr Peter Odili-led administration was in Germany.
“When we came into office in 2015, we never had an idea that our plane was in your facility. It was a matter of asking questions before we got the information that Legacy 600 belonging to our state is in RUAG, before General Atomics. We tried to make contact with you, which you obliged. So, we want to sincerely thank you for not hiding anything from us, because it is the property of the Rivers State Government.
“This plane was bought in 2003 by the government of Dr Peter Odili, and by 2007, he had handed over to the next government, which was my predecessor’s, now, Minister of Transportation, RotimiAmaechi. While he was in office, by 2012, this plane was brought here. Reasons we do not know.”
Wike said there was no document indicating that the state-owned aircraft was flown to Germany and abandoned for any reason.
“The issue is: why was there no documentation to let the incoming government know that we have this facility, and we sent it to RUAG for inspection. Again, I do know from experience that inspection of such facility does not take more than six months. So, if it was brought in 2012, expectantly, at least, by early 2013, the plane ought to have come back to us for use.”
Wike said he had to travel to Munich, Germany with a state delegation to prove that the Legacy 600 aircraft has been discovered and about to be returned to the state government.
Those on the governor’s entourage included the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-OwajiIbani; Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Ehie Edison; Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. ZacchaeusAdangor; member of House of Representatives, Hon. Ken Chikere; Rivers State Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Amb Desmond Akawor; Chairman, Ikwerre LGA, Engr Samuel Nwanosike, among others.
Responding, the General Manager, Business Development, General Atomics Aerotec, Markus Froetschi, said the aircraft was brought to Germany by the immediate past administration and abandoned since 2012.
He expressed delight that Wike took the initiative to repair and return the aircraft to Nigeria for use by the state government.
According to him, his company would be done with general maintenance work and deliver the aircraft to the state government by March.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-OwajiIbani, said he was elated that the aircraft has been recovered by the state government.
According to him, state lawmakers would continue to support every effort to recover all government assets and property.
Similarly, the Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Ehie Edison described the abandonment of the aircraft in Germany as administrative recklessness.
“We are surprised that this is more than 10 years that the aircraft has been here. Their intention we cannot say for such, but it shows administrative recklessness, and worst of all, there is no proper documentation to show that Rivers State Government as at then, meant well for Rivers people.”
Also speaking, Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Engr Samuel Nwanosikealleged that considering the brazen manner at which the immediate past administration sold state-owned valuable assets to their cronies, it was obvious that the Legacy 600 was surreptitiously flown to Germany to be converted to personal use.

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Tobin Swoops On Illegal Bunkering Sites In Okrika

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The Chairman, Okrika Local Government Area, Hon Akuro Tobin has destroyed a huge illegal refinery site in Isaka Town, in compliance with the directive of the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike as a measure to check the ravaging soot pandemic in the state.
Tobin was companied on the visit to the site by operatives of the LG Task Force, the police and other security agencies in the area.
Speaking at the site, the chairman reiterated that his administration would not condone the nefarious activities, warning that perpetrators would not go unpunished as he would make Okrika LGA and its environs uncomfortable for their illicit business.
Tobin also said that after due consultations with traditional rulers, chiefs and the CDC members,last Saturday, it was unanimously agreed that both the perpetrators and their collaborators would nolongerbe allowed free access in Okrika, as their activities have damaged the ecosystem and caused environmental degradation, making fishing activities difficult for fishermen.
The chairman thanked the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his proactive posture in the fight against illegal bunkering in the state, and warned that he would not relent until the dastardly act has been eliminated in Okrika LGA.
Also speaking, the Task Force Chairman, Mr Ayo Tamunotonye, said, his team moved swiftly when it received credible information on the nefarious activities of illegal bunkerers at Isaka Town, adding that the perpetrators took to flight on sighting their presence.
He said his team would take the fight to every nook and cranny of the LG to make sure that the perpetrators donot put people’s health in jeopardy, and keep damaging the ecosystem of the area.
He promised the council boss that they would not relent in their onslaught in unleashing the fight against illegal bunkering.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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Use 5G Network To Fight Insecurity, Buhari Tasks Agencies

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President MuhammaduBuhari has launched the National Policy on 5G for Nigeria’s Digital Economy, directing all the security institutions to immediately leverage the technology to enhance security in the country.
The 5G technology was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on September 8, 2021, following a robust debate.
Inaugurating the technology, the president said the Federal Government would take full advantage of the opportunities that 5G provides for the economy, security and well-being of the nation.
He also allayed fears over the health safety of 5G, affirming that such issues had been “effectively addressed” in developing a policy that suits the country.
On the benefits of 5G technologies, the president noted it could support virtually every sector of the economy, including enhanced connectivity, improved healthcare, support for education while fostering smart cities, and boosting agriculture, among other advantages.
“It will also support security institutions with real-time communication.
“5G technology is significantly faster than earlier digital technologies and it provides near real-time communication. This can play a key role in boosting our efforts towards enhancing security across the nation.
“It will enable our security institutions to effectively deploy robotics, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality to address any security challenges that we face,” he said
He said the National 5G Policy included a deployment plan to ensure that major cities across the country benefit from the technologies.
According to him, the policy is in line with the commitment of this administration to supporting the digital economy as an enabler for the diversification of the national economy.
“It also seeks to make 5G a major driver of the economy, a catalyst for smart cities in the country and a platform for the creation of jobs that support the digital economy.’’
Thereafter, he assured investors that the Federal Government would continue to provide an enabling environment for their businesses to be very successful as Nigeria begins the roll-out of the technology.
Buhari directed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, to supervise the implementation of the policy, being done by the Nigerian Communications Commission with the support of other government institutions.
The president also used the occasion to provide a rundown of how his administration had created an enabling environment for investments to thrive in Nigeria’s digital economy.
Meanwhile, he recounted that the journey to the launch of the 5G National policy started with the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy in November, 2019 as well as the launch of several policies to strengthen the digital economy.
He said these included the Nigerian National Broadband Plan and the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector.
The president noted that under his watch the agreement of the National Economic Council to peg the cost of the Right of Way at N145 per linear metre which was made in 2013, was only implemented in late 2019, after the intervention of the Federal Government.
He observed that the Information and Communications Technology sector played a prime role in enabling Nigeria’s economy to swiftly exit the recession that was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The GDP Report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the ICT sector was the fastest growing sector in the fourth quarter of 2020 and entire year 2020, recording double-digit growth rates of 14.70per cent and 12.90per cent, respectively.
“The sector also recorded a 17.92per cent contribution to our GDP in the second quarter of last year- this was its highest ever contribution. All these impressive and significant achievements have justified our efforts to support the growth of our digital economy. “
While describing the process of developing the National 5G Policy as “painstaking, inclusive and focused”, Buhari recalled that 5G trials commenced in some selected locations in November, 2019.
“Multi-sectoral stakeholders then deliberated on the report of the trials to ensure that health, security and other concerns were effectively addressed in developing a policy that suits our country.
“The National 5G Policy will position Nigeria to harness the potentials of 5G technologies to further develop the economy and improve the indices of well-being in the nation,” he said.
Pantami affirmed the sector had recorded unprecedented achievements with increased remittances to the Federation Account, resolution of lingering issues in the industry and successful auctioning of the 3.5gigahertz (GHz) spectrum for the deployment of 5G technology.
He thanked the president for the consistent support to the sector, announcing that within two years the Federal Government completed 1,667 ICT related projects.
“As of August, 2021, the sector remitted over N1trillion to the Federation Account and this is unprecedented because the usual remittances are around 200billion annually and this has been increased substantially,” he said.
On the spectrum auction for the 5G, Pantami explained that from the reserve price of N75billion per spectrum, each spectrum was assigned to the winners at the price of over N250billion per spectrum.
The minister expressed confidence that given the experiences from other countries and available research, Nigeria would derive maximum benefits from the deployment of 5G technology.

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