The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says several appeals have been made to him from some quarters to abandon the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but he had turned them down because he was a man of character.
The governor made the revelation at the inauguration of Chief Orabule Adiele Road, formerly known as Aker Base Road, by the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, yesterday, in Rumuolumeni community of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Wike said, it was unimaginable to think that he would quit a party that continues to hold the promise of good leadership for the country, and remains the only hope for Nigerians who were also waiting to vote it into power in 2023.
The governor stated that the reason why he has refused to be quiet over the wrongs and inabilities of the ruling APC was because of the need to strengthen the confidence of Nigerians in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“PDP is a party that Nigerians want. No matter all the intimidation, it will not work. We are men of character. When we say something, we stand by whatever we have said, not for pecuniary interest.
“If I was that kind of governor, I know how many times people have tried to woo us, we said no. We cannot be wooed. We are here. We started with PDP, and will end up with PDP.
“We have no other political party to join because the fate of this country, the hope of Nigerians, solely depends on our party. That is why when we talk about our party, we are not talking about any selfish interest. But it is to continue to give Nigerians that hope that Nigeria is waiting for.
“So, when there is any mistake, we shout out. Everybody is hoping that in 2023, PDP should take over the realms of power in this country. Rivers State is already secured for PDP”, Wike assured.
The governor berated the National Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator James Akpanudoedehe, who he described as “a political harlot, and lacks the character to talk about national issues without subjecting it to pecuniary interests.
“The National Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC) said I am playing to the gallery, and that I am economical with the truth. That, after all, Federal Government has been fighting insecurity, and that they gave us bail-out money.
“Bail-out money is not free money. We are paying back the money. But even if they gave us free money, does it mean that if anything is going wrong, I shouldn’t talk?
“We agree that there’s a problem in the country. Even the governors agree that they are faced with security challenges. Yes, you’re overwhelmed with security challenges but whose responsibility is it to fix the security in this country?
“The national secretary of APC has been a life-time governorship aspirant. He has no character; yesterday, he was Tinubu, today, he is with Minister of Transportation because he wants to be governor.
“Such characters cannot talk to people like us because we have character. A man without character does not have what it takes. You cannot jump from one place to another simply because you want to be governor by all means.
“Ask him, where did he vote in 2019? He voted for PDP! Let him keep his mouth shut before I will tell APC what he did. People like that shouldn’t talk to us.”
Speaking further, Wike renamed the Aker Base Road as Chief Orabule Adiele Road in honour of an illustrious son of Rumuolumeni community, and said he would continue to develop infrastructure in the area because of the people’s support to his administration.
Wike also announced that the Nkpor-Mgbuosimini Road has been rewarded to Lubrick Construction Company, adding that work would commence in 2021.
In inaugurating the road, Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, described Wike as “a brand, an icon, and symbol of everything good and a blessing to Nigeria”.
He said using concrete pavements in road construction was with the understanding that it was the best for the topography and designed to last, and urged the people to utilise the road with good care.
In his remarks, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Eloka Tasie-Amadi said the poor state of the road impeded movement and frustrated commerce but respite has come to both residents and companies that operate in the area.
2023: PDP Govs Task NASS On New Electoral Law
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has tasked the National Assembly to immediately set up a conference committee to harmonize the two versions of the Electoral Act Amendment passed recently by the two chambers.
In a statement, yesterday, the Chairman of the forum and Sokoto State Governor, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, said any delay in the passing and assenting of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will hamper preparations for the conduct of the 2023 polls.
The forum also charged the National Assembly to adopt the version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives, as it gives the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the latitude to adopt electronic transmission of election results.
“The PDP Governors’ Forum requests the Senate and House of Representatives (House) Conference Committee when set up, to adopt the House version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on the issue of electronic transmission.
“It should be noted that Section 52(2) of the House version says, ‘Voting at an election and transmission of result under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission,’ and Section 52 (2) of the Senate version provides, ‘The commission may consider electronic transmission of results provided that the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.
“The Senate version which subjects the decision of INEC to deploy electronic transmission to the decision of the Nigerian Communications Commission and National Assembly is manifestly a usurpation of the powers of INEC and offends relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that guarantees INEC’s autonomy and independence,” the opposition governors.
According to them, INEC has demonstrated capacity to transmit votes electronically with the introduction and deployment of the Biomodel Voters Accreditation System (BVAs), used in the recent bye-election in Delta State.
The PDP governors further charged the National Assembly conference committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, to jettison the position of the House to compel all political parties to adopt one method of conducting primary elections.
“The forum is of the view that political parties should be allowed discretion to adopt either direct or indirect primaries in their Constitutions and in practice.
“The Senate version that retains the original provision in the Electoral Act should be adopted in the interest of the growth of our political parties and freedom of choice, the hallmark of a functional democracy.
“This intervention of the PDP governors is predicted on the need to ensure a free, fair and credible election, that strengthens Nigeria’s democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law. Only a credible election will guarantee accountability and good governance which Nigeria so desperately needs today,” the governors stated.
Cholera: NCDC Records 46 New Deaths In One Week
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 46 new deaths linked to suspected cholera cases were recorded in the country in the past one week.
The NCDC said this via its officially verified website, yesterday morning, stating that the situation report was published based on data sent in by the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, for the respective reporting week.
It stated that eight states accounted for the new cholera fatalities.
The public health agency, in its epidemiological report for August 30 to September 5, said a total of 2,323 people had so far died as a result of suspected cholera infections in 25 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), since the beginning of 2021.
It stated that 1,677 cholera infections were recorded in 12 states within the period of one-week, bringing the total suspected cases to 69,925 as at September 5.
“In the reporting week, 12 states reported 1,677 suspected cases – Bauchi (566), Katsina (282), Sokoto (258), Yobe (183), Borno (179), Niger (94), Kaduna (66), Adamawa (34), Gombe (8), Kano (4), Kebbi (2), and Nasarawa (1),” the report said.
“There was a 58% decrease in the number of new suspected cases in week 35 (1,667) compared with week 34 (3,992).
“Of the cases reported, there were 46 deaths from Borno (13), Sokoto (12), Katsina (8), Bauchi (6), Niger (3), Kaduna (2), Adamawa (1) and Kano (1) states with a weekly case fatality ratio (CFR) of 2.7%.
“Twenty-five states and the FCT have reported suspected cholera cases in 2021. These are Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.
“As at September 5, 2021, a total of 69,925 suspected cases, including 2,323 deaths (CFR 3.3%) have been reported from 25 states and FCT in 2021.
“Two new states (Osun and Ekiti) reported cases, though with dates of onset in weeks prior to week 35,” it explained.
The NCDC added that the national multi-sectoral EOC activated at level 02 continued to coordinate the national response.
Cholera is a waterborne disease with a high risk of transmission where there are poor sanitation and disruption of clean water supply.
The wrong disposal of refuse and practices, such as open defecation, endanger the safety of water used for drinking and for personal use, thereby leading to the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera, and without proper WASH, Nigeria remained at risk of cholera cases and deaths.
Buhari Seeks Senate’s Approval For $4bn, €710m External Loan
President Muhammadu Buhari, has asked the Senate to approve a fresh loan of $4,054,476, 863.00, €710million, and a grant of $125million to finance critical projects in the 2021 budget.
Buhari’s request was contained in his letter read by Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, at plenary following the resumption of the upper chamber from its two-month annual vacation, yesterday.
According to the President, the request is an addendum to the proposed 2018–2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan earlier approved by the National Assembly.
He said that the projects listed in the addendum to the 2018–2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Credit Suisse Group, among others.
“In view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as at June, 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan,” Buhari said.
The letter titled, ‘Addendum to the request for Senate’s concurrent approval of multilateral fund projects under the 2018-2021 Federal Government external borrowing (rolling) plan’ reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached addendum to the proposed 2018-2021 Federal Government external borrowing (rolling) plan for the consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for same to become effective.
“The distinguishing Senate President may wish to recall that I earlier transmitted a request on the proposed 2018-2020 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan for the concurrent approval of the Senate in May, 2021.
“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as at June, 2021 are incorporated. I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan.
“The projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE), in the total sum of $4,054,476,863.00, plus €710million, and grant component of $125million.
“The Senate is kindly invited to note that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on positive, technical and economic evaluations and the contribution they would make to the socio-economic development of the country, including employment generation and poverty reduction as well as protection of the most vulnerable and very poor segments of the Nigerian society
“The Senate may also wish to note that all the listed projects in the addendum form part of the 2018-2021 External Borrowing Plan and covered both the Federal and States Government Projects and are geared towards the realization of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan that cut across key sectors such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and food security, energy, education and human capital development and Covid-19 response efforts.
“I hereby wish to request for the kind consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan to enable the projects become effective.”
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