The main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party; Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere; and some individuals have expressed surprise that 10 governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) could abandon their state duties to accompany President Muhammadu Buhari, to revalidate his membership of their party in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State, last Saturday.
The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, were also part of the President’s entourage.
In a statement, titled, “We have nothing to hide, our books will always be open – President Buhari”, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the governors and others, who accompanied the President to the party membership revalidation exercise in Daura.
The statement read in part, “The President’s registration exercise in Daura was attended by the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; former Senate President, Dr Ken Nnamani; 10 governors, including the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, who is the chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, and other party stalwarts.”
It was learnt that apart from Buni (Yobe), who was mentioned in the statement, other governors who accompanied the President were Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Muhammad Badaru (Jigawa); Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe); Hope Uzodinma (Imo); Adulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara); Simon Lalong (Plateau); and the host Governor, Aminu Masari.
The PDP described the decision of the governors to accompany the President as the height of irresponsibility, saying that it was another jamboree trip designed to siphon public funds.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, last Saturday.
Ologbondiyan said, “It is the height of irresponsibility. It beats the imagination that governors would abandon governance at a time of great insecurity and economic turmoil to embark on a jamboree.
“If they devote the kind of energy, they are devoting to chasing shadows in providing actual governance in their states, we will not be having the cases of banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal activities which have become the norm rather than the exception today.
“Why would almost 10 governors abandon their states just to witness the president signing a register? When was the last time any of these governors inaugurated a project beneficial to their people?
“In case they are unaware, both the APC and the Buhari brand have been demystified by the woeful performance of this regime.”
Also, Afenifere said the governors merely displayed what it described as their idleness by embarking on the trip.
The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Odumakin, said that the governors were not busy in their respective states.
He said, “The governors just displayed their idleness by abandoning their states to accompany the president to go and register for an old party. If they are gainfully engaged, they would not be available for such frivolity.”
Also, a former member of the House of Representative, Dr Junaidu Mohammed, condemned the action of the governors, describing it as irresponsible.
Mohammed also said the APC had failed to show how a truly democratic party should be run.
“For him to go in the company of governors, leaving their states is clearly irresponsible. It is not proper as they would use our resources, my tax and your tax for the needless trip,” Mohammed added.
On his part, the Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Mr Debo Adeniran, said the governors’ action was not only wasteful but also portrayed the government as a wasteful one.
Adeniran said, “In fact, all the ceremony that surrounds the President’s visit to Daura because of the revalidation of his membership of a political party is unnecessary.
“In fact, it could have been a quiet exercise that he could have done quietly without any fanfare. Why the needless trip by 10 governors, who left their states and functions to join such a charade?
“It is a waste of time and resources. Anyway, this is a government of waste, and there are those who benefit from such episodic activities. As long as we continue to tolerate a capitalist system, those are the kind of things they will rub on our faces and there is just too little we can do about it until we decide to change the system.”
Also, the National Secretary of the Coalition for United Political Parties, Peter Ameh, expressed disgust that at this time with the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, APC governors could still find time to embark on such a trip.
He said such could not happen in any other place in the world.
The CUPP secretary said this was one of the reasons why the country must be restructured.
LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’
The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.
Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.
Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.
The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.
Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.
“What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.
“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”
The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.
Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.
“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.
“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”
Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.
An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.
“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.
“The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.
“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.
“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.
Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”
Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today
All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.
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