Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has again expressed his commitment to making a fresh start, anchored on development and enforcement of law and order in Rivers State. Amaechi spoke in far away Washington DC, United States of America during a marathon Town hall meeting with Rivers State indigenes residing in North America at the weekend. Amaechi met for over seven hours with the Rivers State community in North America on Saturday, and on Sunday held a breakfast meeting with leaders of the various Rivers State ethnic associations in America.
Amaechi told his audience that when he took over as governor that the rot in the State was enormous and the developmental foundation laid by the first Governor of the old Rivers State, Alfred Diete Spiff had been dangerously weakened because past governments paid little or no attention to building on the developmental base laid by Spiff.
“When we came in, the State was in chaos. If you can still recall, people were then walking the streets of Port Harcourt with their hands raised. There was a dusk to dawn curfew. Businesses were fleeing the State. Social and night life was completely dead. Hotels were battling to stay afloat because there was no business. Our health, education and infrastructures had nothing, they were all gone. We had to start from the scratch”, Amaechi said.
“We had to start by re-laying and building a new foundation for the State. For instance, I had to declare a state of emergency on the education sector after a thorough and comprehensive look at what we had then. We have to start all over again by building new schools, 750 new primary schools in all, 25 new secondary schools, moving the old university to a new site…Shouldn’t we be renovating or adding new ones? But because there was nothing to build on in the first place, we had to start all over.”
“It means we are laying a fresh foundation for our people and the State because the foundation laid by Diete Spiff is weak and gone, nobody built on it, and if you don’t build on it, to consolidate and protect it, what will happen? It will collapse.”
“So we are rebuilding a new foundation for our people… Same thing in the Health sector and other sectors, a new foundation… Spiff had a wonderful policy but others came and were doing whatever they like with our collective wealth, feeling funky being governor and emperor, and people were clapping…”
Governor Amaechi who went to the meetings with his senior adviser on Media and Publicity, David Iyofor, for several hours took questions and told his audience what he is doing to reverse the rot he met and set Rivers State on the path of growth and development. He told his Rivers people that his key areas of focus are education, health, infrastructures and the enforcement of law and order.
“we are building new schools from primary to tertiary level. We will equip these schools to make sure that they are of international competitive standard and will train and continue to retrain our teachers. You are free to come home any time to see the ones that are completed. We are building and fully equipping 150 new health centres all over the State, two new hospitals are ready and a third one inside the state university is nearing completion. We are building a Specialist Hospital in the new city… We are building new roads, expanding old roads and connecting communities separated by rivers. For instance, we are doing a unity road that will connect Opobo, Andoni and Ogoni communities. This is the first time Opobo will be connected by road to the rest of the word.”
Governor Amaechi urged Rivers people in North America to partner with his administration and come together for the collective good of Rivers people and the State. He admonished them as brothers in diaspora to always look out for each other and be their brothers’ keepers.
Speaking on behalf of Rivers people in North America, the chairman of the occasion, Dr, Rueben Jaja, hailed the tremendous efforts of Governor Amaechi geared towards rebuilding Rivers State. He agreed with Amaechi that the foundation that was laid by Diete Spiff was so weakened before Amaechi came in as governor. He thanked him for inviting some members of the Rivers community in America to join in the task of rebuilding the State and laying a fresh foundation. These persons who were present at the meetings and serve in various capacities in the Amaechi administration include Joe Poroma, Tex Wariboko, Ogu Emejuru, Goodlive Nmekini, Robert Ella, Nyema Weli and Chamberline Peterside. Dr. Jaja pledged the continued support of Rivers people in North America in the daunting task of rebuilding the State.
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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