Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has told the people of Omuma Local Government Area to collaborate with security agencies in the area to fish out criminals in their midst and get reward for it
Governor Amaechi, who gave the charge, Monday, during a town hall meeting with the people of the LGA at Eberi, said more security operatives would be deployed to the area to check the spate of criminal activities in that axis of the state.
The governor promised a reward of N10 million to the people if their collaboration would lead to the apprehension of 50 kidnappers, while the sum of N2 million awaits them if they aid the arrest of 30 kidnappers.
The State Chief Executive, who advised them to undertake a house-to-house identification of criminals, particularly kidnappers, and their informants and collaborators, stressed that no kidnap operation would be successful without an insider.
Amaechi emphasised that the only way to stamp out the” trend of hostage taking in the LGA is to get the people of the area involved in the search for criminal elements”.
Consequently, he appealed to the communities to resolve their differences and choose who occupies the vacant stool of Onye-Isi-Agwuru for government recognition to enable him take part in the
house-to-house search for kidnappers in the area.
He used the opportunity to inform those aspiring for the position of Onye-Isi-Agwuru that Government of Rivers State would not decide who became their ruler but would recognize anyone approved by them.
Amaechi advised that the process of getting one should be given urgent attention to enable them occupy their position in the state Council of Traditional Rulers.
The governor assured that government owed them the responsibility of protecting lives and property, and blamed the delay in completion of some government projects in the area on the incessant cases of kidnapping as well as harassment of workers on site.
According to him, with the new approach, all the contractors that abandoned their project sites in the area would return before the end of the month to complete the projects and enumerated some of the programmes of government which the people of the local government had benefitted.
Responding to a question on the 2011 elections, the governor explained that the state government had not and would not endorse any candidate for any elective position, but noted that the only way to appreciate any public officer that had performed well would be to give him a second opportunity to serve them.
Also speaking, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Magnus Abe said the town hall meeting was initiated by Governor Amaechi as a deliberate attempt for him to interact with the people at the grassroots and urged the people to avail themselves of the opportunity to bare their minds on issues bothering them.
Earlier, the Chairman of Omuma Local Government Council, Mr John Anucha had commended Governor Amaechi for completing the Eberi-Owaza-Ofeh Road and the construction of model primary schools across the LGA.
He said the council had provided electricity to a lot of communities in the area, adding that the greatest challenge facing the area was insecurity as a result of activities of kidnappers from the neighbouring Abia State.
A statement signed by the Acting Chief Press Secretary to the Rivers State Governor, Mr Blessing Wikina said all Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Directors in all ministries as well as Rectors, Provost Vice Chancellors and heads of state -owned institutions and parastatals are invited to an urgent meeting in Government House, today at 8.30am.
Customs Suspends Rice Sale As Seven Die In Stampede
The Nigeria Customs Service has announced the suspension of the sale of foodstuffs following a stampede that reportedly killed seven persons at the NCS Old Zonal Headquarters in the Yaba area of Lagos State, last Friday.
A Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer for Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, disclosed the suspension of the exercise in a statement on Monday.
Nigeria Customs had said it was selling seized food items at N10,000 per 25kg to alleviate the people’s suffering as a result of the current high cost of living and other economic hardships.
Last Friday, a pregnant woman and six others reportedly died in a stampede after some suspected hoodlums attempted to force their way into the Yaba Customs office compound.
Some Lagos residents who thronged the NCS office in Yaba expressed disappointment on Monday following the suspension of the initiative.
However, in a statement on Monday evening, the NCS said the suspension became necessary considering “the recent unfortunate event.”
“We regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, February 23, 2024,” the NCS spokesman said.
He explained that: “The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise.
“This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5,000 beneficiaries and members of the press. However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome.
“The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded.”
The Customs extended its “heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident.”
The service said it was working with health authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps.
Court Dismisses Police Objection Against Fubara’s CoS …Restrains Police From Arresting Ehie
A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, yesterday, dismissed the preliminary objection by counsel to the Nigerian Police, Celestine Dickson, challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the fundamental rights suit by the Chief of Staff to Governor Siminalayi Fubara, Hon. Edison Ehie against the police for lack of merit.
The trial Judge, Justice Sika Aprioku, in a ruling, yesterday, assumed jurisdiction and held that the non-joinder of the Nigeria Police Force in a matter that the Commissioner of Police is a party to does not render the suit incompetent.
Justice Aprioku said the application by the Police lacks merit and thereby dismissed it with a cost of N100,000 in favour of Hon Edison Ehie.
Aprioku also granted the prayers of the counsel to Edison, Damian Okoro to restrain the Police from arresting, detaining, harassing, or inviting Ehie based on the trumped-up charges in the suit by Rt Hon. Martin Amaewhule in connection to the destruction of the Hallow chamber of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, counsel to the Police, Celestine Dickson, said he would study the judgment and advise his clients accordingly.
Dickson stated, “That is the wisdom of the court and we cannot criticise the wisdom of the court. The outcome of court decisions must bind parties.
“If you are not satisfied I think you study the judgement and take the next step. The court made it clear that in a couple of minutes, we were going to have copies of the judgement. That will give us the opportunity to look at the judgement and advise our clients accordingly.
On his part, one of the counsel to the Chief of Staff, Ibioku Mac-Barango said the judgment reflects the position of the law.
Fubara Expresses Confidence In Tinubu To Address Labour Concerns
In the midst of the ongoing nationwide protest organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has expressed confidence in President Bola Tinubu’s ability to address the concerns raised by the organised labour and alleviate their fears.
Fubara gave the assurance during the NLC’s protest to the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday .
The State NLC, led by its chairman, Alex Agwanwor, had joined its counterparts in other parts of the country to protest against high cost of living in the country occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government in May last year.
Recall that there have been a series of protests across the country over the cost of living, inflation, insecurity and hardship among Nigerians.
The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had on February 8 issued a 14-day nationwide strike notice to the Federal Government over the failure to implement the agreements reached on October 2, 2023 following the removal of the fuel subsidy.
Responding to a letter of demands presented to the governor by the State NLC, Fubara noted that the grievances outlined by the protesters primarily fell within the purview of the Federal Government.
The governor, who was represented by the Head of the Rivers State Civil Service, Dr. George Nwaeke, said, “To all who listened to every presentation of the labour leader as it is being read out, we can find out none is local, not originating from local source here. They are all national issues and we have hope in the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Federal Government. We have hope. And I know Governor Fubara will also deliver this message as presented by you to the President.”
Fubara further assured the protesters that his administration remained committed to alleviating the economic hardships faced by the people of Rivers State.
He highlighted initiatives such as the provision of palliative buses in response to the fuel subsidy removal and the ongoing development of 20,000 housing units for low-income earners.
The governor also emphasized his administration’s dedication to improving the welfare of civil servants, citing measures such as the employment of 10,000 youths into the state civil service, promotions, and the provision of bonuses.
He affirmed the significance of the issues raised and reiterated his commitment to prioritizing the welfare of workers in the State.
He, however, assured that the NLC’s demands would be conveyed to the President as presented.
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