The All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State chapter, on Saturday declared the game over for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with regard to the February 2015 general elections.
This followed the endorsement earlier in the day, of APC Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), and the Rivers State APC Gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, by non-indigenes in the state. The more than 950,000 non-indigenes in Rivers State spoke through their various representatives during an epochal rally organised by the Non-political Indigenes Forum (NIPF) and attended by over 15,000 non-indigenes at the Sharks Football Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the rally, NIPF Leader and Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Barr. Chuma Chinye, declared: “No non-indigene in Rivers State will vote for PDP or any other political party as we are not ingrates considering all that Governor Chibuike Amaechi has done to improve our lot. Today, one of us –my humble self – is a member of the highest ranking governing body in Rivers State, the State Executive Council, while others such as Chief Ade Adeogun is the chairman of the sanitation and environmental company of the state, Mr. David Iyofor is the chief press secretary to the governor, amongst other strategic positions of our people in government. Our kids are paying the same fees with indigenes at the various strata of education. We must appreciate all these by ensuring that we vote APC in all the elections to avoid those who have vowed to deal with us once they come to power.”
In separate speeches, Dr. Williams Ubeka for the South-East, Chief Joseph Ijede for the South-South, Alhaji Ahmed Adisa for the South-West, Alhaji Sulaiman Hussaini for the North-Central and Alhaji Tanko Yusuf for the North, while Mrs. Chief Ijede for the women, restated their readiness to support APC at all levels in the elections.
The speakers highlighted all the good things non-indigenes have enjoyed under the administration of Governor Amaechi, and contrasted it with the evil they suffered when Chief Nyesom Wike, the PDP governorship candidate, was chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government, when he introduced various taxes to scare away non-indigenes from Rivers State.
They maintained that if the non-indigenes have any enemy in Rivers State, Chief Wike is the chief tormentor of non-indigenes.
They promised to ensure that he does not smell the Brick House for the sake of Rivers people, whether indigenes or non-indigenes.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Dakuku Peterside reassured the non-indigenes of the commitment of his administration once elected to continue the legacies of Governor Amaechi, “including empowering all Rivers State people through my Four-Point Agenda titled ‘Road Map to Prosperity’ for the people of Rivers State.” He explained that the Four-Point Agenda aimed at taking Rivers State to the next level, include public sector accountability and security of lives and properties; employment generation and wealth creation; social and human capital development and empowerment; as well as institutional and physical infrastructure development and food security. I will sustain the policy initiated by my mentor and leader, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, to make the non-indigenes group the 24th Local Government Area of Rivers state. This unit is to cater for the welfare and interests of all non-indigenes in the State,” he said.
The Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Ibiamu Davies Ikanya, described the event as unprecedented in the annals of electioneering in the state.
“This large number of non-indigenes has never gathered to endorse a particular political party and candidates. With what I am seeing, the 2015 general election is already lost by PDP, and I expect Peterside to set in motion the shape of his government and prepare for his swearing in ceremony come May 29, 2015 as with the support of these great Nigerians, APC in Rivers State is unstoppable on its way to Brick House,” Ikanya said. Dr Ikanya described PDP as ‘Politically Dead Party (PDP).’
Senator Magnus Abe, who spoke on behalf of other APC candidates, described Dr. Dakuku Peterside as a symbol of unity, equity, continuity, progress and hope for not only Rivers State but for the future of the Nigerian nation.
He urged the people of Rivers State to vote massively for Buhari, Peterside and all the candidates of APC, “and avoid those that promote violence as a way of life, if we intend to have an egalitarian and progressive Rivers State.”
Other political heavyweights that graced the event include the Rivers State APC Deputy Gubernatorial candidate, Hon. Honourable O Asita; Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, a member of the Board of Trustees of APC; Chief Victor Giadom, Director General of Rivers APC Campaign Organisation; APC Senatorial flag-bearer for Rivers East Senatorial District, Hon. Andrew Uchendu; as well as House of Representatives and state House of Assembly candidates.
FG Hails Rivers Top Spot In Literacy Education Dev
The Federal Government has commended the Rivers State Government over its concerted efforts in the development of basic education that has guaranteed the state the highest ranking in literacy education in the country.
The state scored 70per cent ahead other states of the federation in a recent national ranking.
The Coordinator in charge of Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), Federal Ministry of Education, MrsAminaHaruna made the commendation, while speaking at a one-day state Technical Workshop on improving BESDA implementation at Bougainvillea Hotels in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Haruna said it was of good note that Rivers State has shifted to where it was before and attained a commendable height in the development of literacy education, adding that such feat was worth celebrating.
The BESDA coordinator, disclosed that Rivers State has also taken the lead to replicate the just concluded performance review meeting held in Abuja, recently, adding that the technical meeting was essentially designed to bring all stakeholders in the BESDA together to brainstorm on way forward.
She said that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that the menace of out-of-school children in the country was resolved, adding that it was what informed the Federal Government decision to borrow $11million to tackle the menace headlong.
She called on parents to ensure that they give their children the right to education, adding that the importance of education in the society cannot be over-emphasised.
“Rivers State has done well in literacy education, and they are ahead of other states. So, whoever that has done well; praise him or her”, she stated.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku said one of the cardinal policy trusts of the present administration led by Governor Nyesom Wike was to provide access to quality and qualitative education for children in the state, saying that BESDA programme was one of the links to actualise it.
Ebeku thanked the Federal Government and the World Bank for initiating the BESDA programme, adding that it has given hope to many out-of-school children to have access to education literacy, saying that the cult clashes that ravaged some communities was responsible for the over-crowded nature of schools in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas of the state.
He expressed satisfaction with the performance of both teachers and pupils in the BESDA schools in the state, adding that children in the conventional schools were not doing better than the ones in the BESDA schools.
He, therefore, solicited for cooperation among all stakeholders in driving the programme, and assured that the state Ministry of Education would drive the supervision and monitoring to ensure it achieves set objectives.
In his speech, the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Ven. Fyneface Akah said the workshop was organised to replicate the Federal Government’s model on peer review performance by getting all stakeholders involved in achieving gaining more grounds in the BESDA programme in the state.
Akah said the board under his leadership was determined to ensure both children of fishermen and those who are out-of-school have access to quality education, which he said, was essential.
“It is not about the reward but the effort and impact. We are organising literacy content to ensure that those children in the programme read, write and understand numerical skills, and whoever that acquires literary skills has acquired the knowledge for further education”, he stated.
In her remarks, the RSUBEB Director in charge of Physical Planning, Mrs Joy Ojirika, who doubles as the state BESDA focal person, gave a scorecard on the progress of the programme in the state.
By: Akujobi Amadi
Wike, Okonjo-Iweala, Others For 4th DAAR Awards, Dec 6
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa; are among those to be honoured at the fourth edition of the DAAR Awards.
The DAAR Awards, scheduled to take place on December 6, 2021 in Lagos, is organised by DAAR Communication Plc, which owns RayPower broadcasting station and African Independent Television.
At the ceremony, Wike would be honoured with the DAAR’s Man of the Year Award, while Okonjo-Iweala would be honoured with DAAR’s Woman of the Year Award, just as Okowa would receive award for outstanding leadership in public service.
In a letter to the recipients by the Group Managing Director of DAAR Communications Plc, Tony Akiotu, said the awardees were selected for their exemplary qualities and immeasurable contributions to the sustainable development and progress of humanity in various sectors.
On the criteria for selecting Rivers State governor,Akiotu said, “The Editorial Board and DAAR Communications panel of assessors for the 4th DAAR Awards had unanimously voted to confer the award of Man of the Year 2021 on Wike for his giant strides in infrastructural development of Rivers State and deepening of Nigeria’s democracy”.
Akiotu said that Deputy Senate President, OvieOmo-Agege would also receive award for Outstanding Leadership in Public Service along with Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum; Oyo State Governor, Engr. OluseyiMakinde; and Osun State Governor, Prof. Adegboyega Oyetola.
Also to be honoured are the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who would receive award for Outstanding Performance in the Academia, and Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who would receive Outstanding Performance on COVID-19 Pandemicaward.
According to DAAR CommunicationsPlc, it would honour Ogundipe for extensive work on molecular systematics, plant anatomy, food security, natural resource management and biodiversity conservation.
Senate Blasts Saipem Over Breach Of Local Content Act On NLNG Train-7
The Senate Committee on Local Content has expressed displeasure at Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, a company handling the Train-7 gas project, for what it termed “deliberate breach” of Nigeria’s Local Content Act.
The company’s management has been evading appearances before the committee until last Wednesday after the panel threatened to compel their appearance with sanction.
However, the panel, chaired by Senator Teslim Folarin, after inference from evidence made available to the panel, demanded an explanation from Saipem Contracting Company why the gas project company awards contracts to foreign companies for supply of steel, rods, among other materials for execution of the project contrary to local firms in clear breach of LCA.
According to the committee, they have been flooded with petitions from the public over the sharp practices of the company in connivance with some Nigerians.
The committee said it was based on that the Train -7 gas project was invited while pointing out the breach of the local content act on the award of contract for the purchase of items for the gas project.
The committee, however, regretted the non-appearance of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Saipem and Daewoo, which they said their appearances would have deepened investigation on why foreign firms habitually shortchange the nation.
It rescheduled the meeting and asked the committee clerk to issue fresh letter of invitation to the absentee organisations.
Senators Folarin and Sabi Abdullahi in reference to a petition pointed out that Saipem management is aware of contracts to foreign firms than Nigerian companies for supply of materials running into millions of euros in breach of the provision of the local content act.
Teslim said: “Can you explain, how you came about awarding the contract for the supply of steel for €4million, to TK Corporation, a Korean company, and €4.27million, contract to another Korean company for pipes, €3.86million to an Italian company and another €5.5million.
“All these are not Nigerian companies.”
He said the local content act provided for 50percent Nigerian content in the execution of the project.
In his response, the Managing Director of Saipem, Mr Walter Peviani said execution of the project by the company was based on a contractual agreement, and documents presented to the company by the NLNG and the NCDMB.
“Within the contractual documents, which we received, entailed, a project Nigerian content plan and entry procedures for Nigerian companies compliance certificate,” he said.
Unfortunately, the Executive Secretary of the National Content Development Management Board was absent despite invitations, a development, the committee said was deliberate and suspicious.
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