Ahead of the February 14 and 28, general elections, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has visited the Eze Ndigbo Rivers and Bayelsa States, Eze Adiele Maduagwu, at his palace in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The APC candidate was accompanied by his running mate, Hon. Asita Honourable, Chairman of the state APC, Dr. Davies Ibiam Ikanya, members of Greater Together Campaign Organisation and party supporters.
Peterside told the monarch that he was in his palace to brief him on his political journey so far and to pay respect to the Ndigbo, their culture and tradition, and praised the Igbo entrepreneurial spirit, describing them as good neighbours and supporters of Rivers State economy.
“The Igbo and Rivers people have peacefully cohabited from time immemorial. All of us were once part of what used to be called Eastern Nigeria. If the Rivers man has any true brother, it is the Igbo. Even today, some persons want to rewrite history. Beyond that, even before the Civil War, our parents told us that the Igbo have always been the pillar that holds Rivers State’s economy. Without the Igbo, our economy will not flourish and anybody who wants to turn truth upside down will not succeed.
“After the Nigerian Civil War, when our fathers were trying to rebuild the state and rebuild our economy, the Igbo were also on hand to help rebuild our state and our economy. So, they are an important part of our society, nobody can deny that fact. If anybody is trying to deny that fact, then the person is being very uncharitable, unkind and I know God does not like injustice, God does not like lies.
“If before, those who helped to build the economy were neglected, we can’t afford to neglect them today because if we do, they will go elsewhere and help other people build their economy and our own will go down. I don’t think that is what we want. And so, we must respect those who live with us, those who contribute to our economy, those who render service, those who pay tax here and those who add value to our society. I am proud to say that the Igbo add value to what we are doing in Rivers State, the Igbo contribute to the building of our economy and the Igbo man has been a good brother and good neighbour”.
Peterside called on the Ndigbo to be guided properly by these realities as they vote in this month’s elections, adding that February elections are too critical to be taken lightly.
“As we march into these elections, there are many candidates running for the office of the governor but the Ndigbo know which one will be good for them and the one that will not be good for them. They don’t need soap to wash their eyes well to know.
“They can see, especially if you look at our antecedents. I was Commissioner for Works in Rivers State, I was special assistant to the governor in Rivers State, I am a member of the National Assembly, I was a local government chairman. People who know my path can say that I respect elders, I respect traditional institution, I have integrity, I respect laws, I fear God. They know that about me. I wish they can say the same about others who are contesting with me.
“For others, you know them. You know that if you give them opportunity, they will intimidate and harass people, they will promote hatred and violence. Your Highness, I don’t think that is what you want and I don’t think that is what the Igbo want,” he said.
Peterside pleaded with Eze Maduagwu to educate his people on the need to vote right so that good people can emerge.
He called on the Ndigbo to vote for him because he is the only one who will serve their interest and protect every non-indigene living in Rivers State.
The APC governorship candidate warned that those who want to govern by force are already threatening to sack non-indigenes in the state civil service and also suspend Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s scholarship to non-indigenes, if they are elected.
Responding on behalf of Eze Maduagwu and the entire Igbo community, Onowu Ndigbo, Chief Ray Anajemba, who described Peterside as a humble and God-fearing candidate, commended the APC standard bearer for his words of hope and encouragement.
He pleaded with the candidate to look into the issue of multiple taxation and the welfare of the Ndigbo and non-indigenes when he is elected.
On his part, the Onowu assured: “we will remember you and we will do the right thing”.
Meanwhile, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Dakuku Peterside APC in Rivers State has assured the people of the state that love, unity, peace and progress will form the building blocks of his administration if he is elected as governor.
Peterside said this in Omoku at the palace of His Royal Majesty, Eze Chukwuemeka Nnam Obi, the Oba of Ogbaland while responding to the monarch’s welcome address during a courtesy call.
The APC candidate promised to bequeath to Rivers people, a legacy of peace, unity and development.
“As a leader, I am conscious of my role and the expectations of our people. Hon. Asita, my running mate also appreciates this. On the day we are called to give account, we will stand before God to answer for our actions. We shall take full responsibility of our actions. We shall conduct ourselves in such a way that at the end of the day, we will not account to any man. “We are indeed clear-headed and mindful of where we are going. And the people of Rivers State can count on our integrity and track record,” he added.
Peterside later proceeded to Omoku Local Government Council Pavilion where he received a rousing welcome from APC leaders and supporters. He reeled out his economic development agenda for Rivers State people, promising to be faithful in all his dealings.
Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the reason why there were so many problems in the Nigerian society was because of a diminishing emphasis placed on the importance of family values.
Buhari said this, yesterday, at the wedding of Mr. Jachimike Ikpeazu, son of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the event, the groom wedded his heartbeat, Miss Thelma Chidinma.
The wedding was also attended by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tanbuwal, and several other dignitaries.
Others present at the wedding service that was conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church were Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi; and Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Also at the event were the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and National Secretary-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Sam Anyanwu.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, decried the situation where parents and guardians who should have paid greater attention in inculcating good character in their wards, have abdicated that responsibility.
He sued for a collective effort across tribes and regions towards restoring family values and giving it its rightful place.
“Marriage is family value, character. The reasons why there are issues in the society, today, is because families are broken. When values are enshrined in families, the entire society will be good.”
Buhari charged the couple to build their family on the word of God, have a regular family altar of prayers, and give good attention to building enduring character.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, told the couple to know that marriage is where love is celebrated.
She urged them to continue in the training given to them by their parents, and learn to love themselves more so that their home can be a blessing and impact positively on others around them.
In his sermon, Pastor B. E. O. Udoh, admonished the couple not to allow their love for each other to diminish.
He further urged them to be tolerant, support each other to become their best, build and cultivate goodly character.
In his remarks, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said it was delightful to watch his son take a wife to himself, and prayed God to make their union fruitful.
Ikpeazu expressed gratitude to Buhari and his wife, his brother governors, political associates and friends who attended the event, for honouring him with their presence.
Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts
The Department of State Services (DSS) has issued an alert over planned attacks by insurgents on Ogun border communities and other border communities in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the State Director of Security, Ogun State Command, M.B. Abdullahi, DSS warned that it has intelligence that the insurgents were plotting to attack military bases in border towns.
The DSS also advised customs and other security agencies in the country to put counter-measures in place to frustrate the plot by the insurgents.
The letter titled, ‘Plans by insurgents to launch attacks on military bases in various border communities’ read, “Available intelligence indicates plans by insurgents and criminal elements to carry out simultaneous attacks on military posts and bases in various border communities across the nation anytime from now.
“In view of the foregoing and the likelihood such attacks not limited to the military personnel only, all law enforcement and security agencies with operational bases at border communities are advised to take note of the above threat and emplace countermeasures with emphasis on personal security of operatives to frustrate the planned attack.”
PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta
Towards attaining sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to work together to tackle pipeline insecurity, unemployment and other challenges in the region.
The agreement was reached when PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) led a delegation to visit the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja, over the weekend.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Acting Administrator, Mr Neotaobase Egbe, PAP said the meeting was strategic and in line with the objective of programme to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the full implementation of the amnesty programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition.
The statement noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 ex-agitators captured by the Presidency, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation.
Dikio said that there was a need to control disruptions in oil production, saying destructive energies could be channelled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He also said that PAP had made efforts to cut down irrelevant trainings and had become intentional about successfully empowering its delegates.
He said trainings over the years had become contractor-driven and were not meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
Dikio maintained that the PAP was targeting functional businesses that had the capacity to train, employ and mentor delegates into becoming successful business owners.
He said: “For instance, if we have someone that has a commercial poultry farm and we partner with them to train our delegates, they will be employed after their training. In the course of two years and five months they will be taken through the ropes of poultry farming before they are sent out to start their own poultry.
“It is a win-win for everybody. We did the research and we discovered that the cassava plant in Bayelsa needs about 20,000 metric tons of cassava daily, so there is ample opportunity for our delegates to go into that kind of business.
“Again, palm oil when sold in international markets is above $1,000 a ton, and here, we are in the region only focusing on oil and gas”.
Dikio further said there were arrays of businesses the PAP was looking to inject delegates into, adding that exceptional graduates under the PAP scholarship scheme had more opportunities for employment.
In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, commended Dikio for the efforts to ensure peace in the Niger Delta, and emphasised the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
He bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfil its obligations to the region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty programme had prolonged.
He said: “As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again.
“Therefore, everything you have said points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space”.
Kyari said the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the programme, would easily fill employment opportunities.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”
By: Akujobi Amadi
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