Wike Recalls Suspended HOS, Four Commissioners
Barely 17 days after announcing the immediate suspension of the head of service, four commissioners, and a special adviser, for three months, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, last Friday, exercised his constitutional powers of prerogative of mercy by recalling the appointees.
The appointees are Head of Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins; Special Adviser on Lands, Anugbum Onuoha; commissioners for chieftaincy affairs, John Bazia; culture and tourism, Mrs Tonye Briggs-Oniyide; finance, Dr Fred Kpakol; and sports, Boma Iyaye.
The recall of the political appointees was conveyed in a statement, Friday, by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu.
This is the second time Dr Fred Kpakol, has been suspended and subsequently recalled.
The governor had on August 31, taken the action in connection with that day’s weekly Executive Council meeting, which the officials attended late.
The executive meeting had been slated to commence at 6.am, and it was learnt that the political appointees came behind schedule when the governor was already seated.
It was learnt that what angered the governor more was that despite a notice having been sent out ahead of time, some of the commissioners got into the Executive Council Chambers behind time.
Even those who came early were caught off-guard, while chatting outside when the governor came in.
The governor was miffed with what appeared as complacency from the affected officials who were supposed to be seated, at least, 30 minutes before he comes in.
The governor, who was visibly angry when they broke protocols by coming in when he had already sat down for deliberations, directed the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani, to suspend them in order to send strong warning to others.
A Government House insider said that, “the governor is a stickler to time and punctuality, and if he discovers any sign of laxity, it puts him off”.
It would be recalled that this is not the first time the governor is suspending members of the state executive.
First week of February, 2016, he suspended the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Fred Kpakol, and later reinstated him a week after on Valentine’s Day.
Shortly after in March, 2016, he suspended Commissioner for Works, Engineer Kelvin Wachukwu, over failure to monitor ongoing road projects, and later sacked him for non-performance.
Sometime in July, after an unscheduled inspection visit to ongoing construction work at Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Wike summoned his Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku, to appear in his office, to explain why the slow pace of work on the school’s renovation and rehabilitation projects.
The governor had sworn-in the first set of commissioners in June, 2015, advising them to ensure that his administration fulfils its promise of delivering quality service and good governance to the people in line with its NEW Vision for Rivers State.
While swearing-in the last set of commissioners last December, he warned that at no time would his administration tolerate non-performance from any of the political appointees.
Wike had reminded them that Rivers people expect and deserve nothing less than spectacular performance from the commissioners and special advisers.
He also said, “Any of you that are here to make money at the expense of service will be disappointed. Do not assault public sensibilities with ostentatious lifestyle that you cannot defend,” threatening to axe anyone found to have failed to keep the course of the administration or whose action or inaction sends the wrong signal to the people of the state on the genuine policies and programmes of the government.
He had said: “We hope and pray that you do not disappoint because to whom much is given, much is expected. Your duty is to serve public interest, and accountability is a sacred contract with the people of Rivers State.”
Wike, Promise Keeper – Eze Gbakagbaka
His Majesty, Eze Oha Evo III, King Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, has described the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as an astute leader and a promise keeper.
Eze Eke stated this when he spoke with newsmen at the commissioning of Rumuigbo internal roads in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, yesterday.
Governor Wike, he said, has so far proven that he has the interest of the state at heart, and expressed satisfaction over the Governor’s continuous project execution even towards the end of his administration.
According to him, the internal roads built by Governor Wike have opened the area to new trench of business and economic activities.
He noted that the community has now become a bee hive of business activities due to the roads.
The Evo King recalled how floods ravaged the area in recent times, but said such now belong to history due to Wike’s intervention.
On the recently commissioned phase one of the Trans-Kalabari Road, he said it has exposed the riverine communities to business activities as well.
He noted that the prices of commodities in the area will now stabilise as more business operators will be trooping into the place.
“The jinx of monopolistic operation is now broken. Everyone in the area will now be moved to do one business or the order. I think the Trans-Kalabari Road is one in million. Kudos to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike”, he said.
He also called on the people to jettison all forms of rancour and acrimony and give the in-coming administration under the leadership of Sir Siminialayi Fubara the needed support in order to enable him execute more people-oriented projects like the out going governor.
The monarch, who supported the idea of ‘Consolidated Government’, revealed that it would bring about rapid development in the state.
“My thinking is that Consolidation is necessary. For instance, the beauty of governance in Lagos State is that they maintained one party over the years, which has addressed the issue of abandoned projects”, he said.
The Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration has executed more projects in the state than any other government with no record of abandoned project.
By: King Onunwor
Pensioners Demand Separate Ministry Under Tinubu’s Govt
Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to create a ministry that will be saddled solely with the responsibility of addressing the plights of retirees in the country.
The South-West zone of NUP made the call after its quarterly meeting in Abeokuta, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the meeting was attended by chairmen and secretaries of NUP from Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti states.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the Zonal Public Relations Officer of NUP in the zone, Olusegun Abatan, said that the creation of the ministry would turn the fortunes of pensioners around in the country.
Abatan called on Tinubu to do more for pensioners when he assumed office as president.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has done quite a lot for pensioners. He really helped them and so we are appealing to Tinubu to please give the matter of pensioners serious attention.
“We want a separate ministry that will be solely addressing matters that have to do with pensioners under the administration of Tinubu,” he said.
Abatan alleged that governors of South-West states were owing pensioners in the zone huge sums as gratuities and pensions.
He urged all the governors in the zone to implement the consequential adjustment and the 35 per cent increment in pensions without further delay.
Abatan particularly cited Ogun, Ekiti and Osun states where he claimed that the gratuities of pensioners were paid last in 2012.
“They are owing arrears of pensions, gratuities and other entitlements, including gratuities and entitlements to the next of kin of some deceased pensioners.
“We want to appeal to our governors to step up their interests in the affairs of pensioners,” he said.
We’ll Defend PDP’s Mandate Secured During The Election In Rivers -Wike
Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State will defend the mandate that was been given to all of its candidates in the 2023 general election.
The governor noted that soon the various election tribunals will commence sitting where the mandate will be challenged, but the PDP will stand in defence of its candidates to ensure that the mandate is not stolen.
Governor Wike gave the assurance when he spoke at a luncheon organised to celebrate the PDP candidates who won their election and have been presented with their Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Those honoured with the luncheon at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday were the Governor-elect, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, Deputy Governor-elect, Prof. Ngozi Odu and other elected Representatives of Rivers State to the National and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Governor Wike pointed to the fierce political battle that was experienced during the general election and that if not for God, the victory that PDP is celebrating today would have eluded it.
The Rivers State governor told those who have been elected to the National Assembly to support every cause that promotes national unity, while placing the interest of the State paramount at all times.
He explained the importance of working in tandem with the State on any cause, whether it is suiting to them or not, but because it is expedient in advancing the interest of the State.
Governor Wike pointed to some Rivers leaders who went to Abuja and betrayed the interest of the state. He said they have become the greatest losers and fallen out of relevance in the State.
The governor also urged the elected representatives to trend with caution and never use their elevated positions to undermine or antagonise existing leadership structure in their various local government areas.
He told them not to abandon those who have contributed sundry efforts to ensure that their emergence at the polls was successful.
Governor Wike scolded Hon. Nwanaka Okpokiri, the member representing Ahoada West State constituency, for working against the success of the PDP in the last general election, but failed.
In his speech, Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, said there is massive celebration across the State over the victory of the party in the last general election.
He noted as astute the leadership governor Wike provided in leading the party in a fierce electoral battle that has produced youngest governor-elect in Nigeria, Sir Siminalayi Fubara.
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