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Wike, Committed To Governance – Emeh

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The recent return of former Transport
Commissioner in Rivers State and ex-Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Emeh Glory Emeh, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, has  triggered  a gale of decampment from the embattled All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
This development has turned the GRA, Port Harcourt, residence of the consummate politician into a Mecca of some sorts for scores of disillusioned’ APC faithful from across the state’s 23 local government areas.
In this encounter with The Tide Political Editor, Victor Tew and Chief Correspondent, Ike Wigodo, Emeh speaks on the development and the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, declaring the APC as dead and buried.
Excerpts:
You have been in the news recently about your return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). How did it happen?
First of all, I left PDP to APC owing to the attitude of some of the people in the party as at that time. But all that is in the past now. A combination of what I found is that the APC is not organised; there is no structure, no leadership and nobody is directing. The second one is that a lot of pressures from my political leaders and mentors. I could not resist them. Barrister Celestine Omehia, Prince Uche Secondus, former Governor Peter Odili, Governor Wike himself, Austin Opara. When you put them together, it was too much for me to resist. I have to return.
Where these the only reasons you left APC?
The APC lack leadership and the party knows that. APC knows that it has no focus and plan. They used my house for six months to do their meetings. Until I brought Sampson Ngeregbara and Chibudom Nwuche to the party, they do not have any qualitative contributions, except people like Lolo Ibienenye. But generally speaking, you can finish an APC meeting without anything to go home with. If they ask you: ‘What did you discuss in the meeting?’ You may not have anything to say.
Do you think that the PDP will comfortably accommodate you, having worked against it in 2015?
I have never worked against PDP, I was not part of the election. I just left the party because one person in the party did not show me love, but when greater persons in the party showed me love, I came back.
Do you think your coming back to PDP will increase its fortune?
There is no doubt about that. I am not supposed to sing my praises. They are doing a write up on my capability, capacity and ability. Those who have worked with me know that I contribute my small quota and my small quota is always adding up. I have the latitude to do what I can do to assist the party. The Governor has said to me to deploy my wealth of experience and assist the party where I can and I will try my best to do so. I believe that my contribution will assist the party one way or the other.
How would you assess the present administration in the state?
For the short period I have followed Wike, you can see commitment in governance, I am not a novice.  I had worked with Odili and Omehia; I have been in the corridors of power for a long time.  We know when a governor is performing. I visited several project sites, both completed and ongoing. Few days ago, we went to the Ecumenical Centre, a project for all the Christian denomination’s in the state, and you see what he is doing. For the first time in Africa we are seeing an Amusement park that is of a world class. Then the schools, the hospitals, the renovations. Everything Wike has been doing in this town was also noticed by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when he visited, such that he has to christen Wike Mr Project. Indeed Wike has turned Rivers State  to a project site. So, I think, hate him, love him, you can see a man that is desirous to help the people. You can see a man that is working towards redefining the infrastructural development of the state. I am proud that I came at the time I came to embrace him. I hear that by what transpired in the meeting APC held penultimate Thursday, the party has been finally buried in the state. I count myself lucky to have left  APC when I did. I am planning to do a thanksgiving that I left the time I did.
Do you think the Pleasure Park project will boost the economy of the state?
It is better to go there to see things for yourself. There is one particular area of the park that will bring people even from Brazil because it replicates what they have there, where water changes to seven colours. So when you go, you see the water changing from blue to red and other colours. It is a site to behold. You will ask: ‘How did Wike come about this’ and the answer is that he is proactive. The government is presently making ways to increase what it has and what it inherited from zero to something bigger. Wike is determined to improve the revenue base of the state.
Given the dwindling allocation to the state, do you think some of the projects will be sustained?
It is only when you take projects like Monorail and Gas turbine without plan that you will talk about shortage of funds. Wike thinks before he leaps and for few times I sat with him, I see him computing-this is what I have and this is how I want to distribute it. This, in financial management is known as financial analysis. You have to look at the cost effectiveness of every project and when you begin to implement them, you would not have any problems. For me, I think he is doing well in managing the little funds his having and by so doing, the like hood that he will complete each project he has ventured on. It is not debatable.
What can you say about Wike’s approach to the development of the state?
Managing the poor situation is more difficult than managing the boom. But Wike has shown that the ability to perform should be the pre condition for putting anybody in power or office. He has promoted fresh commitment to efficient performance and because of the problem of economy and recession, he prescribes solutions to problems within a frame work of more ideological perspectives such that he has to weight the options. His major consideration is what the economists call the cost benefit analysis. So, it is cost effectiveness analysis. No project is taken just because the project is elsewhere. He looks at the cost, the benefits and the interest of our people before embarking on any project.
How can the  government and the people of the state consolidate on the peace and level of progress already attained?
The peace of the state is already cemented. The bond of fraternal co existence is being cemented and the barrier of separatism is being fine-tuned by group known as Rivers Elders Consultative Forum and we are happy with what they are doing. I believe by the end of this year they would have put all the warring groups together and we can have a lasting peace in the state.
Since your return to PDP your residence has become Mecca of some sort to many politicians especially from the APC. What is responsible for this?
First, everybody is disillusioned about the poor and lackluster leader of APC. I cannot say they are coming because of me; they are coming because they have also seen in Governor Nyesom Wike  a man they can trust; a man that cares for the people. Is not just Emohua, the entire state. I have received people from Khana, Tai, Oyigbo, Omuma, Ahoada West,  Ahoada East and Abua/Odua. I have also received APC people from Ogba Egbema/Ndoni, Degema and Asari Toru. I read in the papers that about 220 councilors of APC who are in court against PDP have signed up a paper to debrief their lawyers to withdraw the case from the court. I was told that their reasons is because nobody cares about the case in court. They did not know their counsels and they continue to tell them about the case every day. Meanwhile somebody is telling them unrealizable stories. So, I told them that Wike is not arrogant. He has a listening ear and ready to receive them when they are ready.
What is your message to Rivers people?
To  continue to be peaceful and law abiding and appreciate that in Governor Wike there is a leader that they can trust and those of us who did not support him from the beginning regret it. But we thank God. Let’s work together as one state, one destiny. We will not have difficult if we trust Wike to manage us. He has done well so far.

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Council Boss Vows To Deliver Fubara, Other PDP Candidates In Rivers

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The Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Area in Rivers State, Hon. Akara Okechukwu, has expressed confidence that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will win the forthcoming Governorship election in the area, not leaving out other positions down to the last councillor.
He stated that the foundation of victory has been laid by the Governor of the State, Chief Nyesom Wike, following his infrastructural development in the State.
Hon. Okechukwu said this while reacting after the State PDP campaign team visited his area on Saturday, saying that the people of Oyigbo were ready to reciprocate what the present administration had done for the LGA in every aspect.
“ I have no fear and I am convinced that the Governorship candidate of PDP Siminialayi Fubara, and other State candidates of the PDP, will win.
“The people of Oyigbo have vowed to vote massively for PDP because that is the only way to pay back Governor Wike for his good works, mostly in Oyigbo.
“As I speak, 95 percent of people living in the area  have their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and this indicates sure victory for our great party. I thank the people for coming out en masse for the campaign. I am really happy,” Hon. Okechukwu said.
Also speaking, Chairman Revenue Committee of the LGA, Senibo Daniel Chijindu, described the massive turn out as historic, saying that it was an indication of total victory.
“ I will say that the massive turn out of people is historic because this is the first time people came out en masse for campaign. Honestly, this is an indication that Oyigbo is Simplified and totally PDP.
“Governor Wike has given Rivers State a facelift in all ramifications. That is why Oyigbo people said they are for PDP in totality,” he said.
The revenue boss advised those who registered for PVCs to go and  collect their cards because that is only way to sustain the good governance of PDP.
In his own remarks, former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in the state and a stakeholder of PDP in Oyigbo, Hon. Nancy Nwankwo,  said adequate sensitisation had been done.
According to  her , women in Oyigbo were already prepared to celebrate the victory of Siminialayi Fubara come May this year, saying they will come in their numbers to vote for PDP.
“ I am convinced that Sim Fubara will do better hence he was a civil servant. He has proven his intellectual capacity faithful and truthful to replace Governor Wike,” she said.

By: Tonye Orabere

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Ebonyi APC Chair, Reps Candidate, Others Arrested Over Alleged Killings

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No fewer than 26 suspects have been arrested over the recent killings and arsons that took place in Ekoli Edda Community, in the Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Among those arrested were the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Stanley Okoro-Emegha, and a former chairman of the Afikpo South LGA and Federal House of Representatives candidate for Afikpo North/South Constituency in the 2023 general election, Eni Chima.
The police claimed they (the suspects) were responsible for the killings and arson that pervaded the area on December 26, 2022. In the incident, two persons including a Police Inspector, were killed, while two houses were torched.
The Ebonyi State Police Command, during a press conference, stated this in Abakaliki on Monday.
The command, which spoke through its spokesperson, SP Chris Anyanwu, accused the suspects of being behind the dastardly acts, vowing to arraign them in court soonest.
Aside from murder, the command also accused the suspects of arson, conspiracy, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
According to the police, the suspects must face the wrath of the law, in spite of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor David Umahi.
SP Anyanwu said, “The key actors among the suspects arrested, volunteered useful ‘confessional statements’ that exposed the aggregate of overwhelming findings hereunder outlined:
“The fracas that engulfed Ekoli-Edda on 26/12/2022 ignited at about 1600 hours during a face-off between the security aides of Hon Stanley Okoro Emegha versus a faction of Ekoli-Edda youth believed to be loyalists of Hon Eni Uduma Chima.
“The protracted political rivalry/supremacy struggle between the duo, is the cause of the showdown that took place. Interestingly, the two political stalwarts hail from same community, belong to same political party and even live in close proximity.
“The visit of the APC chairman to his village on the fateful day, with his aides, infuriated the fragment of the youths in the area who are purportedly adherents of Eni Uduma Chima, hence the showdown that ensued.
“The war songs chanted by Egwu Famous Chinedu, the town crier, amidst hitting/blowing of his gong/trumpet, respectively, galvanised the youth into further action, hence, the rampage and escalation of the brouhaha.”
He added, “The investigation further revealed that an attempt to arrest one Aruah said to be the leader of the Ekoli-Edda youth warriors, brought in the warriors who were reserved for the purpose of fighting in the boundary dispute between them and a neighbouring community in Cross River State. The said warriors wielded sophisticated prohibited firearms and their actions further degenerated the situation.”

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Release PVCs In Opposition Strongholds, ADC Urges INEC

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The African Democratic Congress, ADC, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of hoarding permanent voter’s cards, PVCs, with the intent to favour a particular political party at the polls.
ADC alleged that the only explanation for the inability of some persons to get their PVCs despite the Commission’s promises and show of force was its deliberate strategy to disenfranchise some voters.
The party made its position on the PVC collection known in a statement by Mabel Oboh, the National Diversity and Inclusion Director, and the National Representative of the party in Lagos Campaign Council.
According to the party, “in Lagos for instance, non-indigenes are greatly affected by this deliberate act of disenfranchisement, based on feedback from our supporters.”
ADC noted that, “It is becoming more evident that INEC is not prepared to conduct a free and fair election come February, as a good number of registered voters have not been able to collect their PVCs.
“This is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise willing, but already fed up Nigerians from voting across the country.
“INEC had enough time to prepare for elections but it has shown itself to be partisan by denying people in the stronghold of the opposition their PVCs.
“We consider this action as rigging before elections. This perpetual act should not be condoned by Nigerians
“ADC also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure all eligible voters collect their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs.
“Our democratic systems and processes must be respected for the betterment of all, especially now that the country needs good leadership.
“As a third-force political party, ADC has worked very hard to ensure that we win a lot of seats and we are not going to fold our arms and watch our hard work go up in flames.
“We are also advising all those that have not got their voter’s card to continue to raise alarm.
“This time around, the people should not allow their mandate to be stolen from them.”

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