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Wike Places N200m Bounty On Culprits …Amaechi, A Rabble-Rouser – RSG …Buhari Condemns Rivers, Kaduna Attacks

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has placed a N200million bounty for information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of the Omoku massacre.
Wike spoke, yesterday, after he led the Rivers State Security Council on a fact finding/sympathy visit to the families of the deceased.
He also visited those injured during the attack.
The governor also visited the sites of the crime where he received briefing from the Nigerian Police Area Commander, Mr Mike Nwafor and the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Council Caretaker Chairman, Mr Osi Olisa.
He said: “We have placed N200million bounty for relevant information that will lead to the arrest of all those involved in this unfortunate act of violence.
“Anybody who is connected to this crime in any way will have his/her houses forfeited to the government. This place has been peaceful before this unfortunate mayhem.
“We will not allow another case of this violence. We have mobilised the security agencies to take the battle to the perpetrators”.
Wike said all those linked to the Omoku violence will face the full weight of the law.
“You cannot shed innocent blood and go free. We are working with all the security agencies to do everything possible to arrest the perpetrators. They must pay for this”, he said.
The governor commiserated with the families of the deceased, saying that the state government will support them in burying their loved ones.
He added that the state government will also settle the medical bills of those receiving treatment at different hospitals.
He said: “I am pained by this unfortunate mayhem. Enough is enough.”
The governor and the service commanders also visited the residence of wanted cultist, Don Danny where the Rivers State governor commended security agencies for working hard to improve the security of the state.
Also speaking, Chairman of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Mr Osi Olisa informed the governor that 17 persons lost their lives as a result of the attack.
In an interview, Prophetess Comfort Ordu, who lost her husband and three children, said they were dragged out of their home and killed by the perpetrators.
Some of those murdered in cold blood include: Favour Odili, Saviour Amirinze, Augustine Ordu, Precious Ordu, Wisdom Ordu, Jennifer Ohia and Innocent Ohia.
Others are: Reuben Idogu, Baby Idogu, Ngozi Ogbuanukwu, Oyi Ogadinma, Nwagaego Ogadinma and Uche Onige.
The governor was accompanied to Omoku by the Commander Officer, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen A.A. Bande, the Commander of Joint Task Force, Col M.N. Madi, Rivers State Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Magaji and Rivers State Director of the Department of State Services, Mr Tosin Ajayi.
However, reactions have trailed the ugly incident that resulted in the killing of the son of Chief Eze Maziri and 16 others by unknown gunmen in Omoku Town, with Rivers people expressing shock and dismay at the dastardly act.
Maziri, in an interview with The Tide, said his son was returning from the New Year church service in the early hours of Monday, when the gunmen struck and killed him and his friend, among others.
The chief denied insinuations that his son belonged to any cult group.
“I never knew that such an unfortunate thing could ever happen to my son or any member of this community, and at the end, people say because they were not in the house at that hour of the day. Look at the number of corpses lying there, and we don’t know how it all happened.
“My son does not belong to any cult group. He was rather a very devout Christian. If people are claiming and making insinuations that he belonged to a cult group, what about his friend and the other 15 people bringing the number to 17 killed in cold blood on their way from church?”, Maziri asked.
In his reaction, the Rivers State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni stated that the police are aware of the incident but have not established a clear motive behind the killing of the people in Omoku.
Omoni stated further that investigations were underway to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding that the police would come up with details that led to the killings in the area soon.
The police image maker noted that the number of casualties cannot be confirmed at the moment.
Omoni said: “I can confirm the incident, but at the moment, we cannot confirm the conflicting number of casualties.
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations and other tactical heads have been mobilised there to restore peace.
“The Commissioner of Police (Ahmed Zaki) has launched a manhunt for the bandits to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted.
“When the DCP and the teams conclude their investigations, we will know the total number of people involved,” Omoni added.
“Investigations are ongoing, and we don’t want to speculate, but for now, we have heard so many stories, some said they were unknown gunmen, but investigations will unravel what actually happened”.
It was gathered that the unknown gunmen had operated at two different locations, Kirigani and Oboh axis of Aligu of Omoku, in a coordinated attack.
The killers opened fire on Christians that were returning from different churches around 12: 20a.m., after successfully crossing over to the New Year, and killed the number of persons.
It was gathered that over 26 persons were shot in the attack, 14 persons died on the spot, with 12 hospitalised.
Three persons among those hospitalized were later said to have died from gunshot injuries.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has taken Minister of Transportation, Chibike Rotimi Amaechi to the cleaners over his comments that the Omoku violence which led to the death of innocent Rivers indigenes was because Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike was arming militants.
Reacting to Amaechi’s comments, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Barr Emma Okah described the comments as false, saying, it was an infantile attempt by Amaechi to gain political mileage from the senseless killings of innocent Rivers indigenes.
The statement reads:
Our attention has been drawn to the regrettable indictment of federal security agencies by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who claimed that the Omoku violence which led to the death of innocent Rivers indigenes was because Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was arming militants.
For the avoidance of doubt, Amaechi’s statement is false and an infantile attempt to gain political mileage from the senseless killings of innocent Rivers indigenes.
Over the last few days, there have been nationwide upsurge of violence, leading to the unfortunate deaths of Nigerians. Is the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi claiming that in all these instances, the governors of the respective states armed the killers?
In Southern Kaduna, several persons including a traditional ruler and his pregnant wife were killed. In Kwara State, a new year violence claimed several lives. In Yobe State, Boko Haram insurgents killed 5 soldiers while several community youths lost their lives.
Also in Lagos State, Badoo cultists killed a family of five, while over the last few days, Fulani herdsmen have killed scores of innocent Nigerians in Benue State.
We need not mention the scores killed over the last two weeks in Plateau, Adamawa and Zamfara States by Fulani herdsmen.
It is regrettable that the chief financier of APC National campaign would politicize a security challenge, effectively domiciled at the doorsteps of Federal Security agencies.
The fact that he made such statement at preccints of the Presidential Villa is a sad commentary.
For the records, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has funded and equipped security agencies in the state more than any other state governor has done. Rather than being commended for the sacrifice, ingrates like Amaechi see nothing in the genuine efforts of a patriotic leader, which Nyesom Ezenwo Wike represents.
In another development, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned, in strong terms, killings of innocent persons in Omoku, Rivers State and traditional ruler, the Etum Numana, Dr. Gambo Makama, and his wife, in Sango Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the New Year.
President Buhari described the acts as ‘shocking and outrageous, reprehensible and unacceptable’, insisting that perpetrators must be brought to book.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari directed law enforcement agencies in both states to intensify their current efforts in order to speedily bring the perpetrators to face the wrath of the law.
“I have always maintained that nothing justifies the taking of the life of an innocent person,” the president said, adding that “people in our communities must learn to live peacefully.”
He appealed to the communities affected not to embark on reprisal attacks, but allow the security agencies to carry out comprehensive investigations to properly punish the culprits.
He commiserated with the families of the victims and wished the injured faster recovery.

 

Chris Oluoh & Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Nigeria Needs Effective Leadership To Be Great -Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that Nigeria needs effective leadership for the country to achieve the dreams and aspirations of its founding fathers.
He stated this during the Juma’at service in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria, held at the JIBWIS Directorate Headquarters, Central Mosque, Bonny Street, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor, who was represented by the Special Adviser on School Sports, Dr Okiri Mohammed, said despite the numerous challenges bedevilling the country, Nigerians must collectively resolve to make the nation great.
“Remember we have one country Nigeria, and we must make it great. For us to make it great, we must see it as our duty.”
The Rivers State governor said the task of nation building was the responsibility of every citizen of the country, and the 62nd Independence anniversary celebration should be seen as a time for stocktaking.
He emphasised that Nigerians must collectively continue to demand for probity and accountability from the leadership in order to move the country forward.
“Let us continue to ensure that there is probity and accountability in this country. We need effective leadership in this country before it will go forward.”
The governor charged Muslims to continue to preach the message of peace and join hands with other Nigerians to reduce crime and poverty in Nigeria.
”As Muslim you are charged to preach peace in your various homes. We have to make sure we collectively reduce poverty and crime. We have to make sure that this country is better.”
The governor pointed out that the country is at a critical juncture, and charged Nigerians to participate effectively in the 2023 general election.
“We don’t have another country apart from Nigeria and so, all of us collectively and individually have a duty to make this country better.”
Delivering his sermon, the Imam of Bonny Island, Yusuf Lamis, charged Nigerians to be patriotic and contribute to the development of the nation.
He said the earnest prayer of every Muslims in the country is for God’s intervention in the emergence of credible political leaders in the 2023 general election.

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Wike Intervenes In Ula-Ehuda, Julius Berger Dispute

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Hope for the speedy completion of the dualisation of Ahoada-Omoku highway has been rekindled, following the intervention of Rivers State Governor, Chief NyesomWike, in the face-off between Ula-Ehuda community and the Julius Berger, the construction company handling the project.
Wike, who visited Ula-Ehuda, yesterday, to assess the progress of the ongoing construction work and to settle the disagreement between the community and Julius Berger, advised youths in the community to learn how to channel their problem appropriately to the government.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Dr. Dakorinama George-Kelly; former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudum Nwuche; Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Ogerenye Edison; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard bearer in Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara; and others, said his administration takes exception to disruption of construction work in any part of state.
He admonished community leaders in the state, irrespective of their political leanings, never to politicise the issue of development, as this could be detrimental to the progress of their people.
“I tell people: don’t be a curse to yourself. And I’ve always told people too: don’t bring politics in the development of a place. If you bring politics, you’ll suffer it. None of you put pressure on us to say we must dualise this road.”
The governor explained that his administration took the decision to dualise the road in recognition of the fact that it would promote access to economic and social services, generate increased agricultural incomes and productive employment opportunities and reduce poverty in the state.
Wike, who urged the community to support the state government’s effort to improve infrastructure in the area, cautioned that government would, henceforth, not tolerate any disruption of the ongoing dualisation work.
“If you have problem, channel your problem appropriately. But don’t come and begin to use your young boys and young girls to stop the road construction.”
The governor assured the community that the concerns raised would be adequately addressed, adding that the government would not allow anyone or group of individuals to derail the progress of the area.
“We have come to open up your community to be like a city, and you want to send your community backwards, it will not work. Support us to do what we are doing.”
Earlier, the Chairman,Ula-Ehuda Community Development Committee, Monday Princewill Evergreen, thanked Wike for the project, and appealed for the inclusion of drainage in the Ula-Ehuda section of the Ahoada-Omoku highway.
“We are grateful that you brought this project to our community, not just our community, Ahoada East. For long, we had envisaged that this road will be dualised and constructed. It was until you came that that dream was realised, and the community and the entire people of Ekpeye are eternally grateful to you.”
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr. George-Kelly D. Alabo, had advised some protesting youths at the Ula-Ehuda axis of Ahoada-Omoku Dual Carriageway to shun obstructive means of demonstration at the project site, because if the project,was not completed as a result of their actions, the people of the area would be the ones to lose and not Julius Berger.
George-Kelly advised them to allow the construction giant to continue with their work while he makes an arrangement for a round-table talk between all parties involved to find an amicable solution to the contentious issue on drainage before the end of the week.
Residents of Ula-Ehuda in Ahoada East Local Government Area were addressed by the commissioner, who was accompanied by the Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Council, Hon. Ben Eke, to inspect the Ahoada-Omoku Dual Carriageway project, last Tuesday.
“I am not here to blame anybody but to solve a problem. I am here to provide a solution that will be good for the community, the government, and the contractor. If we must tell ourselves the truth, stopping them from working will not solve the problem, it would even put you at the disadvantaged end because if this project is not completed, it is the people of this area that will lose, not Julius Berger.
“Please, do not make the mistake some youths of a particular local government area made. They stopped two projects of the state government in their area over frivolous demands, the state government made several attempts to persuade them to allow the construction of the projects to continue, like I am doing now, but they refused. Contractors left sites, and the projects were abandoned. Two years after, the contactors are yet to resume work for excuses of community disturbances. When the contractors eventually go back to sites, the projects may become more expensive for government, given the current fluctuations.
“The best thing to do now is to allow the contractor to finish the initial scope of the project first.Maybe, before the commissioning, you can make this other demand, and we will forward same to the governor. Please, realise that even in your demands, due process has to be followed.
“I am appealing to you to allow them complete this work on schedule so that it can be commissioned by or before December. By Friday this week (yesterday), I’ll be having a meeting between the ministry, the council chairman, representatives of Julius Berger, the project CLOs, and Ula-Ehuda community leaders. I will like the community to include, at least, two indigenous civil engineers in their delegation so that they can understand and interprete to you some technical details that would be discussed in the meeting,” the commissioner added.
Also, the commissioner inspected the 8.020km Akpabu-Itu-Omudioga Road project, phase 1 in Emohua Local Government Area.
Checks show that asphaltic binder course had been completed for the entire road length and 700m asphalt wearing course had been done so far.
The project is 75percent completed and in progress.

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Catholic Bishops Vow To Work For Credible Polls In 2023

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Bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja have pledged to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, credible and transparent general elections in 2023.
The commitment is contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Abuja and Very Rev. Fr. Sam Tumba, after the 3rd General assembly of the Archdiocese.
In the communique issued on Saturday in Abuja, the bishops enjoined Parishes, families, Church societies and groups to dedicate special moments to pray for a hitch-free election.
“We call on Catholics and indeed all Nigerian citizens to be consciously and actively involved in the electoral processes at all levels.
“Voter registration, collection of Permanent Voters Card, casting votes on election days with a firm and clear conscience to elect credible leaders who will bring about the true dividends of democracy”, they said.
The bishops commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Electoral Act into law to enhance the sanctity of the electoral process.
“We task the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure political fairness and transparency, to consolidate the trust reposed in them by Nigerians.
“Parishes and Catholic institutions within our Archdiocese are encouraged to arrange and organize voter awareness programmes, seminars and workshops guided by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission, to better equip our people for greater political responsibility.
“We remain open and willing to collaborate with relevant government agencies, electoral bodies and security operatives to ensure peaceful and credible election processes in the coming year,” the communique added.
The bishops cautioned politicians not to regard the election as a ‘do or die’ affair, adding that they must also refrain from money politics, manipulative and divisive practices along ethnic, social and religious lines to win elections.
“Even though we decry the hard economic situations in the nation, we strongly discourage all Catholics and especially our youths from lending themselves as easy recruits for political thuggery and other criminal activities to enthrone selfish and incompetent aspirants into electoral offices.
“We discourage and condemn any form of vote buying or selling and other electoral malpractices during the elections,” the bishops said.
The bishops advised catholic politicians from all political parties within the Archdiocese to participate in Church activities, so as to be better known by the faithful.
They called on all people of goodwill to cooperate with security agencies to root out criminal elements within communities.
The bishops, however, urged security agents to remain professional in discharging their duties and resist any attempt to be used to intimidate the people by corrupt politicians.
The communique called on Catholics across the country to match work with prayer, for peaceful electioneering process.
They called for sustained prayers for the country, adding: “Nigerians should take courage and be of ardent hope, for the storms will soon be over.”

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