Elders of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) have expressed concern and branded media reports credited to the former Governor of Rivers State now Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi vowing to truncate the Ogoni governorship quest by stopping Senator Magnus Abe and enthroning a riverine candidate as Governor of Rivers State in 2019.
MOSOP said that Amaechi’s claim that it was not yet the turn of Ogoni, was most unfortunate, insisting that the minister’s stance was capable of re-igniting the shrewd politics of upland/riverine dichotomy, which never united the people nor moved the state forward.
A statement signed by the Secretary, MOSOP Council of Elders, Bari-ara Kpalap, and made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, last Monday, also called on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to jettison Amaechi’s “hateful and oppressive stance against the Ogoni people”, and warned that “the APC risk rejection in Ogoni, if it fails to heed the advice.
“We condemn the transportation minister’s ignoble position. The stance would not have mattered to us but for his adopted divisive, acrimonious and dangerous methodology in the attempt to scuttle our political dream. Having earlier agreed to, and reassured Ogoni leaders at a meeting of his support for the Ogoni governorship drive, the U-turn demonstrates crass double-standard, reflecting unreliability. It is also a devious plot to pitch Ogoni against our riverine brothers.
“However, we are encouraged by the fact that Ogoni destiny is not in Amaechi’s hands. We recall that the ex-governor weathered tremendous opposition to his gubernatorial ambition, yet he became governor of the state. Former governors, Chief Rufus Ada-George and Dr. Peter Odili likewise experienced similar fate but they triumphed. Since Amaechi is not God but merely playing God, he cannot reverse God’s resolve,” MOSOP elders argued.
According to the elders, “It is on record that the erstwhile governor of Rivers State at a meeting with Ogoni leaders held in Government House, Port Harcourt in December, 2014, swore to support and champion the campaign for an Ogoni governor of the state after the 2015 gubernatorial election.
“The meeting was held in relation to the failure of the APC to allow an Ogoni contest the 2015 governorship poll as the party’s candidate, which was traced to the resistance of ex-governor Chibuike Amaechi.
“In attendance were but not limited to King G.N.K. Gininwa, King Barnabas Bagia, MOSOP President, Legborsi Pyagbara, KAGOTE President, Dr Peter Medee, Senator Magnus Abe, Chief Lebari Mwara, Hon Barry Mpigi, Hon Maurice Poronen, Chief Victor Giadom, Hon Innocent Barikor, Prof Sam Nwideedu, Prof Barineme Fakae, Justice Peter Akere (late), Prince Biira and Comrade Menele Nziidee”, Kpalap said.
“The transportation minister, we must say, has gravely goofed and a man who speaks from the two sides of his month is more dangerous than danger, hence the Ogoni people must be smart and respond adequately to the challenge if we must halt external dictate and ensure our political liberation. It is saddening that the fact that since the creation of Rivers State, no Ogoni, in the face of acknowledged, unsurpassed quality, has held the position of governor, deputy governor, chief judge and speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, yet, Amaechi insultingly and spitefully considers Ogoni unripe. This appalling, repressive and spiteful political war being waged by Amaechi against Ogoni, without doubt, is an exterior trial to our political leap and Ogoni must bravely resist it.
“However, his stance clearly unmasks an ethnic script aimed at crippling the cohesive wings of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress by dividing and weakening the party against effective challenge to win back the state’s governorship seat in 2019, knowing fully-well that APC would not avail its governorship ticket to an Ikwerre,” MOSOP noted.
Substance Abuse Becoming Thing Of Concern -Odu
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu, has lauded the important role pharmacists play in the wellbeing of the society.
Odu gave this commendation while playing host to members of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The deputy governor said while others are sleeping, pharmacists work hard “to ensure we all live in a better society, especially when you talk about the dangers of substance abuse.”
Odu stressed that, “It is really becoming a thing of great concern because of the level of children getting involved in this thing. It is even coming down to primary schools which now increases the burden of what you are doing, so we appreciate you for what you are doing for the society which we all are living in.”
The deputy governor extolled the lady pharmacists for the scholarship scheme they were sponsoring, noting that it was “amazing because when you change the narrative of somebody’s life, you become what they call a destiny helper.”
The deputy governor added, “So, for me, it is something I would encourage. Even the Bible says when you do it for them you have done unto God. It is a thing we get a lot of blessings out off, you may not see it now but some day it will definitely come.”
She expressed gratitude to them for their support for the Fubara-led administration which according to her has continued to spur them into action.
“Let me thank you for upholding the governor and myself in prayers, because without prayers we won’t be here, many people have prayed and God has heard, please do not stop, even for good governance, we need God to grant us the wisdom and knowledge of what to do”, she said.
In her remarks, Chairman of the Rivers State Branch of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Ebelechukwu Odom, said they were at the Government House to identify with the Governor Fubara-led administration in the ongoing restructuring of the state, and pledged their allegiance and unflinching support to the administration.
She assured that they would utilize the competences of Lady Pharmacists in Rivers State and synergize with partners for improvement in health, education, research development and socio-economic wellbeing of humanity through relevant and appropriate interventions, projects and programmes.
RSG Denies Rumours Of Cholera Outbreak In Soku
The Rivers State Government says it is not aware of any cholera outbreak in Soku community in the Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the State.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt by the State Ministry of Health.
According to the statement signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Chidinma Oreh, the clarification was necessary following numerous enquiries from the media over a purported outbreak of cholera in Soku community.
The statement read in part, “The Rivers State Ministry of Health has received numerous enquiries from the Press regarding an alleged outbreak of cholera in Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area.
“Public health teams dispatched to investigate these alleged cases and deaths have so far received no confirmation of such.”
While describing cholera as a waterborne infectious disease, the commissioner said that the disease is notifiable, warranting escalating reports from disease surveillance and notification officers at the community level.
The statement clarified that the ongoing medical outreach in Soku community is in no way related to any outbreak of cholera.
“Outreaches have always been a way of getting accessible health care to underserved and vulnerable population, however, all such outreach activities must be conducted with approval from and in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health and as such no entity should be conducting outreaches outside the coordination of the ministry”, it warned.
The ministry further said that all infectious diseases of this nature are reported, managed and escalated by the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
Dr. Oreh said the statement should serve as a strong warning to anyone conducting or planning health activities without due recourse to the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
She added that any such activities found to be carried out without the knowledge and clearance of the State Ministry of Health will be fully investigated and dealt with in order to ensure the protection of the lives of the people.
“Therefore, the general public and members of the Press are advised to disregard the rumours making the round on an ongoing outbreak of cholera and the death of some citizens of Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State as it is presently unfounded, misguided and capable of causing panic amongst citizens and residents.
“The general public is thus urged to remain calm and rest assured that the Rivers State Ministry of Health will continue to be a veritable source of public health information in the state”, the statement concluded.
Bill On State Police Scales Second Reading
The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading a bill to provide for the establishment of state police in the country.
Sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu and 14 others, the bill seeks to alter the relevant Sections of the 1999 Constitution to pave the way for states to establish their own policing outfits.
As lawmakers took turns to contribute to the debate on the floor of the House during yesterday’s plenary, Kalu who stood in for the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, urged members to look beyond political ambitions and think about the safety of Nigerians and Nigeria.
Also speaking, Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos) said, “It is the job of the police to maintain law and order. We have a population of over 200m people but we have a police strength that is less than 400,000. State Police should be created to address the internal security challenges of Nigeria.”
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