Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposed visit to the state may be aimed at reviving the fortunes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that is dead in the state.
Flagging off the reconstruction of Egbelu Street and link roads in Rumuodara community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area yesterday, Governor Wike said that the Federal Government has not informed him of the President’s visit and the reason behind his visit.
He said: “I hear they say that the President is coming to our state. I have not been told the President is coming and why he is coming. He has the right to come to any state.
”Maybe, the President is coming to make sure that he will improve the fortunes of the APC that is dead in Rivers State.
”Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who has risen a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers State. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up”.
Governor Wike charged Rivers people not to be bothered by the politics or otherwise of the visit, because the state is very peaceful.
”Let nobody bother him or herself that the President is coming for security reasons. We don’t have security challenges in the state.
”We have never had herdsmen killings or crisis in the state , except when some criminals tried to disrupt the peace and they were checked. We resolved that challenge. “
He stated that there is no state in this country where kidnappers and armed robbers are not operating. He said if President Muhammadu Buhari is visiting because of kidnappers and armed robbers, then, he should visit all the 36 states.
He, however, noted that as the state that produces the wealth that supports the country,the President is welcome to visit the wealth producers of the nation.
According to him: “Since the administration has abandoned Rivers State for three years, this visit may be a blessing in disguise. The President may use the visit to complete the Port Harcourt International Airport, the neglected East West road, the neglected sea ports and the rejected Port Harcourt-Aba road”.
Speaking on the road projects in Rumuodara community, Governor Wike said the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Dandeson Jaja drew his attention to the challenges faced by residents of the populated surburb.
He urged the people to cooperate with the contractors to ensure the completion of the road on schedule.
Commissioner for Works, Dum Dekor said the seven roads will be completed in six months, while the projects will offer employment to 230 youths.
The Works Commissioner noted that the road construction will also resolve the environmental challenges facing the residents.
Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Caretaker Committee, Prince Noble Amadi praised the governor for key projects across the area, assuring him of total support in 2019.
Meanwhile,the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has admitted that the ruling party has failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians after almost three years in office.
He also said that the goodwill which it enjoyed during the 2015 general elections and the inauguration of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had been squandered.
Tinubu therefore concluded that the APC has a lot of work to do to regain public confidence and solidarity before the 2019 general elections.
The former Governor of Lagos State bared his mind on the state of the party last Wednesday in Abuja when he held a closed-door meeting with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at its secretariat.
The meeting was Tinubu’s first since Buhari appointed him to reconcile all the feuding leaders of the APC in various states of the federation.
In his down to earth assessment of the APC, Tinubu said that the party had faced several challenges since it took over power in 2015, stressing that it needs serious consultations and reconciliation moves to regain the goodwill of Nigerians.
He listed some of the challenges confronting the APC as the disorder in the North Central and North East zones, killings and agitations, as well as intra-party squabbles.
Tinubu said that the expectations of Nigerians had been high since the party won the presidential election in 2015, but regretted that the expectations had not been met.
In a brief chat with journalists before he went for a closed-door meeting with the NWC, the APC leader said that his visit was to consult with the party’s leadership, in line with the mandate given to him by the President, stressing that consultations and reconciliation were required since APC is still the hope of Nigerians for a better future.
He said: “I am here to consult, since you are already aware of the directive and announcement of the President who is the leader of our party and the President of this country.
“First, let me sympathise with our National Vice Chairman for North Central for the various incidents that are happening around that corridor, and may God bring peace to Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, and the country as a whole, and all other places being affected by the age-old system that we are now facing.
“After the last convention of the party, congresses were held from various wards to elect representatives from the ward, local government and state levels as well as the national level. We worked hard for victory. We have never governed before, but we won the confidence of Nigerians to govern.
“We have a creed to really serve the country; change and reform the country. It is not easy to have those changes implemented like instant curfew. We have to grow and face challenges.
“I sympathise with us and we should equally look at ourselves. Since we won the election, the expectations were very high and the goodwill was extremely high. But where are we today?
“The solution is to seek opinion and advice on the various complexities around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile, move the party in a cohesive manner and reposition and build the confidence among ourselves”.
According to Tinubu, the challenges faced by the government and the President are enormous, noting that Nigerians were not paying attention to the various statistics that are available and “we have to push that. I won’t touch those areas yet,” he said.
Earlier, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who described Tinubu as a “Peace Ambassador”, said that his visit was significant as the President moves to heal wounds where the party has any, as well as to bring every member of the APC together under a single objective, which is to give the party a runaway victory in 2019.
Catholic Bishops Vow To Work For Credible Polls In 2023
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.”
Take 2023 Elections Seriously, Wike Tasks Rivers People
The Rivers State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians to take the upcoming 2023 General Election seriously by securing their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and using it wisely and prayerfully.
Wike stated this during the Inter-Denominational Church Service in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria, at St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said he believes God would use the 2023 elections to grant the pleas of Nigerians for a rebirth of a new nation.
“Nigeria must rise again, it must fulfil its divine purpose for which God has put it together, Nigeria has a prophetic agenda, whether the devil likes it or not. We must have the confidence that our votes will count and that we will use our votes to bring in the leaders after the heart of God”, the governor said.
Wike said under his watch, the state government has been resolute and consistent in providing the dividends of democracy to the people living and doing business in the state.
“We have seen it, in the massive improvement in security.We have seen it in social and physical infrastructure.What will you say, when public tertiary institutions have been on strike for the past seven months, and some of the students are being killed, some are roaming about, some are going into crime, while others are abusing drugs and going mental, but in Rivers State, all the state institutions are functioning none-stop, and salaries are paid as at when due and lecturers are teaching the way they should”, Wike further stressed.
The state chief executive expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for the 62nd Independence anniversary of the country and for keeping the nation as one in spite of all the security and economic challenges, adding that “God in His infinite mercy has kept us together as a people, what seems impossible with men, is possible with God”.
In his sermon drawn from Matthew Chapter 7: 7-12, Bishop Diocese of Niger Delta North,St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, said “if Nigeria must go forward, we must obey the golden rule”.
He said,”We must not give up on Nigeria; no matter the challenges, God would make the nation great again, but it behooves on us to pray and do the right things at all times”.
A schedule of activities released by the state government shows that on Friday, September 30, 2022, a Jumma’at Prayer would be held at the JIBWIS Directorate Headquarters, Central Mosque, 36 Bonny Street, Port Harcourt Township, at 1:00pm.
According to the programme, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Bureau, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Nwaeke, the grand finale would hold on Saturday, October 1, 2022, with a parade ceremony/march-past at Sharks Football Stadium, Port Harcourt by 10:00am.
The statement said that the state Governor, Chief NyesomWike, would preside over the activities at the grand finale on Saturday.
Buhari Launches INFF In New York
President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of his administration to the achievement of inclusive, broad-based and sustainable development.
The President spoke while delivering his keynote address at strategic High Level Event held on the sidelines of the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly in New York to launch Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) for Sustainable Development.
The President noted that Nigeria adopted the INFF as a tool to improve the financing of SDGs without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals; and the United Nation Development Programme for working together to develop Nigeria’s INFF in a process which started in 2020.
“Today’s event marks the end of a long process which began in 2020, when the Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework were inaugurated.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) has been developed to map out a much-needed sustainable financing plan for Nigeria to deliver on our commitment to the SDGs and our National Development aspirations,” the President said.
He further noted that as part of its commitment to sustainable and inclusive development, his administration aligned its 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP); the 2020 Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP); the 2021 National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS); and the 2021-2025 National Development Plan (NDP) with the SDGs.
“It is in line with this commitment and with a focus on the National Development Plan (2021-2025) that, the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has adopted the INFF as a tool to improve SDGs financing without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
“The INFF is backed by Nigeria’s Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. As Nigeria champions the INFF process, we hope to promote the strategic alignment of financial policies with sustainable development and provide the enabling conditions for domestic and international, public, and private financial actors to best respond to our national needs.
“I urge all Nigerians, the international community, and our development partners to recognize the importance of this integrated approach to financing development, as you continue to count on my leadership in its immediate implementation,” the President said.
Speaking earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs,Princess AdejokeOrelope-Adefulire, described the launch of the INFF report as a significant milestone in the commitment and efforts to achieve the SDGs in Nigeria.
She noted that the INFF is in line with Nigeria’s strategic approach to the implementation of the SDGs working at the National and Sub-national levels.
“At the National level, we work closely with the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to integrate the SDGs into their sectorial policies and plans. At the Sub-national level, we are working closely with the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to mainstream the SDGs into their medium and long-term development policies and plans”.
She noted that her office, with the support of UNDP, has supported 16 states to develop SDG-Based Development Plans as part of Nigeria’s Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for the agenda.
The INFF report, she added, was also another feat recorded by the country in the bid to institutionalize the SDGs, noting Nigeria was the first country in the Global South to have successfully completed a country-led Independent Evaluation of SDG-3 on ‘quality health and well-being for all’ and SDG-4 on ‘qualitative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for all’.
The two reports, she said, were officially launched on the 25th of August, 2022.
The presidential adviser noted that on the 21st of December, 2021, Nigeria became the first African country to successfully realigned its National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs, hence the country will be now be able to track progress on the 230 Key Performance Indicators of the agenda on annual basis through the National Bureau of Statistics.
Orelope-Adefulire further noted that in 2019, Nigeria successfully domesticated the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Simulation Model (iSDG Model) as a home-grown analytical tool for evidence-based SDGs policymaking and planning with the report launched on the margins of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly by the President.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) Report we are about to launch today is a product of series of efforts led by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs; and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Nigeria is now among the INFF Pilot Countries that have made significant progress by completing the design process. Indeed, this is an expression of Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
She expressed appreciation and profound gratitude to the President for accepting to launch the report as well as all the Institutional Members of the National Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s INFF for the commitment demonstrated during the design phase.
“We look forward to similar commitment during the implementation phase,” Orelope –Adefulire said while affirming the commitment of her office to continue to drive the process of achieving the SDGs in Nigeria.
“I would like to conclude by re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the successful implementation of the SDGs. We look forward to working more closely with you all in this ‘Decade of Action’ for the Global Goals, so that no ‘One is left behind’.”
In his remark, Head/Sustainable Development, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the UN, Axel Maisonneuve, said EU had also support the mobilisation of capital for an inclusive and sustainable transition, which is at the heart of an INFF, in several ways.
“For instance, we know that whilst public finance of course has a key role to play, it will not be sufficient to bridge the SDG financing gap, and private finance needs to be mobilised as well.
“In the EU, we believe in fact that sustainable finance is critical to enable private financial flows being channelled towards sustainable investments.
“The EU’s Green Deal and the Global Gateway strategies are some of the key examples of the EU efforts in this direction. Indeed, sustainable finance is part and parcel of an INFF,’’ he said.
According to him, private finance is very much part of Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework.
Maisonneuve said the INFF was designed to help the Nigerian government explore innovative financing options linking government with private sector and development partners to increase public revenue and private investments.
“Let me take this opportunity to praise Nigeria for the efforts undertaken toward the achievement of the 2030 agenda and the SDGs and for the key milestone that you have achieved.
“In September 2019, 16 countries committed to pioneer the development and implementation of INFFs, and Nigeria was among them.
“Now, Nigeria has successfully designed its INFF Strategy, and is offering a leading example for INFF progress toward a more systematic, holistic approach to achieve sustainable development objectives,’’ he said.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, and development partners.
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