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Police Recover Senate Mace Under Bridge …National Disgrace -NAPS …Sack Service Chiefs Now -Enugu Lawmakers … Senate Summons IGP,DG DSS

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The Senate has confirmed receipt of the snatched mace, which was recovered and returned by the police.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, made the confirmation in his opening address at the plenary, yesterday.
Ekweremadu said the Senate would insist on the arrest and prosecution of the suspects, saying that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, would be invited to brief the lawmakers next week on their investigation of the crime.
The Deputy Senate President wondered how the thugs crossed the gates, beat the security operatives on duty, and successfully made away with the mace.
However, there is a huge presence of security operatives in and around the National Assembly Complex, yesterday, following the invasion of the Senate chamber with snatching of the mace by thugs, last Wednesday.
Apart from the presence of more policemen, soldiers were also deployed to guard the premises.
The sergeants-at-arms also conducted stricter checks on workers and guests going in.
Some soldiers and policemen stationed at the lobby adjoining the Senate and House of Representatives’ chambersý had a brief argument over their responsibilities in the protection of the area.
The Divisional Police Officer of the National Assembly Division, Mr. A Sulu-Gambari, however, intervened in the matter and resolved the conflict.
The lobby was later cordoned off.
Earlier, the Nigerian police have returned the mace stolen by some hoodlums from the Senate on Wednesday.
The mace which was recovered by the police later, last Wednesday, after it was abandoned by the hoodlums, was brought back by the DIG operations, Joshak Habila.
He handed it over to the chief security officer of the National Assembly, who then passed it to the Sergeant-at-Arms.
The mace has been taken into the chambers, said media adviser to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu,.
It was learnt that the hoodlums who sensationally stole the Senate mace, last Wednesday, abandoned it under the flyover before the Abuja City Gate, the police said early yesterday.
The police said they were informed by a passerby, who saw it and alerted them, leading to its recovery.
The police said they were still in pursuit of the mace thieves and would ensure that they are brought to justice.
“While a discreet investigation into the incident is still ongoing to arrest and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Nigeria Police Force appreciates the spirited members of the public, most especially motorists within Abuja Metropolis for their support, cooperation and timely information during the rigorous stop and search operations for the recovery of the mace,” said the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Aremu Adeniran.
Adeniran’s statement mentioned the efforts by the police teams, prior to the recovery of the mace.
“IGP Ibrahim Idris immediately instituted a high-powered Police Investigation and Intelligence Team coordinated by the IGP Monitoring Unit of the Force and further directed a total lock-down of the Federal Capital Territory with intense surveillance patrol and thorough Stop and Search Operations at various Police check-points with a view to arresting perpetrators and possible recovery of the stolen mace.
“The Police teams engaged in massive raids of identified criminal spots/flashpoints, stop and search operations, visibility and confidence building patrols, intelligence gathering which forced the suspected miscreants to abandon the Mace at a point under the flyover before the City Gate, where a patriotic passer-by saw it and alerted the Police”.
Meanwhile, the embattled Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has denied having anything to do with last Wednesday’s invasion of the senate chambers and the removal of the mace.
The senator representing Delta Central has also been released by the police.
The Senate Chamber was, last Wednesday, invaded by some persons who made away with the mace.
Shortly after the mace was stolen, the Senate accused Omo-Agege of sending thugs to steal the mace.
But Omo-Agege, in his reaction, denied involvement in the theft of the mace.
He said he has also left police custody.
A statement by a legal practitioner for the office of the senator, Mr. Lucky Ajokperniovo, said that he only went to the Red Chamber, last Wednesday, to resume work and sit for plenary.
He added that he was only invited by the police to speak about his perspective on the incident.
“We are aware of several media reports suggesting that Senator Omo-Agege personally removed or encouraged anyone to remove the mace of the Senate. This weighty allegation is not true at all.
“Following the said media reports on the mace issue, the police authorities decided to hear from Senator Omo-Agege.
He has told the Police his perspective to help them carry out a proper investigation. He has since left the Police.
Senator Omo-Agege trusts them to thoroughly investigate this very serious matter,” the statement read in part.
Omo-Agege also reacted to the statement by the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Abdullahi Sabi accusing him of leading the hoodlums to cart away the mace.
Omo-Agege described the allegation as ‘very serious’.
“We are carefully studying Senator Sabi’s allegations to ascertain their full ramifications.
Appropriate responses will follow, as may be necessary,” Omo-Agege’s statement read.
The mace which is the symbol of authority of the Senate was on Wednesday, snatched by some unidentified men.
The men barged into the Chamber of the Senate; during plenary, pushed away the Sergeant-at-Arms positioned at the entrance and carted away the mace.
The drama coincided with the protest at the National Assembly against the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, APC -Delta Central.
Spokesperson of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, accused Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of masterminding the snatching of the mace.
He described the action as an attempt to overthrow an arm of government, and insisted it amounted to treason.
Meanwhile,the leadership of National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) has condemned in strong terms, the show of shame at the National Assembly where unknown men invaded the Senate and made away with the Mace.
The students’ body described the act as a national disgrace, stating that they (Senate) has “successfully depressed, disappointed and discouraged millions of Nigeria students.”
NAPS queried the presence of a suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege at the plenary just before the Mace snatching incident, they charged the government to revisit the entire security personnel deployed to the Senate Chamber.
While speaking with our correspondent, the President, Comrade Mohammed Eneji and the Public Relations Officer of the association, Comrade Ijaduoye Olasukanmi said: “As Nigerians, we are shocked to hear the incident at the Senate on Wednesday that some thugs invaded the Senate chamber during plenary at 11.30am and made away with the mace.
“How could that happen? It’s is with great shock that just 3 men could invade the Senate Chamber, disrupt the plenary and take away the sign of authority which is called the mace.
“Professor Wole Soyinka once described his generation as a frustrated and wasted one, the set of senators in the Nigerian Senate fall under the same generation with him”.
We are having more reason to believe that the Legislative arm of the government is a waste of time, money and resources.
“NAPS as a body refuse to regard the 109 senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as leaders, mentors or personality to look up to if they continue like this. We watched the video carefully; we analysed it and came to a conclusion that we do not have leaders in the Senate but cabals.
The students’ leaders added that “We once again call on the Federal Government to revisit its security architecture across the country. Well, thugs’ invasion is our gain from a government who couldn’t invest in education and budgeted less than 10 per cent on education. Yesterday’s incident was evidence that whatever module the government is using has only brought negative change to the country.
“It is unfortunate that the entire security personnel deployed to Senate Chamber have become spectators who allow thugs to operate with so much confidence and efficiency. This is the lowest we can ever go as a country,” they said.
Similarly, the Enugu State House of Assembly, yesterday, demanded the immediate sack of all Service Chiefs in Nigeria.
Our correspondent reports that the lawmakers made the demand at plenary where they unanimously condemned the invasion of the Senate chambers, Wednesday, by thugs who took away the mace.
They said all heads of security agencies should be sacked because of laxity in security, not only in the Senate but the entire nation.
The legislators came under a motion of public importance brought before the plenary on the floor of the House by the member representing Ezeaugu Constituency, Hon. Chima Obieze, supported by four other members, urging the House to pass a resolution condemning the act.
They called on other houses of assembly in Nigeria to follow suit and condemn the act, which was viewed as a slap on democracy.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Edward Ubosi while thanking his colleagues for their contribution to the motion, said that what happened was a big disgrace to the nation and called on Mr. President to effect change in the security chiefs who he passed vote of no confidence on.
“I want to thank my colleagues for their contributions. What happened is a disgrace to the nation.”
“As far as I am concerned, the security heads are not performing. The President should try some other people,” he averred and lamented that democracy seemed to be at variance with anarchy.
“There is a serious war between democracy and anarchy in the land,” he said.
Ubosi expressed fears that as things stood in Nigeria, using votes to change a government might not be possible because insecurity was capable of jeopardising democracy.
Mover of the motion, Hon. Obieze, while presenting the motion, had expressed similar fears that if what was appening now was not roundly condemned by all, Nigeria might be heading for disintegation.
“Mr. Speaker, the ship of the state called Nigeria is heading towards the rock and if we, elected lawmakers, as crusaders of democracy refuse to fight for our dear country, then I am afraid darker days may just be ahead of us,” he stated.
Making her own contribution, Hon. Lydia Nkechi-Omeje Ogbu representing Nsukka West, likened what happened at the Senate and what was happening in Nigeria to a war situation.
She lamented that IDPs camps were growing by the day.
“I am highly concerned about what happened yesterday. I am a woman and we women and children suffer a lot when there is trouble in the land. We are at war. There are IDPs everywhere. People are killed in Taraba, Benue, Borno, etc.
“Since this government came to power, there has been lawlessness in the land. The service chiefs should not be concentrated in one section of the land,” she noted.

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Vote Against Candidates In Support Of Naira Redesign Policy Implementation -Wike …Challenges Sekibo To Disclose Why Obasanjo Sacked Him As Minister

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians not to vote for any candidate that supports the way the currency redesign policy is being implemented, in the forthcoming election.
Governor Wike spoke at Opobo Town Sandfield during the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign flag-off rally for Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area at the weekend.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, explained that such candidate is an enemy of Nigerians, who are already plunged into inexplicable economic hardship with nonavailability of both the old and new Naira notes to enable them buy food for their households and fuel for their cars.
Governor Wike said he is convinced that President Muhammadu Buhari, who may not have been properly briefed on the hardship the Naira swap is causing Nigerians, is already getting feedback on the ill advised policy and will review the implementation.
“Anybody who claims he loves Nigeria and is contesting election but is supporting this CBN policy. Will you people vote for such person? It is only the enemies of Nigeria that are supporting this anti-people policy. I believe President Muhammadu Buhari was not properly briefed about this policy”, he said.
Governor Wike insisted that the policy is being implemented to provoke the civil populace into embarking on public protests that could be used as an excuse to postpone the forthcoming election.
The governor pointed out that there is a cabal behind the policy implementation who are pushing to install an interim government, thereby prevent Nigerians from using their Permanent Voters Cards to determine their next leaders.
“The primary target of this policy is to provoke Nigerians to embark on civil disturbance which they will capitalise on to say they cannot conduct election and push for enthronement of an interim government. No matter the provocation, I urge everyone to be calm. This election must hold because nothing will stop an Opobo man to become governor”, he vowed.
Wike challenged the former Minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo, to explain why former President Olusegun Obasanjo sacked him from his cabinet.
The governor described himself as a man of integrity who served as minister under President Goodluck Jonathan and later resigned honourably to contest governorship election and won.
He also asserted that he is not among those who had caused crisis in their local governments and has blood on their hands, daring Sekibo to also make similar assertion.
Canvassing votes for the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, Governor Wike enjoined Opobo people not to undermine the opportunity they have now to produce the next governor of the State.
He assured of signing the contract for the construction of Opobo Ring-Road, which will be completed by Fubara when he wins the election and assumes office as governor.
Governor Wike also told the electorate to deliver their votes for all PDP candidates in the state and await instructions from their leaders on the presidential candidate to cast votes for.
Sir Fubara, in his speech, restated his promise to the leadership of the party to never disappoint the confidence reposed in him to fly the party’s gubernatorial flag.
Fubara urged Opobo people to deliver their votes as an appreciation of the opportunity given to their son to become the next governor of the State.
He acknowledged the benevolence of Governor Wike in delivering road infrastructure and land reclamation projects in Opobo town, and assured that they would benefit more when he wins.
Presenting flags to PDP candidates, Chairman of the party in Rivers State, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, enjoined Opobo people to ensure that they deliver winning votes for their son and all the candidates of the party.
In his speech, Senator Adawari Pepple, expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for deeming it necessary to support their son to emerge PDP governorship candidate in the state.
Senator Pepple asserted that a true Opobo citizen is a loyal person and that Fubara will not disappoint the confidence reposed in him.
He assured that the entire Opobo people would follow Governor Wike wherever he goes and vote as he directs.
Dr. Sam Jaja acknowledged that Governor Wike has used his position to give prominence to an Ijaw son of Ibani extraction.
According to him, they have resolved that their votes will be wholesomely delivered for the PDP governorship candidate and the entire consolidation team.
Speaking on behalf of the candidates, Senator Barinada Mpegi, said the entire Rivers South East Senatorial District is fully ready to vote massively for all PDP candidates in the state.
Earlier, Governor Wike, Fubara and other PDP leaders had paid a courtesy visit to the palace of His Majesty, King (Dr.) Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Jeki V, Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom.
The King, in appreciation of the governor’s benevolence to the Opobo kingdom, conferred on him ‘Amafurotuo’ which means son of Opobo.

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Implementation Of New Naira Policy Is Anti-People, Wike Tells Buhari …Insists Cabal In Presidency Backing Atiku

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider the manner with which the currency redesign policy is being implemented because it is anti-people.
Governor Wike maintained that those who recommended this apparently anti-people monetary policy do not love the President and are bent on tarnishing his legacies.
The governor stated this at the Comprehensive Secondary School field, Ibaka Town, Okrika Island, during the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Flag-off Rally for Okrika Local Government Area, last Friday.
Governor Wike, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, urged President Buhari to take a critical look at the socio-economic chaos and hardship that the exercise has caused, and revisit the policy in order to curb the pains of Nigerians.
According to him, “This policy is anti-people. The new Naira note is not there. Even though I have money in my account, I cannot get N10,000. I cannot go and buy fuel. Who is losing? Is it not the masses? Is it not the people?”
He advised the President to stop listening to those who advise him on this monetary policy under the guise that it will curb vote buying, saying those advisors do not mean well for Nigerians and cannot feel their sufferings.
Governor Wike also dismissed the claim that the policy is being implemented to fight politicians and corruption, and wondered if such goals can be achieved within the remaining three months of President Buhari’s administration.
“You’re merely fighting against the poor people. Mr President, I know the pressure, but please since two of us are going the same time, this policy, it has nothing to fight corruption at all. It has nothing to fight politicians.
“This policy is aimed to suffer the people who elected us to govern over them. Our business is not to make the people to suffer. We all know how to fight corruption. We all know how to fight politicians. This particular one, it does not come in at all”, he insisted.
Governor Wike expressed dismay that people were prevented from accessing money lodged in their bank accounts while small scale commercial activities were grounded for lack of cash.
According to him, there is reduced cash flow in circulation and even the redesigned Naira notes are hardly available to the citizenry.
“I know Mr President has good intention, but there are these people who believe they know more than everybody, they go and put the country in total chaos and that is what we are suffering now”, Wike said.
He stressed the futility of presenting credit cards to pay for food items bought from an elderly woman who depends on daily sales to raise money in the rural areas with prevailing illiteracy.
According to the governor, there is no where in the world where such currency change has been done conclusively within six months.
He said, “I have never seen anywhere in this world where you change money within six months and say no more use of old money. It doesn’t work. It takes time and you have to prepare. Look at our economy, look at the rural areas, the level of illiteracy in the country.”
Governor Wike urged President Buhari to avert aggravating the security challenge across the country and pushing Nigerians deeper into economic hardship.
“Can you imagine the problem you’re causing for us. As we are here, the level of insecurity will increase. We can’t get security agencies money any longer for them to use and pay those who are in the field. Even the CIA they carry cash for operation. Even NIA, they carry cash for operation. But here, we can’t even give our security One Million Naira.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike said recent events had vindicated him over his initial public statement that the PDP presidential candidate and his supporters boasted that they do not need the G-5 governors to win election because they had been assured of victory by a cabal in the presidency.
“I said they have been given assurance, but this election is not going to be based on that cabal assurance. It is on the people’s assurance”, he said.
Governor Wike, however, insisted that any party that does not need Rivers State will lose the election.
According to him, “whether you like it or not, you must need Rivers State. If you don’t need Rivers State you must fail. If you say you don’t want us, you’ll fail. There is no two ways about it.”
Soliciting votes for the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Sir Siminialayi Fubara and other PDP candidates, Governor Wike urged the people to vote overwhelmingly for the PDP.
He disclosed that the contract for the Okrika sandfilling project has been re-awarded because the former contractor who is their son has failed to finish the project.
Governor Wike also announced the upgrading to first class traditional stool status, confirmation and recognition of King Nelson Atubo Oputibeya as the Amanyanabo of Koniju.
Sir Fubara, in his address, said his administration, when elected as governor, would work to sustain the existing peace in Okrika, complete any ongoing project it may inherit, and provide more development projects to them.
Rivers State Chairman of the PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, who presented the party’s flags to the various candidates in the area, urged Okrika people to vote massively for the party’s candidates.
Speaking on behalf of other candidates, the Rivers East Senatorial candidate, Chief Allwell Onyesoh, thanked the leadership and members of the party for the privilege given to them to fly the party’s flag, pledging that they will provide quality representation when elected.
Earlier, Governor Wike had inaugurated a 100-Bed Mother and Child Hospital in Okrika, which was built under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the office of the presidency.
The project was nominated and attracted to the area by Hon. Bright Gogo, the House of Representatives member for Okrika and Ogu/Bolo federal constituency.
While commending Princess Adejoke Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistants on SDGs to President Buhari, for ensuring the building and equipping of the hospital, Governor Wike noted that Hon. Gogo has distinguished himself for attracting and realising the project in his constituency unlike other federal lawmakers from the state who attracted no projects.

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Rivers Electorate’ll Punish PDP National Leadership -Wike

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Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says Rivers electorates will use the forthcoming election to punish the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for abandoning them during the October and November 2022 flooding incidence.
Governor Wike made the remark yesterday at the Community Secondary School in Akinima Town during the Rivers State PDP Campaign Flag-off Rally at Ahoada West Local Government Area.
The governor explained that the flooding situation was devastating in some communities of Abua/ Odual, Ahoada West and Ahoada East Local Government Areas with houses submerged, the people displaced, and their socioeconomic life disrupted.
Wike recalled that while the period lasted, the national leadership of PDP refused to visit those communities as a way of identifying with Rivers people when it mattered most.
Governor Wike emphasised that even though the PDP national leadership refused to identify with Rivers communities, they gladly visited flood impacted communities in other States, and identified with them, which can now be interpreted that they hate Rivers State.
He said in retaliation of the hatred, and the mindset that Rivers State does not matter, the electorates will use the power of their permanent voters cards (PVCs) to “pepper” the PDP national leadership in the forthcoming election.
“You had a problem, a major problem. Ahoada West, Ahoada East, Abua-Odual, had a major flooding problem. After they’ll say we are in the same party. Is there anybody from the national of our party that came to visit Ahoada West, Ahoada East, and Abua?
“But they went to other states, which means that they don’t like us. If somebody says he doesn’t like you, will you force yourself on them?”
Speaking further, Governor Wike reassured the people of Ahoada West Local Government that his administration would deliver to them a fully reconstructed Government Secondary School, Okarki.
Governor Wike told them that the contract for the project was awarded long time ago and paid for in full, but their sons who got the contract failed to deliver on schedule.
He assured that the contract would be re-awarded and completed before his tenure ends on May 29.
Governor Wike urged the people not to allow ballot box snatchers in the area to outsmart them anymore particularly, now that the elections will be conducted electronically.
He harped on the need for massive mobilisation of the people per electoral unit, so that the voters will be aware of who to cast their votes for, and to make sure that PDP wins all the election for governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.
“What I want to advise you this time is, don’t allow those ballot box snatchers in APC to try it again. Luckily, this election is not election of snatching ballot boxes or paper. It is election that will be done electronically and transmitted electronically. All we need from you is to mobilise your people unit to unit.”
In his address, Rivers State governorship candidate of the PDP, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, noted that because of the massive development projects delivered in the area by the PDP controlled State government, the party has first right of winning the election.
Fubara, therefore, urged the people to go and collect the remainder of their PVCs at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said with the PVCs, they can confidently vote into power the PDP consolidation team that will continue to deliver to them more development projects, education infrastructure and to sustain the security experienced in the area.
Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, who presented party’s flags to candidates contesting for the various elective positions, charged the people to ensure bulk delivery of winning votes to PDP.
Rivers State Deputy governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is contesting for Rivers West Senatorial District slot, spoke on behalf of the candidates and said sequel to excellent performance of Governor Wike in office, it is given that Ahoada West is faithful supporter of PDP.
She promised that when elected, they would commit to upholding the interest of their constituents and the State at large.
Before going to the campaign venue, Governor Wike had paid a courtesy visit to the Ahoada West Local Government Traditional Rulers Council under the chairmanship of Chief Moore Maclean Ubuo, the king of Engenni kingdom, to first introduce and secure royal blessings for Sir Siminialayi Fubara, as the incoming governor of the State.

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