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NEW Rivers: A Guaranteed Second Term

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Earlier in 2018, I had an argument with the Late Attorney-General of Rivers State, Emmanuel Aguma (SAN) on the appropriateness of a term that was used by some supporters of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. These supporters had coined the word — RENEW– to promote their belief that Governor Wike deserves a second term.
The late Attorney General, to buttress his argument that New Rivers remains apt, lifted the development blueprint and emphasised that the goal is the creation of a New Rivers State. Very correctly, he stated that Governor Wike is on the right track to re-defining Rivers State. As such, the second term should still be focused on developing a New Rivers State, which was the original intention of introducing Nyesom Ezenwo Wike into the governorship race in 2014.
The core of the New Rivers Development Blueprint was developing a new vision, new thinking and better opportunities across Rivers State. The goal was to take back Rivers State from the forces of darkness and treachery and return the state back to the people.
Indeed, the idea of a New Rivers State was to re-validate the state as the pivot for the revival of the entire South-South through purposeful leadership and execution of pro-people projects.
About three and half years down the line, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has achieved his mission in government.
The mission, as stated in the New Rivers Development Blueprint, is: “To actualise the aspirations of the people of Rivers State for a balanced development and enhanced quality of life for the present and future generations through responsive guided by the fear of God”.
Through careful investments in projects and good governance, Governor Wike has turned the fortunes of Rivers State. He has changed the story of Rivers State and made it the centre of development in the country.
Key projects in the areas of administration of justice, healthcare delivery, security, education, road infrastructure, women development, youth and women empowerment, sports development and provision of water have transformed the state. The people now feel the impact of good governance.
Governor Wike has justified his first term in office. He has lifted Rivers State above her peers and attracted respect across the globe for the state. Governor Wike is now Nigeria’s best performing governor.
In place is the foundation of a New Rivers State. The beauty of good governance backed by the support of the vast majority of the people.
There is no part of the state where the outstanding governance qualities of Governor Wike has not been felt. In Opobo, for the first time, the people are driving into the Ancient Island. In Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Governor Wike has reclaimed lands and expanded economic opportunities for the people. In Degema, the Zonal Hospital, a tertiary health facility is getting set for use. In Akuku-Toru, Nyemoni Grammar School has been commissioned while the Abonnema Ring Road is nearing completion.
The story is the same in Ogoni-land as the dualisation of the Sakpenwa-Bori Road is the greatest gift to the people since 1960. This is followed by the reconstruction of the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori and several other educational projects across Ogoni communities.
In Etche, Governor Wike has given the people a sense of belonging, reintegrating them to the mainstream of Rivers Development. Before the coming of Wike, Etche could only be accessed through Abia and Imo States. The story is now different. Governor Wike started with the Igwuruta-Chokocho Road before delving into Chokocho-Umuechem-Ozuzu Road and Chokocho -Igbo-Etche-Rumuokurushi Inter- Change commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
It was the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu that commissioned Ulakwo II-Afara-Nihi Road while the 16 kilometre Umueze -Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke- Umunju- Umuellechi-Eberi Road in Omuma Local Government Area and Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road in Etche Local Government Area are under construction.
Governor Wike has opened up Etche with the promise to do more in his second term. The economy of Etche has picked up and several projects are ongoing in the areas of health and education.
The people of Orashi region are also feeling the direct impact of good governance and coordinated leadership.
Governor Wike rolled out 10 Internal Roads in Omoku, while the Shore Protection project in five Ndoni communities is nearing completion.
The construction of the General Hospital, Omoku and the dualisation of the Omoku-Egbema Road in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state have reached advanced stage.
The state government has located two faculties of the Rivers State University in Ahoada Local Government Area, while the Western Ahoada County High School has been reconstructed. There is the ongoing construction of three major roads in Ahoada West Local Government Area alongside the construction of Model Primary Healthcare Centre, Odiokwu, Ahoada West Local Government Area.
In Abua, the Rivers State Governor has reconstructed and equipped the General Hospital, Abua. Many basic and senior secondary schools in the area have also been reconstructed to boost education.
The list of projects in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas is endless. Governor Wike has transformed the capital city and its environment.
This is an administration with a holistic approach to governance. Every section is carried along.
Presenting the 2019 Budget, Governor Wike said: “There is no local government area we have not reached; no State or Federal Constituency we have not touched; and no Senatorial District we have not positively affected with our development policies, programmes and projects.
“In the areas of urban renewal and rural development, we have constructed and reconstructed several roads in Port Harcourt City, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Omoku, Elele, Isiokpo, Okochiri, Ogbunabali, and Amadi-Ama communities. The numerous roads and other social amenities, including water, electricity, jetties, land reclamation we have provided are boosting socio-economic activities and improving the wellbeing of our people in several of our rustic and hitherto neglected communities across the State”.
Governor Wike has used his first term to address the developmental challenges created for Rivers State by the immediate past failed Amaechi administration.
Governor Wike told Rivers Lawmakers: “When we came in three and half years ago, we met a State that was literarily on its knees: physically battered, economically raped and psychologically traumatised, but we came in with a clear vision and mission: a vision to repair and renew the promise of our State; a mission to pull our people from the cesspool of despair and restore our hopes for brighter future.
” Three and half years after, we have substantially achieved our commitments on all directions of human advancement”.
For Rivers people, the decision has been made. Governor Wike will be re-elected in March 2019 to consolidate on the gains of his first term.
The reason why Governor Wike was elected in the first place was because of the extreme looting of Rivers resources by Amaechi and the destruction of the fundamentals of Niger Delta unity by the immediate past Rivers State Governor. The overwhelming mandate bestowed on Governor Wike was a message to the failed Amaechi that nobody derides his people successfully.
While Amaechi blabs about PDP destroying Nigeria for 16 years, he plays the Ostrich about his heinous crime against Rivers people by squandering N3trillion of Rivers resources and selling valued state assets to his business partner.
In 2015, Amaechi preached ethnicity and planned to foist his godson on Rivers State to elongate his regime of resource-theft. The people stood firm and voted Governor Wike. They declared that the dichotomy that Amaechi preached was irrelevant in the face of the need to revive Rivers State.
With the full process of revival on course under Governor Wike , nobody will touch Amaechi’s business partner with a long pole. There is no resident of Rivers State who would want a resumption of the Amaechi’s years of fraud, sale of state assets and squander-mania.
Governor Wike’s second term is guaranteed. It is the decision of the people. Their endorsements have come from the 23 local government areas. They have chosen a lover of Rivers State over a petty trader who betrays his people at the slightest opportunity.
The progress of Rivers State lies in the continuation of the construction of a New Rivers State. This process cannot be disrupted by crooks who thrive in propaganda, but lack the capacity to deliver when given the opportunity.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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Obi: You Can’t Speak For Afenifere, Tinubu Campaign Slams Adebanjo

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The All Progressives Congress APC Presidential Campaign Council has slammed Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo for attempting to turn the pan-Yoruba sociocultural association into his personal estate and using same to canvass support for the Labour Party LP presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Mr Bayo Onanuga in a statement on Saturday titled “Our Reaction to Baba Ayo Adebanjo and his new Ohanifere Venture”, said “Papa Adebanjo does not speak for Afenifere”.
According to the council, Pa Adebanjo is free as an individual to support anyone he likes, in furtherance of his democratic rights.
“We know for a fact that Baba has turned Afenifere into his personal estate as Acting Leader. We are also certain that there was nowhere Afenifere, as we know it, met and took a decision to adopt Mr. Peter Obi as a candidate for 2023 presidential election.
“We respect the age of Baba Adebanjo but he can not turn Afenifere into his personal franchise for any political alliance.
“We are very much aware that Baba Reuben Fasoranti, the real leader of Afenifere had stated clearly that Pa Adebanjo has always been speaking for himself on many national issues using the name of the group.
“It is our well considered position that Pa Adebanjo cannot appropriate Afenifere. Baba is just an individual who is free to support any politician of his choice. As an individual, he cannot equate himself with the socio-cultural and socio-political organisation”, the council stated.

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2023 Polls: IPC Begins Training Of Media Monitors

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The International Press Council (IPC), last Friday began the training of 12 Media monitors in Lagos to prepare them for the monitoring of the coverage and reportage of the electoral processes and the 2023 elections by the print and online media.
The essence of the 18-month monitoring that will commence on October 1, 2023, is to assess the level of compliance with professional and ethical standards by newspapers, including online ones, being selected for the exercise.
Among others, the monitoring will be done within the context of the expectation of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, which spells out the responsibilities expected of journalists and other media professionals at elections.
The Media Election Code was endorsed by umbrella media professional bodies and associations, and close to 300 individual media outlets in 2018.
It enumerates what journalists and media management should do to ensure social responsibility and integrity; equitable access for parties and candidates; media access for disadvantaged groups including women, persons with disability and youths; conflict sensitivity and the avoidance of hate speech.
The training of the monitors is one of the activities under component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria-Phase 2 (EUSDGN II) project, being implemented by IPC, along with its partner, the Institute for Media and Society.
The overall goal of the media component is to “Support the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria with the media (broadcast, print and online media) helping to facilitate the key ingredient of credible elections through engagement and professionalism in coverage and reportage of the electoral processes.”
The specific objective is to ensure that, “The Media, including New and Social Media, provides fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of the Electoral Process.”
The two-day training , the first day of which was facilitated by Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Mr. Sanmi Falobi, Project Manager of IPC, aimed to build the skill of the monitors on the processes and methodologies of media monitoring.
“Against the background of the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation especially by political actors, all we are seeking to achieve is for the Nigerian media to contribute to the credibility of electoral information before, during and after the 2023 elections”, said the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade.

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2023: ‘Same-Faith Ticket, Blunder Laced With Hidden Agenda’

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The Christian Awareness Initiative of Nigeria, CAIN, last Saturday night, said no amount of blackmail would stop a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and an erstwhile Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, from publicly condemning the decision of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for fielding a same-faith presidential ticket.
The Spokesman of CAIN, Yusuf Kanhu, who said this in a statement he personally signed accused supporters of the APC of hiring mercenaries to tarnish the image of the duo.
Kanhu in the statement made available to journalists in Abuja described the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC as a “blunder”laced with “hidden agenda”
He explained: “The decision by Nigerian Christians through the umbrella Association to reject the same faith ticket was not against any particular party but advice to all political parties. Sadly the presidential candidate of APC ignored the advice and picked his vice from the same faith.
“The Christian Umbrella body came out in the first place to reject the idea and challenge Christians in APC to tell their party and Candidate to do what is right and good for the unity of the country.
“Hon Yakubu Dogara and Babachir Lawal respected the call of their leaders and proved that they are not going to betray the position of CAN just to satisfy their belle.
“Interestingly, the APC candidate and some of his supporters instead of making an honest effort to convince Christians and especially those Christians in their party about the reason for their action have chosen to recruit faceless people and are creating unknown groups with funny names to castigate the Christian body and the courageous Christians from their party that are telling them the danger and implication of their ill advised decision.
“We wish to inform the APC candidate that blackmail will not stop Dogara, Babachir, and others from telling them the truth.
“Nigerian Christians know the difference between fake Christian groups from genuine groups such as Northern Christians Youth Initiative with her faceless coordinator Hon. Mike Msuaan Msuaan.
“We can go on to name many hungry people who have not attended any church service in the last 10 years but are cashing on the desperation of the APC candidate to show that he has Christians’ support to start none existing Christian groups to enable them to get their share of the cake in circulation.
“The church in Nigeria and especially in the North knows the voices and names of their genuine leaders fighting for justice which is different from the newly born and newly introduced names that are only speaking to get money from their sponsors.
“Sponsoring fake people and groups to insult others will not correct your big blunder and will only make more Christians accept the fact that the decision has a hidden agenda.”

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