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Rivers PDP Blasts APC For Using Chiefs, Others To Mislead Nigerians …Says Novice Can’t Be Rivers Gov …We Don’t Take Orders From Anybody, INEC Tells APC

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The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on Transportation Minister, and factional leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to stop daydreaming about the governorship of Rivers State as no amount of propaganda and recruiting of hirelings dressed in chiefs or elders’ attire to look respectable can hides their childish inclination and pecuniary interest for the job.
The PDP also advised the APC and AAC to stop daydreaming about governing the state for a third-term by plotting to foist a neophyte to administer the people, stressing that Rivers people have already made their choice.
The state Chairman of PDP, Bro. Felix Obuah, in a statement, stated this following a poorly concocted footage purportedly proclaiming the Action Alliance Congress (AAC) Governorship Candidate, Engineer Awara Biokpomabo as ‘winner’ of the March 9, 2019 Governorship election in the state, and described the video with imaginary figures, as highly malicious and an embarrassment to Rivers people.
The statement, issued in Port Harcourt, and signed by Obuah’s media aide, Jerry Needam, yesterday, said the video footage would achieve nothing but only embarrass its sponsors and producers.
Obuah said Rivers people cannot be deceived by the APC-sponsored footage as it was very obvious that all the characters featured in the video were not people of the state.
He said it was obvious looking at the malicious content of the footage; it was clearly intended to insult the sensibility of Rivers people, adding that the sponsors had failed on arrival as they were embarking on what he called a voyage of discovery.
Obuah added that the footage with fictitious figures, which featured the minister addressing a crowd, was made to look as if it had something to do with AAC, whereas it was actually clips from 2014 APC campaign and the ill-fated Presidential rally of the APC at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in November, 2018.
“Amaechi and his AAC fantasy are only deceiving themselves. You can see that the event featured in that video took place last year when Amaechi had yet no inkling of what lay ahead for the APC in the state.
“In their stupidity, they made the video look as if it was a crowd of AAC supporters living in the fantasy of producing a governor. This is but the height of political 419”, Obuah said.
The state PDP boss advised the APC, which was delisted from the ballot in Rivers State by the INEC, to put its house in order and stop interfering with the electoral process in the state.
“I think that what is sensible for APC to do rather than dissipating energy to brew crisis in the state, should be to channel those energies into putting their house in order and prepare ahead of elections in 2023”, Obuah said.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it would not remove its Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Obo Effanga, saying that it does not take directive from anybody.
INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, stated this while responding to an enquiry from newsmen, last Monday.
Among other demands, the spokesman for the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, had in a statement, last Sunday, said the redeployment of Effanga became necessary to prevent him from skewing the forthcoming supplementary elections in favour of the opposition.
He had alleged that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, through Effanga, engaged the PDP card-carrying members as local government area collation officers in the last poll and was capable of repeating same in the forthcoming elections.
But when asked if the commission would accede to the demands of the APC, Osaze-Uzzi, said it was the prerogative of the commission to move resident electoral commissioners.
He said, “We have been hearing that for a long time, it is not new. Did we change the REC in Akwa Ibom? The prerogative of moving RECs is that of the commission. INEC doesn’t take directive from anybody. If the commission sees the need to move anybody, at the appropriate time, it will do that and if there is no need, it will keep them where they are.
“It is the complete prerogative of the commission; if and when the need arises, we will make the necessary adjustments. So, we don’t take dictation or pleas from external groups, more so principal players in the game.”
The commission had suspended the collation of the results of governorship and the House of Assembly elections in Rivers State due to violence and disruption of the electoral process.
In a related development, ahead of today’s meeting of stakeholders to decide the way forward in the completion of all activities in the electoral processes in Rivers State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a group, Coalition of Rivers State Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), yesterday, asked the electoral umpire to release the names of the 17 local government areas whose results had been declared collated.
It would be recalled that INEC, in a statement, last weekend, while announcing the report of its Fact-Finding team sent to Rivers State, had revealed that the outcome of the process had already been declared in 17 out of the 23 local government areas in the state before it announced the suspension of the process on March 10.
But rising from a meeting, the coalition of Rivers NGOs, which claimed to be an amalgamation of both indigenous and other NGOs in Rivers State, said INEC should be transparent enough to unveil names of the 17 local councils to inspire the confidence of the electorate, the political actors in Rivers and entire Nigerians in the electoral process in the state.

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana & Dennis Naku

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Make Laws To Advance Nigeria, Not Selves, Fubara Tells NASS …Seeks Concerns Of Women, Issues In Difficult Terrains Addressed

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has challenged the National Assembly Joint Committee on Electoral Matters to focus on amendments that contribute to improving the electoral process in the country for good of society and not to advance individual gains.
The Governor maintained that any legislation targeting to empower or undo particular individual(s) is misplaced, and urged the lawmakers never to pay attention to identified problems it promoted.
Governor Fubara gave the charge when he hosted a delegation of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, led by its Chairman, Senator Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli and co-Chair, Hon Adebayo Balogun, on courtesy visit to Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Governor said: “You are still working on your electoral amendment. I wouldn’t say much on that until when we see your proposal and conduct public hearing where we will make our inputs.
“But, legislate in such a way and manner, knowing full well that tomorrow, you will also sit here (executive). So, don’t do it because you are on the other side. And you say, maybe, let it be at the disadvantage of the people sitting here.
“Do your legislation in such a way and manner that when you sit here, those laws that are made can also apply to you, and you will sit and say, yes, I did the right thing.”
Governor Fubara noted that Nigeria is in a very trying time, and needed to be careful not to make costly mistakes that would erase any good work that has been done in the minds of the people to necessitate a fresh start.
The Governor explained that the level of political awareness and the drive among the people to be involved in the political process is higher now than it was about 20 years ago, and urged the lawmakers to be more sensitive to the realities of the times.
Governor Fubara said: “Everybody now understands that political involvement is the key to a better and developed state. Everybody wants to be part of the system, from the local government to the state and to the Federal Government.
“So, I am happy that we are doing this at this time; and not just doing this but taking the most critical aspect of the election: women. If we are talking about election, it is not the men, the true votes that are counted in elections are women and youths.
“So, taking up this very delicate and sensitive subject to addressing the situation at this time, I think the National Assembly is trying to understand and to feel the pulse of our people.”
Governor Fubara particularly noted how difficult it is to conduct elections in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, and Ondo states because most of the communities are riverine and could take more than two days journey to access them on sea amidst the scare of being kidnapped or suffer boat mishap.
Governor Fubara applauded the committee for the courage to take on such sensitive task of embarking on sensitisation of the people and engaging with them on best way to ensure that they enjoyed greater safety during elections.
He said, “I believe that after this committee’s sensitization programme that you are doing, it is going to help us have a framework that will help us get an amendment that will protect the interest of the women, protect elections in difficult terrains.
“Because most times, when elections are conducted, we will wait two days or more before results from different areas will come in. And when they come, at times, these results decide the total picture of the election.
“Considering this now, I believe that you will come out, work out something that will help us solve this difficult problem.
“But, most importantly, to encourage women, give them opportunity more than the 35 percent Affirmative Action, and something that will give them assurance that they should be part of this process.”
Governor Fubara said his administration understands the importance of opportunities when given and what it means to give people opportunities to actualise their aspirations.
The Governor, therefore, assured that whatever the recommendations they make, if they make it public, the Rivers State will be one of the states that will first implement them.
He added, “But, most importantly, we want you to be our ambassadors. You are a visitor to Rivers State today. You have seen us. When you go back, you should also tell them that it is not really those things that you are hearing. Tell them that Rivers State is organised. Tell them that Rivers State is focused, and the leadership is purposeful for the people.”
In his address, the Chairman, National Assembly Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, Senator Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, said they are in the State for what he described as the second in the series of zonal engagements of the people on the proposed amendment to the Electoral Act, 2022.
Senator Alli stated that there is no doubting the fact that Nigeria has never had an Electoral Act that is as good as the one of 2022, but noted that as soon as the 2023 elections were over, flaws were noticed that needed to be addressed.
He said, “And, I must say without being inmodest, that this is the first time this is happening in the history of the National Assembly. Because we felt that for us, for our people to have confidence in the electoral process, they should be involved in the lawmaking process, and we have decided to go round.”
Senator Alli further said: “About two months ago, we were at Ibadan to talk to the youths and the traditional institutions. Today, we came in here, and it is continuing tomorrow to talk about the issues of legislation: the women and elections in difficult terrains.
“We put this because, apart from the issues of the women and the youths; the South-South, because of the topography of the place (region), it is one of the most difficult terrains we are having difficulties in conducting elections in Nigeria.
“And we need to let the people tell us how the challenges they are facing during elections could be ameliorated in the lawmaking process, hence our coming here,” he added.
He solicited the support of the Government and people of the State and the zone in efforts to fashion a workable electoral amendment that would address the concerns of majority, if not all Nigerians.

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Spain Puts Forward 11 Stadia To Host World Cup 2030

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The Spanish FA are reportedly set to confirm the 11 venues that will make up their end of the 2030 World Cup.
The game’s global showcase will take place in Spain, Portugal and Morocco in six years’ time with the final set to take place at Santiago Bernabéu.
But 10 more stadia are set to be put forward by RFEF by the deadline set by FIFA, according to our sources.
Games will take place in: Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastian, La Coruña, Zaragoza, Seville, Malaga and Gran Canaria, the Madrid-based sources claimed.
Neither Vigo nor Valencia, as initially planned, will be present amongst the host cities.
Madrid and Barcelona will both have two stadia present with the Santiago Bernabéu and Civitas Metropolitano in the capital and Camp Nou and Stage Front Stadium in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, FIFA has announced their summer update to the men’s world ranking list with some significant movers.
Argentina’s Copa América victory sees them keep hold of top spot, while France’s disappointing European Championship isn’t enough to dislodge them from second.
Spain are the biggest movers near the summit, rising five places to third, while Belgium drop down to sixth and Colombia enter the top 10 as a result of their run to the Copa final.
Elsewhere, Türkiye have shot up 16 places to 26th due to their Euros showing and Venezuela move from 54th to 37th as a result of their recent showings, making them the biggest overall movers.

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Tinubu Tasks Ambassadors On Enhancement Of Economic Value

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President Bola Tinubu received some ambassadors at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
President Tinubu in Abuja called for the enhancement of the economic value of bilateral relations between Nigeria and partner nations.
The president spoke when he received Letters of Credence from the Ambassadors of Portugal, Jorge Adao Martins Dos Santos; the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Biu Quoc Hung; and the State of Kuwait, Salim Khalifa Mohammed Almuzayen, at the Presidential Villa.
Tinubu expressed his appreciation for Nigeria’s long-standing relations with Portugal and the shared interest in the areas of trade and culture, as well as partnership in oil and gas, which had translated into gains for both countries.
“It is good to have you in Nigeria. I am happy you are familiar with Nigeria and the environment.
“I believe that with your presence, our bilateral relations will be further improved. I am happy you are also present in other West African countries.
“I have been informed of your economic interest in Nigeria. We need to work together for more localised productions as regards mineral deposits.
“I have an open-door policy, and you can always reach me through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and my Chief of Staff, Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila,” the president said.
To the Ambassador of Vietnam, President Tinubu said the manufacturing sector in Nigeria was ready to benefit from the automating skills and technology of the Asian country.
“Thank you for coming to work in Nigeria. We share a lot with Vietnam in terms of diversity and values.
“We really value our bilateral agreements with your country, Vietnam, especially in the area of technology. We look forward to adding more value to the partnership with you in terms of collaboration for development,” he said.
President Tinubu also thanked the ambassador of Kuwait for his country’s long-standing good relations with Nigeria and extended his appreciation to the Emir and the Crown Prince.
“I am glad we are pulling strings to enhance the value of our relationship. We are both committed to the development of our people and will explore opportunities for economic ties. I have an open-door policy so you can always reach me,” the president said.
In his response, the Ambassador of Portugal said investors from his country had a keen interest in Nigeria, and that the trade with Nigeria on gas predated the war between Russia and Ukraine, and would be sustained.
“I will work on our agreements on improving economic relations. There is no shortage of interest in the areas of development where we can be partners.
“We are one of the highest buyers of gas from Nigeria, and we remain grateful for the supplies.
“Portuguese companies are also handling the rail line construction from Kano to Niger Republic. It will be ready in two years,” the Portuguese Ambassador said.
His Vietnamese counterpart said: “Under your leadership, I see Nigeria overcoming most of her challenges and taking its place among the happiest people in the world.”
Hung added that he was in the country to strengthen relations and improve economic ties.
The Ambassador of Kuwait assured President Tinubu that he would do his best to strengthen bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of both countries.

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