Activities in Government House, last week, opened with a family Thanksgiving Service by Gov Wike and his family yesterday.
At the event which held in Salvation Ministries Headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Gov said his victory is victory for the state and urged Rivers people to see it as a mark of new beginning.
“ Nobody has won and nobody has lost the elections. But Rivers State has won.
“ I forgive anyone that has wronged me and I also ask for forgiveness from those that I have wronged “, he stated, noting that he was in the church to thank God for His faithfulness in the face of fierce political battles during the 2019 General Elections.
Another major event in Brick House last week was the fall of the Governor’s hammer on twelve local government chairmen in the state.
The twelve council chairmen were suspended and asked to handover to their deputies for failing to attend a state function Wednesday in Government House.
The Governor’s big stick is coming on the heels of his warning to those occupying positions of trust in the state that it would not be business as usual. The affected council chairmen are those of Okrika, Emohua, Abua/Odual, Degema, Khana, Gokana, and Ahoada East
Others are: Ikwerre, Eleme, Andoni, Omuma and Ogu/Bolo.
Wike notified the Rivers State House of Assembly of the suspension of the chairmen through a letter to the Speaker of the House with the title ‘ Notice of Suspension of Twelve Local Government Council’, and premised his action on Section 64 (3) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.
Wike has set up a 233- member committee to organise the fourth Anniversary Thanksgiving Service of his First term and inauguration of his second term.
The Committee which is headed by the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Okpara was charged by the Governor to see it as opportunity to render service to the state.
Okpara who thanked the Governor for considering the appointees worthy assured that they would organise standard event that would make the state and Nigeria happy, stressing that Gov Wike’s administration deserves to be celebrated.
Wike, last week, vowed the readiness of the state government to frontally tackle cult-related violence and killings in some parts of the state.
Speaking at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Monday when the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers paid him a congratulatory visit on his reelection, Wike said his administration would take the fight to the cultists.
He appealed to the traditional rulers to partner the state government in the fight to make the state peaceful and attract investors.
Later same day, the Governor played host to the principal officers and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who also paid him a congratulatory visit over his reelection victory.
The Governor urged them to recommit and rededicate themselves to service to the people of the state. He also advised members to refrain from lobbying for positions and let the leadership of the party consider who occupies which positions.
He said: “If you know what we passed through, the victory must humble everybody. Recommit and rededicate yourselves to service to the people”.
Another major event last week in Government House was the presentation of Certificate of Return to Gov Wike by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The National Commissioner in charge of Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo States, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu who represented Chairman of INEC, presented the certificate of return to the Rivers State Governor.
The Deputy Governor, Dr lpalibo Harry Banigo and elected House of Assembly members also received their certificates of return.
Yiaga Africa Blames Govt For Voters’ Apathy
Independent election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has expressed worry that increasing voters’ apathy as witnessed in the Anambra governorship election may not have been caused by insecurity but increasing loss of confidence in government.
A board member of the group, Ezenwa Nwagwu held the view in Awka during a post-election reflection meeting with leaders of Civil Society Organizations.
Nwagwu reiterated that the ugly trend was not necessarily occasioned by insecurity that had always heralded elections in the past, but growing disconnect between the government and the masses, saying it is time populace held government to account to bridge the gap.
He said: “Election is over. Now we have to watch governance and the only way to do that is to clearly design pathways through which we can hold the government accountable.
“One of the ways is for the citizens to engage the government with budget process. Government every year estimates what it uses the people’s resources to do for them.
“Unfortunately, the people involved don’t show any interest, and four years later, the same people will start complaining that government has failed, even when there was nothing to track.
“We need to see how the Media and Civil Society groups can collaborate and produce what I call a citizen charter demand that they can hand over to the new Governor-elect.
“They can liaise with other professional bodies to conduct infrastructural assessment in the state and use that as a document to organize a town-hall meeting to engage government officials.”
Nwagwu also identified what he termed “fear and complaint industries” as major impediments to the growth and development of the state, insisting that the two factors must be shut to enable people of the state enjoy democracy dividends.
He added: “We need to close up the two industries of fear and complaint that have gripped the state, especially after the election so people can leverage the benefits of governance.
“If we continue with this scare-mongering and complaints, we will only succeed in having few persons taking over the government and dictating the pace.”
CVR: Fresh Registrations Hit 4.2m
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that fresh registration in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 4,297,494.
The commission disclosed this in the second quarter, week seven, weekly update released by the commission in Abuja recently.
The commission said that as at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 22, 1,856,771 persons have completed their online and physical registration.
According to statistics provided by the commission, 1,856,771 persons who completed their registration, include 941,098 males, 915,673 females.
It also added that 741,183 persons completed their registration online, while 1,115,588 completed it through physical registration.
Saraki Visits Benue Over Presidential Ambition
A former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has visited Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over his ambition to vie for President in 2023.
Saraki, after a close door meeting with Governor Ortom, also met with the State Working Committee members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to familiarise them with his intention to kick start consultations for his ambition to rule the country.
He said that the nationwide defection of party loyalists from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP was an indication that there might not be anyone left in the party before the next election.
“A party that cannot organise its affairs has no business leading this country. A party that has organised its affairs is ready in leading this country and that is the PDP,” he said.
Saraki added that the North Central Zone has paid its dues by working so hard in keeping the country together as one united entity just as he pointed out that, “this time we must stand for our own and charity begins at home.”
The ex -senate president, who was accompanied on the visit by former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, former National Chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje, Senator Suleiman Adokwe and Prof Iyorwuese Hagher, Chairman of Council, Saraki for President Campaign, thanked the Benue governor for standing out for the zone.
Earlier, Governor Ortom, eulogised Saraki for being one of those Nigerians that had contributed immensely to the development of democracy.
Ortom said it was time to rescue the country from bottom, a position it was placed by the APC government, to the top, adding that Saraki deserves the presidential seat to enable him salvage the country from its current mess.
On his part, the State Chairman of the PDP, Sir John Ngbede, represented by his deputy, Isaac Mfo, said the party in the state had remained intact even as he assured the presidential hopeful that they would back his ambition to rule the country.
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