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‘Wike’s Olive Branch, A Plus For Governance’

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Leadership of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) in the South-South Zone has hailed Governor Nyesom Wike’s olive branch to opposition political parties in Rivers State, describing it as a good move and a plus for governance.
Chairman of the CLO, South-South Zone, Chinedu Karl Uchegbu stated this on Monday during an exclusive interview with, The Tide in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
Uchegbu expressed happiness that already some opposition parties, including the All Progressives Congress (APC) have accepted the governor’s peace moves by asking their members to support the incumbent administration to ensure that there is peace in the state; stressing the need to put Rivers State first.
According to him: “That was a very good move. That offer of olive branch is a good start and I hear that some opposition parties have started accepting the olive branch. I have it on good authority that major opposition parties are asking their members to join hands with the Governor to allow him focus and ensure peace in the state.
“It is important that they should put Rivers State first because at the end of the day the whole essence of governance is protection of lives and property and service to the people by delivering democratic dividends.
“When these are done other things will fall naturally into place. So it is a good move and we also believe that the opposition will also continue to do what is required of them by criticizing constructively to keep the government of the day on its toes.
“The whole idea is let us have a peaceful and progressive Rivers State. So I believe it (the olive branch) is a plus for the governor and for governance as well,” the South-South CLO chairman stated.
On his expectations for the Governor as he begins his second term in office, Uchegbu urged the Governor to quickly address the issue of unemployment in the state because according to him, most of the issues of insecurity stems from the lack of jobs.
“Employment is a key issue because insecurity breeds from unemployment amongst youths in Rivers State. All these insecurity problems that we have been talking about stems from joblessness; and further urged the State Government to partner the private sector to create job opportunities.
“Fine government we all know cannot employ everybody. So the State Government should consider partnering private agencies and put mechanisms in place that will boost employment and job creation in the state.
“A good example is Agriculture. The state seems to be lagging behind in the area of Agriculture. Most of the energy we see in streets engaging in crime can be channeled into more productive ventures like Agriculture.
“Rivers State can grow rice because she has the terrain. She produces oil palm and there are many other agricultural produce including fisheries that the state is known for.
“These are some areas the governor needs to quickly look into so that we can have a very good Rivers State as he prepares to kick start his second tenure,” Uchegbu explained.

 

Dennis Naku

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Yiaga Africa Blames Govt For Voters’ Apathy

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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.”

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CVR: Fresh Registrations Hit 4.2m

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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.

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Saraki Visits Benue Over Presidential Ambition 

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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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