Wike To Amaechi: My Outstanding Records Made Rivers Vote For Me …Says Minister Can’t Boast Of Project In Rivers …Denies Attempt To Bribe GOC …Declares War Against Cultism, Kidnapping
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has declared that Rivers people overwhelmingly voted for him during the 2019 governorship election because of his outstanding performance and projects delivery.
In a response to false allegations made by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi during his appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily yesterday, Governor Wike said that the former Rivers State Governor failed in his quest to truncate his second term because Rivers people are happy with his work.
He said he wouldn’t have responded to the falsehood being peddled by the Minister of Transportation, but that he owes the public the duty to set the record straight.
He said: “It is unfortunate. I extended the olive branch and I meant every word of it. It was on that basis that the State Attorney General filed a nolle prosequi to withdraw the charge against Ojukaye Flag- Amachree.
”If I did not do well in my first term, PDP wouldn’t have given me the party’s flag to fly. In 2015, the same man vowed that over his dead body would I emerge victorious.
”I have done well for my people . It is for the people of Rivers State to decide. It is not in the place of Amaechi to decide.
”We have over 6million people and over 3million registered voters. Therefore, Amaechi cannot say I cannot go for a second term. He has only one vote.
”In the past, he said an Ikwerre man cannot succeed another Ikwerre man. Today, he is saying his grouse is that I cannot go for a second term. At every step, he has one story or the other”.
Governor Wike said contrary to the story that Amaechi peddled whilst he was on Channels Television, kidnapping raged during his tenure. He said it was so bad that the State Chairman of Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission under Amaechi was kidnapped.
The Governor noted that despite the national high rate of insecurity, Rivers State is relatively peaceful, with very high ratings.
”Our internally Generated Revenue has improved due to the peace and security in the state”.
Governor Wike said that the political misfortune that befell the APC during the last general elections in Rivers State was principally due to the impunity of Amaechi .
He said: “It is because of this impunity that his party was not on the ballot. Because of this impunity, he has denied so many people their political future “.
He said that the plots by Amaechi to manipulate the Tribunal will fail like other previous plots. The Governor noted that Amaechi’s boast that he appointed the members of the tribunal and they would work for him remains one of his empty boasts.
Governor Wike said that Amaechi’s plot to use the police to illegally certify fake results as he did for Rivers East Senatorial District during the rerun elections tribunal would fail.
”The game he played in Rivers East of using the police to certify fake results will not work. During the rerun, the police certified fake results. That game will not work again. We have gone beyond that . We are waiting for the police to certify fake results for Amaechi “.
He stated that there was no way that the defeated AAC Governorship Candidate, Engr Awara would have been coasting home to victory when he neither campaigned nor printed posters.
He said: “Awara ran for the PDP councillorship in 2018 and lost. For this election, he did not campaign and never printed posters.
”Look at that kind of impunity. He brought a man that the people of Rivers State never knew three days to the election.
”The AAC had no House of Assembly candidates, they had no House of Representatives candidates and no Senate candidates for the elections. There is no way that such a party would have been coasting home to victory “.
He added that the AAC Governorship candidate couldn’t have been coasting home to victory and still approach the Federal High Court for the cancellation of the governorship election results.
On the allegation that the INEC Chairman , Prof. Mahmood Yakubu influenced the suspension of the collation process because he worked under him at the Federal Ministry of Education, the Rivers State Governor said that the position of Amaechi was baseless. He said that at the Ministry of Education, he superintended basic education, while the INEC Chairman served as TETFUND Executive Secretary under the Minister of Education. He said that the INEC Chairman was appointed by the APC-led Federal Government and since his appointment, there has been no links
Governor Wike said despite the evil machinations of the Minister of Transportation, he was unable to deliver 25 percent of votes for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019
”In 2015, as a sitting Governor, he failed to deliver 25percent of votes for President Buhari. He claimed that Jonathan helped us. In 2019, with all the security agencies, he still couldn’t deliver 25percent for President Buhari.
”He sang war songs, but couldn’t deliver 25 percent of votes for the President “, he said.
On the incident at Obio/Akpor LGA Secretariat, Governor Wike said that the GOC of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem sent soldiers to invade the Collation Centre and cart away results .
”I went there to stop the Army from carting away results from my Local Government Area “, he said.
Governor Wike said that the illegal activities of the Nigerian Army all through the governorship election were well documented by the media and the International community. He said that the videos of the Army invading the Rivers State Governorship Election Collation Centre has since gone viral.
He said that even the Rivers State Commander of F-SARs has since written him a congratulatory letter on his well deserved victory.
He said that his Administration continues to fund all security agencies in the state, including providing needed logistics. He said that the Israelis that Amaechi introduced were only used to siphon State resources .
He wondered why Amaechi finds Pleasure in de-marketing Rivers State, when the State made him Speaker, Governor and Minister of the Federal Republic.
Governor Wike said after four years as a Minister, Amaechi cannot boast of attracting a single project to Rivers State. He noted that as Minister of State for Education, he attracted several projects to the state.
He denied attempting to bribe the GOC, saying that he has never met him at any point. He said by Amaechi’s logic, it means that the Minister bribed the GOC 6 Division to subvert the electoral process.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that any kidnapper or cultist arrested by law enforcement agencies would face the full weight of the law.
Wike stated that his administration has taken steps to plug all loopholes that negate the prosecution of suspected cultists and kidnappers in the state.
He spoke at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, during a congratulatory visit by the Akuku-Toru Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs.
Wike said: “We should do well by ensuring that our children turn a new leaf. Once any cultist or kidnapper is caught, the law will be applied.
“We will apply the big stick. If any person is caught, the person should forget it. The period they go to the Ministry of Justice to stop them being charged to court is over”.
The governor said that his administration would support different communities to scale up peace efforts to discourage cultism and kidnapping.
He appealed to parents to talk to their children to shun cultism and kidnapping for the stability and development of the state.
Wike commended the Akuku-Toru Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs for working towards the enthronement of peace in the area, and approved the setting up of peace and security committee for the local government area.
He noted that peace would enhance the creation of job opportunities for the teeming youths of the state.
In his remarks, the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel congratulated the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, on his re-election.
He commended Wike for standing with the good people of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area during their time of despair after the military invasion of the area during the Presidential election.
Bob-Manuel said the people of the area have sworn that the kind of bloodletting that took place in the area during the last elections would not re-occur.
He appealed to the Rivers State governor to approve a peace and security committee for the area.
He added that the people were also working to improve employment opportunities through enhanced relationship with the private sector.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had declared war against cultism and kidnapping in the state, threatening to depose any traditional ruler in whose domain such criminalities have become prevalent.
He also declared that communities that encourage criminality would not benefit from projects’ award by the state government, adding that any ongoing projects in such communities would be stopped.
The governor stated this during a special security meeting held, last Monday, at the banquet hall of the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor lamented the negative implications of kidnapping and cultism, saying they were driving away investors from the state.
He promised to award more projects to local government areas where insecurity was not prevalent.
“But LGAs where cultism and kidnapping have become entrenched, the state government will depart.
“For communities where cultism and kidnapping are encouraged, their traditional rulers will be deposed. We will not allow crisis in our communities. If you don’t want to take the war to them, we will take the war to you”, he warned.
The security meeting had in attendance the Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel, Director, Department of State Security (DSS), Tosin Ajayi, Commander, SOG 115 Nigeria Air Force, Air Commander E.O.E. Ebiowei, Commander, NNS Pathfinder, Commodore S.J. Bura, and state Commander of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, M. L. Haruna.
Others in attendance were the local government chairmen, traditional rulers, community development committees in the state, and youth leaders.
He said all youth groups found to be involved in cultism would be dissolved by the state government, stressing that under the present dispensation, government and the people of the state would take their fate in their hands by collectively addressing the security challenges.
The governor urged stakeholders to work with security agencies in tackling issues of cultism and kidnapping, stressing that the only way to encourage investors was by ensuring that the state was safe for them and their investments.
Wike said: “Enough is enough. Nobody arrested by security agencies over cultism will see the light of the day. If you say we will not sleep, you also will not sleep”, noting that every logistics have been provided for security agencies to tackle insecurity in the state.
He warned that any top government official caught trying to work towards releasing suspected cultists or kidnappers would face the full weight of the law.
The governor directed council chairmen to clear bushes along the major highways in their respective areas to allow for clear view, explaining that such bushes provide shield to the criminals.
In his on response, the state Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel assured that the security agencies would fight to reduce crime to the barest minimum, stressing that the police would adopt community policing approach.
Belel called on community stakeholders and the entire people of the state to support the police in its renewed determination to tackle cultism, kidnapping and fake news.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Dandeson Douglas-Jaja, stressed the need for the security agencies to take traditional rulers into confidence as they carry out their responsibility.
Douglas-Jaja, who is also the Amayanabo of Opobo, disclosed that there are situations were security agencies divulge information passed to them by traditional rulers to criminals thereby endangering the lives of the traditional rulers.
He also accused some local government chairmen of not carrying his members along in their security arrangements.
Douglas-Jaja assured that the traditional rulers would collaboration with other stakeholders in the fight against cultism, kidnapping and other criminalities in the state.
Some of the youth leaders who spoke to our correspondent after the meeting commended the governor for declaring war against cultism.
They said it would not only promote peace, but boost agriculture as farmers would feel safe in their farming operation.
Wike Mocks Amaechi, Abe, Debunks Allegations Of INEC Chairman Working Under Him …Urges Security Agencies To Invite Amaechi For Questioning
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has refuted allegation by former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, once worked under him as a minister.
The governor noted that Amaechi’s spurious claim that Yakubu was nominated by someone in the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was tantamount to public incitement and a threat to national security.
Wike, in a state broadcast on the outcome of the March 18th, 2023, governorship/National Assembly elections in the State, yesterday, said Amaechi’s outburst that the just conducted general elections by INEC was the worst in Nigeria’s history, is ludicrous.
He said, “The truth was that Mahmood Yakubu never worked under me. Both of us worked in the Federal Ministry of Education. He was the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, supervised by the Minister of Education, while I was the Minister of State for Education.
“At any rate, was Mahmood Yakubu INEC’s chairman in the 2015 general elections in Rivers State when we defeated him and his political party as a sitting Governor and Director-General of Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidential Campaign?
“Was it not the same Mahmood Yakubu that conducted the 2019 general election, which the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari won? Was he working for Atiku Abubakar of the PDP when, as a sitting super Minister of Transportation, he could not win 25% for President Buhari in Rivers State in the 2019 general election?”
Wike wondered why it took this long for Amaechi , who served as a minister for over seven years under President Buhari to speak out about his opposition to Mahmood Yakubu’s reappointment.
He observed that in his frustration, Amaechi had publicly denounced and claimed to know so much bad things about the Federal Government that he served for seven year, but, regrettably, lacked the courage to tell Nigerians what he claimed to know about Buhari’s government, which he alleged had totally failed.
“In saner climes, law enforcement agencies should have invited such a devious and malignant character for hate speech, public incitement and threat to national security, public safety and order. By his mischievous statements, Rotimi Amaechi attempted to attribute, locate and blame his infamous political failures and frustrations in Rivers State on the INEC’s chairman.
“In the 2015 general elections, we defeated him as a sitting Governor and Director-General of the Buhari campaign in Rivers State. In the 2019 general elections, we beat him as President Buhari’s super Minister and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign.
“He could not even influence 25% of the votes for his party, even after using the Army to cause mayhem and attempt to rig the election. In 2023, we defeated him as an ordinary person. This shows that Rotimi Amaechi cannot win any electoral contest with us in Rivers State”, the governor said.
Wike stressed that the outcome of the 2023 general elections in Rivers State has again exposed Amaechi, the APC governorship candidate, Tonye Cole and his Social Democratic Party counterpart, Senator Magnus Abe, as political paperweights and rejects.
“The APC gubernatorial candidate, Tonye Cole, lost in his Ward and Local Government Area. He lost in almost all electoral units, wards and Local Government Areas of the State. Tonye Cole never ran any effective political campaigns. His party was fractured beyond redemption. He was literarily waiting for his godfather and business partner, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to magically make him governor.
“Rotimi Amaechi also lost to the PDP in his community, Ubima, his Ward and the Local Government Area. Both forgot that Rivers people knew them as an evil partnership that diverted the State’s $50,000,000.00 and declined overwhelmingly to vote for them”, Wike alleged.
The governor further said that the electoral fate of the SDP candidate, Senator Abe, who lost woefully in 15 out of 17 wards in his native Gokana Local Government Area, was also not better.
“Magnus’s vaunting ambition was to have a chance to be named on the ballot as a gubernatorial candidate of any party, having twice been denied the APC by his former friend, political leader and associate, Rotimi Amaechi. He achieved this limited and useless ambition when he hurriedly decamped from the APC to the SDP.”
Wike challenged Abe to explain to the world his relationship with the INEC Director of Security, Lebara Nduh, who allegedly availed him and his supporters with fake INEC security tags.
The governor thanked Rivers people for voting Fubara as the next governor, adding that the results already announced by the INEC show that the PDP won 31 of the 32 State House of Assembly constituencies.
He, however, extended olive branch to the opposition to join in moving the State forward.
According to him, he has received assurance from the governor-elect of his willingness to work with the opposition to advance the interests of the State.
The governor also appreciated the security agencies’ professionalism throughout the elections and promised that the State Government would defray the medical expenses of any security personnel injured during the elections.
Wike congratulated all PDP governors-elects nationwide for their electoral victories.
He said now that the elections are over, PDP members desperately need to close ranks and work together to reclaim, rebuild, and reposition the party based on equity, fairness and justice to serve and advance the country’s unity, security and progress.
Petrol Price Increased By 54.76% Per Litre, NBS Confirms
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has said that the average retail price of a litre of Petrol increased from N170.42 in February 2022 to N263.76 in February 2023.
It made the declaration in its Petrol Price Watch for February 2023 released in Abuja, yesterday.
It stated that the February 2023 price of N263.76 represented a 54.76 per cent increase over the price of N170.42 recorded in February 2022.
“Comparing the average price value with the previous month of January 2023, the average retail price increased by 24.58 per cent from N257.12.
“On states profiles analysis, Jigawa paid the highest average retail price of N329.17 per litre, followed by Rivers and Ebonyi at N323.33 and N317.14, respectively.
“Conversely, Niger paid the lowest average retail prices of N198.50 per litre, followed by Plateau at N198.71 and Abuja at N200,’’ it stated.
Analysis by zone showed that the South-East recorded the highest average retail price in February 2023 at N306.86 per litre, while the North Central recorded the lowest at N215.01 per litre.
The NBS also stated in its Diesel Price Watch Report for February 2023 that the average retail price was N836.91 per litre.
It explained that the February 2023 price of N836.91 per litre amounted to a 168.26 per cent increase over the N311.98 per litre paid in February 2022.
“On a month-on-month basis, the price increased by 0.98 per cent from the N828.82 per litre recorded in January 2023,’’ it added.
On states profiles analysis, the report said the highest average price of diesel in February 2023 was recorded in Bauchi at N904.33 per litre, followed by Abuja at N885 per litre and Adamawa at N873.33 per litre.
On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Bayelsa at N767.14 per litre, followed by Katsina State at N778.75 per litre and Edo at N789.43 per litre.
In addition, the analysis by zone showed that the North Central had the highest price at N850.65 per litre, while the South-South recorded the lowest price at N814.63 per litre.
Buhari Rejects NASS Bill On Power To Summon President, Govs
President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill on power to summon the President and state governors.
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who dropped the hint during yesterday’s plenary, lamented the refusal of the President to assent to the constitution alteration bill and 18 others.
Buhari had, last Friday, assented to 16 out of the 35 constitution alteration bills transmitted to him for assent by the National Assembly.
Informing the Senate in plenary on the presidential action, Lawan said out of the 35 constitution alteration bills forwarded to the President in January, only 16 were assented to.
According to the Senate President, the most striking of the assented 16 bills was the Fifth Alteration Bill Number 6 which makes provisions for financial independence of State Houses of Assembly and Judiciary.
Lawan listed others to include those that dwell on power devolutions in the areas of moving railway services, correctional centres and power generation and distribution, from the exclusive list to concurrent list.
He, however, vowed that the 19 bills that were not assented to by the President would still be pursued vigorously by both chambers of the National Assembly for that purpose.
The first of such 19 bills not assented to by the President was the Fifth Alteration Bill Number 24 , which sought for an Act to Alter the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Empower the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly to Summon the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Governors of States to Answer Questions on issues on which the National and State Houses of Assembly have the Powers to make.
Also. Fifth Alteration Bill Number 7 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to compel persons to obey or comply with Legislative Summons, was refused assent by the President.
Others important ones are: Fifth Alteration Bill Number 29 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for a State of the Nation and State of the State Address by the President and Governor.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 22 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Specify the period within which the President or the Governor of State shall present the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 30 which sought for “an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Include Former Heads of the National Assembly in the Council of State.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 14 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to move Fingerprints, Identification and Criminal Records from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 18 which sought for “an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Empower the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission to Enforce Compliance with Remittance of Accruals into and Disbursement of Revenue from the Federation Account and Streamline the Procedure for Reviewing the Revenue Allocation Formula.
Fifth Alteration Bill Number 66 which sought for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Reflect the Establishment and Core Functions of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps etc.
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