2nd Term Inauguration: Rivers People Celebrate Wike …As RSG Carpets Awara Over Comment On AAC Crisis
Rivers State-based entertainers have joined their international counterparts to celebrate Governor Nyesom Wike for his outstanding performance which formed the premise for his victory at the polls.
The entertainers took advantage of the gathering at the event tagged, “Variety Night with Governor Wike”, where the artistes thrilled the high-profile audience with songs, drama and comedy.
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, former Ekiti State Governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose and former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia joined other leaders of Rivers State for the fun-filled night.
The Rivers State Council of Arts and Council performed a wonderful dance drama that detailed the political struggles and successes of the governor.
The Rivers State official cultural troupe highlighted how Rivers men and women defended their votes for Wike against invading forces.
One after the other, the Rivers-based artistes exhibited their talents and skills to the joy of the crowd.
Jikume Bethlehem raised the bar with her inspiring lyrics and wonderful dance steps.
She exhibited the true Rivers spirit and was appreciated by the audience.
Veteran singer, Peter Stonecold proved his mettle as he led the people in a wonderful rendition that lifted the spirit of everyone.
Sensational Bamidele and Ebieri were outstanding in their presentations.
International Gospel Artiste, Mercy Chinwo was a delight as she sang her award-winning songs and lifted the spirit of the people.
Eben was the most outstanding act of the night.
His two songs, “victory” and “we go de hail your name” proved to be the blessing of the night.
Eben defined the wonderful experience of the night with a divine touch.
Three comedians, Akpororo, Prince Hezekiah and Arinze Baba blessed the souls of the audience with their rib-cracking jokes.
In his remarks, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Austin Opara said of the 22 artistes that performed, 19 were Port Harcourt-based.
He said that Wike specifically directed that Rivers-based artistes be patronised for the event.
In appreciation, the artistes trooped out and thanked the governor for his commitment to the growth of the entertainment industry.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has dismissed the allegation by the Africa Action Congress (AAC) that Governor Nyesom Wike was behind the crisis currently rocking the party.
The AAC had alleged that Wike’s “plan scuttled the party’s efforts to reclaim its mandate” at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which led to the contentious removal of Omoyele Sowore as national chairman and appointment of Leonard Nzenwa in acting capacity.
It would be recalled that in reaction to his replacement, Sowore announced the expulsion of Ezenwa, the former national secretary, for anti-party activities.
Reacting to the development, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, explained that Wike had no hand in AAC crisis.
He said: “Like the governor has always said, he is a PDP leader; he has nothing to do with any other party. He won his election fair and square, Rivers people defended their votes, and they gave him their mandate.
“The governor is also at the tribunal. PDP lawyers are at the tribunal defending the mandate on behalf of Rivers people. He has no hand in their crisis.
“There’s is no party like AAC in the first place. It has nothing on ground in Rivers State, the party is an online party. It doesn’t exist in Rivers or anywhere in Nigeria. How many votes did AAC score in the presidential election or any other election for that matter?
“The mandate is clear, the people voted for him overwhelmingly. Governor Wike won the election by over 712,000 votes and on May 29, he will go for his second term inauguration”, Nwakaudu added.
Earlier in a statement, last Friday, the AAC Rivers governorship candidate, Engineer Biokpomabo Festus Awara, had alleged that, “Mr. Nzenwa, having received an undisclosed sum of Rivers money, is acting a script given to him by forcing the lawyer representing us at the Election Petition Tribunal, Tawo E. Tawo (SAN) to withdraw from representing us, and imposing one of the known cronies of the Rivers State governor to take over the case.
“We have it on a good authority that Governor Wike single-handedly financed the ‘failed suspension’ of our National Chairman, Omoyele Sowore, and in a bid to buy more members of the party, he (Wike) has also reached out to the National Legal Adviser of our party Barrister Inibehe Effiong, who declined to accept the bribe offered him by the governor.
“To this end, we are calling on Mr Nyesom Wike to channel the resources he is expending on bribing everyone just to scuttle our victory at the tribunal to other meaningful ventures like addressing the infrastructural deficit in the state and problems of insecurity rather than wasting our resources on bribery.
“We, therefore, call on Rivers people to remain calm as we continue with our case at the Tribunal.”
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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