The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has explained that he congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari after the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal confirmed his election because it was better to offer public congratulations than visit the President at night.
Wike said that unlike some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who visit the President at night, he made his declaration public because it came from the heart.
He spoke at the funeral service in honour of mother of Chief Sergeant Chidi Awuse, late Madam Blessing Awuse, at the St Luke’s Anglican Church, Emohua, yesterday.
The governor said: “I am sure all of you are surprised that I congratulated Buhari. Is it not good for me to congratulate him, than to go to his house in the night?”
“So many PDP governors go to see him in his house in the night. I have never gone, and I will not go. I won’t go.”
“We are the only state that the Federal Government refused to pay our money used to execute federal projects because I don’t go to see him in the night, and I won’t go. He is not my friend, he is not doing well, but he won in court, should I say that the court did wrong, no?”
“President Buhari, congratulations and carry Nigerians along. Unify the country, the country is too divided. I am saying what is right. What I will do, I will do, what I will not do, I will not do”, he explained.
Wike exphasised that politics was a game of interest, noting that Rivers people in the All Progressives Congress (APC) were under obligation to attract federal benefits to the state.
“Politics is a game of interest. And my only interest is Rivers State. Anything that is against the interest of Rivers State, I will not agree.
“These people sold us out, thinking that they are doing Governor Wike. It is the state that you are offending, because I am just one person”, he added.
Wike expressed displeasure that Rivers State has key links to President Muhammadu Buhari from the state, yet the East-West Road, the seaports and other federal projects have been completely neglected since 2015.
He lamented that nothing indicates that Rivers State has prominent APC members working with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Rivers State governor maintained that Rivers State is a Christian state, adding that the fact of Rivers being a Christian state would not be changed by negative propaganda and falsehood targeted at his person.
The governor said he never demolished a mosque as was falsely circulated by some mischief makers.
He said Rivers State is a major oil producing state that deserves major projects from the Federal Government.
“We produce oil. They should not punish Rivers State because of me. I am just one individual. We have not benefited anything from the Federal Government. The only thing we have benefited is the abuse they heap on me.
“They turned the NDDC into a cash cow to sponsor elections against us. Nobody protested that anomaly. Now, they want us to protest because someone did not nominate the management of NDDC this time.
“Since 2015, NDDC has not had its governing board, but nobody protested. I will not be dragged into such protests”, he added.
On the passage of late Mrs Blessing Awuse, the governor said she lived a fulfilled life and raised disciplined and trustworthy children, stressing that her burial was a celebration of life.
In his remarks, the Chief Mourner, Chief Sergeant Awuse thanked the Rivers State governor for his love and friendship, pointing out that the Rivers State governor always intervened at the most critical time.
Also speaking, the Anglican Bishop of Ikwerre Diocese, Rt Rev Blessing Enyindah praised the Rivers State governor for his commitment to the development of the state.
He urged the Rivers State governor to continue with his good works, urging him to focus on the people in all his programmes.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike had, last Wednesday, congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on the validation of his election by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
In a statement, by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, last Wednesday, Wike urged President Buhari to use his victory to work for all Nigerians, irrespective of their political leanings.
The governor called on the president to work towards the unity of the country, noting that the country is divided
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has lambasted the committee set up by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to investigate the emergence of Hon Ndudi Elumelu as the minority leader of the House of Representatives, alleging that the committee was the most corrupt in the history of the party.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, Wike thanked former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Austin Opara, for withdrawing from the committee by not allowing himself to be entangled in what he described as the “illegal outcome” of the committee’s activities.
The governor said: “The committee set up by the PDP on the illegal emergence of Ndudi Elumelu is the most corrupt committee ever set up by the party.
“We thank our worthy son, Rt Hon Austin Opara, for withdrawing from that committee, so that he is not entangled in the illegal activities of the tainted committee “.
Wike warned the party not to toy with Rivers State as it is not in the interest of the party to do so.
He said: “We are warning PDP to be careful not to toy with Rivers State.
“Rivers State has all it takes to withstand the PDP and fight the party to a standstill.
“The Rivers State governor is not one of those governors that anyone can cajole.
“The Rivers State governor is not one of those governors that will kowtow to their illicit activities”.
The panel is chaired by a former Senate President, Iyorcha Ayu.
Other members of the panel are former Senate Presidents, David Mark and Adolphus Wabara.
In a related development, the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has struck out key paragraphs of the petition filed by the Governorship Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Engineer Biokpomabo Awara against the election of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Ruling on a Motion dated 4th September, 2019, to strike out Grounds B and C of the petition by Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), last Wednesday, the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal presided over by Justice Kingsley Orjiako, ruled that the application succeeds together with application of the 2nd petitioner on similar fact.
The Grounds B and C of the petition together with the accompanying paragraphs were struck out by the tribunal.
Paragraphs 29, 33(a), 73, 81, 83 a, b and c, and 84 of the petition were also struck out by the tribunal.
Grounds B and C covers paragraphs 37 to 71 of the petition filed by the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
At the resumed sitting on petition titled, EPT/RS/GOV/03/2019 by Awara Biokpomabo Festus against INEC, Wike and the PDP, two witnesses of the AAC gubernatorial candidate were disqualified following some errors noted in their witness statements.
Counsel for African Action Congress, Barrister Henry Bello, had drawn the attention of the court to the differences in the name as written in the witness statement and the witness present in court.
Counsels for the other parties in the petition noticed the error, and urged the court to refuse the witness from testifying.
Ruling, the tribunal chairman, Justice Kingsley Ojiakor, stopped the appearance of the witnesses.
The tribunal therefore, discharged Gideon Demua from Tai LGA and Abiase Halliday from Degema LGA as witnesses for Awara because they were not properly represented as witnesses in the petition before the court.
Speaking with journalists outside courtroom, counsel to AAC, Henry Bello said Awara has three more days to present his witnesses.
The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal continued hearing of the petition filed by Awara of the AAC, yesterday.
NEC Pleads With Labour To Shelve Strike
The National Economic Council (NEC) has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) not to abandon dialogue in their quest for better welfare for their members.
The Council also appealed to the unions to suspend their planned nationwide indefinite strike schedule to start on October 3.
Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State stated this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the NEC meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the nation was at a very critical moment in its history, adding that some States took over such labour crisis when they assumed office in May.
According to him, some of such States just resolved the crisis and will be unfair for the labour to return to another industrial action.
The Plateau State governor said that the proposed industrial action would have immense effect on the economy of both the states and the Federal Government.
He said that the NEC expressed genuine concern about the situation in the country and appealed for calm and patience among Nigerians.
“The National Economic Council (NEC) deliberated on the planned indefinite strike by the National leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to proceed on an indefinite strike on Oct. 3, 2023.
“The council noted further the implications of the planned strike on the economy and the nation and thus urge members to continue to engage with the leadership of their respective states.
“It appeals to them to suspend the action and to continue on the path of dialogue with the Federal Government. This is the appeal of the council.”
Mutfwang said that the council appreciated the concerns raised by the NLC to have those issues addressed, adding that NEC also appealed for time to address the concerns of labour.
“We also believe that President Bola Tinubu will be addressing the nation on Oct. 1, and some of the concerns of labour will be appropriately addressed in the president’s speech.
“It is therefore important to note that it’s a federation issue, so whatever happens the labour is represented in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“And NEC is appealing that discussion should continue at the state levels because there will be peculiarities as to the issues to be addressed concerning the demands of labour and therefore dialogue is the way to go.
Burkina Faso Military Junta Foils Coup Attempt, Detains Four Officers
Burkina Faso said yesterday that four officers had been detained, a day after the military government announced it had thwarted a coup attempt.
The four are suspected of involvement in a “conspiracy against state security”, military prosecutor, Ahmed Ferdinand Sountoura said in a statement yesterday.
Two others are “on the run” according to the statement.
The junta said late on Wednesday that the intelligence and security services had foiled a coup attempt the previous day.
The military government said it would seek to shed “all possible light on this plot”.
The alleged coup attempt came nearly a year to the day the junta leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, seized power in the West African nation on September 30, 2022.
His takeover was the country’s second coup in eight months, both triggered in part by discontent at failures to stem a raging jihadist insurgency, which swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.
The military prosecutor has urged anyone with information that can “contribute to the manifestation of the truth to come to testify”.
Late on Tuesday, thousands of people had taken to the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou, following a call from Traore supporters to “defend” him amid rumours of a coup on social media.
Traore took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday to stress his “determination to lead the transition safely despite the adversity and different manoeuvres to stop our inexorable march towards assumed sovereignty”.
French language news outlet, Jeune Afrique, which had recently published two articles about tensions within the military, saw its print and online operations suspended in Burkina Faso on Monday.
The Burkinabe government accused the news outlet of seeking to “discredit” the military.
Shortly after Traore’s takeover, military prosecutors in December 2022 said there had been an attempt to “destabilise state institutions”.
And earlier this month, the country’s military prosecutor said three soldiers had been arrested and charged with plotting against the ruling junta.
Investigators had received a tipoff about “soldiers and former soldiers working in intelligence” who were scouting out the homes and other locations used by key figures in the junta, including Traore.
Their goal was to “destabilise… the transition”, it said, referring to a term used to describe interim military rule before promised elections.
Burkina Faso, an impoverished landlocked country, saw Islamists sweep in from Mali in 2015.
More than 17,000 civilians, troops and police have since died, according to an NGO monitor.
Over two million people have been forced to flee their homes, creating one of Africa’s worst crises of internal displacement.
Anger within the armed forces led to a coup on January 24, 2022, toppling elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
On September 30, Kabore’s nemesis, Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, was himself overthrown by the 34-year-old Traore.
Traore has promised a return to democracy with presidential elections by July 2024.
Burkina’s military leaders earlier this month signed a mutual defence pact with counterparts in Mali and Niger.
The Liptako-Gourma region, where the three countries’ borders meet, has been ravaged by jihadism in recent years.
ECOWAS Donates $77,942 Grant To Train Poultry, Fish Farmers
ECOWAS has given $77,942 as training grant to 150 farmers in Bauchi State and the FCT to boost food security in Nigeria.
The beneficiaries are farmers of the Community Allied Farmers Association of Nigeria (COMAFAS).
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture Mrs Massandje Toure-Litse, made this known at the opening of a poultry training workshop for beneficiaries in Orozo, Abuja, Tuesday.
Toure-Litse said the grant would increase young peoples’ capacity to engage in agriculture value chains and food production.
She added that the grant is meant for the training of 150 youth in poultry and fisheries, as the two sub-sectors were the main driving force behind the sub-region’s economy and development.
“ECOWAS has designed quality training modules and arranged for the training of 3,032 young people (30 per cent women and 70 per cent men)”, she said.
Toure-Litse said agricultural productivity and competitiveness in West Africa had the tendency to impact positively on the sub-region’s food security, economic development, and livelihoods.
According to her, “the ECOWAS Agriculture Policy remains the guiding framework for the 15 members of the bloc as it prioritises agricultural productivity and competitiveness.
“The programme seeks to enhance the capacity of youth and women farmers and promote their access to resources and markets and their involvement in agribusiness”.
She noted that there was the need for urgent intervention in gender participation in agriculture and youth employment, food chains, crops, forestry, livestock and fisheries.
“Products from crops, livestock and fisheries are the second largest when we talk about intra-community trade and interestingly, among these, livestock is the largest item.
“It is anticipated that by 2030, at least 30 per cent of young people in the sub-region will be employed in the agriculture sector.
“This will amount to a 75 per cent reduction in youth under-employment in rural areas”, she said.
In his remarks, the Founder/President of COMAFAS, Dr Austine Maduka, said in spite of the expansion of poultry industry in Nigeria, it could only cater to 30 per cent of the needs of Nigerians.
Maduka said the training is aimed at educating young farmers on how best to start and manage production.
He said the partnership with ECOWAS would strengthen the move to ensure availability of meat, other foods and impact relevant skills for sustainable strategies to reduce poverty.
According to reports, 75 out of the 150 beneficiaries would be trained on poultry farming in the FCT, while the remaining 75 would be trained on fish farming in Bauchi.
The FCT beneficiaries were given 50 birds each, bags of poultry feeds and drugs as start-up capital.
Environment4 days ago
Conference Calls For Water Supply Master Plans For States In Nigeria
Politics4 days ago
Ex-Women Affairs Minister, Tallen Felicitates Tinubu’s Wife @ 63
News5 hours ago
Three Nigerians Named Beneficiaries Of American TechWomen Initiative
Sports4 days ago
More Nigerian Wrestlers Will Qualify For Olympics –Comptroller General
Featured4 days ago
Strike: OPS Warns FG, Labour Against Socio-Economic Disruption
Rivers5 hours ago
WCD: SFH Promises More Commodities, Partnership
Rivers4 days ago
RSG Moves To Protect Intellectual Property Rights …As AVRS Declares Piracy Criminal Offence
News4 days ago
Stakeholders Push For Justice To Power Up Ogoni