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Rivers Security Council Relaxes Curfew In Oyigbo

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The Rivers State Security Council has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state following the killing of 10 security operatives by members of proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, during a briefing at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, said the curfew would now take effect from 7pm to 6am beginning from today.
“You will recall that following the killing of six soldiers and four policemen, and the destruction of court buildings by members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Rivers State Government imposed a 24-hour curfew on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area on October 21, 2020.
“The State Security Council met today and reviewed the situation in Oyigbo, and has, therefore, decided to review the curfew. From tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4, 2020, the curfew will now be from 7pm to 6am until further notice”, he said.
Nsirim explained that during the mayhem that claimed the lives of security agents carrying out their legitimate duties in Oyigbo, 50 AK-47 rifles were carted away.
And as a result of this, he said, security agencies in the area would continue to embark on surveillance and search operations to recover the rifles which are now in the illegal possession of some persons.
The commissioner enjoined residents of Oyigbo and members of the public to cooperate with the security agencies as they go about their lawful business unmolested.
“Let me use this opportunity to let all those living and doing business in the state know that His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Wike, is always committed to implement his social contract with the people; and will protect lives and property, at all times”, he added.
Earlier, the Rivers State Security Council had said it was set to review the situation in Oyigbo Local Government Area after members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) killed 10 security agencies and burnt court buildings.
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who disclosed this, also restated the commitment of his administration to protect lives and property of everybody in the state.
Wike stated this when he met leaders of Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and other ethnic nationalities living in the state at Government House, Port Harcourt, last Monday.
The governor dismissed insinuation that he ordered soldiers to kill Igbos in Oyigbo Local Government Area amidst the curfew imposed by the Security Council.
“It is not correct that soldiers are going from house to house to kill. When the IPOB killed the Army officers, they took their guns. It is normal for them to recover those guns. In any case, there are consequences when soldiers are killed. Maybe, they are retaliating in order to rebuild the morale of other soldiers. How can I now have such powers to order soldiers on any operation?
“Now, you carry propaganda that Wike is killing Igbos. They live everywhere in the state. So, am I also killing them elsewhere? No tribe gave us the kind of support Igbos gave to me, but that does not mean we should allow IPOB to destroy the state.”
He explained that the Security Council was compelled to impose curfew in Oyigbo to prevent further loss of life and property.
According to him, there was no way he would order any offensive action against Oyigbo, which is where the chairman of Peoples Democratic Party in the state hails from.
The governor declared that it would be absurd for IPOB to assume the role of speaking for the Igbos when there were credible and outstanding people who can speak for them.
To this end, he warned against allowing IPOB to continue misrepresenting the Igbo ethnic nationality.
“Let IPOB not give Igbos bad name. Any people that allow a criminal to speak for them, that tribe is finished,” he stated.
He charged residents of the state appalled by the nefarious activities of IPOB, to resist the group and whatever it stands for.
Explaining why curfew was imposed in the Ikokwu area of Port Harcourt, the governor said the State Security Council took the decision following intelligence report that Ikokwu was host to a lot of IPOB cells in the state capital.
He described the recent clash between Hausas and Igbos following IPOB instigated attacks against the former as unfortunate.
The governor said that while government was creating conducive environment that would promote business, social and cultural life of residents, they must also learn to live together without causing trouble.
“Any decision we take is for the good of everybody. It is not against any tribe. We have lived peacefully with people from other tribes. So, stop fighting yourselves and creating the impression that there is war here. Don’t also make disagreements between business partners as tribal war. Allow them to settle the matter as businessmen.
“There is need for all of us to live in peace. From today, I don’t want to hear Igbo fighting Hausa. If there is any trouble, there is no need to take laws into your hands. Report the matter to us and we will address it”, he said.
Wike announced the plan of government to rebuild the Slaughter-Oginigba Market in Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout in Port Harcourt, and hand it over to competent people to manage.
He further enjoined cattle rustlers who are breeding cows to stop using them to destroy the farmland of others.
The governor warned operators of illegal motor parks, street and rail line traders in the state to desist or be ready to face the wrath of government.
He also called on the Federal Government to give consideration to lessons learnt from the #EndSARS protests.
“What has happened is a lesson for Nigeria. Don’t under rate the youths. It was a protest by intelligent and professional youths who have suffered enough.
“It is a signal and the youths as graduates are getting restless. Federal Government should ask, how do we use this opportunity to reduce unemployment? My Executive Council has taken action already to employ 5,000 youths,” he added.

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Stop Speaking On Issues You Least Understand, Wike Tells Agba

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has berated the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clement Agba, for exhibiting lack of understanding on how governors plan development projects in their various states.
Wike took the swipe at the minister when he spoke at the inauguration of the 13.86km Rumuodogo 1 and 2 Road in Oluua-Rumuodogo community in Emohua Local Government Area, yesterday.
The Rivers State governor said the minister was wrong when he said that governors were the causes of poverty because they focused on building flyovers, airports and other projects in the state capitals, while neglecting to invest in rural communities to directly uplift the living standard of the people.
“He said governors are the problem, they don’t do rural roads, and I ask him: where and where have you been? You just sit there (Abuja), you’ve not been to anywhere to check whether rural roads are being done or not.”
Wike pointed out that the development plan of his administration was holistic, with critical infrastructure delivered not only in the state capital, but across the 23 local government areas.
He, therefore, advised the minister to take time out, leave Abuja and visit states, particularly, Rivers State to see things for himself.
Wike emphasised that there were quantum projects in rural communities with the Rumuodogo road inclusive, which have improved the socio-economic status of rural communities.
“Come to Rivers State and see whether we are doing roads that will cause agricultural produce to be brought out to the cities or not before you open your mouth. We are not doing roads in the city alone. We are doing roads in all local government areas of the state.”
Wike also challenged some South-South state governors to stop hiding behind the attack dogs they had commissioned to insult him, but should rather come to confront him personally.
“Some people have been sending their people to insult me. I laugh. I hear some people, they call them Akwa Ibom Professionals, they were insulting me. Tell the man who sent you to come out. You are just small kids. I am waiting for the big masquerade. Some people said they are Ijaw professionals. You that is sending them, come out. It is you I am looking for. I am not looking for the small fries.”
The Rivers State governor wondered why those faceless governors were picking offence with him because he thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for releasing the 13percent derivation arrears from 1999 to date.
Wikeexplained that even though he was never a fan of Buhari, it does not stop him from expressing his gratitude to the president for releasing the fund that had helped to finance several projects in Rivers State.
“If they’re not prepared for governance, give up. I am prepared for governance. I was prepared, I’m still prepared; I will be prepared till I leave. How can people talk, simply because I said thank Buhari for giving us money?
“I am not a fan of Buhari. All of you know that. I am not one of those they like. I am not one of those who go to Abuja to see them, but the truth must be told. When somebody has done well in an aspect, you say he has done well in this aspect. You cannot change it.”
The Rivers State governor also said while some of the governors could not withstand the federal might in their states, he was able to withstand the powers that tried to undermine the 2019 election process in Rivers State.
The governor also said, when he thanked Buhari, he did not say that the South-South governors should account for their share of the money they got.
He noted that each governor should know peculiar development needs of their various states and attend to them.
Wike, however, said he was prepared for governance when he took the shot to become governor, adding that he was not handpicked, but entered the race and defeated a sitting governor.
“But let me tell those who are making noise, whether you’re a governor, I don’t care. When I came to run as governor of Rivers State, there was no governor that said I want to put you in office as a governor. I came on my own. God said I want to use you. There was a sitting governor, we defeated the sitting governor.
“Some governors were brought by their godfathers; I never had any godfather that brought me as a governor. The only godfather I had was God, and the people of Rivers State. So, when some governors are talking, they should know those they are talking to; we are not at the same level; and we can’t be at the same level.”
The governor explained that he had always ensured that no project awarded by his administration lasted more than 14 months.
Wike also said that it was worthy to note that Rivers State spent over N5billion to recover the Yenagoa campus of the Nigerian Law School, while the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus in Port Harcourt was completed within 10 months.
The governor urged Rumuodogo people to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara and all other candidates in the 2023 general election.
He further charged them to use their votes to punish the party of the former state governor, Chibuike Amaechi, for refusing to construct the road for them.
“A governor then that had all the money refused to do this road. He thinks that people of Rumuodogo will still be backward. God said no, the time has come for Rumuodogo people to be remembered. The time has come that people must know this community called Rumuodogo, and today is your day. Now, you have to pay them back with your PVC.”
Providing a description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla, said the Rumuodogo 1 and 2 Road was a rural road that has opened up the benefitting agrarian communities to increased economic activities and enhanced property value.
He explained that the road measures 13.86km in length, with width that measures 7.3meters, and had a total of 13.96km length of drains and 17 culverts.
On his part, the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, noted that the Rumuodogo 1 and 2 road was a promise made by Wike to two of his political associates who joined him to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on October 1, 2020.
He pointed out that with the project delivered, Wike had shown that once a need was determined, he awarded the contract, dedicated fund to it, and ensured it was completed on schedule.
He added that this was a leadership style that remained unbeaten.

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EFCC Records 3,440 Convictions In 2022

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared recording 3,440 convictions on financial and cybercrimes across the country from January to November 2022.
This was made known, yesterday in Kano, by the chairman, Abdulrashid Bawa while delivering a goodwill message to newsmen at the opening of a workshop on Financial Crimes Reporting organized by the EFCC.
The chairman, who was represented by the Kano Zonal Commander Farouk Dogondaji also stated that the commission would work to ensure the enforcement of the Electoral Act as the 2023 general election approach.
“In terms of prosecution of cases in court, I am glad to inform you that, between January and November 25, this year, EFCC recorded 3,440 convictions. The potentials for improvement are good as more ongoing cases are concluded in the remaining four weeks of the year.
“Remarkable as this feat is, we are not resting on our laurels. We believe there is still a lot to be done which is the reason why we are actively seeking the support of all stakeholders, including the media,” he stated.
He also said, “On our part, we are working in close collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other stakeholders to preserve the integrity of the electoral process. We will ensure that the Electoral Act is fully enforced and those who seek to influence voters through financial inducement are brought to justice.”
He described journalists as critical allies who are at the workshop to improve their capacity to be able to help in the fight against cyber and financial crimes in the country.
Delivering her paper at the workshop on the Challenges of Prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes in Nigeria, the deputy director, Legal and Prosecution, Aisha TaharHabib gave a breakdown of both civil and criminal convictions achieved by the Kano zone.
She stated that they have had 160 criminal convictions losing only two and 180 civil convictions losing only one in Kano state.
She added that this puts the conviction rates at over 90per cent.

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WAD: RSG Assures On Provision Of HIV/AIDS Commodities, Services

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As the world commemorates the 2022 World AIDS Day (WAD), the Rivers State Government has reiterated its commitment to the provision of HIV commodities and services towards checking the trend in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike, disclosed this, yesterday, in his address to mark WAD in Port Harcourt.
Chike, who emphasised the commitment of the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, towards the health sector, stated that the governor had displayed the same commitment in tackling HIV-related issues.


“The issue of paying and accessing (HIV) drugs in Rivers State, which the Rivers State Government took over for patients to access the drugs, that they won’t have to pay, helped us to achieve what we have achieve in controlling HIV.
“We will not turn our backs from patients who need the drugs”, he said.
Earlier, in his goodwill message, Coordinator of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Rivers State, Dr. Bosede Ezekwe, represented by the WHO Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (M&E) in the state, Dr. Sadique Abubakar, highlighted gaps in HIV inequalities.
Quoting the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Rebecca Moetti’s message for this year’s commemoration, he said, “four decades into HIV response, inequalities persist from the most basic services like testing and treatment.


“For example, HIV prevention programme reached only 40percent of adolescent girls and young women. Only one in three key populations, who are particularly vulnerable to HIV, have regular access to HIV prevention services, and they still face significant structural barriers, including criminalisation, discrimination, and stigma”, he said.
He assured that WHO was ready to partner the state government to enhance HIV/AIDS services in the state.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), Dr. Francis Naaziga, highlighted the progress made in the state in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
According to him, “looking at progress made today in Rivers State, in terms of HIV response, looking back at 2018/2019, coming back from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) Report that puts estimated persons living with HIV/AIDS in Rivers State at over 210,000 persons, and the state with the highest unmet needs, but having implemented the SURGE project, by our last data of June, 2022, we have over 167,000 persons on treatment during the last validated data.
“If you go by our own validated data, the number is much more than that. We have over 2,000 children on treatment. Rivers State has made remarkable improvement in terms of HIV response”.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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