My Successor’ll Defend Interest Of Rivers’ People, Wike Assures …Flays FG’s Policy On Stimulation Of Economy …Kicks Off Consultation For Next Gov …As Fintiri Inaugurates Ezimgbu Road
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has said he would make sure his successor is someone who would defend the interest of the state.
Wike stated this during a birthday party organised for him by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike in his private residence at Rumuepirikom, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, last Monday night.
This is even as the governor has insisted it was now obvious that the Federal Government was not interested in revitalising the nation’s economy because its programmes on stimulation of the economy have failed on all fronts.
Wike stated that if the development of infrastructure was one way to stimulate the economy, then the Federal Government’s approach to the development of such critical infrastructure should be apolitical.
Speaking at the birthday party, the governor disclosed that he had directed elders and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State to begin the search for someone with capacity and passion to defend the interest of the state to succeed him.
“I have dedicated this my birthday to make sure that whoever that is going to succeed me will be for the interest of the Rivers people, will be for the interest of the development of Nigeria.”
Wike, who narrated how he was hoodwinked to attend the birthday party that was secretly organised by his wife at his sports complex, thanked God for granting him a fruitful and eventful life.
He expressed profound gratitude to the Adamawa State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Tamunominni Makinde, and other dignitaries for gracing the occasion.
The governor urged people to continue praying for God’s grace to abound to him and his family on all sides.
The wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, thanked God for His steadfast love towards Wike.
Justice Nyesom-Wike, who showered encomium on her husband, prayed God to grant him his heart desires as well as long fruitful life.
Earlier, there was a novelty football match between Teams A and B of ex-Nigerian international footballers comprising of Austin Okocha, Taribo West, Finidi George, Kanu Nwankwo, Joseph Yobo, Daniel Amokachi, Augustine Eguavoen, Victor Ikpeba, Tijani Babangida, Samson Siasia, among others.
However, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said that it was now obvious that the Federal Government was not interested in revitalising the nation’s economy because its programmes on stimulation of the economy have failed on all fronts.
The governor made the assertion at the inauguration of the Ezimgbu Road that was performed by the Adamawa State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, last Monday in Port Harcourt.
Wike stated that if the development of infrastructure is one way to stimulate the economy, then the Federal Government’s approach to the development of such critical infrastructure should be apolitical.
The governor pointed to the deplorable condition of the Lagos-Ibadan Road that was so important to the nation’s economy and growth of interstate and regional business activities.
“Let me say something very clearly. When government say they want to stimulate economy and you wonder how are they going to stimulate and make the economy to grow? This morning, something came to my mind, and I said what a country is this?
“Look at a road like Lagos-Ibadan Road, which is an important road in this country, cannot be completed by the Federal Government. They bring politics and ethnicity in everything we are doing.
“So, how do you stimulate the economy when a road like that cannot be completed until now? Look at the road leading to the (Port Harcourt) Refinery, the seaport at Onne, up until now, the Federal Government cannot complete it. How do you stimulate the economy?”
Wike also noted that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Federal Government, which gives money to farmers, has not been implemented to yield desired impact.
The governor said it was not enough to go on media to announce how much has been expended in prosecuting those initiatives, if there are not commensurate evidence.
“And then you hear trillions of Naira being budgeted for, you see people talk about giving N200billion to Anchor borrowers, Anchor leaders, to anchor this and that. We have no problem about giving money to agriculture. What we are saying, having given out this money, what is the impact?
“You’re saying that we don’t want more importation, we have no problems. We are in support of it. But having stopped importation, what is the fate of the ordinary Nigerians. Is the food there? If the food is there, is it cheap?
“So, the availability is not there, the cost is high, so what is the whole meaning of encouraging our farmers to produce. The whole money you have given what is the impact it has created?
“So, we should not be deceiving people. We should tell people we are able to do this and we did it. This (federal) administration is doing nothing to improve the life of the citizens.”
Speaking further, Wike said he has told some leaders of Rivers State, who paid him a birthday visit, that the process of consultation for the next governor of the state has begun.
Wike reiterated that no candidate would be imposed on the party or Rivers people, and also urged any member of cabinet nursing governorship ambition to be at liberty to resign.
“This morning, our leaders came to me to wish me happy birthday. I told them thank you and that I also have a birthday gift for them. I told them, you know I’m leaving, now, we have to start consultation for who takes over.
“And I told them, let nobody go and spend his money because after the consultation, we will all sit down and say this is the person we think that should continue where we have stopped.
“So, the issue of who is going to take over from me, the process has started and it has stared today being my birthday. But what is important to us, like I have always said, we are not going to impose anybody.”
Wike stated that it is important that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) continues to ensure that elections are free and fair.
According to him, if not for the courage to rig election, why will anybody in Rivers State be gearing up to campaign for election on the platform of another party instead of the PDP, saying that whatever their plans are, they will fail.
Performing the inauguration, the Adamawa State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri noted that he had always known Wike as a man who has instituted a culture of commissioning projects in Rivers State for the use of the people.
Accorded to him, it is from Rivers State, under Wike, that they have all learnt that one can deliver on multiple projects and dedicate a whole month to commissioning them.
“As recent as April this year, so many projects were commissioned in the state and today, instead of receiving birthday gifts from the Rivers people, he has decided to celebrate his birthday in a grand style by giving Rivers people a carnival of commissioning.”
In his welcome address, Chairman, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Barrister George Ariolu, congratulated Wike on the occasion of his birthday anniversary, and commended the governor for the completion of the Ezimgbu Road, which he described it as a fulfilment of project promised.
He stressed that the construction of the dual carriage road would boast businesses around the area as well as enable them gain more in terms of man-hour.
On his part, the Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Allwell Ihunda said the construction of the road was a clear demonstration of Wike’s policies to rebrand all the roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor, while expressing gladness over the numerous projects executed in the state.
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the dualised Ezimgbu Road is 7.3meter wide on both sides with a median of 0.5meters and bordered by drains on both sides with sidewalks.
Tasie-Amadi pointed out that not only has the reconstruction of the Ezimgbu Road saved travel time for commuters, it has also afforded property owners enhanced value on their property and accessibility.
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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