Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has asserted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was strong, firm in its resolve to offer better governance and willing to take over power in 2023 in order to change the fortune of Nigeria.
The governor made the assertion at a special reception, last Friday, to formally receive into PDP fold the former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudom Nwuche at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike explained that as a PDP controlled state government, his administration has touched every facet of Rivers State, and offered the people the best good governance can afford.
According to him, PDP, for what it has continued to do in terms of responding to the needs of Nigerians, has remained a household name and most trusted to savage the country.
“You’re welcome (Nwuche) to where God belongs to: The property that God owns. This property called PDP is owned by God, and that is why it is the only household organisation you can find in this country.
“No matter what happens, PDP is still very strong, very firm and very willing to change the fortune of this country.”
Wike described Chibudom Nwuche as a democrat who has a reckonable name and can add value to the PDP, and not a liability.
According to Wike, PDP woos persons who can contribute to the party, work for the welfare of the members and speak for their people.
He, therefore, urged members to dismiss fears that they would be displaced by Nwuche in the scheme of things in the party.
Wike insisted that it was better more people come to join the party since there was room for everyone, and nobody would be deprived of what was due to him or her.
“Today is another wonderful day in our political history, like one of those who has made democracy to be strong, those who contributed to what democracy is supposed to be.
“Let everyone understand that here we are not in contention with anybody. We don’t have the complexity to begin to say that people should not come back. People should not say that because Chibudom has come back, what I’m supposed to get, I will not get.
“He has come to add to our number. The more the merrier.”
Speaking further, Wike counselled the All Progressives Congress (APC) opposition factions in Rivers State to be more concerned about the performance of his administration or if it has been untruthful to Rivers people because APC has failed on its promises.
Wike said the last administration in which Dakuku Peterside served as commissioner for works, promised to construct the Trans-Kalabari Road but failed.
But his administration, he stated, was determined to prove the difference between mere campaign rhetoric and genuine intention to solve problems.
That is why, he said, the contract for the Trans-Kalabari Road project has been awarded, with a monthly payment schedule of N1billion in the next 14 months, adding that it would be commissioned in June, 2022 as first phase.
“When he (Peterside) was commissioner for works, a project they said was about N20billion, they gave the contractor N1.5billion as mobilisation. How can the project be completed? Definitely, they squandered the money. Ask him where did they lay the foundation of Trans-Kalabari Road project?
“When he was commissioner for works, he awarded the job for shore protection of Queens Town, his own area, and they diverted the money. For him, the diversion of money is good governance.
“If you like, abuse me from now until tomorrow, they will not give you ticket. So many people think that it’s only when they say Wike is not doing well, then, their party in Abuja will see them as the only ones challenging Wike. They know that they are not in existence here.”
In his remarks while presenting Nwuche to Wike, Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Amb. Desmond Akawor, also gave him party membership card and paraphernalia.
He said Nwuche’s defection was a proof of the irresistible leadership style adopted by Wike to not only provide infrastructure across the state, but continue to defend her interest in the country.
Responding, Chibudom Nwuche explained that he made mistakes out of anger to leave the PDP.
According to him, he went on sabbatical but has retracted his steps back to where he has found people-oriented leadership.
He said Wike has transformed Rivers State in the past six years, and turned Port Harcourt to a very modern city, with state-of-the-art infrastructure.
“No matter how much they hate you, they can’t deny one fact: you have worked so hard, you have put your heart in this state.”
He spoke of Wike as an empathetic leader who uses power to uplift people, reconstructed the road in his village that was abandoned by the previous administration in the state because of him.
“In politics, you meet all sorts of people. Some people persecute you, some want to bring you down but there are only few who uplift people, and he (Wike) is one of them. I am back home!
“I am a founder of the party. I began in 1999 with PDP. The PDP has become resilient. It is reinventing itself. The issues that we noticed are being addressed for the benefit of Nigerians. So, I am glad today, that I am being received by the governor.”
Publish Details Of Parties’ Financial Transactions, SERAP Tasks INEC
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to publish the reports of parties’ accounts and balance sheets.
The body also wants details of the guidelines and steps being taken to prevent vote buying in the forthcoming elections and to prosecute vote buyers and other electoral offenders.
In a letter, yesterday, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, noted that citizens have the right to know about the accounts and financial transactions of parties.
He said transparency and accountability would curb the influence of money in politics, promote a level playing field, and remove the risks to the independence of political actors and would-be public office holders.
The organisation insisted it is both immoral and illegal to pay citizens to vote for a particular political party or standard-bearer.
“Unpunished cases of vote buying would continue to undermine good governance, the rule of law, moral values, as well as hinder citizens’ participation in elections”, it said.
SERAP told INEC that when candidates buy votes, there are possibilities that they will disregard for democratic rules.
“Vote buying and related electoral offences encourage poor governance and weaken citizens’ capacity to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.”
SERAP charged the electoral umpire to collaborate with anti-corruption agencies to ensure the effective prosecution of any outstanding cases of vote buying and related electoral offences.
The letter urged INEC to act within 14 days or face legal actions that would compel it to comply with the request.
RSG Recommits To Engaging Youth Positively
The Rivers State Government has said it was committed to engaging youths positively and empowering them.
The State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this during the opening ceremony of the Uplifting African Youth Through Basketball Programme in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said the issues of youths and young adults were very important to his administration, while expressing delight that youths were being built up with critical life skills in sports, communication, and entrepreneurial leadership skills needed for Rivers State, Nigeria, and Africa.
“This administration is very interested in youth engagements, we want to make sure that our youths are very inclusive, participate, play their roles, and be well mentored and well-motivated to be able to fulfill all of their potentials in life, educationally, in sports, morally and so we are here to support”, the governor stressed.
The governor expressed gratitude to the leader of the Organised Basketball Network (OBN) and his team, for their efforts and the support of the US Consulate, while urging them to visit the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, to appreciate the efforts of the state government in the area of youth engagement.
The youth friendly governor, said “I want to encourage our youths that as you walk together in the next two days, you would learn how to be tolerant with one another and to know that gender based violence is totally not acceptable and that it is inhumane, I know it is just two days, but a lot can be achieved that can be life time impactful”.
In her remarks, the United States Consulate’s Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz said the United States and Nigeria have very special and close relationship, adding that the Consulate feels this was the right time to do a sports programme.
“Sports diplomacy is part of what we do, it is part of some ways we build stronger relationships between our two countries, sports brings people together, and even if you do not speak the same language you can still play sports together”, Foltz stressed.
Earlier, the leader of the Organised Basketball Network, Obinna Ekezie said OBN was a platform founded for the development of grassroots basketball in Nigeria and Africa with a mission to develop the next generation of world-class African student athletes and consistently create opportunities to help them advance their careers overseas, through basketball scholarship.
He said the project uplifting African youths was a project to provide inclusion and opportunities for under privileged talented African youths to learn important life skills through basketball.
PDP Assembly, Reps Candidates Emerge In Rivers
Candidates for the House of Representatives and House of Assembly have emerged following the conduct of primaries by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday.
According to the official results, Solomon Bob emerged the party’s candidate for Abua/Odual/Ahoada East Federal Constituency while Victor Obuzor emerged the candidate for Ahoada West/Ogba/Egbema Federal Constituency.
Also, Awaji Inombek Abiante won the ticket for Andoni/Opobo Federal Constituency, just as Boma Goodhead returned elected for the Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru Federal Constituency while Cyril Godwin Hart won Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency ticket.
The results further show that Felix Nwaeke emerged the candidate of the PDP for Eleme/Tai/Oyigbo Federal Constituency, with Boniface Emerengwa emerging winner for Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency.
In the same vein, Kelechi Nwogu cruised to victory as the candidate for Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency while Dumnamene Dekor won Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency ticket.
Similarly, Kingsley Ogundu Chinda emerged the House of Representatives candidate for Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, while Alabo Victor Tamunomiekaye won Okrika/Ogu/Bolo Federal Constituency ticket.
Chima Boms won Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2 while Barrister Blessing Amadi is the winner of the primary election for Port HarcourtFederal Constituency 1.
For the Rivers State House of Assembly primary, Hon Dominic Iderima picked the ticket for Abua/Odual, Mrs Queen Williams picked the ticket for Ahoada East 1,Rt Hon Ehe Edison emerged the candidate for Ahoada East 2, while Hon Sokari Goodboy Sokari cruised to victory for Ahoada West.
Hon Major Jack won the ticket for Akuku-Toru 1, Hon Opuende Lolo Isaiah is the candidate for Akuku-Toru 2, Hon Ofiks Kabangs Christopher grabbed the ticket to represent Andoni, whileHon Tekena Wellington Granville got the ticket for Asari-Toru 1.
Also, a serving member, Enemi Alabo George easily won the ticket for Asari-Toru 2, just as Hon Victor Oko Jumbo got the nod to represent Bonny, while Hon Abbey Peter emerged the candidate for Degema.
Hon Igwe Obey Aforji emerged the PDP candidate for Eleme, Emohua will be represented by Mrs Justina Emeji, Hon Onwuka Ignatiuswon the ticket to represent Etche 1, while Hon Chimezie Nwankwor is the candidate for Etche 2.
The present member representing Gokana, Hon Dumle Maol, will retain his ticket for the seat, Prince Lemchi Nyeche emerged the candidate for Ikwerre 1, Mrs Barile Nwakoh won the ticket for Khana1, while Barrister Dinebari Loolo got the ticket for Khana 2.
In Obio/Akpor1, Hon Amaewhule Martin Chike was returned, just as Mrs Emilia Lucky Amadi emerged the candidate for Obio/Akpor 2, and Frankline Nwabochi will fly PDP flag for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni1.
In the same token, Mrs Nkemuika Ezekwe will fight for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni2 seat on the platform of the PDP, Davids Arnold Okobiriari won the ticket for Ogu/Bolo, a serving member, Somiari Steward Linda will return in Okrika, while Nwankwo Sylvanus emerged for Omuma seat.
Orubienimigha Adolphus grabbed the ticket for Opobo/Nkoro,Hon Gerald Oforji emerged for Oyigbo, Solomon Wami won the ticket for Port Harcourt1,Hon Tonye Smart Adoki will return for Port Harcourt2, Hon Azeru Opara emerged for Port Harcourt3, and Ngbar Bernard Baridamue won the ticket for Tai.
By: Nelson Chukwudi & Reward Akwu
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