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.”
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
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