Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has said the recent Nigerian Police Force’s recognition of Rivers state as one of the safest states in the country was a testimony of his administration’s huge investment in security of lives and property.
The governor noted that in spite of the smear campaign by the All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship candidate, Dr Dakuku Peterside and his cohorts against his governorship aspiration in 2015, he has in the last seven years improved the security situation, critical infrastructure and economic fortune of Rivers State.
Wike made this assertion during the 60th birthday celebration of the founder of the Royal House of Grace Church, Apostle Zilly Aggrey in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The event coincided with Apostle Zilly-Aggrey’s 29th wedding anniversary.
Represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke, the governor said irrespective of the opposition’s intentional efforts to undermine his reputation and credibility in 2015, he has consciously focused on delivery of quality governance in Rivers State.
Wike lauded Zilly-Aggrey and the Christian community in Rivers State for supporting his political aspiration and ignoring the smear political campaign by the opposition that he was a member of a secret society.
“We are glad that the Christians stood up. We are glad that the Christians in this place did not go to sleep, that is why I thought it necessary to recall this incident because the hour has come again. And we are also proud to say as an administration that we have not failed the Christian community.
“As government, we built a worship place for the Christian community for the first time in the history of Rivers State, the wonderful edifice called the Christian Ecumenical Centre, where Christians gather and call the name of God.
“We have also, with the fear of God almighty, not taken your support and prayer for granted as we have delivered on critical infrastructure. Today, anybody who has lived in this city (Port Harcourt) in the last five years will agree with me that even our opponents agree that we have done well in terms of infrastructure.
“We have also improved the security situation in this state. And I tell you that the crime index for this state has dropped drastically. Last year, the Nigerian Police Force recognised Rivers State as one of the safest states. And so, what is the implication of that? It means that the economic activities of the state had improved, and then, the economic index of the state has also improved.”
Ahead of the 2023 general election, the governor urged the church to be wary of those who profess to be Christians, but engage in political smear campaign with the intent to deceive them and the public.
Wike noted that Zilly-Aggrey had started his Christian life as an ordinary convert to the faith.
He added that ever since, like the mustard seed, Zilly-Aggrey has progressed to become a great man of God amply endowed with uncommon prophetic vision and power.
“As a general in the kingdom of God and leader of His flock, you have taught the Word, lived and shared it with millions across the globe, reached and led countless lost souls unto salvation.
“Over the years, you have been an epitome of faith, goodness, hard work, love, service, diligence, holiness, truth and a faithful disciple of our Lord, Jesus the Christ.
“There is no doubt that your life and ministry have been and still are a blessing to Christendom, the government and people from all walks of life.
“Personally, I will always appreciate your interest, love and prayers for our state and the blessings God has used you to spread to my family, the government and people of Rivers State; for which, we are joyously grateful”, Wike said.
Also speaking at the thanksgiving service marking the 60th birthday celebration of Apostle David Zilly-Aggrey, the former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan noted that over the years, the clergyman had worked hard and recorded tremendous successes in the vineyard of God, reconciling man with God.
Speaking through a virtual message at the service, Jonathan said Zilly-Aggrey’s life had been a blessing to the body of Christ.
“You have continued to use the pulpit to reconcile man back to God. You have brought peace and unity among people,” he said.
Congratulating him on his twin celebrations, the former president prayed God to continue to sustain him in the path of truth, righteousness and grace just as he wished him more years of marital bliss.
Similarly, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri encouraged Christians to participate in politics, adding that it was by the divine benevolence of God that he became the governor of his state.
Diri described Zilly-Aggrey as a man of many parts, who has used his ministry to make a difference in the lives of people by changing their mind-sets towards the service of God.
The governor said he was joining the people of Bayelsa and Rivers states as well as the entire Ijaw nation to celebrate the cleric and his family, noting that he has cut his teeth in the service to humanity and God.
Diri restated his position that the people of Bayelsa and Rivers states were one, and called for more collaboration to foster peace, unity and development.
“Bayelsans are here in their numbers because they love you. The good Lord who has kept you up to 60 years, we pray will add another 60 years.
“The people of Bayelsa and Rivers are brothers and sisters. Bayelsa was created as a result of administrative convenience to fast-track development.
“We do not need to carry arms against each other. We need to collaborate to bring development very fast to our people.”
The Bayelsa helmsman said as political activities begin to gather momentum ahead of the country’s 2023 elections, the only place to seek political power was in the house of God rather than resort to carrying arms against one another.
He urged Christians not to shy away from politics but actively participate in order to sanitise the system and engender overall development.
“There is no other place to seek for power than the house of God. I am a living testimony.
“Christians cannot run away from politics. Do not say politics is very dirty because after God’s power, you have political power. I encourage all of you to participate in politics in order to change the political atmosphere.”
“The political bells have started ringing and the wrestling champions are restless in their different rooms. But I beg of all us, for some of us that know our journey, and God has brought us this far through miracle that has never happened anywhere in the world. For a sitting president who controls same party, and yet, God blind-folded everybody and brought us into government. There is no other place to seek for power more than the house of God. All powers belong to God.”
Responding, Apostle David Zilly-Aggrey expressed gratitude to God for preserving him and his family over the years, saying God had delivered him from death severally.
According to the church’s general overseer, he has enjoyed overwhelming love and support from both the people of Bayelsa and Rivers states.
Zilly-Aggrey said since he started his ministry in Port Harcourt in 1992, he has enjoyed love from the people and government of Rivers State.
He said in 2017, he was honoured as the only clergyman with the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (DSSRS) by Governor Nyesom Wike, for which he remains grateful.
“The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, in the year 2017 graciously nominated and awarded me as the only clergy in the Pentecostal family as the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State. I’ve been loved by Rivers people of all tribes, most especially the people of Rumueme. They have supported us.”
The minister thanked God for the privilege of his 60th birthday.
According to him, “In Nigeria for you to be alive for 60 years is a miracle. And especially in the last few years when the whole world came under the barrage of the Coronavirus, people were dying like flies, God kept me and my wife and children.”
Dignitaries that attended the thanksgiving service include wife of the Bayelsa Governor, Dr. Gloria Diri; former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Sir Gabriel Toby and his wife; Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon Abraham Ingobere; other lawmakers and commissioners from Bayelsa State.
Others are Secretary to the Bayela State Government, Dr. Konbowei Benson; wife of first civilian governor of the state, Mrs Margaret Alamieyeseigha; member, Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees (BoTs), Chief Remi Kuku; among others.
See Fubara’s Victory As God’s Design, Wike Tells Rivers PDP
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has described the victory of Hon Siminialayi Fubara at the gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as God’s design.
The PDP gubernatorial primary held, last Wednesday, at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who spoke after Fubara was declared the winner of the primary, said so many people strove to clinch the slot but only one person can emerge.
The governor also declared that with the victory of Fubara, Rivers PDP now has a candidate that will fly its flag in the 2023 governorship election.
“I never knew I’ll be governor when I became governor. You have also heard what the candidate said that he never knew he will become PDP candidate.
“But to the glory of God, he is the candidate of PDP. This is because power comes from God. Whoever God says will be, will be.”
Wike pointed out that when it comes to producing the governor of the state, all tribes need to work together on it because no one particular tribe can do it alone.
He said because his administration has performed credibly well in the state, any candidate that the party presents will easily win in the 2023 general election.
“With the performance of our administration, and with what we have achieved in this state, there is no candidate that PDP will present that will not win election.
“Our campaign focus will be like this, that we made promises to the state to do roads and other projects, ask us, have we done them? Yes, we have.
“We will ask them (other parties), what have you done for Rivers State? Certainly nothing. So, who tells you that any other party can come and win this state? Let no one deceive you about that.”
Wike explained that after the presidential primary, PDP leaders in Rivers State will set up a team that will work to ensure that the party wins the 2023 gubernatorial election.
He expressed optimism that those who believe in the party will be dutiful in working for the candidate to win.
In his acceptance speech, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, the immediate past Accountant General of Rivers State, described his victory as evidence of grace.
He called on all party faithful to support his victory and the new drive to consolidate on the achievements of Wike’s administration.
“It is victory for Fubara. It is victory for the party. It is not just victory for the party, but victory for moving the state forward.
“The purpose of this special event this night is also to consolidate on the achievements, on every side, of this present administration.
“We are going to work together to sustain the work that this administration has already done for us.”
In his opening address, the Chairman of PDP in Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor said the party was poised to conduct a peaceful and successful gubernatorial primary.
Akawor explained that the party was delighted to have conducted peaceful congresses in the 319 wards and 23 local government areas of the state, including primaries for state and National Assembly.
Declaring the result of the gubernatorial primary, Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Prof. Walter Mboto, said Hon Siminialayi Fubara, polled a total of 721 votes to emerge PDP candidate for the 2023 governorship election.
He explained that Isaac Kamalu polled 86 votes to emerge second position, while Dax Alabo George Kelly polled 37 votes and Tammy Danagogo polled 36 votes.
Also, he said, Chief West Morgan polled 4 votes, David Briggs 4 votes and Brother Felix Obuah polled 2 votes, while eight votes were voided.
“The delegate list that we have has a total number of delegates expected to vote as 980. Total number of accredited out of this 980, 898 delegates were accredited. The total number of votes cast in this election is 898. The total number of valid votes cast is 890. 8 votes were voided.”
FAAC: FG, States, LGCs Share N656.602bn Revenue
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N656.602billion as April 2022 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, states and local government councils.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual meeting of the FAAC for May 2022.
The N656.602billion total revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N461.189billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N166.522billion, the sum of N8.891billion being excess bank charges recovered and augmentation of N20billion.
In April 2022, the total deductions for the cost of collection were N29.609billion and the total deductions for transfers and refunds were N147.651billion.
Director (Information, Press and Public Relations), Office of the Accountant General of Federation, HenshawOgubike, said in a statement, yesterday, that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.377million.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N656.602billion; the Federal Government received N257.611billion, State Governments got N201.256billion and the Local Government Councils received N149.251billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N635.037billion was received for the month of April 2022.
This was lower than the N933.304billion received in the previous month by N298.267billion.
From the N461.189billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N217.412billion, the State Governments got N110.275billion and the Local Government Councils received N85.017billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared with the relevant States as 13percent derivation revenue.
In the month of April 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N178.825billion.
This was lower than the N219.504billion available in the month of March 2022 by N40.679billion.
From the N166.522billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N24.978billion, the State Governments got N83.261billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N58.283billion.
The Federal Government got N4.684billion; the State Governments received N2.376billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N1.831billion from the N8.891billion Excess Bank Charges recovered.
The N20.00billion augmentation was shared as follows: the Federal Government received N10.536billion, the State Governments got N5.344billion and the Local Government Councils received N4.120billion.
According to the communiqué, in the month of April 2022, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Excise Duties increased marginally, while Oil and Gas Royalties, Import Duty, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) all recorded significant decreases.
Children’s Day: FG Establishes Family Court In 16 States
Ahead of this year’s International Children’s Day celebration, the Federal Government has established family courts in 16 states to ensure child-friendly justice for children, either as victims or as offenders of violence.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen who disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday noted that the establishment of family courts resulted from the effective advocacy and sensitisation for effective implementation of the Child Rights Law across the country.
According to her, the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Strengthening Supportive Systems for the Protection of the Nigerian Child; A Wake-Up Call.’
The minister noted that despite efforts by the government and other stakeholders, children were still vulnerable and victims of abduction, ritual killings, rape, child marriage, domestic abuse, and others.
She said, “As a ministry, we are sometimes overwhelmed with these issues and it will seem as if we are not doing enough.
“More worrisome is the recent increase of violence in schools, where children are physically and sexually abused online and offline.
“In the meantime, the ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed policies and carried out a series of programmes to ensure the safety of children.
“The establishment of family courts in 16 states of the federation is a direct result of the effective and sustained advocacy”.
Tallen also said that to ensure the safety and protection of children, she also reconstituted the technical working group on ending violence against children in the country.
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