Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has told Nigerians that his presidency would solve the leadership problem that has stunted economic growth in the country.
Wike gave the assurance when he met with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delegates at the party’s secretariat in Owerri, yesterday, as part of his ongoing consultation ahead of the party’s presidential primary next month.
This is as the Rivers State governor has vowed to expeditiously tackle the festering security and economic challenges facing Nigeria, if elected president.
The governor said he has clarity of purpose and the capacity to galvanise, coordinate the abundant human talents, expertise and resources in steering the county to greatness.
“Each time, our party people will say but for Wike, the party would have died. Now, the same person has come out.
“That Wike who has stood for this party, that Wike who has made this party not to die, that Wike who has made this party to be alive has come out to say I want to now lead this party.
“Nigeria is full of talents. Nigeria is full of people who are intelligent. What is the problem of this country today is leadership.
“You require somebody who can galvanise, coordinate those resources and it takes leadership. If you give me the mandate of the party, I know I will win the election in 2023.”
Wike stated that it was hard to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari was truly in charge of affairs of the country, given the intractable insecurity situation in parts of the country and poor performance of the economy.
He pointed to issues of insincerity in the fight against corruption because persons with such charges on them are either made chairman of the APC or shielded from the course of justice.
Wike assured that his presidency would be in charge of the armed forces, provide them with requisite support, strengthen their capacity to gather intelligence and demand results from them.
This is because, he said, any government that cannot protect life and property of citizens has failed.
Wike pointed out that it is such failure that he was desirous to reverse with the PDP ticket.
“If you cannot protect and property, governance is zero. This is because without life what are roads for? Without life, what are schools for and without life what are hospitals for? People must be alive to go to schools.
“You need a firm, courageous and fearless person. You can’t go to this election without you leading. You can’t be at the back. What I’m fully prepared for is this particular seat, to be the President of Nigeria.”
The governor asserted that without security, the economy cannot thrive and he is courageous to tackle the menace across the country.
He also stated that economists and experts shall be engaged as part of his presidency and be allowed to fashion out modalities and strategies that are required to set the road map in growing the nation’s economy.
Wike said he is passionate about the development of his people and loves the provision of infrastructure as seen in Rivers State.
He assured of replicating the success record secured in Rivers State, when elected president of Nigeria.
Wike told the delegates that his winning chances would have been secured if they give him the party’s ticket because he was the only person who can take the power from APC for PDP on behalf PDP for Nigerians.
Former Gombe State Governor, Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, urged Imo State PDP leaders and delegates to support Wike’s presidential aspiration because he was competent, fearless and above all, kind hearted.
Dankwambo described Wike as a tested and detribalised Nigerian, who believes in development, having unrelentingly delivered dividends of democracy in Rivers state in the past seven years.
Earlier, Imo State PDP Chairman, Chief Charles Ugwuh, said Nigeria was in search of a great leader like Wike at this critical juncture.
“The governor is a unique personage, very courageous, strong willed, clear headed and focused man: A man who is able to state his belief and conviction without equivocation. He represents a great resource for Nigeria and PDP.”
Ugwuh commended Wike for offering himself to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.
According to him, “Imo State loves you because you’re very direct, you’re very outspoken, and you’re not shy to define what you believe.”
Similarly, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has vowed to expeditiously tackle the festering security and economic challenges facing Nigeria, if elected president.
Wike maintained that at this critical juncture, the country desperately requires a leader with political will and courage to decisively end the scourge of insecurity and revive the ailing economy.
The Rivers State governor made the pledge while addressing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), delegations from Borno and Yobe states in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, last Monday.
He observed that in the past seven years, the security and economic situation in the country had deteriorated due to the incompetence of the current All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
“I came here today because there is a problem, and that problem is that Nigeria is dying, and we must not allow Nigeria to die. We must rescue this country. So, I came as a Nigerian, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, a party I have never left since 1998 till now. A party I have worked for, and will continue to work for. A party I believe with it, Nigeria has hope.
“And so, I want to run for the presidency of this country under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. I came because I feel concerned. I came because I have no other country to run to, and therefore, I have come to offer myself to solve most of the problems that this APC administration could not solve.”
He further said: “Before, people used to talk about insecurity in Borno State.Today, insecurity is all over Nigeria. Hunger does not know Muslim; hunger does not know Christian. Insecurity does not know Muslim; insecurity does not know Christian. Insecurity does not know North; insecurity does not know South. You need somebody who will have the courage to fight insecurity in this country, and I want to tell you that I have that courage.”
He advised the delegates not to be deceived by those who may want to use geopolitical and religious sentiments to influence how they would vote during the PDP convention.
According to him, the socio-economic and security challenges bedevilling the country does not exclusively affect Muslims or Christians alone.
“Nigerians are aware that everybody is suffering. Nigerians are aware that people are dying. Muslims are dying, Christians are dying. Northerners are dying, southerners are dying. We need somebody that can stop all these, and that person is me.”
Wike accused APC leadership of covertly scheming against his emergence as the flag-bearer of the PDP.
According to him, APC leaders are afraid that if Wike clinches the PDP presidential ticket, that would mark the end of their grip on power.
The governor commended the leader of PDP in Borno State, Mohammed Imam for being a steadfast and dependable political ally.
The Rivers State governor also commended his Borno counterpart, Prof Babagana Zulum, for the hospitality and warm reception accorded him and his entourage.
“Let me on behalf of our team, express appreciation and thanks to my brother, the governor of Borno State. Let me sincerely thank you for displaying maturity and this is what we lack in this country. You have shown maturity, irrespective of the party you belong to.”
In his remark, Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum said the unity of the nation, deepening internal democracy, promoting peace, social cohesion, and stability in Nigeria, cannot be overemphasised.
“The nexus between peace and development need not be overemphasised. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be divided along political lines to the detriment of the vision of developing one strong Nigeria.”
Zulum thanked Wike for coming, and wished him well while in his state.
He disclosed that he and Wike were close, and revealed that during the stormy days of Boko Haram, Wike was among few Nigerians who called him on phone to show concern.
In his welcome address, the Borno State PDP Leader, Hon. Mohammad Imam explained that he was one of the friends who purchased the expression of intent and nomination forms for Wike, because they were convinced of his capacity to lead Nigeria out of its current socio-economic predicaments.
Imam, who spoke on behalf of PDP delegates in Borno and Yobe states, decried the nonchalance shown by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to issues of security that has crumbled business in the two states.
“We in Borno and Yobe are business people. We are bordered with three countries: Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Our people are businessmen.
“On a daily basis, lots of people here can attest to that, over 2,000 truck-loads of goods come out from Maiduguri market, cutting (taken)across these three Trans Sahara regions that I’ve mentioned: Maiduguri, Banki-Bama to Cameroon, Lake Chad, Niger, up to Central Africa and Libya.”
Imam also expressed grief over the level of devastation that their communities have suffered within the period because of the unrestrained marauding Boko Haram killers.
According to him, despite their cries, there has not been meaningful response from the Federal Government.
He said they were now looking up to Wike who was a man of vision and courage to rescue Nigeria, guarantee safety to Nigerians and improve the economy.
“We are peasant farmers; we don’t go to farm now. Our people cannot access their farms. In the Lake Chad, we are fishermen. 40percent of the fish consumed in Nigeria and other Sub-Africa states come from Lake Chad Basin.
“Why we want you to be the President and Commander-in-Chief of this country is because we have hope in you as a person because we know your capacity.
“We know your capability. We know your vision for this country. We have no other hope here in Borno, particularly in the North-East, without you at the helm of affairs at the Aso Villa come 2023.”
Speaking further, Imam said the people in Borno and Yobe states would support a man who would restore peace in the area.
“We don’t see any reason why we will have a president that sits down in the Villa while Boko Haram is killing our people in Sambisa Forest here”.
Earlier, Rivers State Governor, and presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, Chief Nyesom Wike had paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum at the Government House, Maiduguri.
Wike, who was accompanied by former Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice,Barrister Michael Aondoakaa, later addressed delegates from Borno and Yobe states before departing Maiduguri.
We’re Determined To Achieve Rivers Of Our Dreams -Fubara …Tasks Rivers People On Peaceful, Harmonious Relationship
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, says his administration is determined to enthrone an enviable Rivers that satisfies the dreams and aspirations of all residents.
To achieve the feat, Fubara charged all residents to embrace peace, exhibit mutual harmony among themselves and meaningfully contribute their quota to achieve designated developmental activities that will eventually benefit the State.
The governor stated this at the funeral service in honour of late King Theophilus J.T. Princewill, Amachree XI, the Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of the Kalabari Kingdom, which was held at the King Amachree Square in Buguma Town, Asari Toru Local Government Area, yesterday.
A statement by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Boniface Onyedi, quoted Fubara as saying, ”We are in a difficult period but just be peaceful. We cannot achieve progress in an environment of violence. We cannot grow our State to the level of our aspirations when there is trouble.”
“We can only advance to our dream State in a peaceful environment. I urge every one of you to be peaceful. Peace is the only instrument that can bring development,”
The governor applauded the level of cooperation seen between the bereaved family and the entire Kalabari people through the various stages of preparations leading to the eventual burial of their late king to the disappointment of those who had predicted crisis.
He urged the Kalabari people to continue to live in peace even after the burial of their late king, adding that nobody in the State should lose hope because his administration is committed not to disappoint, regarding all their expectations.
In his sermon, the intercontinental Youth Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Belemina Obunge, who represented the General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, preached on the topic: “Don’t wait until you’re late”, harped on the need for people to seek God fervently, serve him truthfully while also living peaceably with neighbours in their various community.
Senate Leader Faults N9.9trn Recurrent Expenditure In 2024 Budget Proposal
Senate Leader, Bamidele Opeyemi, says the N9.9 trillion recurrent expenditure in the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget proposal is too high, as it constitutes 43 per cent of the budget.
Opeyemi said this at the opening of debate on general principles of the budget at plenary in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the total fiscal operations of the Federal Government would result in N9.8 trillion deficit, representing 3.88 per cent of estimated GDP, saying that this was above the three per cent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Opeyemi listed highlights of the budget to include oil price benchmark of 77.96 dollars per barrel and daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day and exchange rate of N750 to dollar.
He said based on the fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federally-collectible revenue was N16.87 trillion in the budget, while total federally distributable revenue was N11.09 trillion
Opeyemi said total revenue available to fund the 2024 budget was N9.73 trillion, which included revenues from 63 government-owned enterprises, while oil revenue was projected at N1.92 trillion, with non-oil taxes at N2.43 trillion among others.
He said to finance the deficit would result in new borrowings totaling N7.83 trillion in addition to N294.49 billion expected from privatisation.
He said the deficit would also be financed from N1.06 trillion drawn from bilateral, multilateral loans secured for specific development projects programmes.
He, however, said there was a growing concern over continued borrowing, but the administration resorted to it to finance fiscal gaps.
“But let me state here that the debt level of the federal government is still within sustainable limits.
“Very importantly, these loans are used to finance critical development projects and programmes aimed at improving our economic environment and ensuring effective delivery of public services to our people,” he said.
Contributing, Sen.Osita Ngwu (PDP-Enugu)said President Bola Tinubu had fulfilled his promises by capturing food security, poverty allivation in the budget.
He said there was need to ensure a review of Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) to ensure the continuous ramp up of oil production to fund the deficit in the budget.
Senators, who contributed to the debate, commended the President for the budget, saying it was a budget of renewed hope.
NDDC Laments Unpaid N2trn Allocation
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Sam Ogbuku, on Wednesday, said the interventionist agency is being owed remittances totalling over N2trillion by the Federal Government.
Ogbuku disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ Committee on NDDC, chaired by Ibori-Suenu Erhiatake.
According to him, the amount is the accumulation of 15 per cent of the allocation of the nine states that make up the region, due to the commission since 2000.
He noted that in spite of the passage of the agency’s annual budget in 2021, 2022 and 2023; the funds were yet to be remitted.
“I want to raise an important issue. When we talk about funding, the NDDC Act says the monthly allocation from the Federal Government is 15 per cent of the allocation of nine states of the Niger Delta. But I can assure you that since the inception of the NDDC, it has not got that.
“The Federal Government only budgets what it wants to give to the NDDC for that year and they give it that year. If you look at the 15 per cent, we are not getting it. Even with the removal of fuel subsidy and with the increment of state allocation, the NDDC is still where it is. So, these are issues we want you to help us resolve and we have done our calculation that from 2000 to date we can say we are being owed over N2trn from what is supposed to be due NDDC.
“We also came in at a point when the NDDC never had a budget for 2021, 2022 and 2023. These budgets were before the National Assembly and we had to fast-track the passage of those budgets and those budgets were eventually passed in April this year. However, since the budget was passed, it has not been handed over to us up till now. We pray and plead with you to ensure that as fast as possible, you also facilitate the process for us to have the budget because the budget year is already coming to an end,” he said.
In his own contribution, the Chairman of the NDDC Board, Chiedu Ebie, said the board would work together to reposition the commission in the interest of the oil-producing states and Nigeria at large.
Responding, Erhiatake said issues raised by the agency would be addressed in no distant time.
“It is very important we create a platform for synergy in the implementation of these policies and programmes for the general benefit of Nigerians and especially the people of the Niger Delta. I assure you that this committee is willing and ready to partner with you to make sure that the dividends of democracy are brought to the region and the narratives that had been set by the previous board are changed for the better.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has advised officials of the NDDC to be abreast of anti-graft laws so as not to step out of line.
The ICPC Zonal Commissioner for Rivers and Bayelsa states, Mrs. Ekere Usiere, gave the advice during a sensitisation programme organised by the NDDC at its headquarters in Port Harcourt.
A statement on Wednesday by the Director, Corporate Affairs of the NDDC, Pius Ughakpoteni, said Usiere spoke on the topic: “Understanding the Offences and Penalties Under the ICPC Act 2000.”
It also quoted the Head, Legal Department of ICPC in Rivers State, Dr Agada Akogwu, as saying, “Every public servant should take the ICPC Act as a Bible and internalise all its tenets. That is why the NDDC deserves commendation for organising a sensitization programme for its staff.”
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