The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) has challenged the people of the Niger Delta to take advantage of the maritime opportunities in the region to grow and nurture successful business ventures.
He expressed optimism that if stakeholders looked inwards and tap the unique natural endowments in the Niger Delta, the region in no distant time would produce a new set of wealthy entrepreneurs.
Dikio, gave the charge in Calabar, Cross River State at the weekend, when he unveiled the first set of ferries owned by Abitto Global Services Limited, an indigenous firm belonging to an ex-agitator, Richard Akinaka.
The amnesty boss, in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Nneotabase Egbe, regretted that people often focused on the risk factors, and discouraged themselves from starting and in the process allow lofty ideas to die.
Dikio said: “One of the first instructions God gave is ‘go and multiply, dominate’. Are you dominating this riverine environment? Why will you be thinking about other parts when the one God gave you, you have not dominated it? How many roads can you build?
“Our people live in creeks unconnected by road but God has given us roads, the rivers are our roads and for those who don’t know, many great powers are maritime powers.
“The waterways can carry any load, any load at all, it can carry it. The waterways of the Niger Delta are full of money but people don’t know. Stop making excuses and just take the initiative.
“People live where there is snow all year and they adapt to it, they adapt to that environment. And that is what this is all about; adapt to your environment, dominate the environment, the water environment”.
While congratulating Akinaka for the bold step in floating the ferry business, Dikio urged him to expand it to other riverine parts of the country, and also go public by allowing people to buy shares and be part of the business.
Dikio, again called on people of the region to pull their resources together, form partnerships and cooperatives to pursue and actualize their business dreams.
Addressing Akinaka, he said: “Richard, I want to congratulate you for your boldness, and your antecedents are not lost. You are a bold man. On this occasion, I want to assure you that as we hear of Elon Musk, people will hear of you.
“This transport company should not remain only in the Niger Delta, Lagos is 75percent water. I will do everything within my power, to promote this initiative. Already, I have started. I urge you to go corporate, so that you can spread generational wealth”.
Earlier, Akinaka said his foray into business was borne out of the need to find solutions to problems, saying he understood the basic challenges of the people.
He appreciated Dikio for his support and inspiration to the ex-agitators’ community in the region, and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm him as substantive PAP boss.
He said: “Today, I want to thank you for making out time to come, I ask myself who am I that you will so honour. For me, growing up, I told myself I don’t want to work for the government and I don’t want to work for anybody.
“That is why you see my activities in government are just a part-time job. That is why we call ourselves stakeholders. We are stakeholders, we assist, and we interface between the government and our brothers.
“For me, business is all about solving problems. Looking at the distance, when you travel from Uyo to Calabar, the bad road and terrible traffic I began to think how to ease the sufferings of people.
“I travel that road every week and I know how it is. So, while trying to build military boats, I decided to design a ferry and that is what we are seeing there today.
“We did this design; we have four concepts of what we have designed and the military version. We have not begun what we did and we have supplied about eighteen pieces of it to NNS Pathfinder through the government of Rivers State. Now this is the first one, this is a 26 carrier, that’s why you see the name AWLP26. We have a 20 carrier too which is ready.
“We are here to meet the gap of marine transportation. Our operation will definitely start from here; we will operate from here straight to Ibom Golf Resort in Akwa Ibom and other areas”.
By: Akujobi Amadi
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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