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2023: PVC, Your Tool For Electoral Victory, Fubara Tells GDI Members …Wants People At Grassroots Galvanised For PVC Registration …As Sensitisation Moves To Emohua, Ahoada East, Etche …Akuku-Toru Intensifies Ward-To-Ward Enlightenment Tour

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The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, has charged political leaders in Emohua Local Government Area to galvanise their people towards increased participation in the ongoing continuous voters registration exercise.
This is even as the GDI took the ongoing sensitisation rally for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Continuous Voter Registration (PVC) exercise to Etche and Ahoada East local government areas, at the weekend, with a charge the members of the GDI to ensure that every eligible voter in all the communities get their PVCs ahead of the 2023 elections.
Fubara gave the charge while addressing members of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), yesterday, 2022 during the PVC sentisisation programme at St Paul’s State School Field, Emohua, headquarters of the local government area.
He said though Emohua already has high level of political awareness and population, there was still the need to tell them about the importance of the Permanent Voters’ Cards.
“The reason why we are doing this sensitization programme is not that we are not aware that you are conscious of the use of PVC but we want you to prepare yourself well because election that we are going into is not election of thugery”.
He explained that Emohua had been a battle ground during elections, therefore to ensure that such incident doesn’t occur again, there must be increased PVC registration and collection to guarantee outright win.
Fubara also expressed confidence that the incident that took place in 2019 during the Governorship election in the state would not repeat itself in 2023 because the army would not be allowed to interfer in the electoral process.
“They did something because they carried arms. We are not talking about the army anymore, we are talking about human beings that will come out to vote. Let us not assume that we have the number. Let us assume that we dont have the number so that we can improve on the number we have”.
While noting that the local government area was important to Governor Nyesom Wike, the PDP standard bearer equally said the LGA was important to the state because of the array of great politicians in the area.
He congratulated the people of Emohua, especially GDI for the massive work done in mobilising the people for the programme, and commended them for the level of cooperation and unity among them, urging to not to relent.
In his speech, the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Amb Desmond Akawor, commended the extensive work done by GDI to achieve such a wonderful level of mobilisation, describing the organisation as a “vehicular transmitter for effective mobilisation and sensitisation”.
Akawor, who was represented by the Secretary of the party, Dr Benibo George, told them that the PVC is the only power they have to choose who rules them.
He congratulated leaders of the area for the high level of political awareness and their affirmation that the people have been adequately sensitised.
Also speaking, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeke Woke, appealed to those who have not registered or have registered but have not picked the voters cards to do so, explaining that it is only the PVC that would be used during next year’s election.
“So, those of you who have registered are not yet privileged to pick up your PVC, please do because the INEC Electoral guidelines for this election will not recognise manual accreditation. Accreditation is by BIVAS and the BIVAS you need to have a PVC that will match your face so there is no point saying I registered but I have not picked my PVC”.
He, therefore, called for the engagement of chiefs, elders, CDCs and youth leaders in educating their people on PVC registration and collection, adding that the number of registered voter for any community woild be the “empirical basis” for determining the population of the people in that community.
High points of the sensitisation programme were solidarity speeches from political leaders in the area as well as gyration by the 14 wards in the local government area.
Political heavyweights from within and outside the LGA, including the PDP Deputy Governorship candidate, Prof Mrs Ngozi Ordu, local government chairmen, former commissioners and special advisers, members of the National and State Assembly, as well as aspirants, captains of industry and heads of tertiary education institutions, PDP State Executive Council, women, youth and student groups attended the event.
Similarly, the GDI also took the ongoing sensitisation rally for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Continuous Voter Registration (PVC) exercise to Etche and Ahoada East local government areas, at the weekend, with a charge the members of the GDI to ensure that every eligible voter in all the communities get their PVCs ahead of the 2023 elections.
The Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, who gave the charge, also described GDI as a PDP workshop which must have requisite tools to function properly.
The event was well attended by hundreds of supporters and other party faithful who thronged St. Paul’s State School Field, Ahoada Town in Ahoada East Local Government Area, venue of the rally, singing victory songs.
Speaking at the rally, which held, last Saturday, Fubara maintained that the only tool needed by GDI to work was the PVC.
He, therefore, urged eligible voters who have not registered to participate actively in the electoral process to go to the nearest registration centre to do so.
The PDP standard bearer, who described the PVC sensitisation rally as a very important programme for the forthcoming election, insisted that the PVC would enable the electorate in Ahoads East to make their statement during elections.
“We won’t make our mark in this local government area, if we don’t have our PVCs. If we really have the interest of PDP’s working tool, which is the GDI, then, you need to have your PVC”.
He disclosed that the mere mention of his name was already making most people in the opposition jittery, saying that this was a clear sign of victory for him.
“We will win because each time you mention incoming, people get scared because I am the incoming, and I will win”, Fubara said.
He also advised GDI members not to bring their original PVCs to the rally, saying that it was possible for such cards to get lost in the process, adding that such a situation could be a great loss to the GDI.
“You can make photocopy and come with the photocopy. Each PVC that is here is a vote for us. Let’s not start loosing our votes while sensitising people. Your PVC is your voice, your PVC is your vote, your PVC is your power.
“What we are doing is to let you know the importance of the PVC. It is not just a jamboree. It is to tell you to go back to your unit, go back to your ward, and encourage people that have not registered to register now that the window is still open”.
Fubara further urged members of the party in Ahoada East to extend the campaign for the PVC registration in their various wards and units, encouraging them to take the PVC sensitisation of the GDI seriously.
According to him, the sensitisation rally is important for those who have the interest of the party and GDI at heart.
He assured the people that he would continue to partner with GDI to ensure that the party is re-elected in the forthcoming 2023 election.
Fubara, who expressed joy over the warmth reception, urged teeming party faithful to continue in their support for the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, towards achieving a better Rivers State.
He added that his candidature and the re-election of the PDP would consolidate on the achievements of the governor who has invested so much in transforming the state through his urban renewal programmes and policies.
Also speaking, President General of the GDI, Bright Amaewhule, recognised the efforts of the Ahoada East Council chairman towards improving the infrastructure landscape of the area.
He also acknowledged the contributions of leaders and members of the party in the area towards ensuring the successful hosting of the programme.
Amaewhule, however, charged the electorate not to feel threatened by the presence of any security outfit in the course of the sensitisation exercise, urging them to stand firm, secure and defend their votes in order to elect credible candidates in 2023.
On his part, Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Barrister Ben Eke, said his administration has made the production of the PVC a condition for bursary payment to students of the area.
Eke advised those who are yet to register for their PVCs to take advantage of the last days of the registration exercise to obtain their voters card.
However, it was like a carnival as hundreds of GDI members and supporters trooped out in their numbers for the INEC Continuous Voters Cards sensitisation programme which took place at Etche, last Friday.
The occasion, attended by the cream of Rivers personalities and political stakeholders across Etche and other local governments, featured what could best be described as a show of force as each ward came out in their numbers, dancing and gyrating round the Okomoko School Field, venue of the sensitisation programme.
The programme was preceded by solidarity messages by Etche political stakeholders.
Speakers at the event included, President General of GDI, Chief Bright Amaewhule; Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Amb Desmond Akawor, who attended the event in the capacity of Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) chairman as well as the Governorship candidate of the PDP, Siminialayi Fubara, who was represented by the Deputy Governorship candidate, Prof Ngozi Ordu.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Prof Ngozi Ordu, lauded the people of Etche for the large turn-out, and also praised GDI for the great work they were doing in educating and sensitising the people for the continuous voter registration exercise.
Ordu, who described the PVC as the only potent instrument that can give eligible voters the voice to choose their leaders, urged them to register and obtain their PVC, and also use it wisely during the 2023 elections.
She urged GDI members to use the few days remaining for the PVC registration exercise to mobilise their people to register and obtain their voters’ cards to enable them participate in the 2023 general election.
On his part, the state PDP Chairman, Amb Desmond Akawor, who described the crowd at the Etche programme as an example of “the Wild Fire ravaging the entire Europe”, said Etche people have shown capacity to deliver victory to PDP.
He thanked GDI president-general and members of the organisation for the way they have been charging Rivers people to come out to register and obtain their Permanent Voters’ Cards, urging them to sustain the campaign.
Many others who delivered solidarity messages also underscored the importance of the permanent voters’ cards.
The events, attended by people from different walks of life, includingthe party’sstate Secretary, Dr Benibo George; members of the state executive of the party, members of the national and state assembly, local government chairmen, former commissioners, women, youths and students groups was massively attended.
Some of the local government chairmen include that of Obio/Akpor, Barrister George Ariolu; his Port Harcourt City counterpart and Chairman of Rivers State ALGON, Sir Allwell Ihunda; Ikwerre, Engr Samuel Nwanosike; Etche, Hon Obinna Anyanwu, Akuku-Toru, Hon Rowland Sekibo, amongst others.
Others who attended the events include, Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie; and Deputy Chief Whip, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Major Jack.
Similarly, the Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Hon. Rowland Sekibo has charged GDI members and stakeholders in the area to be in the vanguard of sensitising AKULGANS on the importance of the ongoing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) PVC registration exercise.
He said this when the AKULGA PVC sensitisation and mobilisation committee led by the visited Ward 17, which comprises Elem Sangama, Abissa, Soku and Idama communities, situated along the Sombreiro River.
They also toured Ward 13 in Briggs Compound, Abonnema and Ward 14 in Obonoma community.
He said that the central theme of the visit was to galvanise and sensitise eligible and indifferent voters on the necessity of registering for their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC).
Sekibo further said that the visit was also to encourage those with issues regarding their PVCs to take advantage of the existing window of opportunity before this weekend’s deadline for the conclusion of the exercise.
The occasion was also used to welcome back former party members in Ward 13 who previously decamped to the APC.
Accompanying the LGA chairman were, Vice Chairman Akuku-Toru, Mrs. Caroline West; Chairman, Rivers State Task Force on Waste Management and Disposal, who is also the Chairman, AKULGA PVC Sensitisation and Mobilisation Committee, Hon. Isobo Jack; Chairman, PDP, AKULGA, Hon. Emmanuel Stephen;a former minority leader and member, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Benibo Anabraba; Barrister Ibim Dokubo, Ven. Vincent Dokubo, and Councillor Ward I3 AKULGA, Hon Omona Oliver; amongst other party stalwarts.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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We’ve Collapsed Other Parties Into PDP In Rivers, Wike Affirms

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that more politicians in the state were renouncing membership of their political parties in droves, and joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
They are doing so, he enthused, because they were delighted at ongoing infrastructure development by his administration, and believed the PDP was a better party to associate with.
Wike spoke, yesterday, at the flag-off of the 11th flyover project, which was performed by former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, at the Rumuola-Ikwerre Road-Rumuokwuta Roundabout in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The Rivers State governor explained that the ongoing collapse of the membership strength of other political parties in the state was definitely an electoral advantage for the PDP.
“We have collapsed every other party. Every day people from All Progressives Congress (APC) are joining our party. We are here doing that and some people are in Abuja; ask them how many persons have they brought to the party.
“It’s not to say I’m supporting our candidate. How many people have you brought to help your candidate?. We are here every day bringing people to join our party and you are there following your candidate from Abuja to Adamawa. Is it there you’ll win the votes? Come back home.”
Wike stressed that Rivers State is too strategic politically to be ignored by any serious minded politician who wants to win election.
He stated the futility of the claims by those who professed that they know the PDP presidential candidate, yet they are not at home where votes can be mobilised to secure electoral victory.
“This local government alone, Obio/Akpor, where I come from, we registered not less than 600,000 voters. This local government beats two states in their electoral strength.
“So, we are not a state that you can take for granted, not to talk about the local government where I come from.
“I believe that they must know us here because we have what it takes to deliver. They must come and know us. I’m not going to find anybody. You must come here. You can’t take 600 and something thousand votes away from my local government. You can’t take 3.2million votes from my state just like that.”
Wike emphasised that the days are gone when supporters and electorate offer their votes and do nothing in return.
“If we were Father Christmas before, we won’t be Father Christmas again? You must tell me what is there for me if I should vote. So, nobody should bother himself. At the appropriate time we will talk to our people and our people will understand.
“If you say we don’t exist, we will tell you that you don’t exits. I am not a son to anybody. I am a son of Rivers State. I am working to attract what will benefit Rivers State.”
Wike said the infrastructural projects are evidences of how Rivers money has been expended by his administration to solving critical socioeconomic problems.
He noted that the 12 flyovers, in the next three years, would be more appreciated because they will sufficiently address traffic related problems.
Wike explained that everything has been done to ensure that funds are available so that every project started by his administration is not abandoned but completed.
“As at yesterday (Wednesday), I have released the money for the compensation of every property that will be affected here.
“We have paid for the relocation of the electric poles and property from Mgbuoba to Ozuoba. We have paid for the relocation of electric poles and property on Azikwe-Iloabuchi Road. So, the total compensation we have paid is N4.3billion.
The governor also informed that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has started, in July, the deduction of N2billion from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) account of the state, and would do so for the next 10 months, to execute the 11th and 12th flyovers.
He also explained that 80percent of the contract sum has been paid to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for the Azikwe-Iloabuchi Road construction.
Wike emphasised that his administration was determined to complete the Andoni section of the Ogoni-Opobo-Andoni Unity Road, and has charged the contractor to expedite work.
“Andoni must get road before I go there to campaign. I have told the contractor, Opobo has gotten road, Andoni people must drive by road before the administration ends.
“The Trans-Kalabari road, we have paid 100percent, that is over N13billion, we have paid and I believe by the grace of God, by this September, the first phase of Trans-Kalabari road will be completed.
“The one of Bori to Kono that CCECC is doing, which we have paid over N14billion, and finished paying.”
Performing the flag-off, former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, said the leadership capacity demonstrated by Wike assures that there was hope for Nigeria.
Duke commended Wike for executing projects, particularly the flyovers that have made Port Harcourt liveable city.
He also noted the medical succour the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiologist Disease Diagnostic Centre would offer cancer patients, because of the terminal nature of the disease.
Providing a description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr. Dakorinama George-Kelly said the 11th flyover is 1007.5 meters long, stretching from the Ebony Junction on Rumuola Road to the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Ikwerre Road.

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Police Raid IPOB, ESN Camps In Enugu

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Operatives of Enugu State Police Command have carried out a raid on the camp and hide out of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Agu-Ibeje forest within Enugu-Ezike Community of Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Daniel Ndukwe,  yesterday. in Enugu.
Ndukwe said police operatives of the Command drawn from Tactical Squads and Operation Restore Peace carried out a tactical and intelligence-driven dusk to dawn raid on the IPOB/ESN camp between August 11 and 12, this year.
According to him, the raid is in pursuance of the crime fighting strategies devised by the statte Commissioner of Police, Mr Abubakar Lawal.
He said the hoodlums, on sighting the police operatives, engaged them in a gun duel, which led to the neutralisation of one of them.
The police spokesman said several others escaped with varying degrees of fatal gunshot wounds, due to the superior firepower of the operatives.
“The operation led to the discovery and exhumation from a shallow grave in the camp, the corpse of their victim identified as Johnson Okpanachi, a Police Officer serving in Igbo-Eze North Police Division.
”Okpanachi had gone missing on July 30, with all effort made to trace his whereabouts proving abortive.
“Items recovered at the Camp include 12 firearms, one AR-K2 Assault rifle, six pump action guns, one locally-made Berretta-like pistol and five locally-fabricated double-barreled guns.
The operatives also recovered 98 live cartridges; two machetes, one digger, one battle axe and one hacksaw; five motor vehicles, which include  three Toyota Sienna minivans, one Honda Pilot Jeep and one Hiace (Hummer) bus loaded with assorted Ankara fabrics.
Ndukwe further stated that all the items reported recovered were snatched from their owners at different times within the area by the hoodlums.
He added that 20 different brands of motorcycles with their plate numbers removed; one police bullet-proof vest; one pair of police camouflage uniform; one pair of military camouflage uniform with a cap and military singlet were also recovered from the hoodlums.
He said: “Other items recovered in the raid include one piece of red-black-green coloured clothing identified as Biafra flag and another five pieces of masquerade-like attires of the said flag colours.
“One HP laptop with its bag; 22 different brands of mobile phones; six different brands of Mp3 players; one canon camera, six torch lights; three rolls of cello-tapes; one air pumping machine and one small yellow-coloured generating set.
“15 fabric arm-less and five plastic chairs; seven school bags; one camp bed and 21 pieces of table spoons and a set of musical equipment, including band set, piano, guiter and speakers, the hoodlums allegedly stolen after invading a church in the area.”
Ndukwe said the Commissioner commended police operatives for the successful execution of the operations without any casualty recorded by the Command.
The Police spokesman said the CP also charged them to remain focused on actualising the overall goal of ridding the state of unrepentant criminal elements.
The PPRO said the State Police boss called on residents to remain law-abiding, vigilant and support the command with credible information or intelligence it requires to combat criminals and their activities.
“I enjoin individuals and owners of medical facilities to quickly report anyone sighted with gunshot injuries to the nearest police station or personnel,” he added.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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Emirates Suspends Flights To Nigeria From Sept

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Emirates Airlines, yesterday, announced the suspension of its flight operations in Nigeria from September 1, 2022.
It said the suspension became necessary following its inability to repatriate its funds from Nigeria.
International carriers operating in Nigeria have repeatedly complained about their inability to repatriate funds to their home countries.
They have raised this concern on many occasions with officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, as well as those at the finance ministry.
Blocked funds belonging to these airlines have risen to about $600million, as this is due to the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the United States dollar available for the carriers to repatriate.
In its statement, yesterday, Emirates Airlines stated that it “has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.”
It added, “Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective September 1, 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, however, the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage. We will be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.”
It, however, noted that should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, the airline would, of course, re-evaluate its decision.
“We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travellers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations,” the global carrier stated.

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