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2023: Get, Secure Your PVCs, Fubara Tells PHALGA Residents …As BFO Storms GDI Awareness Rally AKULGA PDP Strategises For 100% Victory

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Thousands of Port Harcourt residents, last Friday, trooped out to the Elekahia Primary School Field in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area for the sensitisation rally organised by the Grassroot Development Initiative (GDI) to encourage eligible voters in the area to register and collect their permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) ahead of the 2023 elections.
The programme, which began with a rally/gyration session by the 20 wards in the area, was preceded by solidarity speeches delivered by political leaders and other stakeholders, including the state Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Amb Desmond Akawor, who is also the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State.
In his speech, Akawor, who said he had come to lend support to the GDI because of the importance of the PVCs to the citizenry, commended the organisation for what it was doing in educating and enlightening the people on the need to register and obtain their voters’ cards.
The IPAC chairman, who described the crowd at the Port Harcourt rally as “Sea of human beings and operation thunderbolt”, noted that the large turnout he saw at Etche was incomparable to what he saw in Port Harcourt.
On his part, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sir Siminialayi Fubara, advised the people to secure their PVCs.
“You know before now, you were coming to the rally with your PVCs, and I advised against it because you might misplace it. One vote is important to us. We have the number but we need to add more so that when we win, we win with a larger margin that you cannot even protest the win”, Fubara said.
He appealed to those who had already registered, to go and collect their PVCs, disclosing that there were several PVCs at INEC offices across the state that were yet to be collected.
Fubara, therefore, advised those who were yet to collect their PVCs to go and collect them without further delay, stressing that it was only by exercising their franchise on Election Day with their PVCs that victory could be secured for the party.
Also present at the rally were the PDP Deputy Governorship candidate, Prof Ngozi Ordu; LGA chairmen; members of the state and National Assembly; and PDP Deputy Chairman, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron; the President General of the Grassroot Democratic Initiative, Hon. Bright Amaewhule; Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie; and Rivers East Senatorial District Candidate, Hon. Alwell Onyesoh.
Others are the State Secretary of the party, Dr Benibo George as well as party’s candidates for the state and national legislative elections, captains of industry, other top government officials, including members of the State Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, and various other political pressure groups.
The Bro Felix Obuah Support Group delegation was led by the Director of Contact and Mobilisation, Comrade John Davidson; and the PHALGA Coordinator, Johnson Otuonye.
While commending the GDI for the success of the campaign, Davidson stressed that the group would leave no stone unturned in its quest to ensure popular participation of citizens in the forthcoming elections, which by God’s grace, would usher in the administration of Sir Sim Fubara come 2023.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Akuku-Toru Chapter, last Wednesday, held her general meeting at Abonnema, with a call on all eligible voters, who were yet to register and collect their PVCs to do so before the Sunday expiration of the exercise.
The objective of the meeting was the sensitisation of party stalwarts on the new Electoral Guidelines and the significance of the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) in the 2023 General Election.
In his opening remark, the PDP Chairman of AKULGA, Hon. Emmanuel Stephen, assured the people that, moving forward, the party would sustain interactive sessions with party members as a priority, as part of strategies to nurture the spirit of camaraderie.
Speaking, former Secretary of the Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, thanked the members for their support and commitment to the party while encouraging them to always work together for the growth of the party.
Danagogo also reiterated the importance of the PVCs in the electoral process, and urged everyone to make the procurement of the electoral passport a priority.
In his remarks, Chairman of Akuku-Toru LGA, Hon. Rowland Sekibo, exhorted party members to be steadfast and supportive of the party’s pursuit for a better and more prosperous Rivers State and Nigeria.
Addressing stakeholders and party faithful, Chairman of the AKULGA PVC Sensitisation and Mobilisation Committee, Hon. Isobo Jack, advised party stalwarts who are yet to register to do so before the July 31, 2022 deadline given by the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
Also speaking, Vice-Chairman AKULGA, Hon. Mrs. Caroline West; Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Engr. Major Jack; member, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Lolo Opuende; member, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Sibo-ofori Lawson; Dr. ThankGod Lilly; Hon. Kurotamunoye Briggs; Barrister Ibim Dokubo; and Mrs Priscilla Don-Pedro, in their respective goodwill messages unanimously called for synergy and the collective advancement of the party.
The meeting also featured an interactive session between members and leaders of the party.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NIMASA Delivers Marine, Transport Building To Port Harcourt Varsity

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has handed over the complex housing the Institute of Marine and Transport Technology to the University of Port Harcourt, in Rivers State.
A statement from the agency indicated that the building was initiated by its previous leadership.
“The initiative dated back to 2012/2013 when the former Director-General of the agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, decided to build a maritime training institute.
“The initiative is not peculiar to the University of Port Harcourt. It is present in all the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“Any investment in education is definitely worthwhile. Research has shown that lack of education is relatively responsible for maritime crimes in the Niger Delta Region.
“We hope beneficiaries of this Maritime institute will be instrumental in making Nigeria a major maritime nation,” the statement said.
It quoted the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abraham Georgewill, who was represented by the VC Administration, Prof. Clifford Ofurum, as thanking NIMASA for selecting the university as the location for the maritime institute.
Ofurum assured NIMASA that the university would provide adequate faculty to ensure courses were accredited and recognised globally.

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Wigwe’s Family Announces Burial Plan

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The family of Herbert Wigwe has announced the burial plans for the Wigwes.
Wigwe, alongside his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi, died in an helicopter crash in the United States on February 9.
The crash also claimed the lives of a former Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and two crew members.
According to the plan, the funeral ceremony will commence on Monday, March 4, 2024.
Meanwhile, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David, where Herbert used to be a staunch member before his demise, was conspicuously missing from the list of churches scheduled to host two of the programmes.
According to the funeral plans, on Thursday, March 7, a combined Service of Songs will take place at RCCG, Ressurection Parish at Jakande Estate, Lekki, Lagos State while a combined funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 9, at RCCG, Lion of Judah Parish, Isiokpo, Rivers State.
The absence of the City of David parish on the list has, however, raised concerns despite the acknowledgement of the late Wigwe’s immense contribution to the parish while he was alive.
The Pastor in Charge of the parish, Idowu Iluyomade, had paid glowing tributes to the late bank chief while reacting to his sudden demise.
Iluyomade, who described the deceased as God’s general, added that he donated generously to the church.
Speaking during a service titled: “Barrier Shattering Thanksgiving (Sunshine Service)” on Sunday, February 11, the clergyman recalled how Wigwe spent about N500m for God Children’s Great Talent Project and how he adopted some children.
He said, “Wigwe was the Chairman of the Finance Committee with Pastor Siju, and I remember when we wanted to start the fundraising, he took us to Eko Atlantic, he put a marquee there, he brought people from America to come and see, and in that event, we raised about N600m. One would have thought he would sit back; he kept going. He told me we’ll do it.
“When this place was ground zero, he paid five years rent for a branch when there was nothing, just to assist. Then later, he said ‘I’ll give you two branches – one on the left, one on the right,’ and he paid five years each (10 years). Nobody would support a Greenfield, if you’ve built, yes, you can go. One of his purposes was to assist us.”
However, while friends and families of the deceased were still mourning, Iluyomade’s wife, Siju, threw a lavish 60th birthday party.
The lawyer, pastor and founder of the Arise Women Foundation held the birthday on Sunday, February 18, 2024.
Distinguished guests, including billionaires and monarchs, were on hand to rejoice with her at the party, which took place at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos. Also present at the event was popular singer, Chinedu Okoli, better known by his stage name Flavour N’abania.
Some Nigerians, however, expressed their displeasure at the celebrant for holding a party barely weeks after the tragic deaths of prominent members of the church.
This also fuelled insinuations about a seeming connection between the development and the decision of the family not to have considered the parish in the burial plans.

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Economy: I Take Full Responsibility, Nigeria ’ll Recover-Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, appealed for patience from Nigerians over the current economic hardship in the country, giving the assurance that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The President said he was fully aware and took responsibility for the difficulties Nigerians had been subjected to on account of government policies.
He said he would not complain but welcome all criticisms since he was the one who asked to be Nigeria’s President.
The President spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, during his visit to the leader of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
He also paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who passed on in December following a protracted battle with cancer.
The fuel subsidy removal and other economic reforms instituted by Tinubu have attracted public censure following the high costs of living, food inflation and other side effects.
The situation compelled the Nigeria Labour Congress to hold a nationwide protest on Tuesday.
The congress also threatened further mass action if the government failed to address the economic crunch within two weeks.
However, addressing public concerns over his economic policies, the President said, “Nigeria will survive the current economic challenges. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I requested the job, and I am not complaining about it. I take full responsibility.”
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, titled, ‘President Tinubu: I take full responsibility for the nation; we are building an efficient Nigeria that is inclusive and fair to all Nigerians.’’
Tinubu emphasised his commitment to leading Nigeria towards economic and social prosperity, saying, “We are meeting our obligations to the international community. To lenders, we have not defaulted, and we are not going to default. We are navigating the twists and bends on the road to Nigeria’s prosperity.”
On reforming Nigeria, the President said his task would be to ensure fiscal and true federalism, as well as the broad-based manifestation of the philosophy of “what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
He acknowledged the understanding and support of all Nigerians in the face of the harsh but temporary economic conditions, assuring them that their patience and perseverance will not be fruitless.
“But, through perseverance, Lagos emerged as the fifth largest economy in the entire continent of Africa. We must manage this moment with wisdom and grow Nigeria responsibly.
“I campaigned for this office to serve Nigeria’s interests and I was elected. Some said I would not last in the tribunal and came up with all sorts of predictions, but even when in court, I remained focused.
“We cannot allow Nigeria’s economy to be exploited. We cannot abandon our economy to marauders. I am determined to re-engineer our finances and curb selfish interests permanently,” he stated.
Speaking on behalf of Afenifere, Pa Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who read the address of Pa Fasoranti, commended Tinubu for his commitment to Nigeria’s progress and expressed support for his administration’s efforts.
“You have kept your word to return to this place where we all prayed for you, and this shows that you are a man of your word,” the elder statesman stated.
Pa Fasoranti asked President Tinubu to be fair and courageous, declaring that such traits were the hallmark of the Afenifere family.
“Today, you are carrying our flag. We are noted for integrity, competence, fairness, and courage. Your performance so far has shown that you understand the full gravity of your mandate, which is to show the Nigerian people that a good government is possible,” he said.
Fasoranti also charged the President on institutional reforms, saying, “Mr President, please also seek institutional reforms that would strengthen our federation and make Nigeria safer and more prosperous. Try and balance the budget and execute capital projects that would create more employment. We thank you for welcoming the idea of state policing.’’
He added, “We want each of the geopolitical zones to have greater responsibilities for security, food production and infrastructural development. Since the removal of fuel subsidy, which was costing Nigeria $10bn yearly, the state governments have been receiving hefty allocations from the Federation account.
“Mr President should persuade the governors to allow this change of fortune for the states to reflect at the grassroots so that life can be better for our people. They should not just buy rice and yams for the people. They should create employment, improve education and build new infrastructures. Today, life is truly challenging for most people and the state governments have an important role to play to transform society.”
Fasoranti received the President in the company of some Afenifere leaders, who included a former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo; Chief Kole Omololu, among others
Earlier, the President had paid a condolence visit to Akeredolu’s family in Owo and also visited the palace of the Olowo of Owo Kingdom, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III.
Speaking at the palace of the monarch, Tinubu eulogised the late Akeredolu as a statesman and a distinguished legal luminary who served his people with unwavering dedication.
“We lost an illustrious son. Akeredolu was very close to me and an ally. He was a son of the soil, and I have come to pay homage,” the President said.
He extended his prayers for the good health, progress, and prosperity of the traditional ruler and the community and thanked the people of Owo for their support to the bereaved family.
Accompanied by the Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Tinubu also commiserated with the Akeredolu’s widow, Betty, the children, and other family members.
Addressing the widow and the family members, Tinubu said, “God will be with you. Your children will do well in life. May you all end well. May God be with you and uphold you,”
The wife of the late governor expressed appreciation for the President’s visit, describing Tinubu as a good friend and brother to her late husband.
She also thanked the South-West governors for their contributions to the burial of the late governor. She particularly thanked Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for single-handedly repatriating the remains of Akeredolu back to Nigeria.
She said, “On behalf of my family, I appreciate Mr. President. We understood he couldn’t attend the burial ceremony due to the dictate of Yoruba culture. He couldn’t have attended the burial of his younger brother.
“Coming today (Wednesday ) is a big deal because we are in a better atmosphere. I also express my profound gratitude to the southern governors for their immense financial contributions to the burial, most especially, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who singlehandedly brought Aketi’s remains back to Nigeria. We appreciate this huge show of love and we are grateful and forever indebted to him.
“I requested that Mr President see where Aketi has been laid to rest and he followed me. We are deeply grateful to Mr. President for coming. He is indeed Aketi’s brother and friend.
“I told Mr. President, yes, Aketi has left but he lives because he left behind legacies. It is our wish that those legacies continue and are built upon where necessary.”

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