Former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, has noted that through bold legal challenges, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, deepened the national consciousness concerning the defective federal system, and advocated for true federalism.
Mimiko made the statement when he performed the flag-off of construction work for the dualisation of Azikiwe-Iloabuchi Road in Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
He said Wike combined such national advocacy with effective political leadership with which he doubtlessly changed the physical landscape of Rivers State.
“Beyond the self-evident physical transformation, you (Wike) have stood as a bulwark against those sworn to emasculating the main opposition party, all in their bid to force a one party state down the throats of Nigerians.
“I am sure your successor will surely be proud to announce loud and clear, a continuity campaign slogan, continuity of impactful projects, continuity of passionate and courageous leadership.
“You were at one point virtually a one man countervailing force, defending and protecting our dear PDP. You have also, through bold legal challenges, deepened the national consciousness on the defects in the running of our defective federal system.”
The former Ondo State governor said he was sure that Wike would remain committed to the struggle to entrench a true federal system that would engender real development across all ethnic nationalities, and religious persuasions in Nigeria.
He pointed to the urgent need by all well-meaning Nigerians for national unity, which is the required impetus to effectively confront the intractable security and economic challenges.
“Your Excellency, our party, the PDP, a party for which you have laboured so much, seems saddled with the historical duty of forging this unity, a unity premised on truth, equity and justice, a unity upon which rescuing Nigeria from the far from satisfactory performance of the past seven years will be built.
“It is a mission that must be accomplished; a mission for which you are specially positioned and favoured to play a major role; a mission that must be subscribed to by all lovers of our country.”
In his speech, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, noted that elders of the state like Chief Azubuike Nmerukini and Rt. Hon. Austin Opara, mounted pressure on him to intervene on the road being flagged-off.
He said it would be the last of such projects to be executed within the Port Harcourt metropolis because, in keeping with his promises of restoring the Garden City status, every road has been reconstructed.
“As a man who respects leaders, I have to honour them by making sure this road is awarded, and by making sure that this road will be completed within six months.
“This is the last project here in Port Harcourt I think I’m going to embark upon before I leave office. All the promises I have made in Port Harcourt, I have fulfilled them.
“Let somebody come and tell me which one I have not fulfilled. Old Government Reserved Area, I have finished. New Government Reserved Area, I have finished. Ogbum-Nu-Abali, I have finished. Diobu here, I have finished?”
Wike explained that already, 80percent of the contract sum has been paid to the contracting firm, Julius Berger, because the project was billed for completion in six months.
The governor also assured that issues about compensation of property marked for demolition would be paid in good time so that nothing would interfere with the stipulated completion time.
“Let me tell the people here, we have paid Julius Berger Nigeria Plc 80percent of the contract money. Julius Berger is owing us now. So, it is not a question of coming here to tell you that we will do this road, and at the end of the day, we don’t do it.
“I want to say the money for the compensation is ready. As I go back now, I will treat the file, and those whose houses are affected must be paid before Monday, August 15, 2022.”
Wike emphasised that politics for him was about accountability to the people, which was why his administration was using Julius Berger Nigeria Plc noted for quality and long lasting work.
He said that when completed, the road and the street lights that would be installed would enhance economic activities and improve value of property in the area.
“Because you voted for us, we too will work for you by providing basic infrastructure. That is what politics is all about. It is about talking and doing, not giving of excuses.
“No right thinking person in this state would want to mingle or identify with such people that would make promises without fulfilling them.
“All we are saying, our own campaign has always been ‘operation show your report card’. We are showing our report card. Tell anybody who comes to you to show their report card.”
On his part, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr. Dakorinama George-Kelly, said the road, connecting Iloabuchi Road from Azikiwe Street would take off traffic from the Nkpolu-Oroworukwo flyover onto Eagle Island and other part of the state capital.
“This road has existed over time as a single lane with 7.3m width but it is now going to be dualised. It starts directly from the termination point of the Nkpolu-Oroworukwo Flyover which is near completion, and will take traffic to Iloabuchi and to Eagle Island.
“The road is 29,200sqm in area, the median strip will be 1.5m width. It is going to have two sides drains with cross sectional width of 1m each.
“The road will have 600mm thickness of sand because there is going to be a lot of soil replacement, and we are going to have 150mm thickness of stone base,” he said.
Also speaking, South-South Regional Manager of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Juergen Fischer, said his company was delighted to have been chosen and trusted to do the job.
He pledged that as customary with the company, they would deliver quality project as part of their commitment towards the transformation agenda of the Wike-led administration.
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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