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RSG Slams Sara-Igbe Over Comments On Wike …Says He’s Exploiting Ethnic Agenda For Self-Enrichment

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The Rivers State Government has slammed a prominent elder statesman in the state, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, over his recent uncomplimentary statements against the person of the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Reacting to the uncanny comments, the government said that Sara-Igbe was only dancing to the gallery in order to exploit seemingly existing ethnic divisions to promote a parochial agenda designed to enlarge his pockets.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, said that “In his usual manner, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe has shown himself again as being infantile, ignorant, and pedestrian in his view on issues about the workings of state and governance”.
The statement explained that, “We have chosen, therefore, to do this reply to Sara-Igbe’s baseless allegations against the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike. The magnitude of falsehood peddled in his statement should not be ignored.
“To tact, Governor Wike had always sued for peaceful coexistence. He had created the climate for every ethnic nationality to consider themselves as one indivisible Rivers State.
“That was why, on September 12, 2022, while inaugurating the ultra-modern former Riv-Bank Insurance building in Port Harcourt, he said, ‘I have told people, let us live in peace. So many people think that if they don’t talk about us, they won’t survive. People like to use the dead of our prominent people to play politics’.
“Hours after listening to this counsel of the governor, Sara-Igbe would refuse that peace should prevail. He seemed to be a person whose survival depended on dragging the governor into everything he must think, write and discuss about. He delights playing to the gallery too, all too cheaply.
“Otherwise, what is the justification of his assertion when he alleged that Governor Wike operates a sectional and ethnic governance. Are Kalabari people not prominent in Wike’s administration? Are Ijaw people not also chief beneficiaries of the administration?
“We, therefore, strongly consider it would be a grievous error to ignore Sara-Igbe’s sinister attempt to paint a dubious picture that under the Governor Wike’s administration, the Kalabari ethnic group has been faced with the problem of alienation, and that Rivers State is a fragmented society.
“Efforts to integrate diverse ethnic groups in the interest of Rivers State has been, and remain, at the heart of the Wike’s administration endeavour to build a united and prosperous state.
“The Ijaw tribe has been and remained an important key player in the Wike’s administration. To this end, the latest vituperation by the self-appointed ‘protector’ of Kalabari nationality, does not and can never resonate well with people of Ijaw extraction.
“Sara-Igbe blinds himself to the reality he knows. The position of the deputy governor is Kalabari and Ijaw. The head of the Rivers State civil service is Ijaw. Just before the party primaries started, Kalabari, and indeed Ijaw held the post of the Secretary to the State Government.
“The Ijaw is sufficiently represented in the State’s Executive Council. If not that Sara-Igbe is suffering from chronic political tribalism and a fomenter of ethnic squabbles, does he not know about the ongoing construction work on the phase one of the multi-billion Naira Trans-Kalabari Road?
“The Trans-Kalabari Road was flagged off on June 24, 2021 by governor Wike. That road transverses several Kalabari communities and satisfies age long yearnings of Kalabari people. Other administrations paid lip service to it, but the Wike’s administration is doing it. This is a ‘Trunk A’ road and billed for inauguration before the end of 2022.
“The Wike’s administration has also rehabilitated and reconstructed hospitals, schools, roads and embarked on reclamation of vast expanse of land from the mangrove swamp.
“Some of the reclamation projects include the sand-filling of 52 hectares of land for the Abonnema people and over 18 hectares in Sara-Igbe’s home town, Kula. The commitment to accomplishing them transcends mere politics. In Asari-Toru, 18 hectares sand-filling work was done in Abalama Town, in addition to the 18 hectares reclaimed in Bakana in Degema to provide more hectares of land to the people.
“Would Sara-Igbe deny that in Akuku-Toru, the ring road with a bridge was not completed in Abonnema? The completion of that road made it easy for guests to Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs burial to ply.
“In fact, on September 9, 2022, Governor Wike inaugurated the once decrepit Community Secondary School Obu-Ama, Harry’s Town in Degema Local Government Area. More schools have been reconstructed in Bakana and Tombia towns. He also revamped the Kalabari National College, Buguma.
“Sara-Igbe must be reminded that Governor Wike intervened at various times in addressing the family feud that rose in the wake of the burial of Chief Lulu- Briggs. The Rivers State Government participated fully in that burial.
“Concerning the burial of Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, Governor Wike stayed away because it was politicised.
“So, why would the likes of Sara-Igbe continue to delight in championing initiatives that aimed at systematically destroying aspects of life and living by laying decency in public discourse on the platter where brutish and valueless ramblings are traded?
“Sara-Igbe’s ranting that Governor Wike hates the Kalabari people and Ijaw nation is baseless and infantile. It is intended to stir primordial sentiments that will deliver no benefits to anyone in the state.
“Saga-Igbe’s tantrum is a mere smokescreen of a desperate man wanting to exploit ethnic agenda for self-enrichment and unmerited relevance.
“Since the creation of Rivers State in 1967, the diverse ethnic groups in our state have lived in harmony, and mutual friendship has been cultivated among the various nationalities.
“While primordial sentiment has been the bane for the dearth of national patriotism, Rivers State is among the few subnational within the Nigerian federation that has achieved some measure of success in managing ethnic conflict and enjoying relative political stability.
“It is then disappointing that someone of Sara-Igbe’s status would develop a gross penchant to stir up primordial sentiment, aimed at generating mutual distrust and tension in Rivers State for his self-aggrandisement.
“We, therefore, urge Rivers people to be wary of divisive and toxic characters like Sara-Igbe, whose personalities are socially transmitted diseases”, the statement added.

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I’ll Provide Solid Representation, If Elected -Banigo

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has assured the people of Abua/Odual Local Government Area that she would provide undivided representation if voted into the Senate in 2023.
Banigo gave this assurance when leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party had a meeting with her, at the Government House in Port Harcourt to map out campaign strategies, yesterday.
The deputy governor said, she was excited that the meeting was held for the stakeholders to understand themselves, to ensure the party wins at the elections in 2023, adding that by the grace of God the local government area would be better than what it is now, if she emerges as the Rivers West senator.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is the Rivers West Senatorial District Candidate of the PDP in the upcoming polls, has also met with leaders of the PDP in Ahoada East Local Government Area, where she urged them to reach out to their constituents and encourage the collection of PVCs.
“We must realize that with this new Electoral Act, the votes will surly count, as this 2023 election is not going to be like the previous elections, there will be a difference, people should not be afraid to pick up their cards and vote, they should not be lackadaisical about it, they should keep their cards safe and on the day of election they should come up and cast their vote, because this time every vote will count”.
She said the campaigns would be unit based and urged them to reach out to those in their units.
“Make sure you have unit executives in each of the wards, so we can have a door to door campaign”, Banigo said.
In his remarks at the meetings, the Vice Chairman of the Rivers West Senatorial District of the PDP, Dr. Nname Robinson Ewor, said there is a need for members of the PDP to go out and establish their presence in all units’ wards and constituencies, stressing that the nature of this upcoming election would be different from previous elections.

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Ariolu, Others Welcome Ex-Deputy Guber Candidate To PDP

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Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has led other party faithful, including Chairman of PDP, Ward 6, Kingsley Nna; Chairman of PDP, Ward 9, Collins Wobo Chukwu; and Obio/Akpor PDP Secretary, Kingman Ogbonna; to receive a bigwig and stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Rumuogba in Ward 6, Chief Williams Igwe, into the PDP.
Receiving the former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Obio/Akpor PDP Secretariat, Rumueme, Ariolu expressed delight over his decampment from the APC to the PDP, describing it as an indication that the party was waxing stronger.
Ariolu, who was greeted with euphoria by the LGA PDP Chairman, Chidi Amadi, who also welcomed the former deputy governorship candidate at the secretariat, promised to work closely with Igwe to build the party ahead of the forthcoming election.
He pointed out that the foundation of the PDP was built on togetherness, stating that collectively, the party would achieve more.
Ariolu thanked Igwe for wholeheartedly accepting to come back to the party.
According to him, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has separated governance from politics following his relentless battle to promote the interest of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP in Obio/Akpor, Chidi Amadi, said the reception of Igwewas a fulfilment of an age-long dream, and a welcome development for members of the party, expressing joy over the event.
He further commended Ariolu for his strong support and leadership towards the sustenance and growth of the party.
In his remark, Chief Williams Igwe affirmed his loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
He described the reception as a homecoming for himself and his supporters who would be formally received at a formal event which would be organised by the state party chairman, adding that PDP remains a major political party which will unite the nation.
He added that his decision to defect to the party was well-thought-out, and called on others to join hands with the Rivers State Government to rebuild the socio-economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the Rivers State governor in moving the state forward.
The former Deputy Governorship Candidate was also received by PDP Chieftain, Barrister Temple Ejekwu; Obio/Akpor PDP Woman Leader,Gloria Wonodi; Barrister Kelvin Akani; and members of Obio/Akpor PDP Executive.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NNPC Posts N674bn Profit

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has declared a profit after tax of N674billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.
The profit represented a growth of 134.84per cent when compared with N287billion profit in 2020 which was recorded under the old Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said this at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
“NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287billion profit in 2020 to a N674billion profit after tax in 2021 climbing higher by 134.8per cent year on year profit growth,’’ he said.
Kyari also said that it recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86trillion in 2020 to N16.27trillion in 2021.
Speaking on the group’s financial position, Kyari said the corporation’s total liabilities decreased by 8.3per cent to N13.46trillion during the review period from N14.68trillion in 2020.
The GCEO said its shareholders funds position rose N2.81trillion representing 144per cent year-on-year.
“The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products theft, among others.
“Details of the performance of NNPC and the respective subsidiaries as well as that of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) will be published on our website www.nnpcgroup.com for stakeholder’s perusal.
“We look forward to achieving greater performance to support our growth aspirations and to create more value for our stakeholders as we drive full commercial operations under NNPC Ltd.,’’ he said.
He recalled that in September 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287billion for the first time in 44 years.
Kyari said that in spite of the challenging operating environment, it strongly believed that the corporation had the potential to sustainably deliver better value to it esteemed shareholders.
He said it sought to become a dynamic global energy company of choice to its customers, partners and over 200million shareholders comprising of all Nigerians.
Kyari noted that the corporation in 2019 rolled out deliberate policies and initiatives aimed at reducing costs and eliminating losses while adopting technology to entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE) across its various functions.
He said the NNPC had recorded significant improvement over the past three years, turning up the curve from losses to profits.

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