Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has challenged the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to dare stop any candidate of the party from contesting the 2023 general election, if he has such capacity.
Wike threw up the challenge in Port Harcourt, the state capital, yesterday, at a media parley in reaction to recent comment by Ayu, claiming that nobody can sack him, and that he had powers to stop any candidate from participating in the 2023 elections.
He described such boast by Ayu as evidence of arrogance and impunity because the threat, empty as it was, was directed at the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who was his benefactor and guarantor when he contested for the party’s national chairmanship position.
“That also tells you the impunity; I heard when he said he would have stopped (Gov) Ortom from running. You see how ungrateful humans are? This was the same (his) Ortom who pleaded with us, and said he can take this risk and let him become the national chairman.
“This is a man who never campaigned anywhere. This is a man who never printed any poster even when they gave him money to print posters. Now, he can even tell you that if he wanted to stop the man (Ortom) who brought him, who became his guarantor, he would do so. That is the corruption we are talking about!
“He has now come into office. He has seen money. He has seen power. Now, he can open his mouth to say that if he wanted to stop Ortom, he will do it. We dare him. And he said he can also stop any contestant. I dare him. If he is national chairman, I dare him to stop any contestant, if he has what it takes.”
The Rivers State governor wondered the basis of Ayu’s comment on him being sacked when the issues on ground were the demand for his resignation.
Wike said nobody has said that Ayu should be sacked.
He emphasised that it was important that people understand the difference between being sacked and the call for promises made to be kept.
“And what we are saying is, as a man of honour, if he (Ayu) has any, keep to your honour, keep to your integrity. So, the issue of people sacking him does not arise.
“All we are saying is: keep to the agreement, yes, in order for our party to show inclusivity, to show in our party that we are not marginalising any zone. That if the presidential candidate comes from the North as it has come from the North, then the national chairman will come from the South.
“So, saying that nobody can sack him does not arise. Nobody has said he must be sacked. For you to be sacked there are procedures for sacking people.”
Wike stressed that the call for the resignation of Ayuwas in agreement with the letter and spirit of the party’s Constitution.
The governor explained that the party’s Constitution clearly spelt it out that the positions of the national chairman of the party and the presidential candidate cannot be of the same zone as currently was the case.
“By our party’s Constitution, there must be zoning for elective and political offices. He had said, knowing fully well that there was no way the presidential candidate and the national chairman should come from one zone, that if the presidential candidate comes from the North,‘I (he) will resign to allow the South to produce the national chairma’.
“If at this point in time, you’re the national chairman of the party who has told Nigerians that this is what you’ll do if this happens, and now that has happened, and you’re running away from doing that, so, how do you think that Nigerians will believe you, assuming you try to tell them to vote for your party?”
Wike said it was really up to Ayu if he was still hell bent not to tread the path of honour in keeping his promise.
He has, however, advised Ayu to be wary of whatever that was giving him confidence.
“What we are saying is that we want our party to win. But if you think you can do without keeping to the promises you have made, so be it.”
Speaking further, Wike pointed to the fact that one of the reasons why Ayu has been reluctant to leave office was because he wants to continue to superintendent over the PDP finances despite having failed to give account of how party primaries funds were expended.
“Why does he not want to resign? He is hoping that Nigerians will donate money to the party so he will superintendent over that money.
“He has already finished the N11billion from party’s primaries. Account for it, he says it is in the account. Show the public the account. Print out the statement of account of PDP, and let the world see how the N11billion was expended.
“And this is the party that all of us have laboured to takeover power from the ruling party that we said has done badly. And then, the national chairman will open his mouth to talk about stopping contestants. Ayu shouldn’t say so. He tried it in Rivers State. He came to manipulate and try to put some gubernational aspirants, but he saw the result. We dealt with him.”
Wike mocked those who were saying that they can do without the five PDP governors demanding for inclusivity in the party.
The governor reminded them that votes were not cast in the media, neither were elections won there, but in the units, local governments and states where those five governors were at home with their people.
According to him, the outcome of the elections would surprise them.
The governor also took a swipe at Dele Momodu, who only joined the PDP during the presidential primaries.
He further mocked him for securing only one vote as presidential aspirant during the primaries.
The Rivers State governor said he would never allow anybody to use his name to become relevant as OsitaChidokawas trying to do.
Wike stated when Chidoka was once denied the party’s governorship ticket in his state; he left the PDP to another.
The governor maintained that he was a different breed of politician, who does not and would not abandon his party, but has resolved to remain in it to fight for inclusivity.
Wike Rues FG’s Failure To Deliver On East-West Road …Says RSG Creating Alternative Routes For People, Businesses
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration was deliberately creating new roads through Woji and Eleme Towns into Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone (OGFZ) to encourage substantial industrial activities and advance Rivers economy.
Such roads, Wike listed are the new 10.3kilometre Indorama-Agbonchia-Ogale-Ebubu-East-West Link Road; the 6.5kilometre dual carriage Woji-Aleto-Alesa-Refinery Road, the reconstruction of the 7.2kilometre-long Alode-Onne Road, and 3kilometre Alode internal roads.
Wike spoke at the flag-off of reconstruction work on the 7.2kilometre-long Alode-Onne Road and 3kilometre internal roads, yesterday, which was performed by the former governor of Cross River State,Donald Duke, in Alode town of Eleme Local Government Area.
The governor said Eleme council serves as the economic hub of Rivers State, adding that everything was being done to attract more investors while encouraging already existing ones.
The governor stated that the efforts of his administration were deliberate, as the government was determined to open up the area more.
He expressed the hope, that someday soon; the Federal Government would awaken to its responsibility and respond to the urgency to rehabilitate the deplorable East-West Road.
“This is the economic hub of the state; therefore, everything must be done to make sure more economic activities are attracted here. Opening all these roads will, of course, give the companies the hope that one day, the Federal Government will remember the East-West Road.”
Wike thanked Eleme people for the sustained support to his administration since 2015, and their trust on political leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) they nominated to work with him.
The governor pointed to how selfless their leaders have been by working assiduously to attract development to the area, and not being content with personal aggrandizement.
Wike reiterated his conviction on the need for the people to use whatever privileged position they have to work for the betterment of the people and communities they represent.
The governor remarked that the likes of the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning, Hon Isaac Kamalu; and Senator OlakaNwogu; among other leaders, were behind some development projects attracted to the area.
With proof of such democratic dividend, Wike said, Eleme people would listen to their leaders when they come to tell them who to vote in the 2023 general election.
Wike emphasised that their sons, particularly a former Nigerian ambassador to The Netherlands and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon Orji Ngofa, failed to attract democratic dividends to his people despite the fact that he served the Federal Government and was close to the former minister of transportation, ChibuikeAmaechi.
“Look at the only seaport (Onne) we have that is employing our youths.While we had a minister of transportation and Orji was an ambassador, what happened? They killed our seaport.”
Performing the flag-off, former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, noted that despite the heightening political activities, Wike has not abdicated governance.
Duke said it takes a man who loves his people and desire the gains of development for them that would set out 23 more days to flag off more projects at the twilight of the administration.
The former Cross River State governor acknowledged that Wike had developed Rivers State tremendously and secured the peace, which had made it liveable for all Nigerians.
Duke regretted that in Nigeria, critical roads to connect seaports to industrial companies were not constructed and maintained.
Such bad culture, he pointed out, frustrates evacuation of goods to the market and for export, thereby making the country lose massive revenue.
“Unfortunately, there’s a complete disregard for the critical sectors of our economy. That you cannot have ingress or egress out of Eleme is a sad thing to say. Ordinarily, this should be a national concern. You can’t cut your nose to spite your face.
“This is what Nigeria does all the time. Forget the politics, forget what party is leading. Forget who the governor is, but you get massive revenues from the investments that are in these areas, and you ignore evacuation.”
Duke expressed optimism that with the massive investment in roads and other critical infrastructure in Rivers State, which ironically was not the richest in the country, it would soon emerge the industrial heartbeat of the nation.
“If each state had done something to the extent in which they can, and this state is not the richest state in Nigeria. There are states that get a lot more, but you can’t see it. You have to really strain your eyes to see what they’ve done with their resources.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr George-Kelly DakorinimaAlabo, said the reconstruction of the 7.2kilometre-long Alode-Onne Road and Alode internal roads were symbolic and of serious economic importance to the state.
George-Kelly stated that the Alode-Onne Road, which measures 7.2kilometres-long, 10.3meters wide with drains of 900 by 900millimetres depth of 150millimetres wall thickness, and 150millimetres base thickness, would create alternative route from East-West Road to promote ease of doing business.
According to George-Kelly, the Alodeinternal roads were 11 in number, measuring 3kilometres in length, of 7.3meters wide with drains on both sides.
CBN Pegs Cash Withdrawals At N.1m, N.5m Weekly For Individuals, Companies
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a new policy that mandates deposit money banks and other financial institutions to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100, 000 and N500, 000, respectively, per week.
According to a new memo to banks issued, yesterday, and signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, individuals will only be able to withdraw N100,000 per week (from over the counter, Point of Sale Machines or the Automated Teller Machines), while organisation can access N500,000 per week.
Banks have also been directed to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATM.
The memo read, “Further to the launch of the redesigned naira notes by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, and in line with the cashless policy of the CBN, all deposit money banks and other financial institutions are hereby directed to note and comply with the following:”The maximum cash withdrawal over the counter by individuals and corporate organisations per week shall henceforth be N100,000 and N500,000, respectively. Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5percent and 10percent, respectively.
“Third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist.
“The maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machine shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.
“Only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.
“The maximum cash withdrawal via the point of sale terminal shall be N20,000 daily.
“In compelling circumstances, not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits are required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed N5,000,000.00 and N10,000,000.00 for individuals and corporate organisations, respectively, and shall be subject to the referenced processing fees in (1) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements.
“Further to (6) above, you are required to obtain the following information at the minimum and upload same on the CBN portal created for the purpose: ‘a. Valid means of identification of the payee (National Identity Card, International Passport, Driver’s License.). b. Bank Verification Number of the payee. c. Notarised customer declaration of the purpose of the cash withdrawal. d. Senior management approval for the withdrawal by the Managing Director of the drawee, where applicable. e. Approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the bank authorising the withdrawal.
“Please, further note the following: i. Monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the Banking Supervision Department. ii. Compliance with extant AMUCFT regulations relating to the KYC, ongoing customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting etc., is required in all circumstances. iii. Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS. eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.”
#EndSARS Protesters’ Demands Fully Implemented, FG Claims
Minister for Police Affairs, Dr. Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, has said that the Federal Government has fully implemented the demands presented by the #EndSARS protesters in October 2020.
Maigari-Dingyadi said this, yesterday in Abuja at the Public Dissemination of the Post-EndSARS/Research and Training of Police Oversight Agencies on Oversight Mechanisms.
The event was organized by Cleen Foundation with support from MacArthur Foundation.
‘Without prejudice to the findings contained in your #EndSARS Research Findings, let me assure this gathering and Nigerians in general.
“That the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has fully implemented the demands presented by peaceful protesters in October 2020, which was unfortunately hijacked by unpatriotic elements.
“It would be recalled that the government expeditiously approved the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which was foremost among the demands of the protesters.
“The five demands of the protesters, otherwise known as the ‘five for five’ demands, also included setting up of independent investigation, justice for victims of police infractions, and re-evaluation of disbanded SARS personnel.
“And an upward review of police emolument has been fully implemented by the government towards emplacing permanent solutions to trust deficit between the Police and the citizenry,” he said.
The minister added that Police Public Complaints Committee was set up at the ministerial level to give citizens an additional layer of redress against acts of infractions by the police.
He said that the committee had gone around the six geopolitical zones to sensitise Nigerians on its mandate, adding that it had representatives from the ministry, Police Service Commission, Nigeria Police, Nigerian Human Rights Commission and NGOs, among others.
Maigari-Dingyadi, therefore, advised Nigerians to channel their petitions to the committee through Whatsapp number 09062547073 or voice call to 08081257561, 08187635365, 08081257561.
He added that the petition should also be submitted via https://ppccpoliceaffairs.gov.ngor directly to his office at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja.
“Please permit me to reiterate the fact that policing as the fulcrum upon which security revolves, requires inclusiveness to realise its fundamental objectives.
“Our germane desire to promote food security, health security, economic buoyancy and all forms of human security, through community-based and technology-led policing, requires critical support of all stakeholders,” he said.
Maigari-Dingyadi reassured Nigerians of the government’s unwavering drive to modernise the police in line with global standards, adding that the capacity of officers had been enhanced in tune with the ongoing reform of the police.
He commended the management and staff of Cleen Foundation for their strong advocacy, intervention, and unrelenting support towards building sustainable people-centric policing in Nigeria.
The minister called for synergy between Nigeria and critical stakeholders in the review of police regulations and other initiatives to ensure proper reform of the police service.
“I am confident that such interventions and similar capacity-building exercises organized by critical stakeholders will help to set a new record of police professionalism in the 2023 general election,” he added.
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