Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that votes of electorate will count in the 2023 general election.
He stressed that the days were gone when people ride on the confidence that because they are from a majority tribe, they will always win election.
Wike spoke at the inauguration of the Nkpolu-Oroworukwo flyover, the 9th so far constructed and completed by his administration.
The Labour Party presidential candidate,Peter Obi, performed the inauguration in Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Rivers State governor observed that there are so many people who had left office for years and have gathered around a political actor in their desperation to force themselves back to power
“All they want to do, let us get the opportunity to come back to power. Nigerians, we must open our eyes. You (politicians) must sell yourself; this is me. You must not sell yourself because you belong to a major ethnic group. Every vote in this country will count.
“Time is over when anybody thinks that you can win election because you’re from so and so place. Nigeria has past that stage. We want a Nigeria that all of us believe that we are from here. We want a Nigeria that I have hope that I can become anything tomorrow, not because I came from a small place.”
Wike also made reference to assurances some political actors made during a town hall meeting where they agreed to implement the restructuring of the country.
The political actors, Wike noted also condemned the situation where all the service chiefs are people from one section of the country.
The governor wondered why they waited for over seven years, until this political season, to begin to speak out against such sessional appointments of service chiefs.
“Some people come to tell me support so and so persons and I ask them do you know him? When I hear people go to town hall meetings and they say all kinds of things they say. They said they will implement restructuring. They will make sure that every zone will have a member in the security council. That, it is not good for one zone to produce all the security chiefs. You see that, but it is good for one zone to occupy all party positions. You see how Nigerians are? You see how we are?”
Wike mocked persons in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are calling for his dismissal from the party.
According to him, those clamouring for his dismissal ironically left the party, frustrated its electoral chances and made it to lose the 2015 election.
“Those who are threatening me are those who destroyed PDP and made us lose election in 2015. I stood firm in this party when this party was to die. Peter Obi, you were there in the party then.
“I was the one with my friends who supported this party. Those who left the party are the ones coming to tell me that I want to scatter the party when you(they) have scattered the party and made us lose election in 2015. Now, we are in opposition. Who put us in opposition?”
Wike said that everybody knows him that he is not a conman, but a straight forward politician who want the best for Nigeria.
The Rivers State governor commended his guest, Peter Obi for leaving the PDP and the frustrations meted at him to pursue his political ambition.
Wike, however, restated his resolve to remain in the PDP, and doggedly fight those he described as vampire, armed robbers and scavengers.
“I will not leave. I will stay here, I will fight the vampires, I will fight hyaenas, I will fight the scavengers. I will not leave this house. I will never allow armed robbers to takeover my house. I am going to stay to chase away the armed robbers.”
The governor advised all political parties to obey the Executive Order 22 and 21 issued by him.
He insisted that any political party that wants to use public school for campaign must obtain permission from the Commissioner of Education.
Wike offered to provide logistic support to Mr Peter Obi whenever he visits Rivers State for his presidential campaign.
The Rivers State governor urged the Labour Party presidential candidate to ignore envious persons from his home state who are hell-bent to distract him in his pursuit for the presidency.
Performing the inauguration, Mr Peter Obi expressed gratitude to Wike for his large heart to extend invitation to him to open the Nkpolu-Oroworukwo flyover for use by the public.
“Nobody in this country can doubt your performance. Anybody who does so, does not admit what is good. You have worked for your people, you have worked for Nigeria and you have done everything anybody could achieve. Most importantly, you have remained consistently consistent in positions you have taken.
“What is lacking in our country today is character, competence and capacity. In all these you have shown it as a state governor.”
Obi pointed out that 18 presidential candidates are gearing up to contest the 2023 election but Nigerians are looking for men of character, competence and capacity including those who have used previous opportunities to offer service profitably.
“I assure you of our commitment to build a better Nigeria. Our past will not be our future. Those people are our past. I and Datti (Baba-Ahmed) represent the future of Nigeria. And I have told Nigerians, hold me responsible. I know what it takes to turn around this country. I will not give excuse. I will change Nigeria.”
“The things lacking in our country today are character, competence, and capacity, you have shown all of these as governor of Rivers State, I am sure these qualities will be seen in the next governor of the state.
“What you are doing here is to bring back Port Harcourt to what it used to be known for. Your commissioner for works came out and spoke about the importance of infrastructure, which is what you are doing in Rivers State, you have shown competence and that is what we want in Nigeria,” Obi added.
Giving the project description, the Commissioner for Works, Dr.DakorinamaAlaboGeorge-Kelly, said the project was designed and constructed to last for a lifetime.
“This project has 100 metres extension coming from the OluObasanjo axis, before we get to the approach on this axis we have a pavement, and the width of the pavement is 7.5m.
“Sub-structurally, we have soil replacement of approximately 1.2m. We also have 200mm thickness of soil cement stabilisation, 200mm thickness of stone base, and 100mm thickness of asphaltic wearing course.
“We have a total of 234 elastomeric bearings because we 117 beams. We have 188 piles; the size of each of these piles is 780 millimetres diameter.
“The project has a modern roundabout designed for high volume traffic. This overpass has been designed to last for a lifetime; generations to come will use it. This flyover will further reduce traffic congestion in the city and contribute immensely to ease of doing business which will translate to direct increment in our internally generated revenue,” the commissioner stated.
Campaigns Won’t Distract Us From Governance, Wike Vows
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has declared that his administration would remain focused on governance despite the ongoing intensified political campaigns.
Wike gave the assurance at the flag-off of civil works on 17 internal roads within Rumuigbo community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, performed by former Minister of Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, yesterday.
The governor remarked that his social contract with Rivers people, who gave him their mandate, demanded that he remained committed to serve them till the last day of his administration.
Wike assured that he would continue to make Rivers people happy and deliver quality infrastructure until May 29, 2023.
“We believe that political party is a vehicle that conveys you to where you want to go. Having conveyed you to where you are heading to, you come down and begin to do governance.
“We just invited you (Lokpobiri) to come down and see what we are doing in the state.
“So many people are distracted by campaign. We are not going to be distracted by campaign. We want to focus on the development of our community. I will work until May 29, 2023, because that is the day my agreement will terminate with the people of Rivers State.”
Dismissing comments by critics that Rumuigbo community has never benefitted from his administration, Wike reminded them of the reconstruction work carried out on the Omoi-Orosi road handled by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc with the effective drains channelled through Okocha Street to the nearby stream.
According to Wike, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc was also contracted to handle the Obi Wali Road, saying that perennial flooding was still experienced in the area.
To solve the perennial flood experienced around the Obi Wali Road axis, Wike pointed to a particular land that was considered to be suitable to channel the flash water, and assured that the Rivers State Government would acquire the land for that purpose.
“We have said severally, and many people have made one or two comments that: what has Rumuigbo benefited from this government?
“We have always told people, yes, our tenure will expire on May 29, 2023, but all the communities that are within our jurisdiction; we will do all we can to make sure we bring development to the area.
“But let it be on record, since I came, this community has produced two commissioners in Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RISIEC); Prof. Reginald Amadi, and Dr.IhuomaChuku.
“You have also produced Dr.Kinikanwo Green, who has been chairman of the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Board. So, in terms of appointment, it will be difficult for anybody to say you have not gotten anything.”
Wike also donated N200million for the rebuilding of the palace of the EzeApara in the area.
Performing the flag-off, former Minister of Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri,explained that he had, within the last three days, accompanied Wike to flag-off strategic road projects in addition to the one he was flagging off.
These and many other projects, Lokpobiri noted,were what had marked Wike as the king of infrastructure delivery, which was an unprecedented approach to governance in Nigeria.
Such strides, Lokpobiri remarked, were evidence of the unlimited love Wike had for Rivers people, adding that he was also a direct beneficiary because he lives in Port Harcourt.
Lokpobiri thanked Wike for his singular contributions towards the promotion of the legal profession in Nigeria.
It is not only for building the best Law School Campus in Port Harcourt, he asserted, but also for improving the facilities at the South-South Law School Campus in Yenagoa.
In his remarks, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr.DakorinimaAlaboGeorge-Kelly, provided the description of the project, and said there were a total of 17 streets that make up the Rumuigbo internal roads.
In all, he explained that the roads measure a total of 8.3kilometre-long, 6meters in width, had drains on both sides of the same size of 600millimeters by 600millimeters cross-sectionally, with 150millimeter-wall thickness and 150millimeter-base concrete.
George-Kelly said the project has been scheduled for completion within six months, adding that the contractor had been mobilised about four weeks ago.
Reps Order CBN To Suspend Cash Withdrawal Policy …Summon Emefiele
Angry with the N100,000 weekly cash withdrawal limits set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), last Tuesday, and its attendant economic and social challenges, the House of Representatives at yesterday’s plenary asked the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to suspend implementation of the policy.
Emefiele was asked to cause an appearance, Thursday next week to explain to the House on the impact and significance of the new policy.
The suspension is to last pending the outcome of the expected engagement with the House on the compliance with the relevant sections of the CBN act and the 1999 Constitution on the monetary policies of the apex bank.
The resolution was sequel to a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Hon. Magaji Dau Aliyu.
Apart from the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, who supported the CBN policy in that it would curb banditry and reduce the incidence of corruption, many other lawmakers who spoke, vehemently condemned the decision of the CBN.
The opposition may eventually signpost a directive by the House by a way of resolution to drop the policy after the Wednesday meeting.
Midway into the proceedings, Hon. Mark Gbillah, raised a point of order, citing relevant sections of the CBN act and the 1999 Constitution, reminding the House that the CBN governor ought to be giving periodic briefings on monetary policies of the apex bank to the National Assembly.
He noted that the CBN was yet to explain to Nigerians how the redesigning of the Naira was funded, stressing that there was no approval of such expenditures by the National Assembly.
To that end, the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, who felt convinced after confirming from some members of the relevant committees of the House on the absence of Emefiele for the briefings, relied on the sections of the laws so quoted to sustain the point of order.
He eventually heeded to the prayer of the substantive motion and ruled that Emefiele be summoned to brief the House next week.
Okonjo-Iweala Emerges ALM’s Best African Female Leader
The United Kingdom-based African Leadership Magazine (ALM) has named the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr NgoziOkonjo-Iweala, as “African Female Leader of the Year”.
According to a statement by ALM, the category was part of the “11th African leadership persons of the year award – 2022”.
Also, the President of Sierra Leone, Dr Julius Maada Bio, won the African of the Year while his Zambian Counterpart, President HakaindeHichilema won the Political Leader of the Year.
The trio were declared the winners in the 11th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year – 2022.
The African leadership person of the year awards are decided with votes and billed annually for leading Africans contributing immensely to the development of the Dark Continent.
The annual award event is also a platform for honouring people-centred leadership and Africans pursuing a pan-African agenda in their chosen fields of endeavour.
According to the statement, Okonjo-Iweala polled over 60per cent of the over 15,000 votes in the category at the close of the poll on December 2, 2022.
The Chairman of the awards, Ken Giami said the nominees see advancement where others see regression, and bring out possibilities in the midst of challenges.
“They are on a mission and are eager to lead Africa to the Promised Land,” Giami said.
Winners for the 11th edition of the award shall be presented with the honour on February 16, 2023, at a ceremony scheduled to hold in Port Louis, Mauritius.
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