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Nigeria In Dire Need Of True Unifier, Wike Affirms …Pledges Logistics Support For Kwankwaso’s Presidential Campaign

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that Nigeria was in dire need of a unifier that would drive the affairs of governance without any form of segregation.
Wike spoke at the inauguration of the Mgbuitanwo internal roads in Emohua Local Government Area of the state.
The Mgbuitanwo internal roads were inaugurated by the presidential candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, last Monday.
The governor expressed grave concern about how the diversity of the country has been grossly threatened by those who have resorted to campaigns based on ethnic and regional sentiments.
According to him, such parochial tendency would make Nigerians more divided along religious and ethnic lines than ever before.
The Rivers State governor stated further that the Integrity Governors were resolved to do what was right always as long as it would help to advance the country.
“It is not to say don’t vote for a Yoruba man, don’t vote for an Igbo man. That is not what we require in this country now. What we require is a man who will put Nigeria together. We, of Integrity Group will continue to support whatever that is right, whatever will help this country.”
The governor explained that he had tried, in vain, to persuade leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to allow Kwankwaso leave the party because of the strategic importance of Kano State.
“When you wanted to leave PDP, I came to your house in Abuja. I said Sir, don’t leave the party. I pleaded with you. I came two times. Those who never meant well for this party, who will want to take control where they never sowed, said no, leave Kwankwaso to go. Who is he? Let him go! After all, I was a Senate President when he was Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives. I said no, he is an asset to the party in Kano State. Kano is very important for our party, therefore, whatever it takes, let’s keep him; let’s manage him. They said, ‘let him go’.
“I said the more the merrier. We are opposition party; we cannot continue to drive our people away. Whoever is angry, let’s keep him, they said no. They said I went to see Kwankwaso, I said yes, because I know with him in Kano, there is likelihood that it will be better for us. But if we allow him to go, the repercussion will be too heavy. They said no. Kwankwaso left us.”
The Rivers State governor described the NNPP presidential candidate and former governor of Kano State, as a man of integrity and number among leaders that Nigeria needs.
According to him, the NNPP presidential candidate had assured him that his supporters who were still in PDP would vote for him during the PDP presidential primary, and they did.
Wike offered to provide protocol and logistics support to Kwankwaso whenever he wants to do his campaigns in Rivers State.
“If you’re coming for campaign here, I will give you the logistic support for you to campaign. You’re a former governor.”
He, however, told Kwankwaso that it was difficult for any other party to win in Rivers State.
“Therefore, it will be futile for you to waste resources, thinking you will win election for any candidate of your party in this state”, Wike said.
About his comment on release of unpaid 13percent derivation money from 1999 to date, by President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor said he never said other Niger Delta governors should show proof of what they had done with their states’ share.
Rather, Wike stated that he only expressed gratitude to Buhari for releasing the money, which had helped him to execute a plethora of projects in the state.
“I never said people should account for their money. I never said so to anybody. All I said is people should thank Buhari for me, for giving me money to do all these projects. That’s all I said. If you people are interpreting a different thing, that is your own business. Is it wrong to thank somebody who has done well for you?”
Wike emphasised that his administration has never spent more than 14 months to deliver on any project in the state.
He pointed to the Mgbuitanwo internal roads as being among 20 other projects like the 9th, 10th flyovers that were all flagged off in June, 2021, which have all been completed within the period.
Wike said good governance was about the well-being of the people, and if anybody in government or close to any top functionary was unable to attract projects to his or her community, such person has failed.
The governor stressed that his administration has delivered the Mgbuitanwo internal roads, which was where Senator Andrew Uchendu, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain hails from.
He regretted that the former senator failed, while in government, to do the road for his community.
Wike also mocked former Commissioner for Agriculture, Emma Chinda because he failed to attract government to do the roads for his Ogbakiri community, which his administration was now delivering for the people.
Performing the inauguration, the presidential candidate of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, commended Wike for engaging Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to deliver the best quality of roads in a rural community.
Such gesture, Kwankwaso noted, speaks of a leader who loves his people, and was doing the best to better their lot across sectors, including the provision of quality educational infrastructure.
Kwankwaso stressed that those who were undermining the capability of the PDP G-5, particularly Wike, were doing so to their peril politically because Rivers State, like Kano and Lagos, was critical to winning any election.
The NNPP presidential candidate stated that members of the Integrity Group led by Wike, were good people who would continue to do the right thing, and would be judged by posterity based on what they do.
On his part, Commissioner for Works, Dr Dakorinima Alabo George-Kelly, said the Mgbuitanwo internal roads was 39,300 square meters; has 200-millimeter thickness, with 50-millimeter binder course, 50-millimeter wearing course fitted with street light and drains.
Regional Manager, South-South of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Jergen Fitcher, said they have continued to deliver standard infrastructure in support of Wike’s policy of development of the state.

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Substance Abuse Becoming Thing Of Concern -Odu

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu, has lauded the important role pharmacists play in the wellbeing of the society.
Odu gave this commendation while playing host to members of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The deputy governor said while others are sleeping, pharmacists work hard “to ensure we all live in a better society, especially when you talk about the dangers of substance abuse.”
Odu stressed that, “It is really becoming a thing of great concern because of the level of children getting involved in this thing. It is even coming down to primary schools which now increases the burden of what you are doing, so we appreciate you for what you are doing for the society which we all are living in.”
The deputy governor extolled the lady pharmacists for the scholarship scheme they were sponsoring, noting that it was “amazing because when you change the narrative of somebody’s life, you become what they call a destiny helper.”
The deputy governor added, “So, for me, it is something I would encourage. Even the Bible says when you do it for them you have done unto God. It is a thing we get a lot of blessings out off, you may not see it now but some day it will definitely come.”
She expressed gratitude to them for their support for the Fubara-led administration which according to her has continued to spur them into action.
“Let me thank you for upholding the governor and myself in prayers, because without prayers we won’t be here, many people have prayed and God has heard, please do not stop, even for good governance, we need God to grant us the wisdom and knowledge of what to do”, she said.
In her remarks, Chairman of the Rivers State Branch of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Ebelechukwu Odom, said they were at the Government House to identify with the Governor Fubara-led administration in the ongoing restructuring of the state, and pledged their allegiance and unflinching support to the administration.
She assured that they would utilize the competences of Lady Pharmacists in Rivers State and synergize with partners for improvement in health, education, research development and socio-economic wellbeing of humanity through relevant and appropriate interventions, projects and programmes.

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RSG Denies Rumours Of Cholera Outbreak In Soku

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The Rivers State Government says it is not aware of any cholera outbreak in Soku community in the Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the State.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt by the State Ministry of Health.
According to the statement signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Chidinma Oreh, the clarification was necessary following numerous enquiries from the media over a purported outbreak of cholera in Soku community.
The statement read in part, “The Rivers State Ministry of Health has received numerous enquiries from the Press regarding an alleged outbreak of cholera in Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area.
“Public health teams dispatched to investigate these alleged cases and deaths have so far received no confirmation of such.”
While describing cholera as a waterborne infectious disease, the commissioner said that the disease is notifiable, warranting escalating reports from disease surveillance and notification officers at the community level.
The statement clarified that the ongoing medical outreach in Soku community is in no way related to any outbreak of cholera.
“Outreaches have always been a way of getting accessible health care to underserved and vulnerable population, however, all such outreach activities must be conducted with approval from and in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health and as such no entity should be conducting outreaches outside the coordination of the ministry”, it warned.
The ministry further said that all infectious diseases of this nature are reported, managed and escalated by the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
Dr. Oreh said the statement should serve as a strong warning to anyone conducting or planning health activities without due recourse to the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
She added that any such activities found to be carried out without the knowledge and clearance of the State Ministry of Health will be fully investigated and dealt with in order to ensure the protection of the lives of the people.
“Therefore, the general public and members of the Press are advised to disregard the rumours making the round on an ongoing outbreak of cholera and the death of some citizens of Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State as it is presently unfounded, misguided and capable of causing panic amongst citizens and residents.
“The general public is thus urged to remain calm and rest assured that the Rivers State Ministry of Health will continue to be a veritable source of public health information in the state”, the statement concluded.

John Bibor

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Bill On State Police Scales Second Reading

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading a bill to provide for the establishment of state police in the country.
Sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu and 14 others, the bill seeks to alter the relevant Sections of the 1999 Constitution to pave the way for states to establish their own policing outfits.
As lawmakers took turns to contribute to the debate on the floor of the House during yesterday’s plenary, Kalu who stood in for the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, urged members to look beyond political ambitions and think about the safety of Nigerians and Nigeria.
Also speaking, Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos) said, “It is the job of the police to maintain law and order. We have a population of over 200m people but we have a police strength that is less than 400,000. State Police should be created to address the internal security challenges of Nigeria.”

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