Wike Pledges To Create Jobs For Repentant Cultists, Militants In Rivers

Rivers, Nyesom Wike, Militants, CultistsThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says his administration will create jobs for repentant cultists and militants who accepted the state government’s amnesty programme.

Governor Wike said that the government would protect all the repentant cultists and militants as long as they live within the law.

He made the pledge while flagging off the construction of the Rumuji-Ibaa-Obele-Isiokpo road and bridge that run from Emohua to Ikwerre Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

We Are Providing Jobs

The governor said that the success of the amnesty programme has made it possible for the state government to entrench rural development across the communities of the state in south-south Nigeria.

“Without the success of the amnesty programme, we wouldn’t have been here to execute this project. I thank the youths for accepting the state government’s offer of amnesty.

“The government will protect all of you who accepted the amnesty programme.

“We are providing jobs for you so that you’ll have work to do and preoccupy yourselves legally,” he stated.

Governor Wike noted that the Rumuji-Ibaa-Obele-Isiokpo road and bridge would be completed on schedule, stressing that his administration would fund it diligently.

He urged the contractor to employ workers from the benefitting communities, so that the people can key into the process of development.

I Will Serve My People

The governor said that he has not travelled to Abuja over the last three months because he needed to be at home to deliver on his promises.

“I have not been to Abuja for three months. What will I go there to do? The people there did not elect me. I need to be here where they elected me to work for my people.

“I am here to serve my people and I will serve my people very well. That is why when they come with their security, the people resist them.

“If I am not connected to the people, who will resist them?” the governor asked.

Mr Wike posited that the only way those fighting against Rivers State would have peace in their respective states was for them to remove their hands from the state.

The state’s Commissioner of Works, Mr Bathuel Harrison, expressed hope that the 16 kilometres road would boost the economy of the area.

The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Emohua LGA, John Wokoma, thanked the governor for his commitment to the development of Emohua and Ikwerre local government areas.

Economic Activities Pick Up In Buniyadi As FG Provides Succour

Buniyadi
Representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Commodore Paul Dimfwina

Life seems to be picking up in Buniyadi town, a major commercial area along the Damaturu-Biu road in Yobe State northeast Nigeria.

This normalcy is due to the re-opening of the trade route which had been under the control of the Boko Har
am militants for almost three years.

The Nigerian military removed all barriers put in place by the insurgents after recapturing the town.

With the commissioning of the road six days earlier by the military, the situation in the town changed rapidly from what used to be a ghost town to one bubbling with life as commercial activities have started picking up appreciably.

The residents who have been taken refuge across Damaturu, Maiduguri, Gombe among other major towns in the northeast have continued to return to their ancestral home to assess the level of damage done to the town.

Commercial activities
Commercial activities have started picking up appreciably

As residents returned to the town, the presidential committee on the distribution of relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons swiftly responded with the provision of food and non-food items with a view to providing succour to the returnees.

The returnees gathered in front of the Local Government secretariat to welcome the state and the federal government delegation who visited the town with the relief materials.

Buniyadi
Relief materials courtesy of the presidential committee

The representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Commodore Paul Dimfwina, while addressing the returnees, said that the presidential committee brought rice, vegetable oil, soap, clothes, footwear, mosquito coil and sugar to be shared to the returnees.

He noted that the relocation of the IDPs to their ancestral homes and the immediate intervention showed that Nigeria was winning the war on terrorism and laying a solid foundation for full relocation of the IDPs to their communities.

Buniyadi
Yobe State Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu

The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who was represented at the ceremony by his deputy, Abubakar Aliyu, appealed to the federal government to assist the state to effectively fund the return and resettlement of the returnees which is estimated at 14.3 billion Naira.

While thanking the Nigerian President for the release of the relief materials, he gave the assurance that the state distribution committee would ensure effective distribution of the items to the affected persons.

Some of the residents who spoke to Channels Television, expressed appreciation for the provision of food and non-food items to the community but called on government to consider the resuscitation of their power and water supply as well as health care facilities and schools destroyed by the insurgents.

They also pleaded for the provision of means of livelihoods as well as funds to help them reconstruct their destroyed homes.

Boko Haram
The returnees want help to reconstruct their destroyed homes

Buniyadi has reportedly suffered more Boko Haram attacks than any local government area in Yobe State.

Apart from taking over the control of the area for nearly three years, Federal Government College Buniyadi and the College of Agriculture were both attacked at different times with not less than 80 lives lost.

Several security personnel and civilians were also killed during the reign of terror in the area.

Military Reopens Damaturu-Biu Road, Welcomes Displaced Persons

InsurgencyThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai on Saturday reopened the 132-kilometre Damaturu-Biu road with assurance that other roads in the northeast affected by insurgency would soon be open up for socioeconomic activities.

The reopening comes as security forces continue to take control of the northeast zone of Nigeria from the hands of the Boko Haram insurgents.

A symbolic cutting of the tape marked the commencement of vehicular movement along the road which had been inactive for close to three years.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, who led the military hierarchy to Buniyadi town for the exercise, also marked the return of the displaced persons to the community.

He said that the reopening of the road would, asides impacting positively on the socioeconomic activities of communities along the route, also stimulate peace and the current military operation going on in the area.

The road which passes through some major Yobe/Borno communities provides easy access to Adamawa and Gombe states.

With the recent improvement in the troubled northeast, residents have long expected the reopening of the road which will cut short their travelling woes from Maiduguri or Damaturu to Biu, Gombe and Adamawa states.

The State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who was represented by the State Commissioner of Works, Sirajo Wakil, showered praises on the military for the restoration of peace and the reopening of the road.

He called on the returning communities to always seek military clearance before returning to their ancestral homes.

On the deplorable condition of the road, the Governor recalled that his administration had awarded the Yobe portion of the road covering a distance of 77km at the cost of 6.7 billion Naira but progress of work was thwarted shortly by the intensity of the insurgency.

He gave the assurance that with the improved peace, the construction company would be mobilised to resume work.

He thanked the military for deploying security to ensure the construction work does not stop.

Ajimobi Inspects Apete Bridge Project, Demands Faster Process

Apete BridgeThe Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has demanded a faster process towards the completion of the Apete Bridge, which was washed away in 2011, and is now under construction.

Accompanied by members of his cabinet, Governor Ajimobi inspected the on-going construction work on the bridge, to assess the extent of the damage and to assure the people that government has not abandoned them.

During the visit, he disclosed that Government had paid a substantial part of the contract sum to the contractor but halted further payment to ensure the contractors give value for money.

A cross section of residents who spoke to Channels Television implored Government to speed up efforts on the bridge as they have been cut off from the rest of the city.

Meanwhile the Commissioner of Works, Mr Bimbo Kolade, explained that the Apete brigde project would be all encompassing, as 3.5km road leading to the bridge was also under rehabilitation and expansion. He assured residents of the area that it would be completed by year end.

Meanwhile, Governor Ajimobi also berated some politicians, he said, had been tampering with the pedestrian bridge under the guise of showing concern, warning that the Government would not allow any breach of peace.

The Governor thus directed the contractor handling the bridge to ensure that a temporary pedestrian bridge was put in place within a few days, and that the main bridge should be completed before the end of the year.

He explained that the completion period for the project was the end of the year in view of his administration’s resolve not just to rehabilitate the bridge but to also expand and modernize it in line with his government’s transformation agenda.

Governor Ajimobi frowned at the vandalism of the properties of the contractors handling the project, warning that people should desist from taking laws into their hands.

The President of the Students’ Union Government of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, Mr. Iyiola Mubarak, implored the Governor to speed up work on the bridge as students are billed to resume on July 21.