Buhari Congratulates Peterside On Election As AAMA Chairman

INC-supports-petersidePresident Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dakuku Peterside, on his election as Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrators.

Peterside was elected as the AMAA chairman at the end of the Third Annual Conference of the association in Abuja on Friday.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari believes the election is positive for Nigeria.

“The President notes that Peterside’s unanimous election is not only a personal honour and affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA, but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation towards safer global maritime activities,” the statement read in part.

It added that the President was confident that the new position offered Peterside the opportunity to make the country more proud considering NIMASA’s “encouraging performance” under him, especially in the fight against sea piracy.

Buhari expressed the hope that during Peterside’s one-year tenure, the Federal Government’s renewed focus on growing the Nigerian economy through increased maritime resources would be further enhanced.

PDP Asks Dakuku, Amaechi To Explain Work Done In Rivers State

PDP Governors Appoint Fayose As Forum ChairmanChairman of the Rivers state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Mr Felix Obuah, has asked Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, to account for the work they have done for the people of Rivers state.

He made the confrontation in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the party, Jerry Needam.

“Chairman of the Rivers state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Mr Felix Obuah, has observed that the people of the state have benefited nothing from the All Progressives Congress, APC, led government since it came to power at the centre.”

He described the development as unfortunate, the height of irresponsibility and insensitivity to the people’s expectations, as well as a failure to deliver its statutory obligations to the citizenry,

The PDP chairman expressed disappointment that since the appointments of Amaechi and Peterside, who are both from the state, they have not been able to initiate any project or empowerment scheme in the state.

Obuah noted that rather than serve as a blessing to the people of Rivers state, the appointment of the APC leaders from the state, has become a source of woes and anguish, as they have only used such positions to cause crisis and division, doing everything to blackmail the government in the state in their quest to force themselves on the people undemocratically.

“It is sad”, Obuah emphasized, that while APC leaders from other states of the federation are making efforts, using their positions to do something positive and developmental in their respective states, our brothers in the same party, who are even holding top positions at the centre, are only bent on destroying our state, always igniting crises and misinforming the good people of Rivers state on issues of development, policies and actions of government.

“Stop the noise and desist from causing problems in Rivers state, deliver meaningful projects and empowerment schemes to the people”, the PDP urged the APC top government appointees.

“By her strategic location and economic base, Rivers state occupies a significant position as the leading live-wire of our nation’s economy, which statutorily and based on the principle of derivation and federal character, ought to be benefitting greatly from the government at the centre in addition to the share due her.

“Regrettably, Rivers state today is one of the few states that has not been accorded her right place by the APC government as a result of continued and deliberate denial and suppressive actions by even those who have benefitted a lot from her treasures.

“It is on the strength of this that we charge the duo of Amaechi and Dakuku to have a rethink, by stopping the fight of attrition against the government and people of the state and join hands to develop it and to influence federal projects into the state as their lawful responsibility.

“The PDP is afraid that if about two years into the life of the APC government at the national level and its leaders have not been able to show any project on ground in the state, the remaining months ahead might be impossible for them to make any reasonable mark, as all we see them doing now is playing politics with everything, including security and development of the people.

“Time is running out.” Obuah sounded as a note of warning to Amaechi and Dakuku.

“The PDP therefore, commends the Rivers state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for committing himself and the Rivers state government to ensuring peace, security and development in the state in the face of apparent efforts to distract him by leaders of the opposition party in the state, the APC.

“Bro Obuah particularly lauded the decision and action of governor Wike in acquiring 10 gunboats for the Nigerian navy, which will be used for security patrol on the waterways.”

He then expressed hope that on the day of handing over the boats, the NIMASA boss and Transportation Minister, would be invited to participate in the commissioning proceedings, “even though Amaechi wasted eight years in office without procuring a single gunboat for the navy,” the statement added.

Group In Rivers Wants More From INEC Over Alleged Fake Materials Printing

Election MaterialsA group of youths from Rivers State under the aegis of Alliance in Defence of Democracy has staged a protest at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, calling for the resignation of the electoral body’s chairman over the alleged printing of fake electoral materials in Rivers State.

The protesting group say they are disappointed with the way the chairman of INEC has responded to the arrest of a printer who was allegedly caught printing fake electoral materials in Port Harcourt last week.

The spokesman for the group, Mr Agu Okwukwe, said that the police had arrested the suspect following a tip off.

“Officers of the Nigeria police on Saturday, November, 5 stormed 12 Isiokpo Street D-Line in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and arrested three persons including the manager of the printing press, Atonye Peterside, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a cousin to Mr Dakuku Peterside.

“We express our utter disappointment and shock at the complicity of the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the INEC National Commissioner in Charge of Elections Amina Zakari in the entire saga.

“The questions begging for answer are, how did the printer get the serial number of the materials they are printing when the numbers are to be known only by INEC leadership? How did they get the polling units they were printing when INEC has not made public the units were elections will be held? How about the colour, format, font size and security features of all the materials? How did the printer get all those?” Mr Okwukwe questioned.

Meanwhile INEC’s Director for Voters Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, told the protesters that the protest was unnecessary, as the electoral body had been working with the police in their investigations.

“When we catch people in the act, allegedly forging currency notes, do you go to blame the Central Bank because people are forging their own things that they produce.

“When a person is caught with a forged WAEC certificate do you blame WAEC or the examination body because people have decided to go and forge this things? It is ridiculous. So, on what bases are people now blaming INEC? What is the evidence?

“We will still have to wait for the police to complete their investigation and we are collaborating and cooperating with the police in ensuring that we unravel the circumstances which lead to this,” he told the protesters.

Rivers Rerun: PDP Accuses APC Of Printing Electoral Materials

Rivers Rerun: PDP Accuses APC Of Printing Electoral MaterialsThe political atmosphere in Rivers state is again getting charged as political parties put themselves together ahead of the conclusion of the legislative rerun election.

There was drama at number 12 Isiokpo Street, Port Harcourt, the state capital when security operatives on a tipoff, stormed an office and found sensitive electoral materials and busy computers.

The materials, which were caught on camera include result sheets and other documents with the prints of the All Progressives Congress.

On interrogation by security operatives, the head of the printing outfit, Atonye Peterside said that he was contracted to print the materials like it is with any other printing job.

“I am a printer, somebody brought these materials and said they want to use it for tribunal matter. Honourable Emma Chinda brought them that they need more copies… And you know we serve the public, I don’t work for INEC,” he said.

But as far as the Rivers State Governor and the PDP in the state are concerned, there is more to this than meets the eye.

Governor Nyesom Wike accused the APC of running a syndicate for printing INEC sensitive materials to perpetuate electoral fraud ahead of the legislative polls.

“Who are those involved? We can show you that the printer is a member of the APC, the printer is the cousin of the man we defeated in the governorship election, I hear he is the DG of NIMASA, Dr Aldolphus Dakuku Peterside, we can show you his membership card and a picture of him during a campaign of the APC, we knew they were going to fabricate results,” he alleged.

However, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone is not troubled. He believes this is a script put together by the PDP.

According to him, the persons in this matter are not known by the party.

He said: “The idea is to contrive something; maybe electoral materials and plant somewhere to take out some persons so that you will have a freeway in the election.

“We have heard confessional statements of things that never happened…and from what we know, the individuals they paraded as members of the APC are not known to us, it was contrived.”

While confirming the arrest, the Commissioner of Police, CP Francis Odesanya, informed Channels Television that investigations were ongoing and an official statement would be presented soon.

Observers are hopeful that another crisis would not mar the December 10 date for the conduct of the polls

Revenue Collection In Nigeria’s Capital Causes Face-off Between Lawmakers

House-of-Representatives-in-Rowdy-sessionA disagreement over the collection of Tenement Rates in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory has led to a face-off between two members of the House of Representatives during a public hearing on the matter.

The disagreement occurred on Wednesday when officials of the Federal Capital Territory appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Capital Territory.

They had come to answer questions on the collection of revenue, especially Tenement Rates, in the city, a step the committee says is illegal.

Addressing the gathering, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Honourable Herman Hembe, argued that only the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service is allowed to collect any form of tax in the nation’s capital.

But his position was, however, opposed by Zaphania Jisalo, a lawmaker from the Federal Capital Territory.

This situation could not be resolved, forcing the committee to enter into a closed door meeting.

At another meeting, the Chairman of the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Honourable Umar Bago and the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, disagreed over the amount of debt owed to the agency.

The disagreement followed a discussion on the award of a debt recovery contract, which the committee says it is investigating.

After the disagreement on the issue, the committee fixed an investigative hearing for next month when the committee promised to look into the issues raised by petitions it received on the matter.

Buhari Approves Governing Boards For NPA, NIMASA

Muhammadu Buhari-NPA-NIMASANigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the composition of the governing board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The approval was contained in a statement by the spokesman for the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Bolaji Adebiyi.

The new NPA governing board has 11 members with Mr Emmanuel Adesoye as its Chairman.

The members of the board are: Supo Shasore, Suleiman Halilu, Constance Harry Mashal, Umar Shu’aibu, Charles Sylvester, Hadiza Usman, Mohammed Koko, Dr. Sekonte Davis, Professor Idris Abubakar and Mrs I. J. Uche-Okoro.

Similarly, President Buhari approved a governing board for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The NIMASA board also has 11 members, with Major General Jonathan India Garba as the Chairman.

The members of the board are: Asekomhe Kenneth, Mohammed Muazu, Ebele Obi, S. U. Galadanchi, Ms Nene Dike, Dakuku Peterside, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo, Bashir Jamoh, Joseph Fashakin and Gambo Ahmed.

Rivers Rerun: No APC Leader Made Inciting Statement – Peterside

Dakuku Peterside and Nyesom Wike on Rivers Rerun ElectionsThe candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 governorship election in Rivers State, Dakuku Peterside, says no leader of the party made any sort of inciting statement during the just concluded rerun election in the state.

Mr Peterside, who is the current Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),made the statement on Wednesday while giving his opinion on the violence perpetrated during parliamentary polls in the southern Nigeria oil-rich state.

“I challenge anybody to bring any evidence to show that any leader of the APC in Rivers State asked the people to come out and perpetrate violence, ask people to kill, ask people to write their will.

“No leader of the APC (All Progressives Congress) did that before, during and after the elections,” he claimed while giving his opinion on Sunrise Daily.

Mr Peterside alleged that the violence that took place during the elections was caused by Rivers State Governor, stressing that he had earlier raised alarm and nothing was done.

“I have said it consistently (and nobody has challenged me) that all of these that happened in Rivers should be placed squarely on the feet of Nyesom Wike.

“He provided incentive, he provided (if I use an agricultural analogy) a manure for the violence we are witnessing in Rivers State and indeed, if nothing is done urgently, this psycho will continue and it will hurt everybody,” he insisted.

In a swift response, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, refuted the claims, stressing that Governor Wike did his best to uphold peace during the exercise.

“The Governor of Rivers State is a God sent messiah to the people of Rivers State (and) he has done everything possible to bring peace (and) he has supported the law enforcement agents,” he said.

Mr Obuah maintained that the disruption of the polls was planned by the Minister of Transportation, Mr hibuike Amachi, and the APC members in the state.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), Amaechi and his cohort and followers did said that the election that brought Wike was manhandle by the former president (Dr. Goodluck Jonathan) who provided all sorts of security that intimidated APC,” the PDP chairman said while describing the allegation as an irony.

“We want to put on record that every problem that has been happening in recent time in Rivers State is a calculated attempt by Amaechi, Dakuku, (and) Ikanya (the APC Chairman in Rivers State),” he said, stressing that the state is peaceful and the residents are going about their normal business.

Governor Udom Emmanuel Celebrates Election Victory

Udom EmmanuelOn this edition of Metrofile, we join the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, as he celebrates his victory at the Supreme Court.

It could be mistaken for a political rally with several dignitaries and supporters from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but far from it. It was a thanksgiving service and reception.

It was a gathering of the people of Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State.

Other prominent sons and daughters of the state like Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio were also at the grand ceremony.

The celebration followed the Supreme Court ruling that declared Governor Udom Emmanuel as the duly elected Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

Rivers APC Members Rejoice Over Tribunal Judgement

Rivers APCMembers of the Rivers State APC took to singing and dancing at the APC secretariat in Port Harcourt, the rivers state capital on Saturday following the election tribunal judgement that annulled the April 11 governorship election in the state.

Many of the Rivers APC members were seen carrying posters of their governorship candidate at the last elections, Dakuku Peterside, and singing solidarity songs but the PDP in the state has said that the merriment might be short lived.

In a press statement signed by the Media Adviser to the Chairman of the party, Jerry Needam, the party referred to the judgement as a travesty of justice, insisting that the party would exhaust all legal options to upturn what it called a conspiracy against Rivers people.

The Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone, however, stated that his party is not bothered by any legal move that the PDP might make.

According to him, the Rivers APC is confident that the tribunal judgement that nullified Governor Wike’s election has made the job easy for both the Appeal Court and Supreme Court.

INEC Produces Eight More Witnesses In Rivers Election Petition Tribunal

inecThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reaffirmed its earlier claim that the Rivers State governorship election was conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.

At the resumed hearing of the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate in the state, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, INEC, produced eight witnesses that debunked the evidence by the Nigerian Army.

‎The Commission, alleged that the Nigerian Army authorities, in a bid to discredit the outcome of the April 11 governorship election it conducted in the ‎state, sent soldiers that gave false evidence before the Justice Ambrose Suleiman-led panel.

‎The witnesses, who were all presiding officers that conducted the election, took turns and told the tribunal that election was peaceful, successful and devoid of any form of violence and their stories were corroborated by the lawyer to the electoral body, Mr Onyebuchi Ikpeazu (SAN).

Lawyers to Governor Nyesom Wike and the PDP equally affirmed the testimony of the eight witnesses.

However, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Akin Olujimi (SAN), debunked the claims of the INEC and the other parties.

The hearing was adjourned as INEC has promised to produce more witnesses.

Rivers Governorship: Wike, PDP Lose Bid To Dismiss Peterside’s Petition

RiversThe Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has refused the application filed by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the competence of a petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside.

In the petition, the APC and its candidate are challenging the victory of Wike of the PDP.

Delivering its ruling, the tribunal, headed by Justice Muazu Pindiga, held that the petition was competent and that it complied with section 18(1) of the Electoral Act.

At the resumed hearing, the tribunal went straight to deliver the ruling it reserved in the previous week, bothering on the competence of the petition filed by the APC.

Lack Of Merit

According to the Tribunal, the petition is competent and had not fallen short of the law in any form.

The tribunal also held that the payment of the Pre-hearing Notice Fee was not compulsory, as claimed by the Governor and his party in their application to warrant a dismissal of an entire suit.

The three-man panel led by Justice ‎Pindiga held that the applicants failed to persuade the tribunal with the issues raised.

It therefore threw out the application for lack of merit.

Done with the ruling, the Tribunal entertained other applications by all parties in the suit.

These include an application seeking an order of the Tribunal that would mandate the Independent National Electoral Commission to move the election materials used for the April 11 governorship election to the headquarters of the commission in Abuja to enable the petitioner inspect them.

Another application was an order seeking to stay execution of the ruling of the Tribunal made on June 11 which permitted the APC and its candidate to inspect the materials used for the election.

Ruling in the applications have been fixed for August 19.

Wike, Rivers PDP Ask Tribunal To Dismiss APC’s Petition

Rivers-pdp-on tribunalRivers State ‎Governor, Nyesom Wike and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have asked the Rivers State election tribunal sitting in Abuja to dismiss the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside for non compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

At the tribunal’s proceedings on Friday, Lawyer to the Governor, Emmanuel Ukala, argued that the petitioner has abandoned his case because he did not comply with statutory provisions of the Electoral Act and therefore his petition should be dismissed.

According to the PDP, failure to make the payment for any document filed in the petition is fatal to the case, as it does not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act or the rules of the tribunal.

Responding to the argument, counsel for the petitioners, Akin Olujimi, argued that he had not accrued any liability for his inability to pay any fees because the document upon which the respondents are relying on in their application was a voluntary letter written to the tribunal to request for the commencement of the pre-trial hearing.

Mr Olujimi also added that it is not prescribed anywhere in the Electoral Act that fees should be paid for such an action.