Give Account Of 136bn Naira SURE-P Largesse, PDP Tells Fashola

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The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the State Governor to account for over 136 billion Naira SURE-P largesse allocated to Lagos State.

The party claims the money was collected by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola.

In a statement issued by the Lagos State PDP spokesman, Taofik Gani, the party noted that the amount was enough to build at least 100,000 low cost accommodation and adequate hostels on all the state’s tertiary campuses.

“In spite of the huge state internally generated revenue (IGR) and the over 136 billion Naira SURE-P largesse over the years, Lagos residents are still lacking many ordinary social services.

“Where they are available, Lagosians (Lagos residents) pay exorbitant to enjoy such,” the party stated.

According to the statement: “even the APC governorship Candidate’s campaign jingles, posters and other messages are clear vote of no confidence in the services rendered by Governor Fashola.

“This is because Mr Ambode has himself declared emergency in virtually all the sectors of governance in the state by proposing trust and emergency funds in the sectors.”

The Akinwunmi Ambode is the Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PPD re-emphasised its confidence in defeating the APC in the coming general elections.

“We are good to go and defeat APC in the coming elections. Fashola was able to cajole Lagos residents for some years with pseudo and momentary projects, while neglecting areas of governance that affect the masses most,” the party said.

The PDP, describing the Governor as a mediocre in governance, said it would capitalise on the flaws of Governor Fashola’s administration to defeat of the APC in the state.

 

Fayose Asks Nigerians To Save Buhari From Tinubu

fayoseThe Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has called on Nigerians, especially Northern leaders to save the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) from former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu and his cabal in the APC.

In a statement by Governor Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the Governor said he was worried that Tinubu and his cabal were pushing General Buhari too much because of their selfish interests and pleaded that; “Nigerians should appeal to Tinubu and his cabal to allow Buhari attend properly to his health”.

“Not The Candidate Of The North”

“Since last week Thursday that Buhari appeared for less than two hours at the Chatham House, where his doctors certified him fit, returning to Nigeria for the ‘final onslaught on the PDP,’ he has simply disappeared from public glare.

“Isn’t it strange that someone who is contesting an election in 28 days time could afford to stay outside the country for about two weeks?

“Buhari confessed that he actually saw his doctors, why did the APC cabal lie that he never visited any hospital, even going to the ridiculous and criminal level of using pictures taken in Abuja to authenticate claim that Buhari had a television interview in London?

“Like I have maintained, the same cabal that were involved in the Yar’Adua saga are also involved the packaging of Buhari and Nigerians must save the man from these people, who are only interested in using him to assume power,”Governor Fayose said.

While maintaining that Buhari was not the candidate of the north, Fayose asked: “Shouldn’t it interest Nigerians, especially the Northerners that only Malam Nasir El-Rufai was a Northerner among those who attended the last Thursday’s Chatham House event”?

The statement further read: “During the APC primary, delegates from the North voted for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso. Only delegates controlled by Tinubu, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Senator Bukola Saraki voted for Buhari.”

“In appreciation of Tinubu’s role, Buhari gave him (Tinubu) the sole right to choose his running mate, with Tinubu still being rumored to be interested in the Vice President position that he gave his surrogate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

“Also, the APC confirmed yesterday that Buhari’s campaign is being funded by Tinubu and Amaechi.

“All these point to the fact that Tinubu and his cabal have a sinister agenda against the North, which they want to use Buhari to achieve”.

He further urged leaders in the north to intervene and free Buhari from the APC cabal now because, insisting that “General Buhari needs to take proper and adequate care of himself medically”.

Amaechi Appoints 21 Council Caretaker Committee Chairmen Amid Controversy

amaechi_channelstvThe Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, has sworn in 21 caretaker Committee chairmen to run the affairs of councils in the state in place of the chairmen whose tenures had expired.

The appointment of the chairmen has triggered controversy, with the opposition condemning it, raising fears that the end to political tension in Rivers State may not be in sight.

On a nonworking day at the council chamber of Rivers State government in Port Harcourt, government officials, led by Governor Amaechi, came together for the swearing in ceremony of the care taker committee chairmen to run the affairs of the Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.

It was a quick ceremony, with a brief speech by the governor.

Some house members that are opposing the governor’s action, however, condemned the emergence of the care taker bosses.

Like it is reported in other LGAs, there is tension in the air in Obio Akpor LGA, the council doors were under lock and key, but the swearing in ceremony of members of the committee was held in the council’s auditorium.

Gov. Amaechi Speaks About His Administration, Politics And Plan After Office

Gov AmaechiPoliticians by their very nature tend to evoke a lot of passion more than the rest of us and not many more so than Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in recent times.

He is the 15th governor of Rivers State and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, who was re-elected for a second term in 2011 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

In December 2013, he joined the opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC.

Governor Amaechi is our guest on this edition of ‘View From The Top’.

He speaks about his administration, legacy projects, the controversies around his style of leadership, the Rivers State crisis, the APC and his plans after completing his tenure as governor. He predicts a stormy 2015 in Nigerian politics.

My Rift With Jonathan Caused Oduah To Abandon Our Airport – Amaechi

The Rivers state governor, Chibuike Amaechi has attributed the deplorable state of the Port Harcourt international airport to the negligence of the Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, who he said “abandoned the airport”.

“I have gone to the President and told the President that because of the disagreement between Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (who is not Rivers state) and the president, the minister of aviation has abandoned the airport.”

The Governor went further to state that the airport would be easy target for terrorists should they think of bombing it, adding that “we survive by the grace of God.”

He accused the minister of impounding his plane “for no reason” and that the aircraft was grounded because of his disagreement with the President.

“The minister of aviation is reckless for that,” he said.

Similarly, Amaechi has also accused the minister of being the stumbling block which has not allowed his administration put in place certain measures which will benefit the state.

“We paid for two helicopters (surveillance helicopters) that would fly around Rivers state (and detect crime) including oil theft and report real time to police, air force, army and the government house” but “she refused the helicopters from coming”.

“They are there in America and the government of America has been wondering why we don’t want to take our plane and the President (of Nigeria) is aware”.

Senate Committee Begins Investigation On Rivers State Crisis

The Senate committee on states and local government administration has commenced investigations over the crisis rocking the Rivers State House Assembly.

The Chairman of the committee; Senator Kabiru Gaya who led other eight other members on a fact finding mission to the state assured Nigerians of finding lasting peace to the stalemate during a courtesy visit to governor Chibuike Amaechi yesterday in Port Harcourt, and hinted that peace moves have begun.

Shortly after meeting with the governor in a closed door session on Thursday afternoon, chairman of the committee told newsmen in an interview that the body will meet the major parties in the matter which include the commissioner of police, Joint Military Taskforce (JTF), including the pro and anti-Amaechi legislators, before heading back for their final report to the upper legislative house.

He assured that their duty will be done objectively as mandated by the senate with the aim of finding lasting peace to end the crisis that have rocked the state over the past two months.

Senator Gaya however frowned at the withdrawal of security from Governor Amaechi stressing that the governor is the chief executive, chief security officer and number one citizen of the state and he should be protected.

Responding, Governor Amaechi told the Senate committee that the state has been under siege since his victory at the elections of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

The committee will be meeting with members of the state house of assembly today as scheduled.

It would be recalled that mayhem broke out during a session in the Rivers State House of Assembly on Tuesday the 9th of July morning when it was reported that hoodlums broke into the House and attempted to seize the mace.

The group also assaulted the Speaker of the House, Hon. Otelema Amachree and the hoodlums were led by 5 members of the House with Hon Evans Bipi being the leader of the gang who moved to impeach the Speaker.

Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari, in a telephone interview with Channels Television revealed that commotion started when Mr Bipi walked up to the speaker and started ‘slapping’ him as members were still exchanging pleasantries.

“While that was going on, some hoodlums had accessed the assembly. The governor (Rotimi Amaechi) was informed and therefore left the government house for the state house of assembly.

 

 

OPINION: Governor Amaechi and Politicians’ Desperation

Politicians live a life of noisy desperation. It is all about how to outsmart, outwit and oust any contrary opposition. Sometimes, what they term as opposition is not opposition in the real sense of the word. They mistake critics or divergent opinions for opposition. This is glaringly what the presidency has taken Governor Chibuiku Amaechi for, because of his unequivocal and unrelenting approach in the business of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), which he heads in the capacity of Chairman.

Down home, because President Goodluck Jonathan is Ijaw, and Amaechi is Ikwerre, many uninformed opinions and politicians from the Ijaw extraction have taken Amaechi to be in a war of slow-destruction against the Ijaws, because he addresses the views of the NGF, many times, challenging the stance of the Federal Government on any national issues.

Some have likened Amaechi as a University Union President who is always challenging the authority. And you wonder if Amaechi is challenging the NGF that made him its chairman or what. To this set of people, they have ignorantly mistaken the presidency as the authority that Amaechi has been challenging, but this is a biased viewpoint. It could have been said to be a challenge if Amaechi had challenged the NGF, which he has not done, and might not do. So, for now, it should be taken that Amaechi has not challenged and is not challenging any authority no matter the quarter that has been hatching this propaganda war against Amaechi.

It was Amaechi that made the NGF a formidable force it has become today, not to scuttle the presidency, but for the aspirations and objectives of the NGF. Happily, Amaechi and majority of the governors that consist the NGF are members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). If Amaechi were in the opposition it can be brought home the speculation making the rounds that he is against Jonathan. How can he be against Jonathan when virtually 85% of the NGF’s members are PDP? It will not be out of contest to say that it is not Amaechi or the NGF that is desperate in the on-going politics, but the presidency. The unfolding reports between Amaechi and the risky-in-nature plot by the presidency to oust him as the chairman of NGF are clear indications that the presidency does not want any challenge from any quarters, but loyalists. Juxtaposing to this, one may say that such calculation is despotic, which is not what democracy represents.

It cannot be said that this is democracy, if Amaechi’s opinions representing that of the NGF are termed the enemy’s, because of certain interest group for the 2015 elections. Does anybody think that Amaechi has anything to lose if his purported quest to be re-elected as the NGF’s chair fails? No. He has nothing to lose, but the NGF that will be manipulated to have a stooge of the presidency as chairman.

Considerably, the fight against Amaechi started when the news from the rumour mills started to circulate that he was nursing the ambition for the presidency in 2015, as a possible running-mate to Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, which he has rebuffed several times. Somebody might say that before the news started circulating it had been mirrored through the presidency’s intelligence mirror, but why still tag that on his neck when he has declared  publicly that there was nothing of that kind in his political career, at least, for now.

What Nigerians expect from Jonathan is to meet the yearnings of the populace, and not the meetings with the PDP on how to oust Amaechi; hence a splinter group named PDP Governors Forum emerged. Would they also throw Amaechi out of this splinter group since he is a member of the PDP? If the presidency is blunt to Amaechi, it should know that it is also blunt to the people of Rivers State that Amaechi governs; no strategy that was meant to dampen any opinion that is not tyrannical!

As far as the NGF is concerned, any of its members that is seeking loyalty to the presidency can be regarded as a traitor. The loyalty of any member of any group should be for the group and not the other. In this case, there is no gainsaying the fact that the presidency is also a strong opposition to the NGF, without the later knowing it. What was expected of the NGF’s members to do was to question the right the presidency had in interfering in its matter. If Amaechi will go, it has to be done by the members of the NGF, and not by any wandering aggressors.

Anybody viewing the NGF as an arm of the ruling PDP, therefore, the presidency has the right to interfere, is not just being truthful. If this is not true, why have there been speculations that the Czar of the NGF might come from an opposition party if by tomorrow Amaechi did not emerge chairman the second time. Though, as it stands, Amaechi has proved that he also knows how to fight, and not only how to talk. Since Thursday 21 February, when the first ‘political coup’ was staged against Amaechi, he and his men have succeeded in fighting to retain the image of the NGF.

Written by Odimegwu Onwumere

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV).
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

Amaechi Promises To Establish 10,000-Hectare Farm Project in Oyigbo LGA

Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says he is ready to establish a massive farm project of about 10,000-hectares in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, if the council and the people of the area will provide land for the scheme.

He was speaking during a town hall meeting with the people of Oyigbo Local Government Area at the Oyigbo Council headquarters in Afam yesterday.

Governor Amaechi who promised to give them an agricultural project that will employ people in that area said, that would be the first step to solving economic crisis, especially now that crime is providing the people as source of livelihood.

shortly after being welcomed by the people of Oyigbo local government area led by its chairman and counsellors, chief, elders, men and women also the youths, Governor Amaechi soon took over the stage as he enumerate the achievements of his administration in Oyigbo.

He used the opportunity to emphasize that education at the primary and secondary school level were free and directed that school principals found to have collected any form of fees from pupils and students be suspended.

Later at the interactive session, participants who came forward to ask questions praised Governor Amaechi for his people-oriented projects in the state.

Welcoming the governor to his council in an address, the Chairman of Oyigbo Local Government Area, Felix Nwaeke,  noted that Governor Amaechi’s policies has had positive impact on all Rivers people of Oyigbo Local Government Area.

Nwaeke also used the occasion to listed some of his achievements in Oyigbo Local

The town hall meeting is a regular interactive forum between the state governor and the people of the 23 local government councils in the state as it gives the people of the state irrespective of class to participate, an opportunity to ask governor Amaechi questions on his governance in the state.

Petrol Tanker Explodes in Mbiama Community Of Rivers State

A tanker carrying petroleum products today exploded at a National Union of Road Transport Workers motor park leaving one Mrs Onyime dead and eight others severely injured.

The explosion also destroyed parked vehicles, buildings and properties worth millions of Naira in the Mbiama community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The tanker which exploded at about 8:10am is said to have lost control and slipped into the motor park as the driver of the tanker tried to dodge an oncoming vehicle due to the narrowness and poor condition of the East/West road.

The petroleum tanker which immediately burst into flames claimed the life of Mrs Onyime and severely injured others who are currently receiving medical attention in undisclosed hospitals.

The ravaging effect of the fire was curbed by the prompt response of the fire service from neighbouring Bayelsa State, which was later joined by the firemen of Rivers State.

Asst. Corp Commander, Theophilus Egwim of the Federal Road Safety Corp confirmed the number of those injured and gave more insight on the cause of the incident.

It will be recalled that this incident is occurring barely six months after  a similar  occurrence at Okogbe Community which is less than 15 minutes’ drive from the motor park in Mbiama.

Ajimobi assures displaced traders of allocation as Gov. Amaechi commends Oyo development

The Oyo state Governor Abiola Ajimobi has disclosed that the first set of new markets to be constructed by his administration across the Ibadan metropolis would be ready within the next three months.

The governor, who made the disclosure while receiving the Chairman of Wemabod Estates Limited, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi and other board members who were on a courtesy visit to his office said that the second phase would commence immediately after the completion of the first phase.

The move by the Ajimobi administration is to fullfill the governor’s promise to relocate displaced traders occupying illegal structures across the Ibadan metropolis, as he took a tour of the town to identify with the displaced traders and assure them that more befitting and safer shops would be given to them soon.

Within the Oyo state capital all illegal shops, kiosks and shanties are being demolished to give way for a planned and aesthetically befitting outlook, against the cries of discomfort and frustrations by the traders but Gov. Ajimobi led accompanied by all members of the executive during the tour empathise with the traders and give them hope of continued livelihood.
He promised that every displaced trader would be given new shops at the neighbourhood market nearby within the next few months.

Gov. Ajimobi disclosed that the neighbourhood  markets will be located at both sides of the old toll gate at the Ibadan end of Lagos-Ibadan Express Road; Temidire Market, New Ife Road; Scout Camp, Challenge; Samonda, adjacent to Oyo State Trade Fair Complex and Oke-Bola Area. He added that additional stalls would be fixed at Ibadan South West Local Government Area as well as rehabilitation of the popular Adamasingba Shopping Complex.

In a related development, the board of Wemabod Estates led by its chairman Dr. Ismael Adewusi promised to provide at least 500 low cost housing units to the people of Oyo state. Gov.Ajimobi lauded the initiative and charged Wemabod Estates to join in the construction of the markets on public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement across the entire state.

Ajimobi said the Oyo state government is willing and ready to partner with Wemabod Estates owned by the O’dua conglomerate in the planned construction of new motor parks and development of New GRA at Idi-Ishin area of Ibadan and the restructuring of the existing GRAs to accommodate more houses of different categories.

Meanwhile, the Rivers state governor and chairman Governor’s forum, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, commended the Oyo state governor for bringing further development to the state and changing the face of the state capital, Ibadan to a clean and comfortable place for the people.

Governor Amaechi stated this during a courtesy visit to Senator Abiola Ajimobi at the Governor’s office, shortly after commiserating with the families of late Justice Kayode Esho at his Ikolaba, Ibadan residence.

The rivers state governor said that contrary to widespread belief that Ibadan was extremely dirty without exception, he was actually impressed with what was on ground in the ancient city in terms of aesthetics and development.

He said further that he is hoping that the economy of the state would be repositioned through the transformation agenda of Governor Ajimobi.

Speaking on the position of the Governors’ Forum on the on-going constitution review, governor Amaechi said the forum believes that the practice of true federalism is germain to the development and political stability in Nigeria.

While reacting to the issue of the creation of state police, governor Amaechi said discussion is on-going with other members on the necessity of state police in reducing the rate of crimes in Nigeria, stating that the impression given by a section of the media that there was disagreement among the governors was not a true representation of the meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Reacting, Governor Ajimobi  described Amaechi as a man with special ability to manage human beings, as attested to in his handling of the governors in Nigeria, stating that  Amaechi had encouraged public office holders to be honest and courageous, even as politicians.

While commending Amaechi for the development he had brought to Rivers State, Ajimobi expressed the willingness to take a cue from the developmental programmes of Rivers, stating that he was willing to benchmark on the best practises that had made Rivers state a model state in infrastructural development.

Governors’ forum signifies interest in the devolution of powers

The thirteenth edition of Nigerian governors’ forum focused on constitutional issues as the governors are considering a review of the devolution of power in the amendment of the constitution.

The meeting which was held in Abuja during the day as the governors walked into the River state governors’ lodge for the closed door session.This further showed the urgency and importance of the issues to be discussed ranging from devolution of powers, revenue allocation, local government autonomy, land use act, national youth service act and security (state police) as we were informed after the meeting by the Chairman of the forum; Governor Chibuike Amaechi, he also read the agreement reached by the forum and added that the forum considered the growing clamour for revenue allocation and autonomy of local government administration.

He however stated that the forum is yet to reach a consensus on the issues.

Some of the state governors renewed the call for the establishment of state police amidst disagreement from their colleagues.

Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Governor Rochas Okorocha, stated that the Federal Government is carrying a heavy burden on itself, which is affecting the pace of development in the country.

Specifically on state police he said, “On the issue of state police, we have divided opinion. We have some people who believe that we should have state police and some believe that state police in the hands of politicians might be abused.

“Some of us, we believe that state police, community police, village police is the best way to go. Police should be decentralised to enable them really function at the grass root level.

On devolution of powers he said “there should be a distinction between federal police, state police. Whether we like it or not, we have community police, we have local government police and we have family police and you have police everywhere. Police is ability to check crime.

The position of the state governors is indeed a sensitive one which could have its consequences on the review of the 1999 constitution.