INEC Cannot Be Trusted To Conduct Credible Polls, Says Governor Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cannot be trusted to conduct credible polls in 2019 because of the inconsistent actions of the commission.

Governor Wike stated that though Rivers people are peace-loving, they will resist any attempt to rig the 2019 elections in the state.

He spoke during a Special Appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Wednesday which was aired from the Government House Port Harcourt.

He said: “INEC has different interpretations of judgments depending on where it is coming from. When the court nullified the Rivers APC primaries, a lawyer of one of the factions wrote to INEC not to recognize any candidate because of the judgment. INEC wrote to APC notifying them of outcome of that judgment. INEC merely said they were in receipt of the letter requesting that INEC should obey. In the case of PDP, INEC wrote to PDP in Ogun State, where Buruji dragged the party to court, telling them they will comply.

“When there is a judgment against PDP, there is immediate enforcement. When it concerns APC, INEC says they are studying the judgment. In the case of Ogun State PDP, INEC quickly obeyed the judgment”.

The governor said that INEC should work as an unbiased umpire, ensuring that the Electoral Act is respected at all times and due process followed in the conduct of elections.

Governor Wike noted that INEC has been involved in several under-the-table actions in Rivers State since 2015. He said that during the rerun elections, INEC connived with the Police to deny the people of Rivers East Senatorial District their rightful mandate.

He stated that INEC and security agencies should commit themselves working towards credible polls. He noted that INEC and security agencies should sign a pact to respect the tenets of the Electoral Act.

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“The Peace Accord is a ceremony. It is a mere public display. The Peace Accord cannot work because they are not sincere.

“INEC and Security should sign Peace Accord because they are ones who create circumstances for electoral violence. They try to manipulate the process against the will of the people”, he said.

The governor noted that security agencies have played negative roles in over-heating the polity in Rivers State.

“It is INEC and Security that don’t want us to have peaceful elections in Rivers State.
Why do they want to capitalize on the claim that politicians are the ones that compel them to act illegally.

“Rivers people are peaceful, the only time we have crisis is when we see the electoral umpire being biased and security agencies working against due process in elections. We will continue to resist”, he said.

He added: “Many people have come to me to have a deal with Federal Government, why will I do that. I will never do that.

“If not because of the way we resist, they would have overrun the state. It is coming to the point people where will say yes we love life, but what is life when we are not free to decide who leads us”.

Governor Wike noted that the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act is a sign that the President is not committed to credible polls.

He said: “I was shocked that the President did not sign the Electoral Act. In my matter, the Supreme Court appreciated the Card Reader, but said it was not backed by law. They called for the Electoral Act to be amended for more credible polls.

“He said he wants to leave a legacy of free and fair elections, but he refused to sign the Electoral Act that will facilitate the process. If Mr. President had signed the Electoral Act , it would have made it difficult to manipulate. But he refused to sign the law”.

On the termination of sale of valued state assets, Governor Wike said that the State Government is only implementing the white paper of the Justice Omereji Commission of Inquiry.

He noted that there is no politics of bitterness in Rivers State . He said the only problem is that somebody wants to create a dynasty .

He said: “INEC set up a committee and the committee indicted the SARS commander Akin Fakorede. What INEC should do is to act on the report.

“You have identified that officer who perpetrated the violence and we have another report by the police, signed by a deputy commissioner of police who indicted Akin Fakorede and asked that he be charged to court”.

The governor said that Rivers State APC does not exist in Rivers State, pointing out that Rivers APC relies on manipulation by the military and security agencies for relevance.

“We don’t have any problem with APC. We have a problem with security agencies. APC does not exist in Rivers State, they only exist because of the presence of security agencies who aid them.

“We are not talking about candidates of APC, but the compliance with the law.
APC has not complied with the provisions of the law, can they still participate in the election and a political party can challenge INEC on compliance with the provisions of the law.

“We are an interested party. We have complied with the law and if you don’t comply, you will not participate with us. We went to court merely for the interpretation of the relevant sections of the electoral Act, whether APC is entitled to nominate candidates without having valid lawful primaries. The issues have gone beyond the internal affairs of the APC, because they have not complied with the Electoral Act”.

He stated that Rivers State is wholly controlled by the PDP, pointing out that no other political party can win elections in the state.

“Rivers State is PDP. There is no way any party will win PDP in Rivers State. The only thing APC can do is for them to use of security to manipulate for them. There is no incentive for the people of Rivers State to support the APC.

“All of us know that APC does not want elections in Rivers State. They want to bring security to overrun the state like Ekiti. But we will resist them”, he said.

Governor Wike said that he has no untoward relationship with Senator Magnus Abe as being alleged by APC leaders.

He said: “I have never spoken with Magnus Abe on Phone. The last time I met with him, was when the President commissioned the airport.

“Am I the one who told the Minister of Transportation to deny his members access to forms to contest ward congresses? I have no business with Abe”.

The governor said that the President by his actions condone illegality by APC leaders in Rivers State.

He said: “I watched an APC rally, the president of the country stood on the platform with Ojukaye who has a bench warrant hanging over his head for multiple murder trial. But Ojukaye went there with police and military escorts, when there was a bench warrant on him.

“It is worrisome that today they are giving politcians platoons of soldiers to move around.Assuming without conceding, if things were done wrong in the past, should you continue with them”.

No Going Back On Termination Of State-Owned Power Plant, Wike Vows

 

Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers state has declared that no amount of blackmail and propaganda will alter the termination of the sale of valued state assets to Sahara Energy Limited. 

This is according to a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, the special assistant to the Rivers State Governor, electronic media.

Governor Wike said: “No amount of blackmail will change the situation. The courts are there for them to seek redress.

“Rivers and Lagos States are not the same. No single man can dictate what happens in Rivers State. We have different ethnic groups and culture.”

Wike said that the termination of the sale of valued state assets to Sahara Energy followed due process.

He called on those aggrieved to seek redress in court.

The governor spoke on Boxing Day during the 2018 Ogbakor Etche December Convention at Obiri Etche, Umugwu, Okehi.

He said: “The Rivers State Government was not vindictive in terminating the sale of valued state assets to Sahara Energy Limited. One company used three subsidiaries to illegally acquire state assets.

“If there was any vindictiveness, it was on the part of those who used the State Government to deny Rivers people their valued state assets”.

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The governor said that the Rivers State Government resolved to implement the White Paper on the recommendations of the Justice Omereji Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the sale of valued state assets because there is no stay of execution stopping the administration.

He said that the godfather of Tonye Cole and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi lost at the High Court and Court of Appeal when he tried to stop the implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

Governor Wike said the Minister of Transportation and his business partner illegally bought over State assets with a plot to install Tonye Cole for the purchase of more state assets.

“Rivers people have come to know that only one person bought all their assets. He came and took what belongs to the entire state. Now they want to acquire more”, he said.

Speaking further, Governor Wike said he will continue to support Etche ethnic nationality and develop their communities through key projects.

He said that his administration will complete the State Sports Academy and all ongoing road projects in Etche to further enhance the economy of the area.

The governor said that more than any other administration in the past, he has executed key projects in the area.

On the forthcoming elections, Governor Wike urged Rivers people not to vote APC because the Federal Government has not executed any single project in Rivers State.

President General of Ogbakor Etche, Machy Nwodim said that the Etche people will re-elect Governor Wike because of his outstanding projects delivery. They urged the governor to execute more projects in Etche land during his second term.

In his remarks, Onye-Ishi Etche and Paramount Ruler of Etche Kingdom, Ochie E. N. B. Opurum said Etche people are reaping the benefits of their support for Governor Wike in 2015. He said Etche people will support Governor Wike again in 2019.

Governor Wike Presents N480bn Appropriation Bill For 2019

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike 2019 on Monday presented the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N480billion to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

Presenting the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the House, Governor Wike said the strategic thrust for the 2019 budget is to promote economic growth and diversification, create jobs and reduce unemployment; take as many of Rivers people out of poverty and improve the standard of living of Rivers State.

The budget is premised on an oil price bench mark of 55 United States Dollars per barrel, which is 5 dollars lower than that of the Federal Government.
The 2019 Rivers State Budget is Christened: “Budget of Sustainable Growth and Development.”

The governor proposed N323, 288,970,085.00 as capital expenditure, while Recurrent Expenditure will gulp N157, 122,354,564.15.

He said: “The capital allocation of 323,288,970,085.00 for the 2019 fiscal year represents 65 per cent of the total budget. This sum is, however, less than the figure for 2018 by N57, 708,717,319.00 due to the reduction in the total size of the 2019 budget as against that of 2018.

He said because the 2019 Appropriation Bill has set priorities for human capital development and infrastructural provision, a substantial part of the capital budget is allocated to the Ministries of Agriculture; Education; Employment Generation and Empowerment; Health; Sports Development; Women Affairs; Works; and Youth Development.

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The governor proposed N72, 911,765,640.21 billion naira for the construction and improvement of the State’s road network and transport infrastructure.

He said: “This sum, which constitutes about 24 per cent of the total capital budget, will be utilized to continue with the funding of the construction and completion of roads”.

The sectoral allocation of the capital budget is as follows: (Proposed) Administration Sector; N17, 820,704,443.79 ,Economic Sector: N99, 053,565,640.20 ; Law and Justice Sector; N 4,350,000,000.00; Social Sector; N127, 292,200,000.00 and ; Special Heads, N50, 347,500,000.00; Loan Repayments , N24, 425,000,000.00.

Governor Wike said the following roads will be completed in 2019. They include: the dualization of Kira – Sakpenwa – Bori – Kono road; the Andoni – Opobo Unity road; the Oyigbo town – Ebete road; Tema – Ifoko road the Mbano camp road; Eleme – Obete road; Eteo – Sime – Bayayira-Nonwa-Kira road; Rumuji – Ibaa – obele – isiokpo road; Akabuka – Omoku road; Flyover bridge at Garisson Junction abd Abonnema ring road.

Others are: Abua-Degema – Emoh-Iyak-Ighom-Elok road; Ula Ehuda – Odioku – Anwunugboko – Ubeta – Ihuechi – Odiereke road; Rumuche road in Emouha Local Government Area; Flyover bridge at Rumuokwuta roundabout; Flyover bridge at University of Port Harcourt Junction Ahoada – Odiemerenyi – Ihugbogo-odieke road; Isiodu roads , Ahoada – Ekpena road; Omoku-Aligwu-Kreigani-Oduoboburu road, Odieku internal roads; Bolo internal roads; Rumukpakani internal roads; and Umuogba – Umuokpurukpu – Umueke – Umunju Umuelechi – Eberi roundabout link road.

 

Governor Wike proposed the sum of N17,112,000,000.00 for the Bureau for Special Projects to fund the completion of land reclamation at Bakana in Degema Local Government Area, land reclamation at Abalama in Asari Toru Local Government Area; land reclamation and shore protection at Kula in Akuku Toru Local Government Area; the Secretariat buildings for Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Labour Congress, National Union of Rivers State Students and Rivers State Students Union Government; and the Fruit Garden market in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.

The governor stated the administration allocated the sum of N25, 300,000,000.00 to fund healthcare delivery in the State. He said key projects in the sector will be completed and delivered in 2019.

Governor Wike said his administration will continue to give security of lives and property all the attention that it deserves in spite of the obvious lack of cooperation from the Federal Government.

He said: ” The sum of 18,000,000,000.00 has been proposed to fund all aspects of securing and keeping Rivers State safe, peaceful and secure, including the operationalization of the recently established State Neighbourhood Safety Corps programme.

“The Neighbourhood Safety Corps programme is very dear to us as a government. Apart from the number of youths that it will employ, the programme has the potential to enhance our collective security. And so we are prepared to do whatever it will take to ensure its implementation in the course of 2019”.

Governor Wike noted that the sum of N4, 350,000,000.00 only has been proposed for the Law and Justice sector to further strengthen and enhance the justice delivery system in the State.

For the recurrent expenditure, Governor Wike proposed to spend as follows: Personnel Emolument , N79, 585,058,808.60; Overhead
N 17, 025,380,000.00; Pension N 33,000,000,000.00 and Others
N27,511,915,255.55.

Through the recurrent proposals, Governor Wike accommodated the expected new minimum wage for the state and the handling of the pension challenges facing the state.

Governor Wike said: ” With this, the State Government will be in a position to pay the minimum wage whenever the National Assembly approves it. We also made provisions for staff promotion arrears and new recruitments into the State’s civil service.

“The sum of 33,000,000,000.00 is proposed for the settlement of pension liabilities. The challenge about the plight of pensioners has lingered for too long and we are determined to tackle it this time around. Certainly, our senior citizens deserve better treatment than what they are presently getting”.

The 2019 Rivers State Budget will be financed as follows: Internally Generated Revenue N120, 492,891,302.00 ,Statutory Allocation; N73, 169,813,022.00 : 13% oil minerals fund; N145, 070,991,780.00 ;Value Added Tax; N26, 377,628,543.00 ;Refunds ; N27, 337,926,155.08 ;Local Credits; N45, 000,000,000.00; International Credits; N30, 000,000,000.00; Capital receipts; N300, 000,000.00 Exchange gain; N8,000,000,000.00 Prior year Balance; N4,662,073,844.92: N480, 411,324,647,00.

Governor Wike said for the 2018 Budget as at November 2018, total revenue receipts from all sources (except internal and external loans) stood at 288,721,423,336, which represents about 79 per cent performance on the revenue side with respect to the totally projected IGR and FAAC receipts for 2018.

The governor said that the aggregate capital releases to MDAs as at November 2018 stood at over 65 per cent of the total capital expenditure.

Governor Wike said despite inheriting a collapsed economy from the immediate past APC administration in the state, his administration has revived the state’s economy.

He said: “We came in with a clear vision and mission: a vision to repair and renew the promise of our State; a mission to pull our people from the cesspool of despair and restore our hopes for brighter future.

“Three and half years after, we have substantially achieved our commitments on all directions of human advancement.

Under our watch, Rivers State has emerged from the brink of economic disaster to an era of fiscal sustainability. Today, our Gross Domestic Product has increased and our economy is growing at a rate above the national average and attracting new investments even when the national economy continues to be weak, wobbly and troubling.

“Under our guardianship, we have invested at record levels to provide critical social and economic infrastructure across the State; especially roads, schools, and health facilities.

In the process, we created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the construction value chain”.

He said the 2019 budget is intended to consolidate on the administration’s achievements and enable it to put the State on an irreversible path to sustainable economic growth and development.

Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani said the House will give the budget the required consideration in the interest of the state.

He noted that the House has already approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, which will form the basis of the budget’s consideration.

The budget passed through its first reading after the State Governor laid the budget on the table.

Wike Overturns Sack Of Rivers Broadcast Stations’ MDs After BON Intervenes

Rivers State Governor giving an address during the Rivers State Banquet in Honour of the Ambassador of Netherlands and the delegates to the 71st General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) on Tuesday, November 27.

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has overturned the sack of the Managing Directors of Rivers State television and radio stations.

The state governor rescinded his decision after intervention and plea from the Chairman of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh (OON), during a meeting with the governor on the sidelines of the General Assembly of BON in Portharcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

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Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman, Channels Media Group, while pleading on behalf of the Directors explained that although their absence from the meeting is inexcusable, he believes the sacked MD’s must have learned their lessons.

Governor Wike in response said he believes erring officials deserve to be disciplined but because of the plea of the BON Chairman, he will temper justice with mercy.

I Never Said President Buhari Should Not Visit Rivers State – Wike

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has denied making comments suggesting that he was opposed to President Muhammadu Buhari visiting the state.

Wike stated this on Monday in Port Harcourt, the state capital when he appeared on Channels Television’s Breakfast Programme Sunrise Daily.

“I never said that President Buhari should not come to Rivers State and I can never say it. The President is the President of the country. He has the right to come to Rivers State,” he said.

The governor however argued that Rivers State is not faced with security challenges and does not need presidential solidarity visit. According to him, Rivers State is safe and is not confronted with herdsmen attacks of clashes.

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He added that President Buhari has the right to visit Rivers State but not if its a solidarity visit due to insecurity.

“What I disagreed with is that, if you (Buhari) are coming because of insecurity. No. An armed robber operated and killed 15 people. This is not the same thing that daily herdsmen are attacking people and could lead to religious or ethnic war. That is the point I made.

“For example in Lagos State, armed robbers have killed about five people at a time. In Ogun State, people have died, cultists have killed people. So, I never said that the President should not come to Rivers State and I can never say that.”

President Muhammadu Buhari in March 5 announced his plan to visit Taraba, Yobe, Benue, Zamfara and Rives states affected by several attacks in the country. The President also noted his administration’s commitment to ending the killings.

Governor Wike further revealed plans made by his administration in commissioning the first Industrial court in the state.

He explained that the state records nearly 80 percent of labour related cases in the country, hence the establishment of the project.

Wike Preaches Peace Among Indigenes In Rivers

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has charged indigenes of the state to maintain peace.

He said, “Anybody who loves Rivers State, it doesn’t matter the political party you belong to, you owe it a duty to protect Rivers State.

Speaking during a State Banquet to mark the Second Anniversary of his administration at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said only those who have houses in the state would rise in defence of the state.

“It is very key to us as we have no other state than Rivers State. A child does not have a house at home, you know that child does not mean well for his parents, his community, Local Government Area and State.

“Those who don’t own houses in Rivers are those who want Rivers State to be destroyed. All of us who have one home or the other, owe it a duty to protect the state.”

Picture 1: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (m) leads other prominent Rivers Stakeholders to cut his second anniversary cake of his administration during the State Banquet at Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday night.

He stated that he will always stand in defence of the state because he has stakes in the state as one of its prominent residents.

“All elders here, you can sleep with your two eyes closed. I will not disappoint.” He said.

Picture 2: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Dandeson Jaja during the State Banquet to mark the second year anniversary of his administration at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday night.

Governor Wike declared that transformation of the state continues immediately after the Democracy Day.

He said that his administration will build on the superlative achievements recorded in the course of the first two years.

The State Banquet witnessed comedy and music by Okon Lagos, Francis Duru, Segun Arinze and MC Shakara.

New Infrastructural Development Has Attracted Investment To Rivers – Wike

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that his administration has over the last two years made unprecedented investments in the development of infrastructure in the state. 

In a state address at a town hall meeting and accountability forum to mark the second year anniversary of his administration on Monday, the governor stated that his administration has placed the state on the path of rapid development after the failure of the immediate past governor.

Governor Wike said that moribund businesses are gradually re-opening shops in the state, while new local and foreign investments have been attracted to the State.

Governor Nyesom Wike addressing a town hall meeting and accountability forum to mark the second year anniversary of his administration on Monday in Port Harcourt.

He said that the administration has also eliminated multiple taxations to ensure that businesses thrive to the benefit of the people.

“We are also supporting the growth of indigenous entrepreneurs through contracts as well as encouraging small and micro-enterprises with financial support to revitalise local economies.

“It is clear from emerging indices that the state of our economy is improving and it can only get better in the days, months and years ahead until we are able to deliver economic security to our state on a sustainable basis.”

Governor Wike said that his administration has prioritised the provision of infrastructure, education facilities, health and projects that promote access to justice.

“From inception, our administration has taken up this challenge by prioritising the provision of infrastructure across the State. In the last two years, we have invested over N145 billion to construct roads, bridges, pedestrian walkways and underground drainage systems.

“As we speak, several road construction works are either underway or completed in Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Abua/Odual, Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Akuku Toru, Degema, Etche, Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro, Ikwerre, Emohua, Khana, Gokana, Okrika, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Oyigbo, and Tai Local Government Areas of the State.

“For the first time in our history, rural and peri-urban areas are receiving fair attention in the provision of roads and bridges thereby breaking down the barriers of isolation and neglect hitherto associate with rural areas.

“We are also improving the quality of education by enabling our educational system to produce the graduates of the 21st century with innovative skills and knowledge to drive our development.”

Governor Nyesom Wike, Former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan and Wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike at a town hall meeting and accountability forum to mark the second year anniversary of Governor Wike’s administration in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Governor Wike said that critical investments have been made in the health sector to ensure that the people have access to quality healthcare across the state.

He noted that 13 General Hospitals in 13 different Local Government Areas, including Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Akuku Toru, Andoni, Asari Toru, Eleme, Emohua, Gokana, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor, Opobo/Nkoro, Omuma, Okrika and Port Harcourt are undergoing comprehensive reconstruction, furnishing and retooling, with most of them already completed, awaiting furnish and commissioning.

“We are also completing the regional hospitals started by the immediate past administration located in Etche and Degema Local Government Areas, as well as the Mother and Child Hospital in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area to serve as regional referral centres for secondary and tertiary healthcare.

“In addition, we have released over $4 million USD to equip and maintain the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital to international standards and enabled it to serve as the teaching hospital to the Rivers State University Medical School pending the construction of the proposed University Teaching Hospital.”

Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara, Former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, Former Chief Judge of Rivers State , Justice Iche Ndu and Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Ikuinyi Ibani presenting the second year score card of Governor Wike during a town hall meeting and accountability forum to mark the second year anniversary of his administration on Monday in Port Harcourt.

He added that investments in the area of security have led to the stability of the state, noting that his administration has given out over 150 patrol vans to security agencies, while gunboats have been handed over to the navy to protect Rivers waterways.

He, however, lamented that the Nigerian Navy has refused to put the gunboats to use. He urged the Navy to utilise the gunboats for the protection of Rivers people or return same to the Rivers State Government.

“Our administration’s amnesty programme has been quite successful. Over 22,430 cultists accepted the amnesty and surrendered over 911 assorted arms, 7661 assorted ammunition, and 147 explosives.

“The recovered arms have since been shredded and the explosives destroyed, while the programme’s success has resulted in reducing the menace of cultism and associated bloodletting among youths in some of our communities.”

The governor informed that 300 primary schools are being rehabilitated and equipped across the state, while infrastructural development at the Rivers State University has been funded for the accreditation of courses.

He said the administration has rehabilitated major secondary schools in the three senatorial districts to reintroduce boarding education.

Governor Wike called for fiscal federalism where all the states can have complete control of their resources and develop at their pace.

He regretted that the resources of the state are used to develop resources in other parts of the country, while Rivers State is economically strangulated.

The governor used the town hall meeting to declare that Rivers State has made remarkable progress in her 50 years of existence.

“Fifty years ago, General, Dr. Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, created Rivers State together with eleven other States. That singular act changed the course of history for Nigeria and for the people of Rivers State for the better”, he said.

The governor answered series of questions from the people of Rivers State from all walks of life, assuring them of sustained good governance and accountability.

He called for reconciliation amongst the political class to create a better platform for the State to develop faster.

“We must find ways to forgive one another, open avenues of cooperation and join hands and together, defeat the smacks of poverty, inequality, and lack of meaningful progress preventing the majority of our people from enjoying the good life that we all desire and aspire for.” He said.

Chairman of the occasion and Former Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iche Ndu lauded the governor for his outstanding performance.

Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Hon Kenneth Kobani, stated that the Wike administration has made giant strides in the course of the last two years.

The highpoint of the occasion was a vote of confidence passed on Governor Wike by the people of Rivers State.

Akpabio Lauds Wike’s Development Strides In Rivers

The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, has commended Governor Nyesom Wike for his developmental strides in Rivers State.

Addressing reporters on Monday after an extensive projects inspection with the Governor, Senator Akpabio attributed Governor Wike’s excellent performance to his love for the people of the state.

“Governor Wike has done more work and projects in the last two years than the Federal Government. That is my considered opinion. Performance is not necessarily an issue of the availability of resources.

“If your state gets five billion Naira, do projects of that amount; if you get one billion Naira, do projects commensurate with that figure. For Governor Wike, he has judiciously applied the scarce resources available to the state to develop needed infrastructure.

“The resources available to Rivers State is nothing compared to that of the Federal Government. Rivers State Government gets far less than a quarter than one per cent of what accrues to the Federal Government, but we can see the tremendous quality of transformation taking place in the state.

“It is not so much money that makes performance, it is love for your people. When you are elected, if you love your people you will perform, no matter the little money that you have.

“What I am seeing here in Rivers State is not like a recession economy because the Governor of Rivers State loves his people. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate the workers at the various sites, because they are acquiring a lot of skills working at the sites.

Senator Akpabio an Governor Wike inspecting a project in Rivers State

“The kind of projects that Governor Wike is doing in Rivers State will attract the world to the state. Today, there is a song that the handwork of Wike is beautiful,” the former Akwa Ibom State Governor said.

Wike Is Working

He advised Governor Wike never to be distracted by detractors who engage in political blackmail, urging him to continue to transform the state.

“Do not be distracted by unnecessary blackmail against your person by political detractors. I want to urge all governors who have the opportunity to lead their states to visit Rivers State.

“I want to say this with all amount of pride that Governor Wike is working. We pray God to continue to bless, protect and keep him to work for the state. Governor Wike loves his people, he loves Rivers State and that is why he is doing this.

“Under two years, the results are everywhere. The roads we think that will not be done have been done. The roads are now wonderful with most of them dualised.

“When it comes to the time of election and the people risk their lives for Governor Wike, people will say maybe he sponsored thugs or used money; It is Governor Wike’s work that will determine the electoral future,” Senator Akpabio added.

Governor Wike, on his part, explained the importance of the Rivers State Ecumenical Centre, the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park and the Landscaping Architecture at the Air Force overheard bridge in Port Harcourt.

He said that his administration would continue to sustain the execution of projects across the state, despite the economic recession.

FG To Set New Policy Direction In Universities

Nigeria Needs More Private Universities - NUC Exec SecretaryThe Federal Government says that the incessant face-off between the governing councils of universities and the institutions’ authorities over the running of the day-to-day activities in the universities will no longer be tolerated.

The warning was handed down by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, during the 31st convocation ceremony of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State.

The Minister who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the occasion also stated some new policy direction in the university system across the country.

“We must stop housing those who are adventurers, who have no business being in the universities to be in the university. In that wise, it’s being proposed and it will fly that at the end of this academic year, any student that fails to get up to 0.5 GPA should seize being a student of the university.

“The universities will continue from now on to house people who are serious with what they have come here to do. If you score less than 0.5 in your GPA, you are out and out for good.

“Secondly, Mr Vice Chancellor, starting from this year, JAMB has been advised to stop sending students to our professional universities with unrelated disciplines.

“If you are a University of Agriculture, your business should be agriculture; not in medicine, not in law, not in accountancy. Science and technology must remain University of Science and Technology.

“If states wish to have conventional universities, then they must speak to the Federal Government and such schools will be given to such states,” Professor Anwuka said.

A Dangerous Trend

The Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Professor Ndowa Lale, on his part, lamented the rate at which student unionism degenerates into what he described as a dangerous trend for the university authorities.

Professor Lale called on the Federal Government to regulate the operational structure of Students’ Union Government, adding that they pose threat to the statutory administration of the universities.

“Union leaders ascribe to themselves funny sounding titles as executive president and commander-in-chief of Aluta forces, secretary general and head of service, chief judge, senate president, honourable speaker of parliament, special advisers, woman leader, chief whip, stakeholders and so on.

“All these high sounding offices operate under the auspices of a Students’ Union Government which now operates at parallel point with the appointed authority of the institution,” he claimed.

The convocation ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries such as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ipalebo Banigo, who represented Governor Nyesom Wike; Vice Chancellors from other universities and top government officials among other guests.

 

Rivers Monarchs Urge Buhari To Restore Wike’s Security Aides

Rivers, Buhari Muhammadu, Nyesom WikeThe traditional rulers in Rivers State have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Police High Command to restore the security details attached to Governor Nyesom Wike.

The appeal comes as Governor Wike assured them that all the Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state would have at least two projects as his administration spreads development to the nooks and crannies of the state.

The Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, Jeki V, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, made the call on Monday at the 105th quarterly meeting of the council.

He also called on the Inspector General of Police to revisit the dismissal of six policemen who he said protected the Governor when he came under attack on December 12, 2016.

“We call on well-meaning Nigerians, especially our President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, to prevail on the Inspector General of Police to restore our governor’s security details to their former position.

“As royal fathers, we do not want to be partisan but we also want to use this medium to call on the Inspector General of Police to revisit the dismissal of these policemen who were merely carrying out their legitimate duty of protecting their principal; the Governor of Rivers State,” the council said.

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The monarch stated that by stripping Governor Wike of his trusted security details, ‘the police have exposed him to attack by assassins, kidnappers and cultists’.

Even Development

On the delivery of democracy dividends, they lauded the governor for his state-wide execution of developmental projects.

“We are grateful to Governor Wike and his administration for the even distribution of road projects throughout the three senatorial districts of the state,” King Jaja said.

In his address, the Governor assured the royal fathers that he would remain committed to the development of all LGAs in Rivers State, south-south Nigeria.

“No local government area will be neglected in this state. Every local government area will have at least two projects.

“I will complete the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road to link the riverine communities to the upland.

“My motivation is to ensure that leaders of Opobo who misused their opportunity should drive home by next year” he said.

Governor Wike also hinted that a day would be set aside to celebrate the roles of traditional rulers in the emancipation of the people of Rivers and creation of the state.

However, he said he has handed his safety to God.

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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.