APC Accuses Wike Of Eroding Amaechi’s Legacies In Rivers

APC Accuses Wike Of Eroding Amaechi’s Legacies In Rivers

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State have accused Governor Nyesom Wike of eroding all the legacies left behind by the former Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

While speaking with reporters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the APC accused Governor Wike of damaging all the legacies of the former governor in education, security and workers’ welfare.

The Chairman of the APC in the state, Davis Ikanya, said that an example was what he called reckless financial mismanagement and embezzlement of local council allocations.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Association of Local Governments (ALGON) in Rivers State, Samuel Wonosike, has said that the accusations of the APC were unfounded.

According to him, all funds meant for the local councils had been duly disbursed.

Judicial Commission Of Inquiry Concludes Sitting On Amaechi

AmaechiAfter 30 days of fact finding, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the administration of former Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, has concluded its sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Chairman of the panel, Justice George Omeregi, reiterated that the commission’s work was not to witch-hunt anyone, but was an impartial inquiry into the sale of state assets and other allegations of corruption against the former administration.

After a few submissions, the Counsel to the commission, Zaccheus Agangor, concluded that those who failed to appear before the court have lost the right to complain.

The panel visited the site of the Old General Hospital where the disputed Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Hospital project was cut short after the sum of over $39 million had been paid to the contractor.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, however, claimed that the panel was a machinery set up to misrepresent the facts to blackmail former Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

Rivers Election Compromised, International Observer, Jennifer Lynne Says

RiversThe Executive Director of Contact Project, Jennifer Lynne, believes that presidential and National Assembly elections in Rivers State were indeed compromised.

Ms Lynne, an international observer monitoring the Nigerian presidential and National Assembly elections in Rivers State, was speaking on Channels Television via the telephone on Sunday night.

She said that over the course of Saturday, she, along with the multinational civil society observation team had the opportunity to move across Port Harcourt, the state capital and observe several of the polling units.

She disclosed that at the end of the exercise the team witnessed the difficulty of the availability and security of result sheets.

She also raised questions concerning what she called compromised election materials, as well as the dysfunction of card readers as widely reported.

Responding to a question about the magnitude of the irregularities recorded and if they were enough to invalidate the election, Ms Lynne said, “This will be a question of the INEC being able to hear these complaints and make decisions upon the validity based on the reports they are getting.

“At the press conference that was held today, there were additional international reporters and observers present who would confirm violence and election tampering.

“So I will leave it to the INEC to take seriously the concerns that have been raised.”

Controversies have trailed the Saturday election in the state, with Governor Rotimi Amaechi raising an alarm that elections did not hold in several Local Government Areas owing to the unavailability of result sheets at polling units, which he said was a deliberate act by the Peoples Democratic Party with the connivance of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The view was also shared by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate in the state, Dakuku Peterside, who had earlier in the day led a peaceful protest demanding that INEC schedules a proper election in the state.

Ms Lynne also threw her weight behind the citizens’ refusal of the exercise. She stated that the protests held on Sunday across the streets of Port Harcourt were justified.

“Some of our international community members have reported ballot boxes that were broken. We have seen violence and intimidation recorded as well at some polling areas,” she said, adding that her team had also made attempts to report their findings at the INEC headquarters but were refused entrance into the facility.

She, however, promised that her team as well as other international organisations monitoring the elections would ensure that they submit their reports to INEC as soon as possible to help the commission in making a timely decision.

The PDP Governorship Candidate in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has debunked APC’s allegations that there were no elections in Rivers State, including the observations recorded by Ms Lynne and other international election observers.

 

Asking ICC To Investigate Patience Jonathan Is Absurd – Fani-Kayode

APCThe Director of Media and Publicity for the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Femi Fani-Kayode has described the call for the investigation of the Nigerian First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as “absurd and an empty ranting of the opposition”.

Mr Fani-Kayode also took a swipe on the APC presidential candidate, retired General Muhamadu Buhari, insisting that he is the one that has questions to answer in the Hague.

“Empty And Boastful Ranting”

He said: “We read with amusement, the threat by the Buhari campaign organisation through the spokesperson, Mr Garuba Shehu, that it is their intention to drag the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, before the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC), for allegedly indulging in what they described as “hate speech” at a recent rally in River State.

“Their threat to take the First lady before the ICC is not only absurd, but it is also nothing but the empty and boastful ranting of a perfidious, desperate, decaying and dying political party and such threat will amount to nothing.

“The truth is that if anybody is a candidate for the ICC, it is certainly not Dame Patience Jonathan, but rather General Mohammadu Buhari himself”.

Mr Fani-Kayode further said that another episode which Buhari had questions to answer, was his role in a mass murder of hundreds of people in the northern part of Nigeria. He alleged that General Buhari’s supporters murdered a number of young youth corpers who were in their prime in 2011.

‘Stone Anybody’

The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation had lodged a formal complaint against Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Jonathan, to the ICC and other agencies over statements credited to her asking Nigerians to stone anybody calling for change in the country.

Mrs Jonathan allegedly made the statement at the PDP Women Campaign in Calabar, Cross River State, last week .

The letter of complaint was signed by the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation and Governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.

Governor Amaechi, said by her statement, the First Lady was clearly asking the PDP to attack the APC supporters because Nigerians know that change is the slogan of the opposition party.

Governor Amaechi lamented Mrs Jonathan’s hate speech, saying it contravened the laws and also the Abuja Peace Pact endorsed by the 13 presidential candidates in the March 28 election.

 

I Have Never Owed Salaries – Amaechi

AmaechiThe Rivers State Governor, Rotimi  Amaechi, has addressed the allegations against him that he has been funding the presidential campaign of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, despite owing salaries of workers in his state.

Amaechi condemned the situation whereby Nigerians are told what he refereed to as lies about his administration of Rivers State, without any demand for facts to back their claims.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, “One young man, I doubt if he comes to Rivers State (as) he probably lives in Abuja, made the allegation that we have not paid teachers for eight months.

“We started paying December salaries yesterday (December 22) and we’ll finish today because the instruction was that they should make sure that no civil servant left for Christmas without his December salary.

“How can a young man who doesn’t have the statistics come here and say that?”

Governor Amaechi further said, “Some PDP states are owing. I can name them if you want me to, but I’m not sure if there’s any APC state that is owing salary.

“Now I have an appointment as the DG of Buhari campaign, I will not make a careless statement that I have no facts on.

“A Presidential Spokesman comes forward again yesterday and makes a statement about funding the campaign by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and at the same time saying we are owing eight months salary. He had no facts.

“I have never owed salaries, whether (of) teachers or cleaners.”

This feat, he credited to his dynamism as Governor of the state, in fighting corruption and thereby raising the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state, which he claimed previous administrations fed on.

He added that the Federal Government should take responsibility for the poor situation in the states.

On his role as the Director-General of General Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organisation, Governor Amaechi said that funding would be solely dependent on the contributions from Nigerians, as the All Progressives Congress, APC, cannot match the PDP financially.

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.

S/Court Judgement: Amaechi Says No Victor, No Vanquished

The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has thanked God for the Supreme Court judgement given in his favour on Friday morning.

He also thanked the apex court for handling the matter judiciously and Rivers people for their continued support, after emerging victorious over Celestine Omehia at the Supreme Court.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, David Iyofor, Amaechi said that although the court ruling again vindicates his position that Omehia had no case against him, he believes that there is no victor, no vanquished in the matter.

The Governor said that the apex court ruling provides a new opportunity for everyone to join hands with his administration in the development of Rivers State and the advancement of Rivers people.

“Today’s judgement once again shows that God is with us. And as God has put us to oversee the affairs of Rivers state, we will continue to do it diligently and tirelessly to better the lives of our people and develop the state.

“We will rededicate and focus more on administering good governance to the people of the state, and ensure that our people continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

The Supreme Court in Nigeria had on Friday dismissed a suit filed by Mr Celestine Omehia, seeking to join in a suit to determine whether the first tenure of Governor Rotimi Amaechi ended on May 29, 2011 or in October.

Delivering judgment on the suit, a five man panel of the apex court held that Mr Omehia had exhausted all avenues to challenge the election of Mr Rotimi Amaechi as Governor of Rivers State and cannot approach the apex court through the back door.

Mr Omehia, a candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Rivers State, had sought to cash in on the judgment of a Federal High Court which held that Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s first tenure ended on May 29, 2011.

Amaechi then called on Celestine Omehia and his supporters to join hands with his administration so that they could work together.

“Now that the legal tussle is over, I want to appeal to Omehia, his supporters and all other well-meaning Rivers people to join hands with my administration in building the new Rivers state that my administration has started.

“As for me, in this matter there is no victor, no vanquished,” Amaechi said.

Supreme Court Upholds Amaechi’s Election, Dismisses Omehia Suit

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has dismissed a suit filed by Mr Celestine Omehia, seeking to join in a suit to determine whether the first tenure of Governor Rotimi Amaechi ended on May 29, 2011 or in October.

Delivering judgment on the suit, a five man panel of the apex court held that Mr Omehia had exhausted all avenues to challenge the election of Mr Rotimi Amaechi as Governor of Rivers State and cannot approach the apex court through the back door.

Mr Omehia, a candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Rivers State, had sought to cash in on the judgment of a Federal High Court which held that Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s first tenure ended on May 29, 2011.

Mr Cyprian Chukwu, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had in 2010, applied to a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to interpret the Supreme Court’s judgment which in 2007 removed Omehia from office and declared Amaechi as the governor of the state.

The court, presided over by Justice Abdu Kafarati ruled that Governor Amaechi’s first tenure ended on May 29, 2011.

After the High Court’s decision, Omehia, who was not a party to the High Court’s proceedings, applied to the Court of Appeal to be allowed to join in the matter as an interested party, contending that he was a party in the apex court judgment that was interpreted by the High Court.

Both Amaechi and Chukwu, however told the Supreme Court panel headed by Justice Muntaka Coomassie that the Abuja division of the Appeal Court, erred in law, when it granted Omehia the leave to appeal against the High Court’s judgment, even though he was not a party in the substantive suit that culminated to the appeal.

A five-man panel of the apex court, had on November 11, 2013 fixed February 7 for judgment after parties adopted their briefs of arguments in the consolidated appeals that were filed by Governor Amaechi and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party Rivers State, Cyprian Chukwu.

House Members Have No Moral Right To Defect- Legal Practioner

A legal practitioner, Mr John Oloyede believes the members of the House of Representatives that defected from the House of Representatives to the All Progressives Congress (APC) had no moral right to do so.

Speaking on Channels Television flagship morning show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Oloyede described the defections as “morally wrong”.

Speaking legally, he cited the Supreme Court judgment which gave Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state, the mandate to govern the state after a different candidate was fielded during the election by the party.

He said “the Supreme Court ruled that the party won the mandate, but that was fielded did not win the primary election” adding that “the platform on which you contest, remains the owner of the mandate not you as a person” insisting that “it is a precedent and it ought to be followed”.

He noted that except there is a difference in the cases, the precedent must be maintained.

He further noted that “it is unfortunate that today the PDP as a party is now feeling the brunt and that’s why there is so much noise” mentioning “situations in the past where people cross-carpeted from their parties- APGA, APP- to PDP and there have been pronouncements too, nothing happened to those people”.

Mr Oloye berated the lack of political ideology in the country describing  it as a “Nigerian phenomenon” and insisting that “there are no ideological basis for joining any party in Nigeria anymore in Nigeria”.

He maintained that the PDP is divided from recent happenings there in but was quick to add that “that is not to say that any member of PDP as presently constituted will see it as a division” agreeing that “it remains one big family”.

He went further to note that “there is no party that is not divided in Nigeria” citing cases of internal wrangling between members of APGA and APC.

He said the debate on whether the defecting members have the right to do so should not be the bone of contention at this level of our democracy. Mr Oloyede noted that the law permits every citizen to join any political party he so wishes to.

He however wondered if after joining political party and securing the people’s mandate on the platform of the party “can you retain that mandate as an individual?” insisting that “that is what is up for interpretation.

 

 

Amaechi Hosts APC Rally, Akande, Tinubu, Buhari Present

Nigeria’s main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has continued its nationwide campaign for more members with a rally in Rivers State, Nigeria’s South-South region.

Top APC members like the interim national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, retired General Muhammadu Buhari, and former Lagos State Governor, Chief Bola Tinubu, joined the host, Governor Chibuike Amaechi at a rally in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The APC leaders were thankful of the support of the Rivers people, and asked them to continue to throw their weight behind the party in its quest to entrench democratic principles in the polity.

The APC leaders took turns to express their joy about the decision of the state governor to join the party, referring to their previous visit during which they formally invited him to join the party.

Speaking to the large crowd of supporters, former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu said that the APC was determined to save Nigeria from the high level of corruption, intimidation and “oppression of liars”. He said: “If a president is just still writing about the evaluation of basic necessity of water project for Rivers State people, tell him shame.”

General Buhari assured the people that the APC was about securing the country and managing it properly and the way they intend to achieve this is by getting a stronger representation in the states and at the National Assembly.

The host and governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amechi took to the stage after the presentations by the APC leaders. He said that ahead of the 2015 elections, the people must be ready to defend their votes, and that he will be at the fore-front, as sacrifices will have to be made.

Nigerian Governors’ Forum Holds Retreat In Sokoto

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has found the need to review its activities as a group, and the progress made by the country, with a view to chart the way forward for the country.

Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, alongside his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Wammako shed light on the forum’s retreat while appearing on a special edition of Channels Television’s breakfast programme Sunrise, from the ancient city of Sokoto.

The host governor, Aliyu Wammako stated that general belief in the forum on the need to have a dialogue geared towards moving Nigeria forward was the major motivation for him volunteering to host all the 36 Nigerian governors in Sokoto State for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum retreat.

He stated that this is the second time the Governors’ Forum will be meeting outside Abuja, having met in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state before stressing that the forum has now resolved to henceforth rotate their meetings across the states to enable them know more about the country and know the truth based on facts and figures and not just on emotions.

He reeled out topics outlined for the retreat to include good governance, economy, security, and rule of law which are all very important to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. He also stressed that focus will be on taking stock of how they have performed with a view to agree on how to move forward.

 

Excess Crude Account Is Illegal

While responding to a question on the perceived lack of understanding for the NGF’s purpose among Nigerians, Governor Amaechi referred to the NGF’s role in the Oil Subsidy debate. According to him, “if we didn’t step in, oil subsidy would have hit 3 Trillion. That we are talking about 2.3 Trillion now is because the NGF stepped in.”

“We refused to collect our monthly allocation more than 4 times in 4 different months because it was ridiculous to hear that oil subsidy that was 300 billion Naira when Yar’adua was alive or when Obasanjo was President had astronomically risen to trillions…and Governors had to step in. And when we stepped in, things had to stop.”

He also mentioned that the Governors’ Forum stepped in on the issues of the excess crude account. “Since January, before the second term election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum Chairman, what was left in the excess crude account was between 8 and 9 billion dollars, as at last month only 4 billion dollars from 9. So you can begin to see the role we play, the absence of the Governors’ Forum will worsen the case.”

He went further to emphasize the alleged illegality of the Excess Crude Account, “if the Supreme Court has said it is illegal, the fact that they’re still keeping that account shows how much respect we have for our judiciary.”

“The more they (Federal Government) keep that money, the more the account is mismanaged. We don’t know how the money is managed, we will just wake up one day and they will say its 9 billion, the next meeting in 2 months, 4 to 5 billion would have disappeared. Who is doing that?”

Governor Wammako referred to the Excess Crude Account issue as very painful for the Governors. “We all spoke against this account and we believe that this money is supposed to be invested in the future of Nigeria by way of creating jobs for our youths, by way of investing more in the areas of infrastructure but keeping the money doesn’t make sense, Nigerians are not as happy as they should be.”

 

Governors And Corruption

On the alleged corruption of some governors, Governor Amaechi highlighted that things have changed from what it used to be in the past. He said that in this generation, it is the governors who are complaining about corruption and Nigerians should have noticed that this is because there is a new sense of responsibility among the governors.

He complained that the Federal Government’s approach towards corruption has been inadequate.

The interview also touched on several issues like Nigeria’s electoral process, the reduction in states’ monthly allocation, allegations of corruption in the NNPC, the Senate’s report of 500billion Naira being stolen from the SURE-P account and the National Assembly’s report that 2.3trillion Naira has been stolen from the oil subsidy account.

Governor Wammako also seized the opportunity to talk about the developmental projects embarked on by his administration, claiming that the state is already reaping from its good roads and other infrastructures in terms of investment coming into the state from the agro-allied sector, mining and so many other sectors. He also emphasized the peaceful state of Sokoto as a major achievement of the administration.

Invited as resource persons for the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, are Professor Wole Shoyinka, Professor Chidi OdinKalu, Professor Junaid Mohammed, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, and many other prominent Nigerians.

Amaechi On How He Turned Port Harcourt Around

The Rivers state governor, Chibuike Amaechi while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, on Saturday said that his administration has had to work hard to turn the state capital into its current state.

Mr Amaechi who became governor in 2007 said “we met huge challenges when we took over especially unemployment and poverty.” However his administration engaged in infrastructural development in a bid to rescue the city from militants.

“We have gone very far,” he said.

On the issue of security, he disclosed that, “we used to have about 15 to 16 kidnaps in a day or two, adding that, there has been hardly any occurrence in recent times except for the kidnap of Bishop Kattey.

“Now you barely hear of it,” he added.

He stated that Port Harcourt is trying to meet up with the challenge of increase in population as “there’s huge rise in population.”

In the area of education, the Governor explained that his administration took over the job of overseeing the sector from the local governments.

“We give local government areas two billion naira every month,” he said.

There are also plans to commission a total of 750 schools among which 250 will be commissioned in October.

Of the 91 thousand teachers needed to man these schools, 13 thousand have been hired already.

In a bid to improve the quality of education, “we got the British council to help us train teachers.”