APC Should Emulate PDP In Fulfilling Social Contract To Nigerians – Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) have continued to demonstrate that governance is about solving socioeconomic problems and improving the lives of the people.

This, he said, has distinguished PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its failings because of their lack of capacity in serving Nigerians and fulfilling the party’s social contract with Nigerians.

Governor Wike made the assertion while inaugurating the 2.5 kilometers Isaac Shaahu Road in Gboko Town, on Thursday that was constructed by Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.

The Rivers State Governor stated that he had repeatedly told all political parties to acknowledge the social contract their elected officers have with the people and ensure that they dutifully fulfill them like it is been done in the PDP-controlled States.

READ ALSO: Rivers Govt Bans Meeting Of Igbo Group In Oyigbo

 

Governor Wike expressed the delight of PDP with the performance of Governor Ortom who is not been deterred in providing dividends of democracy to his people and also naming the three road projects after prominent sons of Benue State to immortalise them.

“About two months ago, you invited me to come and commission road projects. Like I have said before, we are very happy with what you’ve been able to do for the people of Benue State.

“I am very sure that you’re fulfilling the social contract you have with the people. I have told all political parties to fulfill their social contract.

“PDP as a party, we are fulfilling the social contract we have with the people of Nigeria. Other parties should do the same, by providing dividends of democracy.”

Commissioning the 1.6 kilometers Aper Aku Road in Gboko Town, Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, harped on the need for leaders to continue to build bridges of friendship, and promote coexistence among the citizenry.

“You can see what Governor Ortom has done. It is a great honour for me and people of Sokoto to do this commissioning. I commend you, Governor Ortom for this and for other good works you’re doing for Benue people.

“We pray almighty God to continue to guide our leaders and our country. We must continue to build bridges of democracy.

 

The third road project, the 1 kilometer Prof. Martin Dent Road, was inaugurated by the Governor of Nassarawa State, Engr. Abdullah Sule, and it was performed by his commissioner of works.

Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, who led the governors to the three road projects, also inaugurated the ultramodern Tor Tiv Palace, which he constructed saying the projects are part of an effort of his administration to enhance the quality of life of the people.

At the venue of the inauguration of the Ultramodern Tor Tiv Palace, Governor Wike was conferred with the chieftaincy title of the Eagle of Tiv Nation, and his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike was conferred with the Nest of the Eagle of Tiv Nation chieftaincy title.

On the entourage of Governor Wike were Senator George Thompson Sekibo, Senator Barinada Mpegi, Senator Lee Mieba, Senator Olaka Nwogu, Senator Mao Ohuabunwo, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, Rt. Hon. Austin Opara, Bro. Felix Obuah and Senator Samuel Anyanwu.

PIB: Wike Advocates At Least 10 Per Cent Allocation For Host Communities

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has advocated not less than 10 percent fund allocation to host communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill that is still before the National Assembly.

Governor Wike said it is also necessary that the bill state in clear terms what specific development projects that the allocated fund should be spent on so that development of host communities can be truly actualised.

The governor gave the charge when the members of the National Assembly Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill, visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt, on Thursday.

Governor Wike stated that oil-bearing communities have suffered the loss of their livelihood, good drinking water, and their sociocultural life disrupted because of the insensitivity of the International Oil Companies (IOCs).

“It unfortunate that people produce oil but they live in poverty. I believe that this Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) committee will make recommendations of how certain percent must be given to the host oil communities.

“There are issues of education and health. Don’t just say 10 percent to the oil host communities. It must be tied to specific projects so that whoever is in charge will know it.

“So that he or she does not have the prerogative to initiate, like during Christmas, to buy and give 20 thousand bags of rice and tag it as project.

“Let it also not be that host community people will have this money, and you begin to see assassinations among themselves.”

“I have found out that part of the problem we have in communities is that they allow these oil companies to divide them. They cause crisis among them; divide and rule. That is the pattern of IOCs, particularly Shell.”

According to the governor, the mistakes found with the act establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should be avoided because it did not specify what projects the Commission should embark on in the Niger Delta.

“This same thing that has happened to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should not happen to the issues of host communities in PIB.

“If in the NDDC act, they were able to tie the money that will be coming to specific projects, it would have developed the people of Niger Delta. And you won’t be having people fainting at the National Assembly.

“NDDC will leave their job and begin to buy vehicles for police, army, and asphalting barracks. Is it what NDDC is meant to do? That is where we have lost it.”

Speaking further, the governor emphasised the need for the bill when passed, to be signed and not go the way of the Electoral bill that the president refused to assent it.

“I hope this bill will also not be like the Electoral Act, after you pass it, they’ll keep it for months. Later they’ll say they can’t assent to it.

“Then the presidency will throw it back to you and you will keep quiet. That will then show that what you’re doing is only for the interest of your party and not the interest of Nigeria.

“Otherwise, you’ll insist that it is signed. I hope you’ll have the courage to do what is right and this is the time that Nigerians require you to be strong, firm, and do what will move this country forward.”

In his speech, the Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Committee who led the delegation, Mr. Victor Nwokolo Onyemaechi said the committee was in Rivers State to have a town hall meeting with stakeholders to resolve issues of what should be allocated to host communities in the PIB.

“A lot of people have been misinformed about the issue of host communities. Some have said that host communities are related to hostility of the producing communities. But with what they have seen today and in the last four days, have shown to be negative. It has proved negative in the sense that we walked round over 800 meters about three days ago and they saw that even in dry season, we have to use wood as bridge to get to where Shell is exploring and making all their money.

“They also saw the impact of Shell petroleum operation to people’s means of livelihood where their farmland were burnt and palm trees were burnt to ashes. They can feel it and they can see it.

“Today is not a different story. What we saw today is that a community that is known for fishing, as their means of livelihood, has been brought to a standstill. The boats were there, over 40, 50 boats, lying idle because their water has been fully polluted.

The chairman of the committee also commended Governor Wike for the rapid infrastructural transformation ongoing in Rivers State.

Wike Charges APC, Other Parties To Emulate PDP’s Commitment To Project Delivery

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties should emulate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the delivery of democratic dividends to the citizens.

He said the PDP has done well in the State by fulfilling the promises it made to people of the State and they now know the difference.

Governor Wike stated this at the inauguration of the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover, which was performed by the former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, on Monday.

The Rivers State Governor challenged the APC to come out bold to tell Rivers people what they will do differently or had done already to convince the people to believe in them.

Governor Wike pointed out that like every other project, the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover is among the best projects his administration has delivered because Rivers people deserve the best always.

“I want to thank everybody for your support. Our party is not a party of excuses. When we say something, we do it. Let other parties emulate us. They should not be promising Nigerians and be giving excuses.

“We have promised and we have fulfilled. When they (APC) make a promise they should fulfill it. PDP has done all its campaigns in this state. Let the other parties come to tell us what they will do differently or had done while in office. Time is already gone for them.”

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Speaking further, Governor Wike said skeptics thought the three flyover projects he started in 2019 will not be completed within a record time of 16 months. But with Rebisi and Okoro-Nu-Odo flyovers completed and commissioned, he said his administration has further demonstrated commitment to enhancing infrastructure in the State.

The governor warned community leaders who encourage street traders around the area to desist from the act because trading activities will not be tolerated around the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover.

“To the paramount rulers of Rumuokoro Community and Rumuodumaya Community, tell your youths and CDCs, who are always collecting money here, I will not tolerate anybody who will covert this flyover as a trading place.

“We cannot spend this money here and you turn this place into a market. I will not accept that. We have built a market and motor park for you. Go and use them for your business activities.

“I have told the GOC of the 6 Division and the Garrison commander to tell all their men to stop what they’re doing on this road. They collect money and allow people to sell on the road. We won’t tolerate it again.

“Leave our road; this is not market, nobody should trade here. Allow the people to enjoy the road.”

Governor Wike described former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, as a role model who inspired him to perform in office.

“I invited you because I know when you were governor, you performed very well. I will not bring anybody who did not perform in office to come and commission my projects.

“You’re our role model. We monitored you while you were in office and to see how you took Cross River from nothing to somewhere.

“Today, people talk of Cross River and carnival, who’s the originator? You’re the one who did everything to put Cross River on the world map. People should not forget history. Today, you are here to see the little thing we are doing, having emulated what you did.”

Inaugurating the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover Bridge, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke said Governor Wike is a trailblazer who has demonstrated leadership and spent state resources prudently for the good of Rivers people.

Duke urged the benefiting communities of the project to cherish and protect the project as their own contribution to ensuring that the resource used to build the bridge does not amount to waste.

“I want to congratulate you the people for being steadfast with your son. You gave him support and he has delivered. Leadership is not about winning an election. Leadership is about taking people to a destination.

You may not always agree with Governor Wike at the onset. Later on, you’ll understand the wisdom of his stance. But you are never in doubt where he stands on any issues and that’s leadership.

“Today, we are celebrating many things he has done; the development of a community, the prosperity that will be brought into the community, leaving the community better than he met it and of course, we are saying thank you that we have a leader which is very rare to find in our country, that is people who say what they mean and mean what they say.”

Providing the description of the project, the Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover is one of three flyover projects sited strategically to ease travel time for commuters in the state.

“The Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover measures 642.75 m from ramp to ramp, 360m of that being the suspended section. The transition area from the 4 lane East-West Road to the 8 lanes of the bridge project measures 236m. 8 lanes because we have 4 lanes on the bridge and 4 lanes on the ground for both service lanes on either side of the bridge, both of which measure 1,760m long and 8.3m wide.

“You are seated in one of the transition zones. This flyover which is a wonderful sight to behold at night is lit with 68 streetlight poles 26 of those are single-arm while 42 are double arm giving you 110 nos of 250w luminares, not forgetting the 2 bulkhead luminares under the bridge. All of these are powered by a dedicated substation complete with a transformer and backup generator.”

The Commissioner said the Flyover will contribute towards ease of travel along the East-West Road, and traffic decongestion around the area.

Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze .C. J Okocha (SAN) lauded Governor Wike for his developmental stride and warned the people of the area against converting the flyover to a trading post.

Wike Challenges IGP To Implement Report Indicting Disbanded SARS Officers

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has received the report from the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that Investigated Human Rights Abuses, Police Brutality and Extrajudicial Killings by the disbanded notorious police unit, named Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state.

The report was submitted to him by the chairman of the commission, Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (rtd) at Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday.
Governor Wike said the State government has done its bit by setting up the commission and will also produce the White Paper at the next meeting of the State Executive Council.

The governor challenged the Inspector General of Police (IG) and the new Commissioner of Police (CP) to implement the white paper as a proof that the Federal Government was serious about ending such police brutality in the country.

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“The truth of the matter is I am not sure the present Inspector General (IG) is out to fight insecurity. Now, he has appointed a new Police Commissioner for political patronage.

“If at the end of the day, we come out with the White Paper and the Attorney General sends it to the police to implement or to prosecute as the case maybe, will it be implemented?

“That is why I am challenging the IG and the new CP to make sure that they justify that the Federal Government is serious about telling states to set up Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the brutality of the police and the security agencies.”

Justice Chukwunenye Uriri said the commission received 190 petitions, struck out 82 for lack of due diligence or jurisdiction, and eventually considered 108 of them.

He stated that the figure depicts the highest level of recklessness, abuse of law and order in the country. According to him, the policemen who committed the crime against Rivers people, especially Mr. Akin Fakorede and his other cohorts do not have any affinity with the State.

“It is noteworthy that our commission has the highest number of petitions in the federation. Lagos has 210 petitions while we have 190 petitions. Lagos is still there but by the grace of God, we are here presenting this report to you.

“It is our opinion that this figure represents the highest degree of total disregard of law and order by law enforcement agencies in the State.”

Governor Wike has meanwhile named five members of the State Executive Council who will study the report and determine the content of the White Paper.
The members are the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor; Head of Service, Mr. Rufus Godwins, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Mrs. Inime Chinwenwo- Aguma, Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, and Commissioner for Energy Dr. Peter Medee.

Governors Still Sidelined In The Affairs Of NDDC, Says Wike

 

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, says despite the inauguration of the advisory council of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), oil-producing state governors are still sidelined in the affairs of the intervention agency.

The governor noted that because the governing party dictates what happens in the NDDC, the commission now acts as a state on its own and refusing to interface with the Governors of the oil-producing States to strategically develop the Niger Delta region.

He stated this when members of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC led by its chairman, Hon (Dr.) Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Governor Wike explained that contrary to the assumption that governors of the Niger Delta are critical stakeholders in the affairs of the NDDC, they are not in the true sense of it.

READ ALSO: Wike Releases N16.6bn To Upgrade RSU Facilities, Establish Three New Campuses

According to him, since the inauguration of the NDDC advisory council last year, the present federal government has ensured that the governors are sidelined in the affairs of the commission.

“Even when we are inaugurated, we were not involved in anything that happens in NDDC. Which is most unfortunate.”

He further continued: “NDDC is like a state on its own without working with the State government and why is it so. It is so because the states of NDDC are controlled by the opposition party therefore there is no need to consult with them.”

The governor explained that in a bid to ensure NDDC does not embark on indiscriminate execution of projects that often distort the state developmental agenda, the Rivers State government recently obtained a court order that prohibits the commission from carrying out projects without the consent of the state government.

Governor Wike urged the National Assembly to be resolute in its oversight function by ensuring that the NDDC stops frittering the resources meant for the development of the Niger Delta region on building roads in Army barracks, police stations, and spending Billions of Naira to ensure he did not win the election.

The governor stated that NDDC and the Rivers State had once agreed to collaborate on a legacy project, but the commission ended up defrauding the State government.

“NDDC fraudulently duped us over the Mother and Child hospital. They duped us. They had an agreement with the State government to build a regional hospital called Mother and Child hospital. They agreed that it will be N1.7 Billion Naira.

State government to bring N800million, they will bring N900 million.

The state government at that time paid their N800million. NDDC mobilised the contractor with N400 million of the N800 million we brought and then abandoned the contractor and the contractor left the site. And when we came on board, we said okay, we don’t want to partner with you again, give us back our N400 million, it became a problem. Politics came in. ”

The governor said he will continually speak out for the interest of the people of Rivers state. According to him, within one year, he has awarded contracts for the construction of eight flyovers and on Wednesday approved over N16 billion for the development of critical infrastructure in the Rivers State University.

“I want the best for my people. They have given me everything in life, so I owe them. It is not what I will make, they have already made me. So what do I offer back.”

He urged the National Assembly to ensure that the planned amendment of the Electoral Act will usher in a new era of free and fair elections.

He insisted that “there cannot be development without good governance. There cannot be good governance without the rule of law. Good governance without the rule of cannot work.”

Leaders of the delegation and chairman of the committee, Dr. Tunji- Ojo explained that the purpose of the visit is predicated on the fact that Governor Wike is a principal stakeholder in the affairs of NDDC.

Wike Flays Critics, Says APC Has Been Silenced

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says the non-stop inauguration of completed projects in the State has silenced critics, and members of the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Governor Wike stated this at the inauguration of Abonnema Ring Road in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the State by the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu on Thursday.

The governor said instead of the opposition to address how they can encourage their APC governors to roll out projects for inauguration as done by PDP governors, they are hiding under the guise of speaking for local contracting firms.

He described allegations that his administration has refused to empower local contracting firms to handle project construction as sheer falsehood.

READ ALSO: Be Courageous To Handover Power In 2023, Wike Tells APC

Governor Wike said some of the projects that have been inaugurated this week like the Semi-Nonwa -Kira Road was handled by the Rivers construction firm, Lubrik Construction company, while the Abonnema Ring road was done by
O.K Isokariari Construction Company.

According to him, his administration is mindful of empowering Rivers people, encouraging and trusting them to handle some critical projects because he believes in their capacity.

“Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have said I should mention those whom, locally, we have empowered. OK Isokariari Company is a Rivers Company. They did Phase One of Okochiri Road. They have also done this Abonnema Ring Road.

“Lubrik Construction Company Ltd is a local company too. As we go on, we will begin to mention them. Our own is not to develop others without developing our own people. I’m happy with the contractor. We will continue to engage you so that you’ll employ Rivers’ sons and daughters.

“You see how we have silenced them in the state. We commissioned projects until the 24th of December 2020. We have started this year since 4th January 2021. Let them tell their people to roll out their projects and call people.”

The governor said the PDP is different from APC because it always keeps its promises to the people, delivers good governance and quality projects that satisfy the yearnings of the people.

“For us, as a party and government, whatever promises we make we must fulfill them. We are not a party that promises and fail or gives excuses.

“We are a party that when we make a promise, we must fulfill the promise because we owe it to the people. That is why I have told our people, we have no choice, that the only hope this country has today is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”

Governor Wike said it is not the length of the ring road that matters but it’s importance to the people. He stated that the ring road now serves as an alternative route in and out of Abonnema and Obonoma towns.

He announced that the adjoining mangrove will be dredged to provide land to the people of Abonnema and Obonoma that they can use for future development.
“Having done this, the next thing for us to do is sand-filling so that they can have land to build on. I know how important land is to them.

“I, therefore, direct the Special Adviser on Special Projects to meet with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to make sure we award a contract of sand-filling of Abonnema-Obonoma areas.”

Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said by executing projects in the hinterland land other than the city, the Wike administration has demonstrated equity and justice to Rivers people.

He noted that the lessons to be learnt from the series of project inauguration in Rivers State by governors and other political leaders, should be for them to get inspired and replicate such development in their various States and at the national level.

“I believe it when I said that we should not be ashamed to say we are learning from our colleague on what to do. If we need help, we must seek help from whoever we can get help from and that’s the only way we can develop.”

Former Deputy Senate President also enjoined the federal government to explore the possibility of getting assistance from foreign countries that have such capacity in order to protect the sovereignty of the country, its people, and democracy.

“Today, we are challenged as a country in terms of security. Out of sheer national pride, we have not been able to accept help and assistance from those who know better, who can help us to secure this country.

“This is an opportunity for me to call on our leaders, just like I am saying that other States should learn from Rivers State, we in Nigeria must also accept assistance from other countries in order to secure our borders, secure our democracy, secure our place and secure the citizens of this country. That is the only way to go. We must learn from those who have done better than us.”

The Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said prior to the construction of phase two of the Ring road, there was only one entry route into Abonnema.
He explained that the phase of the project which was initiated by Governor Wike administration now serves as an alternate route.

Gov Wike Says Ogoni Clean Up Is Deceptive, Politically Motivated

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says the federal government has been playing politics with the Ogoni environment remediation programme recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

He noted that Ogoni having played a pivotal role in the economic development of Rivers State and the country deserves more than what is currently being offered to the area.

Governor Wike stated this during the commissioning of the 16.06 kilometers dual carriage Sakpenwa-Bori Highway by the Governor of Enugu State Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Lawrence Ugwuanyi in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State on Tuesday.

The governor urged Ogoni people to stop believing those who use Ogoni clean-up exercise at the turn of an election year to deceive them and wondered why clean-up never happens when elections are over.

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“I am not like the Federal Government. They promised you they will do the Ogoni clean-up. Has it been cleaned? I promised you road, have I done it? So you can see the difference between our party and their own party. The difference is clear.

“When the election comes in 2023, they will start another cleanup. You people don’t even ask questions. Why is it a year to the election that Ogoni clean up will always commence? Now that there is no election are they doing the clean up now? Watch from next year they will start to clean up.”

Governor Wike said it has remained undisputed that only the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are delivering development projects to their people.

The governor challenged those who feel uncomfortable with his public declarations to also showcase their projects and invite persons of repute to commission them as he has done since December.

He stated that because of the existing mutual trust between his leadership team and the people, sufficient progress has been achieved in Ogoni land and in the entire state in terms of project delivery.

Governor Wike announced the commencement of phase two of the newly commissioned road, which will now be from Bori to Kono and it will be awarded to the same construction firm, CCECC.

“Let me tell you, I will dualise from here, Bori to Kono. It will be handled by the same contractor to maintain the same standard.

“So, when I finish and go, I will tell Ogoni people that it was in my tenure that you got road; dualised road, from Saakpenwa to Kono with street lights.

“This is what we call development. You can leave Port Harcourt and come back home any day, any time. This is what makes a city.

“When I say Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors are doing well, people are angry. If they are doing well, let them call us. Is it hidden?

“PDP Governors, we are challenging others, tell us what you’re doing. It is not to take money to go and buy one governor. That’s not it. We are talking about governors that are interested in the development of their people. We are commissioning projects.”

Governor Wike said he promised and within the specified period, he had delivered to them what he promised to demonstrate that his party is different from the other that is associated with failed promises.

The governor has meanwhile directed the chairman of Khana Local government area to ensure that the installed street lights are switched on every night to improve the security situation in the area.

Governor of Enugu State. Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Lawrence Ugwuanyi acknowledged that many projects have been inaugurated by Governor Wike, including the Saakpenwa -Bori road which was a campaign promise that has been fulfilled.

“Today’s event is significant as it epitomises the desirable fellowship among colleague governors while providing opportunity for experience sharing and other discourses on service delivery.

“I congratulate your Excellency, Governor Wike on the accomplishment of this infrastructural milestone among many others which will undoubtedly make life more meaningful for the people of Ogoni land.

“I understand that this strategic road project was a campaign promise that has been truthfully fulfilled. Expectedly, it gladdens the hearts of Ogoni people and reinforces their faith in our constitutional democracy.

“I enjoin the good people of Ogoni land and entire Rivers State to continue to support Governor Wike with their prayers and wise counsel as he takes Rivers State to the next level.”

In their goodwill message, former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee said several governors used the road as point of political campaigns, but all failed to fulfill such promises.

He said if the money wasted on the abandoned monorail by the immediate past administration was properly channelled, more flyovers and roads would have been achieved in the State.

Similarly, the president of Kagote, Hon Emma Deeyaah said governor Wike has wiped sway their tears and solved the nightmare situation that the road caused the people.

President of Gbokabari, Senator Ben Birabi noted that such quality of roads are hardly delivered in Ogoni land and said Governor Wike has re-energised the spirit of freedom in the state and has performed above expectations despite the lean financial resources.

Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said again, the Wike administration has demonstrated commitment in delivering long-term service projects that will enhance the socio-economic life of the people.

“This project is a 16.06 km DUAL carriage highway, with a 2m wide concrete median, an overall road width of 22.3m, drainage network of 12.02 Km, 480 double arm streetlight poles complete with transformers and generators to power the streetlights.

“It used to be a deplorable 7.3m wide road but what we have today is 3 times wider than it was then. If we were to stretch this road into a single carriageway it would stretch from here all the way to Kono a distance of about 36 km from Sapkenwa. This is excluding the added mileage we would achieve by converting the concrete median and street lighting to asphalt pavement.”

Do Not Sow The Seed Of Discord Among Governors, Wike Cautions PDP NWC

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has accused the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of sowing seed of discord among PDP governors and jeopardising the party’s prospect to clinch the presidency in 2023.

He has also warned that President Mohammadu Buhari’s integrity will be at stake if he fails to honour the invitation of the House of Representatives to address the growing concern about the spate of insecurity across the country.

Governor Wike, while speaking on a live television programme in Port Harcourt on Friday, said it was regrettable that instead of capitalising on the inefficiency and maladministration that has characterised the All Progressives Congress five years in power, PDP’s NWC is deepening cracks in the party.

“PDP ought to have harvested from the inefficiency of the APC; from the maladministration of the APC. Ordinarily, that is what opposition party ought to do. If you ask me, are Nigerians waiting for a change? Yes. If you ask me as a member of PDP, am ready to support PDP to takeover, yes. But, if you ask me currently as it is, is the leadership of the party willing for us to harvest this opportunity for a change, I will say no.”

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He explained that rather than focus on strategies on how to take advantage of the growing disenchantment with the APC government, the NWC is sowing a seed of discord among governors using two former governors of Imo and Cross River States and a present Senator from Benue State.

“An opposition party that ought to be united, to work, to take over the affairs of government, because people are waiting for this opportunity, but the current leadership of NWC is not prepared for that, rather, what they have done is to constitute some people to sow a seed of discord among governors for their own selfish interest. And that will boomerang; that will consume them.”

The governor said because he lacks the ability to defect to the APC or another political party, he will continue to do what he can to ensure the survival of the PDP.

“I will not allow anybody to kill PDP. They have the capacity to move to APC. I don’t and I cannot move to APC. So, anybody that tries to do something to destroy PDP, I will not allow you. Anybody that I see that has the trait to destroy the PDP, I will not allow it.”

He described as disingenuous the decision of the NWC to jettison the recommendations of Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom led committee set up to reconcile the party in Niger and Plateau States, just because of its vested interest in Niger State.

The governor accused the current leadership of NWC of merely being interested in retaining the current structure of the party to remain in power, and not to win the 2023 election.

“The present National Working Committee is not interested or doing anything to take over the realms of government in 2023. When your interest is to remain in power, you are no longer interested to win the election.”

Governor Wike said the level of insecurity leading to deaths, particularly in Borno State and other parts of the country ought to have compelled President Buhari to keep his promise of honouring the invitation by the House of Representatives.

He pointed out that it was APC members who control a majority in the National Assembly that moved the motion to invite the President to address them on what measures are being taken to tackle and end the spate of violent killings, to which he consented.

The governor said it was wrong for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to turn around to subject the invitation to legal interpretation, instead of protecting the integrity of the President which is now at stake.

“There is insecurity. People are dying. You don’t go by a legal approach to solve that problem. If Mr. President had given the assurance, saying my integrity is at stake, therefore I will go, that decision was not taken without talking first to his inner cabinet.

“It’s not a question and answers session. You go with a brief to address the congress. To say, see where it was when we came, see where we are today. Yes, we have not achieved what we thought, but what we require from everyone is cooperation.

“For me, I think this is not the period to be legalistic. This is the period every Nigerian should be concerned about what is happening. Just this morning (Friday), I heard that 16 people were killed on Abuja-Kaduna road yesterday. Look at the loss of life in Borno State. Senate has said look, Mr. President, relief all Service Chiefs, which means they are concerned about the security situation in the country.”

He further stated that if he were the Attorney General of the federation, he would have advised the President privately and urge him to write a letter to the House of Representatives that he would come at a later day because of the exigency of his office.

To end the spate of violent crime in the country, Governor Wike recommended the creation of employment opportunities for youths and drastic change to the operational system of policing in the country.

Wike insisted that States must be allowed to be involved in the community police, which he claims has already been hijacked by APC members.

Wike Tells FG To Fund East West Road From Sovereign Wealth Fund

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has advised the Federal Government to include the East-West road among the critical infrastructural projects being funded from the coffers of the nation’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The governor has also noted that the Federal Government’s directive stopping State governments from funding the construction or rehabilitation of failed federal roads is inimical to the effective development, management and maintenance of road infrastructure across the country.

He made this assertion in his opening address at the 26th meeting of the National Council on Works in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Governor Wike said the theme of the meeting: “Infrastructure Development, Job Creation and National Economic Growth” fits the generally held view that road infrastructure plays a critical role in enabling economic development, poverty reduction, and inclusive progress.

Governor Wike pointed out that the East-West road which is too important to the economic prosperity of the South-South region and the nation has been under construction for over 15 years, yet a completion date is still not in sight.

READ ALSO: Wike Signs 2021 Budget, Pledges Implementation To Improve Status Of Life In Rivers

He urged Federal Government to urgently consider funding the East-West Road from the Sovereign Wealth Fund to guarantee its completion by 2022 as being taunted by the Minister of the Niger Delta.

The governor observed that presently the Federal Government appears overwhelmed with the construction and provision of too many road projects across the country. He then suggested that it would have been better for the Federal Government to complete most of the on-going roads before embarking on new ones.

Governor Wike advised the Federal Government to reconsider its directive stopping State Governments from funding the construction or rehabilitation of failed federal roads which if not promptly fixed will upset economic growth in the affected States and challenge the wellbeing of citizens.

“It makes progressive sense as a development strategy therefore for State Governments to reconstruct such federal roads with reputable contractors on behalf of the Federal Government and get refunded after due verification of the price and quality of work done.

“The Federal and State Governments need to consult and collaborate regularly to accelerate the delivery of road infrastructure to advance and realize the hopes and aspirations of our people for development and decent living.”

Governor Wike explained that the State government is presently constructing six flyovers a federal government road to ease the perennial traffic congestions on the problematic intersections of the Port Harcourt – Aba expressway.

“Let me, therefore, appeal to the Federal Government to continue to collaborate with the State Governments on road development by allowing States to fix federal roads with the assurance of a refund.”

The governor stated that his administration has consistently dedicated over 65% of the State budget annually for the construction of new roads or the reconstruction and or maintenance and rehabilitation of existing roads across the State, including federal roads.

“The result is the unprecedented delivery of close to 900 kilometres of roads, bridges, and flyovers spread across the length and breadth of the State, including some of the far-flung communities that have now been linked by roads for the first time.”

Minister of Work and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore the importance of human mobility to the health of any economy with the urban poor appearing to be the worse hit as a result of the lockdown.

According to him, part of measures adopted by the Federal Government to kick-start economic recovery processes was to focus on agriculture including the resumption of construction work in 26 states with its attendant multiple effects on the local economy.

Mr. Fashola explained that against the former practice of flexible pavement connection module that was cost-intensive, but his ministry is ready to unveil the rigid design manual which is cost-effective and will guide construction activities in the country.

Chairman of Senate committee of works, Senator Adamu Aliero who advocated the setting up of an infrastructural bank as an alternative source of funding of federal road projects said it has become practically difficult for the Federal Government to fund the 711 roads captured in the federal budget.

Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said it has become more imperative for the present generation to plan for the future and end the perennial road infrastructural deficit expletives today.

Wike To Northern Elders: My Govt Will Not Undermine Interest Of Any Ethnic Group

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has given assurance that he will continue to conduct the affairs of government in a manner that will not undermine the interest of any ethnic group resident in the state.

The governor gave the assurance when he played host to leaders of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) led by its Chairman, Prof. Ango-Abdullahi at Government House Port Harcourt on Monday.

The Northern leaders were in the State to meet with their kith and kin in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest that was hijacked by the proscribed Indigenous People Organisation of Biafra (IPOB) in the state.

Governor Wike, applauded the leaders for the visit to ascertain what actually happened during the EndSARS protest. According to him, it was sad that people will do the wrong and dubiously tie any effort made to correct them to politics and ethnic bias just to deepen the divide among Nigerians.

“The EndSARS protest was very peaceful in Rivers state. Oyigbo Local Government is one of the biggest in terms of population in the state. Miscreants woke up one morning because people are doing EndSARS protest and began to kill innocent people. They burnt down police stations, killed police officers and soldiers, and destroyed courts.

“When you say what you’re done is wrong, we can’t allow it, they say you’re against a particular ethnic group. How can that be? That action almost led to big violence between this group and that group. I am the governor of the state, how can I allow my state to be a centre of war? That can’t happen.

“Nobody can sack anybody here. Everybody has the right to live in the state. But no group can say it is their own place. I won’t allow that. We also have Rivers people who are living outside. So, I can assure you that I will not do anything that will not be fair to any ethnic group.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Despite Recent Happenings, Northeast Is Better Under Buhari – Zulum

Governor Wike said he had raised alarm against the danger of insecurity after a cultist killed over one hundred persons on a particular Christmas’ eve in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local government of the State. But, regrettably, the Federal Government reduced the issue to politics, and today, insecurity is ravaging every state of the federation.

The governor also recalled how FSARS brutality against Rivers People was also ignored. Worst still, he said even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a report that indicted the FSARS commander in the state, but instead of addressing the issues, the erring officer was rewarded and promoted.

“The primary responsibility of every government is to make sure that life and property are being protected. When that is lost, then there is nothing like governance again.

“But it appears there is a leadership pandemic like you said. If truly leadership is serious, if we don’t politicise the issue of security, we won’t have been where we are today. God has made it possible for us to be part of one country, which means where you come from should not be a factor in order to move this country forward.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, Prof Ango Abdullahi said though they had received complaints from their kith and kin about what happened during the EndSARS protest, they decided to visit the South to ascertain the facts.

He explained that based on the forum’s interaction with Northerners living in Rivers state, they seem fairly comfortable and satisfied residing in the State. According to him, the kind of empathy, sympathy, and care that Governor Wike has shown as a leader, was worthy of emulation.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this perhaps can be explained by history. The greatest history in terms of the political relations between the people of the North and the Southern part of the country can always be found deeply rooted here in the Niger Delta area.”

“We, like on behalf, not only on behalf of Northern Elders Forum but on behalf of Northern community world over, we thank you very sincerely for what we have heard and indeed what I have seen in terms of what you have been able to do to help ameliorate some of the challenges and difficulties faced by our brothers living here.”

Abdullahi said if the harmonious coexistence between Rivers people and Northerners living in the State could be replicated all over the country, then, the country will be a peaceful place for all.

“You have a leadership role to play in terms of what the country requires. If you put your heads together, this country will not only survive but it will also thrive. Your excellency from the discussion we have had with our brothers and sisters who live here, and they are almost more yours than ours, is that there is a lot of hope in this country. What is missing is whereas we are having a virus pandemic, we are also having a leadership pandemic and something has to be done about it.”

Other members of the NEF delegation include former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Ghali Umar Na’Abba; former NRC presidential candidate, Bashir Othman Tofa; Hakeem Baba Ahmed; General Saleh Maina (rtd) among others.

Fed Govt Dispensing State Judiciary Funds Is Unconstitutional, Says Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, says the Federal Government’s decision to dissipate State funds on behalf of State judiciaries, under the purported Executive Order 10, is illegal and ill-advised.

He said if the decision is implemented more problems will be created and this will hamper the independence of the judiciary.

Governor Wike stated this during a special court session organised to mark the opening of the 2020/2021 legal year of the Rivers state judiciary in Port Harcourt on Friday.

He argued that the action of the Federal Government constitute yet, another clear breach of the constitutional powers of the Governors to manage State resources in a federal system. According to him, the Federal Government cannot legitimately claim to be more interested in the progress of State judiciaries than the Governors of the respective States; particularly, Rivers State.

The governor stated that the independence of the judiciary is not only about finances, but the ability of judicial officers to write judgments without the fear of being harassed by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) or the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

READ ALSO: Our Achievements Have Killed APC, Others In Rivers State, Says Wike

Governor Wike said while the issue of inadequate funding for the judiciary has been a recurrent challenge preventing the judiciary across the nation from enjoying practical autonomy and efficiency, the situation in Rivers State under his administration has been different.

The Governor, however, took a swipe at the chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Port Harcourt branch, Prince Nyekwere, for alleging that some persons were extrajudicially killed by the military, in the aftermath of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) killing of six soldiers, four policemen, and destruction of all police stations and Court buildings in Oyigbo.

He wondered why the NBA, which is yet to make a formal submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the State to probe the atrocities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), will without evidence allege extrajudicial killings in Oyigbo.

The Governor lauded the Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Adama Iyaye Lamikanra for her illustrious service and commitment to the progress of the judiciary in the State.

He stated that people had opposed her elevation as the Chief Judge based on her status as a non-indigene. But, noted that fortunately, she has vindicated the government’s decision to support her appointment.

“As the Chief Judge, you have been honest, effective, and transformational. Under your leadership, the judiciary developed effective cooperation with the executive and the legislative branches of government to secure, strengthen, and advance the administration of justice.”

In her remarks, the Chief Judge, Justice Adama Iyaye Lamikanra, lauded Governor Wike, for providing the State judiciary the needed funds to ensure people have unhindered access to justice.

She condemned the destruction of all court buildings in Oyigbo by members of the outlawed IPOB, describing it as a set back for dispensation of justice.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor, said his ministry as an institutional stakeholder in the justice sector, will continue to cooperate and collaborate with the State judiciary and other stakeholders in driving the necessary reform and improving the administration of justice.

Earlier, there was a rededication church service that held at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Church, Port Harcourt where the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike took the first lesson, while the second lesson was taken by Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adama Iyaye -Lamikanra.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Port Harcourt Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Sunday Agwu admonished the need for the judiciary to continue to uphold the truth, fairness, and justice without compromise.

He noted that most judicial officers devote more time to pursuing financial gratifications in order to deliver justice to favour the highest bidders to the detriment of the poor.

Archbishop Agwu reminded them to do self-evaluation on this occasion of rededication service so that they can resolve to confidently check the excesses of the other arms of government and contribute their quota to building a virile society.

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was accompanied by his wife, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Senator Sam Anyanwu, and several other dignitaries.

Wike Commends Oba Of Benin For His Apolitical Stance

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has commended the Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Akpolokpolo Ewuare II for his apolitical stance during the Edo State Governorship election.

Governor Wike made the commendation when he led his counterparts from Edo, Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Sokoto, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Oyo, Seyi Mankinde, and Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri on a thank you visit to the Oba at his palace in Benin.

The Governor who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council for the Edo election, stated that the visit was in fulfillment of the Party’s promise to visit the royal father if they win the election.

READ ALSO: Ondo Election: APC Putting INEC, Security Agencies Under Pressure – Wike

He thanked the Oba for his prayers for peaceful elections and assured him of the Party’s continued respect for the traditional institution.

“We made a promise when we came on a courtesy visit during the flag off of the PDP campaign in Benin that by the grace of God if we win the election, we will come back again to say thank you.

“On the 19th of September, 2020, the Edo State Governorship election was conducted and on the 20th, our candidate, Godwin Obaseki was declared the winner.

“You made a promise that as a father to everybody you will be apolitical and will pray with your chiefs and Edo people for peaceful elections.

“Indeed, you gathered Edo people and prayed and God crowned your prayers with a peaceful free and fair elections.

“Having fulfilled your promise, it will be unfair for us not to come and fulfill our part.

“That is why we are here today on behalf of the PDP to fulfill our promise by thanking you and the palace chiefs”, he stated.

He urged the Oba to continually pray for Governor Obaseki for God’s guidance and protection to administer the State for the overall good of all.

Responding, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Akpolokpolo Ewuare II thanked the Governors for the visit in fulfillment of their earlier promise.

Oba Ewuare II noted that he was apolitical during the election as a father to all the candidates in the election and thanked God for the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed during the polls.

He appealed to the Edo State Governor to forget the past and extend the olive branch to the opposition to join hands with him for the development of the State.
The Benin Monarch also urged PDP not to encourage godfatherism in the Party after kicking against the trend in Edo State.

He lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring free and fair elections in the State.

The Oba also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for the smooth process that characterized the election.

The highpoint of the visit was the presentation of a symbolic bronze statue to Governor Wike by the Oba for his leadership role during the Edo State Governorship Election.