COVID-19: Rivers Assembly Lawmakers Donate One Month Salary To Fight Pandemic

Rivers

 

Lawmakers at the Rivers State House of Assembly are supporting the state Government in tackling COVID-19 by donating one month salary.

Speaker of the House, Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani told journalists in the state on Wednesday that the decision is a collective one, including 32 members of the 9th Assembly of Rivers State.

“In our last plenary, the house directed two of its standing committees (Committee on Health and Committee on Information) to interface with the Ministry of Health and other agencies responsible for the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in the State and to continue to update the House on the progress or otherwise.

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”Based on this directive and the feedback so far received from the Joint Committee on the proactive measures put in place by the State Government, we have resolved that one month salaries of all members of the Rivers State House of Assembly members be deducted by the Rivers State Ministry of Finance and remitted to the Committee set up by his Excellency Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State to combat the Covid-19 Pandemic in the State.”

Chairman of the House Committee on Information and co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Covid-19, Enemi Alabo George also at the briefing said the move was a collective decision of the members of the House and done as a contribution to the welfare of the people of the state.

He added that the committee is impress with the proactive steps taken by the State Government in preventing the spread of the pandemic and also the preparation for management of cases should there be such eventualities.

Chairman of the House Committee on Health and Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Covid-19, Sam Ogeh appreciates the Ministry of Health for its swift response in preparing to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state governor, Wike had earlier announced that all markets in the state be shut from Saturday, March 28.

This was after he confirmed index case of Coronavirus in the state.

The Governor also directed all Civil Servants from Grade Level 1 – 10 to remain at home from Friday, March 27 until further notice.

Coronavirus: Wike Closes All Borders, Bans Open Worship, Weddings And Burials

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

In a move to check the spread of coronavirus to Rivers State, the State Government on Wednesday announced that air, sea and land routes into the state will be closed to traffic, beginning 6pm, Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said in a broadcast on Wednesday, that the measure became necessary in view of recent developments.

He said: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our State would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip-off prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.

“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her.

“Based on this alarming Information, the State Security Council met yesterday and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.”

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Governor Obaseki Goes Into Self-Isolation

According to Governor Wike, the council decided that with effect from 6pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa will not be open to air traffic.

“While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our State. We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us,” Wike said.

The Governor further stressed that all Land and Sea Borders will be closed.

He also stated that vehicular movements in an out of Rivers State have been banned. Adding that no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other State and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.

Governor Wike said that the new measures will be in place until further notice.

He noted: “Let me reiterate that the situation we are facing requires drastic measures because coronavirus has ravaged many countries.

“Security Agencies have been empowered to strictly enforce this directive. There will be no room for sacred cows because the virus is no respecter of persons.

“May I once again call for the support and understanding of everyone living and doing business in Rivers State to help the relevant Government Agencies implement these measures to check the spread of coronavirus to the state.”

The Rivers State Governor added: “At this time in our national life, we must shun primordial sentiments and face the reality on the ground.

“I am confident that God being on our side, the temporary hardship we are facing today will come to an end very soon.”

Governor Wike recounted earlier measures taken by the Rivers State Government to tackle coronavirus, emphasising that they were still in force.
He said: “In that broadcast, I announced the setting up of Surveillance Posts at our land and sea borders, beginning from Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

“I also informed you that after due consultations with Religious Leaders, all forms of open worship including crusades and vigils were banned.

“Public Burials and weddings were prohibited, while public parks, night clubs and Cinemas were directed to close down.”

Police Uncover Baby Factory In Rivers

MOSOP Accuses Military Of Killing In Gokana

 

The Rivers State Police Command has uncovered a child trafficking facility, also known as, a ‘baby factory’ in the Woji area of Portharcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

A spokesman for the command, Nnamdi Omoni explains that in a covert operation which lasted for hours, 23 babies between the ages of one and two were rescued.

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Mr Omoni also revealed that four pregnant teenagers were also saved.

The police spokesman further stated that the victims were looking “frail and malnourished” and had been hospitalized.

He said investigations are ongoing to ascertain those responsible for the facility.

Wike Inaugurates Rivers State Ease Of Doing Business Council

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has inaugurated the Rivers State Ease of Doing Business Council (EODBC), with a charge to the council to improve the investment environment of the state.

Inaugurating the Council at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike said that the council is critical to the economic development of the State.

He said: “It is important that we have this council to improve the investment climate of the state. To create the environment for investors to come to the State.

“The council will draw up programmes and policies to create the platform for the ease of doing business in Rivers State.”

Governor Wike said that the membership of the Committee is drawn from the public and private sectors, to ensure that all sectors are accommodated in the drive to enhance business opportunities in the state.

He said that the State Deputy Governor is chairing the Council because of the importance his administration attaches to the ease of doing business.

He said: “I believe that those appointed will live up to the expectations of Rivers people. That the Deputy Governor is the Chairman of this council shows how important it is to the State Government.

“These are people with the right experience and expertise and I believe that they will deliver the very best to the state.”

Responding, Deputy Governor and Chairman Ease of Doing Business Council, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo assured the Rivers State Governor that the council will develop policies that will attract investors to the State.

She said: “The Council is saddled with the responsibility to evolve implementable strategies for businesses to thrive in the state. Your Excellency’s policies in the harmonization of taxes, infrastructural development, social sectors of health, education, security and the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy, are pointers towards advancing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State.”

She regretted that the enemies of Rivers State have tried to de-market the state through negative propaganda.

The Deputy Governor noted that the council will speedily handle the assignment to make Rivers State, a Champion State in terms of the ease of doing business.

“The Focus will be on deepening the reforms already started across the MDAs to drive productivity, create jobs and restore investor confidence and increase foreign direct investment in the state “, she said.

She informed that the council will engage with public and private stakeholders to ensure that the right policies and programmes are created for the good of Rivers people.

The Following were inaugurated as members of the Council: Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo (Chairman), Commissioner of Finance, Hon Isaac Kamalu, Attorney General of Rivers State, Prof Zaccheus Adangor, Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwamkpa, House Committee on Commerce and Industry, Hon Ezu Chibudhom, President, Nigeria Entrepreneurs and Investment Forum, Chief Nabil Saleh, Chairman Rivers Internal Revenue Service, Chief ThankGod Adaoge Norteh and Branch Controller, Central Bank, R.A Randle as members.

Heaven And Nigerians Will Never Honour Those Involved In Election Rigging – Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that Heaven and Nigerians will never honour members of the Nigerian Armed Forces engaged in the snatching of ballot boxes and rigging of elections.

Speaking during an inter-denominational Church Service marking the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, Rumuepirikom on Sunday, Governor Wike urged them to be professional.

He said: “We are not honouring those who are unprofessional and carry ballot boxes to influence the electoral process.

“I urge members of the Armed Forces to choose the right path in the interest of the country. It is unfortunate that the military has lost its integrity because of some unprofessional personnel. Nobody is afraid of the military because of their unprofessional conduct.

“Those who come to rig election or kill Rivers people, Heaven will never remember them.”

READ ALSO: I Will Not Impose Anybody On Rivers State Come 2023 – Wike

Governor Wike said that he has been vindicated by the admission by INEC Chairman that security agencies were responsible for the electoral malpractices that marred the last elections.

He said: “I thank God that the chairman of INEC has owned up that the problem with elections are the security agencies. This confirms all I have said in the past.”

He, however, praised the Armed Forces for the roles they have played in preserving the unity of the country.

“But for them, kidnappers, cultists, insurgents, and armed robbers would have taken over the country “, he said.

Governor Wike called for the institution of a reward system to encourage soldiers put in their best for the country.

In a sermon, Venerable Samuel Chimele called on soldiers to be professional in the discharge of their duties to the nation.

He said: “As we remember our fallen heroes, be professional. There are temptations to the military to be unprofessional, but strive to be professional.”

He said that soldiers who engage in unprofessional acts will go unrecognised in the long run, even when they enjoy the earthly promotion.

The cleric said that the military has no business attempting to enthrone different levels of leadership in the country. He said they should focus on providing security and defending the nation’s territorial integrity.

In the sermon titled: “Faithfulness in Service: The Hallmark of a True Soldier “, Venerable Samuel warned soldiers against the ruthless use of power against national interest.

Prayers were said for the fallen heroes and God’s blessing upon their families. Prayers were also said for the Government and people of Rivers State, the Federal Government, and the Armed Forces.

The International Service marking the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration witnessed praise and worship, with offering to support the Nigerian Legion.

I Will Not Impose Anybody On Rivers State Come 2023 – Wike

 

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that he will not work towards imposing any Governor on Rivers people at the expiration of his second term in 2023.

Speaking during a Solidarity Visit by the Orashi Region of Rivers State at the Government House Port Harcourt on Saturday, Governor Wike said power can never be extended as a gift to any group.

He said: “For the position of Governorship if you have the capacity, come out and contest. Nobody zoned Governorship to me, I struggled for it.

“I will not impose anybody on Rivers people as Governor in 2023. I will not do it. I don’t even have that power, not to talk of giving it out. You cannot give what you don’t have.

“To be the Governor of Rivers State, you must have the capacity to deliver.”

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Governor Wike warned against the politics of bitterness, which he said has denied several Rivers communities access to developmental projects.

He said: “Don’t allow anyone to sow seeds of discords among you. Politics should not divide us. Politics of bitterness does not make sense.

“All of us must not be in one political party. But you must support yourselves to attract projects to your area.”

Governor Wike urged the people of Orashi to remain steadfast in their march towards development. He advised them not to be intimidated as they seek development.

The Governor called on Orashi people to form a united front as they work for their people.

He said: “We must be able to work as a people. We will not abandon any projects awarded by the State Government. You must work as a team to achieve results.”

He called on communities to take steps to protect ongoing Government Projects. He regretted that in Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas, noting that some youths disrupt the execution of projects through vandalism and kidnapping.

He particularly decried the invasion of Western Ahoada County Grammar School, the Zonal Hospital Ahoada and Government Secondary School, Okarki by the people of the Area.

Governor Wike thanked the people of Orashi for their support, saying that their early support gave him the leverage to win his election.

Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Chibodum Nwuche thanked the Rivers State Governor for siting key projects in Ekpeye land.

He described Governor Wike as a beacon of hope, who plays politics of inclusiveness.

He said: “We thank Governor Wike for the projects in Ekpeye land. He has been a beacon of hope and has shown inclusiveness. He is a man with a large heart and he is very accommodating.”

The Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives commended the Rivers State Governor for the key bridges and roads that have opened up Port Harcourt City.

Senator Wilson Ake said the shower of rain on Saturday is symbolic, signifying that God has blessed the solidarity visit of the Orashi region.

He said: “I accepted to come here because you have done well. The finishing of your jobs shows class “.

He praised the Rivers State Governor for developing key infrastructure in Port Harcourt because it accommodates the majority of Rivers people.

Also speaking, Barrister Moses Ofori thanked the Rivers State Governor for key projects across the length and breadth of Orashi region.

Senator Representing Rivers West Senatorial District, Senator Betty Appiafi commended the Rivers State Governor for supporting women to grow politically.

Former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Stephen Ezekwem said Governor Wike has displayed a commitment to the development of Rivers State.

In an address on behalf of the people of Orashi, Eze Egi of Ogba land, Prof Anele Nwokoma congratulated the Rivers State Governor for his victory at the polls despite the political gang-up against the state.

He said: “We use this forum to congratulate Your Excellency in all the legal and political victories recorded to date, in spite of the organised gang up against Your Excellency’s Government and of course our common course. We urge you to remain firm, focused and fearless. The people of Orashi stand with you and are proud to call you, our own.”

The people of Orashi said that they have never wavered in their support for Governor Wike. He said that Governor Wike has effectively discharged his responsibilities as Rivers State Governor, rekindling the hope of the people by his utterances and actions.

While thanking the Rivers State Governor for the numerous projects, programmes and positions accorded to Orashi people, they urged Governor Wike to direct contractors handling ongoing projects to return to site to complete the projects.

He said that the Orashi region remains a key economic block, hence it requires more attention from the Federal and State Governments.

They called on Rivers State Governor to support the emergence of his successor from Orashi region.

He said: “in view of these enormous resources continually being contributed to the national coffers of Nigeria and on the foundation of the immutable principles of equity, justice, and fairness, we solemnly but firmly demand and graciously request that Your Excellency should deliberately and deftly support the emergence in 2023 of the Governor of Rivers State from Ekpeye, Ogba, and Abua as these ethnic groups have never been hitherto, so favoured. ”

The solidarity visit by Orashi region ended in a carnival of sorts, as the people danced and celebrated at the Government House Port Harcourt.

EFCC Grills 58 Suspected Oil Thieves In Port Harcourt

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital has commenced an investigation of 58 persons allegedly involved in illegal oil bunkering.

They include one Mexican, one Ukranian and 56 Nigerians.

According to a statement by the commission, the suspects, as well as four vessels, one barge and two wooden boats, were handed over to the EFCC by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder.

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The vessels, MV Western Orient; MV Temile, AHT Ajemisan and AHT Jascon 23, and the two boats were intercepted around Onne Anchorage, while Barge Hannamarine was intercepted at Okorochiri Creek in Okrika.

Wike Submits Report Card After 100 Days

Wike Writes Rivers Assembly, Reports Suspended LG Chairmen
File photo: Nyesom Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has made a list of what his government has achieved within the first hundred days of his second term.

Wike listed his achievements in a statement published via his social media page.

Here is the list of Wike’s achievements in the last hundred days.

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16 Travellers Kidnapped By Suspected Gunmen In Rivers

 

Suspected gunmen have kidnapped 16 travellers along the Rumuji – Elele axis of the east-west road in Rivers state.

The victims were travelling from the Ekeki motor park in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital to Port Harcourt, Rivers State when their vehicle was intercepted by the suspected kidnappers and taken into the bush.

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According to the Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed to Channels TV, said that a manhunt for the kidnappers has commenced and efforts are on to rescue the victims.

“We are aware of the pockets of criminal activities along the East-West road, we are doing our best to contain these criminal activities, especially kidnapping.

“We have launched a manhunt for the kidnappers and efforts are on to rescue the victims.”

Several Feared Dead In Rivers Pipeline Explosion

MOSOP Accuses Military Of Killing In Gokana

 

A pipeline explosion in Kom Kom area of Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers State, has left several people feared dead.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, the pipeline exploded during a routine maintenance work by some engineers and has nothing to do with vandalism or terrorism.

READ ALSO: FAAN Clears Port Harcourt Airport Runway After Air Peace Incident

He explained that some persons stormed the area to scoop petroleum product when the explosion occurred, which led to their deaths.

Omoni added that men of the command are at the scene of the incident to ascertain the state of things and the number of casualties.

One Soldier, Two NSCDC Officials Killed By Suspected Militants In Rivers

 

A Soldier with 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) and two personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been killed by suspected militants in Rivers State.

The personnel guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community were attacked by suspected militants on Sunday, in an attempt to vandalize 24″ and 28″ TNP pipelines.

Deputy Director Public Relations, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, confirmed the attack in a statement.

“In the early hours of Sunday the 16th of June 2019 (Yesterday), troops of 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community in Tai Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State were attacked by suspected militants who were hitherto prevented from vandalizing 24″ and 28” TNP thereby putting them out of the illicit business.

“Unfortunately, during the ensuing fire fight one soldier and 2 personnel of the NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons (one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles) were carted away by the assailants.”

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The statement added that there was an immediate reinforcement by troops at the location and an intelligence led to the tracking and engagement with the suspects in a gun battle.

“Consequently, at about 9:00am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without number plate, hastily driven with 4 occupants.

“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted, and incapacitated the militants’ vehicle. As a result, the bandits abandoned their vehicle and fled to the bush.

“One of the criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele – popularly known as MENE. Others with him, believed to escape with gunshot wounds – leaving trails of blood.

Iliyasu added that the troops recovered a vehicle, ammunition and other items which was handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State Command for further action.

“The following items were recovered from the scene and in the vehicle:, 1 x K2 Rifle, 2 x Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents.

“The body and other recovered exhibits have been handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State Command for further action, while troops continue to track the remaining fleeing bandits to face justice.”