I Have Nothing Personal Against Amaechi, Says Wike

Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike speaks on his relationship with former governor Rotimi Amaechi while marking his third anniversary in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Wednesday.


Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has once again opened up on the relationship with his predecessor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.

Amaechi, who also doubles as the Minister for Transportation upon governing the oil-rich state since 2007 to 2015, seems not to be on the same page with Governor Wike.

Wike, who briefed journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on his administration’s strides three years after assuming leadership insists that he has nothing personal against Amaechi.

“I have no personal problem (with Amaechi), it’s just that people want to cause a problem in Rivers State,” he said on Wednesday.

“I won the election in 2015. Of all the manipulation they did, what did they achieve? I don’t have any problem. Somebody said I should settle, what am I settling? Is it a personal thing?”

He, however, criticised some politicians for not allowing the people of the state choose who governs them as their leader.

He added, “You have done your own eight years, let another person finish and go. Must you continue to dictate who is the governor of Rivers State?

“Why are you taking it too personal. Look at what is happening in their party. Somebody cannot have an ambition. If you have an ambition, it becomes a problem. You become disloyal, what kind of system are we in?”

I’ll Ensure Budget 2017 Is Not Padded – President Buhari

I'll Ensure Budget 2017 Is Not Padded – President BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that the distortions that happened to Budget 2016, in which series of projects and figures were injected into the financial document will not happen to budge 2017. 

The President received members of the Governance Support Group (GSG), led by Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at State House, Abuja on Friday and made the promise.

The President said: “I am waiting for the 2017 Budget to be brought to us in Council. Any sign of padding anywhere, I will remove it.”

President Buhari reiterated that he had been in government since 1975, variously as governor, oil minister, head of state, and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), “and never did I hear the word ‘padding’ till the 2016 Budget.”

He promised that such would never happen again under his watch.

The President said that the government stands by its tripod campaign promises of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, but lamented that some people are deliberately turning blind eyes to prevailing realities in the country.

“They don’t want to reflect on the situation in which we are, economically. They want to live the same way; they simply want business as usual,” he said.

On violence that attend rerun elections in the country, President Buhari stated:

“I agonized over the elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers states. We should have passed the stage in which people are beheaded, and killed because of who occupies certain offices. If we can’t guarantee decent elections, then we have no business being around. Edo State election was good, and I expect Ondo State election to be better.”

Speaking on the anti-corruption cases before the courts, the President said he believed the cleansing currently going on “will lead to a better judiciary”.

“When people are sentenced, Nigerians will believe that we are serious.”

President Buhari equally told his guests that the progress being made in agriculture and exploitation of solid minerals “gives a lot of hope”.

He added: “Our grains go up to Central African Republic, to Burkina Faso, but they can’t buy all the grains harvested this year. And next season should be even better.

“We will focus on other products like cocoa, palm oil, palm kernel, along with the grains. We can start exporting rice in 18 months, and we are getting fertilizers and pesticides in readiness for next year.”

Speaking on behalf of members of GSG, Hon. Nwajiuba said the government had succeeded to a large extent on the security and anti-corruption fronts, adding that the group was positive that the economy would soon experience a turnaround, “as the government is working very hard in that direction.”

The group said the biggest constituency of the President was the poor and lowly, and thus recommended what it calls “a social re-armament of the poor.”

Ireland To Establish Development Centre In Calabar

AyadeThe Republic of Ireland has indicated its preparedness to partner Nigeria, using Cross River State as the pilot state, to ensure it attains socio-economic and infrastructural development.

Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sean Hoy, disclosed this while on a courtesy call to the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade.

The Irish government believes this will help address the problem of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

The Ambassador said that  his team are in Calabar to draw a framework of development that involves the state and Federal Government, in a bid to find the way forward in their respective developmental strives, as well as help curb restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

Mr Hoy who also announced the establishment of a development centre in Calabar as part of the initiative, said he had visited Bayelsa and Rivers States before choosing Calabar as the choice location.

Governor Ayade revealed that it is critical to address the restiveness that has characterised the Niger Delta region, saying no development can take place where crisis and tension exist.

He maintained that the crisis and challenges of Niger Delta are unpardonable and no matter how much one has given to a man, liberty is better than slavery.

The Governor also pointed out that the people of the area yearn for redemption, which comes from a philosophical change of attitude, re-orientation and restructuring of issues to ensure equity and fair play.

Ayade further went to commend the Irish government on the choice of Calabar for the development centre, which it intends to run in partnership with the Savannah Centre.

INEC Announces New Dates For Phase 2 Of PVC Distribution, CVR

INEC bannerThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rescheduled the second phase of its programme of distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) involving 12 states.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Robert Idowu, the PVCs would now be distributed at the polling unit level in the affected states from Friday, August 15, 2014 to Sunday, August 17, 2014; instead of July 18 to July 20 as was earlier scheduled.

At the end of the polling unit level distribution, uncollected PVCs would be taken to respective local government offices of the Commission for subsequent distribution.

CVR in the affected states would also be from Wednesday, August 20, 2014, to Monday, August 25, 2014; instead of July 23 to July 27 as was earlier scheduled.

The states involved in the second phase of the programme are Yobe, Bauchi (North East), Jigawa, Sokoto (North West), FCT, Kwara (North Central), Anambra, Ebonyi (South East), Ondo, Oyo (South West) and Delta, Cross River (South South).

With the rescheduling of Phase 2 of the programme, new dates would be announced later for Phase 3 involving Adamawa, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Edo and Rivers states.

Jonathan Queries NDDC Over 285 Abandoned Projects

The abysmal performance of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) since inception in 2001 has drawn the ire of President Goodluck Jonathan and he has vowed to take a decisive action on the matter. The commission is reported to have abandoned 285 projects across the oil-producing region and currently funding the renovation of a privately owned club in Port Harcourt. 

The President made known his displeasure on Tuesday when he received the 2005 to 2011 report of the Presidential Monitoring Committee on the NDDC submitted by Chief Isaac Jemide.

According to the committee’s report, in all 609 projects undertaken by the commission and inspected, 222 have been completed, 102 on-going and 285  abandoned.

The report also revealed that the commission has awarded a contract for the renovation of a privately-owned club in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, among other anomalies.

The presidential committee further indicted the NDDC for the abandonment of a large number of projects and the refusal to address the issue of abandoned projects with no evidence of any attempt to recover the funds using appropriate government agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC.

President Jonathan, an indigene of the Niger Delta appeared very dissatisfied with the report, saying that there were issues in the NDDC. Such issues tend to defeat the purpose for which the commission was set up, he added.

He also decried the unjustifiable introduction of astronomical variations on the contracts sum of most projects awarded by the NDDC over short periods of time, promising to look into how some of these variations were effected prior to project commencement and also the controversial contract to renovate a privately owned club in Rivers State.

The Presidential Monitoring’s report covered projects awarded in three states of Cross River, Edo, and Rivers States between 2005 and 2011. The committee was mandated to look into the financial management of the commission within the period as well as how contracts were procured.

Monitoring of 1,510 projects for the period 2005-2011 in the remaining six NNDC states is said to have also been completed and the reports are being compiled for submission to the President in the near future.



Keshi Invites 24 NPL Players Ahead World Cup Qualifiers

Stephen Keshi has released his list of players that will be invited to the camp ahead of the clash with Kenya in the World Cup qualifier coming up on March 23rd. The coach released a list of 24 players mainly from the Nigeria Premier League players, promising that the list of the foreign based players that has been invited will be made public on Thursday.

Coach Keshi will out of the 24 local-based players select those that will form part of the Super Eagles squad that will square up with Kenya in Calabar.

Out of the glorious Super Eagles squad at the Afcon 2013 in South Africa, local stars Sunday Mba and Godfrey Oboabona made the list released by Stephen Keshi today and they will all report to the Abuja camp on Sunday, the 10th of March at the usual camping site of the Super Eagles.

Invited Players:

Goalkeepers are Chigozie Agbim, Rangers; Daniel Akpeyi, Heartland and Dele Ajiboye, 3SC.

Defenders –  Azubuike Egwueke, Warri Wolves; Papa Idris, Kano Pillars; Godfrey Oboabona, Sunshine Stars; Benjamin Francis, Heartland; Solomon Kwambe, Heartland;  Chibuzor Okonkwo, Rangers; Ezekiel Bassey, Lobi Stars; Mohamed Zubaru, Niger Tornadoes and Umar Zango, Kano Pillars;

Midfielders & Forward: Adepoju Taofeek, 3SC; Jiya Muhammed, Bayelsa FC; Saka Ayo, Enyimba; Sunday Mba, Warri Wolves; Pius Samson, Ranchers Bees; Emeka Ezeh, Rangers; Obinna Nwachukwu, Heartland; Mannir Ubale, Kano Pillars; Gomo Ohanduku, Sharks; Gambo Muhammed, Kano Pillars; Anthony Okputu, Lobi Stars and Reuben Gabriel, Kano Pillars.