Senator Abe Eulogises Late Rivers CP, Francis Odesanya

Magnus Abe, Rivers, Police, Senator Magnus Abe has reacted to the demise of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Francis Odesanya, who died in India after a brief illness.

In a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by his spokesman, Mr Parry Benson, the lawmaker said he was shocked when he heard about the death of the fine and gallant police officer.

He described the late commissioner as a true professional who carried out his duties with sense of responsibility, commitment and diligence.

Rivers, Police, Francis Odesanya, Magnus Abe
Late Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya

Senator Abe, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), regretted that “Mr Odesanya could die at this critical period of our national life when his professional service, competence and capabilities are needed in containing threats to national security and ensuring crime free society”.

He added that the deceased was a patriot who was principled, dogged and brave in fighting crime, stressing that the people of Rivers State would miss his efforts dearly.

The former Secretary to the Rivers State Government condoled with the family of the late police officer for the loss of their bread winner, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.

He prayed that God would give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Death
Mr Odesanya’s death was announced by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, in a statement signed by the spokesman for the Police, CSP Jimoh Moshood.

He passed on at Sterling Hospital Ahmedabad-Gujarat in India, aged 56 after a brief illness.

The late Commissioner of Police was enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and rose through the ranks.

You Are A Security Risk, PDP Tells Magnus Abe

Rivers Senator-Elect, Magnus Abe Vows Not To FailThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State is asking security agencies to put Senator Magnus Abe under surveillance over comments it claimed could scuttle the peace of the state.

The party is again raising alarm concerning what it referred to as the activities and unguarded statements of the Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District.

It insists that his actions pose a security risk to the State.

The Rivers PDP chairman, Mr Felix Obuah, described the directive by Senator Abe, that lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, should invade the Assembly without being subjected to the oath of office, as demanded by law, as unbecoming of one who claims to be a federal lawmaker.

Mr Obuah in a statement said that the party was worried that Abe’s recent comments and secret meetings called for concern by every patriotic Rivers man and woman.

He said that although Senator Abe was known for unsavory and disrespectful attacks on the government and people of Rivers State, he had continued to make statements which were not only provocative and incisive, but seriously threaten the peace and security of the State.

Mr Obuah also expressed concern that Senator Abe had openly been making threatening remarks and boastings which, according to him, were very worrisome and likely to destabilise the corporate existence of the people of the State.

“The PDP is worried at the way and manner Magnus Abe is talking and conducting himself as if he is now the Governor and Chief Security Officer of Rivers State,” Mr Obuah noted.

The PDP also claimed that some criminal gangs in the State refused to embrace the State government’s recently concluded amnesty, following attacks by Senator Abe on the well intended programme.

He wants security agencies to put Senator Abe under surveillance, claiming further that his actions, if not checked, could result to breakdown of law and order in the State.

APC Lawmakers-elect In Rivers Asked To Match To Assembly Complex

RiversSenator Magnus Abe has asked lawmakers elected under the All Progressives Congress (APC) that are yet to be sworn in in Rivers State House of Assembly to match to the assembly and take their seats if the speaker fails to swear them in.

He told Channels Television that there was no provision in the constitution that required a swearing in before a member could function in the legislature.

According to him, “swearing in is just a ceremony”.

Senator Abe, representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, said the option became expedient following what he called the insistence of Governor Nyesom Wike that the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly would not swear them in.

“If the Speaker will not swear them in, they will match into the House of Assembly and take their place because they have been returned,” he insisted.

Right To Participate

Senator Abe condemned the decision of the Governor of Rivers State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to swear in the duly elected APC members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, describing it as rascality and impunity.

“This kind of rascality and impunity that we are experiencing in Rivers State will not be allowed and tolerated,” he told reporters.

Senator Abe urged well-meaning Nigerians to condemn the actions of the governor, claiming it could derail democracy.

He contended that swearing-in of members of the House was not constitutional but ceremonial, arguing that in the absence of the swearing-in, the elected legislators have the right to participate in the deliberations.

“There is no constitutional requirement for swearing-in lawmakers in the country. It is a ceremony, which the Speaker may perform if he so chooses. If he chooses not to swear them in, that cannot in anyway de-ligitimise their membership of the House of Assembly. So, the Speaker has a choice.

“He can swear them in, which is what he is expected to do as the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly or he can refuse and they will go into the House of Assembly and take their seats without his permission because he has no right to sit as a tribunal over the return of any legislator,” he added.

The statement by Senator Abe is coming at a time that Governor Wike is claiming that some politicians in the state are threatening the peace of Rivers State.

Rivers Rerun: INEC, Security Agencies Meet With Political Parties

Rivers Rerun: INEC Replies Wike, Says Adhoc Staff Are Non-PartisanThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the various security agencies, as well as political party leaders and their candidates have met again in continuous efforts to ensure that Saturday’s rerun polls in Rivers state are hitch-free.

With the poll already generating tension, the Deputy Inspector General Of Police in Charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, said no group would be allowed to cause violence during the exercise.

Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Aniedi Ikoiwak, has equally given the assurance that the commission is ready for the polls.

This is not the first time the commission is making the pledge to ensure that the December 10, Rivers Rerun elections, would be free, fair and violence free.

The emphasis is coming as a result of series of allegations by the Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, who has said INEC, as well as security agencies have planned to rig the elections.

INEC in an earlier statement, however pointed out that the recent Edo and Ondo governorship elections “eloquently speak of the feat that can be achieved if all stakeholders do the needful”.

The Commission, then condemned the relentless false allegations, provocative and dangerous comments being made by some political actors, especially Mr Wike, against the Commission, which it insisted were capable of inciting people to commit violent acts that could derail the election.

Rivers Rerun: APC Accuses Wike Of Stockpiling Arms

Rivers APC Remembers Late Victims Of 2015 ElectionsThe All Progressives Congress, (APC), has raised alarm over alleged stockpiling of arms and ammunition by the Rivers state government, led by the Governor Nyesom Wike, ahead of the legislative rerun elections.

In a statement signed by the National Secretary of the party, Mai Mala Buni, the APC called on security operatives to be on the alert.

The party also described the recent pronouncement by the governor over alleged withdrawal of his security aids and an assassination threat on his life, as diversionary tactics meant to deflect attention from reports of an arms build up and other sinister plots by the Wike-led administration.

The statement reiterated the stance of President Buhari’s administration to ensure that elections are free, fair and credible.

Meanwhile, the Rivers state government has reacted to the allegations of the APC.

The Commissioner of Information, Austin Tam-George, told Channels Television that the statement of the APC is most unfortunate and a bunch of lies.

According to him, “the governor Wike led administration does not need to carry arms to win elections”.

Every Vote Counts

Meanwhile, INEC Chairman, Mr Yakubu Mahmood, has vowed to ensure that votes of the people of Rivers state count, in the December 10, re-run polls.

Mahmoud, who was speaking in Abuja after the swearing of the new INEC national commissioners, dismissed the allegation of bias that has been leveled against the commission, insisting that INEC will not be distracted by anyone.

He added that the commission is satisfied with the preparations so far, ahead of the polls.

Rivers Rerun: Police Assures Stakeholders Of Credible Polls

riverspoliceThe Rivers state police command has stated that the force would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the December 10, 2016 legislative elections in the state is free, fair, credible and violence free.

This was according to the commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya, during a stakeholders meeting of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and some candidates of political parties in the state.

On the other hand, the Resident Electoral Commissioner Aniedi Ikoiwak, said the commission is ready to conduct the polls credibly, while also stating that sensitive materials would begin to move to the various units and constituencies where elections will be concluded.

The INEC had also said it would ensure that the concluding part of legislative election in Rivers State, is conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.

This is coming few days after the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had accused the Rivers state police command for giving security details to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the rerun elections.

He told his supporters that by such action, the force had declared that the command is not ready for a free and fair election to be conducted.

Rivers Rerun: Wike Takes Campaign To Khana LGA

Rivers Rerun: Wike Takes Campaign To Khana LGA The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has taken his campaign to three districts; Babbe, Khana and Nyor of Khana local government in Rivers state.

While campaigning, he again raised alarm over the withdrawal of his Chief Security Officer in the run up to the legislative polls, as well as the alleged plans to assassinate him.

Wike however assured the people that victory for his party is sure come Saturday, December 10, as he expressed that no amount of intimidation would make the party give in.

The governor who was welcomed with music and dance from cultural dancers, was also in the Local government area to flag off the renovation of schools in the 3 districts.

A former chairman of the local government area, Gregory Nwidaam, who spoke on behalf of the people, assured the governor and his team of their full support as Wike promised to go the extra mile for the people.

Khana is another local government in Rivers south east senatorial district where some observers have predicted that the contest would be intense.

The next port of call was Taaba, and also received by a crowd of supporters, the governor told the people to stand firm, because according to him, “victory is guaranteed”.

This comes barely 24 hours after he declared a three-day prayer and fasting in the state for the peaceful conduct of the rerun legislative election in the state.

Rivers Re-run: APC Accuses Wike, PDP Of Planning To Implicate Party

Rivers APC Remembers Late Victims Of 2015 ElectionsThe All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State claims it has received credible intelligence that the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plan to implicate the party in the Rivers State legislative re-run.

The party says several National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) uniforms have been produced with APC tags which PDP thugs will wear and thumbprint ballot papers on election day to implicate the APC.

According to the political party, the plot by the PDP and Governor Wike is to justify the wild allegations the governor has been making against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Inspector-General of Police, Rivers State Police Commissioner and other stakeholders in the weeks leading to the rerun elections.

A Private Army

In a statement, the party alleged that the same intelligence report indicated that the PDP and Governor Wike had been branding Hilux trucks similar to the ones used by security agents at an undisclosed secured location.

“They are alleged to have also cloned and produced various uniforms belonging to security agencies especially the Nigeria Police and special military camouflage for the purpose of infiltrating the security agencies and invading communities where rerun elections will take place on December 10 to hijack electoral materials and perpetrate other electoral mischief,” the ACP claimed.

The party further claimed that the report it got showed that the governor’s plan was to be executed state-wide but with emphasis on Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe’s stronghold.

“However, Governor Wike and the PDP maintain a private army of armed gang under Solomon Ndigbara, a known associate of the governor and the PDP. Solomon Ndigbara has been confirmed to be under the protection of Gov. Wike and have been living in Government House, Port Harcourt even as a wanted person by Nigerian security agencies.

The APC said it welcomed the decision of the Inspector-General of Police to provide 20,000 officers and men of the force for the rerun elections.

“We also urge sister security agencies to support the Police to ensure a violence-free rerun election on December 10.

“We call on the security agencies to ensure that their ranks are not infiltrated by PDP gunmen dressed in cloned uniforms of the various security services,” the party’s statement added.

As the election draws near, there have been claims by Governor Wike that the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission had planned to rig the legislative re-run election.

The electoral body and the APC have denied the allegation, describing it as baseless.

Amaechi’s Defection To APC Is Root Of Rivers State Crisis – Wike

The Supervising Minister of Education in Nigeria, Mr Nyesom Wike, has attributed the crisis in Rivers State to the Governor’s decision to join the opposition against the cultural and historical background of the state, which has always been pro-People’s Democratic Party.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, the minister said the state had enjoyed political peace until Governor Chibuike Amechi came into office.

“When you are given a mandate and that mandate is given to you by the people, you must also do something that will make the people want will want to go along with you.”

The crisis in the state is based “on decisions that the governor of the state has taken to lead Rivers State to an opposition which has not happened since 1967 that Rivers State was created and politically, Rivers State has never played an opposition politics.”

The Minister, who was once a close associate of the governor, added that, “Amaechi thinks that everybody must go along with him and if nobody goes along with him, impunity is there.”

He accused the governor of trying to impose his will on the people, saying it is the reason for the reactions.

Wike, who said the disagreements between himself and the governor are political, attributed his political success to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“I was one time council chairman for two terms in Obiakpor local government and I’ve been a chief of staff under PDP so what is that that is going to make me leave the party that has brought me up politically,” he stated.

‘Vendetta’

Wike also accused the governor of intimidating the Chairman of the State chapter of the PDP, Felix Obuah, for going to the court to secure his position against Amaechi’s wishes.

“The governor declared that his hotel should be used to build a school and he revoked the Certificate of Occupancy (C of  O)  of the hotel simply because he went to court and we said that is not democracy.

“If somebody feels that he will go to court to realise or get back his mandate, you should encourage him.”

“The next thing the governor could do by intimidating the young man was to revoke his C of O without due process which was cancelled by the Court of Law in favour of Obuah,” he explained.

Wike said the governor was against his support for Obuah. “I have a right to support him, just like he was supporting G.U Ake.

“In retaliation, Amaechi dissolved my local government council.

“Just because the court gave judgment sacking the G.U Ake led exco and that it is the Obuah led exco that is the legitimate exco of the party, then ‘vendetta’. You now dissolve the council, having dissolved the council” thinking it would affect the minister.

“We came into office in 2007 and as at 2009 – 2010, I saw the politics internally and then I called my friends and said I don’t think it would be proper for me to continue to stay here. I have to leave… I didn’t know that the governor had decided a succession plan that he was going to get rid of some people including myself that were becoming too powerful in the state according to his own estimation.

“I decided to run for a seat in the Senate but before I decided to run for Senate, Mr Peterside Dakuku had come to my house to tell me that the governor feels that I should run for Senate… Then I sent a close friend of the governor to him, to confirm what Dakuku Peterside informed me. He said yes, he’s encouraging that I should run for a seat in the Senate.

“Then something occurred to me that something must be going on. I started pursuing the ambition of Senate.

“A day to collection of forms, in the midnight, the Governor summoned me, the then party chairman, G.U Ake and some other people. This was in 2010-2011.

“He said he had fought the wife of the President, they had problems and he doesn’t want to have any further problems with her… and there’s no need for me to run for Senate.”

After Amaechi asked Wike to withdraw from the Senate seat race, he was appointed the Director General of the Campaign which resulted in Amaechi’s second term in office.

Wike further claimed that the governor had deterred him from running for Senate because they were both from the same Senatorial district and he wanted to run for Senate in 2015. He said that the governor had fears that he (Wike) would want to return to Senate again.

“But when he became the Chairman of the governors’ forum, he realised that the influence he wields…could be beyond being a senator. So let me use that forum to organise myself politically and become relevant nationally.”

According to the minister, the governor was on a mission to clear the state politics of some people he identified as strong in order not to have his succession plan challenged.

“Senator Magnus Abe never wanted to be a Senator. Dakuku never wanted to go to House of Reps… The day the governor told him that he was going to the House of Reps, he (Dakuku Peterside) sent traditional rulers to beg the governor that he was not interested.”

Commenting on the fact that the governor had nominated him to be minister, Wike said it was part of the plan to get rid of him.

 

Lai Mohammed Says Rivers Police Commissioner Is Working For President And First Lady

The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lai Mohammed, has accused the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan and the First lady as being behind the fresh crisis rocking Rivers State.

He made this allegation while appearing on Channels Television’ s weekly political programme, ‘Politics Today’ where he reacted to Sunday’s disruption of a rally of APC and Gorvernor Amaechi loyalists by men of Rivers State Command of the Police.

The Police action which left many injured, including a serving Senator and loyalist of the State Governor, Senator Magnus Abe, was highly condemned by the APC leader.

Mohammed said, “What we witnessed today in PH is sad and shameful…and it is a continuation of the reign of impunity in Rivers”.

He reminded of the several calls by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the removal of the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, since he has been at the centre of many controversial crisis situations in the state.

He further argued that it was not only the APC that had asked for the removal of the Police Commissioner, mentioning both chambers of the National Assembly, the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and other political parties as having also made calls for his redeployment, which has not been heeded.

The APC Secretary declared “He is working on the instruction of the President and First Lady” stressing that his actions were contrary to the expected duties of a Police man.

Mohammed recounted many instances in which the Commissioner of Police had been confrontational with the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, including preventing the Governor’s flight from taking off on allegation that he was about to escape with State Lawmaker, Chidi Lloyd who was accused of murder. He wondered how else the CP could have gotten the confidence to carry out these activities if not by the backing of the President.

He demanded that President Jonathan calls to order the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, whom he described as having become the de facto governor of the state.

Reacting to the statement credited to the Police that they were not responsible for the shots fired at the crowd and the injuries sustained by the Senator, Mr Mohammed said: “If the police want to lie they should please lie intelligently”.

He claimed that with evidences that showed their arrival at the venue of the rally and their use of weapons on the people “The police should stop insulting our intelligence”.

Senator Renews Call For Redeployment of Rivers State Police Commissioner

The Senator representing Rivers South-East in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe has reinforced the recent calls for the immediate redeployment of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, over his questionable involvement in the Rivers crisis.

Speaking with a cross section of the media in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Monday, Senator Abe, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, expressed sadness that the police hierarchy had not done anything on the matter even at the time the National Assembly passed the resolution asking for Joseph Mbu’s redeployment.

“I think that it is actually an embarrassment to the police for them to wait this long.  If you look at the report of the Senate Committee, it is clear that crime has gone up in Port Harcourt since this man has been here.  It is clear that normal policing is not going on in the state.  It is clear that the citizens of the state are at risk, so moving somebody who is not contributing in positive manner to what the constitution expects us to be doing here is not something that the police needs to wait for National Assembly to pass resolution or anything.  It is clear that the man cannot function as Commissioner of Police in Rivers State”, he said.

He insisted that the police commissioner should be redeployed so that the peace and stability of the state would not continue to be threatened.

“He (Joseph Mbu) will go.  There is no doubt about it.  The National Assembly has called for it and I don’t think that is something we need to debate.  Rivers people know that his presence here has not contributed to the peace and stability of the state.  If both House’s of the National Assembly make a clear and categorical demand, if the facts on ground make a clear and categorical demand, if the people of the state themselves have made a clear and categorical demand, Mbu should by himself carry his bags and go”.

Abe noted that the National Assembly had put into consideration the wishes of Rivers people and of other Nigerians in passing its resolution which called for CP Mbu’s redeployment. According to him, the government of the day would need to be sensitive to the wishes of Nigerians.

On the crisis in the state, he called on all political stakeholders to work for the peace and stability of the state. He equally urged them to resolve their political differences in the spirit of give and take.

“It is not a time to stoke up old grievances and things that we should let go because without a spirit of give and take there can be no peace.  I have always been of the opinion that all of us should work towards peace in this state.  I have always said that and there is no time that I have changed my view on that.  I think that the present development gives everybody a clear field in which we can actually work together to view our differences because there are differences that has created this situation and we need to sincerely address those differences and try to look for common ground.  That is what I think we should all be doing and anybody who loves Riverd State should be contributing to that effort”.

Also shedding light on the resolution by the National Assembly to take over the functions of the State House of Assembly, Senator Abe explained that the action was in line with Section 11(4) of the amended 1999 Constitution which empowers the National Assembly to take over the functions of a State House of Assembly.

He however explained that the National Assembly is not authorized by the Constitution to impeach on behalf of the State Assembly.

“All the legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly except the power of impeachment is now moved to Abuja, so it is now vested in the National Assembly, so if you want to pass any law in Rivers State you have to approach the National Assembly.  If you want to do anything that the Rivers State House of Assembly is entitled by law to do, you have to approach the National Assembly.  That is what it means”.

Senate Warns PPPRA Over Return Of Subsidy Fraudsters

The Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream have warned the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to beware of the return of fraudsters in the fuel subsidy scheme.
Speaking during an oversight meeting, the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Magnus Abe commended the agency for cleaning up the fuel subsidy scheme by reducing the number of oil marketers from 142 to 38 as at December 2012.
The Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr. Reginald Stanley had added that local consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) has also been brought down from 60.25 million litres per day in 2011 to 40 million litres per day in 2013.
Mr. Stanley added that claims for all cleared transactions for the last quarter of 2012 are being paid while the 2013 transaction reimbursements are in progress.