Wike Orders Rivers Agency To Fully Enforce VAT Collection

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the Rivers State Revenue Service (RSRS) to fully implement the State Value-Added Tax Law 2021 which he assented to recently.

This follows the failure of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to stop the state government from collecting VAT, having filed an application at a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

“With today (Monday’s) judgement, the way is now clear for the administration and enforcement of the Rivers State Value-Added Tax Law 2021 across the entire state until otherwise decided and set aside by the superior courts,” the governor said in a statewide broadcast on Monday, hours after the court refused the suit by FIRS.

READ ALSO: Court Refuses FIRS Application To Stop Rivers Govt From Collecting VAT

“Consequently, I hereby direct the Rivers State Revenue Service (RSRS) to ensure the full and total implementation and enforcement of this law against all corporate bodies, business entities, and individuals with immediate effect.

“Let me warn that the Rivers State government is fully in charge of the state and will not tolerate any further attempt by the FIRS to sabotage or undermine our authority to freely administer our tax and other related laws in our own state. Those who play with fire risk having their fingers burnt; enough of the shenanigans.”

Governor Wike also directed all corporate bodies, business entities, and individuals in Rivers to willingly, truthfully and promptly comply with their tax obligations under the law.

He warned that those who fail in such responsibilities risk sanctions, including having their business premises sealed up by the government.

‘We Did No Wrong’

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

The governor assured residents that his administration would effectively use the expected proceeds from the collected tax to accelerate the development of the state and improve their well being.

He explained that the enactment of the VAT law followed a recent judgement of the court that upheld the constitutional right and authority of state governments to impose, collect, and utilise VAT within their respective territorial jurisdictions.

“As expected, the Federal Government, through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), disagreed and filed an appeal coupled with a request for stay-of-execution of the judgment before the Federal High Court.

“While the appeal was pending and without any stay-of-execution of the subsisting judgement, the FIRS went about to bully corporate bodies and business entities from paying the VAT to the Rivers State government, even when they knew that an appeal does not serve as a stay, neither was there anything to stay in a declaratory judgement,” Governor Wike said.

“As a mere agency of the Federal Government without any political authority, the effrontery and impunity exhibited by the FIRS against the Rivers State government were ill-advised and highly provocative.”

He stated that the government had decided to suspend the enforcement of the VAT Law pending the outcome of the FIRS’s application for stay-of-execution.

According to the governor, the state did no wrong in exercising its legal right under a constitutional democracy to stop the continuing breach, denial, and curtailment of the constitutional right of states to lawfully impose and collect value-added and other related taxes within their jurisdiction.

He said the objective of such action was to contribute to the advancement of fiscal federalism by enabling the federating states to explore their potential and capacity for generating greater internal revenues.

Governor Wike, however, admitted that some states with presently low economic activities and ethically restrictive social policies with economic implications may be adversely affected for now.

“Above all, fiscal federalism remains the right path to economic self-reliance and sustainability for all our states and the benefits derivable from this case by all the states in the long run far outweigh the immediate revenue loss that some states may presently suffer,” he said.

Prior to the governor’s broadcast, Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam refused the application by FIRS, seeking to stop the Rivers State government from collecting VAT.

He held that the revenue agency failed to file an application to set aside the tax law recently enacted by the Rivers State House of Assembly and signed by Governor Wike on August 19, therefore, the state law on VAT was valid and subsisting.

Nnamdi Kanu’s Arrest: Ortom Challenges FG To Check Activities Of Armed Herders

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has challenged the Federal Government to also arrest members of armed Fulani groups for carrying out attacks on farming communities in parts of the country.

Ortom said such a move is imperative even as the country’s food sufficiency policy is currently being threatened by the willful killings across the nation.

Governor Ortom who made the call in Makurdi, during the flag-off of the 2021 subsidized fertilizer sale at 50% per NPK 50kg bag from the initial twelve thousand Naira to Six thousand Naira, said he has no problem with the arrest of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, but the fight against terrorism and other crimes would only be seen to be unbiased if armed herders who have been killing innocent citizens are also apprehended.

While quoting President Muhammadu Buhari as admitted recently that herdsmen occupying the forests and terrorizing the people are not Nigerians, Ortom wondered why no effort has been made to bring these herders to justice when the very citizens the president pledged to defend are now victims and IDPs in their own country.

Ortom’s comments come a day after Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State stated that it is not enough for the Federal Government to arrest Nnamdi Kanu, while leaders of other notorious groups are roaming wild and free.

READ ALSO: ‘How Will Nigerians Feel?’ Wike Rules Out Defecting To APC

Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), was rearrested, brought back to Nigeria, and re-arraigned on Tuesday, June 29.

Speaking on the development, Governor Wike said for justice to be said to have prevailed, the Federal Government must ensure that the leaders of other groups that have been linked to killings and unrest must be arrested and made to face the law.

Wike who on Thursday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today,  said in the case of Kanu, due process must be followed so that justice may come full circle.

“I have said as governor of Rivers State, I do not believe in Kanu’s principles or the way he wants to actualize Biafra.  I have said that Rivers State is not part of Biafra.

“However, having arrested him, the due process of the law must follow. You cannot just say that because you have arrested him therefore you will not allow justice to prevail. You must follow the due process of law.

“And again, do not do it as if all our target is against a certain section of the country because it is not only Nnamdi Kanu we are talking about as regards insecurity in the country. We have bandits, we have Miyetti Allah who have caused a lot of problems, so government must endeavour to go after the heads of these organizations and associations and arrest them and bring them to book,” Wike stated.

The governor was of the opinion that if the government toes his advice, then Nigerians will be able to say that of a truth, justice has been done.

He added that a failure to see that the other arrests are made will only suggest that the move is targetted at just one section of the country, a situation which Wike says will breed issues over injustice and debates regarding marginalization.

Nnamdi Kanu: FG Must Go After Bandits, Miyetti Allah, Others For Justice To Prevail – Wike

File photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike speaking at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

 

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike says it is not enough for the Federal Government to arrest Nnamdi Kanu, while leaders of other notorious groups are roaming wild and free. 

Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), was rearrested, brought back to Nigeria, and re-arraigned on Tuesday, June 29.

Speaking on the development, Governor Wike said for justice to be said to have prevailed, the Federal Government must ensure that the leaders of other groups that have been linked to killings and unrest must be arrested and made to face the law.

Wike who on Thursday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today,  said in the case of Kanu, due process must be followed so that justice may come full circle.

READ ALSO: ‘How Will Nigerians Feel?’ Wike Rules Out Defecting To APC

“I have said as governor of Rivers State, I do not believe in Kanu’s principles or the way he wants to actualize Biafra.  I have said that Rivers State is not part of Biafra.

“However, having arrested him, the due process of the law must follow. You cannot just say that because you have arrested him therefore you will not allow justice to prevail. You must follow the due process of law.

“And again, do not do it as if all our target is against a certain section of the country because it is not only Nnamdi Kanu we are talking about as regards insecurity in the country. We have bandits, we have Miyetti Allah who have caused a lot of problems, so government must endeavour to go after the heads of these organizations and associations and arrest them and bring them to book,” Wike stated.

The governor was of the opinion that if the government toes his advice, then Nigerians will be able to say that of a truth, justice has been done.

He added that a failure to see that the other arrests are made will only suggest that the move is targetted at just one section of the country, a situation which Wike says will breed issues over injustice and debates regarding marginalization.

The IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu was earlier in October 2015 arrested by Nigerian authorities on an 11-count charge bordering on “terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.”

He was granted bail in April 2017 for medical reasons. However, Mr. Kanu fled the country in September 2017 after an invasion of his home by the military in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State.

Subsequently, he was intercepted on June 27, 2021, and was brought back to stand trial in Nigeria two days later.

Governor Wike was of the opinion that only a trial that follows due process and the drive to bring other defaulters to justice will ensure that the present government is not seen as nepotistic and bias in its dealings even with regards to insecurity.

‘How Will Nigerians Feel?’ Wike Rules Out Defecting To APC


 

Nyesom Wike has squashed insinuations that he will join the Progressives Congress (APC), taking a swipe at governors who defected to the ruling party. 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has in recent months witnessed a wave of defections, raising concerns about the party’s viability. Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State moved to the APC this week, less than two months after his Cross River counterpart Ben Ayade dumped the PDP. Three PDP senators also confirmed their defection to the APC on Wednesday.

But Wike, the governor of oil-rich Rivers State and a strong critic of the APC, maintains that it is unthinkable for him to leave the main opposition party.

“It is not something to be discussed. How would any Nigerian feel that tomorrow I am discussing with the APC?” the governor asked when he featured on Channels Television’s current affairs programme Politics Today on Thursday.

READ ALSOGovernor Matawalle Formally Defects To APC, Becomes Party Leader In Zamfara

Fearful Defectors?

 

A file photo of the PDP logo.

 

He scolded governors and other members of the PDP who have joined the country’s leading party for being fearful and intimidated by the APC, insisting the APC has nothing on offer for him to move to their camp. The defectors, he claimed, had no reason to join another party.

“This people, because of one thing or the other, are trying to hide their inadequacies and inefficiencies and ensure that the government [at the centre] protects them. And they are always afraid,” Wike, a former minister of education explained, accusing the federal government of “fighting” Rivers State.

Governor Wike claimed those welcoming the decamped politicians to the APC have failed in delivering quality governance to their people, saying his main preoccupation at the moment is giving the right leadership to the south-south state.

“The problem with Nigeria today is insecurity. The problem with Nigeria today is poverty. The problem with Nigeria today is corruption, not to go and receive a governor somewhere,” he said. “They have nothing to show. I have no such time. You can watch it every day; we are busy.”

READ ALSO: Senate President Confirms Defection Of Three PDP Senators To APC

PDP Still Confident

PDP
The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus insists the party is well-positioned to win the presidential seat in 2023.

 

Despite the defections, the National Chairman of the PDP Uche Secondus insists the party is not bothered about the development, assuring that it will reclaim the presidential seat it lost in 2015.

“We stand here to state clearly that we will form the next government, come 2023, because of the masses, not the governors who are leaving the PDP,” Secondus said during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

 

Why We Won’t Succumb To Pressure From Criminals To Lift Curfew – Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says the curfew imposed in the wake of dastardly attacks on security formations in Rivers State will remain in place despite sponsored criticism against it.

The governor, who reiterated he is not unmindful of the traffic difficulty experienced by the residence of the State, particularly in Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor councils while trying to beat the 8:30pm curfew time, argued it is better to suffer inconveniences and be alive.

Governor Wike defended the efficacy of the night curfew while speaking at the 60th birthday celebration of the federal lawmaker who represents Rivers Southeast senatorial district in the Senate, Senator Barry Barinada Mpigi in Port Harcourt.

“Some criminals who have not been succeeding in kidnapping, have been sending people to go on radio to say the governor should be reasonable, and that they don’t want the curfew again.”

READ ALSO: People Taking Advantage Of #TwitterBan As Blackmail Weapon – Keyamo

He further continued: “Criminals are the ones who are doing that. I will not agree. Life and property are important for me. All those criminals who have been sending people to go on the radio that they are suffering and that we should extend the curfew to 12am, to enable them to kidnap people from 7pm, will not succeed. Don’t waste your time.”

Governor Wike explained that the imposition of the curfew is based on security advice by law enforcement agencies, as a precaution to prevent further attacks on security formations in the State.

He enjoined residence and the people of the State to learn how to make sacrifices, suffer the inconveniences of today to achieve a better tomorrow. According to him: “I want all of us to be alive to take care of our children.”

The governor also disclosed the cheering news that approval has been given for a Nigeria Law School campus to be sited in Port Harcourt, the State capital.

“We have gotten approval to have a Law School in Port Harcourt. It is not about me, it is the legacy you leave. This was a Law School that was given to Port Harcourt, but the previous government rejected it and it was sent to Yenagoa.

“Today, we have that approval that there must be a Law School in Port Harcourt. And I can assure you in six months’ time, our Law School will be the best Law School in Nigeria.”

He also announced that a Federal High Court in Abuja has awarded $1.1billion to the State in a lawsuit against the Federal Government.

The $1.1 Billion is entitlements of Rivers State based on the subsisting decision of the Supreme Court over production sharing contracts arising from the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts.

Governor Wike thanked God for his grace and benevolence toward Senator Mpigi and his family.

The governor, who recalled that his relationship with Senator Mpigi dates back to when they were both council chairmen, urged the senator to remain a steadfast Peoples Democratic Party stalwart.

Chairman of the occasion and former President of the Movement of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) Ledum Mitee, thanked God for the life of Senator Mpigi, whom he described as a politician with a grassroots appeal.

Senator Mpigi said he decided to celebrate his 60th birthday specifically to thank God for life, sound health, and his reuniting with Governor Wike.

Stop Destroying Your Communities, Wike Tells Ogbakiri People

 

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has urged Ogbakiri people in Emohua Local Government Area of the State to stop destroying their communities because of misgivings held against each other.

The governor gave the charge at the ceremony for the flag-off of reconstruction of Ogbakiri Internal Roads on Saturday.

Governor Wike said it was time Ogbakiri people forgave themselves, considered the disadvantage their former celebrated reputation had suffered and resolved to chart a new course.

According to him, it is only a united people and community that can speak with one voice, determined their development, and pursue to achieve it concertedly.
“Ogbakiri people, you have suffered. Look at what the crisis had done to you.

Ogbakiri used to be known as one of the great communities in the whole Ikwerre area. But things are no longer the same today, because of our lack of understanding.

“Believe today, with what we are doing, everybody must go back home and let us work together. I want all of you to join hands. Let us make sure that Ogbakiri comes back,” Wike stated further.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kidnap Family Of Eight, Four Others In Zaria

The governor berated some leaders and people of Ogbakiri for being part of a political party whose leaders have lied to them at every campaign but will never return to deliver democratic dividends to them.

Governor Wike said politics is about what can be attracted to the people as communities and not for the selfish aggrandizement of a few persons.

“I have told people, compare parties. Since 27th May 2021, we have been going from one local government to another, and from one community to another. Let their own party do the same too.”

Governor Wike noted that what they had suffered politically, is now been corrected because their leaders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have now attracted dividends of democracy to the community.

He urged them to change the style of their politics so that when those of the other party come to them, they can resist their lies.

“All of you who have been in government, who have been supporting governments, why is it that you cannot drag government to come to your communities and do something for you.”

He further added: “I’m surprised that up till now there are no roads in Ogbakiri. When these internal roads are completed, I will come back and give you street lights. ”

Performing the flag-off, Ohna Sergeant Awuse noted that the Ogbakiri internal roads project stands as the highpoint of Governor Wike’s generosity to the people of Emohua Local Government Area.

“No man would have done what you have done for us. We will follow you, stand with you and give you whatever you need from us. You are a correct Ikwerre son.”

Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the 15kilometers of the Ogbakiri internal roads project will be a single carriageway and transverse the 6 communities in Ogbakiri.

He states that along with the numerous socio-economic benefits associated with good road and transportation access, the roads also afford psychological benefits.

“Ogbakiri Internal roads project is for the construction of 15kms of single carriageway, with a typical width of 8m and a total drainage network of 23km.

“These roads will be built according to our minimum standard specifications of the sharp sand sub-base, base course of 0/50 aggregate finished with 2 layers of asphalt, a binder course, and a wearing course.

“These roads which will interconnect the 6 communities that makeup Ogbakiri; Rumuoro, Oduoha, Rumuakani, Rumuada, Ahai, and Okporowo, will be completed and commissioned within 12 months,” the governor noted.

You Will Forfeit Your Salaries Until Your Strike Is Called Off, Wike Tells PASAN

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike speaks at the Government House in Port Harcourt on April 2, 2021.

 

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says striking parliamentary workers under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) will henceforth forfeit their salaries until they call off their ongoing strike in the State.

This is according to a statement by the governor’s special media aide, Kelvin Ebiri.

In his communique, the governor maintained that his administration has fully implemented full financial autonomy for the legislature and as such, there is no justification for the closure of the State House of Assembly.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Slams Agitators Of Secession

Governor Wike who reiterated that his administration is not owing parliamentary workers described the current strike as a disservice to the Government and people of Rivers State.

He explained that the enforcement of a no-work, the no-pay policy has come into force in Rivers State and parliamentary workers can no longer sit at home and expect salary anymore.

Wike Commends JUSUN For Calling Off Strike, Insists On ‘No Work-No Pay Policy’

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has commended the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) for calling off its two-month strike in the state.

According to a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media) to the governor, Kelvin Ebiri, on Wednesday, Governor Wike has, however, directed the Accountant General of the state not to pay judiciary workers for the first week of June in which the ‘no work-no pay policy’ was in force.

The state government had warned that it will enforce the no-work no-pay policy if JUSUN in the state fails to call off the strike by May 31.

Governor Wike explained that the state government’s decision not to pay JUSUN members for the first week of June was a result of the union’s failure to heed the directive to resume work before May 31.

Read Also: Judiciary Workers Suspend Strike, After More Than Two Months

He reiterated that Rivers State had been implementing full financial autonomy of the judiciary and that the strike was, therefore, unnecessary in the first place.

The governor maintained that the state government will not set up any budget implementation committee because it is unknown to law.

“Rivers State government is in full support of financial autonomy of the judiciary and has been implementing same. We have stated it before that we are not going to set up any budget monitoring committee in the state because it is unnecessary,” Governor Wike said.

He explained that under a federal system of government, it is only the executive arm of government, at all the tiers, that has the powers to present the annual budget to either state or National Assembly and also signed it into law.

He further asserted that the people of the state are law-abiding and will continue to insist that every action of government must be predicated on the rule of law.

Wike Accuses APC Of Failing To Protect Nigerians

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of failing to protect Nigerians

The governor made the closure on Thursday during a meeting with traditional rulers from Ogoniland.

Governor Wike asked Nigerians not to re-elect the APC because the party has failed in its primary responsibility to protect the lives and properties of the citizens.

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

He noted that country is now “on life support”.

According to the governor, the security situation under the “APC-led Federal Government has deteriorated so much so that not even a state governor can guarantee his safety”.

He challenged the Federal Government to rise above mere issuing of threats to terrorists and bandits, to take drastic actions that will decimate the gangs.

The Rivers State Governor, however, blamed the citizens of been part of the socio-economic and security challenges facing the country.

According to him, the people have failed in their duty to question and hold public officers to account for the promises made during elections.

 

Wike Imposes Curfew In Rivers After Attack On Security Personnel

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

 

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has imposed a nighttime curfew at all exit and entry points of the state, few days after gunmen killed security personnel in some parts of the state.

In a statewide broadcast on Tuesday, Governor Wike said no vehicle will be allowed to enter into or travel out of Rivers State from 8pm to 6 am every day, beginning from tomorrow, April the 28th until further notice.

The governor disclosed the decision is aimed at curbing the increasing rate of insecurity in the state.

READ ALSO: Killers Of Security Operatives In Rivers Must Be Arrested – Wike

According to Wike, the killers of the three Customs officials, five soldiers, and an unspecified number of police officers between Saturday and Sunday are people from outside the state, adding that investigation is on to unravel their motive.

He pleaded for understanding from residents of the state, assuring that his administration will stop at nothing to end the insecurity.

Wike Threatens To Suspend Implementation Of Financial Autonomy If JUSUN Strike Continues

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has threatened to suspend the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary if the court workers in the state continue with their strike.

Governor Wike stated this on Monday when he received members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) who converged on the entrance of the Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt to submit a letter as part of the association’s solidarity with the judiciary staff.

The staff, under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union Of Nigeria (JUSUN) had on April 6 embarked on an indefinite strike to demand the implementation of the constitutional provisions and court judgement granting financial autonomy to the judiciary at both the federal and state levels.

Wike while addressing them said the association in the state has no justification to join the national strike because his administration has not erred in any way.

The NBA chairman in Port Harcourt, Prince Nyekwere before submitting the protest letter said their protest is to protect Rivers State from retracing from the implementation of the financial autonomy.

PDP Stakeholders Will Decide My Successor, Not Me – Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says Peoples Democratic Party stakeholders in the State will meet at the appropriate time and decide his successor.

He stated that no one single person has the monopoly to decide where the Governorship position of the party will be zoned to.

Governor Wike made the assertion during the grand finale of the PDP local government campaign for the 17 April council election that held at State School 1, Bori, Khana LGA on Saturday.

“I don’t want to talk about politics of who is from here and who is not from there. At the appropriate time the PDP family will sit down, the leaders of the party will sit down and look at everything together and then make a decision, not one man and even me as a Governor can say this is where we are zoning it to.

You cannot say that. It is not your father’s property. So nobody should panic. It is not for one man who thinks he owns Rivers State. Somebody said he is going to give governorship slot to the Kalabaris, now it’s no longer to the Kalabaris, but to the riverine area.”

He used the occasion to reiterate that the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government has failed Nigerians by not keeping to its social contract with the people of the country.

Accordingly, he has called on Nigerians not to listen any longer to empty promises of APC politicians who made promises of ensuring that the Naira and the Dollar are equivalent, create jobs for the youths and contain insurgency, but failed to live up to their promises.

“Time has come when you make a promise to the people you must fulfill the promise. Time has come that we can no longer listen to empty promises of politicians like what the ruling party is doing today.

“When they came in 2015 they told Nigerians that the Naira and Dollar will be equal. N1 to 1dollar. Today what is the equivalent, N500 to 1Dollar. They said they will create jobs, today Nigeria has the highest unemployment rate in Africa 33 percent. While would there not be a crisis. They said when they come they will make sure insurgency is stopped, see what we are passing through today in this country. Everyday, killing upon killing. So, they have failed us.”

The Governor who noted that PDP is the party to reckon with as it always kept to its promises with the people, pointed out that there is no Local Government Area in the state that his administration has not impacted.

Governor Wike explained that when he was campaigning for the office of Governor of Rivers State, he promised to dualize the Saakpenwa-Bori road.
He stated that he has not only kept the promise, but his administration has also further awarded the contract for the second phase of the road which starts from Bori to Kono.

“I have told you again that we are going to dualize from Bori to Kono. That has been awarded and it is not just to award it, the money is there. Every month, 1Billion Naira will be given to the contractor. So the contractor has no business to say that there is no money. And it must be completed in 14 months.”

“So, PDP can go to any Local Government and we can identify one thing or two that we have done for the people. There is no Local Government in this state that can say that PDP has not made an impact.”

The Governor urged the people of Khana to remain focus steadfast and shun those bragging to use security to manipulate the 2023 elections in the state.

He further continued: “All these bragging of using security, Nigeria is quite aware now. With the consciousness of Nigerians, it will be difficult now for you to use security agencies to manipulate election. Now SARS is no more. Is SARS not gone. You think the Army will come again, after all, what they have seen.”

He urged the PDP Chairmanship candidate of Khana Local Government Area, Dr. Bariere Thomas to ensure that he deliver democratic dividends to the people of the area as well as ensure that he resides at the Council to govern the people.

The Governor also advised him not to balkanize the party with his position, but rather to ensure the unity of the party. He called on the people to come out enmasse and vote for all PDP candidates on the 17th of April.

“It is not the people of Port Harcourt that will vote for you. It is the people of Khana. Stay in your local government and govern the people. We want to decongest Port Harcourt and part of the way for us to do that is for you to stay in Bori and govern the people that voted for you.

“Again, now that you are going to be Chairman, don’t split the political family. Allow the political family to be together. I don’t want anybody to divide the political family in any of the local governments.”

In his goodwill message, Senator Lee Maeba noted the developmental strides of Governor Wike in Ogoniland, saying he needs promotion and also urged the PDP chairmanship candidate to unify the party.

The Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Barry Mpigi said the people of Ogoni are satisfied with the development put in place by Governor Wike in Khana and the entire Ogoni.

Also speaking, the House of Representatives member, representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Dumnamene Dekor said he is a living testimony of the developmental strides of the Governor in Khana.

In his remarks, the PDP Chairmanship candidate for Khana Local Government Area, Dr. Bariere Thomas promised to tackle the issue of insecurity, cultism, and establishment of ICT centres in the 19 wards of the LGA.

A high point of the campaign was the defection of former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Befii Charles Nwile, and his supporters from the APC to PDP. They were received by the State Chairman of the PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor.