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Kano Became Sharia State, Asked Christian Girls To Wear Veil, Started Hisbah, Zakkat — Wike Replies Shekarau

Rivers state governor, H.E. Nyesom Wike, Former governor of Kano state under whom Sharia was introduced in the state

Shekarau, had in a statement on Thursday condemned the alleged demolition of the mosque and wondered why the Rivers state government would take such actions in a secular country like Nigeria.

The Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike has carpeted the former governor of Kano state, Ibrahim Shekarau over his comments on the alleged demolition of the Rainbow Town mosque in Trans-Amadi area of Port Harcourt, the state capital.

In the statement personally signed by him, the former Kano State governor was much more perturbed by the declaration of Rivers State as a complete Christian state by Wike.

In his reaction, Wike noted that as a governor of Kano State, Shekarau introduced Sharia law and officially made the state a Muslim State. This action, according to Wike, was premised on the fact that over 95 per cent of Kano people are Muslims, adding that the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo did not stop him neither did Nigerians question his decision.

Speaking through his Aide on electronics media, Simeone Nwakaudu in an article, Governor Wike recalled, “In 2008, Kano State Government under the leadership of Ibrahim Shekarau demolished Christ the King Catholic Church.

“The Kano State Urban Planning Development Agency (KANUPDA) demolished the Church because the Church lacked Certificate of Occupancy. Shekarau’s Administration said the structure of the church at Na’ibawa in Kumbotso local government was removed, after serving them a notice, advising them to prove its legitimacy or removed the church.

“In November 2003, Shekarau sworn-in Hisbah, Zakkat, Sharia Commission Members to consolidate his declaration that Kano is a Muslim State. The establishments’ members were sworn-in at Sani Abacha Stadium after a bill was passed into law by the State House of Assembly for the creation of the establishments. These were agencies of Kano State that promoted one religion to the detriment of others,” the article read in part.

He went further to recall that Shekarau compelled all Christian girls in his State to wear Hijab. “Those who refused to wear hijab under the leadership of Shekarau were asked to withdraw and leave Kano State. He burnt books believed not to promote the Islamic religion”.

Wike stressed that his declaration that Rivers is a Christian State is a statement of fact, adding that well over 98 per cent of the indigenous population are Christians. He promised to continue to promote religious freedom and tolerance in the state.

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$1b To Fight Boko Haram War: Gov. Wike Demands Special Fund For Niger Delta

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* Fayose absent at governors’ meeting, says Zamfara governor

…...Fayose cannot query us over $1b approved

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the APC-Federal Government must as a matter of urgency release funds for tackling issues of environmental degradation and security in the Niger Delta. 

Governor Wike said while he would not condemn the release of $1billion to tackle Boko Haram, the environmental and security challenges  in the Niger Delta far outweigh the Boko Haram conflict. 

The governor spoke during the Annual General Meeting of Okpo Club of Nigeria (Association of Ikwerre Lawyers) yesterday in Port Harcourt. 

He requested the APC, Federal Government to release the derivation component of the Excess Crude to the oil producing states  of the Niger Delta.

He said: “Niger Delta environmental problems are as serious as the Boko Haram Insurgency. I am not saying that you should not fight Boko Haram. 

“If you can get funds from the national pool to tackle  Boko Haram, then you should go to the pool to get funds to fight environmental problems in Ogoni and other Niger Delta communities.”

Commenting  on politics in Rivers State, Governor Wike urged all ethnic nationalities to work together to fast track development in the state. 

He said no ethnic nationality in the state could succeed without others, hence the need for greater cooperation at all levels.

The governor also called on the people of the state to always work for relevance in the political  terrain of the country so that the state could attract development.

Former NBA President , Chief Onueze Okocha (SAN), commended Governor Wike  for his commitment  to the  development of the state. 

He assured him of the support of Ikwerre lawyers as he worked for the people of Rivers State. 

Chairman of Okpo Club of Nigeria, Mr Chukwuma Chinwo said the club would continue to mobilise Ikwerre lawyers for the development of the area.

Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia said the Association of Ikwerre Lawyers had grown over the years to become a catalyst for development. 

Highpoint of the occasion was the celebration of the birthday of the Rivers State governor by members of the Association of Ikwerre lawyers.

 

Fayose absent at govs’ meeting –Zamfara gov

…Says, ‘Ekiti gov can’t query us’

From Juliana

Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, has reacted to Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, criticism of $1 billion approved by the forum to aid the fight of insurgency in the north east.

He said contrary to Fayose’s reaction it was endorsed by all the governors present because they saw reason, adding that if the Ekiti Governor was present at the meeting, he would have seen the wisdom in the decision.

Fayose, had alleged that the $1 billion to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, and ploughed into the battle with insurgency is a ruse, but money that would rather go for President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaigns for 2019 presidential election.

Fayose in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said: “Since they said they have defeated Boko Haram, what else do they need a whopping sum of $1 billion (over N360 billion) for, if not to fund the 2019 elections? For posterity’s sake, I wish to place it on record that I was not among the governors who approved the withdrawal of almost half of our savings in the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers of government to fight an already defeated insurgency,” he declared.

But Yari Abubakar, who is also Governor of Zamfara State, in his reaction explained that the decision, to allow the Federal Government to access the amount was a collective one by the Forum, and that absenteeism from the meeting does not exculpate anyone from responsibility from the Forum’s resolutions.

“I am saying that, that statement was an unfair cut against the Forum,” Governor Yari Abubakar said, “when a decision is taken by the Forum in one’s absence, once there was a quorum at the meeting where the decision was taken, it becomes binding on all. I am sure Fayose was not making the statement to undermine the Forum. He was just doing his thing”.

The NGF Chairman rationalized that the decision was a conscious sign by the two parties to show the synergy between the NGF and the Presidency, which ought not to be politicized, but consolidated. “This same lack of unity between governors and the presidency had brought about poor governance in the past, throughout the country and now that we are working together no one should constitute a wedge in the process.”

He added that “you can never spend too much on security because the safety of lives and property are the most cardinal among all the principles of governance, in any democracy.”

Governor Yari Abubakar said that the issue of drawing from the ECA was very broadly deliberated at the Forum’s meeting on the eve of the National Economic Council meeting where the decision was taken. “If Governor Fayose was there at the meeting, he would have seen the wisdom in the decision. Yes, the administration is claiming to have decimated the insurgents out of Sambisa Forest but they are reemerging in different flashpoints across the country. They need to be tackled wherever they are and the NGF decided to support the Presidency just as it (The Presidency) had been supporting states with their own problems,” Governor Yari Abubakar argued.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum who spoke on the phone from Zamfara even contemplates addressing a world press conference on the matter to clear the air, and show how seriously we cherish human lives.

“Governor Fayose is on his own. We have to protect our people and we have to do it with everything we have,” Governor AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar emphasized, adding that “let me reemphasize one more thing, Mr President is a responsible and honest leader who does not believe in money politics and he would never divert public resources into it.”

In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has also thrown its weight behind the governors’ decision to withdraw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East region. The APC-led federal government and the governors who had come under severe attacks from the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has in a text message from the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said that the ruling party solidly backs the governors’ decision.

Obviously replying to a text message on the 2019 hidden intent of the fund, the party’s spokesperson said: “The governors have responded. I don’t have anything to add.”        (The Sun)

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Stop Stoking Embers Of Disharmony, Wike Tells Lai Mohammad |RN

Nyesom-Wike

Rivers State Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike

From Tony John, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, to stop stoking embers of disharmony and divisions in the polity with his utterances and allegations against members of opposing political parties.

The governor stated this yesterday, while declaring open the 13th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) 2017, in Port Harcourt, and gave reasons why Nigeria is in crisis

“We are only pretending; we think all is well with our country. The country is in crisis as poor governance, nepotism, marginalisation and state-sponsored repression continue to do violence to national unity and cohesion.

“At times like this, the country needs forthright leadership to steer the ship of state from the wrong direction it is headed, to safer grounds. Nigerians of goodwill must, therefore, call the minister of Information to stop stoking embers of disharmony and divisions in the policy, with his utterances and allegations against members of opposing political parties.”

The governor pointed out that by his (Mohammed) utterances, the minister allegedly implied that it was the then opposition which sponsored Boko Haram operations during the administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.

He said clamour for political restructuring, fiscal federalism, state police and guarantee for free and fair elections, have never been determined across the country.

The governor said the call would never go away, and pointed out that it was becoming clearer by the day, that to ignore the call is pretentiously dangerous to the unity and peaceful co-existence of the country.

Said Wike: “For some of us, therefore, there is nothing nobler than being counted on this path and as long as God gives us breath, we shall remain in the trenches, fighting for our democratic rights and freedoms, until victory is achieved.

“But, we also believe that this is a fight that should and must be led by the media, for full effect and agenda setting. This calls for greater vigilance and courage in giving effective voice to the contending issues and taking personal responsibility for factuality. It cannot be otherwise.”

He regretted that despite the monumental achievements of his administration, the opposition in the state has continued to undermine development, with tacit support from the Federal Government and a politically-inclined police.

“Therefore, when a supposed opposition goes beyond the bounds of decency, in conjuring lies to rubbish and undermine every effort of ours to serve and advance the progress of the state, then, the media owes society the duty to investigate and expose their mischievous intentions with the facts at their disposal.

“At any rate, those who live in glass houses, they say, should avoid throwing stones. As our representatives in the federal government, are they not responsible for attracting development projects to Rivers State?”

Thereafter, the governor outlined the achievements of his administration.

Earlier, in her address, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said this year, editors would focus on how to reinvent the journalism profession and make it profitable for practitioners and society.

She said: “This year, it is all about us, our profession,  our fate and our economy,  as we navigate the testy thirsty waters that threaten to sweep us into a fast-moving current. ANEC is for us to assess where we are and find a way to safety.

“Ours is a besieged and beleaguered industry. Both the profession and the professionals are not in a good place right now. The recession may be receding in other sectors, but, in the media, it is not. 

“Our recession predates the nationally-recognised one. We have been in a bad place for a long time and, right now, we can feel the ground shift under our shaking legs. 

“Other sectors get intervention funds and bailouts but, what do we get? We are constantly reminded of our social responsibility and our roles in national security.”  Chairman of the conference, Mallam Ismaila Funtua, in his opening remarks, urged editors to promote professionalism for the good of the country.

Publisher of ThisDay Newspapers, Prince Nduka Obiagbena, called on media managers to develop strong brands to overcome the challenge posed by the existence of the social media.

The 13th editors’ conference has as its theme: “Balancing professionalism, advocacy and business.”

Hundreds of editors, from the 36 states of the Federation are in Port Harcourt, for the three days conference.

Meanwhile, Wike has said investments in science research institutions would help revive the country’s economy. 

Wike said this during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

The governor said a diversified economy would create employment opportunities for the people.

“We must sustain the development of technology for the growth of the country. I urge that we begin to use research reports from science institutes to attain the desired growth.

“The development of relevant machinery and equipment will help create jobs locally and enhance the economy.”

The governor commended the minister for establishing the Chemical Equipment and Machinery Development Institute in Port Harcourt.

He said the minister had exhibited maturity by siting the project in the state, pointing out that other ministers would have been influenced by political considerations.

Wike directed the Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority to liaise with the Ministry of Science and Technology for the allocation of land for the institute.

Earlier, Dr Onu said the institute is part of the process to build a knowledge-based economy that would sustain the country and added that over-reliance on oil and gas has made it difficult for the country’s economy to grow, in view of emerging realities.

“The decision has been made to make Nigeria an innovation-driven economy. We are determined to work hard to ensure this succeeds.

“If there is a problem with oil, we will still strive,” said Onu.

For us to do this, we need to build capacity, look inwards and use our natural resources in ways that will improve our economy.”

The minister said the state plays important role in the chemical and petrochemical sector of the nation’s economy.

“We want the institute to be a centre of excellence in the chemical and petrochemical sector of the nation’s economy. The results of the research will be available to the private sector. We will be in a position to grow our economy,” he said.  (The Sun)

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Rivers Rerun: Six Wike’s Police Aides Dismissed |The Republican News

Our Reporter

Rivers rerun: Six Wike's police aides dismissed

Six policemen dismissed over Rivers rerun being paraded at the Force Headquarters, Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: abayomi FAYESE

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has described the dismissal of six “innocent” police officers by the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force as a sad day for Nigeria.

Wike, who spoke through the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tam-George,  also demanded immediate reinstatement of the dismissed policemen.

In an online press statement titled “Wrongful Dismissal of Governor Wike’s Six Police Details: Tragic Day for Professionalism in the Nigerian Police,” the governor said: “The Rivers State Government notes with infinite sadness the decision of the Nigeria Police to dismiss the six police officers attached to Governor Nyesom Wike.

“The police officers were subjected to a secret and unfair trial on totally fictitious charges of professional misconduct during the rerun elections in Rivers State on December 10, 2016.

“This is a tragic day for professionalism and the respect for human rights in the Nigeria Police Force.

“The dismissed officers committed no crime other than foil a carefully-orchestrated electoral heist by officials of INEC in collusion with the APC and the Nigeria Police Force.

“The claim by the police that the affected officers misused their firearms while in the convoy of Governor Wike on December 10, 2016 is a wrong and cruel fabrication.

“Governor Wike did not depart from his official premises on the day of the elections and therefore had no use for an armed convoy.

“Two days after the elections, on December 12, 2016, thousands of Rivers people, led by Governor Wike, resisted an invasion by the police on the premises of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council, in a brazen attempt to rig the elections in favour of the APC.

“The Port Harcourt City Council was the election collation centre for the Rivers

East Senatorial District.

“Throughout the period of the stand off between the invading police officers

and the thousands of citizens who resisted them, Governor Wike and the officers around him conducted themselves with utmost restraint.

“The dismissed officers are therefore the latest victims of the medieval dictatorship of the APC government. A government that seems to lurch blindly in the miasma of its own incompetence and intolerance.”

Governor Wike also urged Nigerians to demand the immediate reinstatement of the dismissed officers and for the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to allow an independent inquiry.

Wike alleged that the APC government had never hidden its desperation to overrun Rivers State, colonise its people and loot the treasury of the state, adding that Rivers people would continue to resist all attempts to enslave them.

However, the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) described the dismissal of six policemen for unethical conduct during the December 10 legislative rerun in the state as a clear indictment of Governor Wike.

Speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, in Port Harcourt yesterday, the party maintained that the decision of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to dismiss the six errant policemen who flouted his directive not to support politicians to rig elections was a step that would ensure sanity in the Nigeria Police Force.

APC in Rivers said: “The dismissal of the six policemen is a clear indictment on Wike over his violation of electoral regulations in the December 10 rerun elections in Rivers State.

“We believe that it is just a tip of the iceberg of what will be unravelled that were perpetrated by the Rivers State governor during the rerun.

“Nigerians are waiting for the IGP’s panel report that will seal the fate of Wike and his accomplices within the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).” (The Nation)

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Governors’ Visits To Wike, Udom Stir Anxiety In APC |The Republican News

Yusuf Alli

Image result for nyesom wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

Visits harmless, says spokesman

Tambuwal: we’re not politicking

There is disquiet in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over some governors’ visits to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, who are of the Peoples Democratic Party. (PDP).
The APC governors, who visited their PDP counterpart, are: Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi).
The governors also jointly hosted Wike in Sokoto- an action that sent political circles guessing that a major plan was on.
A minister protested to the APC leadership in the Northwest over the trips, The Nation learnt yesterday.
Some Presidency officials are also said to be disturbed by the signal which the visits generated.
Some APC leaders were “shocked” that Tambuwal and Bagudu visited Wike before the last legislative election rerun in Rivers State, spending a day with him.
The two governors teamed up with Yari, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), to spend Christmas in Akwa Ibom.
Wike reciprocated the visits last weekend when he went to Sokoto. The Rivers State Governor was at the Sultan’s palace where he said the Niger Delta would not be part of any move to dismember Nigeria, adding that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.
A source, reflecting on the development, spoke of “unease in the APC on the shuttles by Tambuwal and others to Rivers and Akwa Ibom states”.
“Some of our leaders are uncomfortable with snippets from these trips”, he said, asking not to be named.
“The timing of the first visit to Rivers State made some of our leaders to be suspicious. It was like paying a solidarity visit to Wike ahead of the Rivers State rerun elections.
“Some leaders have been suspecting that the three governors might be the arrowheads of a political realignment in the country.”
There have been talks of a new party ahead of the next general elections. The direction and planners of the “mega” party remain unknown.
The source quoted the angry minister as saying; “We heard what you people are planning.”
A party leader said: “Some of us have been angry with these governors because our members are going through hell in these states.
“There is nothing wrong in exchanging visits or comparing notes, but we saw the trips as missteps at a time we are seeking redress or justice for our members in the affected states.
“Of what use is an APC governor’s romance with a PDP governor in whose state APC members were attacked and maimed or where policemen were beheaded?”
The Department of State Services (DSS) last week gave indications that some politicians are under watch.
The politicians include those who are making “inciting” statements.
It could not be immediately ascertained if the governors in question are under watch.
But one of the governors had complained that his telephone conversations were intercepted by security agents.
Another source close to one of the governors added: “Of recent, we observed that some agents of a minister have been abusing our boss online over some of these visits.
“It is unfortunate that friendly visits are being turned into other things. Some of these governors have been friends before getting into office.”
APC National Publicity Secretary Bolaji Abdullahi said: “My reaction will be that I think we should not read too much political meanings to all these trips. Governors socialise, regardless of party affiliation.
“If governors decide to visit each other and socialise, I don’t think the party has the authority to stop them. I think we should not read any meaning into it.
“But if the party has reasons to suspect gatherings are contrary to what the party stands for, the party will meet and take appropriate action. At this moment, there is no basis for that.”
Alhaji Imam Imam, Tambuwal’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said: “There is nothing political at all with all these shuttles. The commitment of the governor of Sokoto State to APC is not in doubt at all. Tambuwal is fully committed to APC. Our commitment to the President, the leadership of the party and all APC structures is unshaken and undiluted.
“We work within the confines of APC. Nobody should link us with 2019. During political season, we will engage in politicking. But this is a period of governance; we are now focused on governance.”
Imam added: “Tambuwal believes in inter-state trade. So long as states cooperate among themselves, the potential for the nation’s economic growth is large. When we visited Rivers, we had discussion on youth empowerment and sports; when we visited Aba, Abia State, the governor sold the idea of marketing Sokoto leather to them. When we went to Kano for inspection of projects, we interacted with some businessmen and one of them is now establishing a fertiliser plant in Sokoto.” (The Nation)

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Niger Delta Won’t Back Agitation To Split Nigeria, Says Gov. Wike |The Republican News

Our Reporter

Image result for Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

Leaders and people of Niger Delta will defend Nigeria’s unity because they believe the country should remain as one indivisible entity, River State Governor Nyesom Wike has said.

Speaking during a visit to Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Saad Abubakar at his palace, Wike said Nigeria’s unity is ‘non-negotiable’ and of paramount importance.

He added that the interest of Nigerians and Africans would be better served with Nigeria remaining as one “strong and united nation”.

He said: “Let me first of all sincerely thank you, our father the Sultan, for what you are doing for this country, working tirelessly to ring peace and to bring unity to the people. So, for all of us, this is what is meant by one Nigeria.

“We cannot run away from this country. The unity of this country is very, very paramount. The unity of this country is non-negotiable. I am from the Niger Delta, from Rivers State to be specific. So, I cannot see us in a divided country. No way. We stand for the unity of this country,” Wike added.

Read more: Delta State Is Not Part Of Biafra Republic, Says State SSG |The Republican News

According to the governor, his administration has put a lot of time, resources and energy to protect national assets, especially the ones in Rivers State.

“In Rivers, you hardly find pipeline vandalisation. We are working at all times to protect national assets in our state. In my state, I am governor for all the people living in the state. I am not a governor of a particular political party, but a governor for all the people of Rivers State.”

He hailed the Sultan for his leadership of the Muslim community in Nigeria, adding that he was in Sokoto to felicitate with his colleague, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who gave out his daughter in marriage on Saturday.

He equally dispelled the notion that his relationship with Tambuwal had political connotation, saying the Sokoto governor had been his friend for a long time, “long before politics defined who we are now.”

“Tambuwal is my friend for a long time. If anything affects him, it affects me also. If he gives out his daughter in marriage, I have to be here to support him. If any problem happens to him, it affects me as well.

Read more: You Lied, Anioma Is Igbo And Part Of Biafra, Traditional Ruler of Ukwuani Tells Gov. Okwwa

“Your Eminence, I am here to seek your royal blessing. You have blessed me before, that is why I am growing. So, let me wish you a prosperous new year ahead,” he added.

Both the host governor and Sultan implored Nigerians to live in peace with one another, and wished their countrymen and women a year full of happiness and blessings.

The governor has also restated his administration’s commitment to promoting peace and growth in the state.

In a New Year message broadcast in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said his administration had enormous political will to embark on projects that would trigger growth across the state.

Read more: Asari Dokubo Calls For Unified Biafra To Release Kanu And Actualize Biafra State

He urged Rivers people to work together to ensure that the state enjoyed peace and development in 2017.

“We cannot thank you enough for your consistent prayers, understanding, sacrifices and unconditional support and encouragement throughout 2016. (The Nation)

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Army Recovers DSP’s Body, Orderly’s Rifle In PDP Chief’s Area |The Republican News

 Bisi Olaniyi

Army recovers DSP’s body, orderly’s rifle in PDP chief’s area

The uniforms on display…yesterday

•GOC: govt won’t tolerate violence in Rivers

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) the newly-created 6 Division in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Maj.-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, yesterday displayed the AK-47 rifle and uniforms of  Mohammed Alkali, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Mobile Police Unit 48 and his orderly, Sgt. Urukwu Nwachukwu.

Alkali and Nwachukwu were beheaded during the December 10 bloody legislative rerun in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area.

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Felix Obuah, is an indigene of the local government.

Read also: Evidence Emerges On How DSP Alkali Was Killed In Rivers, Those Behind It |The Republican News

The GOC warned against violation of Army’s clean-up operation in the crude oil and gas-rich Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, where he said innocent persons were killed daily by militants and cultists.

The GOC said workers of oil companies and others had become apprehensive and were relocating from the area because of the development.

He said the Federal Government would provide tight security in all parts of Rivers.

Abdulkarim stressed that the trend of violence in the state could not be left unchecked.

The GOC displayed the arms, ammunition and other items recovered from hoodlums in the local government.

He also paraded one of the suspects, saying others had been handed over to the police for prosecution.

Abdulkarim said: “Four of the suspected criminals’ camps located across the river in Ujju Town near Omoku (the headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA) were raided on December 31, 2016. In the raid operations, 6 Division troops, in conjunction with Operation Delta Safe Special Boat Service and air component, engaged the suspected criminals in severe exchange of fire, in which they were dislodged. This led to the arrest of suspects.

“Ammunition, uniforms and weapons were recovered. The late DSP Mohammed Alkali with his orderly, Sgt. Urukwu Nwachukwu’s AK-47 rifle and uniforms, as evidenced in the name tags, were also recovered.

Read also: Rivers Rerun: Wike Is Pilling Up Arms, APC Tells Security Agencies |The Republican News

“The large cache of ammunition and weapons recovered in the operation also include one AK-47 rifle, two G3 rifles, five double-barrelled guns, two pistols, 31 empty AK-47 magazines, 242 rounds of 7.62 mm NATO and 322 rounds of other ammunition calibre.

“Other recovered items include 31 handsets, bullet-proof jackets, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, first aid box and seven police uniforms.

“In the last one month, 15 people were horrifically murdered with many others kidnapped in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA of Rivers State. Those killed include a soldier, four officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), two policemen and eight civilians. The gunmen also took away ammunition, vehicles and weapons.

“This trend of violence cannot be left unchecked. The 6 Division will sustain operation clean-up of the area (Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA), for oil companies and the people to go about their businesses in a peaceful environment.

“It is envisaged that sustaining the operation will end the senseless killing of innocent citizens, including security personnel. This will further frustrate illegal arms and ammunition acquisition, which will usher secure environment for economic prospects.

“The clean-up operation is in continuation of efforts by the division to recover and mop up illegally-acquired weapons from cultists and criminals, who do not mean well for our dear nation and refuse to embrace the Rivers State amnesty programme.” (The Nation)

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APC Cannot Distract Me, Says Wike |The Republican News

 Emmanuel Oladesu Group Political Editor

Image result for nyesom wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said that the projects left behind by his predecessor, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, will be completed, adding abandoned projects are counter-productive.

However, there is an exception. The governor said he would not touch the light rail project initiated by Amaechi. He described it as a white elephant project, which will gulp a lot of money and serve little purpose in the Port-Harcourt metropolis.

“We will not abandon projects. We have set 16 months for each project we have embarked upon. But, there is no room for white elephant projects,” he maintained.

Wike, who was on tour of the project sites with reporters, said his government was motivated to deliver on his campaign promises because funding has not been an obstacle. In the last 18 months, over N100 billion has been spent of various projects without inflating the contract. “There is a divine intervention in Rivers State. Although the federal allocation has reduced, the internally generated revenue (IGR) is increasing,” he explained.

Wike added: “The Nigerian economy is under recession and Rivers’ economy is part of federal economy; companies are folding up, workers are being sacked. That means the income of the state will be coming down as it relates to the internally generated revenue. The money we get from the Federation Account, it is on record that it was last month that we had about N10b; the highest was about N5bn, and we pay pensioners and salaries, about N5.6 monthly. So, if we use that, it means we will not be able to do projects.”

Also, the governor appears to be conscious of the ethnic divide. He said the distribution of the project reflected geo-ethnic spread, adding that no senatorial district is left behind.

Before the December 10 legislative rerun, Rivers State was enveloped in anxiety. During the election, there was mayhem. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are still trading blames over the violence that rocked the polls.

However, Wike said despite efforts to give the state a bad name, he has remained focused, stressing that the implementation of the developmental projects have earned applause from the people.

In Port-Harcourt, the capital city, no fewer than 30 projects are on-going. The Information Commissioner, Dr. Austin George, said many of them would be commissioned before or during the 50th anniversary of the state creation next year.

The projects include the Nkoku Bridge and the Woji Apajo bridge, which are virgin projects. Also, the Elelewa road, which has the components of a drainage and walkways, is nearing completion. The Rumuoparali Road, Choba, which is always water-lodged,is being reconstructed. During the inspection, people, including those who have received compensation for the various demolitions, trooped out to hail the governor.  Also, the Tam David West Road, along Old Airport Road, is nearing completing. The governor said when it is completed, it will ease congestion along Ikwere/Rumuokoro Road.

In the state capital, the Port-Harcout Pleasure Park is a beauty to behold. It is on a 15.5 hectres of land. Six months ago, it was a refuse dump site. It was also the hiding place for criminals. The features of the park include jogging paths, 15-bed room hotel, a mini-football pitch and gulf course.

The administration is also about to complete the Federal High Court. It is a N750 million contract. It has six court rooms, six changing rooms for judges and holding cells. The Senior Special Assistant on Project Monitoring, Seril Dumbwite, told reporters that, when completed, the edifice will be handed over to the federal judiciary.

Wike explained that education has been accorded a top priority. That was why the government has re-introduced boarding system in the secondary schools. Three schools have been selected for the arch-type boarding models. One of them is Rumukwota Girls Secondary school, where modern hostel facilities are being provided. Under the pilot scheme, a 950-seater Assembly Hall, blocks of classrooms, a library, a laboratory and hostels are being constructed. The second school is Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori, which was founded in 1957.

Many have also hailed the dualisation of Sakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road. It cuts across three local governments in Ogoniland. The Choochoko Road, Igbo Etche, Etche Local government, links the town to Eleme Junction. It is a 16-kilometre road, which has been hailed by the rural dwellers. An excited villager gave the governor a bottle of wine as a mark of appreciation during the inspection. “This area is the food basket of the state. The road will assist farmers to bring their products to the market,” said Dumbwite.

The new Rumuokworo Market has hundreds stalls and park that can accommodate 40 cars.

The infrastructure battle is not restricted to road construction. “There is an improved funding for the health sector. Grants are even given to private health institutions. E-learning centres are being fortified. More jetties are provided and despite the propaganda against the governor, he has recorded success in security,” said George.

Wike shed light on why the recession has not thwarted his developmental programmes.”We are operating a Jesus economy. I can’t even explain it myself. It is a Jesus economy, Jesus is the one doing it,” said the former Minister of State for Education.

Explaining why the Abolima-Woji Road, with its massive 400-meter bridge, has become imperative, he said it would help decongest the gridlock on the Old Aba Road.

Wike described himself as a prudent administrator. He told reporters that the 16-kilometre Sakpenwon-Bori Road, which is being built for N9bn, was originally awarded by a previous administration for N14 billion, even with lower specifications.

He added: “I can tell you that road was designed by the previous administration at the cost of N14bn – to use laterite, but when we came on board, we said how can laterite cost N14bn, and we said we prefer to use sharp sand because of the terrain. So, you will ask yourself, how can laterite cost more than sharp sand?”

Wike assured that no project initiated by the previous administration will be abandoned for partisan reasons, stressing that government is a continuum. He said that was why his government decided to compete the Woji-Akpajo bridge.

He stressed: “I did not award the job, but it is an important road that whether we like it or not any governor must finish. Some of the projects started by the previous administration that we felt they are key projects, we said we should not abandon them because we did not award them.

“The Ozuogba-Ogbogoro road was awarded at the cost of about N8b. They paid the contractor about N3bn, and they abandoned it. We came we completed it. Former Senate President David Mark came to commission it. There is Abuloma-Woji bridge. We came we completed it. On the way to Etche, there is Igwurita-Umukuruchi road. They could not complete it.

“We came and we completed it. The Woji road towards Aba road, they awarded it to LCC. But they did not mobilise with one naira. So LCC did not go to site. Rather than demolish houses and pay compensations that will not be enough for the people to build another house, we brought the price to about N4bn and completed the road.”

But, why is the governor abandoning the rail project? Why is he also aloof to the 21-model school project? Wike said the rail project was too expensive, pointing out that government cannot afford to spend another N50 billion to complete a project that has little utility.

He also explained that the 21 model school project was a propaganda.

“What is important is not the amount of resources you have; it is about how you can utilise the little you have to make sure that you do not allow contracts to be highly inflated in the sense that contracts that are supposed to be N1bn are put out at N7b.” (The Nation)

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Leaked Audio Tapes: Wike, Peterside in War Of Words |The Republican News

Nomso Obiajuru

The Rivers state government has slammed the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), shortly after the party’s governorship candidate in 2015 general election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside accused Governor Nyesom Wike of ridiculing the office of the governor through his actions.

While speaking at a thanksgiving held in Port Harcourt on Saturday, December 31, in honour of a former lawmaker and deputy governorship candidate, Honourable Asita, Peterside said that it was an embarrassment for the governor to be linked to two leaked audio tapes.

Wike, Peterside in war of words over leaked audio tapes

                                       Wike, Peterside in war of words over leaked audio tapes

Read also: Fayose Accuses DSS Of Leaking Phone Conversation With Wike, Calls Sahara Reporters Official Gov’t Propaganda Platform

He noted that Wike would face a Herculean task trying to distance himself from the tapes, including the one he was alleged to be speaking with Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state.

Peterside, who is now the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, also criticised Wike’s administration over the passing into law of the 2017 budget within 48 hours after it was proposed to the state House Assembly.

He said: “It is a big embarrassment to our state that a governor or anybody who occupies the office of the governor can be associated with the two leaked audio tapes. Governor Wike has a Herculean task to prove that those tapes are not his voice and do not represent his value system.

“If indeed it is proven that the tapes represent what Governor Wike said and his value system, then it is a big embarrassment to our state and he does not deserve to occupy the office of the governor.”

He added: “It is ridiculing the office of the Rivers state governor. It is ridiculing the Rivers House of Assembly and nothing can be more uncharitable than what Wike, working collaboratively with the Rivers House of Assembly, did.

“This is the same Wike who abandoned the world-class primary schools that were built by the previous administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Today, the schools are overgrown by weeds.”

But in a swift response, Governor Wike said Peterside had the tendency of being wrong anytime he (Peterside) spoke, The Punch reports.

Read also: How Gov. Wike Foiled Police, DSS Plot To Abduct High Court Judge In Port Harcourt | The Republican News

Wike who spoke through the Rivers state Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, said: “The criminal antics of the APC may seem like entertainment to some people. But we are losing our country to a shameless gaggle of schizophrenic dictators who would rather spend all day snooping around other people’s phones, rather than think of how to get the country out of a crushing recession.

“As the details of the 2017 budget shows, Governor Wike is pursuing an aggressive development agenda, with 70% of the budget dedicated to capital projects. Critical sectors like roads, health, education and empowerment have the biggest share of budgetary allocations.

“I suspect that Peterside knows more about his numerous fashionable hats than about budgets and serious matters of governance.”

Last week, the media went agog with and audio conversation between the Ekiti state governor and his Rivers state counterpart over the Rivers rerun election.

In the audio leak, Fayode was allegedly heard, hailing Wike for his boldness and confrontations with security operatives.

While, any of the governors is yet to deny the conversation, Wike has accused the Department of State Services of such act.

The leaked audio tape came just weeks after Wike was allegedly caught arranging payment to officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in another telephone conversation.

When informed that one of the officials was reluctant to sign of the result sheets, Wike reportedly

(Naij.com)

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Fayose Accuses DSS Of Leaking Phone Conversation With Wike, Calls Sahara Reporters Official Gov’t Propaganda Platform

Kamarudeen Ogundele, Chukwudi Akasike, Adelani Adepegba and Olaleye Aluko

The police panel, probing the violence that rocked the December 10, 2016, legislative rerun in Rivers State, may treat the telephone conversation between Governor Nyesom Wike and his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayodele Fayose, as an additional exhibit in the investigation.

It was gathered on Thursday in Abuja that the panel, set up by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, would also conduct a forensic audio analysis of the audio to establish the roles played by Wike in the violence that marred the polls in which two police officers were beheaded and their heads thrown into a river.

A source familiar with the ongoing probe stated that the audio of the conversation between Wike and Fayose, which was leaked online on Thursday, was of interest to the panel members.

He said, “The panel is definitely interested in the new audio because it may help investigators to identify the masterminds of the violence that marred the election. It may be presented to the experts carrying out the forensic analysis on the previous audio tape to see how they all relate together.”

The Force spokesman, Donald Awunah, could not be reached for comment as he did not respond to calls to his mobile on Thursday while he had yet to respond to an SMS as of the time of filing this report.

In the telephone call, Fayose congratulated Wike on the Peoples Democratic Party victory in the rerun polls, praising the Rivers State governor for his courage in daring the soldiers on election duty to visit a collation centre during the polls.

Wike, in his response, dismissed the military, saying, the “Nigerian Army does not exist again now.”

The acting Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, however, dismissed the mockery of the soldiers in the audio tape.

“Both know that the Nigerian Army exists,” he replied in a text message.

But the Ekiti State Governor, in his reaction to the leaked audio, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to resign because he had failed Nigerians who voted him into power.

He said this in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, on Thursday.

Explaining that the exchanged rate was now $1 to N500 under Buhari, Fayose lamented that there “is unprecedented hunger in the land”.

“It is better for the President to resign because he appears not to have the capacity for positivity. If all the presidents that ruled before Buhari had behaved like he is behaving now, he himself will be in jail,” he said.

He accused the Department of State Services of recording telephone conversations of Nigerians perceived as critics of Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government.

Specifically, he accused the DSS of editing the conversations and leaking same to Sahara Reporters, which according to him, has now become the official propaganda platform of the Federal Government.

Fayose, who said he was not bothered by the new audio clip, advised the Federal Government to provide food for Nigerians and save the lives of those that were being killed in Southern Kaduna and other places, “rather than sitting down and be monitoring peoples phones.”

The governor stated, “If the President and his hatchet men in the DSS, EFCC and other Federal Government’s agencies do not know what to do other than to record phone conversations of their perceived political foes, they should just resign and save the country from this harrowing experience.”

He alleged that the DSS recorded telephone conversations of Nigerians and leaking them to Sahara Reporters.

He described the alleged trend as the height of political rascality, manipulation, oppression, suppression and irresponsibility by agents of the Federal Government that were trying so hard to cover up the crimes they perpetrated against the people of Rivers State.

“They should even go beyond tapping of my lines and come to live with me in Ekiti Government House so that they can do per seconds live recordings of whatever I say because in the year 2017, by the grace of God, I will still say more without apology,” he said.

Fayose said for the first time since democracy returned to the country in 1999, Nigerians were celebrating Christmas and the New Year with hunger and sufferings beyond measure.

He added, “Rather than tackling hunger and the country’s economic woes, they have embarked on diversionary tactics with irrelevant stories of governors Wike and Fayose’s phone conversations, governors who do not bear arms and have no control over any security apparatus.

“I knew it before now that telephone conversations of prominent Nigerians, especially National Assembly members and opposition figures are being monitored, but I have remained unperturbed in my resolve to play my roles in rescuing Nigeria from the jaws of tyranny, which the present APC Federal Government represents.”

Also, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, told one of our correspondents in a telephone interview that the state government would no longer dignify SaharaReporters with any response.

“I am sorry, but the state government will no longer dignify Saharareporters with any more response,” Tam-George said. (Punchng.com)

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