Trans-Kalabari Road On Course, Banigo Affirms …Says DELGA, ASALGA LG Bosses, Replica Of Wike – The Tide
The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has assured that Phase 1 of the Trans-Kalabari Road project was definitely on course, and would be completed on schedule.
Banigo made this assertion during the commissioning of the Chief Amabibi Don Pedro Compound Memorial Hall in Bakana, last Saturday, as part of the celebration of the first 100 days in office of the Degema Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Michael John Williams.
According to Banigo, “The Trans-Kalabari Road is a project that is very much desired by the Kalabari people, it is a complete breakthrough for them and it is something that will elevate their standard of living”.
The deputy governor poured encomiums on the Degema Local Government Chairman, Hon. Michael John Williams; and his Asari Toru counterpart, Hon. Onengiyeofori George; for emulating the State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike in the area of project execution, adding that the projects have impacted positively on the lives of the people.
“The chairman of Degema has completed this as part of his 100 days programme, it is one of many projects across Degema, the chairman of Asari Toru, who is here, has also done a lot, and I am very proud of them because the projects are quality projects, they are following the style of Governor Nyesom Wike, Mr Quality Projects. The projects have touched the lives of the people; projects that the people desire, that is why they are rejoicing.”
She described them as true replica of Governor Nyesom Wike, and urged the people to continue to keep the peace to attract more development into the area, stressing that the PDP remains the only hope to rescue Nigeria.
Banigo, said that only council chairmen under the control of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were performing, despite the harsh economy of the country.
“Today, only council chairmen sponsored by our party, PDP, are the ones performing, particularly the Degema Local Government chairman, even though we hear there is no money in the country.
“He is working and following the footsteps of our workaholic Governor, the Mr. Quality Projects; Chief Nyesom Wike, that is why we call him ‘Wike’s Son Number One.’
“Today, we are still celebrating his first 100 Days in office with so many projects littered across the LGA, imagine what he would do as he continues.
“We are grateful to God for giving us a chairman, who loves his people and is doing everything to unite the party and the various communities,” she added.
Banigo thanked party and community leaders in Bakana for maintaining peace in the area, stressing that only a peaceful community would attract development.
She emphasised that politics should bring about, unity, peace and development, warning that any political party that fails to promote the above ideals should not be entrusted with the people’s mandate.
Commenting on the newly built edifice, the deputy governor noted that it was first of its kind, as it was very unique and iconic.
She stated that the Wike-led administration meant well for the Kalabari people, that was why it commenced the historic Trans-Kalabari Road Project, which would be completed within next year, as well as embarking on several other projects in Kalabari land, including the soon-to-be commissioned ultra-modern secondary school in Bakana.
The first female deputy governor in Rivers State, while drumming support for the administration of the council chairman, urged the people to remain resolute in their support for the PDP, as that was the only party that would deliver without excuses.
Earlier, a Second Republic politician and Chief in Pedro’s Compound, Chief Hon. Levy Braide, disclosed that he and others recently ditched their former party; the APC for the PDP, owing to the superlative performances of the Council Chairman at the LGA and Governor Wike at the State levels, adding; “now we have what to campaign with.”
Braide, who represented Degema Constituency in the State Assembly and later became Commissioner for Works in the Chief Melford Okilo administration, expressed joy that what he had planned to do for the compound over 40 years ago, but failed to achieve, had been accomplished by Hon. Michael John Williams–a proud son of the compound, in just about three months of his administration.
He added; “the projects we are seeing everywhere across Degema today is a clear statement that Michael John Williams is the David that God ordained to give Bakana and the entire Degema LGA a facelift.”
While thanking the governor for commencing the first phase of the Trans-Kalabari Road, Braide, appealed to the governor to kindly consider Bakana and Ogurama communities in the second phase, as according to him, the people were experiencing great difficulty accessing their communities, especially as they have to spend several hours struggling with tankers along the Abonnema Wharf road at a great risk to their lives.
He added that in the alternative, a pontoon system could be established by the state government with internal roads, to address the avoidable losses of lives due to boat mishaps.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, who disclosed that he would continue to execute projects that would make the governor proud and impact positively on the lives of the citizenry, described Bakana as a peaceful community.
He expressed gratitude to the deputy governor for leading him to Christ whom he said was his foundation.
Williams stated that during the campaigns, he assured the people of the LGA that the PDP administration under Governor Nyesom Wike would not put them to shame.
He disclosed that when his administration commenced the project, naysayers expressed doubts about its completion, but to the glory of God it was completed within the first 100 days of the administration
Williams eulogised the deputy governor for her motherly role in his life and political career, assuring that his administration would not let her and the people of Degema down, but would continue to do more to better the LGA.
Earlier, the PDP Chairman, Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Peter Abbey had said he was proud of the developmental strides of the council chairman, noting that the people of the area made no mistakes in electing Hon. Michael John Williams into office.
Abbey, who is also the chairman of the Grassroot Development Initiative (GDI) in DELGA, stated that Bakana and the entire LGA were not regretting in voting for Hon. Williams, adding that the PDP leadership, both in the LGA and state levels were proud of the sterling performance of the DELGA council boss.
He said the deputy governor honoured the invitation to come and commission the project because she knew that her son had delivered, assuring that; “what you are seeing here today is just a tip of the iceberg, more is on the way.”
Highpoint of the day was presentation of a portrait to the council chairman by youths of the Amabibi Don Pedro Compound, in appreciation of his kind gesture.
There were cultural displays from Iria dance group and others to entertain guests.
The occasion was attended by dignitaries across the state, including the Special Guest of Honour; the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; the DELGA Council Chairman, Hon. Michael John Williams; and his Vice, Mrs. Maureen Harry; Chairman of Asari-Toru LGA, Hon. Onengiyeofori George; and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development, Dr. Roland Obed-Whyte.
Others include; PDP Chairman in DELGA, Hon. Peter Abbey, his predecessors; Hon. Elias Davies; and Hon. Tonye Tyger; former caretaker committee chairman of DELGA, Mrs. Okorite Adiele; and former Commissioner for Special Duties in Rivers State, Dr. Emily Solomon.
The rest include Leader of the Degema Legislative Assembly, Hon. Johnson Eugene; councillors across the 17 wards of the LGA, chiefs, top functionaries and other appointees of the council, PDP chairmen across the 17 wards of the LGA, party chieftains, amongst others.
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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has said stakeholders in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would, at the right time, collectively decide the party’s presidential candidate.
He said with the successful conduct of the PDP national convention, the party was now poised to take over the reign of power in 2023.
Wike stated this when he paid a courtesy visit on Adamawa State Governor, Hon. Ahmadu Fintiri at the Government House, Yola, last Friday.
The Rivers State governor commended Fintiri and members of the PDP convention planning committee for making the party proud by conducting a transparent and rancour free convention.
“For making our party proud, today, Nigerians believe that PDP members have put themselves in a position to take over the affairs of this country. It was not easy.”
Wike stated that those who have not participated in organising a party convention might presume it was an easy feat to accomplish.
“At a time most people were expecting that it may not work out for PDP. It only did not work out well, it was peacefully conducted, the best ever conducted since PDP started.
“I believe that when people have done well, you commend them. When you give them another opportunity, they will put in their best. And that is one of the things I have come today to say my brother, you’ve done well with your people. You did not put us to shame.”
Wike noted that when he and others nominated Fintiri as the chairman of the convention planning committee, they never had any reservation about his capacity to deliver a credible and transparent convention.
“Today, Ahmadu Fintiri has become a household name in Nigerian politics, because of the convention he conducted very transparently. Thank you for what you have done for our great party”, Wike said.
The Rivers State governor also used the occasion to shower encomiums on Fintiri for his developmental strides in Adamawa State, particularly in Yola, the state capital.
“How much does he get from the federation account, yet, he is able to judiciously put them into use for the interest and development of Adamawa State. If other people had done this within the city, he would have moved on to other areas that need attention. I want to plea to all of you to continue to give him the support.”
In his remarks, Adamawa State Governor, Hon. Ahmadu Fintiri commended all the PDP governors and other stakeholders of the party for giving his committee the opportunity to serve.
“God, through his wisdom has seen us through. We have a stable party that is ready to take government in 2023. We must thank you for your thoughtfulness to come on this courtesy call to appreciate the little we were able to do in carrying out this assignment on behalf of all of us.”
Fintiri said the successful conduct of PDP convention now provides Nigerians, especially the younger generation, an alternative platform to elect the next Nigerian president in 2023.
He urged Wike, who he acknowledged contributed immeasurably to the success of the convention, not to relent in his support for the party in the years ahead.
“We are not just colleagues, we are not just in the same party; we have discovered ourselves to be good friends and even metamorphosing into being brothers. This is what we need in this country.
“That is why I am not a supporter of those who are calling for zoning of the presidency. I am for those that are calling for good candidate that can bring this country together, and improve on the potentials that abound in both human and capital of Nigeria.
“But, I trust that whoever we are going to get as our presidential candidate in 2023, will be the person that Nigerians want, will be the person that understands this country and will be the person that will pull this country together and put her where she belongs in the comity of nations.”
The Adamawa State governor said his administration has been doing its best to attract people into the party by embarking on human and infrastructural development.
“It is not easy considering the available resources, but through fiscal discipline and elimination of waste in governance, we are able to save and put it into developmental projects.”
Wike, who was accompanied on the visit by Senator Olaka Nwogu; former House of Representatives member, Hon Igochukwu Aguma; and former commissioner in the state, Chief David Briggs; went on inspection of the urban renewable programme of the Adamawa State Government with a visit to a flyover under construction.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been dragged to court “over his failure to publish the names of those indicted for the misappropriation of over N6trillion in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) seeks “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to publish the names of those indicted.
The money was looted between 2000 and 2019, as documented in the recent Forensic Audit Report on NDDC.
The suit, which has been assigned to Justice Binta Nyako at Court 2, is fixed for hearing on November 29, 2021.
SERAP also seeks “an order of mandamus to compel President Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible for the missing N6trillion, and to fully recover any stolen public funds.”
SERAP argues that “It is in the public interest to promptly publish the names of those indicted in the audit report, and to ensure that they face prosecution, as appropriate.”
“The public interest in publishing the names of those indicted by the audit report outweighs any considerations to withhold the information, as there would be no prejudice against those whose names are published as long as the information is appropriately framed and truthful,” the group said.
SERAP also argues that, “The Buhari administration has legal obligations under Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power, and article 26 of the UN Convention against Corruption to ensure effective prosecution of allegations of corruption.”
“The audit report raises prima facie evidence of grand corruption and its staggering effects in the Niger Delta. Nigerians have the right to know the names of those indicted and other details in the report, as guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Freedom of Information Act.
“Publishing widely the report and the names of those indicted would remove the possibility of obstruction of justice, and provide insights relevant to the public debate on the ongoing efforts to combat grand corruption and the longstanding impunity of perpetrators in the country.”
SERAP also seeks “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to widely publish and make available to Nigerians the Forensic Audit Report on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) submitted to him on September 2, 2021.”
Joined in the suit as respondent is Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi.
The Forensic Audit Report into the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) reveals grim allegations of misappropriation of N6trillion in the commission between 2000 and 2019, and that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta.
According to the report, the NDDC operated a total of 362 bank accounts, which resulted in a ‘lack of proper reconciliation of accounts.’
SERAP, in a letter dated September25, 2021, requested Buhari to publish the names of those indicted in the audit report.
The Rivers State Government has approved the appointment of a new acting vice chancellor for the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
The appointment followed the expiration of the tenure of the former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ndimele Ozo-Mekuri, recently.
The appointment was announced in a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, and made available to newsmen, last Wednesday, in Port Harcourt.
The statement reads in full: “The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, in exercise of the powers vested in him as Visitor to the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, has approved the appointment of Professor Okechukwu Onuchukwu as the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University.
“The appointment takes immediate effect”.
Reacting, the Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Owunari Georgewill, hailed the appointment, describing it as well-deserved.
A statement by the institution’s Public Relations Office, Sam Kpenu, said, “The Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Owunari Georgewill, has on behalf of the Governing Council, Senate, staff and the entire students of the university congratulated a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in the university, Prof. Okey Onuchuku, on his appointment as Acting Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“The vice chancellor described the appointment of Onuchuku by the Visitor of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education as a clear testimony of Onuchuku’s high impact performance as a thoroughbred academic and expert in development economics.
“Georgewill commended the Visitor and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for appointing Onuchuku, who was the immediate past director of the University of Port Harcourt Business School as Acting Vice Chancellor.
“I am very hopeful that your coming on board as the Acting VC will witness the consolidation of the evident gains recorded on your previous positions of trust. The appointment will also consolidate on the giant strides left by the outgoing Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Professor Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele,” Georgewill was quoted as saying.
The UNIPORT VC said he has no doubt that Onuchuku will take Ignatius Ajuru University of Education to greater heights in line with the vision of its founding fathers.
He wishes him continued good health and the wisdom as he braces up to take on this renewed challenge that has been entrusted on his broad and capable shoulders.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
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