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Separatists Agitation: Wike’s Patriotic Voice

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By Paulinus Nsirim

On Tuesday, May 4th, 2021, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike re-emphaszied the declaration that no separatists, whether individuals or groups, will be allowed to annex Rivers State under his watch.

He therefore warned those who are bent on taking advantage of the hospitality of Rivers people to hatch their secessionist agenda, to take such clandestine activities elsewhere.

Governor Wike gave this warning when the traditional rulers, political and opinion leaders of Ekpeye Nationality paid him a solidarity visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.

The governor stated that his administration would leave no stone unturned in protecting the state and Rivers people against such persons or groups, who think they can annex the state by dragging her into their separatist agenda.

“Rivers State does not belong to any other place. It is an autonomous State. Nobody in other States can come and tell us that we are with them, No! I will not allow anybody to enter this State to tell us that we are part of them. We will do everything we can to protect the interest of our State.

“We are a friendly people. We will allow anybody to come here and do business. But nobody should go beyond doing business, to hoist any unnecessary flag here. We will not take it,” he declared.

This is not the first time that Governor Wike has pronounced this warning against actual or perceived separatists, who have periodically attempted to clandestinely annex specific parts of the state. But the declaration has become more fervent, against the backdrop of recent incidents of heightened insecurity, especially across the Southern parts of the country and the acerbic threats and incendiary verbal brickbats between regional strongholds.

Rivers people will recall that as recently as October 2020, some hoodlums suddenly infiltrated and hijacked the #EndSARS protest which had been relatively peaceful in Rivers state and under the guise of the protest, unleashed an orgy of mayhem and devastation, which led to the killing of six Soldiers and four Policemen.

They also destroyed all the Police stations, burnt all the courts in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, hoisted the flag of a proscribed group in a primary school and attempted to rename the Local Government Area.

This action was allegedly carried out by the separatist Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB). The State Government, working on the advise of the State Security Council imposed a 24 hours curfew on Oyigbo, as well as some parts of Port Harcourt municipality, which had been identified as potential flash points.

Governor Wike subsequently signed an Executive Order re-proscribing the activities of IPOB, which had earlier been classified as a terrorist organization by the Federal Government and proscribed by a Federal High Court.

Addressing a meeting with all the 23 Local Government Chairmen, Community Development Committees and youths leaders in Government House, in Port Harcourt on Monday, October 23, 2020, Governor Wike had warned that any council chairman who allowed IPOB to hold processions and hoist its flag within their jurisdiction in Rivers State, risked sack.

Describing Rivers state as the most accommodating state for all Nigerians, Governor Wike stated that there had never been any historical incident of different ethnic groups clashing in the State as had been the witnessed in other parts of the country.

He maintained that the people of Rivers State believe in the unity of the country, but can never be annexed to any State because it is geographically and constitutionally in the Niger Delta.

Clarifying the issue further in a live television programme on Monday November 2, 2020, Governor Wike said: “I know that this is not the first time IPOB has used Oyigbo as launching ground. The security agencies are aware. IPOB added a new dimension this time. They killed six Army officers and burnt one. They killed four Police Officers. They destroyed all the Police stations and court buildings. What offence did we commit as a state?

“I imposed curfew to restore calm. I proscribed IPOB activities anywhere in the state. Don’t forget that the Federal Government had declared them a terrorist group. It is not the entire Igbo that believe in IPOB activities. I will not fold my arms and watch criminals destroy my State.

“They made attempts to rename a local government in my state and hoist its flag in a public school in Komkom Town. That alone is a signal. I will not agree to that. I know who is doing all these; who has told them to rise, protest against Wike,” he said.

It is on record that on May 27th, 1967, under the administration of General Yakubu Gowon, Decree No. 14 was issued, which led to the creation of Rivers State.

There have been numerous accounts of the intrigues and strategic manouvres that galvanized and stoked the agitation and creation of Rivers State, including the very seminal essay titled: “The Original History of the creation of Rivers State”, by the distinguished historian, Chief E. D. W. Opuogulaya, as well as the very graphic, detailed and poignantly anecdotal article titled: “The struggle for the creation of Rivers State – The real story,” by the widely travelled, diplomat extraordinare, now octogenarian, Lady Ella Prest, amongst others.

All these are of course recommended reading, especially for those who nurse separatists intentions and would rather believe naively, that they could just arrogantly exploit the historical and traditional characteristics and attributes of the Rivers peoples, who are by nature most accommodating, friendly and hospitable.

To hoist a flag or annex any part of the State will never happen when a brave, courageous, firm and determined leader like Governor Wike, who is passionately and completely Rivers, is on the saddle.

Suffice it to say that since the creation of the State in 1967, Rivers State has not only remained an integral part of the Nigerian nation, but has maintained its historical and cultural homogeneity, manifested progressively in traditional strongholds, with proud, sophisticated and confident yet accommodating authority between and amongst its indigenes and residents.

It is important therefore, to inform those pursuing a separatist agenda, that there is a well recognized and legitimately accepted process, both universally and within the constitutional/gazzetted decree provisions of individual countries, for the emergence of new nations and the creation of new States.

Nigeria, as a nation emerged through that process and Rivers State was created by the legitimate provisions that defined the administration of the period.

Even the creation of Bayelsa State out of the old Rivers State, by the military government of late General Sani Abacha, on October 1, 1996, followed the same legitimate processes that have defined the creation of the other states in the country.

As far as Governor Wike remains the Governor of Rivers State, no surreptitiously misplaced attempt of separatist fervor nor an ill-advised and ill-intentioned flag hoisting with the vile and naive intent of annexing any part of Rivers State, will see the light of day.

No attempt to subvert the laid down constitutional identity of the Nigeria nation as one united, indivisible entity will even diminish the true quintessence of the fundamental, irrevocable Rivers essence.

Governor Wike’s advise to the Ekpeye chiefs and opinion leaders who paid him a courtesy in Government House, to be vigilant to know what happens around their communities and also to report suspicious characters, is not only germane at this critical time in our evolution as a nation, but resonates loudly as a clarion call directed to all Rivers people.

“Nigeria has collapsed. Security has also collapsed. There is no day you won’t hear ten people have been killed, 20 people have been killed, 30 have been kidnapped. There is no assurance of protection of life anymore. You owe it now to yourselves to protect your life. Be vigilant,” he urged Rivers people emphatically.

Nsirim is the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State

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Government

Gov Fintiri Meets CAN Leadership, Reels Out Scorecard

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—I’ll Definitely Take You To The Adamawa Of Your Dream – Gov Fintiri

By Muhammad B Muhammad

Ahead of the forthcoming elections, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State who is seeking for re-election under the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has met with leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state.

He was at the CAN State Secretariate in Yola Monday at the instance of the leadership where the officials asked him what he intends to do for the state if re-elected for a second tenue in office.

He started with the security sector where he narrated how his administration has redefined the security architecture that was hitherto in the state of shamble.

He said the government has injected thinking and funds that changed the narratives, enabling the citizens sleep with their two eyes close across the state.

On education, Fintiri said his administration has inherited a comatose system but injected a lot of commitment and resources to revive the sector.

According to him, the successes recorded has helped the government to renovating 5,000 classrooms, announcing that arrangements are in the pipeline to upgrade ten legacy schools in the state.

He added that the government has provided free education and relieved parents burden of payment of WAEC and NECO adding however that UNICEF has also built eighty schools in Fufore and Guyuk and it is set to construct more.

Governor Fintiri has made clarifications over some unwarranted rumours on the workforce, saying his administration has never sacked 10,000 workers as being speculated in some quarters.

He said the Government has only stopped the last minute biased recruitment of 1,500 teachers by then outgoing administration and employed 2,000 competent teachers through a clean process.

Speaking on the Health sector, Fintiri said over 100 primary healthcare centres were built and renovated, eight new cottage hospitals with staff quarters were built and equipped with modern facilities while health workers were also employed.

The Governor said his administration is also reforming the infrastructural sector, as the government has constructed 347km rural roads, built many urban roads in the state capital and some towns.

Governor Fintiri said his administration has initiated Adamawa Agribusiness Support Programme to tap the potentiality in the agric sector for youth employment, improve revenue generation and welfare of the citizens.

He said the Government has also cleared backlog of gratuity of retired workers to the tune of N5b, improved payment of monthly pensions and welfare of retirees across the state.

The Governor has also spoke on environment, housing, Internally Generated Revenue among other sectors and sought for support of the Chiristian Leaders, promising to redouble efforts if reelected.

Earlier, the State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Dami Mamza said Christians in the state are committed to Adamawa unity as according to him, God has endowed the state with all the potentialities to achieve greatness for the citizens.

Hightlight of the meeting was questions and answers session.

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Government

Adamawa: Primary Sch Teachers, Health Workers, LG Staff To Enjoy National Minimum Wage

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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

It appears that the incessant calls by Primary School Teachers, Primary Health Care and Local Government Workers in Adamawa State on salary increment have come to an end as henceforth they will start enjoying the national minimum wage.

Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri revealed this while addressing Primary Health Care Workers who were on a one thousand man march solidarity visit in the Government House, Yola, Monday.

He said arrangements have been concluded for the payment, assuring them however that the government will also address the issues of their leave grant allowances and promotions.

The Governor further told the workers that the government is working on some structural reforms to enable primary Health Care Workers’ remuneration go intune with Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS).

The Executive Secretary Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Suleiman Saidu said the visit was to show solidarity for Governor Fintiri for his numerous achievements not only in the health sector but the entire state as a whole.

Speaking separately, Malam Yahaya Sa’idu, Lawan Abubakar Umar and Emanuel Cartwell commended Governor Fintiri for providing them motivation that enabled them to achieve excellence and vowed as grassroot workers to mobilize massive votes for his re-election.

The State Chairman of Medical Health Care Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Usman Babbada thanked Governor Fintiri for implementing promotion benefits at the hospital services management board up to 95%.

The one thousand man march solidarity to Governor Umaru Fintiri by the primary school health workers was commenced from Women Development Centre, Yola and terminated at Banquet Hall Government House, Yola.

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Government

Adamawa Govt Approves 16.6km Roads Network At 1,000 Housing Estate Malkohi

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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

Adamawa State Executive Council at its first 2023 meeting has approved 16.6km roads network at the 1,000 Housing Units Malkohi in Yola South Local Government Area at the cost N3.744b.

According to the resolution of the council meeting presided over by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the project was awarded to Messrs Jodas Salamu Global Nigeria Limited.

State Commissioner of Works and Energy, Alh Adamu Atiku Abubakar revealed this to newsmen after the council meeting that held in the Council Chambers, Government House, Yola Monday.

Abubakar added that the road network project which is to be completed in 12 months, is inline with the policies of the present administration to ensuring rural and urban renewal.

The Commissioner further said the Council after deliberations has approved construction and renovation of 12 lots of classroom blocks, laboratories and library in Government Secondary School Fufore.

He said the project awarded at N151m is being spread across 12 independent contractors adding that work will soon commence.

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