Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has described the attempt to foist Ms. Lauretta Onoche on Nigerians as a national Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a bad omen for Nigeria’s democracy.
The governor in a statement by his Media Aide Mr Kelvin Ebiri made the assertion on Monday at Obi Wali International Conference Centre, Port Harcourt, where he gave account of his stewardship in six years that has ushered Rivers State into an era of unprecedented development in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State.
Governor Wike said the most fundamental consideration in the appointment of a candidate as an electoral umpire, in a democracy, is the elimination of bias.
The governor observed that there is heavily weighted bias against Ms. Onoche because she is a notorious and repulsively partisan dye-in-the-wool member of the All progressives Congress (APC).
“Despite the flood of protests against her nomination and the general lack of trust in our capacity to remain impartial, it seems the APC-led Senate is determined to confirm her appointment as part of their grand design to rig the 2023 general elections well ahead of time, knowing Nigerians would overwhelmingly reject them in a free, fair and transparent contest managed by a strong and independent election management committee.
“As a Governor and concerned Nigerian who loves this country so much and wants our democracy to survive, I wish to appeal to Mr. President, for the sake of his legacy, withdraw Ms. Onoche’s nomination to avoid creating more credibility problems for his INEC and restore confidence in our electoral system.
“Where Mr. President lacks the courage to so do, then, the National Assembly, which has a responsibility to defend our democracy must endeavour to wake up on the right side of history by rejecting her nomination.”
Speaking on the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act, Governor Wike said everyone who means well for Nigeria’s democracy believes that electronic voting and simultaneous transmission of results have the potential to prevent the large-scale rigging of election.
Governor Wike commended the House of Representatives for affirming and reassuring Nigerians on its positive provisions in the proposed bill on electronic voting and simultaneous transmission of unit results by electronic means.
“President Buhari readily attributes his victory in both the 2015 and 2019 polls to the introduction of the novel card reader device by President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration; yet he has been overly reluctant on the need to midwife the birth of a new, transparent, efficient and trustworthy electoral system for the country.
“Let me therefore warn that we do not need a soothsayer to tell us that to allow the old ways of doing things and much vilified status quo to continue to prevail in our electoral system as recommended by the Senate’s version of the bill would be a complete disservice to the nation and a recipe for disaster for our country.”
Governor Wike stated that with commitment to purpose and prudent management of available resources, his administration in the past six years has drastically changed the development trajectory of the State for the better.
The governor said the newly commissioned Rivers Cassava Processing Company by his administration alongside cassava value chain will be used to create wealth, income and jobs for Rivers’ teaming youths who are willing to take to the business of agriculture.
He explained that since 2015, his administration has delivered over a thousand kilometres of Trunk-A roads; embarked on construction of phase one of the trans-Kalabari road, simultaneous construction of ten arterial flyovers, with three already commissioned and connected the ancient coastal community of Opobo to the rest of the State and the country by a tarred road.
The administration, according to him, has also transformed not less than 18 major single lane roads to dual carriage ways with street lights, pedestrian walkways and covered drains, while the dualization of, Ahoada – Omoku, and Egbema Omoku roads is also underway.
The governor said his government has reclaimed vast swathes of sand-filled land for some of the coastal communities, including Abalama, Bakana, and Kula to advance their development and also started the sand filling of 55 and 42 hectares of reclaimed land for Abonnema/Obonnoma and Okrika communities respectively.
In the education sector, the governor said his administration has provided over 1200 classrooms and nearly 14,000 desks to over 200 primary and junior secondary schools. In addition to reconstruction, furnishing and equipping of several secondary schools with modern classrooms, laboratories, libraries, sports facilities, staff quarters and paved interconnecting road networks.
“As a result of the concrete and targeted interventions, the education system is becoming more and more effective and qualitative in the State with enrolment and transition rates of over 98 per cent, while over 80 per cent have consistently recorded 5 credits and above pass rates, including Mathematics and English in WASCE since 2015.”
In the health sector, Governor Wike said his government has commissioned the 132-bed Mother and Child specialist hospital, established the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, rebuilt and upgraded the Government House Specialist Clinic, renovated existing primary health centres and general hospitals, and built some new primary healthcare centres have been built for under-served communities.
The father of the day, and former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, who unveiled the 536 pages compendium containing records of Wike’s achievements in office said he feels satisfied with the success records of his political son in office.
Chairman of the Occasion, Onueze C. J. Okocha (SAN), said it is for both the doubters and believers that accounts of stewardship must be given by Governor Wike to enumerate how well he has delivered on his mandate to the State.
According to Okocha, while the current focus may be on the projects used to celebrate the second year of the second tenure, Governor Wike has actually sustained his tempo of performance since 2015.
The Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, said Governor Wike has acted wisely and in the corporate interest of the State in the past six years.
Ibani remarked that having been a lawmaker under three governors, he has never seen a governor with so much passion to develop Rivers state like Governor Wike. He further added that the State Assembly will continue to collaborate with the executive to move the state forward.
Member representing Obio-Akpor federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Ogundu Kingsley Chinda, said Rivers State has become a bench for good governance because of the sterling performance of Governor Wike in office.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Anniversary Committee, Dr. Tammy Danagogo said the State has witnessed tremendous infrastructural development under Governor Wike, with a success record that surpasses any achievement made by past administrations in the State.
Dr. Danagogo, who is also the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, pointed to the fact that posterity will see the indelible marks of the infrastructural revolution championed by a visionary leader.
In her speech, the Chairperson of the Sub-committee on Presentation of Score Card and Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Mrs. Inime Chinwenwo-Aguma noted the consistency with which Governor Wike has ran an administration that has remained responsive to the needs of the people and the state, at large.
Adamawa: CDD Joins Awareness Campaign Against Gender-based Violence
As part of activities commemorating 2023 16 days activism, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has sensitized Adamawa people on Violence Against Women and Girls VAWG.
The sensitization exercise begins with road walk from Bekaji roundabout to Jimeta modern market, Yola-North Local Government Area on Wednesday.
Mrs Amina Auwal, the team lead who spoke on this year’s theme: Unite, “invest to prevent violence against women and girls” described the commitment of stakeholders as the symbol of unity against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.
She urged stakeholders to unite and reduce the rate of GBV in the state.
“This VAWG is like a cancer, it is eating up the community gradually but when it has been cut off completely we will have society free of GBV.
“We appreciated the CDD for sponsoring the programme of being able to sensitize the public to bring to an end the menace of VAWG”, she said.
Mrs Rose Zinas, Desk officer GBV, National Orientation Agency (NOA) urged parents, guardians and stakeholders to take advantage of the theme of the year and to invest on women and girls-child.
She said these would help them to have something doing to reduce over dependent on husband’s and parents as well as end violence against them.
Zinas called on the women to also be proactive in looking for something doing and not to be a liability.
In her remarks, Lubna Dodo, representing Federation of Women Lawyers Association, FIDA appreciated the contribution of CDD in the fight against GBV in the state.
She explained that the mission of the road walk is to create awareness on the theme of this year activism.
“This means invest by educating the girls-child and empower them with the knowledge and skills to succeed in future.
“These will go along way by reducing their vulnerability to violence anywhere they find themselves “, she said.
Dodo further said that the passage of Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) law and Child Protection law as well as ongoing sensitization for implementation have also help in reducing the rate of GBV in the state . News Hunter.
Adamawa Govt Approves 42km NYSC Camp – Borong Road Project
By Muhammad B. Muhammad
The Adamawa State Executive Council Wednesday approved reconstruction of 42km road stretching from National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in Damare to Borong community.
The feeder road project which covers the 2 LGAs of Girei and Demsa will cost over N836m.
The State Commissioner of Education, Dr Umar Garba Pella disclosed this while briefing newsmen shortly after the council meeting that held in the Government House, Yola.
Dr Pella said the project was awarded to Hydro Source and Resource Nigeria Limited and has the completion of period of 12 Months.
The Commissioner further disclosed that the council has approved over N117m variation for the construction of modern laboratory at Specialist Hospital, Yola.
Pella explained that the project was initially awarded at over N578m adding that the variation was to cover the cost of increased price of building materials.
The Wednesday’s 8th 2023 Council Meeting was presided over by the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
Bauchi SEC Approves Construction of 2 Flyovers , 200KM Roads
Bauchi State Government has unveiled a plan for the construction of sixteen strategic roads worth about one hundred billion naira across the state.
The project also comprises two flyovers at the busiest areas of Wunti and Central Market to beautify and decongest the city centre.
These among some other rural roads construction project across the state’s three senatorial zones were part of the resolutions made during State Executive Council Meeting presided over by Governor Bala Mohammed.
Some of the project that make a total of two hundred kilometers include two point six kilometers Sabon Kaura Birshi Gandu road, four point five kilometers Zango-Gwallagan Mayaka access road, one point seven kilometers Bayara township road, rehabilitation of Disina-Adamami road in Jama’are local government area and Dualization of A.D Rufa’i College to Misau town road among others.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the commissioners of Works and Transport Ibrahim Galadima and his counterpart of Special Duties and Rural Development Faruq Mustapha said the projects have been awarded to confitent contractors in line with developmental initiative of Governor Bala Mohammed led administration.
Also during the meeting, the Council has ratified and approved for upgrading of four palaces of Emirs of Bauchi, Ningi, Jama’are and Dass at sum of two point two Billion naira under the State Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The commissioner of the ministry Ahmed Sarki Jalam said the move was to creat a conducive environment for the traditional institutions to discharge their duties.
The council has also approved a memo for the 2024 Medium Term Expenditure presented by the commissioner ministry of Budget and Economic Planning Aminu Hammayo as well as a memo presented by the commissioner of Commerce, Trade and Investment Mahmud Baba Ma’aji on the preparation for the forthcoming Northeast Joint Trade Fair in Bauchi State.
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