Tag Archives: Rivers

Just in: Gov’t shares N66.5BN amongst States – Rivers misses out


The programme is wholly-financed with a $750 million loan from the International Development Association (IDA).

The federal government has disbursed N66.5 billion to 35 eligible states on the basis of the amended COVID-19 responsive 2020 budget results achievement.

According to a statement by Hassan Dodo, director of press at the ministry of finance, budget and national planning, Rivers was the only state that missed out of the grant due to its inability to meet the required criteria to publish its COVID-19 response amended budget.

The ministry explained that each state received N1.9 billion ($5 million).


Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, said the disbursement is under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank assisted states fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability (SFTAS) programme for results.

“Rivers State is the only one that missed out on the grant due to its inability to meet the eligibility criteria which required the states to have passed and published online on a state’s website by July 31, 2020, credible, fiscally responsible COVID-19 responsive amended 2020 budgets duly approved by the state house of assembly and assented to by the state governor,” the statement read.

“It must also significantly lower the gross statutory revenue projections, consistent with the revised medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) and federal government’s budget; reduced non-essential overhead and capital expenditures.


“The budget must be tagged and found to have allocated at least 10 percent of the total expenditure of the amended budget for COVID-19 relief, restructuring and recovery programs; and identified credible sources to fully finance the budget deficit to avoid the accumulation of arrears.”

Ahmed said the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic shocks have put significant pressure on states’ fiscal resources and undermined the reality and credibility of the states’ original 2020 annual budgets.

The minister expressed optimism that the fund will strengthen Nigeria’s fiscal response to COVID-19 and align efforts at the federal and state levels.

The federal government had earlier, in April 2020, disbursed N43.4 billion ($120.6 million) to 24 states, based on their performance.


Oyigbo incident: Wike slams NBA for attempting investigation.


The Governor challenged the NBA to file their petition to the panel of inquiry investigating the activities of SARS in the state.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has faulted the position of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, about the extra- judicial killing in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state during the EndS SARS.


Governor Wike made the reaction during his address at the Special Court Session to mark the beginning of 2020-2021 legal year at the State Judiciary complex, Port Harcourt.

While expressing concern that people refused to speak about the innocent people and military personnel killed by hoodlums, Wike said there was nothing like extra-judicial killing in the area.


“How will the NBA, that is yet to make a formal submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the State to probe the atrocities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), will without evidence allege extrajudicial killings in Oyigbo.”

In her remarks, the Chief Judge, Justice Adama Iyaye Lamikanra, lauded Governor Wike, for providing the State judiciary the needed funds to ensure people have unhindered access to justice.

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike was accompanied by his wife, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Senator Sam Anyanwu and several other dignitaries.


EndSARs: Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike joins protest.


According to the governor, there was no need for further protests since the SARS unit has been scrapped by the IGP.

Nyesome Wike, the governor of Rivers state who had earlier banned #EndSAR protest in the state has made a u-turn and joined the protesters in calling for an end to police brutality.

Wike in a statement issued on Monday night by Paulinus Nsirim, commissioner for information and communications, warned Rivers residents against embarking on #EndSARS protests.

However, youths in the state ignored his directive and are currently protesting in Port-Harcourt, the state capital.

The governor, however, decided to address the youths telling them he had been calling for an end to special anti-robbery squad (SARS) who he accused of robbery and kidnapping in Rivers state.


[Nigeria] Wike dismiss perm. sec. for chasing health officials


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has sacked a serving Permanent Secretary for chasing away health officials who came to enforce Coronavirus guidelines during a burial ceremony.

The Governor lamented that burial ceremonies were reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit.

Wike said a serving Permanent Secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo.


The Governor, therefore, announced the sack of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunny Okere with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of the guidelines.

This, he said, would serve as a lesson to all other public officers who might wish to be irresponsible.

He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.



Wike – We are committed to deepening democracy


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has explained that the support given to the judiciary by his administration is to deepen democracy in Nigeria.

He said all the arms of government need to work in synergy in discharging their responsibilities to serve the people with courage and efficiency.

Governor Wike was speaking shortly after inspecting the progress of work at the reconstructed residence of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal and other judicial staff located in Amadi flat, Old GRA in Port Harcourt and the Judges’ Quarters for Judges of Rivers State Judiciary in Orazi in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

The governor said his administration had commissioned quarters for Judges of the Court of Appeal while the residence of the Presiding Justice and staff of the same court would be ready soon to boost their morale to confidently discharge their duties.


“We are quite impressed with the level of work that is going on there. You must give the people all it takes to do their best because you can’t talk about fighting corruption and then you will not give the judiciary the support that it requires.

“You cannot talk about deepening democracy without having the judiciary or Legislature playing their role.

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

“The three arms of government must work together to be able to engender development for the state,” he said.


Commenting on the provision of quarters for Judges of the Rivers State judiciary, Governor Wike said it would solve the problem of accommodation for Judges on retirement.

“I did say that we are going to give them owner- occupier residence so that when judges retire, they will get accommodation.

“It is very funny to find that when Judges retire, they do not have a place to stay or are compelled to stay in remote places after years of service. So, we thought that there is a need to give them a befitting place after retirement.

“We are happy that the contractor has completed the building, and now Julius Berger PLC is carrying out the furnishing. In a short time, we believe that it will be commissioned and handed over to the Chief Judge of the state who will then hand them over to the beneficiaries,” he added.



I pray APC crisis continues – Wike


Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has reacted to the leadership crisis in the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Wike said he prays that the ruling APC remains in crisis.

Appearing on Arise Television, the governor said the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would benefit from the crisis in the APC.

The governor explained that he wants PDP to return to power, hence, we will continue to pray that APC remains in crisis.

He said, “I am happy that APC is in crisis. It is not my business to help APC to be united.

“Remember that we also had our own crisis under Ali Modu Sheriff and APC jubilated about it then. It is my prayer that they should continue to be in crisis. We have taken another state.


“Unfortunately, APC isn’t really a political party. They came together just to take over power.

“I want my party to be in power and therefore, I cannot be praying for APC not to have crisis. I hope they continue to make mistakes every day, and my party will continue to grow.”

Recall that the suspension of APC National Leader, Adams Oshiomhole by an Appeal Court had led to a leadership crisis in the party.

Following the crisis, the party’s National Executive Council, NEC, had dissolved its National Working Committee, NWC, led by Oshiomhole.


The party’s NEC immediately constituted a caretaker committee to ensure the smooth running of the party till its National convention.

APC’s NEC appointed the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, to head the Caretaker Committee.

During the meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari urged aggrieved members to suspend all court matters in the interest of the party.

The president had lamented that the party’s fortune was in jeopardy, hence the need for unity.



[Nigeria] Former Rivers Commissioner Condemn Wike’s Demolition of Hotels’ idea.


Austin Tam-George, ex-Commissioner for Information in Rivers State, has condemned the recent actions of his former principal, Governor Nyesom Wike.

On Sunday, two hotels in the Eleme community were pulled down, a development that sparked outrage.

Governor Wike personally monitored the demolition exercise, which he said was the consequence of the violation of his COVID-19 executive order.

In a statement on Monday, Tam-George regretted that no formal charges were brought against the affected hotels before a court of law.


He also complained that the owners had no opportunity to defend themselves before a judge.

Tam-George described Wike’s Executive Order as a spurious, draconian, ill-defined and sickening pattern of lawlessness and impunity.

He recalled that in July 2017, Wike shut down and revoked the Certificate of Occupancy of Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt, allegedly because his critics lodged there.


Tam-George wrote: “In the past three years, Mr Wike has deployed his private army of thugs, disguised as State “Task Forces”, to kill innocent citizens, loot markets and shops, terrorize young women in Port Harcourt, and extort money from drivers and traders.

“On the 24th April, Sergeant Lavender Elekwachi, a traffic warden on duty in the Eneka area of the State, was murdered in cold blood by Governor Wike’s marauding Task Force.

“On the 27th of April, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet warned governments to refrain from violating fundamental human rights under the guise of emergency measures during the COVID-19 crisis.


“But in the past six weeks of the pandemic, Governor Wike has caused the death of a law enforcement agent, confiscated private properties, demolished hotels, brutalized market women in Port Harcourt and held pilots and oil workers on essential duties in illegal detention.

“The alarming acts of lawlessness by Mr Wike means that Rivers State has descended into a state of anarchy. State institutions have been hijacked by a lawless government, and the people themselves have been ‘kidnapped’ by a moral hoodlum in power.”

Tam-George urged the United Nations Human Rights Commission to commence criminal proceedings against Wike.


He appealed to the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) to initiate money laundering investigations, visa restrictions and asset freezes against the Rivers helmsman.

“Governor Wike is well-known for his expensive vacation junkets to European cities, even as children die from preventable water-borne diseases in Rivers State”, the former commissioner added.



Rivers Governor, Wike Sack Beggars. [Nigeria]


Government of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has sent 150 homeless wanderers and beggars out of the state.

The vagrants were sent back to their home states in the North, Niger Republic, Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom States.

This is part of the government’s measures to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state.


Through its Ministry of Social Welfare, State government profiled the affected persons and sent them to their states and country of origin

This was disclosed by the state’s Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma on Tuesday.

Aguma led other officials of the ministry to profile all the vagrants before they were evacuated to their states and local government areas of origin.


The commissioner disclosed that the evacuation exercise was not discriminatory and but designed to protect Rivers people.

She pointed out that the exercise was not targeted at any ethnic group, but was aimed at removing vagrants capable of spreading virus on the streets.

She noted that adequate arrangements were being made to ensure that the vagrants were transported to their respective locations in dignity.


Recall that Wike, while addressing the state on Monday, had directed the commissioner to deport all vagrants to their states of origin.

According to him, “We have also directed the Commissioner of Social Welfare to round-up and deport all vagrants, including the almajiris, to their states of origin to protect our people from the threat they present to the transmission of this pandemic.”



COVID-19: Church donate life support ambulance to Rivers govt. [Nigeria]

In its determination to contribute in the fight against world health pandemic, Coronavirus, the Omega Power Ministries (OPM) has donated a brand new state-of-the-art Life Support ambulance to the Rivers State government to assist in the battle.

OPM’s General Overseer (GO), Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere, who confirmed the donation in a telephone chat on Sunday, disclosed that the new ambulance was received on behalf of the governor by the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike.

The GO further noted that the gesture was in appreciation of the relentless effort put in by Governor Nyesom Wike and other health workers in the fight against the deadly virus in the state.

“By the grace of God Omega Power Ministries decided to support the state government because we have seen the great fight of the governor against COVID-19.

“We appreciate his efforts and decided to support the state with an ambulance in case there is an emergency somewhere.

“We acquired the ambulances for our free hospital in Port Harcourt and decided to donate one to the state government because the fight against coronavirus is a fight for everybody. As we are praying against its spread, we should also be seen giving support.

“The donation which shall be permanent with the Rivers State government is part of the Church commitment towards assisting the masses in this trial period,” Chinyere said.

He further assured that OPM will not relent in its effort to support government in whatever measures within its reach to fight the satanic epidemic that can sweep the earth of its inhabitants.

The General Overseer who operates a free Specialist Hospital in Rivers State admitted that the ambulance donated to the state was acquired from the tithes and offerings of Church members.


[Nigeria] Wike change his mind on Easter celebration in Church?

Governor Nyesom Wike has reversed the permission he granted earlier for some religious activities to hold in churches and mosques in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim said the decision was taken after the Rivers State Governor held a meeting with eminent clergymen, well-meaning Nigerians, and civil society groups.

The statement released by the commissioner reads;

The Rivers State Government has cancelled the concession granted churches to hold Easter Church Services with their full congregations.

This decision was taken after due consultations with eminent clergy men, well-meaning Nigerians and civil society groups.

For the avoidance of doubt, churches should stick to the 50 persons per service to maintain social distancing


PETAN donate items to 3 states in Nigeria.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) endeavours, and in its efforts to alleviate the anguish of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) is partnering with the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to donate ambulances, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment to Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State governments respectively.

This was made known by the newly elected Chairman of the Association, Mr. Nik Odinuwe, in Port Harcourt. He said the association is aware of the immense strain COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the healthcare system in Nigeria, and that, with PETAN’s donation, he hopes a substantial fight against this virus will be won, in the three states and the entire country.

Echoing some of the sentiments of the Chairman, Dr. Lucky Akhiwu, the Publicity Secretary of the Association, said the whole country is working tirelessly to slowdown the spread of Coronavirus and that PETAN will be proud to help on a continuous basis.

According to him, PETAN member companies are presently reaching out to their host communities, to provide them with palliative materials to help ease their struggles in this time of need. In his final remark, Odinuwe thanked the health care personnel for their selflessness in the fight against the virus, and urged members of the public to stay in their homes, wash their hands regularly, and comply with the stipulated social distance gap.

PETAN, as a reputable association, continuously takes care of the well being of her staff, and now is working in close association with her members host communities, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19: N10bn to Lagos, N0bn to Rivers – FG’s foul – Wike accuse. (Nigeria)

Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike has accused the federal government of foul-play over approval N10 billion for Lagos, while his state is yet to receive any monetary support from the federal government for the fight against coronavirus.

Communicating via his Twitter handle, Wike accused the government of politicising efforts to fight the disease.

While Rivers is being controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos, is under the All Progressives Congress (APC). Lagos has so far recorded 120 cases of the coronavirus while Rivers has one case.

But the governor asked if the federal government is waiting for a state to have more than 50 cases before rendering support.

“While Lagos State received a grant of N10billion as a commercial hub, Rivers State as the nation’s oil and gas hub that produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth has not received any support from the Federal Government,” he wrote.

“One wonders why Federal Government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a State has a record of over 50 infected persons before it gets support.

“No state should be seen as more important than any other state. This is a Federal Republic. No state is superior to others.”

It is quite unfortunate that the containment of coronavirus has been politicized by the Federal Government. While Lagos State received a grant of N10billion as a commercial hub, #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/NsLqPzPkze

— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) April 5, 2020

Rivers State as the nation’s oil and gas hub that produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth has not received any support from the Federal Government.#Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/uNXd22CAXd

— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) April 5, 2020

One wonders why Federal Government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a State has a record of over 50 infected persons before it gets support. #Covid_19

— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) April 5, 2020

He said Rivers is entitled to support from the federal government, adding: “Every day, we are inundated with letters from the Federal Government to allow oil companies to fly in expatriates to drill oil.

“Then we ask, what is the status of those coming from Lagos? Nobody has told us their status as regards coronavirus.


COVID-19: Rivers NUJ shut down indefinitely. (Nigeria)

As a result of the growing concerns on the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the entire world, Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) will from Wednesday (1st of April, 2020) shut its Press Centre at Moscow Road, Port Harcourt for an initial period of two weeks.

This is also in compliance with the directive of NUJ National Secretariat putting all activities of the Council on hold for two weeks.

In a statement jointly signed by Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo, Chairman and Secretary respectively noted that the suspension is in compliance with the directive of the National body of the Union, which directed all state councils to stop congresses and other large gatherings in line with precautionary measures put in place by Federal and State Governments against the spread of the Coronavirus.

The statement advised NUJ members and visitors to stay away from the Press Centre for the duration of two weeks at the first instance.

The Union leadership also urges Journalists in the State to strictly adhere to laid down preventive measures and follow expert advice on coronavirus prevention.


EFCC investigate Ex Governor Odili’s N100bn fraud case.

Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, is currently under probe for allegedly diverting N100 billion for personal use.

Odili, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, was alleged to have moved about N4 billion in cash to a bank between 2004 and 2006, in favour of his Aide-De-Camp, Isaac Onyesom, and Emmanuel Nkata who worked in the Rivers State liaison office in Abuja.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a fact sheet on the probe also alleged that N1.5 billion out of the amount was used by the ex-governor to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA.

It alleged that about N100 million was doled out to a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party on November 28, 2005.

But while still under probe, the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike was alleged to have transferred suspicious N2billion (public funds) to some firms belonging to Odili between 2016 and 2018.

There were indications that Odili might be put on trial by the EFCC.

But Odili in a suit FHC/ PHC/C3/26/2020 dated March 12, 2020, asked a Federal High Court to restrain the EFCC from investigating him.

He said the EFCC was bound by the 2007 judgments of the Federal High Court on the perpetual injunction against his arrest and prosecution.

He said the EFCC had been threatening to arrest, detain and prosecute him.

According to document on the status of investigation on Odili, the EFCC claimed that the ex-governor allegedly laundered the N100billion under the guise of pursuing a Power Project in Rivers State.

The document reads in part: “The Commission wishes to once again explain the case being investigated for which some restraining orders were obtained by both the representative of Rivers State Government and Dr. Peter Odili and also the new intelligence that were got against the third party which had link with some group of companies belonging to Odili.

“For the purpose of clarity, the commission wishes to put more light on the ongoing investigation in 2006 before it was aborted by some high court, based on a suit instituted by the former Governor of River State and some officials of the State govt.

“The petitioner had alleged that Dr. Peter Odili, then a governor of Rivers State had conspired with officials of his government and the chairman, Rocksons Engineering Group of Companies to divert over N100billion from the account of Rivers State, alleging that he used same for Power Project in Rivers.

“The petitioner also went further to say that part of the state fund was moved to the Government House account, from where it was distributed to the then governor and his relatives and investigation commence.

“The said account of the Government House was immediately obtained and details of the account revealed that about N4 billion between 2004 and 2006 was moved in cash in favour Odili’s ADC, Isaac Onyesom and one Emmanuel Nkata of the Rivers State liaison office, Abuja.

“These funds were withdrawn in cash for the former governor of Rivers State. Emmanuel Nkatah was arrested and he confirmed that the funds were withdrawn for the former governor through his ADC.

“ Investigation was on when the ADC, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), suddenly retired from the Police and disappeared into thin air.

“ Among those who also benefited from the funds from Rivers State was a former National Chairman of PDP who received a manager’s cheque of N100 million from the same account on November 28, 2005.
Read Also: We will reopen Odili’s investigation, says EFCC

“ Between 2005 and 2006, the former governor Odili paid about N1.5billion which was used to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA and so many others.

“ From the same account, he moved N3 billion to an oil company for shares, N1.4 billion to a bottle water company, and about N1.8billion to a communication company which as of 2006, had no share as it was not a quoted company.

“ When the investigation commenced, he quickly involved the State Govt to take over the shares but the State Govt was not comfortable and requested that the companies return their money.

The EFCC said despite being under investigation, about N10billion questionable deposits were found in some accounts traced to Odili and a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police.

It said N2billion out of the suspicious N10billion was lodged in some companies belonging to Odili by the Rivers State Government between 2016 and 2017.

The document added: “Sometimes in 2018, information was received that some Companies belonging to a retired ASP: NUMAC Project Company Ltd and NUMAC Global Resources Ltd, had between 2004 and 2018 received over N5 billion into the account and the funds came in tranches of N500, N300 millions etc, which is suspicious.

”These Companies and their accounts were thoroughly investigated. It was discovered that the inflow into these accounts are mostly cash.

“ On few occasions, about N2billion came in from Rivers State Government account between 2016 and 2017.

“These funds were traced to the following Companies: Pamo Group of companies Ltd, Pamo Clinic and Hospital and Pamo Educational Foundation. The above companies were found to have belonged to Dr. Peter Odili and his family.

“Based on the above, and in view that the above companies were not part of restraining order of the Federal High Court, the EFCC commenced further investigation.

“ It was further established that the funds were moved from the banks in Abuja contrary to the claims that the money formed part of the security .

“The ADC, the principal suspect in the alleged fraud has been in hiding, he has refused to honour the invitation of the Commission. The commission reliably gathered that it was because of the case that he prematurely retired from the police voluntarily.”

The former governor is however fighting back by approaching a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt seeking a fresh injunction against EFCC.


No other party in Rivers but PDP – Governor boast

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) is the only existing political party in the state because of its commitment to the rapid development of the state.

Speaking during the defection of former Commissioner of Education and Rivers APC chieftain, Chief Allwell Onyesoh with his supporters at the PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt on Friday, Governor Wike said that Rivers people are happy with the performance of the PDP over the years.

He said: “There is no other party in Rivers State. PDP is the only party as far as Rivers State is concerned.

“Except people who do not see and those who tell lies in this state, the only party that means well for Rivers State is the PDP.”

Governor Wike said that the performance of the Rivers State PDP is beyond mere propaganda.

“This is the only party that keeps its promises. When we say a thing, we go all out to carry it out on behalf of the people,” he said.

He expressed happiness that Rivers leaders are returning to the PDP to promote the interest of the state.

Governor Wike said that the PDP returnees will enjoy equal opportunities with older members of the party.

He said: “Everybody has equal rights. Luckily congresses will soon start and everyone will participate. The new entrants will feel at home. The more the merrier.”

In his remarks, Chief Allwell Onyesoh said his movement is not defection, but homecoming.

He said: “We came back to our house. We went on a journey. We have gone, we have seen and we have come back. “

The former Commissioner described his defection as a home-coming with a cross section of the APC membership from different wards of Etche.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

“We make bold to come back to the House that rightly belongs to us. I thank those who did not leave as they stayed home to keep the house in order,” he said.

Receiving Chief Allwell Onyesoh into the PDP, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah urged them never to return to the APC that has disappointed the nation. He said that the PDP symbolises development as shown in Rivers State.


Nigeria can’t conduct credible elections – Wike allege

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has decried the inability of the country to conduct credible elections after several years of practicing democracy.

The governor has also instituted a N100 million empowerment programme for Wakirike women from Okrika and Ogu/Bolo Local Government Areas, for stoutly defending Rivers mandate during the 2019 elections.

Wike spoke yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, during a solidarity visit by the leaders and people of Okrika and Ogu/Bolo LGAs. He said:”It is unfortunate that up till now, we cannot conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria.

“It is unfortunate that the giant of Africa, lacks the capacity to conduct credible elections”, he complained. He commended the Wakirike women for defending the state mandate against the invading soldiers, and urged Rivers people to always ensure that their votes count during elections.

“At all times, continue to defend and protect the Rivers mandate”, he said. Governor Wike said that out of the N100 million meant for the empowerment programme for the courageous women of Wakirike ethnic nationality, N50 million has been reserved for Okrika LGA and N50 million for Ogu/Bolo LGA.

The governor commended Wakirike people for maintaining peace in the area, saying that his administration would fulfill key developmental pledges to them. Wike stated that he would extend electricity to Okrika LGA and work towards the construction of the jetty at Isaka.

The governor further noted that he would link Ogu and Wakama communities as he promised during his campaign. He added that the next phase of Okochiri internal roads would be completed by his administration.

On the Okrika Grammar School, Governor Wike urged the leaders of the area to write to the Anglican Church for the school to be released to the state government for total reconstruction. He reiterated his respect for traditional rulers, saying that they were under obligation to promote the culture of Rivers people.

“We must always promote our tradition and culture. I have respect for traditional rulers. All I say is that we should promote our own culture”, he said.

In an address on behalf of the Wakirike Ethnic Nationality, Senator George Sekibo said that they were at the Government House to congratulate the governor on his well deserved victory at the polls.

He praised Governor Wike for the key appointments to Wakirike ethnic nationality, the projects executed in the area and the recognition and upgrading of traditional rulers’ stools of the people.

He urged the governor to reach out to the Wakirike women who courageously defended Rivers votes, despite the deployment of soldiers.

He said: “It is consequent upon this conviction that we, the Wakirike people, especially our women, put our pride and our lives on the line to defend our votes”.

Earlier, former Minister of Transport, Abiye Sekibo, said that the Wakirike people did not expect anything less than a victory for Governor Wike during the last elections.

He expressed happiness that Wike has confidence in the Wakirike people; hence, most of their leaders were his close confidants. Sekibo lauded the governor for his friendship to the Wakirike nation.


Rivers police ban use of covered plate numbers, sirens

The Rivers Police Command has banned the use of sirens, revolving lights, spy and covered number plates in the state.

A statement signed by the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said the Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, banned the aforementioned facilities due to the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on the abuse and indiscriminate use without appropriate approvals.

The statement said the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State command, appealed to the residents of the state, particularly banks, companies, private individuals and security personnel except those on covert operations to show understanding by complying with the directive and immediately remove the unauthorized and prohibited facilities or face prosecution.

The statement further said the taskforce headed by the officer In charge, CP Monitoring Unit, CSP Grace Wonwu, has been given the marching order to enforce compliance, arrest defaulters and impound any vehicle in default.


You won’t have rest – PDP tells Uzodinma

as protest will continue

The Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Monday said that they will continue protesting in Imo state, over the January 14, 2020 judgment that sacked Emeka Ihedioha, as governor of the state and upheld Hope Uzodinma, as the validly elected governor of Imo.
The PDP, disclosed this in Owerri, through their state Publicity Secretary, Damian Opara, after their stakeholders’ meeting.

The party also said that they have expanded more of their strategies on dealing with the issue of lawmakers elected under their party that defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

It stated: “Following a very critical Imo State PDP Stakeholders meeting, held at the Party Secretariate, No. 98 Okigwe road, Owerri, on Sunday 09/02/2020 to review the State of affairs of the Party, it was resolved as follows:

“That the Party shall continue to use every legal means available to the Party to make sure that the unjust Judgement given against the Party, Governor Emeka Ihedioha and his Deputy Hon. Gerald Irona by the Supreme Court of Nigeria is reviewed and reversed.”

On some of their state House of Assembly members who decamped to the APC, “That the purported decamping of few members of Imo State House of Assembly elected under the Platform of our great Party is of no consequences to the popularity of PDP and her teaming supporters in Imo State.

“That the Party in Imo State shall in conjunction with the National organs of the party employ all legal options to recover their seats in the House of Assembly, as the National Secretariate had already declared their seats vacant.

“That the Party shall keep on demonstrating/ Protesting within the Constitutional right of her members, to peacefully and publicly show our support to Governor Emeka Ihedioha,

his Deputy, Hon. Gerald Irona and our unacceptable tendencies towards the Supreme Court Judgement that ousted Governor Emeka Ihedioha and his Deputy, Hon. Gerald Irona.

“The entire Stakeholders of PDP Imo State Chapter after receiving the information about the forthcoming Party Congresses to elect Party Officers from the State Chairman, Sir Martain Ejiogu,

resolved that the Party in Imo State shall strongly participate in the Congresses and therefore urged every member of the Party who wants to vie for any Party position during the

Congresses to do so as there shall be no imposition of Party officers or writing of list of any kind by any individual in the Party during the Congresses in Imo State.

“The Stakeholders finally urged all PDP members to remain faithful in the Party and leave all those who have left the party as there are better future in PDP for them than elsewhere, since what the Party is facing now in Imo State is a temporal set back.”


Lassa Fever: 3 persons dead in Rivers ..

The Rivers State Government has confirmed three persons dead in an outbreak Lassa Fever in the State.

The Acting Permanent Secretary ,Ministry of Health, Dr Chinwe Atata, confirmed this on Wednesday during a press briefing to give an update on the status of the disease in the State.

She told newsmen in Port Harcourt that the ministry had earlier begun proactive effort o contain the outbreak.

Atata said “we have received preliminary confirmation that three of the samples tested positive to Lassa virus, the Rivers State Public Health Emergency Operation Centre had earlier commenced proactive effort for containment of the outbreak.

”All hands are on deck for facility decontamination, line-listing, presumptive prophylaxis and surveillance to ensure public health safety and security of people.”

Atata, who is also Director Planning, Research and Statistics assured that the state had procured large quantities of anti-viral agents, adding that isolated centres had also been setup across teaching hospitals in the State.

In her words: ”the state has procured large quantities of antiviral agents and isolation centres have been designated and are being setup across the teaching hospitals in state in case of any eventuality, the state government is doing everything to contain the Lassa virus.”

She called on residents of Rivers to continue all necessary preventive measures and enjoined all to promote good community hygiene to prevent rodents from entering homes.


APC crisis: Rivers State judge step down ..

Restoration of peace in the crisis ridden Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) may not be in sight soon as Justice Augusta Chuku of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port-Harcourt on Monday washed her hands off a matter brought before her by Igo Aguma challenging the legality of the Caretaker Committee of Rivers APC.

Justice Chuku who is a spouse to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Mr Kingsley Chukwu, had in the previous sitting suspended the planned Ward, Local Government and State Congresses of the Party pending the determination of the substantive matter.

lgo Aguma, former federal Lawmaker and a former ally of the Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, dragged APC to Court.

When the matter came up on Monday, the Judge withdrew from the case, asking that it be reassigned to another Judge.

Some chieftains of the APC had written a petition against her that she might not dispense justice to all concerned in the case.

This surprise twist in the case again will, most likely, further delay resolution of the lingering crisis in the state APC.

Speaking with Journalists, Tuduru Ede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the parties in the dispute will wait for the Chief Judge of the state to reassign the matter to another Judge.

Counsel to Aguma, Echezuna Etiaba, said the next Judge will, amongst other things, interpret the constitution of the party and determine the legality of the caretaker committee put in place by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

On his part, a chieftain of the party, Barr. Chizi Enyi, said it was abnormal that the Judge didn’t vacate the consequential order she made in the matter before discontinuing with it.

“The Judge instead of setting aside her earlier orders before sending back the case file for reassignment, knowing that her orders will not be binding on another judge, refused to do that”, he said.


Lassa Fever: 4 cases recorded in Rivers..

Four suspected cases of Lassa fever has been recorded in Rivers State as confirmed by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of health, Dr. Chinwe Atata.

While the four main cases have received prompt and adequate medical attention, 57 persons have also been placed on surveillance after a speculated physical contact with the affected individuals.

The permanent secretary also said that they have sufficient quantities of commodities and drugs for therapeutic and preventive interventions.

She said;

“We are working assiduously to ensure public health safety to exposed substance especially among public health personnel as first respondents.

“We are working in partnership with state and federal agencies and al stakeholders in the interest public health security and therefore, there is no cause for alarm.

“The situation we have recorded is firmly under control. In addition, we have enough self-sufficient quantities of commodities and drugs.”


Rivers govt drops N100m for fallen heroes children to study up to University level

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that Nigerians must unite and motivate the Nigerian Armed Forces to defeat the insurgents in the North-East.

Governor Wike also directed the Secretary to the Rivers State Government to work out modalities for the State Government to support the Nigerian Legion and soldiers of Rivers State origin who pay the ultimate price.

The Rivers State Governor also announced that the State Government has committed the sum of N100million for the scholarship programme dedicated to the children of the fallen heroes.

He spoke on Wednesday during the Wreath Laying Ceremony in Commemoration of 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt.

He said: “The war on terror in the North-East has raged for too long, claiming too many military and civilian victims.

We must come together as a nation to do whatever that is necessary to support and motivate our soldiers to win this terrible war as quickly as possible and save the nation and our brothers, sisters and the children from the North-East from the continuing violence, abductions, and devastation by Boko haram and their affiliates.

“Apart from supporting the establishment of a trust fund, I have directed the Secretary to the State Government to work out areas of support to the State Chapter of the Nigerian Legion and the families of soldiers of River State origin who pays the ultimate price in the active service of our country. In addition, the State Government will provide scholarship for their children up to university level.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

“N100million has been committed to the scholarship of the children of the fallen heroes by the Rivers State Government. We will also construct a Secretariat for the Legion, but not at Isaac Boro Park. We will develop the park into a Tourist Centre.”

Governor Wike said that the nation remembers the members of the Armed Forces for their contributions to the unity of the country.


Rivers: APC drags Kingsley-Chukwu to NJC

The All Progressives Congress said it is set to report Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu, of the Rivers State bench for being in cahoots with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to paralyse the the state branch of the party.

The APC, which was excluded by the courts from taking part in the National Assembly, governorship and state assembly elections, has not been able to install new state executives, even as caretakers, because of ludicrous court orders.

In a statement by its spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC now now believes, it is the victim of a judicial-political conspiracy, with Justice Augusta a prominent player.

“It is now obvious that the PDP being the ultimate beneficiary of the inability of the APC to elect its state executives for more than one year owing to judicial restrictions have deployed professional litigants and judicial staff to aid their unholy interference in the affair of the APC. They have put their plans to action by getting minions to institute frivolous suit and ensuring that the suit is assigned to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu, wife of a top PDP leader in Rivers State.

Read the APC full statement:

Following disputation in the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), we bring to the attention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) the suspicious handling of our court case by Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu and the apparent machinations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

After the Supreme Court decision to nullify the APC Congresses in Rivers State and effectively disqualify our Party from participating in the 2019 governorship elections in Rivers State, the APC decided to restrategise and reposition the party.

On 6th September, 2019 the APC constituted a caretaker committee to pilot the affairs of the party in Rivers State. The party also scheduled the conduct of congresses to elect the executives of the party at various levels. One Ibrahim Umah immediately instituted a court action at the Rivers State High Court challenging the proposed congresses of the APC and obtained an interim injunction restraining the APC from conducting the proposed congresses. The APC objected to the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit and on 18th December 2019 the court struck out the suit for want of jurisdiction, thereby allowing the APC to proceed with its restrategising process and conduct of congresses.

Before the court rendered its decision striking out the suit, one Igo Aguma filed a similar suit against the APC challenging the composition of the caretaker committee. The suit was filed on 16th December, 2019 and assigned to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu. The APC was entitled to 21 days within which to enter an appearance and file a defence to the suit. Curiously, it was brought to our attention that Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu had abridged the time to 48 hours.

Our curiosity was further heightened when we discovered that the husband of Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu is a PDP leader who had previously contested for the position of Chairman of Obio/Akpor local government area and currently serves as the legal adviser of the PDP in Rivers State.

It is now obvious that the PDP being the ultimate beneficiary of the inability of the APC to elect its state executives for more than one year owing to judicial restrictions have deployed professional litigants and judicial staff to aid their unholy interference in the affair of the APC. They have put their plans to action by getting minions to institute frivolous suit and ensuring that the suit is assigned to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu, wife of a top PDP leader in Rivers State.

Expectedly, the APC had reasonable apprehension that Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu will not be able to discharge her duties as a judicial officer objectively without interference. The foregoing fears led the Rivers State APC to forward a petition to the Chief Judge of Rivers State requesting the reassignment of the suit to another judge of the Rivers State High Court for adjudication. This petition was endorsed to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu.

The APC expected Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu to have followed the time-honoured tradition of judicial officers such as Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of the Court of Appeal and Justice Mary Peter Odili JSC who had recused themselves from adjudicating over cases that would likely impact on the political interest of their spouses.

On 20th December, 2019, the suit was listed before Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu for hearing of the pending application. Our counsel drew the attention of the court to the petition pending before the chief judge as well as the weighty allegations contained therein. The APC expected Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu to have followed the time-honoured tradition of judicial officers such as Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of the Court of Appeal and Justice Mary Peter Odili JSC who had recused themselves from adjudicating over cases that would likely impact on the political interest of their spouses.

Disappointedly, Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu proceeded to entertain the suit and granted an injunction restraining the APC and the caretaker committee from taking any steps whatsoever.

It is clear to us that the PDP in connivance with Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu has perfected plans to keep APC in Rivers State in perpetual paralysis through endless suits and injunctions. The APC rejects the PDP’s attempt to make Rivers a one-party state and will be taking the following steps:

I. Petition the National Judicial Council over Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu insistence to proceed with the determination of the suit despite the obvious grounds of bias and conflict of interest

II. Petition the Chief Judge of Rivers State requesting the reassignment of the suit to another judge of the Rivers State High Court for adjudication.

We call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to caution judicial officers in Rivers State and indeed the entire country not to drag the Judiciary into the internal affairs of the APC by perpetually stopping our party from conducting simple congresses in Rivers State. As a party, we can no longer fold our arms and watch this abuse of judicial powers in Rivers State continue.