“APC Differences Expected, Party Still Evolving”

The Deputy Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has stated that the ruling party (APC) is still evolving and there will always be differences.

He stated this on Friday on a live national television programme monitored in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

Peterside, who is also the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), maintained that the APC-led Federal Government had done well in the past three years.

He noted that what a lot of people had been seeing as internal combustion within the APC was part of its evolving process, where people with different tendencies would always struggle to realise their political ambitions, with all the issues being resolved internally.

The NIMASA chief said: “APC as a party is still evolving. There will always be differences and there is no time when all the issues can be resolved, but we are doing and have done well.”

Peterside, who was the 2015 governorship candidate of the APC in Rivers state, also admitted that some national leaders of the party might have some concerns, but the relevant hierarchies of the party were addressing all the issues.

On the issue of farmers/herdsmen clash, he said the Federal Government was genuinely concerned about the security of lives and property, hence identifying the problem and seriously working out measures to arrest the ugly situation.

The APC chieftain noted that since security breaches varied from one locality to another, the Federal Government decided to take multidimensional approach to identify and resolve the root cause of each challenge.

He said: “The Federal Government is concerned about insecurity in Nigeria. The government has identified the problem and it is being tackled. The government is not living in self-denial and that is very important. It did not start today and the government is looking at multidimensional approach to resolving it.”

On whether the service chiefs should not have been sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari, the NIMASA chief stated that without first identifying the root causes of the various security challenges, sacking them might not solve any problem.

Peterside stressed that information at the disposal of the President would determine the kind of strategy to use and whether the service chiefs should be removed from office, pointing out that taking rash decisions because of opposition was not the best of response.

NIMASA Targets N109 Billion Revenue In 2018 – DG

The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, says the agency is targeting N109 billion as revenue in 2018.

He said this while speaking on the 2018 budget before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, the agency was optimistic it will generate N109 billion as revenue in 2018.

Peterside said that the total estimate was achievable based on the number of initiatives the agency had put in place to block revenue leakages.

“N109 billion is an estimate; we are workings toward accomplishing that, this revenue include revenue from Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), that I have no access too.

“It also includes our mandatory contributions to Maritime Academy of Nigeria, which is not in our disposal; but we’re optimistic that with the numbers of initiatives we have put in place.

“We have blocked leakages, we have done everything humanly possible to reduce our expenses to make it achievable,” he said.

He, however, told the committee that every adjustment and amendment had been made on the budget as directed.

The NIMASA boss said that a total of N18.7 billion was remitted in 2017, which was the 80 per cent of the total revenue for 2017.

He said that N2 billion was also contributed to Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for the dredging of the lower Niger River, which was approved by the presidency.

Mr Peterside said that in 2018, the agency hopes to complete the reforms it had started by making the waterways safer than it used to be by investing in the security of waterways.

He said that the agency intended to build offices in the eastern zone, central zone and also concentrate on capacity building, by training seafarers and scaling up its operations in 2018.


Buhari Congratulates Peterside

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, on his election as the new Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrators (AAMA).

Peterside was elected at the end of the Third Annual Conference of the continental organization in Abuja on Friday.

Buhari said Peterside’s unanimous election is not only a personal honour and affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA.

He also said the new position places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.

President Buhari believed that given NIMASA’s encouraging performance under Dr. Peterside especially in the fight against sea piracy through inter-agency cooperation, he has no doubt that his new position provides him with an even bigger platform to forge ahead in doing the nation proud by meeting the objectives of AAMA.

The President, while wishing the new Chairman of AAMA a successful one-year tenure, expressed confidence that within this period, the Federal Government’s renewed focus on growing the Nigerian economy through increased maritime resources will be further enhanced.

Dakuku’s election was one of the decisions reached at the just concluded third conference of the association with the theme ‘Sustainable Use of Africa’s Oceans and Seas attended by 34 African countries held from April 19 to 21, 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Mr. Bashir Jamoh, who addressed a media conference shortly after the event, said that the NIMASA – DG would pilot affairs of AAMA for a year as Egypt would host the next conference while South Africa retains the secretariat.

AAMA is a body of 34 African countries including Nigeria.

Peterside, takes over from Mr. Sobantu Tilayi, the acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA), who has been the acting Chair of the association since 2013.

At a well attended closing session, Tilayi, the outgoing Chairman described Peterside as a committed and dedicated technocrat that will, no doubt, take maritime administration to a higher level.

Many other participants expressed optimism in Peterside’s leadership ability to improve on the fortunes of the continent through concerted maritime collaboration that will attract interest of African states through their various Maritime Administrations (MARADs).

Within the last one year, Peterside has been able to improve on inter agency and inter government cooperation in the fight against piracy resulting to a reduction in incidences of piracy and sea robberies.


APC Will Reject Rivers East Election Result, Says Peterside

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, on Monday said the All Progressives Congress would reject the result of Rivers East Senatorial District rerun election.

Peterside told a news conference in Port Harcourt that the collation of the district’s election results was marred with irregularities.

He said that information available to the party showed that results of some local government areas in the district had not been collated.

Peterside, the Deputy Leader of the party in the state, also alleged that due process was not followed in announcing the results.

“You are aware that elections were inconclusive in Etche Local Government Area; the results for Emohua Local Government Area have not been collated, the results for Port Harcourt City Local Government Area were partially collated.

“The APC agent was beaten at the collation centre in Port Harcourt. Without him being present, the result was announced in favour of the PDP candidate.

“Whatever result is declared for Rivers East will be ridiculing democracy; APC will not accept any of that,” he said.

Peterside said the APC would use constitutional means to resist the alleged irregularities.


Rivers APC Consoles With NYSC, On Death Of Corps Member

The members of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have paid a condolence visit to the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Johnson Bamidele, on the unfortunate death of a corps member, Okonta Samuel Dumebi, during last Saturday’s legislative reruns.

The corps member, who was an ad hoc member of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was an orphan from Illah, Delta State, but killed on March 19 in Ahoada West LGA of Rivers state, during the elections.

The APC’s delegation to NYSC, which was led by the Rivers governorship candidate of the party during the April 11 last year’s poll, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, was received by the Director, Corps Welfare, Mrs. Rhode Kwaki, other directors and staff of the NYSC.

Peterside, who is also the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), stated that the APC members from Rivers state were at the NYSC’s headquarters in Abuja to condole with the DG and other officials of NYSC, as well as the family of the deceased.

The APC chieftain (Peterside) said: “We are pained at this irreparable loss and more pained that it happened in our dear state. It is a shame on our country and we feel that sense of loss like you. Our prayers are with you and the family of Okonta Samuel Dumebi.”

The NIMASA boss also berated the Rivers Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for threatening INEC officials before the March 19 elections, which he insisted led to the avoidable death of the orphan, describing the corps member as a victim of Wike’s hate speeches and viciousness.

The deceased was also described as a young man with dreams and patriotism, who demonstrated his desire to contribute his quota to the development of Nigeria, assuring that the country would remember him for a long time to come.

Peterside, a former member of the House of Representatives, also promised that the APC in Rivers would join hands with the NYSC to bring an end to the recurring violence and deaths of young Nigerians, insisting that elections should not be avenues for people to lose their lives.

Kwaki, who represented the DG of NYSC, stated that officials of the corps were saddened by the gruesome murder of the young man.

The NYSC’s director also lauded the APC’s delegation for the visit, stressing that the officials were now encouraged by the support and show of solidarity by the politicians.

The Rivers APC Chairman, Chief Davies Ikanya; the deputy governorship candidate of the party in the April 11 last year’s election, Asita Honourable; and some faithful of the party were part of the delegation.

NIMASA To Make Nigeria Center Of Maritime Operations – Peterside

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside on Wednesday said the agency would ensure that “Nigeria becomes the hub of maritime activities in Africa’’.

According to a statement issued by the Head of Public Relations Unit of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, Peterside stated this when he officially took over from the former Acting Director-General, Mr Haruna Jauro at the headquarters of the agency in Lagos.

The new director-general said that the Agency had competent personnel to drive the mandate of the agency.

Peterside urged Jauro to always avail the agency of his experience and expertise “whenever the need arises’’.

“We will harness the vast potential available in the agency in order to make Nigeria a maritime hub in the West and Central Africa sub-region,’’the director-general said.

He said that the agency would do this by implementing all international laws and conventions; “increased enforcement of our mandate and build the necessary capacity for indigenous operators leveraging on the Cabotage Act’’.

Peterside described Jauro as an Ambassador of NIMASA to the Federal Government and called on him to continue to support the agency whenever his services are needed.

Jauro expressed gratitude to God and the Federal Government for giving him the opportunity to serve the nation in the last three and a half years.

He noted that he was ready to work for the success of the present management anytime his services would be required.

Jauro urged the new director-general to look through the Act that governed NIMASA as his guiding compass.

He noted that the Cabotage Act should be reviewed with a view to impacting positively on the indigenous operators.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari recently appointed Peterside as the Director General of NIMASA.

Rivers APC Calls For Fresh Elections

ALL Progressives Congress, APC has called for cancellation of last Saturday rerun election in the 23 local government areas of the state, saying it was characterized by violence.

State Chairman of the party, Dr Davies Ikanya who spoke Monday evening, at the state secretariat of the party in Port Harcourt alleged that the Police connived with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to manipulate the exercise,

Dr Ikanya who was flanked by the running mate to Dr Dakuku Peterside in the last governorship election, Mr Honourable Asita and other state executives of the party said the election was a sham.

Continuing, he denied allegation by governor Nyesom Wike that notable members of the APC had stormed Mile 1 Police station on Sunday to influence the result of PHALGA, stressing that it was the PDP that allegedly made effort to tinker with the result.

The party Chairman, Dr Ikanya again traded words with governor Wike over the incident at UTC junction on Azikiwe road in Port Harcourt, saying it was clear a attempt to assassinate the governorship candidate of his party, Dr Peterside.

He confirmed that he was in the vehicle, stressing that the Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Emeka Woke and his team allegedly opened fire on their vehicle with alleged intention to assassinate them.

According to him, the Chief of Staff, Mr Woke and his team trailed their vehicle to UTC , opening fire on them.

Meantime, Governor Wike maintained in a statement by his media aide, Mr Simeon Nwakaudu that Dakuku and his team shot at his Chief of Staff, Mr Woke.

The governor explained that the APC leadership attempted to hijack the spread sheet of the rerun election results in Ikwerre local area.

Rivers Re-run: INEC Releases Results In 10 Constituencies

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the results of nine state constituencies and one federal constituency in which rerun elections were held in Nigeria’s oil hub, Rivers State, on Saturday, but the commission was forced to suspend the electoral process in all other constituencies in the state where results were not announced due to the widespread violence that marred the elections.
However, based on the results released yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) consolidated its control of the state by emerging victorious in eight of the nine state constituencies and one federal constituency seat, while the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won one state constituency seat.
But as results were announced, the state continued its descent to anarchy as the violent battle for control of the state was exacerbated by the exchange of gunfire between security men in the convoys of the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, and the Chief of Staff to the Rivers State governor, Mr. Emma Woke, in Port Harcourt yesterday, resulting in the death of Woke’s personal assistant. Sporadic shooting was also reported at the Abonema area in Akuku Toru Council, few kilometers to Port Harcourt, the state capital.
This came as Governor Nyesom Wike and the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, squared off against each other at the Mile 1 Diobu police station over a collation officer, Mrs. Ekwi Adebisa, who was purportedly abducted Saturday night by the former governor in company of soldiers.
Confirming the outcome of the rerun polls, the Director of Voter Education Publicity of INEC, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, informed THISDAY that the results were released in nine state constituencies and one federal constituency in the state.
He said PDP won in eight of the state constituencies, while APC won one seat.
PDP, he said, also won one federal constituency but did not give the names of the state or federal constituencies in which results were declared.
Osaze-Uzzi also revealed that the release of further results were suspended due to reports of violence, attacks and even the deaths of INEC officials and ad hoc personnel in the state.
He said all INEC personnel were relocated to Abuja yesterday due to the escalation of violence in Rivers State.
Also in a statement yesterday, he said INEC conducted the polls in Rivers State pursuant to the orders of the Court of Appeal, but “rather unfortunately, some of these elections witnessed the disruption of the process, including the barricading of some of the INEC local government offices and Registration Area Centres (RACs) used for the distribution of electoral materials which led to the late commencement of the exercise in some places and consequently, its smooth take off.
“Of more serious concern was the level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, which marred the elections in some areas.
“There were reports of numerous attacks resulting in fatalities, kidnappings, ballot snatching, diversion of officials and materials, amongst others, which necessitated its suspension in 8 local government areas.
“Regrettably, such deviant behaviour has continued today (yesterday). Several permanent and ad hoc staff engaged by the commission have been attacked, again resulting in fatalities, while some have been forcibly abducted and taken to unknown destinations.
“Under such difficult circumstances, the Returning Officers were only able to collate and declare results in one federal and nine state constituencies where the disruption and malpractices were not so widespread.
“Having reviewed the situation, the commission is compelled to suspend all further action concerning the exercise in all the other constituencies in the state pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its field officials and monitors.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the Returning Officers,” he said.
However, unconfirmed results obtained from the various collation centres for 11 state constituencies showed that PDP won 10 constituencies, namely: Akukutoru I (Major Jack), Omuma (Kelechi Wogu), Degema (Farah Dagogo), Ahoada East II (Edison Ehie), Ahoada East I (Martins Manna), Emohua (Sam Ogeh), Akukutoru II (Tonye Alalibo), Obio/Akpor I (Martin Amaewhule), Obio/Akpor II (Michael Chindah), Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (Christopher Ahiakwor).
The candidate of the APC won in the Opobo/Nkoro state constituency, while Betty Apiafi of the PDP won the Abua Odua/Ahoada East Constituency to the Federal House of Representatives.

Rivers Re-run: Soldiers Arrest SSG, SA To Governor Wike

The soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the INEC centres in Gokana and Khana Local Government Areas allegedly beat the Honourable Commissioner for Environment, Professor Roseline Konya to a state of coma, Jerry Needam, special adviser on media and publicity to Rivers PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, has said in a statement.

Needam said “she is unconscious as at the time of filing” this statement.

“They have also beaten up all PDP agents at INEC offices in Bori, Tai and Gokana  and drove them away.

“They have hijacked all the election materials and are thump printing and writhing results.

According to Needam, the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Kenneth Kobani, Special Adviser on Special projects to the State Governor, Hon Cyril Dum Wite and over 2000 PDP across the State have been beaten, arrested and detained by the Nigerian Army.

Reacting to the sad development, the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bro Felix Obuah described the action of the military against Rivers people and members of the PDP as genocide.

PDP said the Nigerian Army disobeyed two separate court orders, restraining them from participating in Rivers re-run election and in Rivers South East Senatorial District of the State.

The statement also said all electoral materials for Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State have been hijacked by Barry Mpigi assisted by the soldiers.

Needam alleged that attempts by voters to resist the hijack of the election materials,  led to the killing of two pregnant women and scores of people,  by armed men in military uniform.

“Election in the 15 units of Ward 3, Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State were also disrupted and materials taken away by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, who shot sporadically while carting away all electoral materials.

The PDP Chairman in Rivers State called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel Rivers re-run election in Tai, Oyigbo,  Gokana,  Khana and all other Local Government Areas of the State, where soldiers of the Nigerian Army connived with the APC to hijack electoral materials, kill, main, destroy properties, arrest and detain PDP members.

He condemned the action of the military and called for investigation.

DSS Foils Assassin Attempt On Dakuku Peterside

The Department of State Security in Rivers state has thwarted an assassination attempt on Peterside Dakuku, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in last year’s guber election in the state and reportedly arrested ChukwuEmeka Woke, the Chief of Staff to Governor Nyesom Wike for leading a killer squad in two Sport Utility Vehicles that trailed and opened fire on Mr. Dakuku.

According to a press release issued by Mr. Dakuku’s office, the gunmen trailed him from Aba Road as he drove towards his house in the GRA area of Port Harcourt, but as his car made to turn towards the GRA entrance to his home, the gunmen drove aggressively hoping to overtake his car.
Mr. Dakuku then changed course and drove to the state headquarters of the DSS as his security aide had already radioed for help.

Soon as Dakuku was allowed into the premises of the DSS, officers at the gate reportedly opened fire on the two SUVs trailing him and succeeded in demobilizing the care and got some of the occupants including Mr. Woke arrested.

One of Mr. Dakuku’s security aides was seriously injured as a result of exchange gunfire during the thirty-minute long encounter.

Wike’s SSG, SSA, Arrested For Electoral Offences, As Police Confirms Four Deaths In Rivers Re-run Polls

The Nigeria Police have confirmed that four people were killed during the re-run elections in Rivers State on Saturday.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone Six, Calabar, Adisa Bolanta, said four deaths were recorded while 22 persons were arrested during the elections.

Mr. Bolanta disclosed this on Sunday at a joint security news conference in Port Harcourt.

He said the suspects were being interrogated on allegations of criminal or electoral offences.

He said deployments made by the police assisted in reducing election-related offences.

Also, the Commander of 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Stephenson Olabanji, confirmed the arrest of the Secretary to the Rivers State Government.

Also confirmed to have been arrested is a Special Assistant to the governor.

Mr. Olabanji, a Brigadier General, said both men were arrested in Gokana and Khana Local Government Area on Saturday for allegedly committing electoral offences.

“Many people were arrested yesterday for disrupting the electoral process and the law is not meant for just the lower cadre alone.

“No matter who you are, if you go against the law, you will definitely face the music.

“So, there is nothing like being Secretary to the State Government; many people were arrested as you have been told; a lot of people were arrested,” he said.

Mr. Olabanji denied claims by the state government that some commissioners and other top officials were manhandled by the Army during the re-run elections.

At a separate event, Governor Nyesom Wike said the Peoples Democratic Party, would win Saturday’s re-run legislative elections in the state because it prepared for it.

Mr. Wike told journalists in Port Harcourt that when the elections of the legislators were annulled in December, the party commenced preparations for re-run.

He said that the party began campaigns and started working hard to win the elections because it was on ground.

The governor confirmed that the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani, and a Special Assistant, Cyril Wite, were arrested by the Army.

Mr. Wike said the government officials wanted to ensure that election materials were moved to polling units when they were arrested. He said it would be difficult to rig elections in the state because the people would resist the attempt.

According to him, when somebody is not popular and attempts to rig the election, the people will say no to such move.

He alleged that some people were creating problems to make the Federal Government declare a state of emergency in the state.

Mr. Wike said that such ploy would not work, because the PDP was more popular in the state.

He urged the media not to be emotional or sentimental while reporting events in the state, because such stories create wrong impression.