Why I Am Focus On Sports– Wike

RIVERS State Governor Nyesom Wike has said  he is focusing on sports because  they  play a  unifying and binding role  in the country.

Wike  said this  on Wednesday in Port Harcourt when the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria revalidate the position of the governor as its sole patron.

Wike  pledged that he would not relent on the development of sports because it has  remained an instrument for the unity of the country.

He said,  “One thing that unites the country is sports. Anybody who believes in the unity of the country has no option but to support sports.”

Wike commended SWAN for promoting sports in Nigeria and urged the association to remain focused in sports development to the advantage of the country.

SWAN National President, Mr. Honour Sirawoo, said 19 out of the 22 members of the National Executive Committee voted in favour of the exercise (revalidating the position of the governor as SWAN’s sole patron).

Sirawoo said  SWAN had to embark on the revalidation of  their patrons, because many of them were  no longer functional.

He said, “Governor Wike is the only authentic SWAN patron. What he  has done for sports development is fantastic.

“This is a call for greater service to the association. We rely on our patrons to play our role in sports development.”

Former SWAN national presidents, Saidu Abubakar, Olu Amadasun and Steve Alabi, in their separate remarks, said Wike merited the honour by the National Executive Committee of the association.

Reps Quarrel Over Imo/Rivers Position On Omoku Killings

A quarrel has broken out between members of the House of Representatives from Rivers State and their colleagues from Imo State over the pardon granted wanted persons by Governor Rochas Okorocha.

The suspects reportedly took part in the January 1 deadly attacks in Omoku, Rivers State, where about 22 people were killed.

While the Rivers State Security Council declared them wanted, Okorocha reportedly granted the suspects amnesty.

A motion brought on the floor of the House in Abuja seeking to “condemn” Okorocha’s action has caused disagreements between lawmakers from the two states.

Train Hits PH Plantain Seller

It has been recorded on Tuesday that a train hit a middle-aged woman selling roast plantain and fish beside a rail line under the popular Mile One bridge in Port Harcourt.

Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration had demolished structures belonging to traders doing business close to the rail line. But in the absence of an alternative, some traders went back to trade in the area.

An eyewitness, who identified himself as Emeka, said the woman, whose table had earlier been destroyed by street urchins, had just repaired it before she was killed.

“When I rushed there, I saw blood on the ground; some people had to rush her to a nearby hospital. With the amount of blood I saw, she could not have made it,” Emeka stated.

Another eyewitness, who gave his name as Chidi, said the woman’s legs were crushed when she was found.

“I don’t think she died. My friend said she was critically injured. Her legs were shattered,” he said.

The Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Port Harcourt Station, Mr. Samuel Atoyebi, however, said he had no knowledge of the incident.

He said, “The management and my office have not received any accident report from the train driver and his crew. So, we have not heard of such incident at Mile One flyover.

“We also use this opportunity to warn traders and motorists to be cautious when close to the rail tracks. Traders and motorists should be cautious of what they are doing around rail tracks. Even worn-out shoes can cause one to slip and fall on the rail tracks.”

Atoyebi also pleaded with parents and guardians to stop allowing their children to play close to the rail tracks.

He said, “Sometimes, children put stones on the tracks, thinking that it can derail the train, but due to the vibration of the train, anything on its path will jump off. This is wrong.”

“When you hear the train’s horn from a distance, please stay clear of the tracks because anything can happen. We have to be careful.”

According to him, despite warnings from the corporation, some mechanics still repair vehicles and abandon scraps on rail lines, which he said could cause damage to train coaches.

He urged all motorists to stop at least 12 metres away on both sides of the rail tracks when they see officials waving the yellow or black flag.

Wike Receives Ooni, Sultan Hails Nigerian Traditional Rulers For Unity Campaigns

By Sodiq Lawal

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has hailed the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria under the Co-chairmanship of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar for their relentless efforts at keeping the country together.

Governor Wike made the commendation on Monday in his office while hosting the traditional rulers who had paid him a courtesy visit. He promised to always partner with the traditional institutions, saying that is what is needed to move the country in the direction of unity which according to him remains non-negotiable.

“The Sultan and Ooni are my fathers. We are so grateful to be the State you have chosen to host this historic national event which is the 9th General Assembly of The National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria”.

“For us in Rivers state, the unity of Nigeria is very imperative and it remains non-negotiable. It is too important to be toyed with. That is why we will always partner with our traditional rulers as we have been doing.

“Gone are the days when the king’s would only sit at their palaces restricting Governance to the government alone. Every citizen of this country comes from a traditional ruler. So, we are all accountable to you no matter who we are be it President or Governor.
That’s how we do in this state as a government, thank God the Chairman of Rivers Council of Traditional Rulers is here, King Jaja of Opobo. He can testify”. Governor Wike said

Speaking on behalf of the visiting monarchs, a Co-chairman of National Traditional Rulers Council Of Nigeria, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II of Ile-Ife who is also the Chairman of the Southern Nigeria Traditional Rulers Council appreciated the Governor and the people of Rivers state for hosting them at this period which he said is a very crucial time in the country when unity must be the collective watchword.

“We thank you Mr Governor and your team for hosting the Nigerian traditional rulers who have come from all parts of the country to discuss on how to join hands with government for the unity and progress of Nigeria ”

“We are here to see how best we can further cement our togetherness across all the districts within the North and South of the country because unity is all we need. As matter of fact, our first demand is unity, our second demand is unity and our third demand is unity”. Ooni Ogunwusi said.

He added “The truth be told, the traditional rulers are the closest to the grassroots. We can not fold our arms, we must work together and join forces with the government and others leaders of thoughts in this country if truly we must progress as a people”.

The National Council of Traditional Rulers Council Of Nigeria is holding its 9th General Assembly at Port Harcourt in Rivers State from Monday 30th to Tuesday 31s of January, 2018

Wike Is “One Of My Sons”, I Cannot Bend To Him – Amaechi

The Minister for Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, has denied any rift between him and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, describing the governor as one of his ‘sons’.

Amaechi, who was also governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015, said this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Question Time.

“He (Wike) was my staff; he is like one of my sons,” Amaechi said during the programme which aired on Thursday. “Why should I engage him? He was local government chairman when I was the Speaker (of the State House of Assembly),” he said.

The minister, however, accused the governor of failing to sustain the efforts he had made in developing Rivers State.

He also alleged that Wike was trying to tamper with the love the people of the state have for him.

Amaechi said: “The governor has just one agenda – if he is in his toilet, ‘Amaechi’; if he is outside his toilet, ‘Amechi’… what baffles me is not the governor, it is the
people.

“When I was governor, I used Rivers State’s money on projects in the state. If you visit the state, you will see the primary schools that we built. No matter what the governor does, the projects are there.

“I hired 13,200 teachers who are alive, I established primary schools, the primary schools are there. They are no longer maintained. When I was there, I appointed a contractor whose responsibility was to come to school like the children.”

Both men have been involved in what many believed to be a ‘lingering quarrel’, even in the face of the clash between the security details attached to both men when their convoys came head to head in November.

On November 11, the security operatives attached to Amaechi made up of men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had reportedly knocked down Wike’s Escort Rider apparently in a way to make way for the former governor.

The incident, which occurred at Nwanja junction in Trans Amadi area in Port Harcourt, was later brought to a halt after the chief security detail to Governor Wike physically chased the SARS operatives away.

Dokpesi, Adeniran Reject Outcome Of PDP Convention

The Peoples Democratic Party national convention has ended but the project which was fraught with crisis, controversies, internal squabbles and dramatic withdrawals by party big wigs has ended on the same controversial note despite the emergence of a winner.

Two Chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Prof. Tunde Adeniran have rejected the outcome of the party’s national convention in different media interviews even before results were announced.

Dokpesi said he rejected the elections following alleged distribution of a so-called unity list to delegates, describing it as a charade that may destroy the party.

Similarly, Taiwo Akeju, Director, Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign, called for the cancellation of the entire exercise.

He also called on the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party to takeover the affairs of the party until proper election would be conducted, since the National Caretaker Committee has been dissolved.

Adeniran accused Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti of being the masterminds of the unity list distributed to the delegates.

“We reject the entire electoral process. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end.

He said “The illegal unity list is prepared by governors Wike and Ayodele Fayose to foist on the entire delegates”.

PDP, A Lost Soul – Bode George

Chief Bode George, a foundation member and former national vice-chairman of the crisis- ridden opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called his own party a lost soul hijacked by mercenaroes even as he
withdrew from the chairmanship race

Hours after he vowed not to quit the race at the party’s convention in Abuja on Saturday, he changed his mind, noting that the party appears to have jettisoned zoning, that would have made the South West region produce the chairman.

Secondly, he noticed that the party has been hijacked by mercenaries and money bags and that the party chairmanship has been sold to the highest bidder.

Thirdly, he felt offended by what he perceived to be Governor Nyesom Wike’s insult on the Yoruba race and demanded an apology from the same.

Here is Bode George’s Statement in full:

Since the ancient days when the Yoruba people began their historical challenges on the plains and the hills of Ile-Ife, we have always been defined by our instinctive integrity, our methodical industry, our consistent loyalty and our steadfastness in protecting and defending the truth.
It is in all these characterization that I have personally lived my life. It is in all these summative portraits that I have pursued my personal and political engagements, strengthened in the resolve that truth, sincerity of purpose, fearlessness, equity, ethical balance are the basic ingredients of a purposeful life.

I have gone through many travails in my life. I have climbed the highest hills. and I have been through the lowest valleys. But in all, I have been guided by the holiest of heart’s affection, the genuine and the utmost surrender to the will of the Lord.

But I have never been afraid of a good fight.

I have never disengaged from a meaningful challenge. I have always committed myself to any struggle with absolute dedication and unflinching, resolute vision.

It is in this spirit and clarity of selfless engagement that I decided to run for the National Chairmanship position of our great party. I did not enter the contest for any personal benefits. I did not throw myself into the fray because of some pecuniary benefits.

I have come to serve. I have come to offer myself because I believe in the greater glory of our party and in the growth and development of our nation. I have served continuously for 10 years in various high level positions in our party administration, including the second highest echelon of Deputy National Chairman.

With all sense of humility, I can say that I know the workings and all the administrative processes and the tools of making our party work.

That shattering and very divisive crises of the last two years have made our party very vulnerable, weak and basically tottering on the edges of the cliff.

Less than one year before the next general election, our party must now elect new managers to direct our affairs. The foremost of these new managers is the position of the National Chairman.

In this highly challenging scenario, the party naturally needs an experienced, trusted, proven, reliable and astute administrator who can guide our party to the land of redemption and the land of triumphant rebound.

It is in this vein that I have offered my humble service to lead our party.
But more importantly, I have entered the contest on the fundamental predication of the micro zoning principle as laid down by our founding fathers.

The zoning principle, which was publicly reinforced last year in Port Harcourt, had specifically and rightly affirmed the South-West as the zone to produce the National Chairman. This binding proclamation was based on equity, fairness and natural balance that hold any organisation together.

But this old, legitimate and morally sound micro zoning principle has now been trashed, dumped in the waste bin, flung into the gutter by very little men who have compromised the pivotal moral anchor of civilised engagement for temporary selfish gains.

Everywhere you look, the Yoruba people are now being brazenly insulted. The very traditional fiber of our founding fathers are now being trampled upon, debased and soiled by external forces and mercenary traitors within.

It appears the PDP is now bent on self destruction. It has obviously allowed money moguls to dictate its thematic largeness. The party has lost its soul. It has lost its principled beginning and the predications of righteousness. It has traded the finer principles of democratic guidance and equity for the squalid, dirty and shameful resort to mercenary agenda where nothing matters save the putrid, oafish gains of the moment.

I cannot be part of this screaming aberration. And as the Atona of Yoruba land, I do not expect any well meaning, well disciplined, forthright, sincere Omoluabi of Yoruba land to continue with this deceit and shameful theater.

The Peoples Democratic Party has now mangled and distorted its soul and spirit. There is no morality here anymore. There is no sanity or any sense of enlightened civility.

As a result of these observed aberrations wherein the position of the National Chairman has been apparently sold and auctioned to the highest bidder, I, as an Omoluabi and as an authentic Atona of Yorubaland, will not partake in this charade.

I, hereby, withdraw from this brazen fraud and absolutely preconceived, monetized, mercantilist convention.

The Yoruba people have been openly maligned. The Yoruba have been savaged, tormented, treated with contempt, scurried, scoffed at, humiliated and denigrated by little men whose sun will soon set.

As a Yoruba patriot and the pathfinder of Yoruba land, I will stand by our people, I will stay with them thick or thin, I will fight for their good cause without compromising any ethics.

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike must as a matter of priority and ethical importance tender unreserved apology to the people of Yoruba land for his unguarded utterances on national television this morning. It was a show of shame.

I thank you all for listening.

OLABODE IBIYINKA GEORGE, CON
ATONA ODUDUWA OF YORUBA LAND
ABUJA, 8TH DECEMBER, 2017

Tinubu Floors Wike On Ogoni Clean Up Project

The Nigerian Senate has disagreed with Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike over his comment that the Federal Government was not serious with the Clean up of Ogoni land.

While receiving members of the Senate Committee on Environment , Wike had noted that the “Ogoni clean up programme remains a project aimed at attaining political mileage.”

 

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu said Governor Wike’s comments should not be taken seriously.

Senator Tinubu reacted when he led members of the Senate Committee on Environment on a visit to some oil impacted sites in Ogoni Land for an over sight function.

She said the governor should support the funding of the project rather than complaining, stressing that those affected are from Rivers state.

According to her, “He (Wike) can not even fund the project. So the earlier he works with the Federal Government the better for both parties.

“The process is very slow and that is why the Governor is expecting more seriousness. He did not mean it that way to be rude.”

Tinubu however expressed optimism that the clean up will go far especially with recent pronouncements made by President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2018 Budgets presentation.

Wike Escapes Assassination Attempt

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is said to have escaped an assassination attempt on Saturday when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and a group of soldiers attacked his convoy. In a statement by Mr Simeon Nwakauda, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, said the security agents were in the motorcade of Rotimi Amaechi, The States Minister of Transportation.

The attack took place on Saturday afternoon at Nwanja Junction on Trans-Amadi Road in the state capital, while Wike was on a project inspection tour. Involved in the attack was the Commander of Rivers SARS, Mr. Akin Fakorede, who received the minister of transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport and accompanied him on his trip.

“The SARS personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy mowed down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car.

“Mr. Seimeikumo Debewari, Aide-De-Camp to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, supervised the attack, which led to the damage of cameras held by journalists.

News gathered reported that the Governor was unhurt as he continued with his inspection mission. The Minister, who spoke through a statement issued by his Media Office, described the governor’s claim as a blatant lie, insisting that he (Amaechi) was the person that escaped assassination.

Reacting, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said there was no attack on the governor, describing the incident as a mere altercation between the governor’s security details and those of the Minister.

Omoni, however, disclosed that the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, had ordered that policemen involved in such altercation should be arrested.

“There was no attack on the governor. What happened was that the governor and the minister’s convoys ran into each others and there was an altercation. The State Police Commissioner has intervened and ordered the arrest of policemen involved in the act,” Omoni stated.

“However, while the SARS officers stepped down to assault the security personnel of the governor, the soldiers remained in their vehicle watching the scene,” the statement added.

I Have Nothing Against Police But Political Police – Wike

The Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, not to allow politics to negatively affect the fight against insecurity in the country.

Report reveals that the governor advised the IG to allow state Commissioners of Police to work with state governors, as that was the only way that security can be promoted in the country.

While speaking during a Public Lecture on Security organised by the Inspector General of Police in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State yesterday, Wike said he had nothing personal against the IG, but pointed out that he will continue to alert the Police Chief on security challenges in Rivers State.

The event had in attendance, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Usani Usani; the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade; that of Bayelsa, Mr Seriake Dickson, represented by his duty, Mr. John Jona; Delta State governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Festus Agas, in their goodwill messages said the Federal Government rather resort to using dialogue in to addressing the various agitations.

Usani, who chaired the public lecture, revealed that militants have overwhelmed some governments in some countries, noting that Nigeria was heading towards the direction.

“For any reason, if our agitations are not addressed through dialogues about issues that concern us, it may result in our gradually walking towards the loss of a nation, the loss of sovereignty, and none of us shall eventually be better for it as we will no longer have assets that we can call our homes.”

Wike, said: “You (IG) must allow the Commissioners of Police to work closely with their respective governors to improve the security architecture. Politicization of security is a major crime. Commissioners of Police work with governors on the basis of the governor’s relationship with the powers that be. This should not be.”

“Let’s not bring politics into fighting crime. A kidnapper does not care about the political party of his victim. Nobody is immune from insecurity, irrespective of status.”

The governor said all stakeholders must collaborate to improve security across the country.

He said: “Let me further reiterate the point that as the nation’s number one Police Officer, the buck on civil security stops at the table of the IG and he is as accountable to the public as any other public office holder.

“I wish to assure you that Rivers State under my watch will continue to support and collaborate with the Nigerian Police and other security agencies as partners to combat insecurity not only in Rivers State but also across the nation.”

The governor urged the IG to look into complaints by state governors, as they are important to improve security.

On his part, the host governor, Mr. Emmanuel said that there was no federal presence in the region despite the region’s immense contribution through its resources to the country’s development.

According to him, FG must provide security to ensure the flow of commerce and industry in the country.

Earlier, the IG, Alhaji Idris said that the security summit was aimed at improving security in the country.

He said the Public Lecture Series will help the Police understand the security challenges of the different geo-political zones.

 

Wike Accuses FG For Poor Governance And State-Sponsored Repression

The Rivers State Governor  Nyesom Wike yesterday tackled President Muhammadu Buhari, Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Wike accused the Federal Government of poor governance, nepotism, marginalisation and state-sponsored repression.

The governor alleged that impunity, political intimidation, economic sabotage, state repression, election rigging and abuse of power were wrong, not only against Rivers but wrongs against the country.

Wike spoke yesterday at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital while opening the 13th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) and Extraordinary Convention of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), with the theme: “Nigerian Media: Balancing Professionalism, Advocacy and Business.”

The conference, which ought to have been hosted by Bauchi State, was chaired by Alhaji Ismaila Isa Funtua and had in attendance a former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Nation, Mr. Victor Ifijeh; and a former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs. Ibim Semenitari; while the keynote speaker was Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene.

Rivers governor said: “We do believe that these recurrent acts of impunity, political intimidation, economic sabotage, state repression, election rigging and abuse of power are wrong not only against Rivers State, they are wrongs against the country.

“We are only pretending we think that all is well with our country. The country is in crisis, as poor governance, nepotism, marginalisation and state-sponsored repression continue to do violence to the nation’s unity and cohesion.

“At a time as this, the country needs forthright leadership and consensus building to steer the ship of state from the wrong direction it is headed, to safer grounds.

“Nigerians of goodwill must, therefore, call the minister of Information to stop stoking the embers of disharmony and divisions in the polity with his irresponsible utterances and wild allegations against members of opposition political parties.

“Today, the clamour for political restructuring, fiscal federalism, state police and guarantee for free and fair elections have never been this determined across the country and will never go away. It is becoming clearer by the day that to ignore these calls is pretentiously dangerous to the unity and the peaceful co-existence of this country.

“History teaches us that freedom will never prevail unless those who long for it are willing and ready to insist upon its value and have the courage to speak out against what they know is wrong.”

Chairman of the occasion, in his remarks, noted that the Rivers governor did something that had not been done in the history of NGE, by hosting the conference back-to-back, stating that making the media one’s friend will not mean that the public office holders and others will not be criticised or condemned when they performed below expectations or messed up.

Funtua stated that many journalists, like civil servants, had not been paid for many months, because the money is not there  while calling for financial independence of the media, in order to earn the respect of society, noting that Osoba did a lot to keep the media together.

The NPAN president, while also speaking, stated that as long as online and social media were dominated by fake news, the traditional media will continue to thrive.

President of NUJ declared that journalists should be able to carve a niche for themselves and stop being beggarly, to be respected.

Chairman of Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, in his goodwill message, assured NGE of continuous support of the National Assembly, especially the Senate.

Bayelsa Information commissioner insisted that Nigeria’s unity was negotiable and called for restructuring, to move forward, while believing in one Nigeria.

NAWOJ president urged National Assembly to legislate on media salary and to take the issue seriously while adding that there is a need for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria.

The keynote speaker declared that NGE members must first get honest and ethical journalism right before they can balance professionalism, advocacy and business while maintaining that journalists, especially editors, must free themselves from politicians.

In her welcome address, Egbemode said: “The Editor in Nigeria gives his heart and soul for years. He works impossible hours and labours under the yoke of deadlines for poor remuneration. Then he wakes up one day and he is out of a job. He has no saving. He is not equipped for anything else outside the newsroom. He is stranded and abandoned by the job he gave everything to. That is why being a veteran journalist is not a title of honour. It is a euphemism for being broke and poor.

“Ours is a besieged and beleaguered industry. Both the profession and the professionals are not in a good place right now. The recession may be receding in other sectors, but in the media, hardly so. Indeed, our recession predates the nationally recognised one. We have been in a bad place for a long time and right now, we all can feel the ground shift under our shaking legs. We take care of everybody else’s interest. We watch out for everybody and we have always done that for years.

“This year, it is all about us, our profession, our fate and our economy, as we navigate the testy thirsty waters that threaten to sweep us into a fast-moving current. This ANEC is for us to assess where we are and find a way to safety. “

The president of NGE also expressed gratitude to Wike and Rivers, for not just hosting the conference back-to-back, but also because the governor accepted to do so with less than six weeks notice.