Ife Central West LCDA Begins Channelisation Of Major Rivers

The caretaker management team of Ife Central West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) has commenced the dredging and channelization of the two major rivers in the LCDA. The rivers are Esinminrin and Opa rivers. Flagging off the dredging exercise, the Executive Secretary of the council, Barrister Bisi Oladosu said, the exercise was being carried out with a view to putting an end to perennial flooding which has led to the loss of valuable properties and rendered many people homeless in the area.

 

As at the time of filing this report, work on Esinmirin River has been completed, while that of Opa River was still ongoing and would terminate inside OAU Campus. Some of the residents of the affected area commended the council management for bringing dividend of democracy to them, noting that the exercise would save them from loss of valuable properties they experience every year when the two rivers overflow their boundaries.

 

Besides, Oladosu has enjoined bricklayers and other professionals not to embark on any building construction project that does not have approved plan. He gave the charge during a meeting with surveyors, draught men, carpenters and bricklayers in the LCDA recently, saying the council would soon embark on ‘operation show your plan’ for all the building projects going on in the area.

 

He warned that any building project without the approved plan by the LCDA would be made to face the wrath of the Law.

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.

 

On The Road To Port Harcourt, By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, I finally returned to Port Harcourt after over two years of absence. It is strange how time flies and how it changes everything. Port Harcourt had always been one of my favourite cities in our dear beloved country. Once upon a time, Port Harcourt was known and referred to as the garden city because of its blossoming flowers. The good people of Rivers State are particularly warm and affectionate and I really enjoyed their generous hospitality which is so lavish and sincere. I will never forget the wedding of one of the daughters of the great Chief and former Minister, Alabo Graham-Douglas. Port Harcourt, and Rivers State in general, was so peaceful that I flew in our European photographer, Dragan Mikki, to cover the epochal event for us. Security was not even an issue as we boarded a speedboat to go to Abonema, the ancestral home of the Graham-Douglases. There was no fear of our Oyibo photo-journalist being kidnapped. We also flew Dragan from Port Harcourt to Abuja to shoot pictures of our dear First Lady, Mrs Stella Obasanjo, now of blessed memory. Wow, I feel so nostalgic about those good old days.
I made so many wonderful friends in Port Harcourt. Ovation International magazine has had one of its biggest fan base in that fun-loving city till this day. I remember and treasure the evening I was hosted by the big boys of the garden city and I was treated like a visiting President. I saw enjoyment at its best. I was given the title of O-talk-na-do of Port Harcourt and the whole place reverberated powerfully as a result of the Ovation invasion. I was received at the Government House by the Deputy Governor Sir Gabriel Tamunobiebere George Toby, on behalf of the Governor, Dr Peter Odili, who was out of the country when I visited.
I would later meet and become inseparable friends with the then Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and later Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. I visited whenever I was chanced or invited by Amaechi. Our relationship blossomed when he left his Peoples Democratic Party and joined All Progressives Congress. We worked actively and passionately for the success of Major General Muhammadu Buhari, now President and Commander-in-Chief. While Amaechi’s stupendous efforts won at the Federal levels, he could not replicate the same on his home tuff. His Governorship candidates and other aspiring legislative ones failed as they were roundly and soundly defeated by the opposition party. I doubt if my friend agrees till this day that his candidates were truly humbled but that is a matter for the courts as events unfolded.
I don’t know, and may never know, what happened in Rivers and how Amaechi the physician could not heal himself after fixing Abuja admirably. That is another story for another day. All I know is that Rivers has not been the same. I read a lot of blistering attacks on the new Governor, Nyesom Wike, who used to be one of the closest friends of Amaechi before things fell apart between them and the center could no longer hold. Since life is about perception, I did not look forward to going to Rivers anytime soon.
All that changed when I least expected. A phone conversation with the great man many of us refer to as “the godfather” in journalism circles, Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua, changed all that. He had called while I was in Ghana to personally invite me to the 2017 Nigerian Guild of Editors Summit in Port Harcourt. He informed me he was also talking to Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman of Thisday newspapers, as well as Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman of Daily Trust newspapers. I was indeed honoured by the invitation and I agreed to return to Abuja and fly from there with these distinguished personalities to Port Harcourt.
The journey to Port Harcourt was smooth as the four of us flew from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on a small chartered plane and landed under an hour. Everything was in place for our arrival including, cars and security provided by the Governor. We drove straight to our hotel, checked in, freshened up and rested a bit before going to join the Governor for dinner. I had not seen Governor Wike since he moved into that Government Lodge where I used to visit my dear friend, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. As we walked in, the Governor rose to salute “the godfather”, Alhaji Funtua: “my father welcome…” he said. He turned to Nduka Obaigbena, “my boss, how are you?” To Kabiru, “how are you Sir?” And to me, “my brother, I can’t believe you came. I told Alhaji you won’t come…” I smiled and we hugged briefly. I immediately understood why he felt that way but I love peace and would always work for peace.
Wike appeared extremely happy to see us. I saw firsthand why he is regarded as a consummate politician, regardless of what side of the political divide you belong. He understands the game of reaching out to friends and foes. He did not hold any grudge against me for being one of those who fought tooth and nail to sack their Federal Government from power. As we walked to the garden where he hosted us, he held me at a stage and recollected how I dealt him some heavy blows in my column one day when he was still Minister. He said his whole body was vibrating with emotion as he read my article. As he spoke, I remembered a Yoruba adage, “the man who used the toilet can forget but the one who cleaned the mess would always remember.” We both laughed over it.
We spent several hours with the Governor who regaled us with exciting tales from  behind-the-corridors of power. Believe me, the man knows so much about Nigeria and sure knows how to navigate the murky waters of power as dished up by the political class. He’s a powerful networker who has no bounds or restrictions. His biggest assets are his disarming smiles, raucous laughter and general affability. It is impossible to sit with Wike and not laugh. He had many of his friends and political associates around. It was obvious that he enjoys a grip on the major political actors in the State, including a former Governor, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, a former Party Chairman in the State and several others  who sat with us.  They were all there to testify to Wike’s ability to unite them. Also with us were senior journalists, Eric Osagie, Managing Director of The Sun and Louis Odion, former Commissioner for Information in Edo State.
We took a walk round the beautifully refurbished State House, including the spanking new Presidential Lodge for visiting Presidents. Everything was tastefully done. The Governor looked confident and very much at home. He walked us back to our cars and we said goodnight. We drove back to our hotel at about 1am. It was quite an experience. As I prepared to dive into bed, what kept ringing in my head was that I hoped our leaders could unite for the sake of their people and disagree to agree but it seems a tall order and mere wishful thinking. There is nothing wrong in fighting about principles but there is no need to do so on the basis of personalities. What we often have in Nigeria are personality clashes which do us no good as it detracts from good governance through the unhealthy and unnecessary distractions that it causes.
The occasion of the Editors Conference was superbly put together. We arrived in good time and took our seats. We met Chief Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State and certainly one of Nigeria’s greatest journalists of all time. I was delighted to see him because he was still recuperating from a recent surgery, but still made the sacrifice nonetheless. There were so many greats of our industry on parade and I was proud to be a member of the fourth estate of the realm. The speeches were awesome.. Our Chief host, Governor Wike spoke from his heart during his welcome address. He berated those he saw as busybodies maligning the State of Rivers.
He asked rhetorically, why everyone is coming to host one event or the other in Port Harcourt if there was total breakdown of law and order as being peddled by certain sections of the media. The discussions on the media itself were revealing, especially the one on the media as business. This is because it will always be a pertinent topic if our media houses are to stay focussed and relevant in the development of our great country. I enjoyed the contributions of media icons, Azubuike Ishiekwene and Kabiru Yusuf. I came in briefly as one of the commentators. I spoke on how to stay relevant in the media business.  I had no regrets attending the landmark event and I’m grateful to Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua for the kind invitation extended to me and the entire arrangements made for the trip.
 
How the Yahaya Bellos Are Fighting Cerebral Palsy
In most African societies, children born with cerebral palsy are often victims of social stigmatization. Superstition holds it that these children are either descendants of the gods or children who have been offered by their parents for rituals or other nefarious spiritual purposes. For most of these children, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to be admitted into any school just like other children. In many homes and neighbourhoods, they are separated from other children, treated with contempt and ridicule and eventually pushed to the fringes of society as outcasts. Indeed, it is a most gruelling and traumatic experience for these children, their parents and other loved ones, many of whom are now forced into a journey of hopelessness, having tried all means possible to find help, to no avail. Not for the Yahaya Bellos.
The story of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and his wife, Amina Oyiza Bello, a lawyer, is a remarkable tale of hope and resilience in the crusade to de-stigmatise cerebral palsy, educate people and bring hope and love to the children who are the most affected. The hand of fate dealt the Bellos an unkind blow in 2007 when what began as celebration with the birth of their son Hayatullah Onoruoyiza Bello was soon cut short upon discovery that their new bundle of joy was stricken with cerebral palsy. It was a pain too hard to bear. Defying the odds, they hit the ground running. From one hospital to another, from country to country and continent to continent, they travelled with Hayatullah in search of a resolution.
In the midst of this crisis, Hayat Foundation, a special intervention foundation that focuses on issues dealing with persons living with Cerebral Palsy and other Disabilities was born. The objective of the foundation is to bring succour, support and improvement to the lives of persons, children, parents and siblings alike, living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. By this singular gesture, the Bellos have not only confronted their challenge headlong but also stretched out their arms to the less privileged in our society who may not be as lucky as their son. “Because I experienced and felt loved while I was growing up as a child, I became convinced that I have same responsibility to my son and therefore would not abandon him by hiding him in an obscure corner of the house where people will not see him”, Mrs Bello affirms.
Putting words to action, the Bellos will launch the Hayat Foundation on Friday October 13, 2017 in Abuja. Through this foundation, they hope to set up a Pan-African institute for children with special needs in the mould of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Already, several well-meaning Nigerians have united behind this noble non-political, non-profit initiative. They include Toyin Saraki, Folorunso Alakija, Abah Folawiyo, Florence Ita-Giwa, Ben Murray-Bruce, Ademola Adeleke, Abike Dabiri, Mo Abudu, Sade Okoya, Laja Adedoyin, Daisy Danjuma, Osasu Igbinedion, Aisha Falode and Adesuwa Onyenokwe. Others are still calling in to support this humble and highly courageous lady who has refused to be cowed or intimidated into hiding her son from the public just because he is physically challenged.
I seriously salute her for this worthy project.. She needs our prayers and support.

IPOB-Hausa Clash: Plateau Govt Relaxes Curfew In Jos

Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, has relaxed the dusk-to-dawn curfew in Jos, the state capital.

Lalong had imposed the curfew to avoid a reprisal attack on Igbo residents, following the clash between suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and some people of northern extraction in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

Two persons were said to have been killed in the fracas.

In a statement released on Sunday, Lalong’s spokesman, Samuel Nanle, quoted the governor as saying the relaxation of the curfew was due to improved security in the state.

The statement said the curfew would now be from 10pm to 6am and it would take effect from “the subsequent day (Monday) until further notice”.

“The executive governor wishes to appreciate the swift response of security personnel and the widespread community consultative meetings held by various community and religious leaders, which have come out with renewed commitments and resolves of all and sundry to be law abiding and peaceful,” it read.

“The governor wishes to assure our citizens of the state that security personnel will continue to patrol flash points within the greater Jos-Bukuru metropolis, and they will ensure that all security measures as are necessary to guarantee peace, security and compliance with the new curfew order are done, so as to avert any likely bridge of law and order.

“The governor is therefore enjoining all citizens to go about their lawful business with the assurance that their safety is guaranteed.

“He further pleads with all peace loving citizens to ensure that they cooperate with all security personnel and to report all acts by persons that are likely to constitute a breach to the hard earned peace of the state.”

Police Nabs Fake Policeman In Rivers

The Rivers State Police Command has nabbed a fake police officer in Port Harcourt.

In a statement signed by the command spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, said the impersonator identified as Benjamin Tanko was arrested in Eleme area of the State.

Omoni stated that Tanko who had been posing as a police officer to extort money from ignorant members of the public was arrested by men of the Commissioner of Police Monitoring Unit

“The Rivers State Police Command in her continued determination and relentless efforts in fighting all criminal elements in the State, on 13/9/17 at about 0945 hrs arrested a fake Police Sergeant, Mr Benjamin Tanko an indigene of Kajuru in Kajuru LGA of Kaduna State.

“He was arrested in a Police Camouflage at the Oil Mill Motor Park by Men of the CP Monitoring Unit led by the officer in-charge, Sp Grace Wonwu.

“The suspect who claimed to be an Assistant Superintendent of Police attached to the Port Harcourt Area Command is helping the Police in Investigation and will be arraigned as soon as investigation is over.

“Items found on him include; three different Police I.D cards with different force numbers.

“The CP wishes to appeal to the public to continue to support the Police with useful information,” the statement read.

Lessons From Rivers Re-Run Elections, By Sunday Eze

Stakeholders in the just concluded Rivers National and State Assembly re-run elections are failed students of history. We all have learnt nothing and are not willing to develop and improve on our democratic space. Expectedly, the re-run election was a theatre of war and of the absurd too. There were uninhibited access to inducements and incidents of ballot box snatching, free for all thumb printing from both sides of the major political parties, intimidation and total war. It was a do-or die affair which expectedly came with so much trouble, irregularities, complaints, accusations and counter- accusations.

In Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, election was postponed to the following day as a result of rampant explosion of dynamite. The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Olisa Eloka Amadi was molested and dragged out of the collation centre like a common criminal by the military with no one to his rescue. Allegations of polling units moved to hotels and residences of politicians were rife. Armed thugs working for politicians had a field day in overwhelming defiance of over 28,000 policemen and security operatives, 20 police dogs, 28 gun boats; 18 extra Armoured Personnel Carriers and a total of 350 patrol vehicles manned by riot policemen and the Rapid Response Team with a medical team in the event of emergency.

Various checkpoints were mounted to mitigate the movement of arms and fake officers during the election. One Police Commissioner was assigned to each of the three Senatorial Zones in the state, while the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations Joshak Habila took charge of the whole operations in the state. Yet INEC will conclude two outstanding state and Federal Assembly rerun elections in Etche next year. A lot of heinous electoral crimes took place including the ruthlessly murder of DSP Mohammed Alkali while six others were said to be missing in spite of the heavy security presence and mobilisation of officers, men and materials. The elections lacked the basic ingredients of a democratic exercise and thus fell below the expected standard of free and fair contest anywhere in the world.

Reported utterances of the national and state leaderships of political parties were reflective and indicative of the brigandage that took place. It was reported that the chairman of APC John Odigie Oyegun at the grand finale of the party’s campaign hosted at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium said, “as you can see, we came in full force; the whole federal might is here and the message is simple, enough is enough, enough is enough. This is the beginning of the rescue mission in Rivers State. “We now have a blood-thirsty regime in Rivers State. I am glad with what I am hearing: if they push you, push them. If they snatch a result sheet, snatch it back.” Also addressing the rally, Rotimi Amaechi was said to have called on members of the APC not to allow members of the PDP to intimidate them during the rerun elections. He said: “This is the election of our lives. Before, I used to tell you, please, don’t fight. What I will tell you today is do not kill anybody but do not get killed. I don’t want to hear that they shot me and took away result sheets. If they take result sheets from you, collect it back from them. These were indications that violence was overtly encouraged. And it was said that a boy sent by his father to steal breaks the door with his leg.

With this, INEC was not expected to perform any magic. The commission was practically overwhelmed by the disposition of major contending political forces. It was apparently hapless and helpless.

In a terse statement issued by INEC on the situation in Rivers, it conceded to the fact that there were serious electoral infractions. “… the elections were generally peaceful and the turn-out was impressive except for Asari-Toru, Gokana, Khana, Andoni and Tai LGA. There were alleged reports of dynamite explosions in Akuku-Toru; INEC officials were attacked in Khana; electoral materials were snatched in Andoni; and our staff were prevented from conducting the elections in Tai state constituency. In a few other areas where hoodlums threatened the conduct of the exercise, the security agencies intervened and ensured that the elections were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.”

Journalists were deprived of exercising their constitutional of exercising their responsibilities as they were intimidated, harassed and chased out of some collation centres by the security agencies putting a dent on the transparency of the entire process. At Abonnema, security operatives ordered reporters out of the collation center.

There must be a sinister motive and or hidden agenda for sending the media packing at points of collation. It raises suspicion on the credibility and transparency when build up to announcing electoral results are shrouded in secrecy. In some instances, INEC officials were alleged to have taken instructions from security operatives. The security was said to have compromised by allowing issues to degenerate to the level it had only to intervene on those it has vested interest in.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) led by one DSP Akin Fakorede was said to have allegedly molested the Emohua L.G.A Collation Officer, Prof. Chukwudi Odekpa; inflicting sever injuries on him for refusing to do his bidding, yet in the pool of his blood Odekpa persevered in his responsibilities as seen in various social media. The police should take note of the sundry allegations against Fakorede, others and apply appropriate sanctions. Prof. Odekpa reserves the right to seek appropriate redress against Fakorede, the police and INEC in the court of law for threat to his life, breach of his fundamental human rights and negligence respectively.

Security agencies especially the military which has no assigned constitutional role in election matters arrogated upon itself a questionable task depending on the party or individuals it was commissioned to work for. The role of the military was roundly condemned by APC in 2015 before the general elections especially as it related to Ekiti elections. However, it was surprisingly reported that some APC stalwarts employed the services of the military in that elections. Pundits suggests that as soldiers become deeply involved in determining who gets what in elections, the institution may be tempted to once again crave to taste the sweet pie of governance.

It would be recalled that the governor of Rivers state Nyesom Wike raised security concerns before the elections without the authorities concerned acting to nip the troubles in the bud. The governor in an interview described the exercise as unfortunate maintaining that PDP will not accept a fraudulent election. “I anticipated it. I tried to let the world know that these are the plans of the security agencies. In my entire political career, I have never experienced this kind of invasion by security agencies. What causes violence is when you give certain persons undue advantage. Be assured that we are resisting it; it may take our lives, but we will resist to the last. That is what is expected when you are fighting for freedom. You must make sacrifices. He said, no matter the use of the Nigerian Army and SARS personnel by the APC government, Rivers state would never be conquered.”

From all intent and purposes, the election results will be contested afterwards. It is no longer easy to steal the peoples mandate and get away with it. Youths were seen escorting electoral materials and even daring the security agencies said to have compromised to try their patience. Electoral offences persist in Nigeria because those who perpetuated them always go scot-free. Some are even occupying exalted public offices in the three arms of government. Stakeholders in elections must submit to peace and ensure conviviality for elections to thrive. The security agencies and INEC must also be seen to be transparent, impartial and neutral in all circumstances to guarantee confidence building in the electoral processes.

There must be a winner and loser in every contest, therefore, candidates should willingly accept defeat in humility. Political party leadership should be civil and also guard their utterances which provides basis for party supporters’ behaviour before, during and after elections. The army of unemployed youths financially induced to deface the electoral process should resist the temptation of being the clogs in the wheel of our electoral processes. Appropriate sanctions should be meted to any officials of all the stakeholders in the electoral process found to have aided and abetted electoral offences to serve as a deterrent to others.

Sunday Onyemaechi Eze, is a Media and Communications Specialist.

Rivers Re-run: PDP Clinches Two Senatorial Seats

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Osinachukwu Ideozu, winner of the Rivers West senatorial district election held between Saturday and Monday.

Mr. Ideozu was certified winner Tuesday afternoon with 107,166 votes. He defeated Otelemaba Amachree of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who garnered 48,898 votes.

With the development, PDP now has two senatorial districts – Rivers East and West. PDP’s George Sekibo had earlier been returned winner of the Rivers East election for the third time.

APC’s Magnus Abe won in the third senatorial district, Rivers South East. He defeated Olaka Nwogu of PDP.

Rivers West Senator-elect, Mr. Ideozu, was a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, representing Ahoada West between 1999 and 2003. Afterwards, between 2003 and 2007, he represented Abua-Odual/Ahoada East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives before his appointment as Commissioner for Education.

Rivers Re-Run: PDP Wins East, West Senatorial Seats

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has won both Rivers East and West senatorial seats in last Saturday’s rerun election.

The Rivers East Senatorial candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. George Sekibo, defeated his rival, Chief Andrew Uchendu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to reclaim the senatorial seat, while Osinachukwu Ideozu won the Rivers West senatorial district election.

Prof. Orji Onu Okumenkama, who is the Returning Officer for the Rivers East Senatorial District declared the result at Port Harcourt City Local Government Council amidst heavy security.

Okumenkama said that Sekibo scored 93098 votes to win Uchendu who scored 34193 votes in the senatorial election.

Ideozu was declared winner with 107,166 votes defeating Otelemaba Amachree of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who polled 48,898 votes.

Earlier before the result of the Rivers East  was announced there was heavy shooting by security operatives who accompanied the governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike to the council headquarters.

The supporters and some candidates of the PDP in the election including Sekibo had taken over the Port Harcourt City council till the result was announced.

The PDP said that they were there based on information that the Minister of Transportation was on his way to come and hijack and doctor the result

Wike, had led hundreds of PDP members including His Chief of Staff, Mr. Emeka Woke, the Attorney General of the State, Emma Aguma, Uche Secondus, Chief Sergeant Awuse to the barricade the area.

Speaking at the Government House Port Harcourt after the result was declared, Wike, “I thank God for the strength and courage he has given to us in this election. We have really sacrificed. I know that freedom comes with sacrifice.

“Rivers people were murdered for just a simple legislative election. The federal government came with their might to conquer Rivers State, just because they want to win. They killed people because they want the state.

“The blood of those people they killed will be on their heads. States that cannot pay their workers salary and cannot carry out meaningful project in their states brought money to rig election in this state.

“They should be ashamed because they won one but we won two of the senatorial seats. They fought but God said, no way! Do not be intimidated. This will never happen in 2019. They have shown us that there is no democracy in Nigeria if not why not they conduct election the way it is been done in other countries.”

Rivers South: INEC Declares APC’s Abe Winner Of Senatorial Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Senator Magnus Abe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of Rivers South East senatorial district election.

Returning officer, Professor Gideon Onuekwusi said Senator Abe polled 125938, to beat his closest opponent, Olaka Nwogu of the PDP who polled 25394 votes.

Candidate of the Labour Party in the race, Kingsley Okechukwu scored 549. Okey Ude of NNPP scored 96, and Brown Elfreda of UDP scored 99.

Rivers Re-run: Wike Accuses Soldiers, Policemen Of Disrupting Elections

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has accused the Nigerian Army and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of hijacking electoral materials and working to deliver a particular candidate in Rivers South-East Senatorial District.

The governor added that Rivers State would never be conquered.

He further alleged that there were mass shootings by the Nigerian Army and the Police in Khana, Gokana, Akuku-Toru and Etche Local Government Areas.

Governor Wike said that the security agencies were deployed to the State to manipulate the result of the polls.

The Governor, at a media briefing in Government House, Port Harcourt, alleged that at Khana Local Government Area ,election materials were hijacked by the Nigerian Army and the SARS personnel.

He added that in Gokana Local Government Area soldiers hijacked election materials for Wards 2 and 3 in Bodo City, where he alleged that the military also killed two persons in the process of fleeing with the materials.

Governor Wike said that out of the 19 wards of Etche Local Government Area, soldiers and SARS personnel hijacked election materials for 4 wards.

The governor noted that the unfortunate onslaught by the military and the SARS personnel started in the night of Friday, when the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi backed by a battalion of soldiers and over 20 SARS personnel attempted to hijack materials from the Isiokpo INEC headquarters but was resisted by the youths.

He said: “I anticipated it. I tried to let the world to know that these are the plans of the security agencies.

“In all my political career, I have never experienced this kind of invasion by security agencies. What causes violence is when you give certain persons undue advantage.

“Be assured that we are resisting it, it may take our lives, but we will resist to the last. That is what is expected when you are fighting for freedom. You must make sacrifices.

“It is unfortunate that we are congratulating the opposition for winning in Ghana, but here the military are directly involved in rigging and hijacking materials.

“They say that they want to give Rivers State Governor problems, but you are not giving Rivers State Governor problems, you are giving Nigeria problems”.

INEC Rates Rivers Re-run Elections As An Improvement

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described the conduct of the Saturday re-run legislative elections in Rivers as an improvement compared to the suspended exercise in March in the state.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja while assessing the exercise.
Oyekanmi said that though there were few cases of violence during the election, there was no confirmed case of killing.
“Generally, the trail of violent is not as what we witnessed in March.
“In March, a person was killed and the commission was forced to close the election, but in this Saturday exercise, there is no strong indication for us to say that we are suspending the election again.

“We think that relatively, we should be able to conclude the process peacefully, the security agencies should be commended for securing most of the places used for the elections,.
‘’Voting in some places have been concluded and collation ongoing.
“We are assuring Nigerians that we are building on our achievements in Edo and Ondo in term of credibility of elections in the country,’’ he said.
The chief press secretary further said that there were measures put in place to ensure that collation of results remain peaceful and transparent.
“A lot of precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure that hijacking of election results witnessed in the suspended elections in March does not reoccur.’’