Archive for February, 2014

Dame (Barr.) Alice Lawrence-Nemi: Amaechi’s Tool for Educational Revolution in Rivers State

Posted on February 23, 2014. Filed under: Opinion | Tags: |

Dame (Barr.) Alice Lawrence-Nemi: Amaechi’s Tool for Educational Revolution in Rivers State

By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

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 DAME BARR ALICE LAWRENCE-NEMI, RS  HC FR EDUCATION

DAME BARR ALICE LAWRENCE-NEMI, RS HC FR EDUCATION

ediaconcept08@rocketmail.com, 08038199163,

Preamble

Writing on the educational revolution in Rivers State, South-South region of Nigeria, gives me a lot of joy as it is an area very familiar to me as a close monitor of events in the state since Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi came into office as Executive Gov

ernor of Rivers State in November 2007. I have in this regard done an article titled “Amaechi: Five Years of Education Revolution in Rivers State” published by World Stage News (Newshttp://www.worldstagegroup.com/worldstagenew/index.php%3Factive%3Dnews%26newscid%3D6659%26c) on Nov. 12, 2012 and other media houses across the world but I am compelled to do a follow-up on this after recently attending some functions in the state.

The first of these events was the stakeholders meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held before the commencement of the nationwide registration of the party in the State at the State Government House in Port Harcourt. Speaking at that meeting, Governor Amaechi charged the party faithful on the need to be visionary and committed to the vision and mission of both the party and Government if we are to make the state the Eldorado we want it to be. “Dame Barr Alice Lawrence-Nemi, the Commissioner for Ministry of Education, should serve as our example in this regard. This is a lady who drinks, eats and does not rest to ensure that she fulfils her mission in government. If we all put a little as this lady puts in the sky shall be our limit,” the Governor charged party faithful.

The other event was during the thanksgiving service in honour of Distinguished Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, Chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), at Ogoni after surviving the rubber bullets shot at him by the Nigerian Police during a rally by the Save Rivers Movement (SRM). Here again, Governor Amaechi stated: “Chief Nyesom Wike is a nobody in the politics of Rivers State and unfit to be a Minister of Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I cannot belittle myself and office to exchange words with such a callous ingrate and nonentity. If I must react to him that should be done through Ibim Sementari, the Hon. Commissioner of Information, and Lady Alice Lawrence-Nemi, the Commissioner of Education, who speaks better English than Chief Wike.

I was, however, not swayed by all these comments about Barr. Alice Lawrence-Nemi by Gov. Amaechi, until General Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, came calling on a two-day visit to Rivers State to commission some landmarks projects executed by Gov. Amaechi during his six years’ historical and revolutionary administration in the state. The former President was so elated and astonished by the type of world-class projects he was asked to commission, particularly the Ambassador Nne Kurubo Model Secondary School at Ebube, Eleme – one of the 24 model secondary schools scattered all over the 23 local government areas of the State which tops most of the universities in Nigeria in areas of facilities, structures and landmass that the former President shouted while addressing the Rivers State people in the Assembly edifice of the school, saying that the K-leg of Governor Amaechi has been straightened. If we can recall, General Obasanjo denied Gov. Amaechi the PDP ticket to fly the flag of the party in 2007 after winning the primaries of the party until the Supreme Court of Nigeria reinstated Gov. Amaechi as the duly elected Governor of Rivers State. General Obasanjo went further to hail Governor Amaechi for his administration’s developmental strides and stated: “I came to see developments and I have seen developments and I will confess developments! What I have seen is worth declaring! The area of health, education, Agriculture, Sports and road infrastructure is worth declaring. When I see development I earmark, eye mark and mouthmark.”

My encounter with Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi

With this statement by an Elder Statesman of Africa, I started asking questions on who must have been the tool for this type of revolution currently going in Rivers State. Who is this fellow that the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum of Nigeria should eulogise and single out for praise in the midst of her colleagues? To catch a glimpse of this iron lady in charge of the Ministry of Education, I embedded myself in the Office of the Governor for three weeks to monitor events, seeing that most of the commissioners in the state run around the Office of the Governor, but I could not see this woman. In my shock, I ran to the Ministry of Education with hope that I could capture this Amazon of a woman but I was shocked further when I saw a young, vibrant lady working in the corridor of the ministry, whom I thought was the Secretary to the Commissioner of Education. I pleaded with her that I needed to see Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, the Commissioner of Education. She looked at me and laughed and said: “I am the Commissioner of Education.” To me, the lady must be a joker and I threatened her that I would report her to the commissioner when I saw her and she just laughed and left me in my wonderment. I went to the Office of the Commissioner to sign the visitor’s paper and after few minutes I was ushered into the office to be confronted by the same lady I threatened few minutes ago! I was so ashamed of myself that I had to apologise that from what I have heard about her that I was expecting one hefty, arrogant, proud elderly woman and not an inconspicuous, unassuming, simple lady like her who has changed the face of education in Rivers State without any pageantry, ostentation, showiness, pomp or publicity.

After the usual courtesies, my first question to her was, why don’t you frequent the Office of the Governor as your colleagues do? “I do visit the Office of the Governor when the need arises, likewise most of my colleagues, but I have my briefs and as you can see, I am a busy person attending meetings and receiving some stakeholders in the education sector and to me any minute lost costs me and my work a lot, so visiting the Office of the Governor is only when it becomes imperative besides I am only driving the vision and mission of the Governor so he have no reason to delay any of my files or submission so going to his office is only when it is necessary.”. Watching this lady directs her staff on the tasks of the Ministry is a beauty to behold and I can only sum it up with the quote of the great Warren Bennis who defined Leadership as the capacity to translate vision into reality.

Profile of Dame (Barr) Alice Lawrence-Nemi

Dame (Barr.) Alice Lawrence-Nemi, a workaholic and an unassuming personality, is a study in humility, philanthropy and service to mankind. A woman of impeccable, unimpeachable candour and proven track record of excellence, she was born into a respectable family in Okrika, Rivers State, and trained at the reputable Staffordshire University, United Kingdom, where she obtained her LL.B (Hons) and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990. In 1994, she became a member of the prestigious International Bar Association and she also holds a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration. She is the Founding Partner of NEMI & NEMI (Barristers, Solicitors & Arbitrators) that specialises in International Commercial Arbitration, Maritime Law, Oil And Gas Mining Leases, Liquidation and Receiverships, Mergers and Acquisitions.

Upon her appointment as commissioner, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi came fully equipped to manage public office. She had served as Chairperson, Law Center/Common Room Management Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association and had been a Member of Rivers State Economic Advisory Council, the highest economic body of the state, since October 31, 2007, through which she has been making contributions to the development of the state.

She was appointed Commissioner for Housing on April 4, 2008 and she soon changed the face of Rivers State. This hardworking achiever has been the Rivers State Commissioner for Education since 2009, having been re-appointed to the same position in 2011. The fact that Rivers State is a landmark state for education in Nigeria is proof of her indisputable and undeniable achievements.

This Amazon is one of the very few Nigerian lawyers that apart from being a member of NBA, also belong to the International Bar Association, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Rivers State Planning Committee, Council of Knights of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a Certified Notary Public.

Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi and Education Revolution in Rivers State

The Amaechi-led Government on assumption of office declared a state of emergency on the education sector and completely took over the payment of salaries of primary school and junior secondary school teachers, hitherto the statuary function of the local governments, to ensure that education takes its rightful place in the scheme of things. This intervention costs the State Government N800 million monthly to pay the salaries of the primary school teachers.

SAMPLE OF RS MODEL PRIMARY SCHS

SAMPLE OF RS MODEL PRIMARY SCHS

The government is targeting building 700 model primary schools with 500 completed – each with 20 classrooms costing about N116m each and equipped with ICT facility, modern library, science laboratory, football field, basketball pitch, volleyball pitch and nursery playground. These model primary schools are built to the standard of the United Nations as obtainable in developed parts of the world.

The State Government has also built 24 model secondary schools across the 23 local government councils in the state each costing about N3.; well structured and fully equipped with modern educational, recreation and boarding facilities with standard housing for teachers1B of which one was recently commissioned by the former President of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo. These secondary schools have been referred to by some observers as universities. Said Governor Amaechi about his mission: “We knew that the problem of the state was basically education, the state of our quality of education was abysmal and we knew that the quality can only improve if we take over primary education.” He expressed concern over what local government councils were doing with the money meant for this purpose.

The Rivers State Government has introduced the study of ICT in the model primary and secondary schools. According to Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, whose word is law when it comes to issues of education in the state, “This is to enhance technological development of our students in the State. The world is a global village and the need to embrace technology at an early stage is essential in the intellectual development of the students. I am proud that Rivers State is the first state in Nigeria to introduce the study of ICT at the primary school level. All the schools in Rivers State today are equipped with ICT facilities with internet connection as the state is eager to make all her pupils and students to be technologically ahead of their counterparts in other parts of the country.

Our candidates in Rivers State are ICT-compliant and write external examinations like WAEC and NECO. Today, I am proud to state that technology has eased learning in our society as our students can do their assignments on the Internet. Today, Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) is leading the way in technological drive in Nigerian universities and has shown Nigerians how ICT can easily be used to enhance learning and administration process in the academic environment.” All these are to the credit of the great revolutionist of our time – Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi!, Ion-lady Dame Nmei enthused.

Apart from retraining its teachers, the State Government has employed 13,000 teachers from the 20,000 shortlisted for interview out of the over 45,000 teachers that applied. The state has offered scholarships to over 2,000 students in Nigerian higher institutions and has spent about N5bn on her students in foreign intuitions. The state is building a world-class university which when completed will turn out well equipped graduates that will hold their own in any field and compete with the best in the world.

In the Rivers State University of Science and Technology the Rivers State Government is building a hostel that will accommodate about 6,000 students and accommodation for all the lecturers of the university and will be fully ICT-compliant. It is important to point out here that the Rivers State Government is among the few in Nigeria that offer free education and free health delivery to its people but stands apart as the only state offering free education, free sandals, free books and free uniform in Nigeria. About 500 new primary schools have been built in 350 communities across the state, a feat that no other state in Africa is yet to accomplish.

The bills to strengthen Education in Rivers State

To further strengthen and ensure qualitative education in the state, Governor Amaechi has signed into law five bills brought for his assent by the State House of Assembly. Among them are the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Amendment Bill 2012 and the Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools’ Board Bill 2012. The Rivers State Governor was upbeat while signing into law these bills including, including the one on social services levy recently passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly.

International organizations comments on the educational revolution in Rivers State.

The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Governor Amaechi on the strides recorded by his administration in the health and education sectors. Country Representative of UNICEF, Ibrahima Fall, who described as tremendous the progress made in these sectors, said: “This is the most exciting news for every mother, for every child and for every family in Rivers State.”

In appreciation to the feats of Amaechi’s administration, the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, recently stated: “The impression that I always get when I come to Africa is that these countries have enormous potential and your country and your state (Rivers) have enormous potential and I think that you happen to have at this time in history also, a dynamic, energetic and capable leadership that can make the dreams of building up the state into a reality of life for the 5.1 million residents in Rivers State that want their lives to be of much higher and greater quality.”

In extolling this great revolutionist, the United States Consul General in Lagos, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, told journalists: “I must commend Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State for embarking on numerous people-oriented projects and showing enthusiasm on Niger Delta issues. We are very appreciative of all that Amaechi has done. We are quite clear that addressing the issues of the Niger Delta, the challenges require focusing on things like education development, agriculture, health, all sorts of issues, and the governor was kind enough to show us, on the ground, some of the projects the government of Rivers State is working on, so we are very deeply appreciative of his support.”

 ONE OF THE SETTING OF THE BED ROOMS (TWO BEDS IN A ROOM) IN THE MODEL SEC SCH

ONE OF THE SETTING OF THE BED ROOMS (TWO BEDS IN A ROOM) IN THE MODEL SEC SCH

Today, Rivers State is one of the few states in Africa that enjoy worldwide recognition. The state has hosted many international events and is the UNESCO World Book Capital 2014! What a feat – indeed, an extraordinary accomplishment!!!

Some other remarkable feats in area of education by the administration of Gov. Amaechi

To commemorate this feat, literary giant Pa Gabriel Okara not minding his old age of 91 recently visited Port Harcourt to unveil Port Harcourt as the UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 together with other giants and literary scholars, such as the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; Elechi Amadi, Prof. Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa, UNESCO Director/Country Representative Mr. Joseph Ngu, who represented the Director-General, Irina Bokova; Veronique Tadjo, Igoni Barrett, Doreen Baingana; and Chibundu Onuzo. In fact, the event was a double celebration of a sort: unveiling the city of Port Harcourt’s nomination as UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 and the launch of a book, ‘Nigerian Literature, a Coat of Many Colours’.

Apart from the above, Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State of Nigeria, played a historic role when it hosted the US-Nigeria Bilateral Commission on 16 and 17 October, 2012, thereby becoming  the first city outside the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) to do so. This event is a top bill in international rating and the strategic relevance of the Gulf of Guinea area makes the meeting in Port Harcourt even more important. The United States Deputy Secretary of State and two Assistant Secretaries led the US delegation. On the side of Nigeria, the US-Nigeria Bilateral Commission is viewed with seriousness, especially by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) led by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

The driving force behind the vision and mission of Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi in Rivers State

Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi seems to be driven by the legendary Nelson Mandela’s stand on education when he stated: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” She is equally driven by the words of the famous Walter Cronkite: “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”

Her feats, accomplishments and conclusion

The Talmud must have had this woman of excellence who belongs to the mainstream of the administration of Governor Amaechi and stands out as one of the shining stars of this administration in mind when he stated, “He who sacrifices a whole offering shall be rewarded for a whole offering; he who offers a burnt-offering shall have the reward of a burnt-offering; but he who offers humility to God and man shall be rewarded with a reward as if he had offered all the sacrifices in the world.” Not surprisingly, her feats have earned her a lot of accolades and awards. The list: National Platinum Quality Commissioner for Education of the Year Award (2009); Good Performance Award in Basic Education; Best in the South-South (2010); Education Watch Award for Excellence (2010); Most Innovative Education Commissioner in the South/South by the President’s Inter-School Debate Programme (2010); Good Performance Award in Basic Education; Best in the Federation (2011); ThisDay Award as Best Commissioner for Education (2011); Babs Fafunwa Education Prize for Service Excellence (2011); National Transformation Leadership Award (2011); Nigeria’s Great Achievers of the Year Award (2011); The Most Outstanding Commissioner for Education in Nigeria (2011); Certificate Award of Appreciation from Anglia Ruskin University, England, in recognition of her invaluable contribution to education and youth empowerment in Rivers State and Nigeria; Conferment of Fellowship Award by the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology for her service in education development; Honorary Member, Association of Nigerian Authors, Rivers State Chapter; Recognition Award by Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition; Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development and Social Change by the Home Economics Teachers Association of Nigeria (HETAN); Time NEWS 2012 Leadership Gold Award, Award for Outstanding Contribution for Women Emancipation in Nigeria by Rivers State Women Association of America; Elechi Amadi Award for Literacy Advancement and Educational Development 2012 by STAN Communications; Most Outstanding Rivers Commissioner 2012 by Independent Monitor Newspaper; Ambassador for ‘Child Rights to Education’ by Silverbird Ostyles Stars Series; Award for the Development of Arts and Art Education in Rivers State by Art2Desire Ltd; STAN Honourary Membership Award towards the Development of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education in Rivers State; Award of Excellence in Recognition of Achievements in Education Sector in Rivers State by Holy Rosary College Port Harcourt; Fellowship Award by the Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria (CIFCN) 2013, 2012 Andy Briggs Report Award for Outstanding Impact in Infrastructural Development; Award of Excellence by NTA Network Centre Port Harcourt; Outstanding Female Commissioner Award by NAWOJ Rivers State Chapter, 2013 Exam Ethics Marshals Nigeria Best Practices Award for Education Administration; Zik International Knowledge Leadership Award, 2013 by Business Reports International; Award of Recognition as Ambassador-in-Service by Church Management Support Ministry; Award of Distinction in the Development of Education in Rivers State by Rundele Community; Youth Builder Award by Rivers State Union of Secondary Schools Press (Media) Club; and Merit Award on Seasoned Generations’ Administrator by Dynamic Peace Initiative.

Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi is an ardent admirer of the arts and classic music. She relaxes through yoga and playing golf.

With all these, I can now understand why Governor Amaechi does not only trust this woman but also goes to sleep with two eyes closed when the issue of education is mentioned in Rivers State.

Eze Chukwuemeka Eze contributed this piece via ezemediaconcept08@rocketmail.com, 08038199163,

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PDP is dead in Rivers, says APC

Posted on February 11, 2014. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: , |

PDP is dead in Rivers, says APC

*As Amaechi, Ikuru, others register with APC

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers has declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State dead and buried following the registration yesterday of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as an APC member, thus permanently terminating his relationship with PDP.

Governor Amaechi and his wife, Dame Judith Amaechi, registered at about 11am in his native Ubima at Ward 8, Unit 14, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the State. They were accompanied to Ubima for the registration exercise by several political heavyweights in the state, among them the State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru, the APC interim State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, Hon. Igo Igoma (former member, House of Representatives), and Dr. Sam Jaja, former Deputy National Chairman of PDP – all of whom have already registered as APC members.

Governor Amaechi’s registration was preceded yesterday by that of Deputy Governor Ikuru, his wife, Dr. Mina Ikuru, and Dr. Ikanya himself, amongst others, who formally registered for APC at Ikuru Town in Ward 5, Andoni Local Government Area of the State.

Commenting on the development, Dr. Ikanya described the registration of Governor Amaechi and his Deputy for APC as “the final nail of PDP in Rivers State,” adding: “I hereby declare PDP dead and buried in Rivers State and never to rise again. The journey now begins for the total liberation of Rivers State and the entire Nigeria from the strangulating grip of PDP. Chief Nyesom Wike, Brother Felix Obuah, Mr. Jerry Needam and few misguided elements still left in the sinking ship of PDP can now go ahead to start their mourning session”

The State APC Interim Chairman described Engr. Tele Ikuru’s registration as being very significant considering Ikuru’s relationship with PDP’s Deputy National Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus. According to him, “The Deputy Governor being the cousin of the Deputy National Chairman, his registration as an APC member is a powerful signal to the PDP that its days in our dear State are gone for good.” Dr. Ikanya eulogized Engr. Ikuru, saying that “this epochal step taken by him, apart from exposing him as a true gentleman also shows him to be a very loyal party man whose commitment and dedication to Governor Amaechi is a study in humility and forthrightness and should be emulated by all and sundry.” He added that with Ikuru in APC, Governor Amaechi can now go to sleep as he will bring to bear his winning streak that will formally bury PDP both in Andoni and Rivers State at large.

Dr ikanya also commended and congratulated Rt Hon Amachree D. Otelemaba the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Distinguished Senator Magnus Abe Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Distinguished Senator Wilson Ake, Hon. Chief Andrew Uchendu, The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, Hon. Dr. george Dawari, Hon. Ogbona Nwuke, Mr. George Feyi Rivers State Secretary of Government (SSG) amongst other greats for registering and identifying with the mission of APC to rescue Nigerians from the hands of evil and undemocratic elements in PDP.

Dr. Ikanya urged those who are yet to register with APC to troop out en masse to do so before the on-going registration exercise ends on Wednesday as that will make them co-founders of the party, promising that the party would never let them down.

“This exercise differs from that of PDP that does its registration in the rooms of the bigwigs of the party to the detriment of majority of Nigerians”, Ikanya concluded.

 

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PDP Takes On Amaechi Over Rising Unemployment Rate

Posted on February 11, 2014. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

PDP Takes On Amaechi Over Rising Unemployment Rate

The Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is impressed that Gov. Amaechi has for once admitted the high rate of unemployment of Rivers youths under his leadership in the past six years.

The PDP was reacting to Amaechi’s open confession while formally registering as a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ubima yesterday that over 80% of youths decamping with him to the Party are unemployed.

The Party in a statement by the Special Adviser, Media to the State Chairman, Jerry Needam however regrets that Gov. Amaechi is realizing his failure in this regard after he has completely run the state economy aground, a situation that is directly responsible for the growing youth unemployment in the state.

The PDP also pinpoints other areas of the state economy that have suffered various setbacks and some, in total comatose because of Gov. Amaechi’s bad leadership and mismanagement of State resources to include agriculture, water resources, power and rural development etc.

The statement further states that it’s not the PDP that is the issue, but Amaechi, who the Party gave mandate to oversee the affairs of the people, noting that if still given another opportunity to govern the State under the visionless APC, Amaechi would fail.

“The problem is that Amaechi feels he knows when he does not, and most unfortunately does not listen to wise counsel which is the greatest undoing to any recalcitrant leader. If we may ever ask, who is to blame for the unemployment of over 80% of the youths in Ubima as he noted while formally registering as APC member yesterday, Monday, February 10, 2014”. The PDP queried.

The Party insists Amaechi’s belated realization was the main reason why the PDP is happier with his exit so that the enormous resources of the state could be applied to make life better and enjoyable to the people, likening Amaechi to a leopard which never changes its skin whether in PDP or APC or any other Party.

The PDP also faulted Amaechi’s attempt to blame President Goodluck Jonathan to the rising unemployment in Rivers State, calling it loss of sense of value, political miscalculation and malicious, and positing that it beholves on a State Chief executive worth his onions to provide jobs for his teeming youths and not the President.

The PDP challenged Amaechi to point to one industry he has revamped in 6 years that can generate employment for Rivers youths, before blaming the President.

“We are happy he (Amaechi) is finally confirming all our reservations about his failed leadership and in no distant time, he will have cause to apologize to our people for holding them down for that long when he would have come back to his senses or repented of his overzealousness that has resulted to a blindfold.

Today, teachers are owed 7 months, TIMARIV owed 7 months, projects abandoned for lack of money, unequipped schools, besides Rivers people that were sent to overseas for studies through the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency, RSSDA, who are about being sent home for failure by Amaechi to pay their school fees for 2yrs today.

“Will Amaechi still blame someone else for this glaring gross misconduct and mismanagement”, PDP asks.

Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s defection to the APC is a blessing to the PDP, the Party said.

 

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Princewill Condemns Ibim Semenitari’s Vitriolic Attack on him and Threat to Life

Posted on February 8, 2014. Filed under: news | Tags: |

Princewill Condemns Ibim Semenitari’s Vitriolic Attack on him and Threat to Life

Prince Tonye Princewill has condemned in strong terms the vitriolic attack against him and the threat to his life by the Commissioner of Information in Rivers State Ibim Semenetari during today’s   Rhythm 93.7, viewpoint programme – a news, interview, phone-in and current affairs programme.

In a statement this evening of 8th Feb. 2014, Wabiye Idoniboye-Obu, Personal Assistant on Media and Publicity to Princewill said, “In a recent interview on Viewpoint, Prince Tonye articulated his view on the Rivers crisis and tried to share with Rivers people the reason why the current attempts to paint the President black were not only disingenuous but not in the interest of Rivers people. He went further to highlight that his disagreement with the Governor was not personal but based on the principle of calling a spade a spade, and just as he had often commended him for the good works he had done, he would also chastise him whenever he did not. That applies to his recent position”.

The full text of the Press release reads:

“This has been his consistent theme in Rivers state. When the Governor said that all our militants were criminals, he disagreed; when he celebrated the building of schools and hospitals, the Prince suggested we wait first wait for full functionality; when the Governor decided to buy a new plane, he protested. He didn’t stop there. When the Governor decided to be the spokesperson for the opposition while in PDP, Tonye advised against it, and when he decided to sack the Obio Akpor council, again the Prince said it was wrong. In all cases he told him privately before saying it publicly – for the record.

“That is why the vitriolic attack by Ibim Semenitari on this Saturday’s viewpoint programme was most unfortunate and embarrassing to us as Rivers people. The Prince’s recent stand not to move to APC and not to fight the President should not warrant the kind of response it is getting from a whole government spokesperson, who really should be busy doing several other things. Nothing the Prince has said has directed personal attacks at anyone in Rivers state Government. What was she thinking?

“A prominent Niger Delta activist called the Prince recently to tell him that he had been threatened by someone very high up in Rivers state government for something he was supposed to have said and that he the Prince had been mentioned within the threat as well. Before now, we would have laughed it off as ridiculous but after today’s interview, we are not so sure. Such a vicious attack today on radio from a lady who we had previously viewed with high regard only suggests that this crisis has brought out the worst in our government leaders. Tolerance has been thrown out the window and criticism is no longer heard even if it is constructive. Just like our friend Tony Uranta, the Prince must now live in fear of his life.

“We have since tabled documents before Rhythm 93.7, and reacted for the records to demonstrate the truth in the Prince’s comments and the holes in hers. While we await her evidence to back her claims, the issue no doubt will be the subject of legal proceedings so that Rivers people can see for themselves who is really telling the truth. In addition to legal advice we have also taken other advice and written to the IG and the Director, SSS. We feel prompted to do so because people who are prepared to go to this length to smear your character don’t mean well for you. An angry man is a threat. An angry government has an ability to carry out that threat.

“Claiming that the Prince is angry because the Governor took contracts away from him trivializes the situation and is akin to clutching at straws. What a coincidence she comes out now on the same program barely a week after his public opposition to Rivers State Government’s anti Johnathan stance. Rather than the waste management contract or any other contract taken from him; it is clear from the documents below that it is the Commissioner of Information that has sought to misinform.

“This is just the beginning”.

The link to Prince Tonye Princewill’s interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU9IUyrlGkw

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Breaking News: Rivers APC Uncovers Plans by PDP/GDI to Disrupt Its Registration

Posted on February 5, 2014. Filed under: news | Tags: |

Breaking News: Rivers APC Uncovers Plans by PDP/GDI to Disrupt Its Registration

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State Chapter says it has uncovered a sinister plan by the leadership and members of the PDP & GDI to violently disrupt its registration exercise kicking off today by unleashing terror on innocent registration officers and members of the APC in the units, wards and LGAs in Rivers State.

Chief Andy Nweye, Publicity Secretary of River State APC in a statement today to NF-Reports alleged thus, “Rising from a meeting in the house of a PDP/GDI chieftain and former chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, LGA leaders of the PDP/GDI were instructed to ensure that all units of the registration centres are physically attacked with the assurance that the police in Rivers State is fully behind them”.

The party called on all security agencies in Rivers State to take serious note of the information and do the needful to avoid the recourse to self-help by members of the APC as nobody or group has absolute monopoly of violence.

“We call on our Registration Officers (ROs) and the Supervisors to carry on with the exercise without any fear whatsoever while I call on the police to provide you with adequate security as you conduct the exercise”, the statement concluded.

 

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Reaction trails Police banning of Rallies in Rivers State……

Posted on February 4, 2014. Filed under: news | Tags: |

Reaction trails Police banning of Rallies in Rivers State……

APC says it is a futile Exercise, illegality, abuse of inalienable Right of Rivers People

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described Rivers Police Command’s directive banning any form of rallies or political gatherings in Rivers State as an act of illegality as well as an abuse of the inalienable right of the people of Rivers State to freely associate as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, alleging that the directive is a “direct declaration of war on the long-suffering people of Rivers State”.

The party in a statement by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, Senior Special Aide on Media and Publicity to Rivers State APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ikanya, on Monday 3rd February, 2014 said, “We are aware that this satanic directive is aimed at disrupting our membership drive and registration of our teeming loyalists scheduled to start this Wednesday, the 5th of February, 2014. This draconian and unwarranted directive at this period is clearly targeted at frustrating us after we have already trained our Registration Officers and mobilised materials in this regard to all the awards in Rivers State. This latest act of impunity by the Rivers State Police Command under the watch of CP Mbu Joseph Mbu designed to sabotage our membership drive will however fail as it lacks the power to stop this nationwide exercise from being carried out in Rivers State”.

Continuing, the party said, “For the avoidance of doubt, Rivers State is still an integral part of Nigeria and subject to Nigerian laws, including the one that guarantees the people’s right to freedom of association”, adding that the party has already directed its lawyers to challenge the ban order in the court and further directed its Registration Officers to commence the exercise as scheduled by the 5th March, 2014.

APC declared, “If the intention of the Rivers State Command is to use this as a ploy to disrupt our planned registration then it is an exercise in futility as we will be left with no alternative than to challenge it formally in the law court. But if not we will do everything to support such a ban”.

The party thanked the Rivers State people for their wise decision to massively join the All Progressives Congress (APC) so as to ensure that, they will “collectively bury the doomed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that lacks vision and the capacity to move Nigeria forward”.

Meanwhile Ahoada Town, Headquarters of Ahoada Local Government Area went agog last Saturday when Barrister Charles Ihua-Maduenyi declared for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In an event that was witnessed by an enthusiastic mammoth crowd, over 300 supporters and associates of Bar. Maduenyi declared for APC alongside their leader.

In his declaration speech, Barr. Maduenyi expressed his satisfaction with the organization and ideology of the APC.

“I feel satisfied with the planning, operation and most importantly the ideology of APC. I will bring my wealth of experience in grassroots politics to ensure that the people of the LGA vote massively for the APC in the coming elections”

In his speech, the Rivers State Interim Publicity Secretary of APC, Chief Andy Nweye, congratulated Barr. Maduenyi for his decision to pitch tent with the APC, describing him as not only a big fish, but a gargantuan hippopotamus in the politics of Rivers State.

According to Chief Nweye, “By your declaration, Ahoada East is now completely APC.”

Dignitaries at the event include the Deputy Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Nname Ewoh; Hon. Ibiso Nwuche of the RSHA and the Council Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government, Chief Cassidy Ikebidi. Others are Hon. Friday Echikwa and Eric Apia amongst others who graced the occasion.

 

 

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PDP Rejects Police Ban On Political Rallies

Posted on February 4, 2014. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

Press Statement

PDP Rejects Police Ban On Political Rallies

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State today says it is not satisfied with the latest action by the Rivers State Police Command in banning political rallies and protests in the State.

The PDP explains that after reviewing the Police decision, it seems to it that the Police authorities in the State have succumbed to the pressure and blackmail by the Rivers State Government, the Save Rivers Movement and the All Progressives Congress, stressing that doing so would contradict the applaudable stance of the Police in the State as an uncompromising institution.

The PDP further notes that the police had granted permission to Amaechi to hold an APC rally at Liberation Stadium, where Amaechi openly campaigned for the former Lagos State Governor, Tinubu as Presidential candidate of APC.

PDP regrets that such opportunity given to the APC by the police, was yet to be given to the PDP, before the ban on political rallies and campaign.

The Party expresses concern that the order will mainly affect it, as the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi in his usual manner, will under the cover of state government’s events and programmes, continue to organize political rallies, protests and other activities for the All Progressives Congress, APC, a situation the PDP believes will not be tolerated, particularly if the Police allow such development.

The PDP says, as a law-abiding Party, it will respect the order of the Police as it has always done, but hopes that such disposition will not be taken for granted by certain persons to be indecorous.

The Party therefore encourages the Police to put in place adequate machinery to monitor those that may flout the order under any guise.

Signed:

Jerry Needam

SA, on Media to

State PDP Chairman

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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Refutal: Malicious Mischief by PDP Rivers State Against Rep. Dakuku Peterside

Posted on February 4, 2014. Filed under: news, Politics | Tags: |

Refutal: Malicious Mischief by PDP Rivers State Against Rep. Dakuku Peterside

Hon Dakuku PetersideHon. Dakuku Peterside has refuted the deliberate falsehood and malicious mischief being circulated by the Rivers State Chapter of PDP to the effect that he blocked the clearance of Maj. Gen. Kenneth Minimah as Chief of Army Staff in the National Assembly adding that, nothing can be further from the truth.

In a statement made available to NF-Reports February 3rd, 2014, Hon. Peterside said, “This is patently cheap lies by the PDP to curry favour from their paymasters in Abuja that have consistently promoted division amongst people and elevated impunity to new heights”.

He explained that, “Common sense will tell any broad-minded person that I am one person out of 360 members of the House of Representatives that cannot, on my own, block the clearance of anybody in the National Assembly more so my constituent, friend and relative. My duty in the National Assembly is primarily lawmaking and representational. That duty of representation I owe primarily to my constituents including Gen. Mininmah whom I have related with over the years and have come to have great respect for as a gentleman, honest and hardworking patriot.  To make it more laughable and expose the ignorance of the PDP desperadoes, Gen Minimah and his colleagues have been cleared by the senate and house committee on Defence; therefore, I cannot understand where this story of blocking Gen Minimah’s clearance is coming from”.

“This further exposes the PDP Rivers State as a bunch of confused people who are desperate to drag decent people to join them in the mud they have pulled themselves in. I have had a solid relationship with Gen Kenneth Minimah for fifteen years running and our relationship can only wax stronger.  PDP owes me an apology. I urge all members of society to ignore them as they do not deserve any attention” the lawmaker concluded.

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