Archive for October, 2014

I’m in governorship race to win – Olejeme

Posted on October 30, 2014. Filed under: news | Tags: |

I’m in governorship race to win – Olejeme

 

Written by Fidel Njamanze

 

A governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ngozi Olejeme Saturday night tongue lashed those who believe that women cannot win governorship elections in Nigeria.

 

“Those who hold this view are in error” the aspirant said.

 

Olejeme who spoke in Abeokuta during the 25th anniversary of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) said she would cause a major upset in the political history of Nigeria.

 

Represented by the Director of Communications, Olejeme Campaign Organization, Mr. Henry Ebireri, Dr. Olejeme explained her mission in Delta politics “I’m not running for the highest office in Delta State to satisfy any inordinate ambition or make money. Deltans are very intelligent people. They know what is good for them. The traditional chiefs, the intellectuals, politicians, artistes, youth organizations and business people want me to be governor of the state. They are impressed by my modest achievements at the national level” she said.

 

Recalling her efforts at taking the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to greater heights, keeping youths off the streets and getting them positively engaged, Olejeme said she employed many Nigerians.

 

“They have sweet tales to tell”.

She promised to run an open government with accountability standards.

 

“I’ll not step on the toes of Deltans. I’ll fast track development in the oil and gas communities. I’ll embark on a large housing development for low income earners. I’ll create the enabling environment for investors within and outside to invest in Delta State in order to create more job opportunities for the people.

 

“I’ll improve water supply and distribution networks, boost the tourism sector, upgrade existing roads, and ensure that all roads in the state have adequate drainage system to aggressively check the menace of flooding and erosion

 

“I’ll meet the welfare and basic needs of the people. There will be social security for the aged, unemployed and disabled” she added.

 

NAWOJ recently appointed Dr. Olejeme as member, Board of Trustees based on her achievements, leadership capability and favourable disposition to women in Nigeria and abroad.

 

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Ebola: Nigeria to Conquer the World If APC Is Voted Into Power In 2015

Posted on October 23, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Ebola: Nigeria to Conquer the World If APC Is Voted Into Power In 2015

 

Nigeria will become a world beater in so short a time if the All Progressives Congress (APC) is voted into power during next year’s presidential election, the Rivers State Chapter of the party has said. It made the submission while reacting to the declaration of Nigeria as Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday.

 

“Monday, 21st October, 2014, will remain evergreen in the history of Nigeria as it was the day the World Health Organisation declared Nigeria Ebola-free and the American Broadcasting Corporation also declared Nigeria’s Ebola eradication effort as a model which the USA and other nations must emulate. Those of us in APC celebrate this feat since Lagos and Rivers, the two states that achieved this milestone, are APC States. This clearly points to where the hope lies as Nigerians prepare to vote for a new government next year. With what Lagos and Rivers states demonstrated in this regard, it simply means that with APC at the helm of affairs come 2015, Nigeria will surely be a world beater,” Rivers APC said in a statement issued Thursday in Port Harcourt.

 

The party in the statement signed by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, made it clear that in APC lies the hope and future of Nigeria, warning: “If we fail to take advantage of the 2015 elections to vote out the wicked and visionless PDP, we are doomed as a nation.”

 

Rivers APC said it was “overwhelmed with happiness”, heartily congratulating Governors Babatunde Fashola and Chibuike Amaechi of Lagos and Rivers States respectively for putting smiles and hope on the faces of Nigerians and the entire world through their robust and effective response to the Ebola challenge.

 

“We also congratulate all those that lost their lives in the fight against Ebola, particularly the doctors and other gallant medical staff, particularly in Lagos and Rivers States, who paid the supreme price in their determination to save the nation from catastrophe,” the party said.

 

It party commended the Government of USA for deciding to learn from the strategies adopted by the two APC states of Lagos and Rivers to eradicate Ebola from Nigeria.

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Olejeme is our candidate – Ndokwa PDP leaders

Posted on October 23, 2014. Filed under: news | Tags: |

Olejeme is our candidate – Ndokwa PDP leaders

Written by Fidel Njamanze

Peoples Democratic Party leaders in Ndokwa West Tuesday suppressed their differences and in one voice recommended Dr. Ngozi Olejeme as a successor to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.

They also praised the NSITF boss for her insights in running public and private organizations in the country, a statement signed by Mr Henry ebireri director, communications olejeme campaign organization disclosed.

“We have seen what you have done in Nigeria. We are happy with your achievements” the leaders said.

In a meeting with Dr. Olejeme in Kwale, the leaders agreed to work towards her victory in the governorship primaries.

“We will install in office as Uduaghan’s successor someone as loyal, as trustworthy and as dependable as Dr. Ngozi Olejeme” the leaders said.

Emphasizing her sterling performance in NSITF, her rising profile in the business world, the ease in which she makes friends across ethnic boundaries, her warm and amiable bearing, her generous spirit and passion for justice, the leaders said the experience Dr. Olejeme gained in the last eight years has placed her in a vantage position to occupy the Delta State governorship seat in 2015

“This is the person we have been waiting for. Your aspiration has been crowned by God. We will vote for you” the chairman of the party in the area, Engineer Dan Ossai said.

In her remarks at the meeting, Dr. Olejeme spoke assiduously of her determination to be the next governor of Delta State.

“God has used me to do a lot of work in Nigeria. He will take us to Government House, Asaba in 2015” she said.

She promised to run an all-inclusive, purpose driven; result oriented and people committed government.

“I will establish effective and efficient security machinery in the state,, complete ongoing projects, place education at the very centre of economic drive and development and ensure a Delta State with modern health infrastructure” she promised.

“I will provide social security for the aged and unemployed graduates in the state, give greater roles and participation to traditional rulers and create jobs for the youths” she added.

In related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders in Aniocha South Local Government Area Tuesday described Dr. Ngozi Olejeme as an achiever. They also vowed to rally round Dr. Olejeme and ensure her victory in the party’s governorship primaries in November, 2015.

“Dr. Ngozi Olejeme has performed in Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF and other institutions in the country. She should be allowed to continue her good work in Delta State” the leaders said.

In a meeting with Dr. Olejeme in Ogwashi Uku, headquarters of Aniocha South Local Government Area, the leaders also urged Deltans at home and abroad to join them in bringing Dr. Olejeme to power in 2015.

“Given the present reality and projections from that reality, the only aspirant to consider is Dr. Ngozi Olejeme. There is an enviable future for Delta State, a future worth looking forward to” the leaders said.

“You are bringing your wealth of experience to us. God will make you governor of the state. We want you to be our governor and you will definitely be” the leaders said.

Addressing the leaders, Dr. Olejeme said she had no alternative than to answer the call and join the race to enable her move the state to the next level.

“This is God’s project. God has mandated me to run this race. Come May 29, 2015, you will match to Government House, Asaba with me” she said.

Olejeme while imploring Aniocha South PDP delegates to cast their vote for her said her government would give the state a new direction and restore the people’s confidence and faith in the ability of the leadership to improve their lots.

“No more poverty in Delta State. Roads will be done. There will be electricity. Women will have something to do. The schools will be the best in Nigeria. Aged, needy and unemployed people will be happy. It will be better in 2015” she promised.

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Text of A Press Conference of the “Rivers Young Entrepreneurs Forum

Posted on October 23, 2014. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

Text of A Press Conference of the “Rivers Young Entrepreneurs Forum (Ryef)

By Amb. Rex David

Gentlemen of the Press,

We members of Rivers Young Entrepreneurs Forum (RYEF), as patriotic citizens have decided to participate fully in the politics of today. We have consulted widely and decided to endorse President Jonathan for a second term as president in 2015. We have also taken keen interest in Rivers State due to the dynamic nature of politics in the state, vis-a-vis the quest to avoid youth restiveness, which might build up if the wrong candidate is projected to run. We have however decided to endorse Prince Tonye Princewill as Governor of Rivers State in 2015. We also want to suggest the nomination of Prof. Don Baridam, who is one of the most resourceful Ogoni sons, as Running Mate to Prince Tonye Princewill.

We feel bold to state that the exercise leading to this findings and conclusion is born out of extensive consultations and tireless hard work by members of our team. We hereby present to you the

PDP WINNING TEAM

Prince Tonye Princewill: PDP Governorship Candidate

Prof. Don Baridam: Running Mate; PDP Deputy Governorship Candidate
Barr. Nyesom Wike: PDP Party Leader
This group which comprises of young entrepreneurs, cutting across all LGA’s in Rivers State, Non-Indigenes residing in Rivers state and candidates vying for various political positions in the state; acknowledges the gains of the transformation agenda of the Jonathan’s administration. These achievements have been felt in critical sectors of the economy such as power, aviation, oil and gas, education, agriculture, trade and investment, youth empowerment, health and tourism. We urge all the good people of Rivers state to join Nigerians all over the country to vote President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term, come 2015.

However considering the importance of Rivers State to the economy and political stability of Nigeria, We have decided to further assist our great party the PDP to produce the team that will bring a landslide victory in the forth coming general election.

 

Princewill Tonye Princewill: The background, political history and life style of the Prince, makes him stand out as the best candidate to fly the flag of PDP in Rivers State. The son of the Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom, HRM King (Prof) T.J.T. Princewill has over the years proved himself worth and his depth of experience in politics and political engineering is unparalleled and unassailable.

  1. Princewill has over time endeared himself to many people in the State. He has continued to support Mr. President publicly and has always put his ambition secondary to Mr. Presidents 2nd term re-election bid.
  2. He is a former governorship candidate and the only candidate in the PDP that has contested a gubernatorial election. He defeated Sgt. Awuse to become the governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress; AC in 2007 and later went ahead to slug it out with Omehia as the main opposition force in the state. This means he has the experience no other aspirant has.
  3. His political group, Princewill Political Associates (PPA), has followers across every ward in the state. Not followers for money, but passionate followers that believe in his ideas.
  4. We also believe his emergence as the candidate of PDP will cause a divide in APC, as many of the APC members from the defunct ACN are still loyalist and sympathizers of the Prince. It may interest you to know that the APC State chairman was the chairman of PPA; his SA on media was Tonye Princewill media director and so many more. This tells you, his emergence will cause massive defection of APC members to the PDP.
  5. Prince Tonye Princewill is from the Riverine area of the state, a region that has not produced a civilian governor and so his candidature is generally acceptable by Rivers People across the state for equity and justice. We hereby, want to urge you the journalists to do your findings for the interest of the state, as we are very sure you will come to the same conclusion we did.

Inclusion, Prince Tonye Princewill is a candidate with experience, a candidate with unmatched leadership quality, a candidate without any political office scandal to his name, a candidate more popular than people that have held and still holding political offices without any credibility to their name, a candidate that will defeat all arguments of zoning, a candidate that is the biggest threat to the Ameachi led APC in Rivers State. And above all a candidate that puts President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition far and above his own.

Prof. Don Baridam: The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt is a respected administrator in Rivers State. He can be remembered for his days as VC and effort in putting the university on the right track. His choice as the running mate to Tonye Princewill and Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP is the right step in the right direction. Don Baridam is a gentle man than has the goodwill and support of many of his people. The calculation of the politics of the state favors the Riverine area but the clamor for an Ogoni governor is one that must be considered. This is why the choice of an Ogoni man to fill in the number two seat of the party is necessary. Don Baridam unlike other aspirants from his area is calm, respected and accepted by the ordinary Ogoni man. Unlike his counterpart contesting from the APC, Don Baridam has more friends than enemies in Ogoni and he is seen as a more trust worthy person that will protect and project the Ogoni agenda better. And his candidature will produce a total commitment and support of the Riverian people for the Ogoni project in the next election after Prince Tonye Princewill has completed his tenure as Governor.

 

Barr. Nyesom Wike: The Former Minister of State for Education is widely acknowledged by majority of members of the PDP as the leader of the party in Rivers State. This is because of his role in ensuring that the PDP had a soft landing after Governor Ameachi tried to destroy the party. Even though it is rumored that he acted the script of the elders and leaders of the party at the national level for which much of the credit must go to the unforeseen powers behind him, we can’t take away the fact that he played his own part well. The rumor of his Guber aspiration has brought many issues that largely do not favor him and the party. It is uncontrovertibly known fact that the average market woman, teacher and settlers in the many rural areas would not even try to conceive the idea of another Ikwerre Governor to succeed Governor Ameachi, talk more of casting their vote for him. So it is only when the PDP has decided that it is no longer interested in taking back the state that it would make such a costly mistake. Such a blunder, God forbid, will amount to the PDP and presidency playing into the hands of Governor Ameachi and giving APC an easy victory in the state. And we know Mr. President and our National party leadership are too smart to make such a monumental political blunder.

However Barr. Wike is the best man to lead the campaign team of the PDP. His charisma and ability to mobilize people makes him the best man for the job. A combination of Wike’s GDI and Tonye’s PPA will be the master stroke of the party. A formular that will produce only one solution; VICTORY.

Considering Gov. Ameachi’s large popularity amongst the Ikwerre people, Wike can split the votes from the Ikwerre axis owing to his popularity especially in Port Harcourt. And lastly, Wike was Ameachi’s Campaign DG in 2011, so he has the requisite experience to lead the party’s campaign team to victory.

So, we call on our dear President, The National Leadership of the party, Elders and stakeholders of the party in Rivers State to consider our position and apply the almighty formula to produce the Winning Team.

Finally we the members of Rivers Young Entrepreneurs Forum and other affiliate groups of the PDP hereby pledge our total support and loyalty to the PDP and urge the good people of Rivers State to support President Goodluck Jonathan and Prince Tonye Princewill as President and Governor come 2015.

Thank you and God bless you.

Sign: Amb. Rex David
President; Rivers Young Entrepreneur Forum (RYEF)

Sign: Hon. Nana T. Barilee
Secretary; Rivers Young Entrepreneur Forum (RYEF)

 

 

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Uduaghan praises Asagba, Eze Emu, others

Posted on October 19, 2014. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: , , |

Written By Fidel Njamanze

 

Director General of Olejeme Campaign Organization, Mr. Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan Wednesday hailed the short listing of the Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Ngozi Olejeme for the 2015 Delta State governorship by the Anioma Congress.

 

He also praised the Asagba of Asaba, Prof Chike Edozien, Eze Emu of Emu, His Royal Majesty, Obuenwe Ekpechi Ulu, Obi of Ute- Okpu, His Royal Majesty, Obi Solomon Chukwuka and other Anioma traditional rulers, elders and youths for crowning Olejeme’s relentless efforts with their endorsement.

 

In a statement issued in Asaba Wednesday, Uduaghan described Dr. Olejeme’s endorsement by the Anioma Congress as a testimony of the recognition of her immense ability and contributions to both Delta North and the country. “There is no doubt that your life achievements, humility, sincerity of purpose and love for mankind has contributed immensely to your success as the leading Anioma governorship aspirant” he said.

 

“Dr. Olejeme is a very good choice. I have every confidence that she will be a great governor” he said.

 

Stressing that Dr. Olejeme has a plethora of all that a leader should have, Uduaghan said “Olejeme is overwhelmingly magnanimous”

 

“Dr. Olejeme possesses the ability, courage, the sincerity and the guiding philosophy to provide the right leadership for the betterment of the affairs of Delta State” he added.

 

 

In a related development, the former DELTA State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development, Mr. Raymos Guanah, Wednesday has accused some politicians and community leaders of hatching evil motives aimed at dividing Deltans, destroying the solidarity and possibly provoking political tension and crises in the state.

 

In a statement issued in Asaba Wednesday morning, Guanah described the views credited to the Acting President General of Urhobo Progress Union, Chief Joe Omene as a display of outright malice against Dr. Olejeme.

 

“Dr. Ngozi Olejeme is an    embodiment of respect, loyalty, honesty, progress, peace and prosperity in Delta State. She is the only aspirant in Delta State with the vision, goodwill, contacts and machinery to win the 2015 governorship election for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). She is also the most serious aspirant for the 2015 Delta State gubernatorial race and the only person who has a work plan” he said.

 

Guanah who is also the Deputy Director General, Olejeme Campaign Organization said the campaign organization is highly perturbed by the statements of some leaders and therefore condemn in strong terms words used in describing the preparation of Dr. Olejeme for the 2015 governorship election.

 

“With due respect to the Urhobo Nation, if the statement credited to Chief Joe Omene is true, then it is unfortunate. Dr. Omene’s views on the preparation of Dr. Ngozi Olejeme can never be a representation of the Urhobo Nation” he said.

 

“Whether taken literally or figuratively, it is obvious that he intends to expose Dr. Olejeme to ridicule, hatred and contempt by his actions” Guanah said.

 

Emphasizing that the UPU is a socio-cultural organization and not a political party, Guanah said “From the time of Mukoro Mowoe, the UPU has played a very vital role in bringing Urhobo together and uniting Nigerians.

 

Guanah, who also unfolded Olejeme’s political blue print, advised Chief Omene to be very careful about the kind of utterances he makes.

 

“Dr. Olejeme will focus on education, health, roads, water and agriculture. She will use her vast contacts and goodwill to attract resources for the benefit of the people. She will also encourage the private sector operators through financial and fiscal incentives to develop and locate productive ventures in the state”.

On her achievements, Guanah said Dr. Olejeme worked so hard to make life meaningful to Nigerians, particularly the good people of Delta State.

 

“She has gained respect around the country and among her peers” he added.

 

Meanwhile, the Olejeme Campaign Organization has announced that it has decided to reschedule the meeting with the state chairman of the party, originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 14, 2014.

 

A statement in Asaba signed by the Director of Communications, Olejeme Campaign Organization, Mr. Henry Ebireri said the Chairman of Nigeria Social Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Ngozi Olejeme would be in Asaba Wednesday to tell the Delta State Chairman of the party, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi and other members of the state executive committee about her ambition.

 

“The NSITF boss will also meet with party functionaries in Aniocha South, Aniocha North, Ndokwa West, Ndokwa East, Isoko North, Isoko South, Ughelli North, Warri North, Ehiope West, Sapele and Okpe” the statement said.

 

“The top PDP governorship aspirant is also expected to interact with members of the party from the 25 local government areas on Wednesday in Asaba” the statement added.

 

 

 

 

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Governor Amaechi’s incapability to enforce ban on street hawking

Posted on October 19, 2014. Filed under: Opinion | Tags: |

Governor Amaechi’s incapability to enforce ban on street hawking

 

By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s Rivers State is with about 90 percent of its residents living beneath poverty line. Doubtlessly, this could have necessitated the reason the state has been witnessing expansion in street hawking by its residents upon the ban to that effect some four years ago.

 

The hawkers were said to be those who could not afford to pay for stall. Conversely, unemployment in the state is skyrocketing per second, thereby making hawking a thing that cannot be discouraged no matter who is implementing laws to checkmate street trading.

 

The hawkers are petty traders that start their trade with little or no capital in the oil state, where a store costs as much as N15, 000 to N30, 000 per month. A potential tenant for a stall is mandated by the landlord to pay money in arrears for two years or more. This habit makes it uncomfortable for an average or financially poor resident to afford to pay for a shop.

 

Against the ban of street hawking in the state, the government has not provided for, sufficient market before forestalling hawking in the state. The population explosion in the state, occasioned by those who were once residing in the war-ravaged east-northern Nigeria but migrated to the state, has made hawking by most people inevitable.

 

In the attempt to prevent street trading in Rivers State, the then mortified Obio/Akpor council chairman, Prince Timothy Nsirim built and commissioned an international-like market with about 800 stalls in his Local Government Area, LGA, making him the only elected government officials to achieve such a feat since 2007 that Amaechi mounted the saddle as governor, having also served as Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly between the period of 1999-2007.

 

Law against street trading

In 2010, the Rivers State House of Assembly legislated against street trading. This was aimed mostly at stopping children of school age from trading during school hours. The Child Rights Act was cultivated in the state, consequently making it obligatory for every child of school age to be mandatorily enrolled in school.

 

Against the backdrop that many people had thought that street trading was providing job opportunities for most residents, the lawmakers hinged that it was dangerous to be trading along the roads as traders could be straightforwardly beaten down by moving vehicles.

 

The law which has since been unofficially relegated to the background by both the government and the traders, there was a belief by the violators that the harsh economic realities was it that did not permit them to keep to the law. The violation of the law, it is not only non-indigenes in the state that are culprits, the indigenes too, are involved.

 

Rampaging hawking in Oyigbo; for example

Street trading is predominant in most streets and towns in Rivers State. This practice is conspicuous along the Port Harcourt-Aba expressway, Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State. From Borokiri to Rumuokoro-Tank axis of the East West Road, the story is not different.

 

In Oyigbo, a conurbation of Rivers State, street trading is posing a precarious hazard as traders have taken most of the streets and major roads in the area for sampling of their wares. Those involved in this loathsome habit are not from the blues, but men and women, boys and girls. They use wheelbarrows and makeshift stalls to sample their items beside the roads and in the streets, before the glaring eyes of the law enforcement agents.

 

It used to be majorly Igbo people that were into this habit say about five years ago; but in the recent times, Hausas and Fulanis and Kanuris are taking the lead. These people, for example, occupy the Shell Location Road with wares like Watermelon, Yam, Onions, Carrots and so on. They have even made the Express Junction of the city their abode. They sample these items in their different wheelbarrows and, therefore, make the roads difficult to pass through by motorists and perambulators.

 

Riot by street hawkers

In 2010, when the Rivers State House of Assembly legislated against street trading, the hawkers in what was seen as drama, but a serious matter, turned unruly and vented their anger on the enforcers of the laws who were the officials of the State Ministry of Environment, particularly workers of Environmental Sanitation Authority and some policemen that were with them in making sure that the ban was truly enforced.

 

At the 82nd Division of Nigerian Army, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt, it was reportedly that three vehicles belonging to the State Environmental Sanitation Authority were destroyed by the union-less hawkers. They also sent a policeman to experience coma, by beating him to a pulp. The same fate befell the officials at Artillery.

 

Government reacts

The Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor then, Mr. Blessing Wikina said the action had long-established that hooligans costume themselves as hawkers to cause pandemonium in Port Harcourt.

 

He added that the assault by hawkers on the taskforce along Port Harcourt–Aba Expressway had exposed the reason government banned hawking; he reiterated that street trading remained prohibited and that anyone arrested would be prosecuted.

 

Government made arrests of about 32 street hawkers. Confirming this, the Divisional Police Officer of Elekahia Police Station Mr. West, as at the time, said the hawkers in his custody would be prosecuted.

 

Laxity in implementing the laws

It is the common mindset of residents that street hawkers are mainly criminals who disguise as street hawkers to perpetrate their criminal agenda. A source wondered that if they were not, it would not have been easy for them to gang up and take on officials meant to checkmate the ban.

 

Residents had thought that the beating of the officials would have brought to an end the issue of street trading in the state, but this is 2014 and the ability is growing in torrents than it was in 2010, when the ban was meted out against such trading.

 

Rather than carry out the laws, some indigenes resorted to saying that it was non-indigenes who were in the act of breaking the laws that banned street hawking, even though that everyone has the right to reside in any state of his or her choice. They forgot that the hawkers were against what they said were the hostile nature of the officials of the Ministry of Environment, whom they alleged were manhandling them, hence riot ensued.

 

Giving unemployment as reason for hawking

Many residents had since called for the review of the law banning street trading in the state with emphasis that the economic crunch in the state is tellingly. They did not end, they said that the reason many people take to hawking in the street was because of unemployment.

 

And there was no how these persons into hawking would have taken to stealing, they had said. Many students who were into street hawking said that they engaged in the trade, because there was hardly any advantageously employment anywhere.

 

The Rivers State Government led by Governor Chibuike Amaechi in September 2012 justified the ban on street trading in Port Harcourt and its environs, when difficult pressure was mounted on it by some residents.

 

Government explains the ban

In a joint press briefing by the Commissioners of Works and Transport, Mr. Victor Giadom and Hon. George Tolofari, the Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Semenitari reiterated that the ban was imposed due to the dangers associated with street hawking.

 

In Semenitari’s account, “There is no sane society that would allow its citizens to sell their wares along highways and in the streets, because traders are supposed to do their business in properly designated areas and not turn themselves into nuisance…

 

“Before the ban, street trading had become a complete menace, where streets and highways are littered with waste materials resulting from the activities of street traders… although some members of the public may not have known that beyond littering the streets and causing social nuisance some hawkers also carry arms and, so, have criminal capacity to rub unsuspecting motorists and members of the public.

 

“As a result of these reasons the State Government decided to end street trading in Port Harcourt for the safety of lives and property because even economically, it will be out of order for government to allow a group of persons do their business without paying tax to government, since a lot of them come from neighbouring States on daily basis and do their business, to go by the close of the day’s business.”

 

Officials shove hawker’s goods

What could have made the hawkers to confront the officials of the Ministry of Environment might not be unconnected with the allegation that the officials arrest the hawkers and would later shove their wares displayed on tables, break them and set them ablaze.

 

It was a support that the officials instead of respect the law and the fundamental human rights of the hawkers, would manhandle them.

 

The street traders always scamper for safety at sighting the sanitary officials who most times come in numbers, not minding the revelation by psychologists that hawking is identical with poverty. But these have belonged to history, as street hawkers have since gone back to the streets fully and, are now the lords of the manor.

 

Review street trading

Especially the young people who always run after moving vehicles, the government should provide gainfully job opportunities for them, said establishments. The government should note that most roads and streets in the state have been converted to make-shift markets by street traders, they added.

 

Connoisseurs had said that it behooves on Amaechi to retrospect that Section II (xx) and 35(i) of the Environmental Sanitation Authority Law of Rivers State (Cap 52, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999) requires the punishment for appealing in peddling goods on the roads.

 

According to the law, “It is a criminal offence, punishable with three months imprisonment, for any person to sell or offer for sale, any goods or other articles of trade, at traffic light junctions or in any other unauthorised places in Rivers State.”

 

A source added that the government requires making use of the “stick-and-carrot approach”, because “for any government to make a constructive scratch in the attitudinal modification of its people, it must be compact in putting in force its laws, while on condition that needed the prerequisites.”

 

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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Emulate Olejeme’s virtues, Nwaoboshi advises Ali, others

Posted on October 19, 2014. Filed under: Press Release |

Written By Fidel Njamanze

 

Delta State politicians who are desirous of becoming elected or appointed officials have been told to strive to embody the humility, idealism, pragmatism, visionary leadership, selflessness and hard work of Dr. Ngozi Olejeme in their political career.

 

The call was made by the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Delta Chapter, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi when Dr. Olejeme and her supporters visited the state secretariat of the party.

 

Nwaoboshi, who extolled the rare virtues of Olejeme as the most humble governorship aspirant in the state, advised politicians in the state not to go the way of Mrs. Marian Ali, wife of Ahmadu Ali, the erstwhile national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and her associates.

 

“Let me welcome Dr. Ngozi Olejeme to our state secretariat. I have three reasons of welcoming her. Firstly, Dr. Olejeme is a loyal party member. Secondly, she is a woman who has respect for manhood and humanity. She does not belong to those people that slap men and women. A slap on the state chairman is a slap on the PDP in Delta State. Thirdly, we are appreciative of her humility”

 

Nwaoboshi stated that Olejeme’s humble background and attitude found full expression in her approach to the party executive committee.

 

“This befitting edifice that you are seeing today was built with the contributions of leaders and supporters of the party. Today, even without prompting, you felt you cannot enter this secretariat without doing something. We want to thank you profusely for this wonderful presentation of the sum of N10million to furnish the secretariat. We will not disappoint you. We will do all the needful. When you come again, we will show you what we have done with the money” he said.

 

Noting that Dr. Olejeme assisted greatly in the positioning of Oshimili South PDP, Nwaoboshi stated that although in every sense of a loyal party member, Olejeme saw the need to strengthen the party at the ward, local government and state levels.

 

“Let me also thank you on behalf of Oshimili South. The chairman of Oshimili South told me that you rented the office and went further to give them a brand new bus. I want to thank you for that wonderful gesture”

 

He further praised Dr. Olejeme for respecting the leadership of the party. “We have respect for people who respect us. Since you have come to seek permission from me as the state chairman and members of the state executive to enter the state to canvass, we give you the permission. We give you the permission to canvass for vote. In your usual humility, ask for vote”

 

Nwaoboshi regretted that the greatest tragedy of our times is that “many politicians are noise makers”

 

He therefore urged her supporters to play politics of honesty and love.

 

“I can see many political warriors around you; people who can help Dr. Olejeme to win vote. They are not the people who make noise. Dr. Olejeme is my sister and you have to be honest to her. Follow her with all honesty and do what you know is right for her to win the 2015 governorship election”

 

 

Meanwhile, ahead of the 2015 general elections, the chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Ngozi Olejeme has described her visit to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat as one of the sure steps to Delta State Government House, saying that her coming is symbolic. “I am the first governorship aspirant to visit this new secretariat. I will definitely be the flag bearer of the party and also win the 2015 governorship election in the state” Dr. Olejeme said.

 

Dr. Olejeme who was in the state secretariat to inform the leaders of the party of her governorship ambition said “I just need the support of El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty to be governor of Delta State. “When Godswill Akpabio was vying for the governorship position of Akwa Ibom, the incumbent governor, Obong Victor Attah did not support him. Today, Akpabio is the governor of the state. We don’t need the support of anybody. We need the support of God”

 

She urged other governorship aspirants in the party to support her ambition.

“In Oshimili South, I found out that my ward members were holding meetings in the chairman’s house. They had no office. I changed the status of my ward. I give them N1million monthly to host meeting. I also give stipends. The rent of PDP secretariat in Oshimili South expired. They contacted me and I quickly paid the rent. At the state level, I did a lot for the people. I gave many unemployed graduates jobs. I also opened offices in Delta State. My brothers who are in the governorship race should see where the pendulum swings and support me to make Delta State great” she said.

 

Olejeme who also praised Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for contributing to the development of the state, promised to change the face of the state.

“Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has done very well. He has done a lot for us. I will carry on where he stops.  I will turn this state around. I will make Delta State a paradise on earth” he added.

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EEDC Offices: Leave Governor T.A. Orji Alone

Posted on October 15, 2014. Filed under: news | Tags: |

EEDC Offices: Leave Governor T.A. Orji Alone

 

By Madubuko Hart

 

To score a cheap political goal, the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), in some national papers has blatantly, blamed the government of Abia State for the outage of electricity caused by the sealing of the offices of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in the state. The opposition political party said that it was the state government that sealed the EEDC offices. The party wrote a lot of things perceived were intentionally meant to draw the indignation of public sympathy, where none should have existed.

But the party did not tell the reading masses that it was observable that based on the solemn assurances made by EEDC Board and management, His Excellency, Governor T.A. Orji generously intervened and bounded that BIR hang up the sealing of EEDC premises in the state to shun any adversity such legal scuffle may cause Abia citizens and other residents.

 

Putting the story straight, the government did not waste its time to correct that story by the party orchestrated to mislead the general public. The government extricated itself from the imbroglio of the sealing, hammering on the general public not to buy in the ugly cake of information that was dished out by the PPA for public consummation.

In a press briefing made available to the public, but especially to newsmen, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abia State, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo lamented that the government he serves does not know how a judicial matter has become part of the government affairs, saying, “the sealing of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) formerly Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) offices in the state was a judicial matter caused by the refusal of the EEDC to remit all Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes deducted from its workers salaries.

 

“The Abia State Board of Internal Revenue BIR, whose statutory responsibility it is to handle taxation matters in the state audited the EEDC and from 2006 till date the EEDC has a PAYE Tax liability of Six Hundred and Twenty Three Million Naira ( 623 Million) which has been duly communicated to all relevant authorities including the Federal Ministry of power.

 

“However, the judgment debt from 2006 to 2011 as allowed by the extant laws and established a tax liability is four hundred and seventeen million, (N417million) naira against the EEDC and it was for this that demand notices were served on the company which it refused to pay.”

 

The government through the commissioner had added that the company was taken to court by the State Board of Internal Revenue BIR. The public was meant to understand that this approach has been the fate of every other organizations that had a case with the BIR, of which was not the sole act of the Board, but that the High Court granted the Board an Order to seal (their) offices in making sure that the amount that was being sought for was recovered.

 

The opposition party known as the PPA did not tell the public when on the 23rd of November 2013, the EEDC (PHCN) chased away the officials of the BIR with the Army and Police when the latter braved up to seal the offices. The party did not tell the world that the company later came to a meeting with the BIR on the 5th of December 2013, where it was determined that the Board should grant the EEDC two weeks from the 5th of December 2013 to enable it to liaise with the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company for the payment of the outstanding liability. But did the EEDC (PHCN) comply with that directive?

 

According to the government: “The EEDC further asked for the 20th January 2014 as the date for the payment of the liability failure which the law will take its course, but, in an apparent display of bad faith, the EEDC went behind to file a suit in the High Court for Stay of Execution Order. The Board of Internal Revenue followed the EEDC to court and it was not until the 2nd of October 2014, when the court rejected the request of EEDC for a stay of execution of the earlier order that BIR moved to enforce the court order, hence the sealing of the EEDC on the 9th of October 2014.”

As clear as this matter is, it is obvious that the Abia State Government has no hand in whatever that has been going on with the BIR and the EEDC (PHCN), because it is clearly a legal matter which is being handled by the court for the two parties to resolve their differences. Even though that the BIR is an agency with the government, it’s reasonable to say that is a constitutional body with existing responsibilities and rights.

 

Like the government had admonished, “We would rather advice the EEDC to act as other responsible corporate citizen and pay its taxes or alternatively act in good faith and approach the BIR for amicable resolution of the issue in the interest of our citizens” instead of making it a political matter, which it is not.

Hart writes from Lagos

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Amaechi and the Jonathan Question: It appears Nigerians have been passive

Posted on October 14, 2014. Filed under: Opinion, Press Release | Tags: |

Amaechi and the Jonathan Question: It appears Nigerians have been passive

 

By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has been fighting a political battle with the presidency and its arsenal of political impostors that many Nigerians thought that by now he would have surrendered. But hardly does a warrior surrender in a battle that he finds to be just unless justice is achieved, no matter who may be in support or against.

 

A warrior does not mind losing his life in such a war, instead of allow himself to be cowed to accept peace and his voice muffled. For example, the Biafrans were apparently intimidated to a defeat in the 1967-1970 uncivil war that the federal might carried out against the peoples of the old Eastern Region. But forty-something years after the war ended in the battle bushes, Biafrans are still clamouring for justice and equity in the federal character on the map of the areas that were once known as the Republic of Biafra.

 

While many people who are enjoying the debris they get from the presidency thought that Amaechi was talking too much, like a warrior he is, he was credited to have criticized the presidency, as always, when recently he visited Degema Local Government Area of the state, where he urged the youth to involve more in sporting activities and developments. Some folks, especially those from the Ijaw nation, have since then brought Amaechi to the cleaners, for what they said was an affront on their son, Jonathan.

 

But to be frank, the media handlers of President Goodluck Jonathan and many others close to him and the PDP in Rivers State, have only shown that they are too desperate for political offices: Power. They forgot that their desperations and attacks against Amaechi obviously make Jonathan look like a tyrant over the undefined issue between Governor Amaechi and him, of which Jonathan might not be a tyrant.

 

One such person is Barr Nyesom Wike who happens to be the Minister of Education. Wike was once quoted as saying that all the borders and airports and seaports would be closed if Jonathan was announced the winner of the 2015 election in order to stop Amaechi from escaping from the country. Wike categorically made this comment, depicting that something that would not follow the rule of law was cooking against Amaechi in the presidency, therefore buttressing the axiom which says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

 

Nigerians saw how Governor Amaechi was insulted and molested like a no-body severally, when he flew his aircraft to some states in the country. The molestation that was meted out to him in Osun, during the state’s election, was one out of the many attempts by the ‘power from above’ to ridicule Amaechi, who is by the constitution was supposed to be enjoying the immunity, as enshrined in the constitution. One Gulak who served the president before he was disgracefully fired was also garrulous that Amaechi was always in the news for the wrong reasons only known to Gulak.

 

A keen observer would know that the reason these people have been calling for the head of Amaechi was because of his stoutly approach to unraveling issues that even the angels dread in the presidency. In June this year, his detractors saw it as a crime, when he called for the resistance of tyranny, which he said that was manifest in the country’s leadership. It was at the 3rd annual lecture of the Ogun State Correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, which held at the NUJ secretariat, Iwe Irohin, Abeokuta that he made the comment.

 

Hear Amaechi: “Leadership is an extremely important factor, if we are going to build a nation. Unless and until we have leaders with ability, integrity, commitment and vision, we cannot succeed as a country. We cannot succeed by leadership that is not functional…. It is in your hands to choose and to change the leadership. Nigerians must begin to insist that they deserve better than they are getting…. We believe that Nigeria of our dream is Nigeria with leaders who are not only consistent, transparent, but, also, passionate about our country….

 

“Can we say that the crop of leadership at various levels is passionate about us as a country? Can we say that the current crop of leadership at the federal level is transparent in their dealings? Can we say that the present crop of leadership at the federal is consistent with policies that will build the nation? I think that the answers to that is the reason why some of us left the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress…. Nigerians must say no to tyranny. Nigerians must say no to dictatorship. The people get the kind of leadership they deserve…. It appears that Nigerians have been docile. Nigerians should insist that they deserve more than they are getting”.

 

Amaechi was barely through with that lecture, before the echo of his speech had been amplified by those who thought they loved Jonathan and that he was their better-half than the rest Nigerians. Amaechi was made a demon by Jonathan’s political yesmen; Amaechi was demonized for sermonizing what many Nigerians knew were the truths: the South-South and South-East people for example were just being sentimental in supporting Jonathan to the detriment of the zones truthful and collective awareness; the zones were developed in other administrations than in Jonathan’s.

 

Take for instance; all the Jonathan’s electioneering promises to the South-South and South-East seem like a ruse today, as virtually every federal project is left unattended to. Talk of the East-West Road, Eleme/Onne Road, Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway and many others; the second Niger Bridge and a host of others. Let’s see one federal project that the Jonathan-led government has gotten right, before Amaechi is called names.

 

When on April 24 2014 that Amaechi repeated his obligation to the All Progressives Congress, APC, they said that he was against Jonathan; Amaechi’s traducers perhaps forgot that Amaechi was only expressing his fundamental rights to speech. His detractors didn’t see the glaring propaganda and blackmail credited to Amaechi’s former Chief of Staff and Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, saying that Amaechi was planning a comeback to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, through the ‘back door’, which was the reason Amaechi made the comment.

 

All that they saw was that ‘Amaechi has spoken against Jonathan’. And you ask whether Amaechi was just saying the truth or blackmailing Jonathan, just like we have read in the media of the PDP, saying that Amaechi speaks like a motor-park tout: all for his critiques on the Jonathan-led government. Those that are against Amaechi, because of the trickily sentiment they have for Jonathan, should understand that you don’t beat a child and at the same time, say that he or she should not cry.

 

Here is a man whose state’s oil wells in Kalabari and Etche were ceded to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Imo states by the Jonathan presidency, because of politics of animosity, which Amaechi has always ascribed as tyrannical on the part of the presidency. However, even though that truly Amaechi was not loyal to the president, should that have warranted this imbecilic approach against the Rivers State’s revenue generation means? The sad aspect is that the Kalabaris who now think that Jonathan is their brother are fighting Amaechi, leaving Jonathan a free man, whereas the later is the one they should be asking the many questions that they want Amaechi to provide answers to.  

 

Amaechi had told them that he was not returning to the PDP and had asked the people to check if Wike was okay for his talkative statement, which was that Amaechi was planning to return to the PDP. They wouldn’t allow the man to rest. But in the words of Amaechi: “I am not returning to the PDP. That man (Wike), they should check him whether he is okay. I have finished with the PDP…. Well, I had made a promise that if they returned the Kalabari oil wells I will return to the party; well that is a different thing. Let’s see that happen. The real thing is that there are issues that are fundamentally different between the APC, the PDP and myself.

 

“If I am progressive, I must be progressive and I must see it in the type of life I live, what I do and what I say and how I relate with the people, the type of governance. You can’t carry out a socialist programme like this free education, properly free education where children are given laptops, free uniforms, fed and sent home. There are so many of these things we run that are contrary to the ideology of PDP….”

 

These are happening, whereas in the media, we read from those in the PDP fighting Amaechi, as if ‘he is finished for his checks of Jonathan’, when at the back they go to beg of Amaechi to join the PDP. And Amaechi would say: “Beyond the oil wells, I have told them, they have approached me. If they want, I will call the names of those that approached me, but that is not an issue. There are issues that are fundamentally different. If I am a progressive, it must be seen in the type of life I live, in what I do, how I relate with people and the type of governance.

 

“I said people should ignore him (Wike). Are you sure that if I tell the PDP that I am coming back in 10 days, they will not send a dance party here? One problem with leadership in Nigeria is that when you are a president, a governor or a minister, what you say must be factual. You cannot be part of gossip. So, that young man (Wike), who claims to be Minister of State for Education, who does not know what it means to be a minister, is saying I am begging to come back to the PDP. What is the PDP? I beg you, please, do not ever ask me question about that young man (Wike), because I will not answer you”.

 

It is laughable that the likes of Wike want Amaechi to exhibit total loyalty to Jonathan, whereas they do not want to show same to Amaechi, being their state governor. Notwithstanding, it behooves on every intelligent person to support against any imposition of governorship aspirant by the presidency in Rivers State against the will of the Rivers masses. This is because according to a statement made available by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Amaechi, Mr. David Iyofor, partly said, “The people of Rivers State will strongly and bravely resist any attempt by anyone or institutions, including the presidency, to unconstitutionally install the preferred PDP aspirant as Governor of the State, now or in the 2015 election.

 

“There is no provision in the Nigerian Constitution and laws for the ‘installation’ of a preferred aspirant as governor of a state by the presidency. What our laws prescribe is a free and fair election that must be devoid of police and security forces coercion, harassment and intimidation of voters.

 

“Rivers voters must be allowed to and will freely choose and elect their governor in the 2015 elections. It is their inalienable democratic right that they will not and will never surrender to anyone or institution, including The Presidency.

 

“We must warn that the looming danger ahead for our polity and our country is indeed ominous, if this noxious script is acted out. This is an avoidable crisis that must be avoided by all parties mentioned in the reports”.

 

Who doubts Amaechi when he talks that a tyrant resides in Aso Rock?

 

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Tel: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

 

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