Archive for December, 2016

CNPP Demands Immediate, Unconditional Release of Ikenga by DSS

Posted on December 24, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

CNPP Demands Immediate, Unconditional Release of Ikenga by DSS

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of a youth activist and the National President of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Mr.  Ikenga Ugochinyere who was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Ugochinyere was arrested and his office broken into by sledge hammer-wielding DSS operatives, who stormed his private office at about 2a.m. in the Garki area of Abuja.

The CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said “it is disturbing that the DSS has made its Gestapo style operation a routine modus operandi since the arrest of judicial officers, even when it is unnecessary.

“The DSS should be reminded that Nigeria is still under a civil rule and in a democracy, and not a military junta, where citizens are intimidated and harassed at will by agents of government.

“From available information, at no time was the young, an enterprising youth activist, decline any invitation by the service to warrant his arrest at the wee hours of the night”, the CNPP said.

The CNPP, according to the statement, “is reminding Nigerians that this was the style of President Muhammadu Buhari government in the 80s as a military Head of State.

“We therefore wonder if this is an extension of that military regime where citizens are whisked away at will.

“What Nigerians should know is that unless the appetite the government’s agent of coercion is tamed, it will derail Nigeria’s democracy.

“While we call on the international community and lovers of democracy to take note of the anti-democratic tendencies of this administration, we demand for the immediate and unconditional release of Ikenga, who is being arrested for the second time this year.

“He was arrested in May this year and detained by DSS for one month and later released without any charge till date. This act is condemnable, an act of intimidation and we condemn it in its entirety”, the CNPP stated.

 

 

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Ebonyi: Umahi Lays Foundation for Memorable Christmas And New Year

Posted on December 23, 2016. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

“Positive shock that awaits those coming back home this season: They will encounter the amazing revolution taking place in Ebonyi. They will be shocked that the flyovers they see in other big cities in Nigeria are now very visible in our state. They will be shocked that most of the headquarters of our local government areas are now fully electrified, even as street lights are now part of life in Ebonyi State. They will be shocked by the beauty and peace in the state as the governor has ensured that no criminal activity is witnessed during this season. They will be shocked by the quality of roundabouts in the state. They will not help but admire the classy and new-look Government House Gate is now wearing. They will be shocked by the quality of roads that litter all our local government areas. They will be shocked that their elders and parents are well-taken care of by the government of Ebonyi State. They will be so shocked that going back to these other towns may no longer be a wise decision.”

Ebonyi: Umahi Lays Foundation for Memorable Christmas And New Year 

By Monica Ada C. Eze

Prelude

gov-dave-umahiLet me start this treatise on how Ebonyians are remembered so specially during this season by quoting Kamil Ali, who stated: “As we enter the Season of Goodwill – Feel the warm glow in your heart by lighting up a smile on someone’s face.” And according to Engr. Dave Umahi the indefatigable Governor of Ebonyi State, “Love is in the air as we celebrate the Prince of love and peace embodied in the personality of Christ Jesus”

Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi, the Governor of Ebonyi State, South-East of Nigeria, was a very successful businessman before he ventured into politics and has all the good things to make one comfortable, but his desire to make a difference in the politics of his state influenced him to contest the highest political office in the state and, as God would have it, he succeeded through what is commonly defined in Ebonyi as divine mandate. He is popularly known by his chieftaincy title, Akubaraaoha (wealth that touches the lives of the multitude), because of his benevolence and philanthropy through which he has awarded thousands of scholarship to indigent students of Ebonyi State and alleviated others in other ventures.

Based on this, it looks as if Brian Tracy was foreseeing what is currently happening in Ebonyi State through the incumbent governor, Engr. Umahi, when he stated: “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’” To strengthen the position of Tracy, John Bunyan on the other hand stated: “You have not lived today, until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” All these leader’s positions tally with Engr Dave Umahi’s vision and mission for Ebonyi State when he stated, “Our mission is to enhance the welfare of our people, and empower all Ebonyians to be self-reliant, through the compassionate delivery of transparent and God-fearing governance, based on integrity and dignity.”

Aim

This article is not aimed at writing generally about the philanthropic acts of Governor Umahi because doing that is to write a book but, rather, this attempt is to expose to the entire world recent benevolence acts of the governor towards Ebonyi people; in making their Christmas and New Year celebrations not only memorable, but events they will live to remember for a long time.

Peace in Ebonyi

The governor, in his principle that if there is no peace meaningful development will not only be elusive but developments earlier achieved will be destroyed, have reiterated that trouble-makers should look for other states to relocate.

Setting the pace in sustaining peace in Ebonyi, thereby making the state conducive for a peaceful celebration, Chief Umahi, said he would deal decisive with any individual or group of persons that attempt to re-ignite the Ezza-Ezillo crisis that has claimed more than 200 lives, and property worth millions of naira destroyed.

The governor’s statement is coming on the heels of alleged security report that some youths in the area were perfecting plans to organise a rally to remember their brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident.

The governor said that he is still committed to ensure that the peace accord signed by Ezilo and Ezza-Ezilo people, which brought to an end the protracted communal clash, is not violated by any individual no matter how highly placed.

The governor stated this at a thanksgiving service organised by the Ebonyi State Government, to appreciate God for his benevolence on the people, at the Government House Chapel, Abakaliki, on 19thDecember, 2016.

His words: “I stand on the altar of God to say that anybody that wants to ignite crisis in Ezza-Ezillo, I will crush the person. I have directed that the people that organised or wanted to organise a rally in honour of their brothers and sisters in the unfortunate incident should be made available to me. They will spend the Christmas in cell. I must be emphatic, there is nothing to remember.”

Governor Umahi said the thanksgiving was to appreciate God for the settlement of the crisis and the peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in the state, pointing out that it was responsible for the level of infrastructural and social development so far recorded by his administration.

Umahi slashes Ebonyi varsity student’s tuition

To make the students feel the benevolence of the Ebonyi State Government under the able leadership of Engr. David Umahi; the Governor out of his magnanimity directed for the reduction of the fees of the state university students by  N10,000  thereby bringing to an end the intractable agitation by students  for tuition slashing. Recall that tuition was increased by former Governor Martin Elechi,  a development that led to  protests  by the students.

This reduction was in fulfilment of Umahi pledge during his campaign when he assured that he would reduce the fees if supported to win 2015 governorship election.

The governor, who announced the reduction during an interactive forum with the management and staff of the university at the permanent site, Ezzamgbo, explained that the reduction which would take effect from next year was for both students of Ebonyi origin and non-Ebonyians.

Umahi, who had while making his remarks, noted that the reduction was necessary because students of the university paid almost the highest fees in the South- East and South-South, explained that the slash was to cushion the suffering of the students and their parents. He however enjoined the students to avoid cultism and criminal tendencies in order to continue to enjoy the tuition reduction. Umahi slashes Ebonyi varsity student’s tuition.

The governor had while announcing 3,000 bags of rice and N10 million for the students of the university as their Christmas gifts, over heard them    chanting,”reduce our fees, reduce our fees.” He also donated two buses to the Students Union Government for easy transportation of students to lectures. Before then, he announced the donation of rice each to all staff of the university with N5m to be shared by them for the Yuletide.He he told the students to continue to partner with his government.

Umahi approved all promotions of the university staff which had been kept on hold for years and gave the university authorities N100m loan for agricultural activities.  The declaration caused a wide jubilation among the students and staff who sang and thanked  the governor for his largesse.

Umahi also advised that for any student to graduate from the Department of Agriculture,he/she should have at least one hectare of farm.

The Acting Vice Chancellor of the University,Prof. Francis Idike who commended the governor for gazetting the university staff and bringing commendable changes to the system. He assured the preparedness of the university community to toeing the vision and mission of his administration.

Yuletide: 13th Month Salary Bonus

To give Ebonyians a surprise Christmas package, Governor Umahi has not only approved to pay extra one month salary bonus, otherwise called 13th month to workers under the state employment in the spirit of Christmas celebration, but has paid and distributed bags of rice and tubers of yam to each of staff.

He approved and directed that junior workers would receive 100 per cent bonus, whereas senior ones would be paid 50 per cent of whatever they receive monthly, boasting that his administration was neither owing workers salaries nor pensions. He disclosed his administration’s plan to begin immediate payment of gratuity arrears owed by both local and state governments since 1993, amounting to N8 billion.

The governor, who expressed dismay that civil servants found it difficult to pay their retired colleagues their pensions but would want to be paid when they retired, noted that he would begin payment of gratuities this December, with the families of retirees who had already died.

He said: “We are not owing anybody pension in Ebonyi State. Gratuity is owed since 1993, and gratuity for both local and state governments is over N8 billion, but the funny thing is that when you seat as a civil servant, you refuse to pay others their gratuities, and when you now leave, you start insisting, we should pay gratuity.

“So, for those we have owed gratuity for a very long time; we are expecting a miracle. What we want to do for our brothers and sisters that were not paid gratuities before their death: we intend to look at their case and see how we can pay off their gratuities through their families. We hope to do it this December.

“We also want to pay everyone that has retired 10 per cent of whatever we owe him/her in the name of pension and other allowances.”

Christmas largesse for former Lawmakers from the State, members of NUJ, NUT, Federal Workers, Political Office Holders, University Staff, Others

Ebonyi State is truly in a celebration mood as Governor Umahi goes about distributing love and touching the lives of every segments of Ebonyi State. No citizen from Ebonyi State or residents from other States will say that the Governor has not reached him or her one way or the other during this season. Be it former Lawmakers from the State, be it Federal Workers working in various organisations in the State or be it members of Nigeria UNION OF Teachers (NUT) or members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) everybody have something from the Governor to celebrate Christmas.

Apart from the largesse to civil servants, all the political office-holders, including the NWC of PDP, senior technical assistants and technical assistants have been granted funds to celebrate their Christmas and New Year festivities, including bags of rice and tubers of yam. Never in the history of Ebonyi State has our people been so remembered by their governor.

Uplifting Women Petty Traders

Women like me, and other appointees, are given place of honour and well-respected and regarded, but let me state that it is only the highly-placed women that are regarded. But even women, who under normal circumstances would not be privileged to get near the seat of power, are today given equal opportunities as any other citizen of the state. In this regard, Umahi has assisted Ebonyians, mostly women doing petty business (not hawkers) in Lagos with N140 million, which was shared N10 million per local government, to enhance their business ventures.

Umahi extends empowerment scheme to wives of policemen

The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr.  David Nweze Umahi, has extended his administration’s empowerment programme to police officers wives.in the state. He announced this during Christmas party organized for the officers and men of the state command in Abakaliki.  Engr. Umahi, who noted that government would not ask police officers on duty to join in his rice cultivation programme, said their wives should key into his women empowerment scheme in order to reduce over dependence on the salaries of their husbands.

“There is no way we can ask   police officers on duty to come and cultivate rice or go and do training for empowerment  but we offer to partner  their wives,” the governor said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Emma Anya, on Tuesday. He added, “Your wives can actually hold your homes. They can make up for the differences in your wages if they   engage in our empowerment programme.  We  can agree on what and what your wives can   be doing so  that we can support them;  so that at the end of the day, they  can be one of the pillars of your respective homes,  This, I believe will reduce financial challenges,    friction  and tension in your homes. Umahi, who said the visit/party for the   officers and men    was to celebrate the Yuletide with them, lauded them for their commitment to combating crimes in the state. He explained that his administration’s provision of social amenities for them in their barracks was because of their efforts in sustaining peace in the state.

He added, “I want to appeal to the Commissioner of Police to call the herdsmen for a meeting. There are so many cases of herdsmen. You’ve done extremely well and I have told the police headquarters of how you have been trying to solve the problem of herdsmen in the state.   But it is like they are reneging on the agreement we made in this place and so    we have to call them back for us to review the agreement.”

The governor, who noted that the living environment of the policemen was not too healthy, immediately approved the release of fund for the relocation of septic tanks in the barracks.

Apart from ordering removal and replacement of windows of their apartments, Umahi directed that the barracks should be decorated to reflect the mood of the season.

He also donated bags of rice and tubers of yam to the officers and men.

Earlier, the State Police Commissioner, Mrs Peace. Ibekwe- Abdallah, had  said that Governor Umahi had been of great support to the  command  as he had  reconstructed the  internal roads in the barracks and provided  street light  and water  for the officers and men.

She eulogised the governor for providing enabling environment for the police in the state to perform their constitutional responsibility of checking crimes.

Early Payment of Civil Servants’ Salaries

While several states in the federation are finding it difficult to pay their staff salaries at this recession period, Umahi has directed that the salaries of staff of Ebonyi State be paid by the 15th of every month, and in order to motivate and empower its civil servants, the governor has also directed that the salaries be increased by five per cent. Based on this, Mr Leonard Nkah, the President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ebonyi chapter, commended Governor Umahi for approving 5 per cent pay-rise for workers, adding that by the action, Umahi had proved to be a listening governor.

Governor Umahi announced the five per cent increase in workers’ salaries when he addressed the people on Saturday, at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, to mark the country’s 56th Independence Day anniversary.

The state NULGE president expressed optimism that, “as a listening governor, Umahi would continue to adjust workers’ salaries upwards periodically.” Nkah also appealed to the governor to direct the relevant authorities to comply with the governor’s directive, by paying local government workers by the 15th of every month.

Free Transpiration of Home-bound Ebonyians

In demonstration of the selfless nature of his administration, the governor has directed the transportation of all Ebonyians in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Nnewi, Onitstha and other big towns in Nigeria where they reside back home to the state capital, Abakaliki, for the 2016 festivities. Martin Luther King Jr,, may have had Umahi at the back of his mind when he stated: “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Throwing more light in this regard, the great Indian leader of all times, Mahatma Gandhi, said: “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”  Umahi’s benevolence and his love for his people will forever speak for him throughout his life.

Early Payment of Civil Servants’ Salaries

While several states in the federation are finding it difficult to pay their staff salaries at this recession period, Umahi has directed that the salaries of staff of Ebonyi State be paid by the 15th of every month, and in order to motivate and empower its civil servants, the governor has also directed that the salaries be increased by five per cent. Based on this, Mr Leonard Nkah, the President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ebonyi chapter, commended Governor Umahi for approving 5 per cent pay-rise for workers, adding that by the action, Umahi had proved to be a listening governor.

Governor Umahi announced the five per cent increase in workers’ salaries when he addressed the people on Saturday, at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, to mark the country’s 56th Independence Day anniversary.

The state NULGE president expressed optimism that, “as a listening governor, Umahi would continue to adjust workers’ salaries upwards periodically.” Nkah also appealed to the governor to direct the relevant authorities to comply with the governor’s directive, by paying local government workers by the 15th of every month.

Positive shock that awaits those coming back home this season: 

They will encounter the amazing revolution taking place in Ebonyi. They will be shocked that the flyovers they see in other big cities in Nigeria are now very visible in our State. They will be shocked that most of the headquarters of our local government areas are now fully electrified, even as street lights are now part of life in Ebonyi State. They will be shocked by the beauty and peace in the state as the governor has ensured that no criminal activity is witnessed during this season. They will be shocked by the quality of roundabouts in the state. They will not help but admire the classy and new-look Government House Gate is now wearing. They will be shocked by the quality of roads that litter all our local government areas. They will be shocked that their elders and parents are well-taken care of by the government of Ebonyi State. They will be so shocked that going back to these other towns may no longer be a wise decision.

Conclusion

I will conclude this attempt by quoting Eleanor Roosevelt who stated: “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?” and Abraham lincoln,who said that, “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”

Finally, to Lord Bloody Soul, “A piece of benevolence, a shard of good will is sometimes all that is needed to raise a truly loyal army.”

Governor Dave Nweze Umahi, you have through your benevolence, love, compassion and commitment to your people raised truly a loyal army that will ever be there for you to crush and conquer the world for you.

Merry Christmas to my leader and uncle!

Monica Ada Chidinma Eze is Technical Assistant (TA) on Media to Governor Dave Nweze Umahi and can be reached on dunaebonyitransformation001@gmail.com /quintrelking@gmail.com

 

 

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Gen. Boroh makes a case for repentant Militants

Posted on December 16, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

…… Tasks NIMASA on engagement of 1325 skilled Ex Agitators

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd) has stepped up his resolve to finding a lasting solution to the restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

Focusing on the Training, Engagement and Reintegration of ‎the 30000 Ex Agitators is one major strategy the amnesty office is using to secure peace and stability in the region.

On Tuesday 13th December 2016, Gen Boroh and a small delegation paid a courtesy call on the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, in the National Headquarters of the Agency in Lagos. Top on the agenda was
the proposed partnership of the both agencies.

‎Gen. Boroh, in his remarks, called for collaborative efforts in the resettlement and reintegration of the ex-agitators in the Niger Delta Region, noting that it would foster the growth and development of the economy.

He also highlighted that the Amnesty Office has trained ‎1325 Ex Agitators in various Maritime courses, and pleaded that NIMASA as a brother agency, take up the responsibility of engaging these skilled youths as a means of resolving the unrest in the Niger Delta
.
In his words “Both our agencies have a similar responsibility of ensuring stability in the Niger Delta, especially in the water ways, where most of these boys reside. We have invested a lot in training these boys, and ask that NIMASA come to our aid by engaging the few, skilled in Maritime related fields”

In his response, the NIMASA DG, Dakuku Peterside, commended Gen Boroh for his apolitical approach to handling the activities of the Amnesty Office. He acknowledged the need for synergy amongst the two agencies and committed to a well organised partnership between the two agencies.
.
‎Peterside also said that the agency would set up a special desk to look at the young men and women in the amnesty programme.

He said the special desk would be set up with a view to creating opportunities for them to apply the skills they acquired in the maritime industry.

 

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The Movie 76’, Sweeps 14 AMVCA Nominations!!!

Posted on December 15, 2016. Filed under: Arts and Entertainment |

The Movie 76’, Sweeps 14 AMVCA Nominations!!!

movie-76The Izu Ojukwu film 76 has again stunned the film world. Following its huge opening in the box office and after sweeping the top awards at the African film festival, the period drama 76 has reminded movie goers why it was so well received by international studios and cinema goers the world over.

A statement by Wabiye Idoniboye-Obu Personal Assistant on Media and Publicity to Prince Tonye Princewill today said, “At the nominee dinner of the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards for 2017, it swept the board with an all time record number of nominations in 14 categories. All this in a year that has seen the bar in African film raised to what is quite clearly, international standards. The 14 nominations were in the following categories:”

  1. Best Musical Score
  2. Best Cinematographer
  3. Best Writer
  4. Best lighting direction
  5. Best Makeup
  6. Best Costume design
  7. Best Actor in a lead role
  8. Best Actress in a lead role
  9. Best Film (West Africa)
  10. Best Art Director
  11. Best Sound
  12. Best Picture Editor
  13. Best Director
  14. Best Overall Film.

Reacting to the nominations, the Executive Producer, Tonye T.J.T Princewill expressed pleasant surprise at the sheer number of nominations the movie received, especially in light of the quality of films that were on offer, but was quick to highlight that the scope of nominations was a testimony to the strength of the team behind 76 and their sheer commitment in their different departments.

“I am happy for the team, they worked so hard and sacrificed so much to take their art to another level. Tonight is for them. I hope the public appreciate their work too and do them the honour of going to the Africa Magic website to vote for all of them. While doing that, my co-Executive Producer, Adonijah Owiriwa and I would love for you to vote for us too.”

76 is in cinemas nationwide across Nigeria. Next stop is Accra, then the rest of Africa before the rest of the world. Catch it now!!

Find out more at

www.76themovie.com

 

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Gracious Victory Speech By Senator- Elect Of Rivers South East Senatorial District, Magnus Ngei Abe

Posted on December 12, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

 

Gracious Victory Speech By Senator- Elect Of Rivers South East Senatorial District, Magnus Ngei Abe

First is to say that this has been a titanic struggle; it has been a very difficult two years for Rivers people and for all of us.

My victory in this election is a reward for faithfulness. I have been faithful to my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).  I have been faithful to my people, the people of the Rivers South East Senatorial District and I have been faithful to my leaders and I think God in his infinite mercies has rewarded me with this unprecedented victory. There is no victor, no vanquish.

I want to thank my friend and brother, Distinguished Senator Olaka Nwogu for his very kind and peaceful words, which he has expressed to the people of this state.

I also want to use this opportunity to extend a hand of friendship to the executive Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike and to say to him that he had promised that there was nothing personal in this contest and he has said that if I win he will congratulate me. The only barometer for measuring success in an election in this country is the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the commission has declared me the winner, I want to call on the governor to keep his words and send me his letter and words of congratulation because I have won.

I want to also say that Rivers State has suffered enough and that it is  time for us to bring this contest to an end.

I want to thank my leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, my wife, my family and most importantly, the people of Rivers South East Senatorial District. You have spoken and you have spoken loud and clear. We should respect your views. We should work together to make this district a better place for Nigerians to live.

I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for their kind words, friendship and support and I look forward to joining them in the red chamber as soon as possible.

Thank you and God bless.

Senator Magnus Ngei Abe

Senator – Elect, Rivers South East Senatorial District
December 11, 2016

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£6m Down The Drain: Many Lies Buhari Has Told On His Ear Infection

Posted on December 12, 2016. Filed under: Opinion |

£6m Down The Drain: Many Lies Buhari Has Told On His Ear Infection
 
By Odimegwu Onwumere
 
Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to launder his paymaster’s image and perhaps save his job, said on September 19, 2016 that Mr. President spent about £50,000 as operating cost for his ear treatment in London as against £6m Prof. Farooq Kperogi at Bayero University Kano had quoted a national paper in a commentary as the cost of Buhari’s trip to London for the ear treatment.
 
“The disclosure on Prof. Farooq Kperogi’s wall that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ear treatment in the United Kingdom cost a whopping £6m must have shocked many of the respected scholar’s followers.
 
“I’m prepared to share documents with Farooq, one of the brightest ever produced from the Bayero University Kano that the whole treatment, including a follow-up visit by a specialist to Nigeria didn’t cost £50,000,” said the embattled Shehu.
 
Checks At The Presidency Had Claimed The Trip Cost £6m, Not £50, 000
Checks revealed that after Shehu made the claim, Kperogi put the records straight in a public presentation on September 24, stating as follows:
 
#1. “Checks at the presidency claimed that, the cost of the trip which includes aviation fuel, accommodation, allowances for aides and medical treatment amounts to about £6 million.” (Vanguard).
 
#2. What government needs to do is go beyond issuing a glib denial; it should bring authentic, verifiable documentary evidence that shows exactly how much was spent during the 14-day trip to London when Buhari’s ear was treated. How many aircraft in the presidential fleet were taken to London? How much did it cost to fuel them?
 
 
#3. What was the landing cost for keeping them in London for 14 days? How many aides and government officials went to London with the president? How much did their per diem (what we call “estacodes” in Nigeria) cost the national treasury? What was the cost of accommodating and feeding the coterie of aides and government officials that followed the president to London? We already know, through Mallam Garba, that the president’s medical bill was about 50,000 pounds.
 
#4. From my own informal observation, when you calculate the cost of the trip-fueling of the aircraft in the presidential fleet, per diem for aides and other government officials, etc. for two weeks – there is no way on earth that it wouldn’t add up to a few million pounds. No way. Now, note that Vanguard claimed to have made “checks of £6m” at the presidency, and nobody from the presidency denied it – for more than three months after the fact!
 
 
#5. But, most importantly, some people assume that just because the presidency has denied the allegation, it must be false. That’s unbelievably shallow and credulous. First, Mallam Garba Shehu’s statement (of £50, 000) merely told us the medical bill Buhari incurred for his ear treatment. It said nothing about the cost of the entire trip. Never mind that on June 8, 2016, Femi Adesina actually said “The President did not go to London for treatment.” Now we are told he spent “less than £50,000” for as his medical bill for ear treatment.
 
First Lies Told By Buhari About His Ear Infection
Mr. President’s aides started defending him with lies when early this year, Nigerians clamoured that he had ear impairment known in the medical term as “Meniere’s Disease’’.
 
Within the period instead of the mystified Buhari would accept his ear infection reality, he rather confined himself to the State House and canceled three official occasions in which he was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
 
Osibanjo represented Buhari in Papua New Guinea where the 8th Summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States held. Also, at the 48th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which held in Dakar, Senegal, Buhari was represented by Osibanjo. Buhari also canceled his trip to Lagos State to launch some projects accomplished by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state.
 
Later, on June 5, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, told Nigerians that the president would on that day, proceed on a 10‎-day leave, which he would spend in London.
 
“During the holiday, he will see an E.N.T. specialist ‎for a persistent ear infection,” he said, explaining: “The president was examined by his Personal Physician and an E.N.T. Specialist in Abuja and was treated. Both Nigerian doctors recommended further evaluation purely as a precaution.”
 
Needless Medical Trip Abroad
When the All Progressives Congress (APC) produced Buhari as president in the 2015 presidential election, the party accused the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of squandering the country’s resources in overseas treatment of its stakeholders. But the APC sent shame to the winds and sent Buhari on abroad medical trip, something the APC had used against the PDP.
 
Instantaneously that Buhari confirmed his ear problem as a reality and was set to travel overseas, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, Vice President, Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) and former President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), told the media that the trip was a shame on the nation (despite the presence of over 250 ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists in the country and a National Ear Centre in Kaduna State), given that Enabulele had undergone surgical operation for his ear infection in Nigeria, this year, and it was successful.  
 
“I am very constrained to state that this foreign medical trip flies in the face of the federal government’s earlier declaration of her resolve to halt the embarrassing phenomenon of outward medical tourism, which by the end of the year 2013, has led to a humongous capital flight of about $1 billion, particularly from expenses incurred by political and public office holders and their accompanying aides, whose foreign medical trips, most of which are unnecessary, were financed with tax payers’ resources,” Enabulele contended in an open letter to the president.
 
The medical expert gave an instance why Buhari should have treated himself in Nigeria, saying, “If the former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, could patronize Nigerian-trained medical experts and medical facilities here in Nigeria when he unfortunately suffered a fractured femur following a road traffic accident in 2013, I see no reason why in 2016, Mr. President could not have stayed back in Nigeria to attend to his ear infection.”
 
Nigerian doctors had recommended extra assessment of Mr. President’s ailment simply as a precaution, but did not recommend foreign trip. “Just for an ear infection Nigeria’s president travels all the way to London to get expert treatment and a second opinion. Shame on Nigeria! And this ear infection explains all the loud cries and groans of the common people suffering from their day to day challenges,” said a public affairs commentator.
 
Conclusion: Buhari Would’ve Stayed Back In Nigeria; Claim He Spent £50,000m as False
According to media reports, “The medical expert claimed that most public and political office holders who seek foreign medical care are treated by Nigerian-trained doctors, particularly in the United Kingdom, which has over 3000 Nigerian-trained medical doctors, and the United States of America, with over 5000.
 
“Most of these foreign-based doctors, Mr. Enabulele added, relocated abroad because of the government’s repeated failure to address the various factors that make the local environment difficult to work in.” Adding, Dr. Enabulele said that if he was in the Buhari aides’ shoes, he would have advised Mr. President to stay back in Nigeria and explore any of the following options.
 
  1. Urgently invite a consortium of Nigerian trained ENT specialists in Nigeria to Abuja to re-evaluate and treat Mr. President; or,
  2. if it is determined that the medical expertise is not available in Nigeria (and I doubt this), any identified Nigerian trained ENT specialist practicing anywhere in the world should be invited to Abuja, Nigeria, for the sole purpose of re-evaluating and treating Mr. President; or,
  3.  if it is a case where the health facilities/equipment are unavailable (and this is a possibility) then Mr. President should have used his current medical situation, though unfortunate, to commence the Federal Government’s plan to re-equip Nigerian hospitals with modern state-of-the art health facilities, by ordering for the needed medical equipment to enable the locally available Nigerian trained ENT specialists to attend to him, and thereafter use same facilities to attend to other Nigerians with similar conditions.
 
Finally, Prof. Kperogi added, “Can anybody in good conscience defend the action of a president who allocated N4 billion to Aso Rock Clinic (which is more than the budget of all Nigerian teaching hospitals combined) but goes abroad to treat an ear infection less than a month after he banned government officials from traveling abroad for medical treatment? Let’s not allow our emotions to get the better of our judgment! Only unreflective Buhari apologists assume the falsity of the Vanguard report (of £6m), without any shred of contrary evidence other than a facile, reactive denial.”
 
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Consultant based in Rivers State.
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Peterside celebrates Hon. Abe’s victory, says Rivers South East have regained their voice

Posted on December 12, 2016. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: , |

Hon. Dakuku 1APC Governorship candidate in 2015, Dr Dakuku Peterside has congratulated Senator Magnus Abe for his victory at the just concluded Rerun elections.

He described the victory as Plesant and reassuring despite all odds erected by PDP against the expression of the will of the people of Rivers South East .

Dr Peterside said with this victory and those of other APC candidates Rivers people have an opportunity of rebuilding new structures of integration with the centre and development based on genuine representation.

He said the victory of APC in this election has reassured Rivers people that it is not all gloom and hopelessness but a bright future which beacons.

He expressed gratitude to the people of Rivers South East for their resoluteness and dedicates the victory to all who sacrificed their blood in earlier elections to give the state a voice at the centre and good governance that captures the vision  of our founding fathers

 

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Rivers Rerun: Wike’s Camp Crumbles As Olaka Backs Abe

Posted on December 8, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

Ikuru goes into hiding as his entire political structure collapses into APC

….Rivers APC hails Ogbakor Ikwere for filing behind Andrew Uchendu,

*Urges Sekibo and Ideozu to emulate Nwogu
The camp of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has finally crumbled in Rivers South East Senatorial Zone with barely two days to go to the December 10, 2016 rescheduled rerun parliamentary elections in the State.

 

This follows the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) strongman, Chief Olaka Nwogu, to sacrifice his senatorial ambition and join forces with the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe. Olaka Nwogu, who was the PDP candidate for the rerun election and in pursuant of this new goal have strategically refused to attend any of the shambolic rallies and deceitful projects flag-offs organized by Wike in the South East Senatorial District; tested the waters of dumping Wike by approving and mobilising his supporters to massively defect to APC by late November 2016 to prepare ground for his formal defection immediately after the December 10 rerun election stating that denying Abe the Senate slot at this time will be a great disservice to Rivers State.
To worsen Wike’s political woes, Engr Tele Ikuru erstwhile Deputy Governor to Chibuike Amaechi known in some quarters as Rivers State modern Judas Iscariot went into hiding when Senator Abe and his Team stormed Andoni the home Local Government Area of Chief Uche Secondus former PDP Acting National Chairman as his Chief Strategist, Mobilizer and strongman, KINGSTON SYLVANUS defects to APC with over 600 PDP members. It is said that with this development both Ikuru, Secondus, Wike are now a little less better than orphans in the politics of Andonai not minding the decision of Chief Olaka to join forces with Abe. According to Hon. Syvanus, “now that PDP has no candidate for the Senate slot for the district, what is the need to continue to stay in an obvious dead political party in the State?”
Senator Abe was visibly happy over this development as he received Kinston Sylvanus and the entire Tele Ikuru’s political structure emphasizing that nobody should rest until PDP and Wike are formally buried in Rivers State by ensuring that no PDP Candidate gets any vote during the rerun election in the State.
In a similar development, while receiving the over 300 Nwogu’s supporters and members of PDP at Bua Zaakpon community in Khana Local Government Area and Akpajo community in Eleme Local Government Area, who have decamped to APC; Senator Abe commended the people of Rivers South East for resolving to resist the tyranny of Governor Wike. Abe lamented the marginalisation of Ogoni people, saying: “Rivers State will be celebrating its 50 years anniversary next year and in those 50 years, no Ogoni son has been Speaker, Deputy Governor, Governor and Chief Judge. Is that not marginalisation?”
Abe said that the Ogoni people had resolved to prove to their detractors that they love themselves by agreeing to vote for a Senator of their choice in the person of himself. He assured the people that they would benefit more in APC than in PDP, pointing out that for now their son had been appointed Executive Director of Finance and Administration in the Niger delta Development Commission (NDDC), a position they had not previously occupied since the inception of the commission. He also noted that the UNEP Report implementation was on course, assuring that if voted a Senator, he would fast-track the implementation. Advising the people to vote massively for APC on Saturday, Abe said:“Everywhere wey them don vote na APC win. Them vote for Edo state, APC win; for Ondo state, who win? APC. This time around, we go vote for Rivers State. Election by AK47 is over. Everybody go and look for your PVC. On the 10th of December, there will be voting in Rivers state and when we finish voting, APC will win.”
Earlier in their speeches, Wike and Nwogu’s pillars in the South East district, Chief Gani Topba of Zaakpon community and Robinson Osaroluka of Akpajo community, on behalf of Wike/Olaka’s supporters assured Senator Abe that the people have keyed into  “Choose-Your-Senator-Campaign”, adding that by December 10 that Abe would be returned as the Senator-elect.

Rivers APC has commended Olaka Nwogu and his supporters for their wise decision, which it said would help make for peaceful polls and thus save the lives of innocent Ogonis. “We urge APC faithful in the South East Senatorial district to accord Chief Olaka Nwogu a resounding reception immediately after the election as we arrange on how to get him used to democratic norms after his long sojourn with undemocratic elements in PDP,” the party said on Thursday in a statement signed by the State Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya,
On developments in the Rivers East senatorial district the party hailed the resolve of Ogbakor Ikwerre, the umbrella body of Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality, to adopt and support the candidature of APC’s Chief Andrew Uchendu as the Senator to represent the zone based on his antecedents. “With this endorsement by Ogbakor Ikwerre, Senator George Sekibo should respect the stand of his constituency and allow his superior in the person of Uchendu to be formally elected without shedding of any blood,” the party said.
Rivers APC also noted with joy that with the return of Kalabari Prince and political strongman Ojukaye Flag Amachree from Wike’s gulag, the election of the People’s Speaker, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree, as Senator for Rivers West Senatorial Zone, is now guaranteed. “With the mammoth crowd that attended Ojukaye’s Thanksgiving ceremony at Buguma, the historical Headquarters of the Kalabaris, few days ago, PDP’s  OSINAKACHUKWU T IDEOZU should stop his dream of going back to the Senate to continue his sleeping spree instead of contributing to the serious business of the Senate,” the statement said.
It declared that “the time has come to free Rivers State from the shackles of doom and blood hunters as the State deserves strong voices in the Senate at this point in time and that is why the election of Abe, Andrew Uchendu and Amachree as Senators including the under listed APC Candidates on December 10 becomes imperative.” Finally any vote for PDP is a vote for elongation of killing of Rivers State people by Wike and his PDP gang.


The List of All Progressives Congress (APC) Rivers State Candidates for December 10, 2016 Rerun Election on the Mission Rescue Rivers State

1 STATE ASSEMBLY

  1. ANDONI – Dr.  Dressman Romsan

    2. ASARI-TORU – Hope Barango Godstime Horsfall

    3. BONNY – Henry Halliday

    4. ELEME – Josiah John Olu

    5. ETCHE  – Golden Ngozi Chioma

    6. GOKANA – Dr.  Innocent Barikor

    7. IKWERRE – Azubuike Nwanjoku

    8. KHANA – Friday Nke-ee

    9. TAI – Dike Matthew

    HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    1. KHANA/GOKANA –  Maurice Pronen

    2. OKIRIKA/OGU-BOLO – Maureen Tamuno

    3. EMUOHA/IKWERRE – Chidi Frank Wihioka

    4. AKUKU-TORU/ASARI-TORU – Dr. Dawari George

    6. ETCHE/OMUMA – Ogbonna Nwuke

    7. TAI/ELEME/OYIGBO – Barinada Mpigi

    8. DEGEMA/BONNY – Aye Atamah Pepple

    9. ANDONI/OPOBO-NKORO – Sampson G. Egop

    SENATE

    1. RIVERS WEST – Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree

    2. RIVERS EAST – Chief Andrew Igbonelu Uchendu

    3. RIVERS SOUTH EAST – Senator Magnus Ngei Abe

 

Source: Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,           

SSA Media and Public Affairs to the State Chairman, APC Rivers State

 

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76 Heads Straight to Number 1

Posted on December 6, 2016. Filed under: Arts and Entertainment | Tags: |

…..as Ramsey, Rita, DKD and IB tour cinemas

img_00041The hotly anticipated movie – 76, the first Nollywood film to get an international sales and distribution deal is out with a bang in cinemas and in its second week since its release.

In a press statement signed and made available to The Press today by Wabiye Idoniboye-Obu, Personal Assistant on Media and Publicity to Prince Tony Princewill said, it (76) is still topping the charts and selling out tickets to audience as people waiting till weekends to watch the film have been left disappointed as many arrived cinemas to find the movie completely sold out.

The statement continues thus: “Some say it is the quality of the film that is generating the buzz as it has left audiences wowed by the high production standards it has set. Others say it is the acting, as Rita Dominic and Ramsey Nouah put up such stellar performances that they have not only given their fans another reason to celebrate them, they have won over a new legion of movie enthusiasts.img_0018

“Many who never watched Nigerian films before, have been converted after watching 76. It is not the usual comedy or Nollywood film but it has all the moments of laughter, action, pain, tears and downright edge of your seat excitement all wrapped into one. No matter the theory on the success of 76, what is clear though is that its impressive numbers can not be removed from the commitment the cast and the crew are showing to the film.

“As of the last count, 13 cinemas had seen Rita, Ramsey, DKD and Ib Fiberesima behind the counter selling tickets, interacting with fans, taking selfies and conducting audience reactions. This is from Ajah to Abuja, from Palms in Lekki to Palms in Ibadan and from Cedi Plaza in Abuja to Filmhouse in Surulere. Turning up without warning and making cinema goer’s day.

“It’s Director, Izu Ojukwu, famously described as the “Steven Spielberg” of Nigerian cinema is notorious for being a lot more comfortable behind the camera. But even he was on tour and had this to say for his film. “I have done my part. Now it’s time for audiences to do theirs and assess if we did our part well. Initial responses are encouraging I must say. Going on tour has helped me see where next I should take my art of filmmaking.

img_0020“When quizzed on the next steps, the Executive Producer of the movie, Tonye T.J.T Princewill said that “having been recognised by Hollywood, Toronto and London, we thought that being recognised back home may be asking too much. But what we are seeing here is simply mind blowing. Selling out shows is one thing but selling them out when they are overlapping, I have never seen done before. There is no place like home. None.

“Put on top of that, the fact that 76 just won four awards for best Script, best Actor, best Director and best overall Film at the recent African Film Festival and you could not have asked for more. Commercial and artistic success is hard to achieve together. Usually you will do well to achieve either. We will continue to tour the country to engage with the fans and surprise Nigerians at their local cinemas through the holidays and into the New Year.

“Next stop we head to Kano, Owerri, Benin, Asaba, Warri and my beloved PH. We haveimg_0007 already made our money back with our Hollywood deal, but the best reward for us is a chance to see Nigerian eyes light up when they feel the impact of 76.”

“Many fans emerged from the screenings with overwhelming excitement. One of the fans flew in from Accra just to watch the film, another drove from Ibadan to come and watch it only to find out it was also showing in all the 3 cinemas there. 76 is showing now all over Nigeria. Click on the video below to capture some of the audience reactions and see pictures of the tour”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2-RAAjEkXK8&feature=em-share_video_user

 

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‘Why Is Gov. Wike Going Hysterical Over Security For APC Candidates?’ – APC asks

Posted on December 3, 2016. Filed under: Press Release |

Why Is Gov. Wike Going Hysterical Over Security For Apc Candidates?’ – APC asks

Despite the decision to ignore the barrage of worthless statements by Gov. Nyesom Wike in the past weeks concerning the December 10 rerun election in Rivers State, the State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) however, has observed that the governor seems to have particularly taken interest in scrutinising precautionary personal security arrangements by APC candidates as the rerun elections approach.

The above observation is contained in a statement signed and issued today by the Rivers State APC Chairman, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, JP.

It reads: “To drive home his needless hysteria, Gov. Wike has gone to town reeling out names of alleged security agents protecting APC candidates claiming that the security agents will be used to cause electoral mischief particularly for snatching of ballot boxes. The governor’s verbal incontinence in the past two weeks has led to several people wondering aloud publicly whether the governor truly understands what the office of a governor in Nigeria means.

“The APC finds this matter quite worrisome because ordinarily the governor should not be bothered by security arrangements people make for themselves in the face of general insecurity that presently pervades our once peaceful state now under his watch. It is all too well known that he lacks the moral grounds to genuinely fight insecurity having caused it ab initio. It is highly suspicious that a governor will climb a political soapbox and start reeling out names of security agents attached to his political opponents. The easiest thing that comes to mind is that Gov. Wike has very sinister motives for seeking to always ascertain the security architecture around his opponents. Why does he always complain whenever it appears that his opponents are not as vulnerable as he would want them to be security-wise?

“The APC gave up on Gov. Wike when he recently declared before the world in one of his infamous exercise of verbal indiscretion that he is the “the King of rigging” and swearing: “make thunder fire all these APC people.” Even if we are no more shocked by Gov Wike’s circus show, we only ask what manner of governor is this. How did we get here?

“A couple of days ago, Gov. Wike boasted about a recording in his possession in which the Rivers State Police Commissioner was planning with APC to rig the rerun elections. Today, he said that he also has information on the Inspector-General of Police planning how to deploy policemen to rig the elections. Tomorrow, we do not know the next scoop the governor will boast of as a superman of politics and everything.

“The APC condemns the continued blackmail of all stakeholders except himself and PDP in the forthcoming rerun elections. We remind Gov. Wike that immunity in public office has expiry date. The DSS D-G recently disclosed that the Service will surely come for Gov. Wike whenever he leaves office for obstructing the lawful action of arresting and investigating a suspected high court judge. It is certain that there are many issues he will have to be made to account for someday.

“The APC calls on the Inspector-General of Police, The Director-General, DSS and other security agencies to hold Gov Nyesom Wike responsible for any harm that happens to any APC candidate or member before, during and after the December 10 rerun elections.”

 

 

 

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