close

For The Records

For The Records

‘RSG, First To Expose Excesses of SARS’

Gov. Nyesom Wike’s Broadcast To Rivers People

My Dear Good People of Rivers State,

 First of all, I wish to thank you all for the existing calm and peaceful disposition of our people since the beginning of the “EndSARS” protest in the State.

As a Government, our position on SARS and the raging protests and related issues are well known to the world. We strongly support the objectives of the “EndSARS” protest for as long as it remains peaceful.

We were the first in this country to expose the cruelties and brutalities of SARS and challenged the Federal Government to rein in on this evil force but nothing happened. We went further to set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry, headed by a High Court Judge, which indicted some operatives of the much dreaded and notorious SARS for acts of criminal misconduct, including murder and gross human rights abuse across the State.

We submitted the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry to the relevant Federal Authorities, including the Police High Command, but nothing was done. Instead of support we were accused of playing politics and the Rotimi Amaechi-led faction of the All Progressives Congress even organized a demonstration in support of the persistence of SARS and its atrocities against the people.

What is true is that, by God’s grace, Rivers State have in a long while been secure and peaceful under our watch as we continue to strive and deliver on our commitments to the people. Recall that during my 2nd inauguration address, we waived the olive branch, promised to run an all-inclusive government and called on all to join us to move the State forward.

We demonstrated good faith and made good our promise by directing the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to enter a nolle prosequi in favour of all those who had issues with the criminal process in our Courts. To our utmost surprise and quite unfortunately, intelligence report shows clearly that the Rotimi Amaechi-led faction of the All Progressives Congress based in Abuja is capitalizing on the opportunity created by the ongoing “EndSARS” protest to destabilize the prevailing peace and progress in the State.

As a matter of fact, one of the beneficiaries of these kind gestures, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree is the one that led hired thugs and miscreants from neibouring States into Port Harcourt to cause mayhem and destruction under the guise of supporting “PRO-SARS” protests, against the overwhelming mood of the nation and the clear directive of Mr. President on ending the SARS menace for good.  We are not surprised because these characters are the very ones that used SARS in the recent past to intimidate, harass, maim and kill our people, including the late Dr. Ferry Gberegbe.

Clearly, today’s “PRO-SARS” protest, which defines Rotimi Amaechi’s predilection for violent street actions for political goals, were intended to provoke the peace-loving people of Rivers State to needless violence and destruction,

We commend the people of Rivers State for their peaceful disposition for and for refusing to be provoked by these miscreants and their spineless sponsors throughout today’s ill-intended protest.

We also commend the security agencies for ensuring that nothing untoward happened during the protest.

We had initially declined to set up another Panel of Inquiry to investigate the activities of SARS as directed by the National Council of States but have decided to change this position because of the new facts and evidences on ground. Consequently, we shall be inaugurating a Judicial Panel of Inquiry within the next 48 hours to investigate the brutality and human rights abuse of SARS in Rivers State.

At this point, it is important to remind Hon. Flag-Amachree and his fellow criminal travelers that nolle prosequi is not an acquittal and Government will not hesitate to re-instate the criminal proceedings against them if they continue with their predispositions to violence and criminal misconduct in Rivers State.

Enough is enough. Rivers State is peaceful and we cannot and will not allow any misguided person or group to exploit the current situation to disturb the peace and endanger our collective security.. We had intended to reconstitute the Task Force on illegal trading and motor parks to clear the madness and restore sanity and order to our streets but for the prevailing tensed situations.

But be assured that a reformed and disciplined Task Force will soon be in place to clear our streets and roads of illegal trading and park activities and the associated nuisance. We want to further assure you that we shall not be distracted in our determination to defend the interest of the State and transform all parts of Rivers State with the resources at our disposal. Finally, we urge all well-meaning citizens to remain vigilant and ensure that we do not play into the hands of these detractors.

Thank you for your continued support and appreciation for our efforts as we pledge to fast-track the delivery of all on-going development projects and make life more meaningful for all.

Thank you and God bless you all.

read more
For The Records

‘To Demonstrate Peacefully Is A Fundamental Right’

President Buhari’s Address On EndSARS Protests

It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.

I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

 On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS.

 The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law.

As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.  On approving the termination of SARS, I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests. The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a Peace Maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.

 All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary. Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.

The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.

 On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the wellbeing and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:

(a). paying three months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small – and medium – enterprises. (b.) paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission.( c.) giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans; and (d). guaranteeing market for the products of traders.

These are in addition to many other initiatives such as; a. Farmermoni, b. Tradermoni, c. Marketmoni, d. N-Power, e. N-Tech and f. N-Agro.  No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.

With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force. The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.

 In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers. Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.

We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement. We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.

To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements.

In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.

For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated. I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.

And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect. Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.

I would like to thank those state Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint. I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.

This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.

Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

read more
For The Records

‘A Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience’

Capital Expenditure

40. An aggregate sum of N3.85 trillion is expected to be available for capital projects in 2021, as summarised below:

a. N1.80 trillion for MDAs’ capital expenditure;

b. N745 billion for Capital Supplementation;

c. N355 billion for Grants and Aid-funded projects;

d. N20 billion for the Family Homes Fund;

e. N25 billion for the Nigeria Youth Investment fund;

f. N336 billion for 60 Government Owned Enterprises;

g. N247 billion for capital component of Statutory Transfers; and

h. N710 billion for projects funded by Multi-lateral and Bi-lateral loans.

41.  The 2021 capital budget is N1.15 trillion higher than the 2020 provision of N2.69 trillion. At 29 percent of aggregate expenditure, the provision moves closer to this Administration’s policy target of 30 percent.

42.     Capital expenditure in 2021 remains focused on the completion of as many ongoing projects as possible, rather than the commencement of new ones. We have also made efforts to ensure equity in the distribution of projects and programmes in the proposed budget. I will be providing the National Assembly a list of some of the most critical projects which we must work collectively to ensure they receive adequate funding. Until projects reach completion, they do not deliver the dividends of democracy that Nigerians rightly deserve.

Highlights of the 2021 Capital Projects

43. Key capital spending allocations in the 2021 Budget include:

a. Power: N198 billion (inclusive of N150 billion for the Power Sector Recovery Plan);

b. Works and Housing: N404 billion;

c. Transportation: N256 billion;

d. Defence: N121 billion;

e. Agriculture and Rural Development: N110 billion;

f. Water Resources: N153 billion;

g. Industry, Trade and Investment: N51 billion;

h. Education: N127 billion;

i.  Universal Basic Education Commission: N70 billion;

j.  Health: N132 billion;

k.Zonal Intervention Projects: N100 billion; and

l.  Niger Delta Development Commission: N64 billion.

44. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will facilitate the integrated development of its sector by promoting crops’ value chains; as well as providing rural roads, water and sanitation, veterinary and pest controls, grazing, food and strategic reserves, and access to inputs and extension services.

45. The 157 percent increase in the capital allocation to the health sector is to enhance the capacity to deliver healthcare services through the procurement of equipment, vaccines and other facilities. Two centres of excellence, as well as one Accident and Emergency Centre, will be equipped in Federal Teaching Hospitals in each geopolitical zone.

46. In addition, numerous Primary Health Care Centres will be equipped and upgraded across the six geopolitical zones. Furthermore, funds have been allocated for the expansion of Midwives Service Scheme in the six geopolitical zones. To enhance occupational safety, funds have been provided for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers.

47. The Ministry of Education’s capital allocation has been increased by 65 percent to improve the education of our children. Funds have been provided for the provision of scholarship awards to Nigerian students at home and abroad.

48.     We have provided funds for the upgrade of security and other infrastructural facilities in our Unity Colleges nationwide. To improve access to education, we have made provision for the establishment of five new Federal Science and Technical Colleges. We have also provided for the payment of allowances to 5,000 teachers under the Federal Teachers Scheme.

49. In line with our commitment to invest in Transportation Infrastructure, capital allocation to the Works and Housing sector is to facilitate the completion of several critical projects in 2021. I have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to provide a detailed breakdown of key infrastructural projects in her subsequent Press Briefing.

50. Key projects for implementation in the Power sector include several Rural Electrification Projects in the 36 States and Abuja, Rural Electrification Access Programme in Federal Universities, the Kaduna LPFO Gas Fired power Plant, the Mambilla Hydro Power Project and the Zungeru Hydropower Project.

51. Provisions have been made for legacy debts owed to local contractors compensation and resettlement of project-affected communities, the Renewable Energy Micro Utility (Solar) project, and the construction of transmission lines and substations nationwide. These project’s implementation is expected to have positive impact on electricity supply nationwide, as well as boost productivity and employment.

52. Projects to be implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources in 2021 include provision of potable water in the North East, construction of irrigation and dams across the country, and the provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities.

53. The Ministry of Transportation has earmarked funds for projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan-Kano Line, Abuja-Kaduna Line, Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri Line and Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Line. These projects, when completed, will minimize the cost of transporting people and goods around the country.

54.  To maintain the peace in the Niger Delta region for economic and social activities to thrive, the provision of N65 billion for the Presidential Amnesty Programme has been retained in the 2021 Budget. In addition, the sum of N63.51 billion has been appropriated for the Niger Delta Development Commission and N24.27 billion has been provided for the capital projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. These allocations should further support the development of the region by facilitating the completion of important ongoing projects, such as the East-West Road.

Government Fiscal Strategy in 2021

55. The government is already implementing several measures to overcome our fiscal constraints. In addition to the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives, we are leveraging technology and automation, as well as more effective monitoring of Independently Generated Revenues. Our efforts are aimed at addressing revenue leakages and redirecting scarce resources to the poor and vulnerable. These efforts include:

a. Deregulation of the price of petroleum products;

b. Ongoing verification exercise with IPPIS; and

c.  Implementation of service-based electricity tariffs.

56. The new petrol pricing regime has freed up resources that was allocated to subsidise petroleum products. Similarly, the ongoing IPPIS verification exercise has closed gaps that encourage ghost workers or pensioners. The service reflective electricity tariffs will help resolve liquidity crisis in the power sector and make the sector attractive to foreign investment. These reforms have released trillions of Naira for allocation to other priority areas.

57. Distinguished Senators, Honourable Members, permit me to reiterate that the main thrust of our capital spending programme in 2021 is the completion of as many ongoing projects as possible across the country. Accordingly, we have prioritized projects that can be rapidly completed to benefit our people.

58. Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, I note, with satisfaction, your determination to promptly consider and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law. The enactment of this Bill will boost confidence and attract further investments into our oil and gas sector, as well as increase revenues.

59. I fully understand the difficulties many of our people are going through with the implementation of our reform agenda. However, the measures we are implementing are necessary for sustainable public finance, better allocation of our scarce resources and improved public service delivery. As we implement these reforms, social safety nets will be implemented to cushion the effect of the most vulnerable of our citizens as well as business owners.

60. In furtherance of our inclusiveness agenda, the sum of N420 billion has been provided to sustain the Social Investment Programme. N20 billion has also been set aside for the Family Homes Fund, our Social Housing Programme. We have expanded our National Social Register, to include an additional one million Nigerians following the onset of Coronavirus. We recently introduced the N75 billion Survival Fund Programme to support and protect businesses from potential vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Nigeria is reducing the interest rate on its intervention facilities from 9% to 5% with a 1-year moratorium till 31st March 2021, to provide concessional lending of:

 .  N100 billion to households and small businesses;

a. N100 billion to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry; and

b. N1 trillion to large agricultural and manufacturing businesses.

61. We urge Nigerian businesses and individuals to make the most of these concessional credit facilities and other such opportunities.

Conclusion

62.      Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker, Distinguished and Honourable Members of the 9th National Assembly; let me use this opportunity to, again, commend your firm commitment towards ensuring a very harmonious and productive relationship with the Executive. It is important to further deepen this relationship in the interest of our people.

63. As you review the 2021 Budget estimates, we believe the legislative process will be expedited to ensure its prompt passage to sustain the restoration of a predictable January – December fiscal year. In this regard, I have directed all Ministers and Heads of Agencies to be personally available for budget defence.

64. Let me re-emphasize that Nigerians expect that the 2021 Budget will contain only implementable and critical projects, which when completed, will significantly address current structural challenges of the economy, improve the business environment and accelerate economic recovery.

65. May I conclude my remarks by commending the National Assembly for its support in steering our economy during these very challenging times. We remain committed to sustaining this partnership. We believe that as we work together, we will jointly deliver on our joint mandate to our people.

66. It is with great pleasure, therefore, that I lay, before this Distinguished Joint Session of the National Assembly, the 2021 Budget Proposals of the Federal Government of Nigeria, for your consideration.

67. I thank you for your attention.

68. May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

read more
For The Records

JP Clark: A Real Casualty Of Ijaw

The news that foremost poet and literatry giant, John Pepper Clark has passed on  has come as a rude shock to the world of scholarship and the Ijaws  as they have lost a rare Jem.

On March 21, 2013 when Prof. Chinua Achebe passed on, J.P Clark and Wole Soyinka wrote: “Of the “pioneer quartet” of contemporary Nigerian literature, two voices have been silenced – one, of the poet Christopher Okigbo, and now, the novelist Chinua Achebe.

A quartet is made up of four. If Professors J.P Clark and Wole Soyinka had recognized Achebe and Okigbo as two of the “pioneer quartet”, it is only obvious who the other two are – Soyinka and J.P Clark. Now, only Soyinka remains! J.P Clark was born in Kiagbodo town, Delta State of Nigeria.

. His education commenced at the Native Authority School, Okrika in Burutu Local Government Area before he proceeded to the prestigious Government College in Ughelli. He later went to the University of Ibadan from where he bagged a Bachelors of Arts degree in English in 1960. His literary career began at the University of Ibadan where he edited a number of campus magazines including The Beacon and The Horn.

 After he left Ibadan, Clark worked as an information officer in the Ministry of Information, old Western Region of Nigeria; as features editor of Daily Express, and later as a research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. For several years he worked as a professor of English at the University of Lagos where he co-edited the Black Orpheus magazine until he retired from the university in 1980.

 Selected Works Among his poetic works are “Mbari” (1961) made up of a group of 40 lyrics that treat heterogeneous themes; “A Reed in the Tide” (Longmans, 1965), occasional poems that focus on the Clark’s indigenous African background and his travel experience in America and other places and “Casualties: Poems 1966–68” (USA: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1970), which illustrate the horrendous events of the Nigeria-Biafra war.

 His other works are “A Decade of Tongues (Longmans, Drumbeat series, 1981), a collection of 74 poems; “State of the Union” (1981), which highlights Clark’s apprehension concerning the sociopolitical events in Nigeria as a developing nation; “Mandela and Other Poems” (1988), which deals with the perennial problem of aging and death.

J.P Clark did quite a number of dramatic works which include, “Song of a Goat” premiered at the Mbari Club in 1961. It is a tragedy cast in the Greek classical mode; a sequel to “Song of a Goat”, “The Masquerade (1964), in which Dibiri’s rage culminates in the death of his suitor Tufa; “The Raft” (1964), in which four men drift helplessly down the Niger aboard a log raft; “Ozidi” (1966), a transcription of a performance of an epic drama of the Ijaw people; and “The Boat” (1981), a prose drama that documents Ngbilebiri history and other works.

 In 1991, he received the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence. On 6 December 2011, to honour him, a celebration was held at Lagos Motor Boat Club, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, for the publication of “J. P. Clark: A Voyage, the definitive biography of the main animating force of African poetry” written by playwright Femi Osofisan. The launch was attended by literary giants including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. In 2015 the Society of Young Nigerian Writers under the leadership of Wole Adedoyin founded the JP Clark Literary Society aimed at promoting and reading his works

Perhaps the most controversial of all his works was “Casualties: Poems 1966–68” (USA: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1970), his 28 war poems collected in 1970. Casualties which addressed the Nigerian civil war from various angles.

 In the “Casualties” J.P Clark writes: “The casualties are many, and a good number well/Outside the scene of ravage and wreck;/They are the emissaries of rift,/So smug in smoke-room they haunt abroad,/They are wandering minstrels who, beating on/The drum of human heart, draw the world/Into a dance with rites it does not know The “Casualties” and another controversial work, “America, their America” must have drawn the ire of Western powers who felt that J.P Clark was criticizing them.

Reacting to his death, the immediate past President of Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, Denja Abdullahi, said “J. P. Clark will be remembered as the most sterling of our first-generation Nigerian modernist poets. He was in a class of his own with quite a number of totemic poems that vividly describe the environment in which he was formed or which he encountered in his life. He gave the world the African Epic narrative of the Ozidi Saga which will remain an unequalled literary achievement of his productivity as a writer and researcher.

“J.P was also a compelling enigmatic dramatist whose canvas was the vibrant creek of the Niger Delta with all its beauties and despoliations,” said the former ANA president. “His contributions to Nigerian, African and world literature in the genres of poetry, drama and the epic narrative will remain evergreen. He would also go down in people’s memories as the taciturn, quietly fiery and most misunderstood writer who may have departed with some unshed knowledge about some dark periods of Nigerian history.”

Prof Olu Obafemi, former ANA President and 2019 recipient of Nigerian National Merit Award said, “The very sad news of the passing of one of Africa’s few remaining literary patriarchs and great men and women of Letter’s, Professor Emeritus John Pepper Bekederemo-Ckark is both painful and devastating.

read more
For The Records

Together We Can Change Our Condition For The Better-Buhari

Nigeria’s 60th Independence

Anniversary Address by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Fellow Nigerians

I speak to you today as your President and fellow citizen on this epoch occasion of our country’s 60th independence Anniversary. As President, I wish to renew my appreciation to Nigerians for entrusting me with your hopes and aspirations for a better and greater Nigeria.

 Today, it is my unique privilege to re-commit myself to the service of this great country of great people with profound diversities and opportunities. We are bound by destiny to be the largest and greatest black nation on earth.At this stage in our nationhood it is important that we reflect how we got here to enable us work TOGETHER to get to where we aspire to be as a strong indivisible nation, united in hope and equal in opportunity.

  On October 1st 1960 when Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa received the constitutional instruments symbolizing Nigeria’s independence, he expressed his wish that having acquired our rightful status as an independent sovereign nation, history would record that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace.

 This optimism was anchored on the peaceful planning, full and open consultation and harmonious cooperation with the different groups which culminated in Nigeria emerging as a country without bitterness and bloodshed. Our founding fathers understood the imperative of structuring a National identity using the power of the state and worked towards unification of Nigerians in a politically stable and viable entity.

 That philosophy guided the foundation that was laid for our young nation of 45 million people with an urban population of approximately 7million occupying an area of 910,768 square kilometers. These demographics led to development challenges for which major efforts were made to overcome.

Today, we grapple with multiple challenges with a population exceeding 200million occupying the same land mass but 52% residing in urban areas. Sixty years of nationhood provides an opportunity to ask ourselves questions on the extent to which we have sustained the aspirations of our founding fathers. Where did we do the right things? Are we on course? If not where did we stray and how can we remedy and retrace our steps?

 Upon attaining independence, Nigeria’s growth trajectory was anchored on policies and programmes that positively impacted on all sectors of the economy. However, this journey was cut short by the 30-months of civil war. We came out of the civil war with a focus on reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation that enabled the country to put in place world class development structures and a strengthened public service that well served the government. This positive trajectory continued with a return to democratic government which was truncated by another round of military rule. 

 For a cumulative 29 of our 60 years existence as a nation, we have been under military rule.

 My summary of our journey so far as a nation is necessary to appropriately chart where we need to go and how to get there TOGETHER.

Today, I am aware that our economy along with every single economy in the world is in crisis. We still face security challenges in parts of the country, while our society suffers from a high loss of moral rectitude which is driven by unbridled craving for political control. An underlying cause of most of the problems we have faced as a nation is our consistent harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we have harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester.

In addition, institutions such as civil service, police, the judiciary, the military all suffered from a general decline. We need to begin a sincere process of national healing and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity  to eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they always are.

The stereotype of thinking of ourselves as coming from one part of the country before seeing ourselves as Nigerians is a key starting point to project us on the road to our deserved nation’s evolution and integration.

  To start this healing process, we are already blessed with the most important asset any nation requires for such – OUR PEOPLE – and this has manifested globally in the exploits of Nigerians in many fields. It has been demonstrated time and time again that Nigerians in the diaspora frequently excel in science, technology, medicine, sports, arts and many other fields.

  Similarly, the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Nigerian at home have resulted in globally recognized endeavours.  I am convinced that if we pursue our aspirations TOGETHER we would be able to achieve whatever we desire. That informed our adopting the theme TOGETHER to mark this epochal event.

Together we can change our condition for the better and more importantly, together we can do much more for ourselves and for our country. I chose the path of self-reflection because this is what I do on a daily basis and I must confess that at most times, I always felt the need for a collective reflection as I know that the foundation for a solid future which this administration is laying can only be sustainable if there is a collective commitment by Nigerians.

  Nigeria is not a country for Mr. President, any ruling or opposition party but a country for all of us and we must play our part, irrespective of challenges we face, to make this country what we desire. To achieve this, we must focus our minds, TOGETHER as a people, on ways of resolving the identified critical challenges that underlie our present state.

These include:a.  Evolving and sustaining a democratic culture that leaves power in the hands of the people; b. Supporting the enthronement of the rule of law, demanding accountability of elected representatives and contributing to good governance; c.  Increasing our commitment to peaceful co-existence in a peaceful, secure and united Nigeria; d. Harnessing and Optimizing our tremendous human and natural resources to attain our goal of being in the top twenty economies of the world and in the process; e.  Lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years;  f. Strengthening institutions to make them stronger in protecting National Interests; and g. Imbibing tolerance in diversity. 

  I am a firm believer in transparent, free, fair and credible elections as has been demonstrated during my period as a democratically elected President.  The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.

  The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office. Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.

  This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people. It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary.

  Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are a people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another. As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community level intelligence in addressing these challenges. 

  In moving forward together, it is important to strengthen our economy to provide sustainable means of livelihood for as many Nigerians as possible so as to eradicate absolute poverty from our midst. I want to re-emphasize my dedication and commitment, a dedication and commitment that propelled my public service career and informed my quest to continually seek for an opportunity to improve the lives of Nigerians, set the country on the path of prosperity and lead the country to a better future.

  This administration has been focused on rebuilding and laying the foundations for a sustainable Nigeria. Of course, we have met and are still meeting the challenges inherent in any rebuilding initiative – more so that of a nation like Nigeria that has undergone avoidable levels of deprivation – but can be surmounted if we all work together.

  I wish to re-iterate that our people and our spirit of excellence remains our most important asset. In this wise, the need to return to our age-old ethical and high moral values would be necessary and this informed my launching of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Monday 28th September, 2020.

 The policy would not implement itself and the first contact of the visibility of its implementation is the Public Service whose on-going reforms would be expected to be sustainable and give a radical re-direction in providing services to all Nigerians.

  Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue.

 Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources. In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible. The government, since coming into office has recognized the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum. But the social argument about the knock-on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.

  Accordingly, in the last three years, we have introduced unprecedented measures in support of the economy and to the weakest members of our society in the shape of: a.  Tradermoni b. Farmermoni  c.  School Feeding Programme  d.  Job creation efforts   e.  Agricultural intervention programmes

  No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts.

  In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.

  Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point;  a.  Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre  b.  Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346.  c.  In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.  Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.

  Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.

  Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges.

  It is my sincere hope that by the end of this anniversary on September 30th 2021, we will all be proud of taking this individual and collective self-assessment for the progress of our great Nation.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

God Bless us all. Thank you.

read more
For The RecordsFront Page

60 Years After, Nation-Building A Far-Cry

Address On Nigeria’s 60th Independence

Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike,

Governor Of Rivers State

It is my honour and privilege to welcome you to the ceremonies marking the 60th Independence Anniversary of our country, Nigeria. ​As we join the rest of the country and other well-wishers to celebrate independence, let us start by appreciating our forefathers through whose struggles our nation was freed from colonial rule on the first of October 1960.

​As you know, political independence was necessary for us to take full control of our destiny and steer our nation and our people towards a progressive and prosperous existence. ​And so, today’s reality is that we have been a free nation; absolutely free from the shackles and indignities of being ruled, dominated and exploited by imperial Britain for the past 60 years.

 This is no trivial historical milestone and achievement, for which we are justified in rolling out the drums to celebrate with other friendly nations who share in our excitements and wished us well no matter the circumstances and challenges of the moment.​We therefore salute the courage, sacrifice and heroism of our founding fathers that resulted in the birth of this potentially great nation.

We shall forever be grateful to them not only for the plateau of independence they delivered to us on a platter, but also, for reclaiming and restoring the pride and dignity of our people to self-rule. ​We also appreciate our past and present national leaders and the Armed Forces of Nigeria for their labour and sacrifice to keep this nation together for the last consecutive 60 years in the midst of the challenges, which continues to manifest in many forms and proportions.

 At independence, our founding fathers envisioned to build our nation with due regard to our diversity and with visionary enthusiasm provided the basic building blocks for sustaining a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria in the foundational constitution documents.

 We had democracy, regional autonomy and fiscal federalism as the guiding principles for political, social and economic relations between the central government and the constituent regions.

​No one part or region was deliberately denied against what was due to it; neither was any ethnic nationality politically and economically unduly favoured above all others by the central government. ​Above all, the regions controlled their resources and were engaged in healthy competition for development and transformation while remaining loyal to the corporate existence and progress of the Federal Republic.

Under these arrangements, Nigeria thrived on a peaceful and progressive path and as great author, Chinua Achebe, once affirmed: “there was a country” at least in the First Republic, when true federalism and regionalization of political power and resources held sway.​Unfortunately, the fundamental foundational principles of negotiated constitutionalism, regional autonomy, and fiscal federalism were blatantly jettisoned by long years of misguided military incursions and adventurism into the nation’s body politics.

Although the military has since vacated from politics over 20 years ago but the constitutional, political and economic substructures they mischievously imposed on us, especially the inherent error of commission or omission in the nationalization of communal lands and resources, have continued to challenge and diminish the nation’s fragile peace, unity and socio-economic progress.

And so, 60 years after independence, nation-building remains a far cry and the lofty goals and aspirations of our founding fathers for a politically transparent, economically healthy and socially peaceful and prosperous nation remain betrayed while the way to a glorious future is arrested.

​No one is in doubt about the fact that ours is a nation blessed by God with enormous human and natural resources, yet, after 60 years of self-rule we are still held behind as a nation teeming with one of the poorest and helpless population in the world with an average income per capita of less than a dollar per day.

Without inadequate access to social, political and economic rights, including quality education, healthcare, nutritious food, housing, social security, information technology, energy and transport infrastructure, Nigeria’s misery index remains one of the worst in the world. ​And then, violence, banditry, rampant killings and insecurity continue to plague and ravage sizeable parts of our country for over a decade, destroying communities, farmlands and causing massive dislocations and untold sufferings to already desperate and hapless populations.

​Never in our history since the end of the civil war have Nigerians been so divided, despondent and distressed with prognosis that clearly point to the fact that the cracks are getting deeper in the much-strained, abused and debased walls that have managed to hold this nation together. As things stand now no one can really predict the future survival of this nation if we continue to maintain this nebulous, rigged and generally rejected federal system through corruption, repression and the abuse of both legitimate and illegitimate state institutions.

 We may as usual choose to gloat in the limited progress we have made since independence, especially the relative expansions in access to education, healthcare and other socio-economic infrastructures without giving any considerations to the serious challenges preventing us from building a free, fair and just nation that would command the total loyalty of all nationalities above all other interests.

​However, let it be known that the persistent failure and or resistance to heeding the voices of reason in confronting and resolving the contending core political and economic issues troubling this nation as quickly as possible is akin to postponing the doomsday, which looks inevitable with the way things are going.

​Our nation can be strong and progressive if we practice true democracy, fraud-proof electoral system, effective and politically neutral law enforcement, deepen the rule of law and enable the practical independence of our judiciary. ​Again, our nation can only be free from the perpetual state of crisis, violence and threat of disintegration if we exhibit and courage, sincerity and commitment to rational restructuring, effective devolution of powers, resource control and true federalism as our governance system under a people-propelled and robustly negotiated constitution that secures basic human rights and social justice as the touchstones of our existence both as a nation and as a people.

Therefore, as we celebrate the 60th independence anniversary of our country, let us all reflect on the need to save Nigeria from the self-destructive direction it is wrongly headed. ​Let us resolve to take the right steps to lay and institutionalize the necessary constitutional and political systems that will enable us to build a free sovereign democratic and functional nation under God where everyone, including the unborn generationbs, can have equal access to political, social and economic opportunities and live in peace, security and happiness with one another.

 ​This is the only way for us to have and build an inclusive and prosperous nation unhindered by divisive and seditious tendencies and loyalties to sectional interest in our match towards realizing the lofty aspirations of the founding fathers and other patriots.

​As the Governor of Rivers State, I wish to reaffirm the subscription of the people of Rivers State to the unity and continuous existence of Nigeria and our resolve to welcome, accommodate and live in peace with our neighbours and our brothers and sisters from other parts of the country on the basis of reciprocity, mutual accommodation and tolerance.

 ​The commitment of our government is to build a State that is home to all Nigerians and foreigners alike who desire to either reside, visit or invest and share in the social and economic opportunities on offer and in our prosperity.  In the last five and half years, we have prioritized and improved the living conditions of our people with unprecedented investments in the provision of socio-economic infrastructures across the length and breadth of the State.

We are constructing roads, flyovers, jetties, markets and expanding healthcare and education facilities throughout the State including our rural areas to accelerate economic growth and make life more meaningful for our people.We have spared no efforts in advancing and achieving security and Rivers State is now reckoned as one of the few most peaceful States in Nigeria and with a much-improved business environment that is attracting investors into the State in their numbers.

We have prudently managed our economy and kept it on the path of safety and stability such that we have been acclaimed as the most fiscally viable State in the Country, generating resources enough to meet our capital and recurrent expenditures. Clearly, we have a bright future and our dream is to create a prosperous State that offers viable opportunities for everyone who works hard to lift him or herself from the valley of want and poverty into the plateau of economic progress and prosperity.

Although much has been achieved in our determination to build a better and prosperous Rivers State, we believe that there is much more to be done to mobilize resources to build our economy and generate good jobs for our youths and a prosperous and dignified life for all our people.

 I therefore call on everyone to stand with us to confront our common challenges and together take Rivers State to the promise land of our dreams as we will achieve more if we stand together and act as a united people with a common destiny.

​Finally, as I wish all Nigerians a happy Diamond Jubilee anniversary, let us all take pride in our diversity and rise above narrow ethnic and other sentiments to build a truly peaceful, united and prosperous nation.

​May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

God bless Rivers State

read more
For The RecordsNews

NWAKAUDU: A GOOD MAN GOES HOME

The body of late Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, Senior Special Assistant on Electronic Media to the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike,has been laid to rest.There is no doubt that his kinsmen at Umuanya Ogbodikwu, in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State were full of grief that such an illustrious son was cut down in his prime.

Mr. Nwakaudu, whose sad demise occured on Sunday, May 17, 2020, at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) after a brief illness had an amiable personality that was magnified with his toothy smile.  As a thorough bred professional, he covered his beat with the dexterity that stood him out among his peers.

His ink flowed with relentless ease as he churned out Press Releases and Features to propagate the policies and programmes of the Rivers State Government. He never missed out on any news item that had to do with the State or our Principal. The timeliness with which he communicated was quite enchanting.

The Abia State-born prolific journalist, who has a degree in Mass Communication from the Benue State University, Makurdi, began reporting in a Makurdi-based tabloid called the Pavilion, before joining The Guardian Newspapers as the Benue State Correspondent.

He joined the Media team of the Rivers State Governor, who was then Minister of State for Education and moved to Port Harcourt with the Governor to coordinate the Media team during the 2015 elections and was officially designated as the Senior Special Assistant, Electronic Media to the Governor after the Election victory.

The late Nwakaudu was a committed and dedicated professional who contributed immensely to the implementation of The NEW Rivers Vision. He was a strong defender of the Rivers State Government, a robust writer and an uncompromising media strategist, who interpreted and presented the visions and initiatives of the administration of  Governor Wike, with comprehensive poignancy and unequivocal clarity.

He was the definitive name and voice of the Rivers State Government House Media and his passing at the time it occurred, came when his services were greatly needed not just by the Government of Rivers State but the entire journalism profession.

Simeon Nwakaudu was a good man. He was a loyal family man, a dependable ally to his friends and colleagues and a devout Christian who enjoyed immeasurable love, respect and admiration from everyone all over the country. He will be sorely missed for his professionalism both to the Rivers State Government and the Journalism Community.

As an individual, I lost not just a friend and colleague but a brother. He showed me so much love and support as we carried out public communication for our State.We had a close nit relationship that created the right synergy that produced a resilient Media Team.

He was ready to go the extra mile as he made sacrifices that made me see him more as a brother than a colleague. There was never a time I gave him an assignment no matter how late or shortness of time that he complained. He was in my assessment a rare breed that I presently feel that part of my professional pillars in the State Media Team is gone.

Nwakaudu’s death is indeed a monumental loss to the Government of Rivers State, family, friends and colleagues.I will surely miss my “Ogbuagu.” Fare thee well, Simeon until we meet on the resurrection morning.

May your gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.

Nsirim is Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State

read more
For The Records

‘Let Dividends Of Democracy Roll Into Wakirike’

Being an address by Distinguished Senator (Chief) George Thompson Sekibo CON, DSSRS on behalf of the Wakirike people during their visit to the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Chief Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, Pos Africa, at Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday, February 28th, 2020.

Today marks a very special day in the history of the Wakirike     people. The Wakirike people are domiciled predominantly in    Okrika, Ogu/Bolo and part of Port Harcourt Local government areas of our dear state.

 That today is a special day, is underscored by the fact, that we have all our Amanyanapu, Alapu, Elder Statesmen, the intelligentsia, men, women and our youths in full splendor, before our Governor, the government, and leaders of our state.

We are gathered here in one accord, and with one purpose; to say to you, and your lieutenants, Congratulations, for your historic victory at the 2019 governorship polls; and for overcoming its attendant but unnecessary legal tangles. We say to you in our language, Owubo, Ibara Ofirime, Tamunomiebaka. Translated, it means, you are a man of courage and great strength; we thank God.

An occasion such as this, apart from achieving the purpose of congratulating our amiable governor, is a unique and rare opportunity to appear before our political and administrative leader.

As great patriots and loyal citizens, who are always committed to the peace and progress of this administration, and the prosperity of our state, we are glad to felicitate with you, as we work together, towards achieving a common agenda of ensuring social harmony, security and infrastructural development of our state.

Our gratitude:

‘Those who stand before the king must use their time wisely’. It is within this context we wish to specially thank you:

I.For the appointments into various political positions given to Wakirike sons and daughters in your administration.

ii. For the projects that were executed in Wakirike ethnic nationality in the first tenure of your administration and for others still ongoing such as; construction of Okrika ATC landing jetty, Okrika waterworks and reticulation, construction of Government Secondary School, Ogu and construction of Bolo internal roads; as well as the construction of Amadi-Ama, Tere-Ama and Phase 1 of Okochiri internal roads, among several other projects that are at various stages of execution in Wakirike. 

iii. For the recognition and upgrading of traditional rulers’ stools in Wakirike ethnic nationality.

Promises made:

We appreciate the mutual relationship we share in this democratic journey, and wish to remind our Executive Governor of his express promises to the Wakirike people during the electioneering campaigns in Okrika and Ogu-Bolo LGAs as follows:

 Ogu-Bolo LGA

I Construction of Ogu-Wakama link road

ii Construction of Ogu-Eteo road

iii Resettlement of Ele Town 

1 Okrika LGA

I Sandfilling of the swamp opposite ATC waterfront. We wish to reiterate that one of the critical points of the Willinks commission’s Report is lack of adequate land to accommodate the growing population of Okrika. Consequently, this ATC waterfront sandfilling has been one of our consistent demands. We therefore crave Your Excellency to be the first governor to undertake the sandfilling of the swamp opposite the ATC waterfront.

ii Electrification of Okrika through Dr Peter Odili Road substation linking Okujagu-Ama, Ojimba-Ama, Oba-Ama and Igbiri.

iii    Construction of Azuabie-Igbiri link road/Bridge.

iv    Construction of Phase 2 of Okochiri internal roads.

Your Excellency is a man of honour whose words have always proven to be his bond. We are therefore very confident, that these promises made in the open to the Wakirike people, will be fulfilled by our Governor. 

Our requests:

However, as people in the king’s court, we are pleased to make the following requests:

(1) More appointments for Wakirike sons and daughters in your administration especially in the State Executive Council.

(2) Re-establishment of the moribund Government Sea School at Isaka in place of the comatose Sports Institute; and the construction of two concrete landing jetties at Witt and Busch and Isaka for which contract was awarded in 2017/2018 by your administration. 

(3) Sandfilling of Phase 2 of Olombie/Owukiri Island in Ogu.

(4) Sandfilling of Bolo waterfront to Yayokiri-Ama at Bolo.

(5) Recognition for more traditional rulers’ stools particularly those not affected by litigations such as the traditional stools of Abuloma, Isaka, Ibaka, Ogbogbo and Ele; and presentation of certificate and staff of office to the incumbent Amanyanabo of Koniju Town.  

(6) Rebuilding of Okrika Grammar School, Okrika.

As stated earlier, some of the projects are not new as they were projects earlier promised by your humble self, in your first tenure and during the governorship election campaigns. We believe that at this point in your political career, you will bring to pass your clear and elegant pronouncements concerning the Wakirike people. After all, this governorship is also a Wakirike governorship, because you are one of us. 

It is our humble request, Your Excellency, that as a governor who believes in the rule of law, you will give necessary recognition to the traditional rulers’ stools of Ibaka and Ogbogbo towns, two distinct ancient towns of the Wakirike which were erroneously put together under one stool, but rightly corrected by a court of competent jurisdiction vide the ruling on Suit No. PHC/158/79 delivered by the eminent jurist, His Lordship, Hon. Justice S.A. Wai-Ogosu.

We also request, Your Excellency, for the recognition of the occupants of the Abuloma and Koniju Town stools that have already been gazetted as traditional rulers’ stools in Rivers State. The Abuloma stool was created and captured in the Chieftaincy Laws Cap 25 of RSE 1978 No. 5 and further reaffirmed in the publication of Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No. 4 of 2015.

Consequent upon both laws upholding the Amadabo status of Abuloma Stool, the Abuloma people on 6th August, 2016 coronated retired Brigadier-General Bright Ateke Fiboinumama as their traditional ruler after seeking Your Excellency’s approval which was granted.

We wish to recall, Your Excellency, that you were well represented at the coronation ceremony by the then Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon. John Bazia, who also made a speech on your behalf.

It is consequent upon this conviction, our executive governor, that we the Wakirke people, especially our women, put our pride and our lives on the line to defend our votes. It is on record, that our girls and women stripped themselves naked in a rare display of courage and solidarity, to frustrate well armed federal forces and prevent them from stealing our votes and your mandate.

Finally, Sir, may we use this occasion to also announce that the Wakirike people are one of the most loyal and peaceful ethnic nationalities in Rivers State. Your Excellency did make a declaration, that only peaceful communities will enjoy special dividends of democracy in this dispensation. We pray, Your Excellency, to let the dividends of democracy roll into Wakirike.

We commit you and your administration into the safe hands of the Almighty God and wish you well in your endeavours. Thank you, Your Excellency.

read more
CultureFor The Records

Thank You For The Successful Installation Of Sir Dr. Abiye Sekibo As Chief Achin III

The Chairman, Executives and entire members of Achin Omuaru Wari, Koniju Town, Okrika; and the Chairman and members of the installation planning committee wish to extend sincere thanks to all those who by way of physical presence, gifts, prayers, phone calls and other diverse ways contributed to the success of the installation of Sir Dr Abiye Samuel Precious Sekibo as the Chief and Head of the Achin Omuaru Wari.

In particular, we profoundly thank HIS EXCELLENCY, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE, CHIEF (BARR) NYESOM EZEWON WIKE, CON, GSSRS, PoS Africa for his immense contribution and physical presence at the occasion. Your Excellency, you lifted us, and we thank you!

In like manner, we thank the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, HER EXCELLENCY, DAME DR IPALIBO HARRY-BANIGO, HIS EXCELLENCY, ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR GCON, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA, THEIR EXCELLENCIES, CHIEF SIR DR PETER & JUSTICE MARY ODILI, FORMER GOVERNOR AND FIRST LADY OF RIVERS STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, BARRISTER CELESTINE OMEHIA, FORMER GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE, PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF  PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

We also thank the Royal Fathers who graced the occasion.

HRM KING DANDISON DOUGLAS JAJA, JEKI V, AMANYANABO OF OPOBO KINGDOM and CHAIRMAN, RIVERS STATE TRADITIONAL RULERS COUNCIL, HRM KING ALFRED SEMENITARI ABAM Ph.D. ADO IX, AMANYANABO OF OKRIKA, HIS MAJESTY KING EDWARD ASIMINI WILLIAM DAPPA PEPPLE (III) PEREKULE XI JP, CON, AMANYANABO OF GRAND BONNY, HIS MAJESTY, KING (AMB) SIR LESLIE NYEBUCHI EKE Ph.D JP DCF, EZE OHA EVO (III) OF EVO KINGDOM, HRM KING ATEKE MICHAEL TOM, AMANYANABO OF ANCIENT OKOCHIRI KINGDOM, SEKURO OF NIGER DELTA, HRM KING EMMANUEL TAMUNOIGBEINBIA IBIAGOLIKA OBUDIBO, IKWO V, AMANYANABO OF OGOLOMA, HRM KING DISRAEL GBOBO BOBMAUEL (II) EKINEYE GBOBO, OWUKORI XI OF ABONNEMA, HRM EZE BARR. ONYEKACHI K. AMAONWU, JP EZE EBERI UGO IX OF ANCIENT EBERI OMUMA (EZE OMUMA), HRH KING AIRCOMMODORE T.E.O OGUBE (RTD), JP DSS FDC PSC MSc MBA FCNA OGUBE 1 PEREKUNE KINGOLI 1, AMANYANABO OF KIRIKE, HRM KING NELSON ATUBO OPUTIBEYA XI, AMANYANABO OF KONIJU TOWN, OKRIKA 

We are also grateful to OKRIKA DIVISIONAL COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, KONIJU COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, TUBONIJU COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, OGU-BOLO DIVISIONAL COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, ABULOMA COUNCIL OF CHIEFS BOLO COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, ELE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, OGOLOMA  COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, IBAKA COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, OGBOGBO COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, KALA OGOLOMA COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, NKORO COUNCIL OF CHIEFS, OBUMTORU COUNCIL OF CHIEFS.

We are further specially grateful to:

CHIEF SENATOR GEORGE THOMPSON SEKIBO CON, DSSRS, JP,  IGO ALABO OF OGU KINGDOM, GENERAL KENNETH MINIMAH, FORMER CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF, DR DAKUKU PETERSIDE, DIRECTOR GENERAL NIMASA, CHIEF & MRS O.C.J. OKOCHA, SAN, CHIEF FELIX OBUAH, CHAIRMAN, PDP, RIVERS STATE,  RT. HON. TUNDE AND DAME TUMINI AKOGUN, FORMER MAJORITY LEADER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

RT. HON. AUSTIN OPARA, FORMER DEPUTY SPEAKER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MS ANNKIO BRIGGS, CHECKLORD & MEMBERS, CHECKMATES CLUB OKRIKA, PRESIDENT & MEMBERS, RIVBOND CLUB PORT HARCOURT, PRESIDENT & MEMBERS OF PORT HARCOURT CLUB, PH CLUB GOLF SECTION EXECUTIVE & MEMBERS, SENATOR LEE MAEBA, MR OLOGUN AKOGUN, CHIEF TUBONIMI ARINYEDOKIARI, H.E. MR & MRS DESMOND AKAWOR BOYS COMPANY OF NIGERIA, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS ALUMNI, OKRIKA GRAMMAR SCHOOL OLD BOYS ASSOCIATION, MEN’S AND WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP, WESLEY METHODIST CHURCH , HON. TONYE ONIYIDE-BRIGGS, MEMBERS OF RIVERS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, BARR. MIKE EPELLE, CAPT. MIKE  & MRS WILLIAMS-HART, DR. UMAR ARDO, FORMER SPECAIL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT, HON. UCHE ONYEAGOCHA, MR. SOKI GRAHAM-DOUGLAS, GENERAL SOTON ALIU, CHIEF TIMI ALAIBE, MR LALI HALLIDAY, MRS TORU OFILI, IBUOMI OKUJAGU, DEINMA OKUJAGU

We also thank SENATOR BETTY APIAFI, SENATOR BARRY MPIGI, HON. BRIGHT GOGO, SENATOR OLAKA NWOGU, SENATOR MAO OHUABUNWA, SENATOR SAM ANYANWU, PRINCE EMMA ANYANWU, MR. MICHAEL ROBERTS, MAZI SAM OHUABUNWA, CHIEF HARCOURT ADUKEH, DATOM KIO-LAWSON, PORT HARCOURT CITY PEOPLE

And several other highly respected persons far too numerous to mention.

May God bless you all and replenish you in multiple folds. Amen.

read more
For The Records

Sekibo, Ex-SSG, Ex-Minister Becomes Achin 3rd

For the people of Achin War Canoe House of Awolomebiri, Koniju Town, in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, the events of last week were extra-momentous as they rolled out the drums and made merry under the light of the mid morning sun and the sweet hazy harmattan breeze.

Not in recent history has a chieftaincy installation brought together such diversity of men and women of culture and politics. The installation took on the mix of a royal coronation and a political rally.

Not surprising though. The celebrant is a man of means, an erudite speaker, a medical doctor, a knight of the Methodist Church of Nigeria and one of the biggest politicians in the present despensation.

He is Sir. Dr. Abiye Samuel Precious Sekibo, former Special Assistant to Governor Rufus Ada George, former Secretary to the state Government and former Federal Minister of Transport.

Sekibo was stepping into the shoes of his fathers as Achin III, to lead the Achin War Canoe House, and also become a member of the Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs, a cultural-cum political position that needs his panache and wealth of experience in the light of current realities. 

The installation activities charged the Wakirike landscape with the Imunumunukpo and the Omuaru and Owu displays.

Under the chairmanship of a former member of the House of Representatives and also a chief, Barrister John Kalipa, the three-day event put together by the central planning committee was splendid and left sweet memories of the ancient town once referred to as Okrika London for its peace and serenity.

Speaking at the event, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike  commended the people of Okrika Local Government Area, for being peaceful and supportive to his administration.

He said the people have maintained the peace in the area which had been the focal point of his administration and enjoined them to keep up the spirit.

The State Governor also commended the people for admitting Chief Sekibo into the Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs as the Chief and Head of Achin War Canoe House, stressing that Chief Sekibo would use his wealth of experience to support the people of Okrika.

According to him, the people will tap his experience from time to time as he would add value to the Okrika Division Council of Chiefs, and advised Chief Sekibo  not to play politics with the honour done him.

Governor Wike stated that he has great respect for the traditional institution in the state, and stressed that they have a role to play by stabilizing the state with their positions.

He called on the traditional rulers to promote their culture rather than balkanizing the institution, and further charged them to respect the importance of their staff of office during official functions.

The Governor congratulated the Chief and Head of Achin War Canoe House, Chief Abiye Sameul Precious Sekibo, Achin III, and expressed excitement with the large turn-out of dignitaries from all walks of life.

Also speaking, the chairman of the occasion and Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, Senator George Thompson Sekibo noted that the installation of Chief Abiye Sekibo as Chief and Head of Achin War Canoe House will be beneficial to the people of Wakirike nationality as he will bring positive impact into Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs (ODCC), and work with the Traditional chieftaincy institution in moving the area forward.

Senator Sekibo advised Chief Dr. Sekibo to be ready to defend the people and share their problems as he is now a General with a group of people in a war canoe house under him.

Earlier, Chairman of Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs (ODCC), Chief Sunday Kalaowolo said that the traditional rulers and chiefs will continue to support Governor Wike, and hinted that the people would formally welcome honour him to express their joy over his second term victory.

Chief Kalaowolo who described Governor Wike as the “Millennium Governor,” stated that his projects and good works will stand the test of time.

Highlights of the day was the introduction of Chief Achin III to the Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs led by Chief Zeb Isaac Obipi Ogulacha, while the Ibani Wari Owuogbo and Abara Dance Group of Grand Bonny thrilled the audience with their cultural display courtesy the Amanyanabo of Bonny, His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Peppe III, Perekule XI.

read more