Police Restore Peace In Rivers Community – – The Tide


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The Rivers State Police Command has said that peace has been restored to Bodo community in Gokana Local Government Area of the state following an alleged invasion of the community by gunmen in military uniform.
The gunmen had whisked away over 30 persons, last Wednesday.
Spokesperson of the state Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, said the state Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, had dispatched a tactical unit to restore peace in the community, adding that peace has been restored.
According to a source, members of Bodo Community fled their homes to safety after some gunmen suspected to be soldiers invaded their community in the early hours of Wednesday, and whisked away some persons to an unknown destination.
According to a source, who said there had been tension in the community following the issues that broke out after oil spill incidents that happened earlier this year.
The source said the disagreement led to the dethronement of the community king and shake-up of the leadership structure in the community.
The source further stated that the gunmen in military camouflage showed up at the Regent’s residence, Chief Pius Menegha, but met his absence.
The source further said thathe gunmen allegedly brutally beat his wife and took away about 25 people amidst sporadic shooting in the air for several hours.
The community, however, called on the state governor to wade into the issue as they urged the commissioner of police to order a probe into the lingering crisis in the community.
A member of the community, who is the leader of the intercessory group, Bariaala Ngo, said “We, the people of Bodo City, are calling on the commissioner of police in Rivers State, Okon Effiong Okon, to investigate some men dressed in military camouflage to Bodo community on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 by 1:30am, and inflicted massive brutality, and arrested over 20 people in the community, of which the unknown gunmen in military uniform also broke and invaded the regent’s house and a dynasty head with sporadic gunshots.
“Among those arrested were Chief Pius Menegha, whose wife was thoroughly beaten and harassed, and our regent is yet to be found since after the insurgency occurred.
“You also agree that the Bodo youth, in recent time, had made several moves through the help of God almighty against the administration of fetish people in the community.
“However, some residents of Bodo community, in a save our souls (SOS) letter addressed to the IGP, also draw the attention of the public to Bodo community that the community is now under attack by persons who don’t want the progress of the community due to their selfish gain.
“We, the native of Bodo, are appealing to the inspector general of police and the Department of State Service (DSS) to investigate those bad element that has decided to take up arms against the Bodo community and consider the safe and quick release of the innocent citizens of Bodo who are under siege.
“The indigenes of Bodo also draw the attention of the security agencies that their lives is in danger and no longer save in the community as they are waking up to attack every day.
“They also called on the governor of Rivers State to summon all the elite of Bodo to come home and make peace with her community and ensure that the place is safe for all.”
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Former special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has called on states in the Niger Delta to give an account of the 13percent derivation funds they have been receiving from the Federal Government.
Obono-Obla, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, urged them to emulate the Peoples Democratic Party’s Governor Nyesom Wike in Rivers State, who, he said, gave a comprehensive report of what his state had done with the fund.
“Wike stands out amongst the Niger Delta governors. I salute him for his doggedness, ebullience and patriotism. He is exemplary, and he has given an account of what he has done for his State from the 13percent derivation.
“Let other Niger Delta states take a cue from Governor Wike and give a just and comprehensive account of what they have done with their 13percent derivation fund forthwith,” Obono-Obla said in a statement, yesterday.
He alleged that the Niger Delta states had kept the releases from the 13percent derivation a closely guarded secret over the years.
Over the weekend, Wike had, at a commissioning ceremony in Port Harcourt, reeled out the feats of his government, and also accounted for the 13percent derivation funds the state government has received so far.
The Federal Government gives the derivation funds to oil-bearing states, mostly in the Niger Delta region of the country.
He had listed the other Niger Delta states which also received such funds as Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom.
However, Wike did not mention Cross River State, which lost its status as an oil producer due to the loss of the sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula by the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Cameroon in a judgement of the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Obono-Obla, who is a lawyer and an indigene of Cross River, explained that after losing her status as a littoral state, there was litigation in the Supreme Court initiated by the Government of Cross River State against Akwa Ibom State over ownership of 76 oil wells located in the Bakassi Pennisula which Cross River State also lost.
“Cross River State has, therefore, not been enjoying the 13percent derivation that other Niger Delta states have been enjoying. This has placed Cross River State in great financial straits.”
Obono-Obla stated that the denial of 13percent derivation to Cross River State is “an egregious injustice which has to be addressed by the Federal Government.”
The former presidential aide cautioned some Niger Delta states against blaming the Federal Government for being responsible for the region’s underdevelopment.
He insisted that the region has enjoyed huge allocations from the Federal Government over the years.
He alleged that leaders of the region turned a blind eye to the looting of their resources and mismanagement by their governors.
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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “promptly set up a presidential panel of enquiry to thoroughly, impartially, effectively and transparently investigate spending on all social safety nets and poverty alleviation programmes and projects executed between 2015 and 2022.”
SERAP also urged him “to ensure the findings of any such investigation are widely published and suspected perpetrators of corruption and mismanagement of public funds meant to take care of the poor should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient evidence, and any stolen public funds should be recovered.”
A recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows damning revelations that some 133million Nigerians are poor, despite the government reportedly spending N500billion yearly on ‘social investment programmes.’
Half of all poor people in the country are children.
In the letter dated November 19, 2022, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The report suggests a grave violation of the public trust, and the lack of political will to genuinely address poverty, and uphold your government’s constitutional and international human rights obligations.”
SERAP said, “The report that 133million Nigerians are poor suggests corruption and mismanagement in the spending of trillions of naira on social safety nets and poverty alleviation programmes, including the reported disbursement of over $700million from the repatriated Abacha looted funds to these programmes.”
SERAP said the government has legal obligations to effectively and progressively address and combat extreme poverty as a matter of human rights.
It maintained that the failure of the government to address extreme poverty has resulted in a high level of inequality and serious violations of the economic and social rights of Nigerians, particularly the socially and economically vulnerable sector of the population.
The letter, copied to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Mr Olivier De Schutter, read in part: “These grim revelations by the NBS show the failure to fulfil your oft-repeated promise to lift 100million Nigerians out of poverty, and that no one will be left behind.
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.
“The report also shows that the purported social safety nets and poverty alleviation programmes are clearly not working. It also shows a failure by your government to uphold the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed human rights of the Nigerian people.
“SERAP also urges you to prioritise investment in quality education and healthcare, and to redirect some of the unnecessary spending in the 2023 budget such as spending by the presidency on feeding and travels, and money allocated to the National Assembly in the budget to address poverty as a human rights issue.
“A supplementary appropriation bill, which reflects the proposed redirected budgets should be urgently sent to the National Assembly for its approval.
“Your government has a sacred duty to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the country’s resources, including the spending of public funds on social safety nets and poverty alleviation programmes and projects.
“Section 14(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] provides that, ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.’
“Under Section 16(1)(a)(b), your government has the obligations to ‘harness the resources of the nation and promote national prosperity and an efficient, a dynamic and self-reliant economy’ and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen.
“Nigeria has also ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognize legally enforceable economic and social rights, such as the rights to education, health, safe food and clean water, security, and shelter.
“Allegations of corruption in social safety nets and poverty alleviation programmes pose both direct and indirect threats to human rights, and contribute to extreme poverty in the country.
“Nigerians have the right to be free from poverty. Extreme poverty is the greatest denial of the exercise of human rights, as it denies millions of Nigerians not only their economic and social rights but also civil and political rights such as the rights to life, human dignity, and political participation.
“Political freedom and participation are closely related to human development. Without economic and social rights, people cannot effectively enjoy their political freedom. Therefore, effectively and progressively addressing poverty would improve the ability of Nigerians to exercise their political freedom and to have choices in life.
“Successive governments have systematically neglected social and economic rights and failed to address severe poverty and inequality in the country.
“Part of the problem is the failure by your government to promote the legal recognition of economic and social rights in the Nigerian Constitution, which would allow people living in poverty to seek redress for violations of their human rights.
“The allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending of public funds on social safety nets and poverty alleviation programmes and projects would clearly amount to a fundamental breach of national anticorruption laws and the country’s international anticorruption obligations.
“Investigating and prosecuting the allegations, and recovering any stolen public funds would serve the public interest.
“SERAP notes that the consequences of corruption are felt by citizens on a daily basis. Corruption exposes them to additional costs to pay for health, education and administrative services.
“Corruption undermines economic development of the country, trapping the majority of Nigerians in poverty and depriving them of employment opportunities.
“The 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Survey reveals that 65percent of the poor (86million people) live in the North, while 35percent (nearly 47million) live in the South. Poverty levels across states vary significantly, with the incidence of multidimensional poverty ranging from a low of 27percent in Ondo to a high of 91percent in Sokoto.
“The NBS also shows that over half of the population of Nigeria are multi-dimensionally poor and cook with dung, wood or charcoal, rather than clean energy. High deprivations are also apparent nationally in sanitation, healthcare, food insecurity and housing. Half of all poor people are children.”
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My Guber Bid For All Rivers People, Fubara Clarifies Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has declared that he would not support anybody who believes that only the presidency of the country was their birth right, and that no other ethnic group can produce the president of Nigeria.
Wike made the declaration at the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 election campaign flag-off rally held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Omagwa, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state, last Saturday.
This is even as the Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 election in Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, has said that the governorship election in the state was not about him but every Rivers indigene and those who live and do business in the state.
The governor wondered why anybody could go on national television to deride any tribe, insinuating that they are less Nigerians and therefore, do not qualify, on ethnic basis, to ascend the presidency.
‘My dear brothers of the Integrity Group, you’ve done well. They have tried to break us, they couldn’t break us, and they will never break us.
“But here in Rivers State, I will say it, and let the heavens hear me. Let the earth hear me today. I will not support anybody who says that no other person from other ethnic groups can be president. I will not do it.
“I mean, Nigeria belongs to all of us whether you’re from Hausa, Fulani; whether you’re from Yoruba, whether you’re from Igbo, or you’re from Ikwerre, whether you’re from Urhobo, whether you’re from Itsekiri, you’re from Ijaw, or from anywhere, you are entitled to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, when you go on national television and tell people, don’t vote for the Yorubas, don’t vote for the Igbos, you didn’t even mention where I come from, which means, nobody identifies with me; which means, I come from nowhere. But God knows that I come from somewhere.”
Wike explained that his stance has nothing to do with the party because he believes in the PDP.
But, he insisted that it was about the identity of a people who were Nigerians, and therefore, should have equal status, no matter their ethnic origin.
The governor said when people do not acknowledge that you exist, there was need to tell such persons that you do exist.
According to him, the people of Rivers State do exist, and as Nigerians, they can also determine issues about the presidency, and become the president of Nigeria too.
“You are saying it, don’t vote for Igbos, and don’t vote for Yorubas. You don’t mention where I come from, which means I don’t exist.
“God, are you alive and they say I don’t exist? I exist. God has never made a mistake in life. He is the one who said where we should come from? It has nothing to do with party. It has to do with my identity.”
Wike challenged the National Chairman of PDP,Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to sue him, if he was not corrupt as accused, over the diversion of N1billion, N100million, and money realised from the party primaries.
The Rivers State governor explained that Ayu was already building a private university from the proceeds of corruption, and insisted that such person cannot lead Rivers State to any campaign.
“I have challenged Ayu, you are corrupt and cannot lead me to campaign. I will not, Rivers State will not, whether they like it or not; Ayu cannot lead us to campaign. Ayu is corrupt.”
He further added, “You (Ayu) are building a university in Benue State, but you have not stayed one year in office. How do you fight corruption? I said you took N1billion. I told you, you took N100million. I told you, you took the money that we realised from the primary, Ayu sue me, if I lied.”
Wike thanked Governors Samuel Ortom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu, and Seyi Makinde of Benue, Enugu, Abia, and Oyo, respectively, for honouring Rivers people with their presence at the epoch event.
“I sincerely thank my brothers, the Integrity Governors for being here with us. Let me assure you, no state of the PDP Integrity Group will lose their governorship election. No amount of gang up will make PDP in Rivers, Abia, Oyo, Benue, and Enugu lose governorship election in 2023.
“Here in Rivers State, they cannot defeat us because we have done very well. Even President Muhammadu Buhari, who is a member of APC, acknowledged that we have worked for Rivers people. If the president could score us very high, who are they to challenge us at the polls?
“APC in Rivers State sold all our assets before we came on board, they sold our plane, we got it back, they sold our gas turbines that Dr. Peter Odili built, they sold it to themselves, now they want to come back, Rivers people will not let that happen,” the governor added.
Wike stated that he will not support any presidential candidate who says or believes that people from a certain section of the country cannot be president because he believes in the unity of Nigeria, and he wants a country where every Nigerian will be given equal rights and opportunities.
“I will not support any presidential candidate who says people from other parts of the country cannot be president. Nigeria belongs to all of us, nobody can say we do not exist, Rivers State exists.
“If you believe in restructuring like you claim in your town hall meetings, then show it in your party, all the senior positions of the party cannot be in the hands of people from one section of the country. What the G-5 Governors are saying is this, we need equity, fairness and justice in PDP,” he added.
The Chairman of PDP Integrity Governors, Mr Samuel Ortom, said Wike was a pan-Nigerian leader who believes in equity, fairness and justice, and earned their respect for showing exemplary leadership.
“Governor Wike is our leader, a pan Nigerian who believes in equity, fairness and justice. He has shown an exemplary leadership and we are happy to follow his leadership.
“With what I have seen here today, I want to congratulate the incoming governor of Rivers State, Sim Fubara, your victory is sure because Governor Wike has done well and PDP is fully on ground here. I also want to appreciate the good people of Rivers State for your hospitality,” he said.
According to him, all G-5 Governors have chosen to work with him since they believe in equity, fairness and justice.
On his part, Enugu State Governor, Hon Ífeanyi Ugwuanyi, stated his support to the Sim Project which, would consolidate the New Rivers Vision and guarantee continual delivery of democratic dividends to Rivers people.
Also speaking, the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, urged all Rivers people to support the PDP to deliver Fubara, who would continue in Wike’s trajectory of growth, development and progress for Rivers State.
In his remarks, Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, expressed the hope that Rivers State would continue in the tradition of delivering all PDP candidates as known since 1999.
PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Amb Taofeek Arapaja, expressed optimism that the party would win all elective positions in the 2023 general election.
Arapaja commended the G-5 Governors for their unwavering commitment to the party.
On his part, former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, urged the national leadership of PDP to use available time to ensure that true reconciliation was achieved, before it was too late.
In his speech, the Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 election in Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, said the governorship election in the state was not about him but every Rivers indigene and those who live and do business in the state.
The Rivers PDP standard-bearer said his ambition was selfless, and his vision was to continue to consolidate the milestones of Governor Nyesom Wike in infrastructure, education, health, among others.
Fubara said, “While I was coming here, someone said to me that today is my day, let me set the record straight, what we are doing is not about me but every Rivers citizen, it is not Fubara’s day. Today is the day that we have all come together to support and consolidate on the NEW Rivers Vision.
“Your support for the consolidation of NEW Rivers Vision is Sim. It is not my day but it is a day for continuity. A day we have all agreed that where our present governor will stop, Fubara will continue.
“In the area of education, wherever he stops, Fubara will continue. In the area of infrastructure, which is his special area, wherever he stops, Fubara will continue. Wherever he stops in health care, Fubara will continue from there.
“Like I stated earlier, it is a day for every one of us. A special day will come where we will unveil what we will do for Rivers people, to consolidate on the already established blueprint of the NEW Rivers Vision,” the guber candidate added.
Fubara seized the opportunity to thank Rivers people for their overwhelming and unflinching support for Governor Nyesom Wike and his administration.
“I want to specially thank Rivers people for your continuous support for our visionary and indefatigable Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike,” he said.
Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amb. Desmond Akawor, who gave the welcome address, said the campaign flag-off was the unveiling of the next governor of Rivers State.
“I welcome you all for the unveiling of the next governor of Rivers State, that man is Sir Sim Fubara. History is being made today. The crowd you see here are Rivers people with PVC, not rented crowd.
“Sim is the man Rivers people have willingly chosen to govern them in 2023. It is Sim Fubara because his candidacy stands for equity and fairness; it is Sim Fubara because he is young, educated, sound, and energetic. He is the right man to take us to the next level, he added.
The Director-General of Rivers PDP Campaign Council, Bro. Felix Obuah, said Wike has made his job as campaign DG easier because he has done tremendously well for Rivers people.
“As the Director-General of PDP Campaign Council, I am supposed to be running around campaigning for our governorship candidate, but Governor Wike has done virtually 75percent of my work with his projects in Rivers State. My job is a lot easier. The entire state is SIMplified,” he stated.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of flags to the governorship candidate and National Assembly candidates by the PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Amb. Taofeek Arapaja.
While performing the task, Arapaja said they will continue to be loyal to the G-5 Governors because they mean well for Nigeria, and those fighting them are elements of disunity in the country.
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