Rivers state governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has charged the 23 council chairmen, and youths in the state to fish members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples Organisation of Biafra (IPOB) in the State.
Governor has also warned that any council chairman that allows IPOB to hold processions and hoist its flag within their jurisdiction in Rivers State, risk sack.
He made this assertion during a meeting with all the 23 Local Government chairmen, Community Development Committees and youths leaders at the Government House, in Port Harcourt on Monday.
The governor described Rivers state as the most accommodating state for all Nigerians. To buttress this, he stated that here has never been any historical incident of different ethnic groups clashing in the State as has been the witnessed in other parts of the country.
“We can never be against any ethnic group. We can never do that .we have lived in harmony with the Ibos, the Hausas, and with Edo people. Everybody that comes to this state we have lived in harmony with. And so Nigerians must commend Rivers State as a place where you have never had problem between this group and that group ” he said.
Governor Wike, however, maintained that while the people of Rivers State believe in the unity of the country, they will not allow criminals under the aegis of a terrorist group called IPOB to continue to threaten the stability of the state.
“There is one terrorist group they call IPOB. I did not declare them terrorist group, the court declared them terrorist group. Not me. The federal government declared them a terrorist group. IPOB cannot use Rivers state to be place where they will be launching attack. If you allow that, your future, your children’s future is gone” he said .
Infuriated by IPOB’s effrontery to hoist its flag in Oyigbo, the governor directed the council chairman to ensure there will not be another occurrence of this treasonous act.
“Go to Oyigbo and see what they have done. Destroyed the court. What did the court do? See the soldiers they killed and burnt them. See the policemen they killed and burnt them and then you said people will sit and fold their arms”.
The governor, while calling for vigilance on the part of Rivers people, however, warned sternly that IPOB members should not delude themselves because Rivers state cannot be colonised or annexed by any group, particularly, while he is still the incumbent governor of the State.
He asserted that Rivers state can never be annexed to any state, to any zone. According to him, Rivers state is Niger Delta and will remain in Niger Delta.
He explained that while every Nigerian is allowed to reside in Rivers State, but those who wish to do so must live in peace with the people of the State.
“Ibos are living and doing their business here and they will continue to live and do their business here. We support that.
But that terrorist group call IPOB, cannot determine what happens in our state. To tell us where they own. It will never happen and we must not allow it to happen”.
Governor Wike charged all chairmen of councils, youth leaders, CDCs to go into their various communities and identify all those IPOB members. He has meanwhile emphasied that nobody of Ibos extraction legitimately residing and doing business in the state must be harassed.
“But there are criminal elements that we must not allow, and the criminal elements are those who said they are IPOB members. Federal government has proscribed them, I have proscribed them” he said .
He called on the people to defend the territory of Rivers State and ensure no part of the State is annexed by a criminal organisation or terrorist organization.
“We cannot allow it. All our vigilantee groups must be encouraged. Everybody must be at alert. Work with the security agencies to make sure nothing call IPOB exist in this state. No procession. Not even a meeting anywhere. Identify where they hold meeting” he said
Rivers State Commissioner of Youth Development, Hon. Ohia Prince Obi, lauded the governor for interfacing with the youths as this will give them a sense of belonging in the affairs of the State.
The chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria in Rivers State , Chijoke Ihunwo, appeal to Governor Wike for clemency for wanted , Stanley Mgbere, who led IPOB members to attack the palace of the king of Onne, was rejected.
Special Assistant (media)to the Governor
FG Raises Number Of Beneficiaries Of N-Power, School Feeding
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed an increase in the beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programmes.
The President directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to increase the number of N-Power beneficiaries from 500,000 to 1,000,000.
He also directed an increase in the beneficiaries of Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) by 1,000,000 as well as beneficiaries of the Home-Grown School Feeding by 5,000,000.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq disclosed these during a briefing to give account of her ministry in the last one year on Monday in Abuja.
The Minister said about 3.7 million households comprising of more than 15.5 million individuals have been captured on the National Social Register.
She said the ministry has developed a strategy for targeting the urban poor in line with President Buhari’s directive to expand the National Social Register.
Gov Okowa Signs 2021 Budget Of N383bn
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Monday in Asaba assented to the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill of N383 billon.
The bill tagged “Budget of Economic Recovery” is made up of N210 billion capital expenditure and N173 billion recurrent expenditure
The Delta House of Assembly increased the budget figure of N378.48 proposed by the governor to N383 billion.
Signing the budget, Okowa assured the people that the state would strive to recover from the economic challenges engendered by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor commended the state house of assembly for the speedy passage of the bill.
He said that signing the budget before December would avail the state government the opportunity to further plan towards its implementation from January, 2021.
He said that the state government would remain focused in the implemention of the budget as passed, for the benefit of the people.
The governor noted that there was warm working relationship between the executive and the legislature in the state.
“You have just witnessed my signing into law, the 2021 Appropriation Bill, and as I said on Oct. 27, during the presentation of the bill, we are in very difficult times this year.
“The second wave of the pandemic will create further challenge for the recovery of the economy of our nation.
“However, we are optimistic that in the 2021 fiscal year, things will gradually improve and we will be able to get back to the desired levels of infrastructural and human capital development for our people.
“I pray that God will help us and this nation to rediscover ourselves and to commit every work of our people and our state and nation for the common good of all our citizens.
The budget is termed ‘budget of economic recovery’ because we are very much aware of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on both our health systems and the economy of the country.
“The pandemic obviously impacted negatively on our budget in 2020 that we had to reduce it twice in the year.
“I want to appreciate our contractors who have continued to stay in their various sites to work even when it is becoming increasingly difficult to make payments on contractual agreements already made.
“We will continue to be very responsible as a state and we will continue to work with them to deliver on our projects,” he said.
The governor expressed delight that some of the key projects in the state, including the new state secretariat building and the Ughelli-Asaba dual carriageway were still on course.
“I want to reassure you, Mr Speaker and Delta people that the executive will keep focus on the development of projects that we are involved in,” he added.
He disclosed that work had commenced at the Ogwashi-Uku Agro-Industrial Park, and reaffirmed that the state government was committed to delivering the project on time.
Okowa said that the state would continue to focus on entrepreneurship programmes, and take them to higher levels in the 2021 fiscal year by engaging more youths.
He said that the state government was also be paying attention to the girl-child development and the empowerment of women.
Presenting the appropriation bill, the Speaker of the state assembly, Sherrif Oborevwori, said that the bill went through all legislative process before being passed.
He said that the bill was presented to the house on Oct. 27 and was passed on Nov. 17, after it was considered sector by sector.
“The quick passage of the bill was necessitated by Your Excellency’s vision to bring the state out of the economic challenges posed by the pandemic,” he said.
According to him, the increase in the budget size was to provide for some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that were not captured in the proposal.
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