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Rivers APC Vows to Tackle Soot Menace in Port Harcourt if Voted into Power

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Rivers APC Vows to Tackle Soot Menace in Port Harcourt if Voted into Power

By Nwaorgu Faustinus

The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has once again accused Governor Nyesom Wike of complicity on the soot which has continued to pollute the state, vowing that it would stop all illegal refineries and associated tools that cause soot within six months of assumption of power in 2019.

The opposition party in the state, in a statement by Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the Media Consultant to Dr Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the State Chairman of Rivers APC, said, “The other day, the Governor of Rivers state, Chief Nyesom Wike, in his dramatic pattern, accused the Federal Government of plotting to exterminate the Rivers population by encouraging activities that will sustain the dark, dangerous and mortal cloud on the state capital, which has become known as the dangerous soot.

“He backed his emotional hypocrisy with a lot of lies, but what is not lost on the free mind and those who are not caught in the politically motivated emotional blackmail is that the Governor knows more than he has told the world.

“Ask the governor how the Federal Government had been producing and sustaining the soot, his explanation would be the seldom practice of destruction of illegal refining sites, a practice that goes on in other parts of the region, where oil theft and illegal refining of crude oil into dangerous oil products.”

Dr Ikanya stated that it has come to the notice and understanding of the APC in Rivers state that the so-called crocodile tears of the Governor is just a decoy.

“Reliable discoveries have revealed that the Governor said all he said to buy cover for a well-organized illegal activity going on under his nose,” Mr Ikanya said.

The party said, “Governor Wike knows that the deadly cloud over Port Harcourt is undoubtedly from illegal oil refining, which has been termed as ‘kpo fire’. He knows the leaders of the groups involved in this dangerous illegality, he knows them from the race to the 2015 election and he very well knows what this is all about.

“The blame on the Federal Government was a mere façade. We call on Rivers State Governor, who happens to also be the Chief Security Officer of the state, to call his boys off so we can have a clean, soot-free environment.

“For the avoidance of doubts, the ‘producers’ of the dangerous cloud over Port Harcourt (soot) are Wike’s boys, whom they used to execute the 2015 elections and they have kept in a sort of security immunized zone so that they can make enough money to buy the arms and ammunition they will need to prosecute the 2019 bloodbath, since they won’t have the ‘federal might’ to fight personal wars as they used to.

“The APC in Rivers state, therefore, calls on the Governor of Rivers state to be compassionate and spare the innocent children, women, youths and men of the State capital, who do not have the sort of protection as he does, to call his agents of death off from their daily cooking of illegal crude. They should stop killing us all even before the elections come,” the party pleaded.

The party however commended the Federal Government for its concerted efforts in finding the causes of the soot and how to curtail its menace in Rivers State but reiterated that any effort without Governor Wike collaborating and assisting to call his boys to stop this evil act of operating illegal refineries will be an exercise in futility the party.

The party warned Wike to toe its line of plea for peace and sanity and avoid the plots to destroy the lives of Rivers State people because of elections as such plea should not be taken as the rattling from a disadvantaged body but as a wise counsel to prevent him from turning the State into a worse situation as he did before, during and after the 2015 general elections when he turned the State into a battle field were hundreds of innocent souls of Rivers State people were lost in the bid to install him (Wike) as the Governor of Rivers State.

The party also cautioned that the 2019 general elections will not be a repeat performance of 2015 general elections where he used the militants to execute his evil plots against democracy and good governance in Rivers State.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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IGP Authorises Stop & Search, Raids, Others to Tackle Crime

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IGP alkali Tinted Permits

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of adequate security around schools, hospitals, and critical national infrastructures across the country.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, said the IGP has also ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality in some states of the federation.

“The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of water-tight security arrangements to cover all schools, hospitals, health workers, and critical national infrastructures around the country,” the statement added.

“The IGP has equally ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality recorded in some states of the federation,” it further said.

Mr Baba gave the directive while reviewing the reports he received from various commands and formations on the general security situations across the country.

He tasked strategic police managers at various levels to prioritize the use of intelligence gathering networks while charging officers and men of the force to take the fight against crime to the doorsteps of suspected criminal elements with a view to flushing them from their hideouts.

The IGP also called for the cooperation of members of the public, warning police officers to be civil, professional, and humane in the course of discharging their duties.

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SERAP Begs INEC to Allow 7 million Nigerians Complete Voter Registration

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inec electoral bill

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow seven million Nigerians to complete their voter registration.

SERAP made the call in a statement on Sunday through its Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, warning that the failure of the electoral body to grant this request could attract legal action.

According to the rights group, INEC recently disclosed that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 completed the process at physical centres.

SERAP believes that the right to vote is also the right to be given the time and opportunity to complete the registration process so that it can be effectively exercised.

“The right to vote is not merely the right to cast a ballot but also the right to be given the time and opportunity to complete the registration process, so that the right can be meaningfully and effectively exercised,” the statement read.

“Closing the gates on eligible Nigerians and denying them the time and opportunity to complete their registration cannot preserve trust in the electoral process.

“Denying a significant number of eligible voters the time and opportunity to complete the registration for their PVCs would impair the right to vote of those affected, deny them a voice in the 2023 elections, and lead to disparate and unfair treatment of these voters,” it submitted.

The organisation noted that, “According to a report released by INEC, out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 Nigerians representing 32.8 per cent, completed the process at a physical centre. 7,043,594 Nigerians carried out their pre-registration but are yet to complete the process at a physical centre.

“This represents over 67 per cent of those who began their registration process online.

“According to INEC, a total of 12,298,944 Nigerians completed their voter registration; 8,854,566 of which were persons who did their registration entirely at a physical centre.

“The over seven million Nigerians have already completed their registration online, that is, via INEC online portal by providing their biodata and required documents.”

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FG Threatens CCECC Over Drawback in Rail Contract

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CCECC China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has threatened to sanction the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for not meeting up with the agreement of providing 85 per cent of rail project costs in a move that could signify friction.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, at the inspection of the Lekki Deep Seaport on Saturday in Lagos.

According to Mr Sambo, the projects are the Kano-Kaduna and the Maiduguri-Port Harcourt rail lines.

“The CCECC has not brought anything to the table. I gave them a deadline which is October 30, if I don’t get that money on the ground, I know what to advise Mr President to do,” he said.

He expressed satisfaction with the Lekki Deep Seaport project, noting that the initiatives were to ensure the smooth evacuation of cargo at the port.

He said that for part-time, the road was being expanded, adding that the government was looking into it, and for medium-term, barges would take care of it.

“I am impressed and happy to be back here. This we know is the pride of all Nigerians, the first deep seaport in West Africa that will take the largest ship in the world has 16.5 meters deep, and will give us hundreds and thousands of jobs.

“Almost automated not fully but automated enough to make life easy for port operations.

“It is initiatives like this we want to encourage, that is why I did not hesitate when I came to the ministry and I saw a proposal of the Badagry Deep Seaport sitting on my table and took it immediately for approval.

“Also, the president is concerned about cargo evacuation at the port and does not want a repeat of the Apapa and TinCan port and so we cannot rely on the road alone which is not the best option.

“There is a need to sit down with stakeholders to see how to tackle this,” he said.

He pointed out that cargo evacuation was not just within the port but outside the port, as goods must reach the final destination.

“First of all, you save a lot of time at the port because of automation and modern technology and equipment.

“After the port what happens, it only makes sense when the goods get to the shipper or owner. And to do that, you need to move either by rail, water, or road,” he said.

Mr Sambo urged the management of the port to employ as many Nigerians as possible as this was the only way citizens could put food on the table for their families.

On his part, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, noted that the Lekki Deep Seaport was one of the first solutions to reducing traffic at Apapa and TinCan.

According to Mr Bello-Koko, the automation deployed at the port is commendable and fantastic as the processes will be free of human interference.

He said that the Apapa and TinCan port would still be viable, adding that what they had done was to create alternatives for importers and exporters as to where they would decide to do business.

“The operators of those ports should also up their game, and improve their speed in terms of cargo clearance or otherwise.

“Feasibility studies have shown that these ports will still be viable in future like 10, 15 years, the government can decide to turn some of these ports into a real estate, we have some of them in Europe,” Mr Bello-Koko said.

Mr Du Ruogang, the Managing Director, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Ltd. (Lekki Port), said that the port was 95 per cent completed, adding that they would meet the targeted time.

Mr Ruogang appreciated the NPA for deploying marine services such as tug, pilot, lines, boats and harbour master before the operations of the port.

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