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Gov. Wike Bemoans Secession; Wants Nigeria To Be Restructured

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has advised those agitating for secession to rather strive for restructuring of the country in order to foster much desired unity.

Governor Wike stated this when the Primate of the All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Chukwuka Ndukuba led a delegation of the Church on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

The Governor explained that the people of Rivers State have for decades lived peacefully with Nigerians from other part of the country. But, regretted that criminals under the aegis of the outlawed, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), have misconstrued the peaceful disposition of the State to carry out treasonous activities like foisting their flags and remaining Rivers communities.

He stated that Rivers State was peaceful during the EndSARS protest, until IPOB members unleashed unprovoked attacks that killed six soldiers, four policemen, and destruction of all police stations and Court buildings in Oyigbo.

The Governor reiterated that the allegation that he ordered soldiers to attack Igbo people living in Oyigbo, was untrue and politically motivated. According to him, if he had not imposed curfew based on security advise, there would have been bloody confrontation between Hausa and Igbo communities.

He urged those with divisive tendency to join those clamouring for a restructuring of the country in order to usher a new birth and united Nigeria.

“We need the unity of this country. What everybody is talking about is the restructuring of this country. If we are practising federalism, let it be federalism. We can’t be talking about federalism, but we are practising unitary system of government.”

The Governor implored the Church to continue to pray for Nigeria because the country was apparently sitting on a keg of gun powder.

“This is the time for the church not to be docile, this is the time for the church to speak out. When society is bad, it affects the church. When governance is bad, it affects the church. No matter how we look at it. Nobody can run away from it, things are not working well in the country. The way the country is supposed to be is not where we are. Even when you are in the pulpit, it is an opportunity to speak to your members that things are not well”, he said.

Governor Wike said as a Christian, he has no apology for handing over the State to God. He used the occasion to announce a donation of N500 million on behalf of the Rivers State government to support the Anglican Church education development and mission fund.

The Governor further urged Most Rev. Ndukuba to advise the church to obey the COVID-19 protocols. According to him, security report at his disposal indicates, churches do not adhere to COVID-19 protocol.

Meanwhile, the Primate of the All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Chukwuka Ndukuba, said in a time of uncertainty in the country, the church was very proud of the steps and stance Governor Wike has taken on critical issues.

“We come not only to encourage you as the Lord encouraged Joshua, we believe as the Lord was with Joshua, He will be with you; He will strengthen you, and under your leadership, this state will know greatest, development and peace. The Lord God Almighty who called you and gave you this opportunity, will not leave you nor forsake you. Only be strong and courageous. We are proud of you.”

He stated that in a time like this, when people were surrounded by uncertainty, it was good to see the Governor standing out boldly, leading with firmness and leading with courage.

“We are very proud of the steps you have taken, the stands you have taken and the way you have demonstrated your love for God and for the people, because governance is a scared trust. And indeed we have seen you demonstrate that very well”, he said.

The Primate said the church has declared the decade of 2020 to 2030 , a decade of the reign of God. He stated that the intention under his leadership will focus on the things that will touch the life of the people.

KELVIN EBIRI
Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor.
November 06, 2020.

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PHOTOS: Ex-convict Returns To Nigeria With 4.56kg Of Cocaine

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An ex-convict, Okechukwu Francis Amaechi, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Port Harcourt International Airport for importing cocaine.

The agency in a statement issued on Sunday said Okechukwu finished serving a drug trafficking prison sentence in Brazil in March 2022.

Okechukwu was caught with 4.56kg crack concealed in lawnmower tyres.

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UK Government Denies Declaring IPOB Terrorist Organisation

By Sandra Ani

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ipob members
IPOB Members

The British High Commission Abuja has described as inaccurate the reports making rounds that United Kingdom (UK) has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law.

In a statement made available to GrassRoots.ng, titled: “British High Commission Abuja on the UK Government Publications of the 13 April Country Policy and Information Note: ‘Nigeria: Separatist groups in the South East’”, the Commission said, “These reports are untrue.  The ‘Indigenous People of Biafra” (IPOB) is not a proscribed organisation in the UK”. 

“The inaccurate reporting relates to the 13 April 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information note (CPIN) on separatist groups in SE Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). CPINs provide country of origin information (COI) and analysis of COI for use by UK Government decision-makers handling particular types of protection and human rights claims. 

“All asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on their individual facts in accordance with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account relevant background country information and case law.

“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), provides a general assessment of risks faced by individuals belonging to those groups.  These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available country information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources including media outlets; UK and other governments; local, national and international organisations; and non-government organisations. 

“This CPIN also acknowledges that the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, some members of IPOB have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection”.

 The document is publicly available on our UK Government website, Gov.UK here.

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Lawyer Gives EFCC Seven Days To Summon Nwajiuba, Ngige, Amaechi, Threatens Lawsuit

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An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission a seven days’ notice to summon serving ministers and All Progressives Congress presidential aspirants.

The lawyer said the anti-graft agencies must summon the ministers and other government officials who have picked up bogus APC 2023 nomination forms to explain the source of funding, as their salaries for four years combined can’t afford such exorbitant fees charged by the ruling party.

Olajengbesi, who is the Principal Partner at Abuja-based law firm, Law Corridor, warned the EFCC and the ICPC that failure to summon the APC aspirants and serving government officials after seven days would attract a lawsuit.

He said the lawsuit would be instituted at the Federal High Court in Abuja and would be followed up to a logical conclusion to rid the political system of corruption.

Olajengbesi, in a statement on Friday, alleged that “The APC is promoting the same corruption that it claims to fight with the outrageous cost of nomination and expression of interest forms. One is not even surprised, after all, President Muhammadu Buhari has found nothing wrong in the pardon of two former governors convicted of stealing billions of naira. APC reeks of corruption.

“By this statement, I put the EFCC and the ICPC on notice to summon and probe all APC aspirants who double as government officials who have purchased the outrageous nomination forms. Be it, governors, ministers and every one of them must explain the source of their funding and must be duly vetted by the anti-graft agencies.

“Taxpayers’ monies must not be siphoned into the pursuit of selfish ambitions by individuals who do not have the interest of common Nigerians at heart.

“I will be instituting legal action against the EFCC and the ICPC at the expiration of seven days beginning from today, April 30, 2022, upon the failure of the two anti-graft agencies to live up to its responsibilities and probe all these government officials.”

APC had days ago pegged the cost of its nomination and expression of interest forms for the presidential election at N100 million, N50 million for governorship, N20m for Senatorial and N10m for federal house of representatives.

Already, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; amongst others have picked up the forms while others are expected to follow suit in the coming days. They include Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha; former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu; amongst others jostling to be the flagbearer at the end of the APC presidential primary scheduled to hold at the end of May 2022.

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