Another political transition in Nigeria is in the offing as political campaigns for the 2023 general election commence officially tomorrow.
This entails that candidates contesting in the general polls can now seek votes formally from Wednesday, September 28, in line with the time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Accordingly, officials of INEC and leaders of the 18 registered political parties will meet in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to discuss ways to ensure issue-based campaigns that will lead to violence-free polls next year.
13% derivation: Try me if you can, Wike declares
Kayode Sanni Arewa
The row over the 13 per cent derivation arrears released to oil producing states raged on yesterday with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike throwing a challenge at his colleagues.
He told them to dedicate three weeks for project inaugurations the same way he had done instead of criticising him for commending President Muhammadu Buhari’s gesture
The governor recently lauded the President for releasing the refunds which were withheld when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held the fort between 1999 and 2015.
According to him, some Niger Delta governor hide under groups such as Akwa Ibom Professionals and Ijaw Professionals to insult him and called on them to stop behaving like cowards and come out openly.
Speaking at the inauguration of the first-ever road to Rumuodogo communities in Emohua Local Government Area, Wike said some of his critics spend four years to execute one project.
Wike said he expected his colleagues to join him and thank President Buhari for releasing the money instead of attacking him.
The governor boasted that whereas some of his colleagues were made governors by their godfathers, he had no godfather and was able to defeat a sitting governor.
He said: “What is my crime today in the Niger Delta states? I said God thank President Buhari for giving me money to do this road. Did I commit any offence. I don’t know the offence that I committed for saying thank you.
“Let me tell those who are making noise. Whether you are a governor I don’t care. Whoever you are I don’t care. I came to run as a governor of Rivers. No governor said I want to put you as a governor.
“I came on my own. We defeated the sitting governor. Some governors were brought by their godfathers. I never had a godfather to bring me as a governor. The only godfather I had was God and the people of Rivers State.
“So, when some governors are talking, they should know those they are talking with. We are not on the same level. We can’t be on the same level. Let these small people keep quiet. If you are not prepared for governance, give up. I am prepared for governance. I will prepare till I leave.
“I am not a fan of Buhari. I am not one of those who go to Abuja to see them. But the truth must be told. When somebody had done well in an aspect, you say so. No matter how you hate me, won’t you give me the credit that I did Rumuodogo road?
“Even if you don’t like Buhari and I say he released money I am using to do something, is anything wrong in that? Some people are not grateful in life, even when you help them they can never be grateful. I will continue to be grateful. People open their mouth and say three kilometre road in their state is more than how many flyovers in Rivers.
“Rivers is a Niger Delta State. It has riverine and land areas. I don’t know who can claim they are more riverine than Rivers State. I didn’t tell you to give account. All I say is thank Buhari. What I expected them to do is to join me and thank Buhari. Now they are saying we receive this and that. What’s my business? If you say you have more water do the ones you have water let us see.
“I have never done any project more than a year and half. I challenge anybody. I can tell you the contractors doing job in this state. Name the ones doing jobs in your state. Do your own, not to do one project for four years. I will never do any project for four years.
“People have been sending their people to insult me and I laugh. Some people they call them Akwa Ibom professionals. They were insulting me. I say tell the man who sent you to come out. We are not kids. I am waiting for you. Some people say Ijaw professionals, you sending them come out. It is you I am looking for. Not all these fries.
“That we are doing 12 flyovers, did I ask you not to do? I am not doing only roads. Go and see what we have done in the health sector. See what we are doing in Yenagoa Law School. We put over N5bn to recover that school in the Southsouth. When they gave us a licence we built our own law school campus within 10 months.
“I challenge any state to commission projects in three weeks every day. So, what are you talking about? I am not running an election. I don’t need to be a sychophants. But the truth must be told at all times. If you want to face Wike come and face me. I have the capacity and I have told them to be careful.
“I have never gone to a meeting with anybody in life and we agree on something and I abandon it. I am not a betrayer. It is not in my blood. Tell them to face their problems. We started inauguration on November 14. We will end tomorrow. By Monday, we will start flagging off new projects. I will pepper them. The politics today is not to talk but operation show your report card.”
The Rivers governor said he started inaugurating projects to shame those who predicted he would not have money to pay salaries when he took office in 2015.
He said: “You know why we are commissioning these projects, you remember in May 27th, 2015, our brother who was a governor on his birthday while he was leaving office told us that there was no way we would get money to pay pensioners and gratuities not to talk of doing projects.
“We say God you must show that you are God. God in his infinite mercy showed the love he has for this state. He did not only provide money just to pay salaries, pensioners and their gratuities. He has provided money to do this road.”
Oyetola Lied, He Left N76bn Debt In Salaries, Pensions, Not N14bn In Cash ― Osun Govt
Osun state government on Thursday said it has uncovered a monumental debt in salaries, pensions, and insurance commitments incurred by the administration of Mr Gboyega Oyetola amounting to N76 billion.
He however debunked the claim by the former Governor of the state that he left N14bn in cash for the new government among other bogus claims.
The spokesperson to the Osun State governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke in a statement in Osogbo, said, the revelation was made by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Bimpe Ogunlumade, while briefing officials of the new administration on the financial status of the state on Thursday.
“The disclosure was contrary to the claim by the former Governor that he left N14bn in cash for the new government among other bogus claims that have now been found to be an outright falsehood.
“The breakdown of the salaries and pension-related liabilities as disclosed by the Permanent Secretary are as follows:
(I) Salary: N29,875,191,128.64
(II) Pension Arrears: N45,375,237,693.40
(III) Group Life Assurance Scheme: N554,644,028.97
“The public is advised that this is not the total debt left by the past administration as briefings on other sources of liabilities continue tomorrow,” he stated.
Just In: Peter Obi’s Campaign DG, Doyin Okupe Reportedly Fired From Labour Party
The Peter Obi’s campaign director-general, Doyin Okupe has been reportedly sacked from Labour party.
He was sacked alongside 10 others over alleged non-financial membership status, high-handedness and financial recklessness.
The State Chairman of the party, Michael Ashade who announced the development in Abeokuta on Thursday.
He said the offences allegedly committed violated the LP’s constitution.
Ashade flanked by the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Abayomi, and the State Secretary, Feyisola Michael, said Okupe ceased to be the party member after his failure to meet the mandatory constitutional requirements to fulfill membership status.
According to him, Okupe having failed in the payment of his membership dues for the last six months of joining the Party, has forfeited his membership of the Party and no longer fit and competent to continue to act as the DG of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
Ashade said Okupe and 10 others have run foul of the article 9(3) sub(iii) and Article 9(3)xi the LP constitution and thereby ceased to be party members.
The party chairman also accused him of financial recklessness with respect to funds approved for the Ogun LP State on the mobilization of members for the Oyo State rally held last week at Ibadan.
He also accused Okupe of dividing the party in Ogun State “with his crops of PDP dissidents political liabilities who are only using Labour Party to revive their not only irredeemable dead Political and Financial lives but has successfully stole all that is available in LP.”
“Therefore in line with article 19(3) of the Labour Party constitutional provision, we declare that Dr. Doyin Okupe, having failed in the payment of his membership dues for the last six months of joining the Party, has forfeited his membership of the Party and no longer fit and competent to continue to act as the DG of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
“We hereby notify our National Chairman Bar Julius ABURE and Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that it’s expedient to obey the constitution of Labour party by immediately appointing another DG for the PCC and that should come from the North to reflect Federal Characters and political Ballance
“We challenge Dr. Doyin Okupe to provide evidence of any payment in respect of membership dues prior to today into any bank account of the Party.”
Arabambi asked the LP Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to desist from relating with Okupe as the PCC DG.
He vowed that the party would enforce the dismissal of Okupe and others by all lawful means.
Okupe has not reacted to the dismissal. Okupe is widely believed to be Peter Obi’s right-hand man as he’s been at the forefront of actualisation Obi-Datti presidency.
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