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Tinubu remains President, noise about EU’s report on 2023 polls waste of time – Keyamo

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Former Minister of State for Festus Keyamo, former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has joined President Bola Tinubu in pooh-poohing the report of the European Union Observer Mission (EUOM), which all but rubbished the 2023 general elections as generally flawed.

Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), using his verified Twitter handle, maintained that the report not delegitimise Tinubu’s government because there were nowhere in the entire world that elections were completely free without taints.

His position came from the same thinking with Tinubu, who through his spokesman, Dele Alake, dismissed the EUOM’s report of June 27, saying: “There is no substantial evidence provided by the European Union or any foreign and local organisation that is viable enough to impeach the integrity of the 2023 election outcomes.”

Keyamo, explaining that the issue was whether the supposed irregularities affected the election outcome, argued that the EU’s report was not a document that told who won or lost an election.

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The former Minister who played a major role in the emergence of the President as the lead spokesman of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), stressed that only the judiciary had the final say on who won the election and not any other body.

His words: “It is only a forensic examination of the entire process by the judiciary that can determine the extent to which the supposed ‘irregularities’ affected the outcome of the elections. And there are legal rules already laid down to achieve this.

“The EU report is NOT (and cannot be) a document that tells you who won or lost an election. It only reports the ‘irregularities’ noticed and recommends improvement in future elections.

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“Therefore, all the hoopla over that EU report is neither here nor there when it comes to legitimising or delegitimising the government of the day. That power or responsibility belongs to the Judiciary.”

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Group to Wike’s lawmakers: Denying your defectction to APC a joke  

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The Rivers State Ethnic Youth Leaders Coalition (RSEYLC), on Tuesday, laughed off the claims by 27 lawmakers elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), who are claiming that they are still members of their original platform.

The lawmakers, all loyal to Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, are fighting hard through the courts where the case is now sitting and other areas, to save their jobs after their seats were declared vacant by the camp of the Rivers State Governor, Sim Fubara.

Part of their defence, is a recant of their declaration, last year that they had all defected to the APC, in one of their sittings, where they were seeing displaying the symbols of the ruling party at the national level, even though they were elected on the PDP platform among other steps they took to emphasise their new status.

But, SEYLC, in a statement by Legborsi Yamaabana its Chairman in Port Harcourt, carpeted the group fo denying their defection, insisting the only option for them, having lost their seats and legitimacy as mandated by Section 109 (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was for them to contest a fresh election and test their popularity.

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The statement, read: “The Rivers State Ethnic Youth Leaders Coalition, RSEYLC, is appalled by the audacity and shamelessness of the 27 ex-members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who, having defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), now have the gall to deny their defection. These individuals, who owe their positions to the PDP, have lost their seats and legitimacy as mandated by Section 109(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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“Yet, in a brazen display of dishonesty, they now falsely claim to have secured a court judgment asserting their continued membership in the PDP. However, the Attorney General of Rivers State has countered that the suit in which they claim to have obtained a judgment was struck out for want of locus standi and jurisdiction, as well as for being an abuse of court process.

“Such blatant deceit and double-speak are not only disgraceful but also an insult to the intelligence of the people of Rivers State. The RSEYLC, speaking for the discerning and justice-loving youth of Rivers State, is utterly ashamed of these discredited politicians. Their actions are a stain on our democratic values and an affront to all who believe in truth and justice. We urge all who value integrity and good governance to join us in condemning these actions in the strongest terms.

“The people of Rivers State deserve leaders who are honest and committed to serving their constituents, not self-serving opportunists who think they can fool us with their dishonorable antics. Rivers Youths will continue to stand firm against political deceit and corruption, advocating for the integrity and development of our great state.”

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We’ve made Wike and his men sleepless – Fubara

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“By the special grace of God, what they thought that they would have done to us while we were celebrating our one year in office, they are the ones sleeping with their two eyes open. It shows that we have the Ijaw blood. And what is that blood: it is the blood of action; less talk, more action.”

These were the exact words of Siminalayi Fubara, Governor of Rivers State on Thursday, as he claimed victory over the ferocious political war launched against him by the camp of Nyesom Wike, his predecessor and now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He told members of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, who visited him in Port Harcourt that there was no reason to invite them into the fight, because his camp has since claimed victory in the war, though he still acknowledged the support of his Ijaw brothers through the IYC, urging them to key into the celebration of the liberation of the state.

At the ceremony to mark the 56 anniversary of the late Maj. Isaac Adaka Boro, Fubara said the Ijaw hero genuinely stood for equity, justice, and fair play, and pursued his course to ensure liberation for the Ijaw people and their clans, he was delighted to receive them on such auspicious day to re-enact the common purpose of liberation.

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Fubara, who described every Rivers man as a “liberator” thanked his visitors, who came in  a large crowd for their assurances of being available to respond to his call and stand by him.

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Insisting that the enemies of the state had been defeated already, he said: “Because he stood for that unique thing, even after his death, we still celebrate him because he was a liberator. Every Rivers man, it doesn’t matter whether you are Ijaw or upland, the most important thing is that every genuine Rivers man must be a liberator.

“And I’m happy that you have come here today. I have also received you because we have one common purpose: to liberate our dear State.  We are not going back on that. I am happy that you’ve told me this morning that when I call on you, you will respond. But there is nothing to call on you for. Because we have already defeated them.

Fubara, who appealed to Ijaw youths to conduct themselves peacefully as they celebrated Boro Day, and also be good ambassadors of the entire Ijaw Nation, emphasised that it should be done in the same spirit that had enveloped the state, celebrating victory over his political detractors.

Nelson Chukwudi, spokesman, who said in a statement that the governor also promised to support the IYC Eastern Zone with a befitting Secretariat in Rivers, quoted Jonathan Lokpobiri, IYC President, as saying the meeting was historic because Ijaw people were meeting with their governor at Major Isaac Adaka Boro Day memorial.

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Adding that it affirmed that the gods of the Ijaw people were at work, and warned all detractors to retrace their steps and allow the governor, who had the full mandate of the people, to discharge his duties to Rivers people, he commended Fubara for his courage, bravery and commitment to good governance, insisting that his struggle and triumph resonated with the hope of all Ijaw people.

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On his part, the chairman of IYC, eastern zone, Tamuno Kpokpo, clarified that their visit did not signify an ethnic war but to lend support in the protection of the interest and continuous development of Rivers state.

Kpokpo said IYC would stand to resist anybody or group of persons anywhere who dared to cause any distraction of governance in the state, and appealed that the governor be allowed to govern the state peacefully.

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I follow Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ vision – Fubara *Nobody will save Wike’s men

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Siminalaye Fubara, Governor of Rivers State on Thursday revealed that his government is on all fours with the vision of Renewed Hope Agenda, being implemented by President Bola Tinubu an indication that his current political war is not directed at the Presidential Villa, even though Nyesom Wike, his major traducer is at home with the seat of power.

Wike, Fubara’s predecessor, who is now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and currently the patron of the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, as well as other political actors, who have launched an internecine war against the governor, is believed to be quite cozy with Tinubu, whom he helped bring to power in 2023.

Apparently to indicate that the political war in the state has nothing to do with the President, Fubara, told his audience at Egbeda community while kick-off of the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road project in the Emohua Local Government Area on Thursday: “This is not different from the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President. Our mission is not different from the mission of Mr President.

“Mr President’s mission is to give hope to our people. And we are here to give hope to the people of Ikwerre, Emohua, and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Areas, genuinely. Genuinely, not because we have any economic interest here, not at all. We are doing it as a service to our people. We have started our journey in showcasing our interests, wishes, and what we have done in the past one year.”

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It was the same day that the governor, warned trouble makers in the state to have a rethink of engaging in any form of trouble, else they would pay dearly for anyone hurt or any damage done to individuals or structures in any part of the state, adding that such people ought to know that nobody had the instrument of power more than government.

Directing his warning specifically to Chairmen of local governments in the state, who he reminded of the need to start preparing to exit office in July, Fubara, told them not to entertain any illusion that any power could save them from the consequences of fomenting trouble, because there would be no such powers outside the law of the land.

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Emphasising that they had very short time to leave office, the governor, who spoke against the backdrop of threats by the council bosses that they would not vacate office on July 17 because the Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly, loyal to Wike, extended their tenure to six months in an amended law, urged them not to be deceived or allow themselves be led to engage in any form of violence.

His words: “Let me also say this here. When we left Aleto the other day, some people went there and attacked our people. There is no need for that. Nobody has the monopoly of violence. I should even be the one who should come out and shout that I will do this and that.

“But I don’t need to do that because both sides belong to me. I have taken an oath to protect all. So, I am advising those people who call themselves local government chairmen: you have a few days in office. Please, conduct yourselves in a peaceful manner.

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“Politics will come, politics will go, but we will still live our lives. Let nobody deceive you, if you deliberately hurt anybody, because of expressing your useless support, nobody will forgive you. You will pay for it. So, I’m begging everyone, please, conduct yourselves. As a matter of fact, I am the one who is most hit and abused as a Governor who doesn’t know what to do with power. Is it not? Have I said anything?

“So, please, just endure until when you finish, then you go your way. I don’t want trouble. I don’t want anything that will bring any problems in this State. I know what they want to do, but we will not give them the opportunity. We have made our promise to our leader, who happens to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that we will take the path of peace and that is the part we are taking. 

“We will continue to take that path. Don’t mind what they say. Don’t mind what they do. Peace remains the path to take. While taking the path of that peace, it does not mean that we won’t defend ourselves, or let me describe it this way: we will not just be like a tree seeing someone coming to cut it down, and won’t do anything. No, no no. We need to also protect ourselves in a lawful manner.”

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Stating that the project was being executed to let the world know that his administration meant well for Rivers and was transparently accounting for every kobo, the governor explained that the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku road project would be funded with savings from the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), adding that 50 percent of the total cost of N80.8bn had already been paid.

He said: “Why did we pay 50 percent? We understand the fluctuation of prices as a result of exchange rate uncertainties, and we don’t want to find ourselves in a situation of too much variation. So, we sought EXCO approval, and EXCO approved that we should pay 50 percent, and we have done that.

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“And, what is it that we are saying to the world? We are telling the people that we are transparent. That we are a Government that is ready to serve. We are a Government that thinks about the people first. This road is a 33.5-kilometre road that has a bridge. It is a road that would connect Ikwerre, Emohua and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Areas.

“When this road is completed, commercial activities will become very easy, no more wasting of manhours on the road. And that shows that we are thinking about the people, and also caring for the well-being of the people. You must support the contractor to deliver the project within the stipulated 24 months.

“I know strongly, having confirmed the reputation of the contractor, I have no doubt that they will deliver. So, I want to thank every one of you for your patience, continue to support us, we mean well for our people.

Kicking off the project, Senator John Azuta Mbata, who represented Rivers East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, described the dual carriage road project as massive saying though it was within the capacity of the Federal government, Fubara has undertaken it

He said: “We are, indeed, extremely delighted to have a Governor of your calibre. We salute your leadership on this occasion. We salute your humanity on this occasion. We salute your humility on this occasion. We salute your propensity and preference for peace and tranquillity. We are very delighted to be associated with your humble self and our very presence here today, I believe, makes the point that we are your supporters.

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“We don’t have to talk too much about it. Anybody who is a politician understands that my standing here means I am making a grand political statement. We are the face of the people that are behind, and we are many, millions of people, Rivers people, chiefs, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, and businessmen. We make the silent majority that is behind, supporting the effort of the Government to emancipate the people and to bring development to Rivers State.

“I want to take the opportunity to call on all and sundry, all our people, wherever you are, to give your utmost support to the government because, for the very first time, the government has moved away from the time when the governor was seen as a tin god, a time when the governor demanded worship, so to say; to a time when the governor has become a symbol, a rallying point for the people.

“A rallying point for accountability of resources of our people. A rallying point for bringing all our people into the same boat. We are in an era where there is massive and extensive consultation going on. This is the order of the day when nobody’s view is thrown away.”

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Atemea Briggs, who stated the the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road project was a state highway that would be connecting two separate Trunk-A federal roads, explained that it would be constructed as a dual carriageway with solar-powered street lights to provide associated benefits of improving the fortunes of the people who will be using the road.

Charles Bekee, representing the community, who recalled how the road, once reconstructed in 2001, collapsed a decade after because of an increased volume of vehicular traffic, noted that the road remained deplorable for a long time until Fubara awarded the contract for the reconstruction.

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Assuring the benefiting communities in the three LGAs that the road traverses have already resolved to protect the project with a high level of cooperation to give the contractor the impetus to achieve its mandate, he pledged unalloyed support of the three local government areas to Fubara.

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