Tag Archives: Rivers

Rivers always in the news for wrong reasons – Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that Rivers State is now almost always in the news for the wrong reasons.

He stated this on Sunday in his Easter message, while urging Rivers people and other Nigerians to have hope and a renewed commitment to wait till the resurrection morning.

Amaechi, a former Rivers governor, said: “No doubt, our state has endured a tortuous political season, which saw political parties jostle and cajole Rivers people to make choices.

“Our state, which was known and respected as the Treasure Base of the Nation, is now almost always in the news for the wrong reasons. This is not the Rivers State of our dreams.

“We must find our way back to the path of a glorious future. I am one of you, therefore, as your father, son and brother, I beseech you to be of good courage and join hands to build and restore the glory of our state.

“For us as Rivers people, this is a moment for sober reflection and forgiveness.
“I will not hesitate to implore that we all ask God for forgiveness and mercy for all the things done or left undone and from the citizens for the pain and anguish that they have brazenly suffered, which most times are unreported.

“The persistence of gang violence, kidnappings and killings in parts of the state has dealt a telling blow on the psyche of the people. People no longer feel safe or sleep with their two eyes closed.”

The transportation minister also urged candidates of political parties and politicians who did not emerge victorious during the last elections not to lose hope.

He said: “For those of us who feel a sense of personal loss, as a result of the last electioneering in the state, I say do not despair, you have vital work to do in the Rivers project. Believe me with wisdom and patience, you will own the future.

“Always remember that the task of enthroning a party into power is not as high a calling of patriotism than the task of making personal sacrifices for the peace and general good of the state.

“Therefore, I appeal to all who truly love our dear Rivers State to join hands in building the state, irrespective of their party affiliations.

“No amount of provocation or even threats should challenge the Rivers spirit of oneness, unity and harmony in you.

“To the youths, I urge you not to see crime as an escape route from the difficult times we are going through in Rivers State today. I am confident that with resilience and prayer, you can always pull through.”

Rivers Elections: Wike still leading

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, is leading significantly in the results of 15 local government areas so far announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Recall that INEC had resumed collation of election results of 15 LGAs on Tuesday and Wike polled PDP: 426, 279 votes ahead of Biokpomabo Awara, candidate of the African Alliance Congress (AAC), who garnered 129,855 vote, leaving a margin of 296,424.

Obo Effanga, resident electoral commissioner (REC) in the state, said collation will continue by 10am on Wednesday.

There are two more local government areas INEC is yet to announce while supplementary election will hold across six LGAs on April 13.

Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, is supporting the AAC in the election since internal crisis prevented the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers from fielding candidates in the 2019 elections.

Source: TheCable

“We were denied access to collation centres in Rivers” -EU Observers

The European Union Observation Mission to Nigeria says soldiers had barred them from witnessing electoral activities in Rivers State.

At the end of the elections tha was held nationwide on Saturday, the Observers had convened a press conference to make their preliminary report public.

Addressing journalists, the Chief Observer, Maria Arena, noted that they came to Nigeria on the invitation of INEC to monitor the elections and make recommendations. Arena, who is a member of the EU Parliament, however, faulted the elections.

She said, “Observers, including EU observers, were denied access to collation centres in Rivers, apparently by military personnel. This lack of access for observers compromises transparency and trust in the process, the Punch reports.

“In Rivers, INEC suspended until further notice the elections due to violence in polling units and collation centres, staff being taken hostage and election materials, including results sheets, seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.

“There is no doubt that the electoral process there was severely compromised.”

Arena lamented the violence, underage voting and vote-buying that marred the governorship and House of Assembly elections in some states.

She said the EU deployed 73 observers following voting, counting and the collation of results in 22 states.

The chief observer said they monitored 223 polling units in 81 collation centres.

Arena added, “Although election operations improved, the elections were also marked by an overall low turnout and violence, including against election officials and voters.

“However, at eight polling units observed, we saw indications of vote-buying. Eight cases of obvious underage voting were also observed. Our observers saw that the counting of ballots transparent overall.

“Positively, in almost all cases, party agents received copies of the result forms, although they were often not displayed. The environment for these elections has been difficult, with cases of violence and intimidation, including attacks on election administration officials.”

Source:Punch

“Wike doesn’t like the fact that the Military is maintaining peace” – Amechi

Former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says Governor Nyesom Wike “doesn’t like” the presence of the military during today’s elections.

He had earlier described the process as peaceful as compared to the events of the previous elections.

His words: “Beyond the fact that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State recruited PDP members as adhoc staff, I think the process is a bit straight forward. For instance, in Khana LGA, the people are refusing to vote because all the adhoc staff are known members of the PDP and the electorates have said they would not vote until INEC changes the adhoc staff. So, the point remains that if not for the bias of INEC one would say that the election is to a great extent free and fair because nobody is intimidating the people and there is relative peace. But, unfortunately, the REC is unrepentantly a PDP member.”

Amaechi also, lashed out at his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike for being ‘too desperate for power.’ He stressed that the Governor sits in his comfort zone and watch his people being killed recklessly.

“Wike doesn’t like the fact that the Military is maintaining peace, whereas, he stays in Government House with his own security and people are dying on the streets of Port Harcourt. Wike is so desperate about power. Just yesterday (Friday) PDP thugs killed two people in my mother’s village… The Governor says there is voter apathy because of Soldiers’ presence.

There is no time we don’t have voter apathy in Rivers State. What usually happens is they (PDP) write results and announce, now they are not opportune to write results. The Army will escort the materials to the collation centre,” Amaechi noted.

“We have not heard of any shootings and killings” -Amechi on Rivers Elections

The Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, has described the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the State as relatively peaceful.

Amaechi, who is also the leader of the All Progressive Congress in the State, said his assertion was predicated on the fact that there had been no record of violence compared to what was witnessed in previous elections in the State, Premium Times reports.

Speaking to newsmen in his country home, Ubima, Ward 8, Unit 14, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the State, where he voted for his choice candidates for both the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections on Saturday, Amaechi commended the Police, the Military and other security agencies for keeping the peace.

“So far, we have not heard of any shootings and killings . We are completely happy that the Army and the Police are everywhere maintaining the peace. We have held elections in Rivers State where over fifteen to twenty persons were killed but this is the only election that has recorded peace and it is because of the presence of the Military.

“The militants have fled because of the presence of the Military and we are voting peacefully. And you know, one thing about the Soldiers is that they are apolitical, they are neither supporting APC nor AAC or PDP. What they are doing is to maintain peace and ensure that nobody disrupts the process. I think we will prefer to have this kind of election where everybody is having peace,” Amaechi explained.

Although he alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) compromised by recruiting card carrying members of the PDP as its adhoc staff, Amaechi insisted that the peace and tranquillity experienced during the exercise was enough to adjudge the polls as peaceful compared to past elections.

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