I Don’t Have Any Rift With Wike, Says Rivers Deputy Gov: Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has debunked claims in the media that she’s not in good terms with Governor Nyesom Wike.
Governor Nyesom Wike
On Sunday, there were reports circulating in the social media that Banigo and Wike are living a cat and rat lifestyle in the state.
However, Banigo, in a statement by her Press Officer, Owupele Benebo in Port Harcourt, asked critics to stop causing dissatisfaction between her and Wike.
“The attention of the Office of the Deputy Governor of Rivers State is drawn to a Press Statement, titled ‘COVID-19: Stop sidelining your deputy, she’s a Public Health Professional’ issued by a group called Centre for Public Trust on Sunday, 17th May, 2020.
“In as much as the Office of the Deputy Governor would not want to join issues with the said group because comment is free, it is important to set the records straight so that right thinking members of the society would not be misled into believing this falsehood.
“We would like to state categorically, that there is no iota of truth about Governor Wike’s alleged sidelining of his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo as regards COVID-19 or indeed any Programme or Policy of the State Government, she has continued to enjoy a cordial and robust relationship with the amiable and gender friendly Governor of Rivers State, Chief Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS Africa and the Pride of Rivers State, from the inception of this Administration in May, 2015 to date, so the purported sideling of his Deputy is a mere figment of the Imagination of the Group.
“Apparently, the Group, Centre for Public Trust is not comfortable with the fact that the State Chief Executive, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and indeed all members of Team are committed and working towards the actualization of the new Rivers vision; this is why they want to cause a rift between the Governor and his Deputy. Please they should look elsewhere.
“Yes, the Deputy Governor is a Public Health Physician, but it is indeed very very uncharitable to insinuate that Governor Wike would be jealous of his Deputy, when he has very impressive credentials himself, as a Legal Luminary and a Life Bencher, a two-time Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area, a former Chief of Staff Government House, a former Minister of State Education, former Supervisory Minister of Education and a Second Tenure Governor of Rivers State.
“COVID-19 is real and it has claimed lots of lives across the globe, Governor Wike has continued to demonstrate leadership in the Country in the fight against COVID 19, which has been emulated by other States of the Federation and the Federal Government, of course he is the first Governor in Nigeria to close his borders, which blazed the trail for others to follow.
“These upheavals about Governor Wike and his Deputy concerning COVID-19 is absolutely unnecessary, because the Governor himself cleared the air in a Live Television Programme that his Deputy has been contributing her quota in the quest to stem the COVID-19 onslaught or do they want the Governor to take the back seat in this war?
“We are in a State of war with an unseen enemy, COVID-19, instead of the Purported Centre for Public Trust to join forces with Governor Wike and his team to reduce the prevalence rate of the killer virus in our State, they are playing politics.
“Our advice to them is simple, do not cry more than the bereaved and please do not try to be more Catholic than the Pope. Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo is fine and is totally committed and loyal to His Excellency, Chief Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS Africa the Pride and Governor of Rivers State in his quest to protect the Rivers People against COVID-19, his strategy is working. Do not distract him,” Banigo said.
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2023: We’ll Reproduce Burnt PVCs, Attacks Can’t Stop Elections, INEC Assures
A former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mike Igini says attacks on the offices of the electoral umpire are attacks on democracy but non-state actors can’t stop the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
He also said the electoral commission will reproduce all Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) burnt by hoodlums during attacks on its offices.
“I am very concerned about the attacks on INEC offices across the country particularly in the areas that have been identified,” Igini said on Channnels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
Attacks on INEC offices have surged in recent times with at least three incidents recorded only in November. 65,699 uncollected PVCs were destroyed by hoodlums who attacked two of its offices in Ogun and Osun states while several PVCs and other electoral items were also burnt during an attack in Ebonyi State.
However, Igini said INEC has the information of all PVCs at state and national offices and it won’t take it days to reproduce them.
“INEC has the capacity to respond to these challenges, particular in respect to the PVCs that have been burnt. INEC has the number of all the PVCs…It is a matter of days, INEC will produce those PVCs,” he said.
He urged Nigerians not to be discouraged but to ensure they get their PVCs and exercise their franchise in the next general election.
The former REC also decried the inability of security agencies to bring perpetrators of violent attacks on INEC offices to book.
“Why should extra-constitutional actors, why should non-legitimise actors continue to attack INEC. It is an attack on democracy. My pain is that we have not been able to track anybody.
“It is a big challenge to all security agencies in this country that for these years, we have been unable to track those who attack our democracy.
“Look at what happened in the US, all those who attacked the Capitol Hill have been brought to book everyday but here we are in a state of anomie,” Igini stated.
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2023: I’ve No Plans To Relocate FCT To Lagos, Sell NNPC To Friends, Tinubu Tells Atiku, Peter Obi
..Says He’s Destine To Succeed Buhari As President
Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has dismissed rumours that he plans to relocate the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT from Abuja to Lagos.
The APC candidate accused the opposition of launching a multi-pronged desperate campaign of falsehoods against him.
Tinubu, in a statement on Tuesday by the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council PCC, Mr Bayo Onanuga added that unlike the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Atiku Abubakar, he (Tinubu) does not intend to sell the Nigerian National Petroleum Company NNPC Limited to his friends.
According to him, the latest insidious campaign in some parts of the country against him is the handiwork of the PDP and Labour Party.
“After exhausting their arsenal of calumnies and character assassination against Tinubu, the opposition PDP and their surrogate Labour Party have begun a multi-pronged desperate campaign of falsehoods.
“In one of the falsehoods being circulated, especially in the North West of the country, Tinubu is said to harbour plans to relocate the Federal Capital from Abuja to Lagos on succeeding President Muhammad Buhari from 29th May, 2023”, he stated.
According to him, the misinformation campaign, according to field reports, is being given some traction by some elders on the payroll of the PDP.
“We are shocked that some people could contrive such egregious lie, all in the name of politics, with the intention to confuse our burgeoning support base in that part of the country.
“Let us say with emphasis, that Asiwaju does not contemplate any such plan and will not do anything that is so ultra-unconstitutional.
“The same purveyors of falsehood have also been distorting the commercialization of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited by the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The truth is that President Buhari has not privatised NNPC as planned by the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Buhari has instead made it a commercial entity, owned by all the tiers of government, in line with the Petroleum Industry Act”, he stated.
Tinubu noted that in due course, the company will be in a position to declare and share dividends to all its owners, the way Aramco of Saudi Arabia and Petrobas of Brazil do.
“As the destined successor of President Buhari, Asiwaju Tinubu will continue the policy of the Buhari administration. Unlike Atiku, Tinubu has no plan to sell NNPC to his friends or cronies”, he added.
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2023: APC, Tinubu Dodging ‘Woeful’ Performance, Claiming FG’s Projects In Lagos, Atiku Campaign Blows Hot
…Ex-Lagos Gov’s Attacks On Atiku Done To ‘Spice Up’ 2023 Campaigns, APC Reacts
The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of shying away from its ‘woeful’ performances and campaigning with the Federal Government’s projects in Lagos State.
The APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu – a former governor of the ex-Nigerian capital – is campaigning on his records in Lagos which he says is a testament to what he can do if elected as the country’s leader next year.
But a spokesperson of the Council Charles Aniagwu has faulted the claims, accusing the ruling party of performing badly at the national level.
“The level of insecurity was democratised to the extent that every part of the country became a killing field. Those are the things APC can do. And because they don’t want us to talk about it, you can see how they always run away from their national and abysmal failure,” he said Monday while fielding questions on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“So, if he thinks that the federal roads that were built by the Federal Government from Ikeja through Anthony – of course having passed Maryland and then you pass through the Third Mainland Bridge completed by the Babangida administration to the Island – that those are the things they would be showing us, we would remind them that those things were there even before Tinubu became the governor of Lagos State.”
As far as he is concerned, “Since they (APC) have performed so woefully at the national level and they don’t want to stay with their records at the national level, we would accompany them on that train to Lagos so that we would discuss Lagos.”
He said the PDP administration established organisations such as the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), introduced some bank reforms, and gathered some of the best brains in the country to work for the government.
Meanwhile, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Ayo Oyalowo has downplayed recent attacks by the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s on his counterpart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Tinubu, last Friday, mocked Atiku over the latter’s multiple attempts to occupy the number one political office in the country.
Atiku, aged 76, previously lost presidential bids in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Oyalowo, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, argued that Tinubu’s political jibes on Atiku were simply to “spice up” the 2023 campaign.
However, spokesperson for the PDP PCC, Charles Aniagwu, in his response, pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari had similarly contested for president four times prior to his win in 2015 via the newly amalgamated APC.
“Even Charles knows that he is just making a mountain out of a molehill. Normally, in political contests, there are necessary times you throw jibes,” Oyalowo said.
“We have seen about two, three times the two men have met at the airport on different trips and we’ve seen how convivial they were. So, the jibes are just necessary to spice up the contest.
“It is not the content; the content here is, what are we going to do that we believe Atiku cannot do? That is the issue here.”
The APC campaigner alleged that Atiku as Vice President under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Federal Government-owned companies such as the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), and Nigeria Airways, were undervalued and sold in the government’s privatisation efforts.
But Aniagwu stated that while Atiku was in power, the PDP-led government established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC).
“I would remind him (Oyalowo) that the PDP administration embarked on bank consolidation to the extent that today, when you put your funds in the bank, no matter what happens to that bank, your fund is safe,” the campaign spokesman said.
“I will also remind him about reforms in the pension sector. A number of times, they talk about money in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as if that was the tree that grew in one forest.
“That money in the ECA was made possible because Obasanjo/Atiku administration was able to realise that we were getting some funds far in excess of what was budgeted, and rather than wasting it, we needed to save for a rainy day.”
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