Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has explained he invited leaders of the opposition parties to inaugurate his projects because it is within his right to choose whoever he pleases to undertake such assignments.
Wike asked those, who felt slighted for ignoring them, to also execute projects in their various States and invite him to inaugurate them.
The Governor, who spoke on Monday when he led the Emir of Kano, HRH Ado Bayero, to inaugurate the world-class Peter Odili Cancer Diagnostic and Cardiovascular Centre in Port Harcourt, confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari would be in the State to inaugurate the Port Harcourt Campus of the Nigeria Law School.
He said the Presidential candidates of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi and his New Nigeria National Party(NNNP) counterpart Rabiu Kwankwaso as well as a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, would be in the State to open some projects.
Wike said: “Those, who are saying why am I not inviting them to inaugurate projects, you invite me to inaugurate in your own place. I have a choice to invite whoever I want to come and inaugurate projects. On Wednesday, Adams Oshiomhole will come.
“On Thursday, Peter Obi will come and commission, on Friday President Buhari will commission the Nigerian Law School. On Monday, Kwankwaso will come. If you want to have high blood pressure, it is your business”.
Wike explained that he named the project after Odili, because of his service to humanity as a former Governor and a medical practitioner.
He said Odili distinguished himself for not abandoning his people and relocating to Abuja to join others, who had developed the habit of forming associations to seek relevance and run around a presidential candidate.
He said: “Give me a better reason while I should not name it after Dr. Peter Odili. This is a man who has run one of the best clinics in this State as a medical doctor. This is a man, who has served this state as a governor for eight years.
“This is a man, who had refused to join his colleagues in Abuja to form an association of former Governors so that they can be relevant in running around a presidential candidate. He has devoted himself on medical education still serving the people to see how we can train more doctors and other health officers.
“Who then is more qualified for this facility to be named after? There are those when they leave office, they don’t bother about service again. That is why we are where we are. People became governors for eight years, senators for 16 years, and nobody cares about home again.
“All they do is to live in Abuja and form associations and then begin to hang around the presidential candidate. Instead of them making the presidential candidate win election, they begin to deceive him. But Odili refused to be a party to that. I am very proud and I owe nobody any apology at all. If you are not happy try and be a governor and name anybody you want”.
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One Killed In Multiple Accidents On Kara Bridge, Motorists Groan In Gridlock
About seven vehicles including a container-laden truck were involved in the multiple accidents that have paralysed movement and left motorists and travellers on the ever-busy road stranded in nerve-racking gridlock.
Already, first responders including officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) have arrived the scene.
The FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun State, Ahmed Umar, told Channels Television that a traffic hawker was killed in the unfortunate accidents, adding that emergency responders are still rescuing those injured.
Umar attributed the cause of the accidents to brakes failure by the truck whose driver rammed into the vehicles in front of him from behind.
Similarly, a spokesperson for LASEMA told our correspondent that rescue efforts are ongoing at the scene of the accidents.
The situation, coupled with the repair works ongoing on the narrowed road, has caused intense traffic along the axis with scores of motorists struggling to find their way out of Lagos.
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Naira Hoarding: Sterling Bank In Fresh Trouble, Faults ICPC’s Arrest Of 2 Staff
Few days after Sterling Bank defended allegation of hoarding new N200 notes in the vault of its Ekiti branch office, the bank on the evening of Tuesday February 8, 2023, faced similar ‘charges’ at its Abuja regional office and other Federal Capital Territory branches.
Sterling Bank, in a communication, admitted that ICPC invited two of its staff for questioning in respect of the naira hoarding allegation.
The new allegation, this time coming from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), hinted of the bank deliberately withholding new naira notes from customers, two days away from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) February 10 deadline for return of old notes.
ICPC had, on Tuesday evening, tweeted that it discovered millions of new naira notes in Sterling Bank’s Abuja offices, an allegation the bank denied in a statement.
Sterling Bank Respond ICPC’s Allegations
But the bank in a carefully crafted response to the naira hoarding allegation early Wednesday evening, said it complied with all complied with all guidelines on distribution of redesigned notes from inception to date.
What the bank is saying:
OUR ABUJA REGIONAL OFFICE
This report is developed for the purpose of providing the true representation of events to the narrative as expressed by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in a tweet late on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
- A regulatory monitoring team visited our Abuja Central Business District (CBD) Complex on February 3, 2023.
- The monitoring team, in the company of the branch service manager and other staﬀ, inspected and observed the following꞉
- The branch’s ATMs were dispensing all denominations of the newly designed notes.
- The branch was in full compliance with the regulator’s recommendations on Over ‑ The‑Counter (OTC) disbursements.
During the inspection, the monitoring team made inquiries about the details of the cash observed in the vaults. To which the team responded with details of the branch’s ATM and OTC cash disbursement processes.
To our knowledge, all responses provided were satisfactory as no further queries were raised.
The monitoring team promptly left the premises upon concluding the inspection.
- Approximately one hour later, oﬃcials of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), accompanied by the monitoring team, returned to the branch and removed two of the branch’s staﬀ for further questioning at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja.
- The Sterling staﬀ were held at the ICPC oﬃce and were later released withoutany charges levied against them by the close of the business day on February 3, 2023.
About the visit to Sterling Bank, CBD, Abuja
- The Sterling branch at the Central Business District, Abuja, is a regional headquartersand serves as a hub for 5 Sterling branches and 15 ATM terminals within the region.
- During the visit, members of the monitoring team inspected the vault of the branchand observed the sum of N258,000,000 in N1000, N500 and N200 denominations.
- The distribution records from the CBD branch to other locations served within the region were presented for the evaluation of the monitoring team.
- The monitoring team proceeded to visit two branches in Utako and Wuye as both locations receive their cash disbursements from the regional headquarters ofSterling in CBD.
- Upon their visits to the Utako and Wuye branches, the monitoring team reviewed the records submitted for the movement of cash from the CBD branch to other branches served within the region. It is important to state that cash was being paid over the counter at both branches, and the ATM terminals were dispensing the newly designed denominations during the monitoring exercise.
Sterling deems it necessary to point out the following꞉
- Members of the regulatory monitoring team were informed of the sums contained in the branch’s vault prior to the inspection. These sums were conﬁrmed with are view of the records as presented by representatives of the Bank.
The assertion of a “discovery”, as presented in the narrative, is inaccurate and grossly misleading.
- All cash observed in the vault of the CBD branch was earmarked for distribution to other branches in the region for disbursement to customers of the bank and the public.
- The sum of N5,000,000 each as contained in the monitoring team’s report,represents the cash moved to augment the vault balances of the Utako, Wuye, Seda Close and Kotangora branches (in line with the bank’s daily routine of cash management) and also for disbursement to the public via their ATM terminals.
- All balances in our vaults are reported daily to the Central Bank of Nigeria and form the basis for the allocation of new notes in an eﬃcient manner; it is therefore,untrue that such monies are ‘stashed’ or ‘hoarded.’
Sterling’s Distribution of New Notes
From the commencement of the distribution of the re‑designed denominations, the CBD branch has received the total sum of N1,543,000,000 from the apex bankand paid to customers as summarized below꞉
- The sum of N892,700,000 paid out in about 104,821 transactions across 15ATM terminals between January 6 to February 6, 2023.
- The sum of N78,600,000 paid out in approximately 3,892 over‑the‑counter transactions across all 6 branches in the Abuja region between February 2, 2023 to February 6, 2023.
This was commenced upon receipt of the directive from the regulator to disburse the new notes over the counter ‑ subject to a limit of N20,000 per transaction.
- The sum of N1,000,000,000 in a combination of old and new notes, wasdisbursed to customers over the counter in about 2,124 transactions betweenDecember 15, 2022 and January 5, 2023.
The current balances across the 6 branches in Abuja as at the close of business on February 7, 2023 stood at N178,670,000.
The average vault balances currently held in the six locations is N30m per branch; well below our historical vault balances.
- The representatives of the bank duly informed the regulatory monitoring team and oﬃcials of the ICPC of the sums in the vault, stating the purpose as intended for distribution to other branches.
- It must be noted that no cash was “stashed” in the vault of the regional oﬃce.
For emphasis, we wish to state that Sterling Bank has complied with all the guidelines on the distribution of redesigned notes from inception to date,” the bank said regarding the naira hoarding allegation.
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CBN Deadline: How Supreme Court Ruling Saved Nigerians From Economic Shutdown, Fani-Kayode Speaks
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has hailed the Supreme Court ruling against the CBN on the use of old naira notes.
The apex court judgement annulled the Central Bank of Nigeria deadline of February 10 as the last date the notes would be acceptable.
A seven-man panel led by Justice John Okoro, in an unanimous ruling, ordered that the notes remain in circulation after Friday.
A statement by Fani-Kayode commended the Supreme Court for displaying “remarkable insight and sensitivity” in the matter.
He said the justices proved that the courts are the last hope of the common man “when faced with the tyranny of abusive and cruel policies and insane officials”.
The former presidential aide also thanked the All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftains, Governors Yahaya Bello, Nasir El-Rufai, and Bello Matawalle.
The Governments of Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara States sued the Federal Government on Tuesday.
Fani-Kayode noted that history and posterity will reward them for getting a judgement that saved Nigerians from “the most complex and greatest evil”.
He described the deadline as “the darkest conspiracy” ever hatched against democracy and foisted on citizens by “a tiny group of evil technocrats and saboteurs working for a greater power”.
The APC 2023 campaign director said there’s now a chance to change the narrative and take away the immense suffering that has been imposed on Nigerians in the last few days.
Fan-Kayode added that the policy which sought to “inflict pain on the people, destroy their future and scuttle democracy” has been declared illegal.
1,272 total views, 1,272 views today
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