•INEC fixes February 25 for conclusion of Rivers rerun
From Chris Anucha and Tony John, Port Harcourt
The crisis between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State and the All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened yesterday, following the decision by APC members to hold what could be regarded as parallel stakeholders’ meeting with the acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Acting president Osinbajo held a town hall meeting at the Government House on Monday, where representatives of the people took turns to present the problems facing their communities and the likely solutions to such problems.
But members of the APC described the stakeholders’ meeting as “PDP town hall meeting,” alleging that their members were not allowed access into the Rivers State Government House.
Consequently, members of APC, to the surprise of Governor Nyesom Wike and the state PDP, organised another stakeholders’ meeting, at an event centre along Stadium Road, where they also presented some demands of the Niger Delta to the Federal Government.
Reacting to the development while receiving some APC members from Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA), led by Chief Ofili Enebeli, who defected to the PDP yesterday, Governor Wike described the development as satanic.
He said APC members were not happy that the acting president slept in Rivers, went round and inspected some ongoing projects in the state, hence, their decision to organise a parallel town hall meeting.
The governor said: “This is the only state the acting president agreed to sleep during his visit. Satan will always be at work, just because the acting president slept here, went round to see the projects going on and agreed that I am Mr. Project, some people became angry. They went and gathered somewhere and called it stakeholders’ meeting.
Governor Wike said there was no way the acting president would finish stakeholders’ meeting with Rivers people and still hold another meeting organised by APC.
“There will never be two stakeholders’ meeting as far as the visit of Mr. acting president is concerned. They want to provoke me or make me to provoke Mr. acting president. But I told the acting president that, you must talk to your party people, if that will give them happiness,” he said.
In another development, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday, February 25, for the conclusion of outstanding rerun legislative polls in the state.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), INEC in the state, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, in a statement released yesterday, said the elections would fill up the Etche State Constituency II and Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency seats.
Ikoiwak further stated that the elections would hold in 147 polling units within the 19 registration areas (wards) in Etche Local Government Area and one polling unit (Umuogba Community I) and Omuma Local Government Area of the state.
Meanwhile, Wike has said his administration would ensure youths are trained to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour, rather than engaging in negative tendencies that would portray them in bad light. The governor stated this yesterday at the opening ceremony of a Technical and Vocational Centre (PHTVC), at the Port Harcourt Primary School in Old GRA.
Represented by his deputy, Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike posited that Rivers youths were energetic and courageous, stressing that if they are properly trained and supported, they would have the capacity to contribute to the development of the state.
The governor noted that the establishment of the centre was in fulfilment of his administration’s campaign promises to re-introduce vocational education to enable youths acquire skills that would make them employable.
He said the state government would continue to collaborate with its German partners-The Central Agency for Continuing Vocational Education and Training (ZWH) in skilled crafts, to ensure the realisation of the project.
The governor advised the newly admitted students of the centre to take their studies and other instructions that would be given to them seriously, so that the huge investment in the place would not be a wasteful venture.
Source: SUN News