12—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 6,2018 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 No one person owns PDP—Dickson ....Insists Gana, Adeniran, others must be wooed back to PDP GOVERNOR of Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was a national asset owned by all Nigerians and not by any individual. Dickson in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo in Yenagoa, also described Professors Jerry Gana and Tunde Adeniran as icons of democracy and leaders of progressive politics in the PDP and the country, stressing that they must be wooed back to the PDP fold. Dickson who is also the Chairman of PDP Reconciliation Committee, said while the leaders of the party are important stakeholders in the scheme of things that the real stakeholders of PDP are the ordinary Nigerians in whom sovereignty lies. He said, “No one governor, no one lawmaker or leader of PDP can own PDP or singlehandedly produce a presidential candidate. Therefore, what is required of PDP leaders now is to work with all parties including those who have left the PDP to produce a credible candidate that is acceptable to the generality of Nigerians on the platform of PDP to defeat the APC in 2019.” The governor said his Reconciliation Committee will continuously engage aggrieved party members including those who have left PDP to return to the party, stressing that “We must be together to save our party and country from collapse. “ He said with less than one year to the 2019 general election, time was of essence and the right thing to do now was for all men of good will to come together to challenge the APC. Give us more legislative responsibilties, Rivers assembly begs NASS By Egufe Yafugborhi & Davies Iheamnachor P ORT-HARCOURT— RIVERS State House of Assembly yesterday, begged the National Assembly to relinquish more legislative responsibilities to state houses of assembly, expressing worries that much power was concentrated in the national lawmaking body. This came as the state Assembly approved six alterations in the on going 1999 Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill, 2017 and rejected four of the 15 alterations sent to it by the National Assembly. The House in a voting system coordinated by its Speaker, Ikuinyi Owaji- Ibani, approved the fourth alteration 24, which outlines the process for the amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where the President withholds his assent. The Assembly okayed alteration Number 27 which provides for the reduction of age for qualification to contest the position of President, Governor, national and state assembly seats to give opportunity for more youths, approved alteration eight, which permits immunity for legislators during sitting and to strengthen the legislative process. The House also favoured alteration 28, which specifies the period within which the President or state governor must present an appropriation bill to the legislature for consideration and okayed alteration number four, which confers financial autonomy on state Assemblies and alteration number two, which reduces the period that the President or state governor can spend money before the passage of the next budget from six months to three months. The state lawmakers, ORAL HEALTH DAY: Bidemi Ademola, Unilever Legal Director, Ghana-Nigeria; Toluwaleke Salu, Category Manager, Oral Care, Unilever; Dr. Bode Ijarogbe, President, Nigerian Dental Association; Bunmi Adeniba, Unilever Marketing Director, Ghana-Nigeria; and Dr. Bola Alonge, Director/Head of Dentistry, Federal Ministry of Health at the Pepsodent World Oral Health Day press conference in Lagos. FG approves upgrade of Benin Airport appreciation to the Federal to int’l standard Government for the effort to B ENIN-CITY—THE Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has said that the Federal Government has approved the upgrade of the Benin Airport to international standard with a cargo terminal. The minister disclosed this during his courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday. Sirika said the approval was due to the fact that the Benin Airport was one of the oldest airports in Nigeria and that the zone needs a standard international airport to serve its growing economic interests. He added that the airport will be fitted with necessary facilities within 12-months, as part of the plans to upgrade it to an international standard. He said that “Plans had been concluded to upgrade landing system with adequate radio equipment that will enable the airport handle both day and night operations, even in adverse weather conditions. “There are plans to also extend the runway at the Benin Airport to enable it handle high volume of traffic with capacity to accommodate cargo planes. “Aviation connects businesses, trade, cultures, nations and people. With a standard airport in place, it becomes easy to achieve economic growth and development. We will work with Edo State Government to ensure that within the next 12 months, Benin Airport will become an international standard airport with all the necessary aviation equipment in place.” Governor Obaseki at the event, expressed make the Benin Airport an international airport, noting, “This is the most astonishing news I have heard as a governor this year.” He said the Federal Government has shown commitment to support efforts to industrialise the state. According to him, “Our hope is that all the economic activities that will be generated from this critical investment will drive commerce across the state and the country.” He said his administration has taken giant stride to establish Benin Industrial Park, Gelegele Sea Port and other laudable investments. Obaseki swears in 18 newly elected council chairmen ...says his govt has saved N2bn for councils By Simon Ebegbulem BENIN CITY—THE 18 newly elected local government chairmen in Edo State, have been sworn-in by Governor Godwin Obaseki, who tasked them on prudent management of resources. Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony at the Government House, in Benin City, Obaseki charged the new heads of the councils to be accountable, responsive and responsible in administering the affairs of their councils. He said, “My Edo PDP petitions police over statements against leaders By Gabriel Enogholase BState ENIN-CITY—EDO chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has asked the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo to probe the alleged criminal incitement of the public against its leaders by some aides of Governor Godwin Obaseki. A statement by the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Nehikhare in Benin City, yesterday, said that Police investigation into the issue becomes necessary to ensure that those behind these criminal incitements were brought to book. He said, “The Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr Paul Ohonbamu and the Media Aide to the Governor, Crusoe Osagie were alleged to have consistently and severally issued statements widely published in print, electronic and social media where they made statements designed to incite the public against PDP’s members and leadership." administration has set aside N2 billion saved from the Paris Club refunds in the councils’ treasury for the new executives to commence activities. “You are not coming to meet an empty treasury. I have saved your Paris refund in excess of N2 billion and some of you have savings in excess of N2 billion. “So, you will be coming into office with some reserves and savings, but you have to focus on enduring projects.” The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who witnessed the swearing-in ceremony, commended Obaseki for saving up funds for the chairmen to kick-start their activities. In his vote of thanks on behalf of other chairpersons, Mr Jenkins Osunde, Oredo council chairman, thanked the people of the state for finding them worthy to pilot the affairs of the councils.
VANGUARD, TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2018—13 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Peterside accuses Wike of being economical with truth By Gbenga Oke ALL Progressives Congress, APC, 2015 governorship aspirant in Rivers State, Dr Dakuku Peterside, yesterday, accused Governor Nyesom Wike of being economical with truth. Peterside, Director- General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, was reacting to a statement credited to Wike that while he (Peterside) was Commissioner of Works, he could not construct a road to Opobo/Nkoro, his local government area, accusing the governor of being economical with the truth to deceive Rivers people. He said: “I served as Commissioner for Works at a time one of the pillars of the administration was infrastructural development. Dr Peter Odili’s administration, through the instrumentality of then Deputy Governor, Sir Gabriel Toby, initiated the Ogoni- Andoni-Opobo unity road, a 37-km road with 10 bridges and several culverts. "Unfortunately, the administration was winding up, so could only do two bridges and got the road to Iwoama Asarama achieving 26 percent of total job scope. “This is the point we met the road. At the insistence of the Amanyanabo of Opobo and the people of Nkoro, we did a new alignment to Nkoro, taking it to Kalaibiama and from there to Opobo town, thus introducing the Nkoro- Kalaibiama-Opobo town alignment of 11.5km and four bridges. With the change in alignment, the Unity Road became a 44.09km as against 37.7km awarded by the Odili administration in 2005. “In all, six bridges were completed under my watch and two bridges, nine and10, were at 70 per cent and 50 per cent completion respectively at the end of the Chibuike Amaechi’s administration in 2015. We CHOCOPROCO demands relocation of Chevron hqtrs to Warri By Etop Ekanem CHEVRON Host Communities Contractors Association, CHOCOPROCO, has demanded immediate relocation of Chevron corporate headquarters to Warri, its operational base, as directed by the Federal Government. Addressing newsmen in Warri, Delta State, Mr Emmanuel Adidi and Enaefewan Friday, Chairman and Secretary of the association respectively, said: “Because we are aware of the process this will take, we, therefore, demand the immediate relocation of the procurement supervisor’s office and Warri Area Manager’s office to Warri forthwith.” The group, with representatives from Itsekiri, Urhobo, Ijaw and Ilaje ethnic nationalities, reiterated its earlier 45-day ultimatum issued to Chervron, warning that with effect from March 12, 2018, no truck/trailer load of any Chevron contractor/ vendor/supplier will be allowed to enter Chevron dockyard/TOPCON or be allowed to park along Warri New-Port expressway. It condemned “in its entirety the gross Ozobo raises alarm over poor facilities in Burutu General Hospital B U By Emma Amaize R U T U — NATIONAL President of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, Mr. Austin Ozobo, has lamented that patients were dying because of absence of doctors and poor facilities at General Hospital in Burutu, Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State. Ozobo, in a statement, started driving to Nkoro town and I drove down to Kalaibiama town in Opobo to campaign in 2015. This is the true situation of things which every Rivers man knows, especially those from Andoni and Opobo. “It is unfortunate that yesterday, lamented the pitiable condition of the government health institution, saying: “There are no permanent resident doctors and qualified nurses. The two doctors in the hospital travel at will. "Apart from first aid and fever treatments, they hardly provide serious medical services. They always refer patients to Warri as there are no facilities for critical medical examination. Governor Wike has neglected the completion of this important road with only two bridges to go, one on the Andoni axis and the other on the Opobo axis. "Suffice it to add that the abutment and beams of both bridges were ready before “It is a fact, a lot of patients died due to absence of doctor and poor facilities, especially in emergency cases, as Burutu is a far distance from Warri, where one can access medical services. “I urge Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, our House of Assembly members and political leaders in Okowa’s government to rekindle efforts to revamp and build a befitting hospital in Burutu with our oil resources that feed the Delta and Nigeria.” we left government. By our estimates, we needed less than N7 billion to complete both axes of the road as at May 2015.” Peterside lamented that rather than complete the road, the governor had embarked on lies, distortion of facts and politicisation of the major project. WORKSHOP: From left, Director (Accounts), Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, Deji Koko; Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Omotilewa Ibirogba; Chairman, House Committee on Establishments, Training, Pensions & Public Service, Adedayo Famakinwa; Chairperson, Human Capital Managers and Solutions Limited, Mrs. Tetsoma Onwuka, and Director of Training, Mr. Ayodeji Aruna, during strategic management workshop by Ministry of Establishments Training and Pensions, in Lagos. marginalisation and gangup against us,” saying: “Host communities contractors have equal stake in the day-to-day activities of operations going on in their communities and are entitled to live peacefully and benefit maximally from her government and resources." The group, however, commended the recent moves by Delta State government under the leadership of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to nip this challenge in the bud, saying: "We call on all Nigerians to support Delta State and Federal Governments to not only assist in resolving this crisis, but to as well help restore permanent peace and solution to all aggrieved parties, which is another way of moving Nigeria to a greater height. “CHOCOPROCO must be carried along with 65 per cent of all opportunities in the day-to-day contract awards in facilities engineering department, construction department, logistics department, facilities management department, procurement/ purchasing department forthwith.” Local content: NSE urges FG to patronise more indigenous firms By Ike Uchechukwu C ALABAR— NIGERIAN Society of Engineers, NSE, has urged the Federal Government to engage more indigenous companies in the execution of its projects to promote the current administration’s local content policy. Chairman, Calabar Branch of NSE, Dr Nsed Akonjom, made the call, yesterday, in Calabar, Cross River State, when a technical team from Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing visited the state to inspect interventions on federal roads in the state. Nsed said Nigerian engineers were of the best standard, adding that if the government continues to patronise them, they will keep improving and sourcing for skilled and unskilled professionals locally. Speaking on the intervention work on the Ikot Okpora/Nyamoyong axis of Calabar-Ikom federal highway, carried out by an indigenous company, Sermatech Nigeria Limited, Akonjom, described the work done as world class. On his part, Mr. Johnson Fadire, Federal Controller of Works in Cross River, said the Federal Government awarded the Ikot Okpora/Nyamoyong rehabilitation project to Sermatech Nigeria Limited. He said the stretch of the road is 67.1 kilometres, adding that all the activities of the project were ongoing while work on the road has reached 23.5 per cent completion. FERMA assures on maintenance of federal roads in Delta By Festus Ahon A SABA—FEDERAL Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, has promised to maintain all federal roads in Delta State, saying it has zero tolerance for potholes on all federal roads in the state. FERMA engineer in Delta State, Mr Daniel Ijie, who made the disclosure while inspecting finishing touches of the ongoing patching of potholes, repairs of failed sections and de-silting of blocked drainages along Warri Byepass extension, NPA to DSC Road, said the agency will also ensure continuous vegetation control on medians and shoulders of all federal roads in the state. Saying that the agency was also executing remedial work on Benin/Asaba dual carriage way, Ijie said Asaba-Illah-Ebu Road maintenance was completed with 10 kilometres recovered. According to him, the plan of the agency for Delta State is to put all federal roads in the state in tip top shape, adding: “We will work on all federal roads in the state. We have a programme to make all federal roads pothole free.” Omoku: We can now join APC and not get killed —ONELGA residents PORT HARCOURT — All Progressives Congress, APC, members in Ogba Ndoni Egbema Local Government Area, ONELGA, Rivers State, have expressed relief that they can now publicly declare membership of the party without fear of being targeted or killed by partisan rivals. Speaking at a gathering in Omoku, ONELGA headquarters, where the party chieftain and Chief Medical Director, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Prof Henry Ugbomah, admitted 100 new members, including defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the APC, Ugbomah noted that frequent politically motivated killings before and after the 2015 general election carried out by the terror gang of now eliminated Johnson Igwedibia, a.k.a. Don Waney, largely targeted APC members and consequently deterred them from voting for the party during elections. He said: “The bloodsuckers who kept us in prison are no longer there. They have gone into the abyss of hell. Nobody would have thought APC could gather here like this and say we are fed up with PDP. Before now, your head would be off your shoulders the next day. Thank God, the days of hiding because of killers are over."