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Okonjo-Iweala’s Future Uncertain As US Rejects Her Appointment As WTO DG

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President Donald Trump Of US

The United States of America has rejected the appointment of Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director General of the World Trade Organization, WTO.

The WTO’s bid to pick its new leader has been plunged into uncertainty for this reason, according to Reuters.

Three WTO ambassadors, charged with finding a new leader for the organisation had decided that Okonjo-Iweala minister should be the next DG after she had secured wide cross-regional backing.

However, their decision awaits approval from WTO members after more than four-month selection process.

The Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance squared up against South Korean trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee in the final round.

The head of the WTO ambassadors in a meeting on Wednesday relayed their recommendation to WTO members.

But the US kicked against it saying they did not back the Nigerian.

Any member of the WTO can block the nomination as the decision needs to be approved by consensus.

“One delegation could not support the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi and said they would continue to support South Korean minister Yoo. That delegation was the United States of America,” WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva after the closed-door meeting.

The organisation has set a meeting to settle the matter for November 9, 2020 less than a week after the U.S presidential election.
(From Global Village Extra)

Rivers Assembly Joins Wike To Condemn Destructive Activities Of IPOB

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Rivers State House of Assembly

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The Rivers State House of Assembly has thrown it’s wait on Governor Nyesom Wike’s efforts to maintain peace in the State, especially the revalidation of the proscription of the Indigenous people of Biafra IPOB.

They commended Governor Nyesom Wike for standing up for Rivers State and the state security council for their efforts in maintaining peace.

Speaker Ikwuiyi Owaji Ibani, who stated this at a press conference in his office in Port Harcourt said the decision was based on the prevailing situation in the state where some individuals are bent on derailing the existing peace in the state.

Ikwuiyi Owaji Ibani, who spoke on behalf of the principal officers and all lawmakers of the Rivers State house of Assembly, said they condemn the violence ochestrated by members of the IBOP and other miscreants that led to the loss of lives and properties in the state.

The Assembly also called on members of their constituents and everyone living in Rivers State to maintain peace and desist from being misled by those who do not mean well for the state, while assuring them that the state government is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that their lives and properties are protected.

The speaker who said the Assembly is in support of all peaceful agitations calling for the disbandment of SARS, however called on those who have used the opportunity of the peaceful protest to commit crime to have a change of heart in the interest of all.

It would be recalled that, the
thirty two lawmakers representing the thirty two constituencies in the Rivers State House of Assembly signed the statement as read by the speaker.

Wike Outlaws IPOB, Says Political Objectives Are Alien To Rivers State

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Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State

(By Chris K.Amadi)- The activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, are destructive and their political objectives alien to the people of Rivers State.

This was the declaration of Governor Ezinwo Wike of Rivers State in a state broadcast outlawing the group in the state on Friday, in response to the violence and destruction said to have been inflicted by IPOB at Oyigbo Local Government Area, and some parts of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday 21st October 2020.

According to the governor, the attacks resulted in the unnecessary loss of lives, including soldiers and police officers, and the destruction of both public and private properties, including police stations, court buildings and business premises.

“Not done, they also visited physical violence on members of some targeted community which, but, for the quick intervention of the State Government and the security agencies, would have resulted in some form of internecine bloodbath in the State”, Governor Wike further observed, adding that , “IPOB continued with its destructive activities at Rumukwurushi, Iriebe and Oyigbo in open defiance of the State Government’s curfew on human movements”.

While agreeing that “Rivers State is, and remains part of Nigeria and has always been a home for all Nigerians, and will continue to be, because this is our true character”, Governor Wike however emphasized that Rivers State belongs to the indigenous people of Rivers State and will no longer tolerate the subversive activities of stranger elements like IPOB.

He said IPOB’s political ideology is strange to Rivers State, adding that they have no legal or moral right to invade Rivers State; to disturb public peace; and subject lives and property to violence or threat of destruction under any guise.

In the determination of Rivers State Government to put an end to the activities of IPOB in Rivers State, Governor Wike said that IPOB has been outlawed from operating in Rivers State in line with the proscription order of the Federal Court and the Federal Government, adding that no form of agitation by IPOB or any of its affiliates is allowed to take place in Rivers State.

The Rivers governor declared Mr. Stanley Mgbere declared wanted for allegedly leading members of the banned IPOB to cause the recent violence and destruction of lives and property in Oyigbo Local Government Area, just as he announced a ransom of N50,000,000.00 to be given to any person with useful information that would lead to the arrest and of Mr. Stanley Mgbere.

Rivers Assembly Warns SPDC Against Shunning Second Invitation, Screens RSIEC Commissioner Nominees

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Rivers State House of Assembly

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-Piqued by a committee report that the management of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, shunned the summons of a committee of the Rivers State House of Assembly, the legislature have issued a second summons for them to appear before the executive committee of the house.

This followed a report by the House Committee chairman on Public Complaints and Petitions, Hon. Evans Bipi on SPDC’s threats to demolish over 800 houses in Umuebulu community through the Rivers State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development even when the agreed payment to the property owners have not been fully executed.

Responding, the speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani commended the committee for a detailed report, but warned management of SPDC to ensure they honour the house invitation.

In a related development,
the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Friday, screened and confirmed eight commissioner nominees as chairman and commissioners of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission on the floor of the house.

The commissioner designates includes retired Justice George Omereji, Chairman, Doris Ruhuoma Chuku, commissioner; Chioma Ochia , Hope Barango, Lysia Gilbert, Bariene Nwikinanee, Dr. Solomon Egbe and Dr. Iyeneone Tamunobenetonar

After the confirmation, the speaker, Rt. Hon.Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani advised the commissioner designates to effectively serve the people of the state.

Rivers Assembly Passes 18 Bills Into Law; Support State Government’s Position On #ENDSARS# Protest

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Rivers State House of Assembly

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, DSSRS, KSC on the floor of the House condemned the oppression, impunity and repressive attitude of the operatives of State Anti-Robbery Squad against the people and innocent citizens of Rivers State.

Rt. Hon. Ibani noted that on several occasions, on the floor of the House, the State Assembly has condemned the excesses of SARS.

According to him, the State Assembly has once provided a platform for the National Assembly to investigate a reported case of murder committed by SARS in Rivers State.

The Rt. Hon. Speaker pointed out that Rivers State has always been a victim of the excesses of SARS and that the State Assembly is on the same page with the State Government.

According to the Speaker, “we stand with the position of the Government of Rivers State as enunciated by His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, and that we know, is not what I’m going to recount that this government has always protested against the excesses of SARS”.

Rt. Hon. Ibani stated that the 9th Rivers State House of Assembly stands with the conveners of the #ENDSARS# protest.

He stated, “…I use this opportunity from the Chair to also send a message on behalf of members of the 9th Assembly to the conveners that as an Assembly we stand with them…”.

The Rt. Hon. Speaker, however, advised them to observe civility while exercising their constitutional right to freedom of speech and association. According to the Speaker “As a House, we will only advise that you must be civil enough and also understand that where your rights stop is where another person’s right begins”.

In another development, the State Assembly passed into law 18 bills.

The bills are:

1. Rivers State Teaching Hospital (Amendment) Bill, 2020

2. Rivers State Physical Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill, 2020

3. Chief Emmanuel Aguma House Bill, 2020

4. Chief P.G Warmate House Bill, 2020

5. Gen Yakubu Gowon Stadium Bill, 2020

6. Gen. Yakubu Gowon Road Bill, 2020

7. Emmanuel Chinwe Aguma Judges Quarters Bill, 2020

8. Cardinal Rex Jim Cultural Center Bill, 2020

9. Dame Patience Faka Jonathan Road bill, 2020

10. Dr Deinma Dennis Fiberisima Doctors Quarters, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital Bill, 2020

11. Engr. Lawrence Anele Amadi Road Bill, 2020

12. Celestine Ngozichim Omehia Road Bill, 2020

13. Dr Abiye Samuel Precious Sekibo Road Bill, 2020

14. Rebisi Flyover Bill, 2020

15. Rumuogba Flyover Bill, 2020

16. Okoro Nnu- Odo Bill, 2020

17. Rumuwoji Market Bill, 2020

18, Ogbum Nu Abali Fruit Garden Market Bill, 2020

In his remarks, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani commended members of the House for putting in their best to make laws for the peace and development of all parts of the State.

He stated, “let me from the Chair commend you because it is not easy. We will continue to do this in the interest of our people, in the interest of our State and that at the end, we know that generation to come will look back and also commend us, and history will be charitable and kind to Members of the 9th Rivers State House of Assembly’ .

EndSars Protests: NIPR Decries Descent To Anarchy, Lekki Shooting

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an Institute of Public Relations

(By Silas Tamuno)-The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, have regretted the sudden descent to anarchy , arson, bloodshed and looting in the past two days of the nationwide protest that was began peacefully and sustained in the past two weeks.

In a press conference addressed by the National President of NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, on the unfortunate turn of events, he said that the Institute condemns unequivocally, the reported shooting of protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on Wednesday.

According to the statement, “The resort to use of arms against unarmed protesters who were doing nothing other than exercising their guaranteed rights to dissent was against all known tenets of decency, civilization and democracy and therefore unacceptable.

“The reported denial by the Nigerian Army, of the complicity of its officers in the dastardly act, will make more meaning if an immediate inquiry is launched to ascertain who the perpetrators were.

“We equally condemn in no uncertain terms the resort to the hooliganism that ensued afterwards which led to arson, and looting of both public and private properties. It is our firm belief, that the lawlessness has nothing to do with the original objectives of the #EndSARS movement, which we believe to be simply a cry against impunity and a pitch for good governance”.

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations says it ” identifies with the #EndSARS’ objective, which beyond the hashtag, is a condemnation of impunity, ruthless conducts, and the general lack of respect to due processes by some sections of the nation’s law enforcement architecture, as well as a call for the reform of same.

“The decision by the government to dissolve the SARS, though a step in the right direction, we believe in itself is not a solution to the problem. Far reaching reforms in the nation’s policing architecture that includes review of recruitment process, improvement in welfare and general reorientation from top to bottom, among others, would also go a long way in regenerating citizen’s confidence in the Police.

Going forward, the Institute calls for the improvement of line of communication between government and Nigerians.

The NIPR conveys her most heartfelt sympathy to victims of the shooting as well as all those who suffered one loss or the other to the crisis.

Protest Against Police Brutality: Nigeria Has No Security Intelligence … Legal Practitioner

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Barr.Emeh Glory Emeh

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)- As #EndSars# protest shut down Abuja, Lagos, Abeokuta, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta; turns bloody in some states and spreads to London, Germany, South Africa and other countries, a legal practitioner, Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh, has blamed the emergent crisis situation on failure of security intelligence.

Speaking with newsmen at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on the development, Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh argued that early actions from the central government would have saved the day by nipping the protests in the bud.

” It is obvious that the Nigerian security lacks effective intelligence gathering and monitoring architecture. That is why the Federal Government was unprepared to manage the mass protests rocking the country”, he emphasized.

Chief Emeh, who is also a political strategist, drew comparison with other climes where this type of protest has happened and how it was handled, added that the crisis would have been averted if those in authority had taken the pains to know in good time what the issues are, and gone ahead to meet them.

According to the social commentator, such a swift move would have saved those who live in Lagos and Abuja the agony of spending days and nights in their cars because of traffic gridlock occasioned by the mass protests.

“They should have been proactive to know what the demands were, and respond in time to avoid protest”, Barr. Emeh maintained, even as he commended the Inspector General of Police for banning SARS, an action which he said looked like medicine after death.

The legal practitioner further commended youths of Rivers State for their understanding, and appreciating how to approach the problem, a disposition which he said, is different from what is happening in other parts of the country.

Responding to a question, the political strategist advised the Federal Government to set up a monitoring team to continue to interface with the citizens, with a view to ensuring peaceful coexistence and economic growth, stressing that Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians.

Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh, who is also a financial administrator however advised the protesters to be sensitive to understand when their point had been made, an assessment which the former Commissioner of Transport and Aviation in Rivers State believes would save them from loosing the war after gaining so much grounds.

His words: “I will continue to advise protesters to remain peaceful and not in any way allow persons with ulterior motives to hijack the probable “laudable and good” intentions.

“Once the protest becomes violent, then the protesters will be likened to the farmer who brought home ant infested firewood, which, by implication, is an invitation of the lizard to an unpleasant feast, adding that no responsible government would fold her hands when there is breakdown of law and order”.

Rivers NIPR Calls For Reforms That Will Create Citizen – Friendly Police

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Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, Chairman, NIPR, Rivers State

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(By Chris K.Amadi)-The Rivers State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations has applauded Nigerians, especially those who put their lives and welfare at risk to physically take part in the #ENDSARS protests around the country for the resolute citizens-action calling for end to police brutality and brazen coldblooded killing of people they are employed to serve and protect.

In a staemen issued by Chinedum Emeana, Public Relations Officer, NIPR Rivers state chapter, the body nots that the “#ENDSARS protests serves notice to the political leadership in the country that the Nigerian people are aware that they have the power and can rise to influence public policy in order to regain human dignity and national reputation. Indeed, the people refuse to be taken for granted anymore!”

The NIPR Rivers chapter, according to the statement, commends the federal government for its responsiveness in encouraging Civil Society to participate in the ongoing process of formulating new a direction for Policing in the country and hopefully other security services. The chapter also commends the IGP and state commissioners of police who have demonstrated that they are willing to listen to the citizenry, who the police institution is created to serve in the first place.

“The chapter also commends state governors who gave impetus to the #ENDSARS protests by identifying with the yearnings of the their people, especially Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state who passionately addressed the protesters at the entrance to Government House, Port Harcourt, listing a litany of grievances that the people of the River state have recorded against the notorious SARS without remedial action by the federal authorities.

“We also urge the government, civil societies and the entire citizenry not to settle for any mere superficial change of name from SARS to SWAT, but to insist on a far-reaching reform of the country’s policing system to recreate an effective, citizen-friendly police outfit that is ingrained with a new mindset of service to the people, with a system that quickly and openly sanctions erring police personnel”, while assuring the Police authorities of its readiness to partner with it and other bodies to provide professional services in the police retraining programme planned for the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State.

“The core of the involvement of the NIPR River chapter in the retraining process of a new improved Nigeria police will be geared towards creating a police system that ordinary Nigerians will be proud to associate with and celebrate and that those who wear the Police uniform need to do so with pride as an index of national reputation”, the statement adds.

Rivers Assembly Receives 16 Executive Bills, As SDP Lawmaker Defects To PDP

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Rivers State House of Assembly

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The only opposition law maker in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Nwankwo Promise, representing Oyigbo State Constituency, has defected from the Social Democratic Party to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

In the notice of defection read by the speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, during plenary on Thursday, the Oyigbo representative said that his move, which was the outcome of consultations with his constituents was informed by the desire to be in the mainstream where forces can be mobilised to advance the cause of development in Nigeria.

Hon. Nwankwo Promise also blamed his defection on the crisis in his former party, the Social Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the Rivers state House of Assembly also received 16 executive bills for enactment into law.
The bills, all of which were promptly given first reading include those of Okoro nu-Odo, Rumuogba and Rebisi flyovers; Chief Emmanuel Aguma House, General Yakubu Gowon road and Stadium; Chinwenwo Emma Aguma Judges quarters, Dame Patience Jonathan, Sir Celestine and Dr.
George Sekibo roads; Dr. Deni Fiberesima Doctors Quarters and Engr. Lawrence Anele road.

The bills also sought to give legal stamp to the naming of Cardinal Rex Jim – Lawson Cultural Centre,Chief P.G.Warmate House, Rumuwoji market and Ogbunabali fruit market.

In a related development, the lawmakers, at the sitting, directed House Committee on Neigbourhood Watch and Security to liaise with, and encourage security agencies for the good work they are doing to secure the release of some persons who were kidnapped at a burial in Bonny over 36 days ago.

While thanking God for the escape of one of their colleagues, Hon. Abiye Pepple, when the kidnappers attacked, they prayed for progress in efforts to secure the release of those in captivity so they can be reunited with their families.

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NCDC: Indorama’s Laboratory For COVID -19 Sample Testing, Third In Nigeria

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Coronavirus

(By Chris K. Amadi) -The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has declared the Indorama’s Molecular Laboratory for the testing of COVID – 19 samples as number three among 37 molecular laboratories in Nigeria.

This observation was contained in NCDC’s latest report for Week 40 ending Sunday 11th October, and the contribution of Indorama’s molecular laboratory, which is located in Port Harcourt, has placed Rivers State in the second position among states/FCT with the highest sample testing.

“Out of 23,305 COVID-19 tests carried out by 70 laboratories across the country in Week 40, Indorama Molecular Lab (IML) did 1,666, which helped to identify positive cases and managing them successfully.

“A total of 23,305 tests were done in week 40 by 70 labs. NRL, Sahel labs and IML tested the most in week 40,” the NCDC report noted, adding that

“A total of 23,305 samples were tested in week 40 by 36 states. Majority of the samples were from Lagos, Rivers and Katsina states, respectively. Kebbi and Kogi tested the least in week 40.”

Positive cases table released by NCDC in recent times had put Rivers State in the first, second or third positions, and this has been attributed to sustained sample testing across the state.

It would be recalled that, as at Monday, 12th October 2020, Rivers State was said to have 2,661 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 2,481 discharged and 59 deaths recorded. However, the State has not recorded new death from the disease in recent weeks.

Meanwhile NCDC has identified five major challenges militating against effective samples testing in Nigeria. According to the health agency, samples from most of the States are not reaching the labs within 24 hours of sample collection; reduction in the number of samples coming from the States in straight weeks (week 30-40), and challenges over turn around time.

“The laboratory turn-around time still needs improvement; some labs do not submit their line-lists in a timely manner, and some do not submit at all; Some labs have not sent their daily testing capacities to National”, the report emphasized.

The NCDC report had some recommendations for improving the outcomes: They include improvement of turnaround time of the labs and timely communication of identified challenges to the appropriate quarters for necessary action.

The report also recommended that all states have testing labs so as to reduce the time it takes for samples to reach the labs, submission of line-list by all testing labs in a timely manner to National; and all the need for all labs to provide National with information on their daily testing capacities.

Recall that on July 22nd, 2020, NCDC announced that it had accredited the Indorama Molecular Lab with state-of-the-art medical equipment, as a strategic partner in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

The lab was meant to ensure that over 7,000 workers in the expansive petrochemicals complex are tested regularly (every 10 days), and those found positive are managed properly to reduce the spread of the disease and loss of lives.

At that time, the Managing Director of Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, IEPL, Mr. Manish Mundra, had thanked the Rivers State Ministry of Health and the NCDC for their guidance in actualizing the setting up of the molecular laboratory.

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