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Akwa Ibom: Why Emmanuel deserves to be re-elected – Inyangeyen, Works commissioner

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AKWA IBOM

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Not every Public officer understands their briefs. But for Ephraim Inyangeyen, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, he appears to have a firm grip of his turf.  He exudes this and more in this encounter with Ismail Omipidan, recently.

 

The APC says it will take over the state in 2019. What is your take?

I know that a man who holds his PVC in Akwa Ibom has an independent opinion, and what the man in Ikot Ekpene would think is different from what the man in Abak or Oruk Anam would think. And with the passage of the amendment to the Electoral Law, which I believe Mr. President will sign, it means that the use of electronic device which we call card reader will become mandatory.

They are even going further to say that if the card reader does not function, then the election in that unit should be postponed for the next 24 hours until the card reader works, which means that every man will have one vote. I don’t think that anybody in Akwa Ibom will ignore the fact that Governor Udom Emmanuel has done exceedingly well in several areas.

Let me leave my projects and talk about the peace that he has restored to the state. This was a state that many of us never showed up because of kidnappings and reckless killings in the past. You remember when the group which we call the Business Group of Akwa Ibom Indigenes came to see the governor, the leader of that group said in very clear terms that his mother warned him never to show up in Akwa Ibom before now.

So, if nothing else has happened, Governor Udom Emmanuel has restored peace to the state, and people can now sleep with their two eyes closed in Akwa Ibom. I don’t think any Akwa Ibomite would want to send away that peace, because it is not something you get so easily and find commonly around.

 

Flowing from that, your governor has been asked not to bother campaigning in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district because they would not vote for him since he has no project to show in the area. Tell us why the Uyo-Ikot Ikot Ekpene road has not been completed?

I don’t want to go to projects across Ikot Ekpene senatorial district because they are so many, but I will take one particular project, and for the first time we are going to give details of what happened to Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road to further establish that what has been said about Udom’s performance or non-performance as per Ikot Ekpene senatorial district is absolutely false. Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road was awarded by the previous government on the 19th of December, 2011.

It was awarded at the cost of twenty eight billion, three hundred and sixty four million, five hundred and seventy-five thousand, eight hundred and three naira, and twenty two kobo to Julius Berger. As that work started on the 12th of September, 2013, it was reviewed upwards by the sum of twenty three billion, five hundred and sixteen million, two hundred and twenty eight, and three hundred and thirty nine thousand.

Again there is what they call additional works, it was reviewed again on the 25th of September, 2014 with the sum of nineteen billion, four hundred and forty eight million, three hundred and seventy three thousand, two hundred and seventeen naira, sixty-seven kobo, bringing the total value to seventy-one billion, three hundred and fifty nine million, one hundred and seventy-seven thousand, one hundred and fourteen naira, fifty nine kobo. And this was as at 25th September, 2014.

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Governor Udom Emmanuel became governor on the 29th of May, 2015. I want to state here very clearly that the bulk of this money had been released and they didn’t achieve 50 percent of that road construction because as at the time that road was hurriedly commissioned early April, 2015 they were at kilometre 15 and that kilometre 15 did not have the wearing course, which is the final asphalt. That final asphalt is what really holds the road firm.

I want to; for emphasis sake, say that the structure that stood at Ikpe Annang that you turn to go to Essien Udim is at kilometre 15.16 and that building never went down until February, 2017 when this present government sourced money, one hundred and forty one million naira and paid the owner of that property to take down that property, so it is not possible for the previous government to have gotten to kilometre 18, when you have this structure at kilometre 15.  That was a major challenge.

Also, a case in court was still standing and we were made to understand that he had gotten to kilometre 18 and that this government did only 3 kilometres.  I am saying that even at kilometre 18 we couldn’t have done only 3 kilometres because we are now at kilometre 23 remaining 2 kilometres to Four Point Sheraton, so 18 minus 23 would have been at least 5 kilometres but that is not correct.

What we have done is that since the coming of Governor Udom Emmanuel, we have done the final asphalting of kilometre zero to 15 and we are taking it from kilometre 15 to kilometre 23, that is 8 kilometres and the remaining 2 kilometres, we are paying compensation. And most important of all, I want to state clearly that all these did not even take into consideration the flood, the outfall drains that were supposed to have been done on that road. It is this administration that is coming up to consider constructing drains because all the communities on that road are having flood situations.

We are considering how to now do the outfall drains.  So my question would be; if you say this road was awarded at N71 billion and the duration was three years,  it was supposed to have been completed  in December 2014 and with two revisions, why was it not completed? Where did the money go to? These are very simple questions.

Like I have said in my previous interviews, the only challenge we have on that road that kept the road was that there wasn’t any money in the bill one that we were supposed to use to pay compensation. And these facts have to be given to the public with figures and dates because you cannot deny the truth; it has to be brought out. I have the responsibility to bring out these details and I am determined to bring out all the details of other such awards when the need arises. If anybody contradicts what is on ground, just like the Ikot Ekara road in Oruk Anam, or anybody comes to deny the fact that road construction was not properly handled by Haamakop, and they want to contradict the fact that the payment for that job was not properly done, we will come out with the figures. So for the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene today, the figures are out. I want someone to contradict them.

 

Are all these enough to return Udom Emmanuel next year?

If I wouldn’t support Udom for anything else, I would have supported him for the peace he has brought on this land. Most of our sons and daughters who usually don’t visit home in the days of killings and kidnapping are all visiting now. Many have transferred their PVCs back to the state.  Every Local Government Area that had no taste of infrastructure from 1987 till 2015 are now enjoying infrastructure.

READ ALSO: APC crisis: Oshiomhole’s apology to Archbishop Obinna, cheap blackmail – Okorocha

Today Ini people can go to Arochukwu with their cars. If you were from Ini; who would you have voted for? If you were from Ikono which had nothing for eight years, and in three years they are having so much, who would you have voted for? If you were from Obot Akara, where children from Nto Edino were cut off schools, but now have the best of bridges, who would you have voted for?

If you were from Oron, with all the abandoned excavations which later became a death trap and an eyesore, and the governor promptly responded to your SOS and within few months cleaned it up, please tell me who you would have voted for? If you were from Udung Uko that could not access Mbo, if you were from Oruk Anam that had no road but now having four contractors cleaning up communities around your area, who would have been your preferred candidate? If you were a student of Obio Akpa campus of the Akwa Ibom State University, and now your campus is wearing a new look, if you were from Uruan with a zero road level and now you have four new roads, your guess is as good as mine.

If you were from Ibiono Ibom, where your paramount ruler had no road to his palace, and within the first year on the saddle, both your paramount ruler’s road and the bridge got fixed, If you were from Nsit Atai and now you have a new road that is dualised, who would you have voted for?

If you were an Akwa Ibom youth, and a governor is building industries to wipe off the civil service mentality and give you massive job opportunities, if you had witnessed the dark ages of this state and now you are welcoming new power substations all over, with improved power supply, please judge for yourself. Tell me who wouldn’t vote for a governor who is constructing a super highway to open up the Ibom deep seaport.

If you ask all the genuine Akwa Ibomites, they want Udom Emmanuel to continue. If he could do all these in three years, I am convinced that Akwa Ibomites would ask that he be returned next year to do more.

 

Having done all these, if the governor wins a second term, what is going to be the focus?

Well I won’t speak clearly for the governor because he will still articulate his second term agenda.  But what I think the governor will do would be a further expansion of what he has started. He won’t in the middle of the road change direction. If it is industrialisation, he will drive it further to achieve more results, if it is expansion of infrastructure, most of the ongoing projects will be driven to conclusion so that their beauty would come out and the benefits would accrue to our people.

So, I think that the governor would basically do an expansion of his five point agenda in his second term so that the true expectation, the real dividends would become manifest for everyone to see.

In Governor Udom Emmanuel’s three and the half years, we have the coconut refinery which is almost nearing completion; it is on the Ikot Abasi-Eket express road, it is not hidden. The flour mill will start production at Mkpok Ukat in December. The syringe factory as at today is producing. The metering factory is producing. Tell why such a man does not deserve a re-election?

Not every Public officer understands their briefs. But for Ephraim Inyangeyen, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, he appears to have a firm grip of his turf.  He exudes this and more in this encounter with Ismail Omipidan, recently.

 

The APC says it will take over the state in 2019. What is your take?

I know that a man who holds his PVC in Akwa Ibom has an independent opinion, and what the man in Ikot Ekpene would think is different from what the man in Abak or Oruk Anam would think. And with the passage of the amendment to the Electoral Law, which I believe Mr. President will sign, it means that the use of electronic device which we call card reader will become mandatory. They are even going further to say that if the card reader does not function, then the election in that unit should be postponed for the next 24 hours until the card reader works, which means that every man will have one vote. I don’t think that anybody in Akwa Ibom will ignore the fact that Governor Udom Emmanuel has done exceedingly well in several areas.

Let me leave my projects and talk about the peace that he has restored to the state. This was a state that many of us never showed up because of kidnappings and reckless killings in the past. You remember when the group which we call the Business Group of Akwa Ibom Indigenes came to see the governor, the leader of that group said in very clear terms that his mother warned him never to show up in Akwa Ibom before now. So if nothing else has happened, Governor Udom Emmanuel has restored peace to the state, and people can now sleep with their two eyes closed in Akwa Ibom. I don’t think any Akwa Ibomite would want to send away that peace, because it is not something you get so easily and find commonly around.

 

Flowing from that, your governor has been asked not to bother campaigning in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district because they would not vote for him since he has no project to show in the area. Tell us why the Uyo-Ikot Ikot Ekpene road has not been completed?

I don’t want to go to projects across Ikot Ekpene senatorial district because they are so many, but I will take one particular project, and for the first time we are going to give details of what happened to Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road to further establish that what has been said about Udom’s performance or non-performance as per Ikot Ekpene senatorial district is absolutely false. Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road was awarded by the previous government on the 19th of December, 2011. It was awarded at the cost of twenty eight billion, three hundred and sixty four million, five hundred and seventy-five thousand, eight hundred and three naira, and twenty two kobo to Julius Berger. As that work started on the 12th of September, 2013, it was reviewed upwards by the sum of twenty three billion, five hundred and sixteen million, two hundred and twenty eight, and three hundred and thirty nine thousand. Again there is what they call additional works, it was reviewed again on the 25th of September, 2014 with the sum of nineteen billion, four hundred and forty eight million, three hundred and seventy three thousand, two hundred and seventeen naira, sixty-seven kobo, bringing the total value to seventy-one billion, three hundred and fifty nine million, one hundred and seventy-seven thousand, one hundred and fourteen naira, fifty nine kobo. And this was as at 25th September, 2014. Governor Udom Emmanuel became governor on the 29th of May, 2015. I want to state here very clearly that the bulk of this money had been released and they didn’t achieve 50 percent of that road construction because as at the time that road was hurriedly commissioned early April, 2015 they were at kilometre 15 and that kilometre 15 did not have the wearing course, which is the final asphalt. That final asphalt is what really holds the road firm.

I want to; for emphasis sake, say that the structure that stood at Ikpe Annang that you turn to go to Essien Udim is at kilometre 15.16 and that building never went down until February, 2017 when this present government sourced money, one hundred and forty one million naira and paid the owner of that property to take down that property, so it is not possible for the previous government to have gotten to kilometre 18, when you have this structure at kilometre 15.  That was a major challenge.

Also, a case in court was still standing and we were made to understand that he had gotten to kilometre 18 and that this government did only 3 kilometres.  I am saying that even at kilometre 18 we couldn’t have done only 3 kilometres because we are now at kilometre 23 remaining 2 kilometres to Four Point Sheraton, so 18 minus 23 would have been at least 5 kilometres but that is not correct. What we have done is that since the coming of Governor Udom Emmanuel, we have done the final asphalting of kilometre zero to 15 and we are taking it from kilometre 15 to kilometre 23, that is 8 kilometres and the remaining 2 kilometres, we are paying compensation. And most important of all, I want to state clearly that all these did not even take into consideration the flood, the outfall drains that were supposed to have been done on that road. It is this administration that is coming up to consider constructing drains because all the communities on that road are having flood situations. We are considering how to now do the outfall drains.  So my question would be; if you say this road was awarded at N71 billion and the duration was three years,  it was supposed to have been completed  in December 2014 and with two revisions, why was it not completed? Where did the money go to? These are very simple questions.

Like I have said in my previous interviews, the only challenge we have on that road that kept the road was that there wasn’t any money in the bill one that we were supposed to use to pay compensation. And these facts have to be given to the public with figures and dates because you cannot deny the truth; it has to be brought out. I have the responsibility to bring out these details and I am determined to bring out all the details of other such awards when the need arises. If anybody contradicts what is on ground, just like the Ikot Ekara road in Oruk Anam, or anybody comes to deny the fact that road construction was not properly handled by Haamakop, and they want to contradict the fact that the payment for that job was not properly done, we will come out with the figures. So for the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene today, the figures are out. I want someone to contradict them.

 

Are all these enough to return Udom Emmanuel next year?

If I wouldn’t support Udom for anything else, I would have supported him for the peace he has brought on this land. Most of our sons and daughters who usually don’t visit home in the days of killings and kidnapping are all visiting now. Many have transferred their PVCs back to the state.  Every Local Government Area that had no taste of infrastructure from 1987 till 2015 are now enjoying infrastructure. Today Ini people can go to Arochukwu with their cars. If you were from Ini; who would you have voted for? If you were from Ikono which had nothing for eight years, and in three years they are having so much, who would you have voted for? If you were from Obot Akara, where children from Nto Edino were cut off schools, but now have the best of bridges, who would you have voted for? If you were from Oron, with all the abandoned excavations which later became a death trap and an eyesore, and the governor promptly responded to your SOS and within few months cleaned it up, please tell me who you would have voted for? If you were from Udung Uko that could not access Mbo, if you were from Oruk Anam that had no road but now having four contractors cleaning up communities around your area, who would have been your preferred candidate? If you were a student of Obio Akpa campus of the Akwa Ibom State University, and now your campus is wearing a new look, if you were from Uruan with a zero road level and now you have four new roads, your guess is as good as mine. If you were from Ibiono Ibom, where your paramount ruler had no road to his palace, and within the first year on the saddle, both your paramount ruler’s road and the bridge got fixed, If you were from Nsit Atai and now you have a new road that is dualised, who would you have voted for?

If you were an Akwa Ibom youth, and a governor is building industries to wipe off the civil service mentality and give you massive job opportunities, if you had witnessed the dark ages of this state and now you are welcoming new power substations all over, with improved power supply, please judge for yourself. Tell me who wouldn’t vote for a governor who is constructing a super highway to open up the Ibom deep seaport. If you ask all the genuine Akwa Ibomites, they want Udom Emmanuel to continue. If he could do all these in three years, I am convinced that Akwa Ibomites would ask that he be returned next year to do more.

 

Having done all these, if the governor wins a second term, what is going to be the focus?

Well I won’t speak clearly for the governor because he will still articulate his second term agenda.  But what I think the governor will do would be a further expansion of what he has started. He won’t in the middle of the road change direction. If it is industrialisation, he will drive it further to achieve more results, if it is expansion of infrastructure, most of the ongoing projects will be driven to conclusion so that their beauty would come out and the benefits would accrue to our people. So I think that the governor would basically do an expansion of his five point agenda in his second term so that the true expectation, the real dividends would become manifest for everyone to see.

In Governor Udom Emmanuel’s three and the half years, we have the coconut refinery which is almost nearing completion; it is on the Ikot Abasi-Eket express road, it is not hidden. The flour mill will start production at Mkpok Ukat in December. The syringe factory as at today is producing. The metering factory is producing. Tell why such a man does not deserve a re-election?

 

 

 

The post Akwa Ibom: Why Emmanuel deserves to be re-elected – Inyangeyen, Works commissioner appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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