I Will Teach You A Lesson - Wike Tells Akpabio - IReporteronline
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I Will Teach You A Lesson – Wike Tells Akpabio

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has drawn a battle line with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, following the minister’s recent verbal attack on South-south governors.

Wike threatened to deal with Akpabio if he dared speak negatively about Rivers State, insisting that Akpabio had no authority to talk about his state.

The governor, who spoke yesterday when he inaugurated an office complex his administration built for the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Port Harcourt, said Akpabio was behind a recent publication by militant groups asking the South-south to account for N55trn derivation money.

The new three-storey TUC building has a 500 seater auditorium, conference room and fully furnished offices.

Wike said as a governor, Akpabio carried himself like a god wondering why he failed an ordinary senatorial election if he had performed as a governor.

Wike said: “It is unfortunate. I read what the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Akpabio said. I will tell him to talk less. We will tell him that when he was the governor he was acting like a king. There was money that time. The exchange rate was N150 per dollar. Today, it is N500 for a dollar.

“Akpabio had money but he had the temerity to ask South-south governors what they are doing with 13 per cent derivation. Akpabio should not talk to Rivers State at all. He has no such authority. He is not qualified to talk to Rivers State.

“If he wants to talk, he should concentrate in Akwa Ibom State or else we teach him a lesson here. Akpabio should know that enough is enough. If he should talk here I will teach him a lesson. I am not a sycophant and I am not an inconsistent person. I don’t give a damn. He cannot say he sees me in the villa.

“So, if he wants to talk, let him concentrate on his state, not to venture again and talk about Rivers. If he does it again, he will regret. I am not one of those governors he can turn around. I am not that kind of person. People should say what they practice. I will show you a video where the President said they should come and learn from me what we are doing here. People forget they just come out and talk any how”.

Referring to the Thursday’s inauguration of the permanent headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Wike said Akpabio failed to confirm from the South-south governors the date that would be suitable for them.

None of the South-south governors attended the event, which occurred a day after Akpabio blasted them for demanding an inauguration of the board of the NDDC.

But Wike said: “He (Akpabio) went and asked so-called South-south militants that we should render account of N55trilion. Where did he get the N55trilion from? If we got N55trn then he got N200trn. You came to commission a project you can’t ask the governors when is suitable for them. Later they said they boycotted the programme. Boycotted what?

“You promised you were going to partner with me when we were doing the Eastern bypass, but you ran away and now you are enjoying it. Akpabio be careful. Don’t go and pay money to people to type propaganda against governors. You will suffer for it at the end of the day.

“We know what Akpabio was doing as a governor. He saw himself as god then. Now he has the temerity to insult South-south governors. We will meet one day. If he did well, why did he fail his senatorial election?

“You will finish from Abuja and you will come here. When you were begging governors to come and talk on your behalf. Now you are fighting us. I will abuse you back at the appropriate time. I am only making introduction today. What I will do, be prepared,” Wike said, adding, “Now you have gone to look for trouble; I will give you trouble. You will never sleep again. This is why Nigeria cannot move forward. You ran to the other party for protection. The same party that said they are fighting corruption. You can just say anything; abuse governors. Don’t dare me”.

Addressing the President, TUC, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, and other labour leaders, Wike said the organised labour was dead under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Wike, who approved N50million for workers as a take-off fund to run the office and also donated a coaster bus to them, said labour abandoned their roles in the country to chase shadows and run after the minimum wage.

He said it was wrong for Labour to insist that the federal government should fix the wages of workers employed by the state.

Wike said: “It is unfortunate that labour has abandoned their role in this country and are chasing things just personal to you. All over the world it is known that when government is not going the right way labour will come out and say look, you are not doing the right thing.

“If we are practising true federalism, you cannot say the man in Sokoto should earn like the man in Lagos; it is not possible. The house rent in Lagos is more expensive than in Sokoto.

“You people say federal government should fix. How can federal government fix salary for me; he did not employ you, I employed you. I sit down with you, we negotiate. Then you say the federal government should fix what everyone should earn.

“I agree that nobody should earn less than a certain benchmark for example. You cannot also say as you have put that, therefore, people in Lagos are paying N30, 000, therefore, Kogi must pay same thing you are not being fair.

“Where will Kogi get the money from? Oil companies that should pay taxes to Rivers State have moved to Lagos; they only take helicopter and come take our oil finish and go back, leaving us to suffer environmental pollution”.

But while commending Wike for the office complex, Olaleye disagreed with the governor’s remarks on the minimum wage saying if governors were allowed to fix the baseline salaries some of them would not pay more than N10.

Olalaye said “Some governors have decided to cut workers’ salaries without due process, and some if allowed to determine salaries they will pay nothing less than N10 as monthly payments. That’s why labour says it must remain where it is as a standard. The US has a national minimum wage.”

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Group Advocates Ban On Open Grazing In Edo

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A Non-governmental organisation, New Nigeria Initiative (NNI), Wednesday, advocated a ban on open grazing to prevent herders and farmers clash in Edo.

The group said Edo and the entire country were being gripped by endemic brutality, untold cruelties and awful cycles of events arising from clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

President of the group, Mr Uwadiae Odigie, stated this when the group visited the state acting permanent secretary, state ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, in Benin .

According to him, “NNI had in the wake of these attacks in June, 2000 dropped a private bill titled:  “the Prohibition of cattle grazing” in the State House of Assembly.
“But, regrettably nothing came out of it and the result has been the reign of reckless bloodshed by  criminal herdsmen in the State.
“The unabated tragic drama mostly in Edo spurred us to re-introduced a modified version of the bill  to the Dtate House of Assembly.”
Responding, the acting permanent secretary said government was concerned about the security situation in the state.

Aikhuomobhogbe said, “Government is doing its best to ensure food security in the state. If the cattle continue to destroy farmlands, it will affect food security.”

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10 Former Nigerian Governors Linked With N30billion Properties In UK

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A new report has linked 10 former Nigerian governors to properties worth £56 million (about N30 billion) in the United Kingdom.

The report on illicit financial flow (IFF) from Nigeria to the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also shows that 216 properties are owned by 13 law enforcement officers in the UAE.

The report was presented at a media roundtable organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.

The identities of the former governors were not disclosed.

Dr. Gbenga Oduntan of the Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK presented the report titled, “Fixing Nigeria’s Illicit Financial Flows: A critical review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices.”

Commenting on the report, Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, said funds stolen from Nigeria and taken to the UK and UAE were mind-boggling.

He noted that both countries have become enablers of illicit funds and stressed the need to challenge external collaborators aiding the flow of illicit funds out of Nigeria.

“We should make it difficult for people to take out the proceeds of crimes,” he said, adding that the UK and UAE should protect their systems from “those toxic resources.”

The HEDA Chairman noted that while over $50 billion is lost annually to illicit financial flow in Africa, Nigeria is the leading country in terms of IFF.

Stakeholders have however advocated for the creation of a tripartite anti-corruption task force for the three countries to stop the illicit financial flow.

Oduntan, who presented the research report, said apart from the huge amount of money illegally stashed abroad by politically exposed persons in Nigeria, $15 billion alone is lost to tax evasion by multinationals in Nigeria.

In addition, he said there is heavy under-invoicing between Nigeria and the UK, adding that fixing Nigeria’s illicit financial flow would require the destination countries to collaborate with Nigeria to shut down their systems against suspected proceeds of crimes.

However, he lamented that this is not the case, saying in the UAE, findings show that prosecution of money laundering cases is very low.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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JUST IN: Boko Haram Currently Attacking Borno Community

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Damasak, the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area of troubled Borno state has again come under Boko Haram attack on Wednesday afternoon, a security source told SaharaReporters.

The incident is the 8th attack on the community within a week, the source added.

Damasak is a border community with the Niger Republic north and is about 180 km drive from Maiduguri, the state capital.

The insurgents had on Tuesday evening invaded the community and wreaked havoc without confrontation.

The gunmen were reported to have razed the Divisional Police Command, schools, shops and residential houses as they hoisted their flags in strategic locations within the town.

On Saturday, the insurgents attacked the community, setting fire on United Nations facilities and forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.

About three soldiers were shot dead by the gunmen while many persons were killed when a military jet that came to salvage the situation dropped a bomb that landed in a compound where civilians were having christening.

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