The government of Rivers state led by Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike declares, it has so far committed more than N1.891 bn to payment of foreign scholarships for the state indigenes.
“We will also see to it that our children on federal government scholarships do not get stranded, or suffer the embarrassment of non-payments of fees in their foreign Universities, no matter how they got there,” governor Wike assured.
Represented by his Deputy Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo at interdenominational church service to mark the nation’s 55th Independence Anniversary, at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Diobu, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike reiterated government’s commitment to manpower development of Rivers state.
Dr. Ipalibo noted that apart from the initial N1.4bn the government paid recently, to offset the fees of its citizens in foreign Universities, the governor last Thursday released the sum of N4.91m to pay the fees of citizens abroad.
The Deputy Governor, who thanked God for continued peace and unity in the country, assured that the Rivers state and Nigeria generally will overcome the challenges of corruption, economic meltdown and insecurity facing it.
“Let’s work together as a people, eschew bitterness and unforgiveness. Let the brotherly love flow, for better and greater Rivers state and Nigeria, and let us bless Rivers state and Nigeria in all we say and do”.
In his speech, the chairman Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, and General Overseer of Royal House of Grace, Apostle Zilly Aggrey, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to see himself as the President and father the nation, and not of the All Progressives Congress APC, or the North.
“President Buhari has a choice to be the President of the whole Nigeria, by leading an all inclusive government, just like the former President of South Africa, late Dr. Nelson Madiba Mandela surprised all the whites, by leading an all inclusive government in a multi-racial nation.
O! God, as we celebrate our 55th anniversary, we pray for our President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, to be the president of all Nigerians, without discrimination,” he prayed.
The CAN chairman bemoaned the fate of Rivers state foreign scholarship students on the bill of the federal government, and urged the state government to intervene in their pitiable plight.
Delivering the sermon, the Dean Emeritus, Arch Bishop, Niger Delta Province & Bishop Diocese of Niger Delta North, Most Rev (Dr) Ignatius O C. Kattey, advised Christians to pray for their leaders and respect them, for they were positioned by God.
“Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari is our President today, just as Chief Wike is also our governor, therefore we must respect them, for God who knows all things, from the beginning to end, prepared and positioned them.”
Expatiating his sermon, which its theme was ‘Fear God’, he charged members to fear God and nothing else. “He alone has the power to destroy both the body and soul”, regretting that Christians rather feared what need not be feared, and refuse to fear who needs be feared and revered.
Congratulating the nation on its anniversary, he expressed regrets over tragedies that befell Nigerian pilgrims to Mecca, and prayed God to grant the victims eternal rest and the deceased families, fortitude to bear the loss.
Highlight of the church service was the special thanksgiving by the Rivers state government, led by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, accompanied by Speaker House of Assembly Rt Hon Kuinyi Uwaji Ibani, Acting Chief Judge CJ, Hon Justice Daisy Okocha, President State Customary Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Christiana Nwankwo, Secretary to Government of Rivers State SSG, Hon Kenneth Kubani, members of State Assembly and commissioners.
Other dignitaries present were; members of service chiefs in the state, comprising the Nigeria Army, NA, Air Force NAF, Nigeria Navy NN, Nigeria Immigration Service NIS, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Police Force, NPF, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence , NSCDC and Nigeria Drug law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.

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