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Reduce poverty, empower people, Wike, cleric task LG chairmen-elect

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has urged newly elected council chairmen in the state to empower people of their respective councils in order to reduce the level of poverty in the localities.

He also expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party candidates at the April 17 Local Government polls.

The  governor  gave the advice while delivering sermon at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thanksgiving Service for successful local government chairmanship and councillorship elections in Rivers State at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said, “It is not by our power, it is not by our strength, it is not by our making, but by the Holy Spirit that is what God has ordained for Rivers State”.

According to Wike, Rivers State is a PDP state and would always be, noting that it is only the PDP that could save this nation from imminent collapse.

“You can see clearly that the APC government has failed us. Insecurity everywhere, is there any day you do not hear of people being killed in one part of the country, or the other. We hear of kidnapping, we hear of all sorts of crime, poverty, people are crying, suffering everywhere because of bad government”, he further stressed.

The State Chief Executive, who urged the citizenry to be vigilant and careful, noted that the insurgency we are hearing about is targeted at the body of Christ, adding that church of God would continue to match forward and the gates of hell shall never prevail against the church.

Wike, who said God delivered the state and gave the people a peaceful local government election, thanked the bishop and the household of faith for their prayers, stressing that the negative narrative about violent elections in the state is now a thing of the past.

Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, charged the newly-elected local government chairmen to create an enabling environment that would reduce poverty at the grassroots.

Ihunwo also tasked the chairmen-elect to always embrace God in the discharge of their duties, if they want to succeed.

He urged the newly elected chairmen to see the positions they are about to occupy as a privilege and not because they were most qualified candidates, saying that there were more qualified persons than them but because they found favour in the sight of God.

The clergy also advised the new council chairmen-elect to render selfless service and not to be selfish, saying that no selfish leader would find favour in the sight of God.

In his sermon taken from Luke 16:19, Ihunwo, who said leadership was a responsibility and not a settlement, informed the newly-elected officers that a great task was ahead of them, adding that the office is a privilege.

The clergyman advised them not to abandon God when they get into office, stressing that without God they cannot succeed.

“Hold on to God, leadership can only succeed when God is involved, Learn how to appreciate God at all times”, he further stressed.

The clergy, who backed his sermon with Proverbs 19:17, said, “He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the LORD; and that which He hath given, will he pay him again.”

He urged them to create wealth by investing in the lives of the people to reduce poverty at the grassroots, saying that there was much poverty among people, especially at the rural areas of the state.

Speaking on the side-line of the thanksgiving service, PDP Chairman in Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor, charged the newly-elected local government chairmen to ensure that they deliver the dividends of democracy to their people, using the template made available by Governor Nyesom Wike.

He said the service was to thank God Almighty for making the state conduct a violence-free election, saying that it was only God alone that made the exercise hitch free.

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