…Commends FG for the Refund of N78 Billion Expended on Infrastructure Development in Rivers State under Gov. Amaechi
…Blasts Wike over the Exclusion of the State from the FG Performance-based Grant of N123.348 Billion to 32 performing States
As Gov. Nyesom Wike continues his tour of some local government areas to inaugurate road projects initiated/executed during the administration of former Rivers Governor and now Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has expressed satisfaction over the quality of projects and numerous legendary sectoral achievements recorded by the ex-NGF Chairman when he held sway as Rivers Governor.
Recall that Governor Wike had during the commissioning of Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse road in Emohua local government area, admitted that most of the roads already inaugurated and others awaiting commissioning are the brainchild and inventions of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.
In a statement made available to media houses, Chief Eze said Gov. Wike’s statement, though particularly factual, is contradictory and a sharp departure from his long-held calumnious and freaky opinion, always made en passant, against the administration of former Gov. Chibuike Amaechi, which he has severally hounded and touted at the public glare as wasteful, despite the litany of monumental feats it achieved for the state, many of which fruits Gov. Wike and his administration have continued to reap in bountiful folds and tranches of billions.
The party chief however commended the Governor for stating the obvious and implored him to play-down talking and channel his energy to practically beneficial actions in a bid to deliver the grossly lacking democratic dividends to Rivers people, whose fortunes his political carriage and poor leadership model has perpetually stocked in limbo.
Similarly, Chief Eze hailed the APC- led Federal Government for the refund of over N78 Billion expended by the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi on federal roads and other accompanying critical infrastructure which gave the city of Port Harcourt a remodeled facelift and significantly improved the state’s economy amidst meagre funds from the then PDP-controlled central government.
Eze likened the scenario surrounding the N78 Billion and its refund to what transpired in the Garden of Eden as captured in Genesis 3: 9-11 thus:
“And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
Man (Wike ) goes before the Priest (Rivers people at Isiokpo) to indirectly make a confession of the sin that is capable of making Adam hide again in the garden if the God of Rivers people were to come down to ask why some projects were abandoned by the predecessor Administration.
The President Muhammadu Buhari that Amaechi (the hated) supported to power in 2015 has given Wike N75b as refund for money the Federal Government of Nigeria owed Rivers State; funds trapped in Aso Rock for political reasons by Apostles of politics without bitterness. He was at the penitentiary at that self same hour.
Rivers people are still eating the forbidden fruit they were commanded not to eat. One man is vilified for not completing projects he began at a time a personal ambition war took siege of our State. Ironically, the architect of that siege resulting in the grounding of projects and other fronts in the administration of the State is the one profiting from the release on the ambush of Rivers funds by erstwhile Abuja politicians. And yet, not a word of commendation for President Buhari or the vilified brother at Isiokpo.
Like the Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, confirmed while addressing Gov. Wike and members of the PDP in his recent visit to Port Harcourt, Eze described the refund as the brainchild of the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and stressed that N78 Billion judiciously utilized is enough to build factories in the 23 local government areas to create jobs for the teeming youths and reduce crime and criminality across the state.
Warning the state government against indulging in another frivolous spending spree and fanfare of squander-mania, the party stalwart counseled Wike and his team to give a thought to the lives of Rivers people who have continued to endure the excruciating pains of the pernicious effects of the grossly defective and strange system of government with which they administer the state, stressing that every Rivers citizen is entitled to feel the impact of the whooping refund sum.
In another development, Chief Eze blasted the Gov. Nyesom Wike led State government for failing in all locally and globally recognized standard indexes of development; a national embarrassment which has culminated in the exclusion of Rivers from the recent N123.348 Billion performance-based grant of the federal government to states under the States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for results.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed was quoted as saying that the assessment was carried out by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF) as the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) and approved by the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) of the Federa Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The disbursement, according to Zainab included N91.048 Billion of performance based grants for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 States across Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs), covering fiscal transparency, accountability, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilisation and debt sustainability.
Eze said available reports suggest that Rivers State lost out of the N123 Billion FG largese owing to the failure of the state government to meet the simple eligibility requirement from states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements which has always been shrouded in secrecy given the mountain of illicit transactions perpetrated by officials of the state government.
He said owing to the wide maladministration occasioned by the bunch of mediocre occupying sensitive public offices, the state under Wike has lost several high profile opportunities locally and globally with the potential of provoking a massive economic Filip and reasonably contributing to the improvement of the fortunes of Rivers people who have continued to roam in a leadership-induced poverty in the midst of plenty.
Notwithstanding the fact that Amaechi has left office as Governor several years ago, Eze said the state has continued to reap the good yields of his sterling leadership and called on Wike to try a bit harder to lay up assets for posterity sake, stressing that Rivers people have had enough of liabilities and litany of noises from his rather docile administration which has no worthwhile record for which it will be remembered.
He called on Rivers people to continue to support the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Amaechi and the All Progressives Congress as the party continues to map out strategies to rebuild the state and improve livelihoods in her drive to achieve the greater happiness of the larger chunk of the populace, which is the chief purpose of every government especially, in a democracy.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
APC Chieftain & former National Publicity Secretary, nPDP
20 – 01 – 21