… Notes how Rivers’ governor has reduced state to national hqrs of poverty, unemployment
… Says APC’s only failure in Rivers is the presence of PDP moles, plotting destruction of the party, block access to visionary leadership.
The decision to make Port Harcourt the voice of opposition and a stamp of antagonism as brand against the federal government can only be unfortunate and misguided.
On this score, the recent potpourri of puny mishmash credited to the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, on the performance of the APC-led federal government is severely goofy, grossly lacking in every point of significance. Above all, it does not deserve the esteemed attention of the reading public, but only merits the waste bin where it appropriately fits.
Wike had, during a meeting with the new State Executive Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Thursday, at government house, Port Harcourt, criticized the ruling APC and the Mohammadu Buhari-led FG for reneging on their promises to the people and compounding the problems of the country.
Except from the governor’s Comments reads: “You know there are problems in Nigeria and you made promises, asking Nigerians to vote for you, and for five years , nothing has changed”…. There is nothing the APC can say to Rivers people today as the reason they should be voted for. Whether it is the Federal Government or their political appointees, they have nothing to tell us”.
Reacting to the inconsequential proposition, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, described the Rivers Governor as a flamboyant hypocrite and a mere flip-flopper whose docile and startling unenlightened approach to governance has skyrocketed Rivers to the very peak of unemployment index in the country, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Dismissing Gov. Wike’s claims as fictitious and mere cocktail, Chief Eze, in a statement made available to media houses, said the federal government under President Mohammadu Buhari and the APC has set the pace in infrastructural development and job creation, which he described as critical elements of sustainable economic development and good governance.
Chief Eze, a media strategist and analyst, noted that the simple fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is even bending back ward to pick the bills of federal projects executed before the APC came into power to the tune of over N700Bn is something that should humble the likes of Wike and the discredited PDP. These were federal projects neglected by the PDP FG but executed by states yet they were not paid for. The APC FG and President Buhari came and paid them including N78.9Bn to Rivers State, but the only thank you in Wike’s mouth is insult for the APC and FG.
Has Wike and his failed PDP forgotten that the PDP-led FG carefully refused to pay the correct deduction to the NDDC to the tune of over one trillion only for President Buhari and the APC-led FG to order the refund. This amount alone coming gradually back to the Niger Delta should have shamed the PDP and the likes of Wike and would have armoured the people of the oil region to know who truly loved them and who does not.
The United Nations through the UNEP carried out a detailed study of the environment of the Ogoni as stepping stone to that of the entire Niger Delta. In November 1911, such an important global organ issued a Report with an order to dedicate $1Bn to start clean up of Ogoni land. The PDP and a son of the Niger Delta killed that report and released no dime. The APC and President buhari came and launched the difficult clean up and so far released $400m (N154Bn). It has been stated by those who know that money is no longer the problem of the clean up but ability to do the right thing and draw down the huge funds execute projects. Many are being employed in Ogoni on these projects and more is coming.
It is sad that those who did these evils and more are same people daily writing off the APC-led FG and President Buhari. It is sad that we now live in an era when the offender is judge and the guilty is not afraid. Yet, this is an administration that was greeted into power by a recession induced by excessive and mindless looting over the years, and is now battling with a global economic contraction caused by Covid-19.
The gateway to the eastern economy is the Second Niger Bridge that would help the old bridge to pass hundreds of thousands of hauled goods per day; just as the backbone of any national economy is a railway network which the FG APC is pursuing with a single-minded determination and dedication.
It is this renewed determination to put the country on track and properly harness available opportunities in all sectors within and outside the Nigerian coast to drive development has touched true patriots and nationalists. It is in this area that Eze said the administration is very concerned and is making appreciable progress in its concerted efforts in addressing the litany of challenges and cleansing the accumulated mess generated during the 16 years of the wasteful reign of the People’s Democratic Party.
He said millions of people have been lifted from the labour market and meaningfully engaged in direct and indirect jobs initiated through thoughtful and people-oriented public programmes in the quest to fight poverty and improve livelihoods, stressing that the Buhari administration plays down talking and concentrates more on practical actions.
The party chieftain reminded Gov. Wike that the federal government has attracted unprecedented development to Rivers State through the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who has continued to receive national and international medals for his towering achievements in modern rail development, ports expansion and improved maritime security, all of which have added significantly to the national coffers and the economy of states. The eastern ports were ignored all the years that the PDP even with a Port Harcourt boy was President and a Rivers man was minister of Transportation. Now, the eastern ports are booming as confirmed by industry insiders and Onne port has been opened up to admit more goods.
Just last Saturday, the Nigerian Ports Authority announced the successful berthing of the biggest container vessel to ever call at any Nigerian port; the Maerskline Stardelhorn vessel with Length overall of 300 metres and width of 48 metres which was received at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT), Onne in Rivers State at 1620 hours on Saturday, August 15, 2020.The vessel, which has a capacity of 9,971(TEUs) is a flagship from Singapore. The party chief said this alone discredits Wike’s claims, as the feat will further provoke economic boom and create jobs for Rivers people and more.
Eze tackled Gov. Wike for stating that, “No governor has ever done what I’m doing now in Rivers State” as containing some truth as the fact remains that no governor in the annals of Rivers State has taken the State backwards the way Governor Wike has done.
Today, for stifling development in Rivers State and denying the people their due in his very thoughtless, parochial and anti-people approach to politics, the huge monthly allocation and internally generated revenue, notwithstanding.
The party chief said it is strikingly bizarre and a position lacking in every economic sense for the governor to give a thought to borrowing a whopping N18 billion to build an overhead bridge. Describing the decision as below every standard of human intelligence and average sense of reasonableness, pro bono, Eze counselled Gov. Wike to rethink his decision and channel the loan to economically viable projects, such that could create jobs, provide opportunities and improve the economy of Rivers State. The mere fact that the first three flyovers were awarded at N7Bn each only for the last two to be N18Bn and N15Bn each shows that something is wrong. Nobody has told the Rivers people if any of the latest two is longer than each of the first three. Also, the fact that Wike continues to add small road repairs to each new flyover is seen as a ploy to inflate the cost and hide it. He has not been able to state the cost of each new flyover and the cost of the small link roads he padded each contract with.
To Gov Wike, he is being clever and the masses must be unintelligent. This is sad.
The APC stalwart reiterated that it would be thoughtful and commendable if the governor could go for a loan to finance the completion of the very enterprising Rivers monorail project, which he described as the pride of modern cities. He said it is nauseating and amounts to a pimp-slap on the status of Rivers State and the intelligence of her enlightened populace for Wike and his circle of unenlightened laymen to tag the monorail project as a dead trap, stressing that such retrogressive assertion adds credence to the popular view that the PDP-led state government is the worst thing that has happened to the state in the 21st century.
He cautioned Chief Wike to desist from embarrassing Rivers people with fake job adverts, stating furthermore that several employment exercises conducted by the state government to hire teachers, lecturers and non-academic staff to fill vacancies at the primary, secondary and state-owned tertiary institutions never saw the light of day, notwithstanding the huge public fund budgeted. Has the suspended recruitment exercise in the Rivers State University (RSU) which actually led to the sack of Professor Blessing Didia as Vice Chancellor been concluded or still suspended? The masses are still waiting for him to open up on such a sensitive matter, if he has not actually passed through the backyaerd to fill up the positions, as the grapevine has it.
Similarly, Eze observed with shock that over six years now, civil servants in the state have been denied promotion and the fact that the new Minimum Wage is yet to reflect in the salaries of local government workers plagues the conscience.
Expressing worries over the continued denial of monthly pensions and gratuities to retirees, Chief Eze called on the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, Civil Society Organizations and all people of conscience and goodwill to ignite a more effective and confrontational technique to prod the governor to give Rivers pensioners their entitlements, because according to him, workers deserved their wages.
Eze maintained that the art of governance would have been easy for Gov. Wike, had he humbled himself to learn from the very sound legacies of former Rivers Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, whose record in the education sector singly surpasses the totality of his hubristic six (6) years achievements.
Eze reiterated that APC’s only failure in Rivers is allowing PDP moles in the party to plot the destruction of the party, block access to visionary leadership in the State but assured the populace that these evil agents will soon be flushed out from the party.
The party Chief recalled with sadness, the 2015 satanic gang up by some groups in Rivers State which led to the denial of the State the rare opportunity of having a revolutionist, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, preside over the state affairs, stressing that the composite gentleman would have built on the many achievements of Rt. Hon. Amaechi to make the state maintain the competition with Lagos.
Submitting that Gov. Wike is a colossal disaster, Eze said if what Dr. Peterside achieved when he held sway in NIMASA is anything to go by, then one can safely conclude that he would have turned Rivers State to heaven on earth.
He further regretted that Rivers State lost another golden opportunity in Pastor Tonye Cole in 2019 through the efforts of the common enemies of the State who, again, connived with external forces to deny the people the rare privilege. Eze said if Pst. Tonye Cole could turn a stone into gold and singlehandedly build an economic empire, then, only God knows what he would have turned Rivers State into if he was allowed to contest the 2019 guber poll.
Eze lamented that it is sickening what Wike has turned Rivers State into but appealed to Rivers people to remain calm and continue ceaselessly in prayers for the much awaited better days that soon will come.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
APC Chieftain & former National Publicity Secretary, nPDP