By PRECIOUS IBINABO DAVIDS, Port Harcoury
The Inter-ethnic Network for Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a foremost media group in Rivers State, says its attention has been drawn to a sleazy press statement by Governor Wike’s media aide against the person of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
The group in a statement signed on Saturday stated that “naturally, we would not have responded to this dross but we are constrained by our commitment to our fundamental operational philosophy of projecting, protecting and promoting Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to react accordingly and keep Wike on his tracks.”
Text of the statement reads: “Not much was expected from Wike when he took the oath of office on May 29, 2015, as Governor of Rivers State and true to expectations, Wike has proven beyond doubts that he has absolutely nothing to offer beyond political chicanes and sophistry. With each passing day, Wike’s theatrics assumes more ridiculous and worrisome dimension.
“It beats us hollow, how Wike has little or no time for anything other than politicking at the expense of Rivers people. We recall that we have consistently critiqued the Governor’s actions or inactions on several issues where we believe he has fallen short of expectations and most times advised him accordingly, yet he has never responded to any of those either in words or action but hastily responds to any politically related statements made about him, an indication that he is a misfit for the office of the Governor.
“Governor Wike’s misgovernance and directionlessness are purely a reflection of his mindset. A man who only see government as an opportunity to plunder the resources of the State for selfish reasons other than the collective wellbeing of the masses, this is evident in his alleged N850 Million acquisition of a School adjacent his multibillion-naira mansion along Ada-George road, in his country home, amongst many other numerous inordinate acquisition of properties within the same area.
“We are not bewildered at Wike’s lack of tact and focus in governance, particularly because, he was foisted on Rivers people through the back door. He has repeatedly shown that he became governor by happenstance and is grossly unprepared for governance. Evidently, Wike, is not apprised with the workings of government and has seized every given opportunity to make a spectacle of himself, thereby, stripping bare his greenness. While the economy of the State is in a free fall, Wike’s slush funds and private purse continue to grow into a fort.
Sadly, over two years after, Wike continues to straggle about the political space aimlessly, blaming his inefficiencies and failures on Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, his boss and benefactor, who has moved on and has continued to impact positively on Nigerians through the Ministry of transportation.
“Rather than task his administration with delivering dividends of good governance to the people of Rivers State, Wike has made attacking Amaechi the only agenda of his administration, a situation that is itself, paradoxical as Wike, being a Chief of Staff to Amaechi, was an integral part of the same Amaechi-led administration which he attacks religiously.
“Does Wike need to be reminded that it was the opportunity Amaechi gave him to serve as Chief of Staff in his government that served as a springboard to his political growth?
“The Wike-led government symbolises the rule of vices over virtues and moral midgets over nobles, a grim reversal of the natural order of affairs. Wike’s administration is bereft of the capacity to initiate good projects or programs yet it mismanages those it inherited or supervises their deterioration. Most facilities at the State secretariat are not functional due to negligence and lack of maintenance on the part of government; thus, civil servants are subjected to the rigorous challenge of devising means of going about their duties.
“We are shocked at Wike’s description of the appointment of Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, as futile and an avenue for Amaechi to indemnify him for the cost he incurred during the 2015 governorship elections in Rivers State. Obviously, this line of thought by the Governor is a reflection of his habitual practice of making appointments on the basis of returns back to him and not on meritocracy. It is a known fact that the Governor imposes a certain percentage on all appointees and contract awardees as a return to him which is why he flagrantly disregards due process in the award of contracts.
“Dr. Peterside, a refined and intellectually sound personality with international acclaim does not fit into any of Wike’s reckless descriptions. Peterside, continues to evince rare and peerless leadership and administrative prowess, qualities which the Governor has not been able to manifest for over two years now, since assumption of office.
“Peterside’s appointment as DG of NIMASA was wholly on merit and not on grounds of compensation or blackmail as Wike would want the public to believe. His transformational achievement at NIMASA since his appointment as DG of the agency are sterling and has gained several international recognition and honour, a feat Wike is willing to pay through his nose to acquire.
“It is an aberration for Wike to compare his visionless government to the achievements of Peterside in all ramifications. Peterside, as a member of the National Assembly, personally instituted a scholarship scheme that saw several youths of Rivers State travel abroad for their studies, but under Wike’s administration all Rivers sons and daughters abroad on scholarships by the Amaechi administration were recalled and their scholarships terminated. As Commissioner of Works under the Amaechi administration, Dakuku Peterside did more than Wike has done as Governor for over two years now. Many years after serving as Commissioner, his imprints can still be seen and felt all over the State. Wike has failed in virtually every sector of government, Agriculture, Education, Employment, Health, Infrastructure, human capacity development, etc.
“Obviously, Wike’s memory failed him too soon. It is on record that the internal road network in his country home, Rumuepirikom, which he plans to reconstruct with billions of Naira, were fully awarded to him by the Amaechi administration through the ministry of works under the Works Commissioner, Dakuku Peterside. In other to amass wealth for himself, Wike, executed sub-standard roads without paying compensations due his kinsmen even when such compensations were fully accommodated for in the contract terms.
“Wike’s barefaced lie that Amaechi’s political structure was unable to deliver Peterside in the 2015 elections is a slight on the sensibilities of Rivers people who were denied the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice. It is on record that despite the electoral fraud masterminded by the PDP under the auspices of former President Jonathan and his wife, Patience Jonathan, the APC never lost any elections in Opobo-Nkoro Local Government Area, not even on any of the several rerun elections. All elections in Opobo-Nkoro were lost at the elections petition tribunal under questionable circumstances. Were it not for the use of state apparatus and manipulation of the electoral umpire, Wike would never have been Governor.
“Wike’s allusion that Dakuku Peterside made away with the election results of Ikwerre LGA during one of the rerun elections in a bid to spare his boss, Amaechi, some embarrassment, is not only fictitious but a grand farce and has no bearing with reality. Ikwerre LGA is a safe haven for the APC, being the home LGA of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Honourable Minister of Transportation and Leader of the APC in the State.
“Wike who became governor by fluke and judicial magnanimity must learn to make the most of this lifetime opportunity by taking the business of governance seriously with all sense of humility and service. Perhaps, he needs to be reminded that he may not always have an “Oga” that will tell him to go here or there at ungodly hours to seek one judicial favour or the other, as he rightly affirmed during his Supreme Court verdict thanksgiving service in his hometown.
“While the Governor is busy trying to beguile the unsuspecting public into believing he is performing well with his low-class motor park, jetty and pleasure park projects, Kebbi State, with allocation and IGR far below that of Rivers State recently commissioned a mega rice mill adjudged to be one of the biggest in Africa. In the same vein, Lagos State is set to launch its 5000 buses Urban Mass Transit Scheme to remodel its transport sector and cushion the transportation challenges of its growing population.
“One wonders if Rivers State is now a Local Government Council to be embarking on such low-profile projects.
Amaechi’s indelible legacies stare Wike in the face and will continue to haunt him and act as a constant reminder of his failure as Governor.
“In 2019, Wike will have to test his popularity at the polls for the first time in reality. He must come to the realisation that only his legacies will speak for him in 2019 as no magic, electoral infractions and shenanigans will be enough to make him stay in office beyond May 29, 2019.
“For now, he continues to bear the onerous burden of measuring up to Amaechi’s achievements and legacies as Governor of Rivers State. Until then, we have the need to reiterate Amaechi’s advice to Governor Wike for the umpteenth time, “SHUT UP AND WORK.”