By PRECIOUS IBINABO DAVIDS, Port Harcourt
Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has come under fire from the State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for stopping the free education policy and scholarship scheme introduced by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and incumbent Minister of Transportation. Wike announced the development on March 4, 2016 while appearing as a guest on Viewpoint, a Rhythm FM Port Harcourt programme. Wike stated: “Imagine the people they were giving free education and scholarship, people that were studying Economics and English Language. Just imagine, ordinary Economics and English Language! You expect me to continue? No, I cannot continue free education and scholarship.”
Rivers APC in a statement signed by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, and issued on Monday in Port Harcourt described Wike’s action as shocking and unfortunate. “The free education policy was introduced by the Amaechi administration with the aim of creating an opportunity for the less privileged class in our State to be educated. Stopping this great legacy of a visionary leader aimed at making Rivers a leading State and empowering her citizens irrespective of social status exposes Wike as lacking the capacity and vision to effectively govern Rivers,” APC said.
The party described the development as “a big shame”, saying that it exposed “the poor understanding of Wike who, though he read Law, never practised Law for one day probably because of his poor understanding of Law. It is, therefore, not entirely surprising that he considers those that read Economics and English Language in the university as inconsequential and of no relevance. This mistaken view is unexpected of a 21st Century State Governor.”
Lamenting the disaster that Wike’s eight months governorship has turned out to be, Rivers APC said: “Today the over 24 Model Secondary Schools described in some quarters as being better than some universities are now under lock and key. This sinister act against the future of Rivers State also applies to over 300 Model Primary Schools constructed and put into use by the then administration of Amaechi.
“While it is true that we never expected much from Wike since his emergence as Governor was by accident and he has no blueprint for the development of the State, we never anticipated that he would be so callous as to set out to destroy all the great legacies of his predecessor in the areas of security, education, agriculture and attracting of investors to the State.”
The party appealed to Rivers State voters to come out enmasse and demonstrate their displeasure over Wike’s sinister agenda against the better future of Rivers State by ensuring that all Wike’s stooges parading themselves as candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the rerun elections come March 19th do not receive a single vote as electing them will only embolden Wike to embark on more anti-progress policies, thus setting back Rivers State by several decades