By PRECIOUS IBINABO DAVIDS, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress has noted with sadness that the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike Thursday sought and received approval by the Rivers State House of Assembly to obtain yet another N10 billion loan from a commercial bank adding that while reasons (howbeit superficial) were given for the loans in the past, this time no reason was attached to the loan request before the RSHA approved it.
In a release signed by the APC Publicity Secretary, Senibo Chris Finebone, which AUTHENTIC News Daily got a copy of, the party recalled that “barely 13 days after his swearing-in, Governor Nyesom Wike on the 11th of June, 2015 took a loan of N10 billion claiming same to be for provision of infrastructure in the State. Again on 30th June, 2015 he obtained a N20 billion loan from a commercial bank. This was followed with another loan of N30 billion on the 8th of July. Not done yet, the governor obtained yet another loan of N10 billion on the 12th of November, 2015. This was later followed with another loan of N10 billion the governor obtained on the 8th of April, 2016. At the risk of losing count on the total loan profile of Gov. Nyesom Wike, records show that the governor has obtained an unprecedented total of N90 billion as loan since becoming governor of Rivers State.”
The APC stressed that with the obvious questionable deployment of these loans by the governor, it is clear to all that the future of Rivers people, their living and unborn children has eternally been mortgaged by a governor driven by selfish, vainglorious and ignoble motives.
The statement reads: “Very worrisome is the fact that the governor lavishes a substantial portion of these loans on his personal pursuits and insatiable crave for mundane earthly pleasures and that of his friends.
“The governor shortly after obtaining the first set of loans purchased a needless N300 million luxury armoured mobile office. Even as that insensitive action has since set tongues wagging, the governor took his friends to Spain to watch the decisive UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and Wolsburg of Germany followed by a lavish party to celebrate Madrid’s 3-2 aggregate win because the governor is a fan of Real Madrid. For now, the governor and his friends have concluded plans to spend another N105 million ($300,000.00) to go and watch UEFA Champions League final slated for May 28, 2016 in Milan, Italy. Already, groups in Rivers State are threatening resistance to such profligacy by government in the face of hard times the people are going through.
“Back home, public servants and pensioners have gone for months without pay. Local government workers are crying for help because they have not been paid salaries. While the past administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi took payment of teachers off the local councils to free up money to pay salaries of council workers and provision of other services by the councils, Gov Nyesom Wike has pounced on council funds and is merely giving out handouts to his Caretaker Chairmen, money not enough for the greed of the Chairmen.
“The APC particularly notes with dismay that this latest N10 billion loan is for the governor to write off the cost of hosting the Peoples Democratic Party national convention slated for Saturday, 21st May, 2016 in Port Harcourt.
“We condemn this action by the governor. We do not understand why the governor of a richer state like Akwa Ibom chose not to provide such imprudent benevolence to the PDP. It can only be the product of a fiendishly ambitious mind hoping to ride into powerful prominence within the PDP milieu. But unknown to Gov. Wike, his ambition and the future of the severely torn PDP umbrella will be buried come Saturday. It needs reminding the governor that vanity upon vanity all come to vanity.
“The APC wishes to call on banks offering endless loans to Gov. Nyesom Wike to desist forthwith. Surprisingly, the government is backing such loans with dubious collateral security to the knowledge of the bank officials. Rivers State future federal allocations have already been mortgaged up to 2019 as collateral security for earlier loans taken by Gov Wike; so is the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State. It can only be for reasons of complicity to dupe Rivers people that any bank should be willing to lend money to the governor at this time. Such banks will, in fullness of time, discover that their seemingly water-tight connivance with Gov. Nyesom Wike is not as tight as perceived after all.
“The APC also calls on the Hon. Minister of Finance, the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) and all other relevant entities to strictly enforce regulations that protect the peoples’ money from the shackles of shylock governors like Chief Nyesom Wike. No governor should be allowed to mortgage the future of the people the way Gov. Wike is doing.”