*Says Rivers Owing N230bn*
The 2015 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has once again slammed Governor Nyesom Wike over the way and manner he is treating Rivers, people, “portraying them as lacking dignity, self-esteem, and freedom of choice.”
Peterside was particularly piqued by statements coming from the governor that he (Wike) was solely in charge of the state and that nobody could achieve anything politically without being approved by him.
It would be recalled that Governor Wike, during the flag-off of Oyigbo-Okoloma Road, had told the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, that on no account should any member of the party from Rivers State approach him or any National Working Committee (NWC) member for consultation as regards political ambition for the 2023 general election.
The governor further declared that he was completely in charge of the State and that anybody who goes out of the State to consult with anybody has already lost his chances.
Dr. Peterside however said Governor Wike, because of power which he is holding in trust and his access to Rivers peoples’ commonwealth, is now turning himself into the “god of Rivers people who must be worshipped, begged, praised and appeased, if good fortune is to smile on them.”
The immediate past director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) condemned the imperial air Gov Wike now exudes over hapless Rivers people.
“Wike’s egoistical and authoritarian leadership style is the reason why Rivers State is the way it is today. His Commissioners are scared of telling him the truth. Wike’s unfounded and vainglorious arrogance is the reason why there is fear among his party members as the governor has become He who must be obeyed.
“Arrogance, greed, quest to acquire all properties in Port Harcourt and lack of respect for elders of Rivers State will be the beginning of Wike’s downfall. Wike literally prostrates and worships traditional rulers from other parts of the country but disgustingly disrespects traditional rulers in Rivers State with such disdain,” Peterside bemoaned.
Dr. Peterside lamented that the people of Oyigbo are being treated “as a conquered people,” pointing out that it took six years for the governor to the flag-off of the road that is a major artery connecting Abia, Ogoni axis, and the rest of Rivers State.
The former House of Representative member also disclosed that the state government was owing about N230bn contrary to consistent lies by the governor that his administration was not indebted in any way.
According to Peterside, “When I raised the alarm that there was not much on ground to justify all the multibillions borrowed, in addition to federal allocation and internally generated revenue, the governor rabble-roused and ran all over the media denying it.
“Just a few days ago, the Debt Management Office (DMO) stated that Rivers was among the top three indebted states in Nigeria with debt exposure to the tune of N230bn. Will the governor now come out to say the DMO is lying? Or will he say he was not the one that borrowed the money? How can such a governor take his people for a ride?
“With his warped understanding of development underscored by over-concentration on brick and mortar governance, other sectors continue to suffer untold hardship and Rivers people are worse off for it perhaps without knowing it. For example, SOOT is presently ravaging the State but our governor is busy spending billions of naira ferrying people from all over Nigeria to commission roads of less than 800m or bridges less than 400m,” Peterside lamented.