The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a statement signed by its State Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya and circulated by Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze his Media Consultant on Friday to Media Organisations stated that the leadership of Rivers State APC has counselled itself not to react to most of the unfortunate and misguided innuendos usually credited to Governor Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike of Rivers State as the party is not so sure of the soundness of his mind but attacking and using uncouth words on President Muhammadu Buhari, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not a comment the party can sweep under the carpet.
Governor Wike in the said statement attempts to incite the Rivers State people against their President by insinuating that the President abandoned the State since he assumed office. The exact words of Gov Wike: “Since the administration has abandoned Rivers State for three years, this visit may be a blessing in disguise”. To us this statement is inciting, provoking, uncouth and unacceptable and should be withdrawn as a matter of urgency as we will not for any reason risk the life of our dear President in the hands of Gov Wike and his misguided cohorts.
The party warned Wike that the President’s visit is not the same as the visit of some Northern Governors that visited Port Harcourt in 2014 to sympathise with their colleague the then Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi over the wicked humiliation he suffered in the hands of Wike and his collaborators. The party recalled with nostalgia how Wike then State Minister of Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ordered his militia group the Grassroot Development Initiative (GDI) to attack these Governors in 2014. The party warns that incase Wike is nursing similar thought against President Buhari during his visit he should bury it before it germinates as the scenario is no longer thesame as that of 2014.
The party states that, “Our fear is not misplaced as we all know the type of politics associated with Wike – politics of violence but we wish to reiterate that no harm should be visited either on our President or any member of his delegates for any reason whatsoever during the said visit”.
The party further stated that the visit of Mr. President is to commiserate with the people of Omoku in ONELGA for the sad and unfortunate killings of their loved ones during the New Year massacre by some associates of Governor Wike and not to come and commission Motor Parks and markets as projects allegedly claimed to have been constructed by Governor Wike.
On the false allegation that President Buhari abandoned Rivers State since he assumed office, the party reiterated that the present Federal Government under the watchful eyes of President Buhari has not and will not abandon Rivers State knowing very well the risks that most of us took to get him elected even at the risk of our lives in the hands of Gov Wike and his collaborators.
The party affirmed this by stating that President Buhari has visited Rivers State on four remarkable occasions through Vice President Yemi Osibanjo to either establish a peace pact in Niger Delta region, commission or flag off key projects in Rivers State and for Gov Wike because of politics to turn around to accuse President Buhari of abandoning Rivers State is to us unacceptable, wicked, evil, divisive and exhibition of ingratitude to a man who have done much to develop Rivers State and the Niger Delta region.
For avoidance of doubt, the party recalled that Prof Yemi Osibanjo with the express approval of President Buhari visited Rivers State to kick-start the Ogoni cleanup exercise abandoned by the PDP government with the connivance of Governor Wike; visited Rivers State to kick start the Bonny-Bodo Road and was in Rivers State in another occasion to inaugurate the world-class fertilizer plant built by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited, in Port Harcourt among other visits by the Presidency.
Gov. Wike forgot so soon that Dr. Jonathan a son of the region in his six years as the President of Nigeria acknowledged that he failed Rivers State and the Niger Delta region by not embarking on any meaningful project in the region apart from imposing him Chief Nyesom Wike as the Governor of Rivers State to promote insecurity in the State and the region.
The party further stated that the APC led FG under President Buhari has proved within less than three years that APC has the best interest of the State and region at heart by the various interventions the Federal Government has embarked upon in the region within the last three years:
1. The party recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari Administration released a whopping sum of N900 billion owed the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) by previous federal administrations including the administration of Dr. Jonathan to assist the body complete most of her projects in Rivers State and other States in the Niger Delta region.
2. Rivers State will benefit from the unprecedented allocation of over one Hundred and twenty five billion Naira (N125b) out of the N8.612 trillion appropriation bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 to the National Assembly to fund capital projects in 2018 in the Niger Delta region.
3. Rivers State will surely benefit from the N53.89 billion earmarked for Niger Delta Ministry and N71.2 billion for Niger Delta Development Commission for capital projects, also to benefit from the budgetary allocation for the Niger Delta amnesty programme retained at N65 billion with the budgetary allocation of N17.32 billion earmarked for the completion of the East-West Road.
4. Rivers State will benefit from the Maritime University located at Okerenkoko in Delta State with N5bn budgeted in the 2018 budget for its formal take off. This is a university aimed at to assist in the development and emancipation of the Niger Delta region
5. To demonstrate the seriousness over the full implementation of the Ogoni clean-up exercise and the execution of the Multi-Billion Naira Bomu-Bonny road project budgetary provisions were all made in the 2018 budget which when completed would open up the economic potentials of the Niger Delta Region beyond the shores of Nigeria all in Rivers State.
6. The APC-led Federal Government apart from above named projects, embarked upon the following projects – the Calabar – Lagos Rail Line that cuts across the State, the renovation/reconstruction of both Enugu – Port Harcourt and the West-East Road, the renovation of the Afam Power plant in Rivers State, resumption of work on the Port Harcourt International Airport, renovation and reconstruction of the Enugu – Port Harcourt Rail Line, among other projects all these projects that were abandoned by the PDP governments.
The Rivers State people should call Wike to order and ask him to explain how President Buhari has abandoned the State while embarking upon all these named projects.
Gov Wike in his misguided statement titled, “BUHARI’S VISIT TO RIVERS WILL NOT REVIVE DEAD APC IN THE STATE.” further stated and we quote, “Maybe the President is coming to make sure that he will improve the fortunes of the APC that is dead in Rivers State. Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who has risen a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers State. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up”.
The party described Wike’s statement as laughable because a party with two Senators (Senator Abe and Senator Uchendu) to Wike’s dying party (PDP) one sleeping Senator can’t be said to be a dead party in Rivers state unless he was misquoted. The party expresses joy that Wike by today is the Chief Campaign Officer of APC for the 2019 general elections based on his wicked policies against the youths, students, civil servants, pensioners and foreign investors in the State; “though we are sad over Wike’s lack of good policies to improve the lots of our people but we will ensure that he is voted out come 2019 unfailingly to enable us enthrone a government that will be ready to work for the people of Rivers State.
In the said statement credited to Wike, he stated further, “Let nobody bother him or herself that the President is coming for security reasons. We don’t have security challenges in the state” If that is the case, we will like to ask Governor Wike alias Mr. Disaster, “why is he budgeting a whopping sum of twenty Billion Naira (N22b) to establish a private Army Unit named Neighbourhood Watch or is he saying that he intends to divert this fund to his private businesses. Wike should educate us on what his actual motive is if we don’t have any security challenges in the State.
Finally, the party commends and congratulates President Buhari not only for this initiative to visit the State at this period but to wish him a happy stay as a true son of the State based on his love and commitment towards the development of the State.