Asari Dokubo is not happy with Governor Nyesom Wike for a lot of reasons. From his country home where this interview was conducted, Asari bared his mind on what he considered the many sins of Wike.
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You have left Port Harcourt for a while now. Why did you decide to move from Port Harcourt to the village this period?
Port Harcourt is not my home. I decided to come back home because of the policies of the government of Rivers State, especially the governor of Rivers State. Rivers State governor told us that he is going to develop Port Harcourt and Ikwerre, that if we don’t like it then we should go to hell. He said ntoor to us. So from that day, I decided that I have to come back home and stay at home. For about six months, I have only been to Port Harcourt twice, so I really don’t know how Port Harcourt looks like now.
For how long will this last?
As long as I live.
You are not going to go back to Port Harcourt?
No, I don’t. I have sold everything I have in Port Harcourt.
Are you serious?
What really is your grouse with the governor of Rivers State? I know you’ve been talking of recent about him, his policies, his programmes, how they are anti-Kalabari people and the rest of that?
I cannot really say, I will not say he is anti Kalabari. The governor does not see himself as the governor of Rivers State, he sees himself as an Ikwerre governor. He told us he is building so many flyovers on one single road, you have a flyover at Boro Park, you have flyover at fruit garden junction, you have flyover at Agip junction, you have flyover at GRA junction, you have flyover at Rumuola junction, you have flyover at the Airforce. Now, you are spending so much billions in building flyovers on one single road. What value does it add to Rivers people? When the governor becomes a governor, every part of the state becomes his constituency and he treats every part of the state equally. He distributes resources equally, moreso when Port Harcourt produces nothing. They’ve been fighting over Soku Field with Bayelsa. Is Soku Field in Port Harcourt? Is Kola Field in Port Harcourt? They are not in Port Harcourt. So when you see somebody who claims to be a governor but does not see himself as the governor of the whole state, the best thing is to ignore him. For me he said, those who want to remain in Port Harcourt, be in love in Port Harcourt, they should continue but for me, the day he said it, I said bye-bye to Port Harcourt and since then I’m not regretting, I’m living in a comfortable place, where God has placed me. You see, whenever we move out of where we come from, we create a vacuum, nobody is going to fill that gap and Wike has told us to go back and fill the vacuum and I thank him for that. Today the house I am, anywhere in the world, it will be comfortable for people to live in it.
Okay, so what will Wike do for you to get back to Port Harcourt?
Wike has nothing to do, there is nothing he can do to change the narrative, to change what he has decided to do. Wike has barely two years to go, so two years. What will he do? Nothing. He was taking care of Ikwerre people, so let him continue to do it. There is nothing we can do about it. Look at the secretariat, go to the secretariat, beautiful edifice left by Diette Spiff, the place is smelling, it’s decayed, totally decayed, it’s a garbage dump. The lifts are not working, the toilets are not working. It stinks. It’s so much that it suffocates people. So, if that is the development they talk about, you come to Port Harcourt there is nothing new. Each time you come to Port Harcourt, it’s the same old Port Harcourt. You go to Lagos, everyday you fly and you land at Murtala Muhammad Airport in Lagos you see something new, Lagos is transforming, Lagos is taking a character of its own. Lagos is different from Nigeria. A time will come when Lagos will no longer look as if it’s in Nigeria. We have more access to resources than Lagos, we would have changed the narrative for Port Harcourt and Rivers State but we have small minded people, who are always in their cocoon, small minded people and they are there and they view the world with their small eyes. Their vision is small, their mind is small so their reasoning is so small. That’s how they see Port Harcourt. Aba road is the beginning and end of Port Harcourt. If we had a good governor, even for aesthetic sake, he would complete that monorail that Amaechi was building because billions were sunk into it and it’s just sitting there. But no, we have a garrulous fellow. When you were coming (to my village), you saw the secondary school Amaechi built, they have all been vandalized. You go to Buguma, they’ve been vandalized, the one here is uncompleted. Everywhere, they are all vandalized, billions and billions. This is a government that relishes in wastage.
If the government had invested in production, government will be having returns and this returns will boost the resources of government.
See what the governor has done, he opened a football academy, Madrid football academy, billions are being invested there and the question is, how many professional football players will come out of this Madrid Football Academy? As big as a football nation as Brazil how many international footballers do they have all over the world? What is the economics of that project, as it affects the people of Rivers State? So if you say in ten years they produce hundred international players, how does hundred international players impact on the totality of the number of Rivers people? If he had invested that money in another sector, it would have produced more for Rivers people, if he had invested that in research it would have produced more. Let’s take Iran for example. Iran is investing in science and technology, Iran today is the most advanced country in science and technology in the Muslim world. Iran competes with the United State, with European countries in several areas.
So what will you want Wike to do at this time? If you meet him, what will you tell him?
For me, I will ask him, Governor Wike, what you are doing? You are destroying your own future, the future of your children, my future and the future of my children, I’ve seen the children of Governor Okilo, I’ve seen the children of Governor Diette Spiff. I know them, I relate with them and I know that power is transient. You are going to leave power and when you leave, all the money you have accumulated, no matter how much you accumulated, Mr. Wike, your money is going to varnish like willy-willy o! It will be better for you to invest. When you make investment it produces, there will be production, it will have a multiplier effect. So for me, that is where I believe that you can impact on the lives of the people, all these white elephant projects you are doing will not do anything.