Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s recent donation of 25 buses to the Benue State PDP campaign team has been vehemently condemned by some members of the public, mostly the opposition party in the state.
This is as the governorship candidate of the National Rescue Movement NRM, Rivers State, High Chief Sobomabo Jackrich describes the act as reckless wastage of the state’s resources.
Jackrich who stated this in a press briefing held at Rivers of Hope campaign office in Port Harcourt also described Wike’s donation to other states as appalling, inconceivable, barbaric and unacceptable.
According to Jackrich, “the National Rescue Movement in Rivers State finds it saddening to wake up to the news of another wasteful squandering of the collective resources of Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike for the purposes of solving Non-Rivers State related issues.
“The latest on the list of this reckless show of charity to outsiders with Rivers money by the governor amidst prevailing suffering and hardship plaguing citizens of the state due to ravaging flood in our communities and the country’s economic downturn, is the donation of 25 buses to Benue State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign team on October 12th, 2022, when the governor played host to the Cross River State PDP candidates for state and National Assembly elections.
“Other recent donations made by the governor include ₦300 Million to the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials on October 18th, 2022 and hours after that, another donation of ₦200 Million support to a library built by his political ally, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in honour of his late father in Abia State.”
The NRM gubernatorial candidate recalled more donations made by the governor to include, the N500m disclosed by the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Wole Olanipekun, to have been donated by Wike for the construction of the complex, during the inauguration of Body of Benchers Complex in Abuja, and the ₦1billion to Pamo University.
He frowned at these donations, describing them as reckless frittering away of tax payers’ money. Jackrich said “ironically, just last week, 8,000 students of the state owned tertiary institution, Rivers State University were subjected to public ridicule, embarrassment and mental torture when they were deprived the opportunity to write their final year exams due to their inability to meet up with payment of their fees.
“As extravagant as the government of the day could be in sharing Rivers funds with other states, it is very inhumane for the same government to look the other way and allow our children to suffer such academic humiliation.
“What more evidence do Rivers people need to vote out the PDP in the next general elections? This clearly demonstrates that the current PDP led Rivers State government is more interested in attaining political relevance, while the priority of the welfare of Rivers people comes second on their scale of preference.
“This is unacceptable and highly condemnable because Rivers money is supposed to be meant for the development of the state and its people first before extending a helping hand to others if need be.
“More saddening is the seeming silence or negligence on the part of the elites in the state especially those in the governorship race who have either refused to speak up against this recklessness because they are sponsored to cause distractions, not really because they are genuinely in the governorship race.”
Speaking on projects he said have been abandoned by the Wike led government, he said “the Emohua Campus of Rivers State University which was inaugurated recently, leaves one in awe of how such an all-important project meant for building our future generations, would be handled so poorly despite the whopping three billion naira allotted for the project, the project few months after its inauguration is not yet conducive for human habitable purposes or academic activities. Just a few buildings were erected at the site, while buildings originally erected by previous administration of Rotimi Amaechi were clearly left abandoned, thus, defacing even the few buildings they managed to erect.
“Another clear example is the on-going project at the site of former UPTH at the old Port Harcourt Township, the Wike led government carefully left out the buildings at the site previously erected by the former administration and went ahead to construct new ones, of which the old buildings clearly deface the new ones erected.
“Also, the slow pace of construction of the Trans-Kalabari Road is another indicator that the state government is not genuinely committed to developing all parts of the state to compete favourably economically.”
Jackrich further called on Wike and natives of the state to “retrace his steps and halt forthwith further wastage of the collective patrimony of Rivers people”. To natives he said “be hopeful as the end to this level of insensitivity to their plight will soon come to an end in few months.”
While congratulating those who made Wike’s list of 100,000 special assistants on political unit affairs, he noted that, “as Rivers citizens, it is your right to benefit from the common wealth of the state, so without hesitation, feel free to enjoy all the benefits that come with the new appointment, having been living in deprivation for the past seven years. However, be weary of the caveat of the appointment, as it is an open secret that your PVCs which is your right to exercise your franchise at the polls were taken from you, alongside your bank details.
“Note that this is a deliberate attempt to use you as foot soldiers to install a stooge of the governor in the next political dispensation, in order to continue the status quo of non-accountable and anti-