For donating a whooping N500m to the Sokoto State government, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has come under severe attacks. Virtually everybody in the state, except a handful suspected to be his loyalists, have been pouring venom on the governor for the donation.
Last week, most callers to radio stations in the state pilloried the governor, accusing him of trying to buy the heart of the north ahead of the 2023 elections. He is suspected to be nursing an ambition to become either the president or vice.
Ironical, the same Wike had accused his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, of spending $150million of Rivers money for the election campaigns of Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. He had branded Amaechi a very corrupt person for allegedly wasting Rivers money on Buhari.
Wike had vowed then, to recover monies belonging to the state, just as he called for a comprehensive fight against corruption and canvassed support for the prosecution of all those behind the alleged looting of funds.
It is not certain if the money was appropriated by the state house of assembly before being donated to Sokoto State to assist traders in that state whose market was razed. Those who have criticised him argue that the same man who felt pity for traders in Sokoto had shut down markets in his own state since last year and has not bothered to re-open them till now.
Spokesman of the APC in Rivers State, Ogbona Nwuke, in reacting to the donation said Wike ought to be impeached by the state house of assembly for the act. “It amounts to an impeachable offence. The House, if it knows what its role is, should contemplate impeaching the governor.
“The reason is that such an expenditure ordered without the concurrence of the legislature by the executive arm runs contrary to the doctrine of the separation of powers which confers the power to appropriate on the legislative arm.
“As a party, we do not believe it was right for the governor to commit such an amount of money without thinking of Rivers people first. There should be a limit to the showcase mentality of the governor.
“There are pensioners who are being owed. The State Secretariat Complex is in very bad shape at this time. Benefits that are due civil servants are not being paid. Hostels at the School of Nursing have remained deroofed. Yet, our governor is busy throwing money in the air. It is very unfortunate.
A chieftain of the APC in Ward 14, OBALGA, Rivers State, Gabriel C. Amaewhule also attacked the governor for the donation.
The chieftain stressed that the governor has abandoned Rivers people to suffer in poverty and without the needed basic amenities for the survival of the people. He said the money was donated without due consultations with the people, adding that it is a misplacement of priority. He also bemoaned that the various sectors in the state has been abandoned by the governor which has led to decay in governance.
He said: “He has given himself a ‘Donatus,’ like the onetime governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, who goes about donating our Rivers money to the northerners and acquired series of titles that have no meaning to the people of Rivers State, and it will not be in doubt that they are a syndicate, because his master is also Odili.
“While people in Rivers State are suffering, our markets were burnt, the fruit market, mile one market, no donation of that nature, but a market in Sokoto State was given N500 million, no meaningful project in Rivers State, only flyover which he has been signing two contract values in and out contract.
“It can’t be on behalf of Rivers because there was no consultation, before you give sympathy to somebody, there must be elder statesmen in the state, two, how many fire disasters have we experienced in Rivers State and which sympathy have we received from Sokoto State?
“As a Rivers indigene, you give to your son what he needs not what you, the father needs, a child is hungry and you are giving him road, I think before somebody will go on the road, he should be well fed, before you go on flyover you have the stamina to climb the flyover, not when you are doing compulsory fasting.”
He added that “Rivers people are doing compulsory fasting, because they have resources they cannot enjoy their resources, we don’t need flyover, feed the people very well. Jesus fed the people because he was with people he knew that they were hungry and he ask, it was brought to him for them to eat so they can listen to the gospel, so for us to climb flyover you have to feed them. So indirectly it’s another way of carrying out Rivers money because that is the project that can give him his own personal money.”