From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has advised the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to treat all geo-political zones of the country with fairness.
Wike reiterated his call for the release of funds from the excess crude account to tackle critical environmental challenges in the Niger Delta because there would be no excess crude funds without the contributions of the oil producing communities of the region.
He spoke yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, when he granted audience to the House of Representatives Committee on Local Content.
The governor said: “There should be balance in the way the federal government handles issues affecting different parts of the country.
“We are not saying the federal government should not tackle Boko Haram. But, as they tackle Boko Haram with $1 billion, they must remember that the environmental challenges facing the Niger Delta is the major security challenge.
“If something happens or there is a crisis in the Niger Delta, there will be no excess crude for anyone to draw from.”
The governor said issues of development and security should not be politicised because political parties are mere vehicles that convey politicians to desired destinations.
“This country belongs to all of us. We must work to salvage Nigeria. We shall always talk about the interest of Nigerians,” he said.
He commended the committee members for their contribution towards ensuring that Shell Plc did not leave Rivers state.
Earlier, committee Chairman, Emmanuel Ekon, thanked Wike for providing the quality leadership that has revived the nation’s main opposition party.
He said prior to the revival of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria was heading for a one-party state.
“Wike, by his contributions, provided an alternative for all politicians, even for those in the APC,” he said.
The lawmaker said the committee members were in the state for a two-day retreat. He said the interventions of the local content committee led to the creation of several jobs for Nigerians, adding that several illegal expatriates have also been deported.
Meanwhile, Wike has flagged off the reconstruction of Ahoada-Odienereyi-Ihugbogo-Odieke road in Ahoada East Local Government Area, to further empower Ekpeye communities.
Wike also directed the state Ministry of Power to conclude the electrification of four communities in Ward 10 of Ahoada East council.
Performing the flag off, yesterday, Wike declared that the state-wide execution of projects by his administration has improved the lives of the people.
He said: “The construction of Ahoada-Odienereyi-Ihugbogo-Odieke road will create more jobs for the people living in the council.
“The contractor has been given six months to complete the job. Funding of the project will not be a challenge as money has been set aside.”
Wike said his administration is built on honesty and integrity, noting that all campaign promises would be kept. He regretted that the APC-led federal government “makes promises without the intention of keeping such promises.”