Tony John, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that no amount of blackmail and propaganda will alter the termination of sale of valued state assets to Sahara Energy Limited.
Governor Wike spoke on Boxing Day during the 2018 Ogbakor Etche December Convention at Obiri Etche, Umugwu, Okehi.
“No amount of blackmail will change the situation. The courts are there for them to seek redress.
“Rivers and Lagos States are not the same. No single man can dictate what happens in Rivers State. We have different ethnic groups and culture”, he said.
Governor Wike said that the termination of sale of valued state assets to Sahara Energy followed due process. He called on those aggrieved to seek redress in court.
The governor said: “The Rivers State Government was not vindictive in terminating the sale of valued state assets to Sahara Energy Limited. One company used three subsidiaries to illegally acquire state assets.
“If there was any vindictiveness, it was on the part of those who used the State Government to deny Rivers people their valued state assets”.
The governor said that the Rivers State Government resolved to implement the White Paper on the recommendations of the Justice Omereji Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the sale of valued state assets because there is no stay of execution stopping the administration.
He said that Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, lost at the High Court and Court of Appeal, when he tried to stop the implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
Governor Wike said the Minister of Transportation and his business partner illegally bought over State assets with a plot to install Tonye Cole for the purchase of more state assets.
“Rivers people have come to know that only one person bought all their assets. He came and took what belongs to the entire state. Now they want to acquire more”, he said.
Speaking further, Governor Wike said he would continue to support Etche ethnic nationality and develop their communities through key projects.
He said that his administration will complete the State Sports Academy and all ongoing road projects in Etche to further enhance the economy of the area.
The governor said that more than any other administration in the past, he has executed key projects in the area.
On the forthcoming elections, Governor Wike urged Rivers people not to vote All Progressives Congress (APC) because the Federal Government has not executed any single project in State.
President General of Ogbakor Etche, Machy Nwodim, said that the Etche people will re-elect Governor Wike because of his outstanding projects delivery.
They urged the governor to execute more projects in Etche land during his second term.
In his remarks, Onye-Ishi Etche and Paramount Ruler of Etche Kingdom, Ochie Opurum, said Etche people are reaping the benefits of their support for Governor Wike in 2015. He said Etche people will support the governor again in 2019.
Meanwhile, Cole had earlier stated that some of business deals, which included the concession of Olympia Hotels, were done in line with international best practices, explaining that the sale of the gas turbines power stations followed proper bidding process.
He gave the explanation when he had a chat with journalists in Port Harcourt, cautioning the State Government not to take political actions, which might have negative effect on the economy on investments in Rivers.
The APC governorship candidate stated that, with the step taken by the State Executive Council (SEC), no genuine businessman would be interested to invest in the State, stressing that the termination might have serious consequence for investors willing to do business in Rivers.