From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, said Nigerians were disappointed with the National Assembly for confirming former service chiefs as ambassadors.
Governor Wike, who spoke when members of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, wondered why senators who agreed with Nigerians when they decried the poor performance of the service chiefs would sit to clear them for another appointment.
“Let me use this opportunity to express the dismay of most Nigerians to the Senate. Convey this to the Senate. We must be courageous in whatever we are doing. Everything must not be party affairs. You (senators) sat and discussed that they should dismiss the service chiefs. You said they’re not performing. Now, the same people who were not performing, you have confirmed them as ambassadors. What kind of country are we? In anything we do, we must remember that there is tomorrow; our conscience is key. It’s not because I want to be a loyalist to a party. No. There are things you cannot reconcile, at all.”
Governor Wike claimed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has abandoned its core mandate and left those who canvassed for its establishment disillusioned.
“I don’t like talking about NDDC. It is unfortunate that those who fought for it, if they knew that this is how NDDC will be, I don’t think that they would have even asked for it.”
He said over the years, various National Assembly committees on NDDC had not provided sufficient direction that would make the commission focus on its core mandate of developing the region.
Governor Wike said some politicians have transformed the NDDC into a cash cow for the prosecution of sinister political agenda. To buttress this, he accused the commission of spending N10 billion to unseat him from office but the scheme failed.
“You, as the Senate Committee chairman, and that of the House Committee, you’re from the region too. You are supervising NDDC, so why not sit down with them to know what are the legacy projects that they want to carry out this year in the Niger Delta States. Tell them these are projects they must make sure first are being done. Rather than do that, you allow them do 50 or 100 metres road or a close that leads to someone’s house. What’s their business there?”
The governor blamed the presidency, the National Assembly and the ruling party for the gross inefficiency in the NDDC. “They don’t allow NDDC to perform. We too in Niger Delta are not allowing them to perform. We are enemies to ourselves.”
He noted how the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) refused to endorse the amendment of the Electoral Act for fear that they would lose the 2019 election when it was the best thing to do for the country.
The governor also expressed displeasure over a senator who overstepped his immunity during plenary to demean a serving governor by calling him a drunk.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, said they visited to assure Governor Wike, as the host of NDDC, that the commission would be supervised to perform within its core mandate.
Senator Nwaoboshi also commended the governor for having done well in providing security in Rivers State with NDDC benefiting from it. He said Governor Wike has become the strongest voice that has continued to speak truth to power at the risk of his political career.