-Says Governors Not Chief Security Officers
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has put blame for the low level of development of states across the country on what he called ‘an overbearing Federal Government that has dysfunctional federal organisations which slow down the pace of development’.
He said state governors should no longer be addressed as Chief Security Officers, but mere Chief Logistic Officers who only provide logistics for federal security agencies.
Addressing the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 9 at the Institute of Security Service (ISS), Abuja on Wednesday, Governor Wike said: “The federal government is simply too overbearing with too much powers and resources at its disposal. We know the recurrent rifts between the Federal Government and the States over development issues, including revenue sharing, resource control, and excess crude oil account, appointments into federal agencies and arbitrary location, or withdrawal, of federally-funded projects.”
In his paper titled: “Institutional Weaknesses And Challenges Of Development In Rivers State”, the governor argued that Federal Government agencies have been turned against state and local governments as they merely constitute themselves into a stumbling block as they deliberately embark on unconstitutional activities that stall development.
He said that Rivers State has been at the receiving end of the failures of Federal institutions as no new projects have been instituted in the state by the Federal Government for years.
The governor stated: “Given its contributions to national development, Rivers State deserved a special status and consideration from the Federal Government.
“Rather, the State has suffered sustained neglect, marginalization and injustice from successive federal governments and its agencies. Even as no new development project has been initiated in the State for decades, what is most distressing is failure of the Federal Government to adequately maintain some of the critical federal infrastructure in the State”, he told the EIMC.
Wike noted that the centralization of security and the poor use of the security agencies have negatively impacted on the development of Rivers State, with several anti-people measures instituted to work against the peace of the state.
He said: “Developments in Rivers State in the last few months point to the capture of the State’s security system by some special interest groups in their attempt to overrun the State Government and achieve their political agenda.
“Thus, frequent transfer of the CP and other Director of the State Security Services has become a norm. I am presently working with the 5th Commissioner of Police since I assumed office barely a year ago. Indeed, things have gone so bizarre that senior officers who had had political brushes with me now head every sensitive police formation in the State.”
Governor Wike reiterated that the manipulation of the electoral process by INEC has become extremely worrisome, with the state denied representation at the National Assembly while the State House of Assembly has not been fully constituted.
He pointed out that the most shocking is Tai Local Government Area where INEC has plotted to sneak in concocted results for cancelled polls.
“The failure to conclude the re-run elections in Rivers State is a distraction, which is a development cost the State Government is paying on account of INEC’s institutional weaknesses and inefficiencies”, he said.
The governor added that despite the Federal stumbling blocks to development, his administration has ensured that Rivers people enjoyed good governance and development.
He said that the state judiciary which was crippled by the immediate past administration has been revived, made more functional and independent.
The governor stated that the House of Assembly enjoys independence while the hitherto moribund civil service has been revived.
He however called for reforms of relevant Federal and State institutions to ensure that they contribute to development, rather than impede it.