In-coming Governor Of Rivers State Says He Will Not Engage In Meaningless Fights With The Central Government
Tony Ita-Etim, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governorelect, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that he will not fight the incoming administration of Muhammadu Buhari, saying that his focus will be on cooperating with the Federal Government to attract benefits to the state. Barrister Wike noted that the overwhelming mandate given to him by the people of Rivers State is not for him to fight President Muhammadu Buhari, but to work for the greater good of Rivers State. Speaking during a pre-inauguration lecture titled: “Democracy and good governance : Towards a New Rivers State”, Barrister Wike said : “I will not fight President Muhammadu Buhari.
I will cooperate with his administration to attract benefits to Rivers State. “The people of Rivers State did not overwhelmingly elect me to fight the administration, but to work for the greater good of our people. In cooperating with Buhari for development reasons, I will always bear in mind the fact that I am a member of the PDP “. The governor-elect added that all his actions in office will be geared towards the development of Rivers State and her people. He stated that the courts closed for close to one year by the administration of the state will be opened next Monday, while he declared the proclamation of the next House of Assembly in the State Assembly Complex. A statement by Wike’s media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, quoted him as assuring Rivers people that he will run a listening administration centred on the needs of the people. Barrister Wike noted that he will not personalise governance as the journey to revive the ailing state will involve all stakeholders.
He reiterated that the illegal local government elections conducted by outgoing administration of Rotimi Amaechi will not stand as the court made specific order that it should not hold. According to Wike, his first major assignment as governor after swearing-in on Friday, May 29 would be to reopen the locked state House of Assembly and the Judiciary complex for normal businesses. Wike regretted the untold suffering meted out on the Rivers people, particularly practicing lawmakers, who make their livelihood from the courts.
He explained that one of the reasons the courts must be opened is to enable members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to approach the court after he must have dissolved the recently inaugurated local government councils. “I will open the courts so that they will be the first people to go to court. There was no democracy and good governance in Rivers State because there was only one arm of government: the Executive. After our swearing- in on Friday, the courts will open on Monday”, he assured.
Wike accused the outgoing governor of wasting the state’s resources on frivolities and alleged that the governor spent N4.5 billion to conduct an “illegal” local government election against the court’s order and another N7.2 billion on consultancy for the new Greater Port Harcourt City as well as the USS$39million Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Specialist Hospital “which has no founding till date”. On massive corruption in the state, Barrister Wike said: “Rivers State stinks with unbridled corruption.” While maintaining that he will probe the outgoing administration, he assured the people that his administration will be transparent, accountable and God fearing.
Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Peter Odili declared that he has confidence that Barrister Wike will perform and return happiness to the people of the state. Lead Speaker, Professor Kimse Okoko urged the incoming administration to work for the greater good of Rivers people and strengthen all democratic institutions. A panellist, Dr Tam George stated that the outgoing administration in the state ran on fiction and propaganda with nothing on ground to show for the N3trillion that accrued to the state. He advised the incoming administration not to tow the line of the Amaechi administration.
The Public Lecture was attended by Former Governors of Rivers State, traditional rulers, the academia, captains of industry, youth and women groups. In his remarks, a former governor of the state, Dr Peter Odili expressed optimism that Wike’s government would be better than his own administration. Odili appealed to Rivers people to give their support to the Wike government, just as he urged the incoming administration to focus on masses welfare.