24th February, 2021
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Hacourt
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has said Nigerians are disappointed with the National Assembly for confirming former Service Chiefs as ambassadors.
The governor related the disappointment of Nigerians to members of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta when they paid courtesy visit to him at Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Wike wondered why Senators who agreed with Nigerians when they decried the poor performance of the Service Chiefs would sit to cleared 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.”
Speaking about the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Governor Wike said the commission has abandoned its core mandate and leaving 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 noted that over the years various National Assembly committees on NDDC have not provided sufficient direction that will make the commission focus on its core mandate of developing the region.
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.
The Governor urged Committee’s leadership to prevail on the management of the NDDC to embark on legacy infrastructural projects such as the eight flyover being constructed by the Rivers State government, and not to waste resources on doing 50 or 100 meter roads.
“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 meters road or a close that leads to someone’s house. What’s their business there?”
The Governor accused the presidency, the National Assembly and the ruling party for the gross inefficiency of the NDDC.
“The National Assembly is part of the problem of NDDC. The presidency is part of the problem of NDDC and the party in power is part of the problem of NDDC, whichever party it is. They don’t allow NDDC to perform. We too in Niger Delta are not allowing them to perform. We are enemies to ourselves,” he said.
He noted how the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) refused to endorsed the amendment of the Electoral Act for fear that they would lose the 2019 General Election when it was the best thing to do for the country.
The governor also expressed his displeasure over a Senator who overstepped his immunity during plenary to demean a serving governor by calling him a drunk.
In his speech, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi said they visited to assure Wike, as the host of NDDC, that the commission would be supervised to perform within its core mandate.
“As a committee, we are aware that you have some reservation with the NDDC based on your state’s previous relationship with them. We have come to assure you that with the people you have seen here, who are patriotic Nigerians, that we will make sure that the aspirations and the aim of creating the NDDC will be achieved.
“We will do everything that is possible within the limits of the constitution through our oversight functions for them to achieve their objectives,” he said.
Nwaoboshi also commended the governor for having done well in providing security in Rivers State with NDDC benefiting from it.
He noted that Wike has become the strongest voice that has continued to speak truth to power at the risk of his political career.
“We say without fear of contradiction that you are the strongest voice in the Niger Delta Region. You have always been courageous even at the risk of your political career to speak the truth to power.
“You have also advanced the interest of the people of Niger Delta. That is why anybody visiting Niger Delta will have nothing but to come and see that courageous man that is bestriding the area like a colossus,” he said.