22nd July, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has insisted that his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi and Tonye Cole, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers must face will be prosecuted over alleged looting of assets belonging to the state.
Wike made the assertion on Thursday shortly after signing the contract for the construction of the eleventh (11th) and twelfth (12th) flyover bridges, and the dualisation of Azikiwe Street- Illoabuchi Road in Port Harcourt, between the State government and Julius Berger Nigeria PLC at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike claimed Amaechi, who is also a former Minister of Transportation, and Cole looted the State.
“They can run helter-skelter to stop their arraignment, but they must be arraigned and tried. What Rivers people will hear, Rivers people will be shocked to know what the former governor of the State and Minister did in this state with his partner, Tonye Cole.
“If they (Ameachi and Cole) like, let them bring 500 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, they will face the trial. So, that Nigerians will hear, Rivers people will see how this State was looted
“Anybody can be governor but not those we have identified that have looted the State treasure. If we can do 12 flyovers from 2019 to now with the little amount of money we are getting, imagine what the previous administration would have done.
“The previous administration that had a lot of money if they had done them, we would have concentrated on other things. But we are still working within the city to change its landscape.”
He declared that Rivers people are resolved to resist individuals who have looted assets of the State from presiding over them as governor.
The resolve, he pointed out, is predicated on the desire to safeguard the State from those who are only interested in looting the commonwealth of Rivers State people.
The Rivers State governor said such ‘looters’ are desperate to cover their track of crime and Rivers people would not allow such people who do not have the interest of the State to take over its affairs.
“This State must be guarded. We cannot allow people who don’t have the interest of this State to take over the affairs of this State. People who have looted the treasury of the State clearly.”
Wike explained that genuine lovers of the State should be the ones presenting themselves to serve the State as governor not looters.
He claimed his style of politics and governance is different from that of other politicians who take the people for granted and hardly fulfill promises they make.
He maintained that the good of Rivers people and the State remain the priority of his administration, which is why more projects are still awarded as he prepares to leave office on 29th May 2023.
“So, we are very proud that this administration has kept all the promises made to the people. So, it gives us joy. Some people would have said why not go with the money.
“But I asked, how much money can you make? What can you amass as against the interest of the people. So, for us, we are very happy and anybody who is working with this administration can carry his shoulder high that we have made a difference as far as governance is concerned.”
Speaking further, the Governor informed that payment for some of the ongoing projects have almost been completed with the inauguration of more projects in view.
“We have finished paying for the first phase of the Trans-Kalabari Road. We have finished paying for the dualisation of Bori to Kono Road. We have finished paying for the Ada George- Rumuepirikom flyover. We have almost finished paying for the first phase of Ahoada Road.”
Governor Wike told the construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria PLC that excuses will not be tolerated from them because 80 percent of the contract sum has been released to the company with the monthly N2 billion irrevocable standing order of payment.
The governor also commended leaders of the state for the immerse support that they have given to his administration to succeed.
In his speech, Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, Dr. Lars Richter, said the contract they have signed with the Rivers State Government is for two new flyover bridges that would be completed in 10 months and the dualisation of Azikiwe Street- llloabuchi Road in 6 months.
“You set on your own record of 10 flyovers, but now you beat your own record to make it 12 flyovers. I think that this is big challenge but you will surmount. We have completed and commissioned 6 flyovers 3 more are near completion stage, one ongoing, which shows the confidence that the State government has in Julius Berger Nigeria PLC.”
Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor , the Commissioner for Works, Dr. Dakorinama George-Kelly and permanent secretary Ministry of Works, Ebere Dennis-Emenike signed on behalf of the State government, while the the Managing Director, Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, Dr. Lars Richter and Julius Berger Regional Manager, Juergen Fischer signed on behalf of the construction company.