At a time the British Government issued an advisory for their nationals to be wary of visiting Rivers State, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside says Governor Nyesom Wike lacks the vision and ideas to run a progressive and purposeful government.
Recall also that while Wike is yet to create any employment since he assumed office but rather has taken more Rivers people down the poverty line, the same governor has voted N22 billion to procure arms and ammunition for his private militia under the guise of a controversial Neighbourhood Safety Watch.
Governor Wike also plans to sack three hundred persons from the Rivers Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) for no reason other than the fact that they were engaged during the administration of former Governor Amaechi.
Piqued by the governor’s seeming lack of policy direction on the economy, agriculture, power, health and ICT, Dr Peterside says “it is obvious that Wike was only desperate to become governor in order to acquire wealth for himself and not for the overall benefit of Rivers people.”
According to him, the Rivers state governor has shown to be a man of short vision who does not see beyond the present, while some of his brother governors are busy laying the foundations for economic prosperity and legacy initiatives.
“Ask anybody in Rivers what is the vision of the governor, nobody knows. He has no clear-cut vision on education, health, economy, power, and agriculture among others. Little wonder, no serious investor has come the way of Rivers state in the last three years. In all of these areas, the state is yet to experience any single improvement. The government Wike leads has failed in virtually all sub-sectors, thus leading pushing more and more youth into frustration.
“Rivers is listed as among the rice belts in Nigeria. Our state is rich in palm oil, cassava, rubber, banana and plantain but what has the governor done to galvanise our youth to positive action and invest heavily in agriculture?
“Is it not laughable that with all the potentials of Rivers, the state is high on misery index and unemployment rate? At every economic and investment programme I have attended, it is always shocking that the state is not listed as among the top states due to lack of policy direction by the governor,” he stated.
The former House of Reps member admonished the governor to perish the thought of buying arms for the Neighbourhood Watch Corps members, warning that any attempt to put arms in the hands of Rivers youth would be lawfully resisted.
Said he: “resorting to Neighborhood watch is about Wike going back to his comfort zone and his old path. He will fail like all other areas where he has failed. He has not created a single job since he came to office. Every effort by his predecessor that created jobs has been abandoned.
“We will not allow Wike to return us to the dark era when Rivers people were placed under curfew due to the activities of criminals and cultists, an era where Rivers people were daily living in fear of the unknown, where guns were freely used on innocent citizens of the state.
“Our recent history does not suggest that the wrong people would not be recruited as Wike’s private militia, Already, the man appointed to lead the organization has been accused of being a sympathizer of the PDP and Wike’s government. Why will a governor want the state to be in anarchy? What does he stand to benefit and who is beating the drum for him?
The All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart advised Governor Wike to follow the path of honour, listen to Rivers people and suspend the activation of the agency pending when all grey areas have been sorted out.