... Lists 13 viable projects drawn to Rivers by Minister
... Says trying to blackmail Buhari, Amaechi over Kano-Maradi is borne out of ignorance
... Reminds Wike of how he blew Rivers people's N4Bn on two Benue roads
... Says Amaechi, as builder of modern Rivers, stands a million miles ahead as innovator, administrator
Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who is pushing his new hunger to be the face of opposition has been notified to get set to resign since his bluff has been blown. Wike had staked his position of Governor of Rivers State should any evidence emerge on what his predecessor, mentor and kinsman, Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has brought as project to Rivers State. Now, seems to be the time for the test to take place; for men to be men.
Given the wide publicity and circulation it has commanded, the very inconsequential, paradoxical and absurd statement credited to the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, on the planned construction of a rail line to connect the border town between Nigeria and Niger Republic, calls for a serious concern, as stakeholders continue to express mixed reactions over the approval of the billion dollars project by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Gov. Wike had during a TV programme taken a swipe at the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, over the said project. According to the Governor, since Amaechi took over as Minister of Transportation, he has not attracted any single project to the Eastern region.
He said if the Minister can mention one project he has attracted to Rivers State, he would resign as Rivers governor.
Wike added that the already existing rail way line that links PH to Enugu is nothing to write home about yet; Amaechi is proudly using the money got from the Niger Delta region to construct rail line to Niger Republic, while the region, according to him, has gained nothing.
Reacting to the low-witted and goofy extrapolated proposition, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People's Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze expressed deep bewilderment at the governor's exhibition of ignorance of facts on the said subject.
In a statement made available to media houses, the party chief said even if the statements as represented by the likes of Wike were true, one would then wonder on what moral ground the Rivers Governor criticized the Federal Government gesture when in 2017, he thoughtlessly lavished over N4Bn to reconstruct two roads in Benue State: Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Road and Aliaje-Oju-Obarike-Ito-Otukpo Road, whereas hundreds of roads in Rivers State can at best be described as death traps, yearning for attention. He stressed that six years into his administration, the state has continued to retrogress in all spheres and indexes of measurement.
Quelling the ruckus ignited by Wike's deceptive and quirky presentation borne out of malice and jealousy, the party chief posited that the rail line from Kano links Dambata, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and terminates in the border town of Maradi in the Republic of Niger.
For proper appreciation of the facts, Eze stressed that the recent press statesmen from the Presidency has laid the ruckus to rest.
The party stalwart reiterated that the actions of the Transportation Minister are all-time well-intentioned. He cautioned Wike to get himself engaged in the primary business of governance which duty he owes Rivers people, rather than spend time on calumnious scheming and showmanship.
Having ruminated extensively into the nitty-gritty of the contentious project, the party chief revealed that the rail line to Niger Republic predates the Buhari administration as it was earlier sanctioned by the Goodluck Jonathan's administration which Wike served as a junior minister.
Buttressing the verisimilitude of the fact, Eze said Vice President Namadi Sambo (fmr.) announced on 13 August, 2013, that Nigeria was to construct a rail line from Zaria to Kaura-Namoda and then Sokoto to Birnin-Kebbi and then to Niamey, the capital city of Niger Republic. There is no evidence of uproar over this just because it was announced by a PDP man.
Furthermore, Chief Eze opined that a critical look into a trans-national rail line will apparently reveal the huge benefit it holds for Nigeria in the new and very potential African Common Market Initiative, especially in the areas of job creation and revenue generation which are very fundamental areas requiring keen government attention.
Dismissing the claim that the Niger Delta and the entire Eastern region have been excluded in the scheme of things under the Transportation Minister, Eze said Amaechi's giant initiatives in the port sub-sector of the Transportation sector has impacted lives and improved livelihoods of thousands people around the Eastern region. First, he pointed out that the rail designs were started by the previous administration which mentioned the early routes and loans attached to them without selecting any route in the east and south-south, only for the same persons to be cheerleaders in accusing Amaechi and Buhari in what they themselves plotted.
He said the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Standard Guage rail line which is proposed to run through the South-Eastern States, Gombe State, industrial park and Bonny Deep Sea Port are all ready for concessioning according to President Mohammadu Buhari. Describing the projects as mega, the party stalwart said upon delivery, the economic growth pace of states within the region will triple amidst job opportunities.
Reminding Wike of the marginalization and underdevelopment that Rivers State and her people suffered during his time as a minister regardless of her huge contributions to the national coffers, Eze postulated thus, : "Rivers State oil wells were ceded to Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states and through the efforts of Amaechi's Administration, most of these oil wells were returned particularly, the Soku oil wells."
“Another grievous instance recorded when Wike held sway as minister was the total absence of federal presence in Rivers State. To confirm this position, President Jonathan apolgised profusely to the State and her people on the ground that he never attracted any development to the State."
"The East-West Road remained abandoned, work was deliberately slowed on the Port Harcourt International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country, while all airports refurbishing started along with it were long completed and commissioned.
"The Bonny-Bomu Road that leads to the only functional liquefied natural gas project remained uncompleted. In the midst of all these, Amaechi's administration went ahead to fix federal roads to the tune of N103 billion. Several representations and letters for refund were made but not one kobo was repaid. The Federal Government actively discouraged investments in Rivers States during the so called period of Wike as a Minister,” Eze lamented.
Dissimilar from the carriage of Wike as Minister representing the State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, under the APC administration where he serves Nigeria as Transportation Minister, has changed the narrative and turned the fortunes of Rivers State and South-South region in all spheres. To help Wike tender his resignation, I have to reel out the list of projects Amaechi has attracted.
Eze reeled out the projects attracted by the Transportation Minister thus:
1. The fact still remains that Amaechi pushed for the construction of the 39km Bonny Bodo road and it's two creek bridges including the bridge over Opobo channel at a whopping sum of 120 billion naira. This gigantic bridge is comparable only to the 2nd Niger bridge project.
2. The Port Harcourt International Airport that was described as one of the worst Airports in the entire world which renovation was frustrated by the PDP Government when Wike was a Minister stands today as one of the best Airports under Amaechi as substantive Minister of Transportation.
3. The Soku Oil well supported by Wike to be ceded to Bayelsa has been returned to Rivers State.
4. The Ogoni Cleanup exercise which was described as impossible by the PDP administration where Wike served as junior Minister is currently in progress.
5. With the influence of Amaechi, the East West Road abandoned by the PDP administration is currently ongoing and will soon be completed.
6. Under Amaechi as the best Minister of the decade, Cargo ships now berth in Onne Port, thereby increasing economic activities in the state, shoring up the state's revenue and creating more employment for Rivers people. This clearly shows Amaechi is not resting on his oars.
7. The Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail loan which is being negotiated shows Amaechi is bringing development home.
8. The Calabar through Port Harcourt to Lagos rail line will soon commence.
9. Amaechi as the Minister of Transposition influenced the setting up of the Maritime University in Oron, where many Rivers sons and daughters are already employed and engaged.
10. He Influenced the setting up of the Naval Intelligence and Logistics College at Ubima.
11. Bonny and warri deep sea ports have been approved.
12. The Ajaojuta- Itakpe- Warri rail line covering about 320km and cutting across the entire Niger Delta was commissioned two days ago with hundreds of Rivers State sons and daughters employed. Both the Delta, Edo Governors including the President were full of praises for the tenacity and administrative prowess of Amaechi in achieving this and Wike that Amaechi brought up politically feels that he can run down such a national figure as he pleases. No way!!!
13. Amaechi as Transport Minister has dredged the channels and today the Port Harcourt port is now alive. Meraks shipping can confirm that cargo landing at PH has increased by 50%. If Wike has eyes he should have seen that trucks queuing for containers are now stretching to the Rivers State Govt House.
Apart from the above feats, Eze went further to state that almost six years after Amaechi left Rivers State as governor, he is still vomiting money for the state:
--N79Bn refund from federal projects executed by Amaechi and Odilk's administrations
-- Soku oil wells revenue now to Rivers since Dec. 2019.
-- AfDB water project fund to revolutionise and modernise PH metered water system.
-- His Agric projects advertised for sale.
--- Savings for greater PH converted to build Rivers College of Heath.
--- $400m so far released for work in Ogoni under the clean up exercise
Under a civilised society, one expects Wike to put in his resignation letter immediately given the litany of projects highlighted above, but as a fellow who has thrown integrity and morals to the dogs, he will continue to play his usual pranks.
Reacting to the preposterous submission that Amaechi achieved little or nothing as Governor of Rivers State, Eze, a media Committee member of the Amaechi re-election campaign in 2011, referred Wike, the then campaign DG, to his speech during one of the rallies thus; "Rivers State under Governor Rotimi Amaechi has experienced a revolutionary transformation in the areas of education, healthcare, road infrastructure, power generation, etc. In the history of Rivers State, no administration has demonstrated total commitment and capability, transparency, and public participation in governance. Despite the magnitude of developmental challenges facing the State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has demonstratably shown that no developmental goal is impossible to achieve, neither is any hurdle difficult to surmount...".
Decrying the energy, human and material resources Gov. Wike deploys in the task of pulling down his sole benefactor, Eze said the video clip of the said statement is attached herewith for the public to judge the self-acclaimed man of honest who says different things from different sides of the mouth as it may suits him.
On who is the best Governor Rivers State has had, the party stalwart said the place of Amaechi as the best has never been in contention. He called on analysts to desist from playing up Wike by trying to compare him with Rt. Hon. Amaechi, stressing that there is no basis for any evaluation between the two.
Wike era marks job losses of over 150,000
Reacting to the bogus claim that his administration has created over 100,000 jobs, Chief Eze described Gov. Wike as a fantastic mythmaker and styled his claim a mere mythconception. He said jobs have continued to shrink monstrously in heavy industries and in the technical sector in the state and the possibility of further job loss in the near future is terrifyingly real, given the ill-boding steering model with which Wike and the PDP administers the state.
He said the Governor may have unconsciously twisted facts on account of available statistics which currently places the number of job losses since the inception of his administration in 2015, in both formal and informal sectors, at over 150, 000.
On the other hand, digging further into Amaechi's achievements, Eze said that for Amaechi to have actualised the dream of making Port Harcourt the UNESCO World Book Capital simply marks him out as a leader to be emulated. Passing through the Ada- George Road, Rumuola Road, Ikwerre Road, NTA/Mgbougba Road, etc, one would appreciate the beauty of a man of vision.
It is on record that Amaechi's government alone constructed/rehabilitated more roads than all other governments ever in Rivers State put together.
In the area of health, the party chief said Amaechi built new world class hospitals, primary health centres, massively recruited teachers, doctors and nurses and funded facilitated their training and retraining.
Furthermore, Amaechi proposed 750 Model Primary Schools, Completed 500, built 24 model secondary schools, transformed RSUST to an enviable institution, employed over 13,000 teachers in one fell swoop etc.
Eze maintained that as Governor, Amaechi reduced unemployment drastically, stressing that he employed Rivers people and residents in all sectors of the economy for greater output.
In the area of agriculture, the party chieftain said Rt. Hon. Amaechi built the Songhai farm, Buguma fish farm and Banana plantations. He initiated Oil Palm and Rubber development which created massive jobs for inhabitants of the state.
Although Amaechi inherited a battered security when he became governor in 2007, the party chief said he calmed the situation and improved security drastically in less than three months in office and by 2008 no robbery or any security issue was witnessed in Rivers State. Any one in doubt should google my work titled, The type of Rivers State inherited by Amaechi.
During his tenure, over 1072 overseas and 5000 local scholarships were awarded.
Others include: 25 bridges, two major interchanges, flyovers, building of two new power stations, land reclamations, etc.
Amaechi is not only the best Governor ever from Rivers State but he is the Creator of the modern Rivers State. Nobody born of a woman can destroy that fact.
On the poppy claim by Wike that he attracted projects to Rivers State as a junior Minister, Eze posited thus, "If Wike really influenced any FG projects in Rivers State as claimed, while as a junior Minister, the fact will be that all that he achieved are attributable to Amaechi who nominated him". The party chief however reiterated that the stay of Gov. Wike, a rattlebrained sycophant, as Minister was useless and his claims of attracting projects to the state is a mere gibberish that only merits the waste bin.
Responding to another of Wike's skimble-skamble that most of the Primary School projects awarded by the Amaechi administration were not completed and only existed on papers, Eze asked the Governor to watch Senator Magnus Abe's viral video clip where he accused Wike, then Chief of Staff, of cornering funds meant for the completion of over 27 of the Primary School projects.
He warned the Governor to be mindful of his deceptive scheming and false, misleading and impassioned speeches in public, stressing that as an insider, he has enough information to always put things in the proper perspective each time the Governor hounds the public with his poisonous cocktails.
While counselling media houses to always look beyond the rumoured bounty that accompanies Gov. Wike's visits to radio and tv studios, the party stalwart charged them to be weary of being inveigled into a situation in which they find themselves becoming agents of his deceptive moorings which be described as unhealthy to the time-honored practice of Journalism.
He appealed to Nigerians to continue to support Amaechi in his quest to deliver more for the country.
Finally, Eze counseled his friend and brother, Governor Nyesom Wike, to leave Amaechi alone as no effort to destroy him because of politics would succeed.
"You tried during his Ministerial nomination and screening and you failed woefully. To reenact the same scheming will still end in futility", Eze stated.
The party stalwart submitted that Rivers would have been close to Lagos in areas of development if Wike has toed the path of progressive governance Amaechi set up in Rivers State instead of his witch-hunt type of governance. It thus means that all the efforts to destroy Amaechi only end in setting Rivers Stat back.