…Says Everything Must Not Be Party Affairs
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has lambasted the Senate for confirming Ex-Service Chiefs as Ambassadorial designates despite public outcry that trailed their nomination as non-career Ambassadors by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Governor disclosed this on Wednesday when members of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Wike wondered why Senators who had earlier called for the sack of the service Chiefs for non-performance will turn around to confirm their Ambassadorial nomination.
He said, “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 are not performing.
“Now the same people who were not performing, you have confirmed them as Ambassadors.
” What kind of country are we in?” he queried.
The Rivers governor also cautioned the visiting lawmakers to be mindful of their actions, even as he said “in anything we do, we must remember that there is tomorrow; our conscience is key. It is not because I want to be a loyalist to a party. No. There are things you cannot reconcile.”
Speaking on issues surrounding the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Wike lamented that the Commission had not only abandoned its core mandate, but had also left those who canvassed for it’s establishment, disillusioned.
He told the delegation, “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 they would have even asked for it.”
According to him, over the years various National Assembly Committees on NDDC had not provided sufficient direction that will make the commission focus on it’s core mandate of developing the region.
This he attributed to a situation where some politicians turned the NDDC into a cash cow for the prosecution of sinister political agenda, such as allegations of attempts made by some elements using the commission’s money to the tune of N10 billion to try to unseat him from office; even though the scheme according to him, failed.
He therefore urged Committee’s leadership to prevail on the management of the NDDC to embark on legacy infrastructural projects like the eight flyover being constructed by the State Government.
This, he said, is better than wasting resources on a 50 or 100 meter roads.
“You, as the Senate Committee Chairman, and that of the House Committee, you are 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 down.
“Rather than do that, you allow them do 50 or 100 meters road or close that leads to someone’s house. What is their business there?” he asked.
On his part, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, said they were in the state to assure the governor of the Committee’s oversight functions that would ensure that the NDDC performs within its mandate.
“As a committee, we are aware that you have some reservation with the NDDC based on your states 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 added.
Senator Nwaoboshi also commended the governor for ensuring security in Rivers State.
He noted that Governor Wike has become the strongest voice that have 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 advances 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,” Senator Nwaboshi insisted.