The immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has condemned in strong terms the demolition of two hotels in Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike over alleged violation of an Executive Order.
Peterside said Wike had so far developed into a full-blown dictator, insisting that the latest action of the governor was “wicked, insensitive, irresponsible and unlawful.”
He said Wike left no one in doubt about his lack of concrete pursuit of how to fight coronavirus with solid policies and programmes, accusing him of resorting to brute force, a show of strength and muscle-flexing with imaginary enemies.
He said: “Last week, Governor Wike made two broadcasts where Rivers people expected him to lay out well-determined plans of how to ensure mass testing following the inauguration of molecular laboratories in UPTH and RSUTH with achievable timelines, while also strengthening other areas.
“However, no such thing was heard from the governor but threats upon threats as to how he would dethrone traditional rulers, how he will sack local government chairmen, how he will summarily arrest violators of the executive order and punish them, how he will auction their vehicles, amongst other threats. Governor Wike is not a law unto himself and cannot be the law.
“For good measure, the governor rounded up by saying he would demolish buildings or hotels found wanting in implementing his orders without recourse to the due process of law and natural justice that confers the right of fair hearing on the accused.
“Wike’s utterances do not suggest that he is fighting the coronavirus pandemic alone. His actions suggest that there is more than what he is telling Rivers people. He has become a dictator whose words must be obeyed or be damned”.
Peterside explained the fascist attitude of Wike was capable of leading to the breakdown of law and order, as persons, who bore the crude method of the governor and their families could resort to mass protest, capable of exposing the state further.
He said: “This crude method of governance and law enforcement is obsolete, counterproductive and will put Rivers State and her people in bad light before the right-thinking members of society.
“While we all support the governor to ensure that the state is free from coronavirus, his transformation into a dictator and a god that must be worshipped will be challenged by all well-meaning Rivers people and Nigerians at the appropriate time.