Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers has announced that the Buhari administration has refunded N78 Billion to the state for the funds spent on federal projects.
Governor Wike announced this during the inauguration of the Isiopko Internal Roads Phase 2 in Ikwerre Local Government Area, performed by the 2019 Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi on Wednesday.
The governor said the refunded money will be deployed in providing more critical projects across the state to further drive the efforts at enhancing the socio-economic life of Rivers people.
Wike committed himself to work relentlessly for the interest of the state, and improve its stakes until it becomes what it should be.
“Rivers people, the Federal Government has refunded us the money. I have not touched a dime yet and it is in the bank. I will use it for project execution.
“I kept it to tell those who are making noise to know that I am going to work till the last day in office. I will continue to work for the interest of our people. I’m not resting.
“They need to know that I will make sure what is supposed to be done for the people of Rivers State is done. I will persist until we have improved and changed Rivers State and bring it back to what it’s supposed to be,” he said.
The governor noted that with his level of performance in office, it will be difficult for any other party to take Rivers State away from the PDP because the people know that such party can offer nothing to them.
Governor Wike said he has conducted affairs of governance without discrimination, or being vindictive. According to him, this has been demonstrated by his inclusive policy in project distribution.
The governor stated that he has laid a good foundation of leadership by completing all the projects that he inherited from his predecessor and will complete all the projects that he initiated so that his successor will have a smooth sail in governance to initiate his projects and pursue them.
“No matter the tactics they deplore, no party can take Rivers State away from PDP. They have to convince the people why they need the support of Rivers people. It is already known, they have nothing to offer.
“We have something to offer and we have offered it to the people. They are angry that we are commissioning projects. Our business as a party is to make the other people to have serious high blood pressure.
“Anywhere they are now crying that we are in every local government inaugurating projects. We are not vindictive. We are a government that carries everybody along,” he stated.
Wike said he promised to change the narrative of neglect of Isiopko people by the previous administration and has completed the rehabilitation of all their internal roads.
To further open up the place, the governor announced the award of contract for the reconstruction of the link road from Ogbodo to Isiodu.
Governor Wike also announced that his administration will rehabilitate all internal roads in Omerelu Community and the money to execute the work is already set aside.
The governor also stated only local government Council chairmen who have demonstrated competence in office and have evidence of projects they have provided will qualify for re-election.
“Government is about what you can bring to your people. It is not what you will put in your pocket. People of Ikwerre Local Government and Isiopko, ask your people what they have brought back home for the good of the town.
“Some people came and said they’ll make Isiopko Azumba, I told them you can’t make it so. Today, you have all the roads within Isiopko community rehabilitated. All their plans have failed, and I am telling you now, from Ogbodo Town , I will link you to Isiodu Town in Emohua Local Government.
“I am moving now to Omerelu Community. I will do all the Internal Roads in that community. I have the money already set aside, and I will complete it. I am also not owing any contractor, handling any of our projects,” he emphasised.
Dr Peter Obi who inaugurated the roads, lamented that the Federal Government keeps borrowing in the guise of using it for capital project to mortgage the future of posterity.
He challenged the Buhari government to show the capital projects that such borrowed money has been expended on so that everybody will know such projects.
Obi said access roads as provided by Governor Wike to the Isiopko people will increase the quality of life they live, enhance property value and reduce poverty.
“Accountability in government is the most critical yardstick to determine good governance and to build the trust of the people. For recruitment into governance, competence capacity, and visible performance like we are seeing here today should be embraced.
“The reason why Nigeria is not working today is that people have been recruited based on sentiment and that has to stop because the country is collapsing.
“Every day you hear Nigeria is borrowing money, and when you ask they say it is being used for capital projects. Please, we want to commission those capital projects. Let them invite us to accompany them for the commissioning. So that when our children ask us about the borrowed money, we can point to the projects to answer them,” he said.
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the road project started off as a 22.5 kilometer project but the governor approved that it should be expanded to become a total length of 26.9kilometer with 26 kilometers of drains.
“Having previously commissioned Isiopko internal roads phase 1, today, we are commissioning phase 2 of the projects.
“The Phase 2 of the project accounts for 17. 7km of road network. All of which are 7.3meters wide with 9.78 kilometre of drains,” he said.