• Friday, September 29, 2023
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Revealed: How pressure mounts on NASS to hurriedly pass N500bn NDDC budget

Imoke, Udoma, others affected as Wike revokes lands over violation

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says politicians are exerting pressure on the National Assembly to hurriedly pass the N500bn Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) 2023 budget ahead of the general elections.

Wike claimed politicians were already mounting pressure on the National Assembly members to speedily pass the NDDC budget so that it can be shared in lieu of the 2023 general election that is approaching.

But the Rivers State APC spokesman, Darlington Nwauju, has posed a question, asking to know how passing the NDDC 2023 budget now (in 2023) would be considered too early when Wike got his state 2023 budget passed a long time ago in 2022. He said other states and the FG got their 2023 budgets passed in 2022, thus making the NDDC budget one of the last budgets to be passed.

Wike however expressed doubt over the capability of the 2023 NDDC budget before the National Assembly to address development issues in the region.

Governor Wike made the remarks in his office in the Brick House when he received two media organisations on Monday, January 9, 2023, to present yet more awards.

Governor Wike revealed that N70bn within the total estimate of N500bn is expected from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), N4bn earmarked for distilling of public drains, and N60bn earmarked as support to security agency.

The Rivers State governor said a critical look at the details of the various estimate reveals that it is a “fraudulent” budget.

Governor Wike said it laughable to see a development agency like NDDC earmarking N4 billion to clean public drains when it is supposed to attend to strategic development issues in the region.

He queried why the NDDC would earmark N60 billion to security agency and not devote it to doing an enduring project and see the derivable impact.

Speaking further, Wike lamented that it was becoming almost difficult to see people standing on the side truth whether it benefits them or not.

The governor remarked on issues of payment of staff and sundry matters created some problems within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the party lost the 2015 general elections.

He explained that while those who didn’t wish PDP well were vehement on their agenda to collapse the party, he and a few others stood up for the party, ensured that it was not killed, and were described as the pillar of the PDP.

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Now, Wike noted, that there are hired boys who have been commissioned to attack him and label him as a destroyer of the party because he is speaking up for fairness, justice and equity.

Governor Wike insisted that he cannot be destroying a party that he has contributed so much to build.

The governor also stated, however, that he cannot be in a house he has built and allow armed robbers to take it over.

Wike recalled that PDP presidential primary was fraudulently organised. He said the organisers allowed an aspirant to return to the podium to do campaign when voting process had started.

According to him, if the aspirant was allowed to make announcement that he was stepping down, there won’t have been problem, but rather instructed delegates who to vote.

These were the same people, he stressed, that frustrated the recommendation for zoning of PDP presidential ticket.

He said no amount of blackmail can deter him from standing for the truth, based on equity, fairness and justice, that the national chairmanship of the PDP should be filled by a southerner.

Governor Wike challenged anybody to point to any benefit, in terms of projects, that Rivers State has got for its support to the PDP since 1999.