BusinessDay

Wike bounces back, vows to stop Amaechi’s ally, Tonye Cole, from Government House PH

...awards two fresh flyover contracts to Julius Berger

Governor Nyesom Wike, who has been sullen since the loss of both presidential candidacy and running mate in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead the 2023 elections, has roared back, vowing to stop Tonye Cole, who is seen as Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s ally, from getting anywhere near the seat of power in Port Harcourt.

This is as Gov Wike has awarded two more flyover contracts and some additional roads to Julius Berger, making it 11th and 12th flyovers in the Rivers State capital.

The governor did not disclose the amounts this time around. The contract also included the dualisation of Azikiwe Street- Illoabuchi Road in Port Harcourt, between the State government and Julius Berger at Government House, Port Harcourt.

At the contract signing ceremony in Port Harcourt Thursday, July 21, 2022, Wike declared that Rivers people had resolved to resist individuals who he said had looted assets of the State from presiding over them as governor.

Gov Wike said the resolve is predicated on the desire to safeguard the State from those who he said were only interested in looting the commonwealth of Rivers State people.

Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the professor, Zacchaeus Adangor , SAN; the Commissioner for Works, Dakorinama George-Kelly, and permanent secretary Ministry of Works, Ebere Dennis-Emenike, signed on behalf of the State government, while the Managing Director, Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, Lars Richter, and Julius Berger regional manager, Juergen Fischer, signed on behalf of the construction company.

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On his vow to block Amaechi’s man, the governor said ‘such looters’ were desperate to cover their track of crime and Rivers people would not allow such people who do not have the interest of the State to take over its affairs.

“This State must be guarded. We cannot allow people who don’t have the interest of this State to take over the affairs of this State; people who have looted the treasury of the State clearly.”

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike speaking during the signing of contract for the construction of the eleventh (11th) and twelfth (12th) flyover bridges, and the dualisation of Azikiwe Street- Illoabuchi Road in Port Harcourt at Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday

 

Wike explained that genuine lovers of the State should be the ones presenting themselves to serve the State as governor not looters. The governor is presenting Sim Fubara, the outgoing state accountant-general, who is however wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for N117bn cash withdrawals against due process.

The governor however pointed to Amaechi, the former governor of the state former minister of transportation, and Cole (the All Progressives Congress (APC) Rivers governorship candidate) as persons clearly identified to have looted the State.

He stated: “They can run helter-skelter to stop their arraignment, but they must be arraigned and tried. What Rivers people will hear, Rivers people will be shocked to know what the former governor of the State and Minister did in this state with his partner, Tonye Cole.

“If they (Ameachi and Cole) like, let them bring 500 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, they will face the trial. So, that Nigerians will hear, Rivers people will see how this State was looted.

“Anybody can be governor but not those we have identified that have looted the State treasure. If we can do 12 flyovers from 2019 to now with the little amount of money we are getting, imagine what the previous administration would have done.

“The previous administration that had a lot of money if they had done them, we would have concentrated on other things. But we are still working within the city to change its landscape.”

Wike said his style is different and said he would continue to award more contracts as he prepares to leave office.

He hinted that payment for some of the ongoing projects have almost been completed with the inauguration of more projects in view.

“We have finished paying for the first phase of the Trans-Kalabari Road. We have finished paying for the dualisation of Bori to Kono Road. We have finished paying for the Ada George- Rumuepirikom flyover. We have almost finished paying for the first phase of Ahoada Road.”

Wike told Julius Berger that excuses would not be tolerated from them because 80 per cent of the contract sum has been released to the company with the monthly N2 billion irrevocable standing order of payment.

The governor also commended leaders of the state for the immerse support that they have given to his administration to succeed.

In his speech, the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Lars Richter, said the contract they have signed with the Rivers State Government is for two new flyover bridges that would be completed in 10 months and the dualisation of Azikiwe Street- llloabuchi Road in six months.

“You set on your own record of 10 flyovers, but now you beat your own record to make it 12 flyovers. I think that this is big challenge but you will surmount. We have completed and commissioned six flyovers three more are near completion stage; one ongoing, which shows the confidence that the State government has in Julius Berger Nigeria PLC.”