Fireworks over Wike’s massive commissioning of projects
Governor Nyesom Wike lined up over 30 projects to be commissioned as part of his third year in office ceremonies. He told newsmen at a world press conference that he would not just go about campaigning for second term but would rather go to communities and commission projects. He dared his rivals to point to their own achievements.
As the train moved from community to community, often with national personalities to cut the tapes and say something, the former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who in his first term said there was no need commissioning his projects but that the masses should use their legs to commission them, visited the state to take swipes at Wike. He said Wike was merely commissioning his (Amaechi’s) projects. This causes instant hit back.
Amaechi: Wike is commissioning my projects
Amaechi stated this during a grand reception organised in his honor by the chiefs and people of Ishimbam General Assembly (IGA) in conjunction with the Free Rivers Development Initiative (FRDI) at the Freedom Square, Elele in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the State.
He said Wike was taking credits for his administration’s achievements because he (Amaechi) did not place priority in commissioning projects.
“Wike commissioned a project that I completed. He called the Speaker of the House of Representatives to commission a flyover I already completed. Tell him (Wike) that he should go ahead and keep commissioning; I have no problem with that. When I was Governor, I provided development for Ikwerre people just like I did for other tribes in the State,” he said.
Amaechi also criticised Governor Wike over his weak stewardship on infrastructure and human capital development in Ikwerre land since he became Governor in 2015 till date.
“Let Wike tell us what he has done in Ikwerre land. For me, if I have done nothing I have brought up one of your sons right from INEC and RISONPALM. But aside the human capital development, you also know that in Elele you have roads everywhere. I have given Elele primary schools, health centres and roads. My mother is from Egbeda; I’m sure Egbeda people will agree that I did the road from Egbeda to Omerelu.
“As Governor, I did a road from Omerelu to Apani. I did another road from Ubima to Omerelu. I hear you’ve had no electricity for nine months. I will talk to the minister of power to fix it. You people should get the evaluation and bring it to my office for verification and necessary action.
“Please you people should ask Governor Wike what he has done for you. Wike’s four years is gradually coming to an end. He has only from now till May, 2019. We’ll compare him to my first four years,” Amaechi said.
The former Governor also said he started attracting projects to his Ikwerre people when he was Speaker of the State House of Assembly. He recalled that he was at the verge of transforming Elele into a city before he left office as governor in 2015.
“In Elele, you have network of roads all over which were awarded during my administration and I nearly transformed Elele into another city to such an end that anybody can live and go to work from Elele. Please beg your Governor to give you water. But for me, I have given Elele Health Centers, Roads, and also connected Elele to Omagwa.”
Amaechi also promised to revive the rice mill in Elele Alimini if the Ishimbam local farmers in the area could come together to form a cooperative to start the rice farm owned by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“The rice mill at Elele Alimini, ask NDDC, I brought it to that place. Go to NDDC and ask. But, if all farmers can come together and form a cooperative to start the rice farm I am ready to appeal to NDDC to come and hand over to you, so that you can have the rice farm,” Amaechi said.
The Ishimba Communities which comprises, Elele-Alimini, Omerelu, Egbeda, Umudioga, Akpabu, Itu, Apani, Ubimini and Elele communities of Ikwerre LGA, also honoured and decorated Amaechi with a Chieftaincy title of the ‘Ohna Ishimba 1 of Ikwerre Land’.
Amaechi deserves sympathy – Nwakauda
On May 27, 2015, the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi made very disheartening comments about the incoming administration of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Amaechi said: ” I’m not joking, we have no money anywhere. In Rivers State, there’s no money. I think Nyesom Wike is coming, we are waiting. He will look for money for salary; there is none. But when he pays out salary, we will see if any of them can do what we did in this state: whether they can build the schools, the roads, even to get a loan”.
He had looted Rivers State dry. Raped her accounts beyond measures and crippled the finances of the state. Amaechi was so ashamed of his looting that he could not prepare a hand-over note.
After the prophecy of doom above, he ran to Abuja to await news of the collapse of Rivers State. He was sighted at the Eagle Square happily playing the talking drum in anticipation of the failure of Governor Wike.
Since May 29, 2015, Amaechi has been waiting in vain. Rather than hear news of despair, he is hearing daily reports of celebration. Rather than hear tales of woe, he has been hearing stories of endless commissioning of projects.
The Third Year Anniversary Celebration of the Wike administration has become a major headache to former governor. Since May 23, 2018 Governor Wike has been rolling out key projects across the three senatorial districts.
As a statesman, Governor Wike has made it a point of duty to invite leaders from all political divides and interest groups to commission projects as part of the Third Year Anniversary Celebration. Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, Obi of Onitsha, Oni of Ife, Former Plateau State Governor, Jonah David Jang, Former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara top the list of those who have commissioned major projects in the five weeks.
At the weekend, a frightened Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi received a chieftaincy title at Elele. This time, his testimony has changed.
From Wike is doing nothing to Wike is commissioning projects that he (Amaechi) has executed up to 90percent. I like to see the positive side of everything, even the lies of a failed politician.
At least, Amaechi has admitted that Governor Wike has been paying monthly salaries and pensions, including the four months arrears of salaries and six months of pensions that he used in sponsoring the APC National Campaign.
For the first time, he admitted that Governor Wike is working, even though he tried in vain to belittle the work.
Amaechi’s gnashing of teeth on the Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge commissioned by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Yakubu Dogara is uncalled for. He abandoned the bridge at less than 30percent and the contractor fled the site because the contract was not funded. This was acknowledged by Governor Wike during the commissioning of bridge and road.
Let me rehash a background of the all-important Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge that is giving Amaechi sleepless nights.
For two years running, the Nigerian Guild of Editors held their Annual General Conference in Rivers State. They were opportuned to see the different stages of the Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge first hand.
The Guild of Editors were opportuned to witness significantly, the progression of this major Inter-Change, abandoned at less 20 percent completion by the immediate past failed Amaechi administration.
On July 30, 2016, Governor Wike led the Guild of Editors to inspect work on the Woji-Elelenwo Bridge. At this time, though the contractor had worked under the supervision of Governor Wike for over 9 months, the bridge was yet to get halfway.
From the point where the contractor had reached at the time, Governor Wike and the editors looked across the river into the virgin land and houses on the other side. It appeared as if the project will never be completed.
Aside the Nigerian Guild of Editors, another group that witnessed the progression of the Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge was the Nigerian Bar Association. During their 56th Annual General Conference held in Port Harcourt in August 2016, Governor Wike took them on a tour of projects. The Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge was one of the projects that were visited.
Still on that stretch is the Abuluoma-Woji Bridge which was abandoned by the previous administration at 30 percent, but completed by Governor Wike. Both projects overwhelmed the immediate past Rivers State Governor because of their scoop.
All through the last quarter of 2015 when Governor Wike consolidated the process for the completion of Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge, the reason why the Amaechi administration fled the site was obvious. The project required commitment, strict supervision, dedicated funding and patience. That failed administration lacked all these qualities.
The Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge was awarded by the previous administration in 2009 at N3billion. The same immediate past failed Amaechi administration revalued the road to N11billion.
It refused to fund the project after three years of inconsistency. As a result, the contractor fled the site. Nothing much was done, even though the Inter-Change was critical to free flow of traffic.
Governor Wike personally supervised the paving of the new road which links Woji-Elelenwo through to Akpajo in Eleme Local Government Area. The governor debated with the contractors at different times, insisting on the best for Rivers people.
From 2015 to 2018, the administration of Governor Wike worked round the clock to deliver this all-important project.
The project is now an architectural masterpiece. A beauty to behold and a golden manifestation of quality projects delivery. It is furnished with streetlights, flyover, under-pass, 750 meter bridge and a link road.
On June 8, 2018, the Rivers State Government delivered this brand new road to the good people of the state. It was a celebration of performance as men of goodwill gathered irrespective of party affiliation.
Wike wants the elections to be fought on projects, hoping that the APC would not point to anything in the state. This was exactly what Amaechi used to fight Wike and Goodluck Jonathan. Governors are believed to have budgets to do projects in one state whereas ministers have less for 36 states. Amaechi may have to fall back on the ones he did between 2007 and 2015. He actually started many of them but lack of funds and other reasons stalled many of them. Wike had accused him of taking too much at same time. Now, it is about completing them, not starting them, Wike has always argued.