Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a one time close associate of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has described the request by the Governor from the Federal Government to refund a whopping sum of One Hundred and Eight Billion Naira (N108B), allegedly spent on executed Federal projects by the administrations of Dr. Peter Odili and Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, without acknowledging the key projects on which the sum was expended is unfortunate and quite disheartening.
In a statement made available to media houses, Chief Eze, a former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, stressed that as Rivers Governor, Governor Wike is entitled to request for funds that he feels can be used to better the lots of Rivers people, but in doing so, he must enlighten the public on the source of securing such fund because as a matter of fact, it was same refund he connived with the administration of Dr. Jonathan Goodluck to deny the people of Rivers State in order to punish Rt. Hon. Amaechi, the then Governor of Rivers State that he is currently requesting from the administration of President Buhari which Amaechi and others risked with their lives to install.
The need for Wike clearing himself on this is imperative as he is aware that he has not constructed or improved any of the Federal Roads begging for attention within the state that will warrant such a boast he exhibited while conducting the Federal Government Agencies who came to monitor the roads the construction of which he is demanding for a refund.
It is on record that immediately Governor Wike assumed office in 2015, his only major program was to portray Dr. Amaechi as a man who misused Rivers resources and never achieved anything throughout his eight years. If Wike’s assertion is true, on what ground is he asking for refunds of monies used on federal projects executed by Amaechi.
The party chieftain challenged Gov. Wike to tell Nigerians the circumstances behind his moves for a refund.
“If Gov. Wike is to be taken seriously, I challenge him to tell Nigerians who saved up that money for Rivers State before he can begin to ask for a refund”.
Eze highlighted that save the Airport Road, constructed by Dr. Odili’s Administration, all other road projects showcased by Governor Wike were executed by the administration of Rt. Hon. Dr. Amaechi. The same Amaechi he accused of doing nothing.
Eze noted with sadness that throughout the six years of the administration of Dr Jonathan, as the President of Nigeria, all the pleas of Amaechi for the refund of this monies fell on deaf ears, based on the influence of Mr. Wike, then Junior Minster, incharge of Education
The party chief expressed joy that the Federal Executive Council has sent a verification team to the state to confirm and verify Federal Projects executed by the Rivers State Government to warrant the request for refund.
He agreed with Governor Nyesom Wike, that the Federal Government would refund the state resources used to execute federal projects in the State, but tasked the governor to be truthful to fact that none of those projects was either initiated nor completed by his administration, because he has not shown any vision as a serious Administrator.
Eze expressed optimism that the Minister of State for Education, Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who led the Federal Government Team will write a positive report on River State, not regardless that the projects inspected were not done by the present administration.
Eze is very hopefully that the APC led Federal Government will consider the impact of Rivers State in the economy of Nigeria and effect the refund not minding the unwarranted threat by Governor Wike, that If FG refuse to refund , he will raise alarm and tell the world to help him and ask why he is being denied the refund.
According to the governor “now we are talking of governance and we need these funds to do more projects for our people. He has given us assurance that the Federal Government will effect a refund this time around”.
It is shameful that Wike has forgotten so soon that he was part of the plot to deny the State a refund in the first instance.
Eze averred that some of the projects executed by the Odili’s and Amaechi’s administrations inspected were the over 41.26 kilometre dualisation of the Airport-Isiokpo-Elele/Omerelu road, the reconstruction of Ikwerre road from Education to Agip flyover junction,
Construction of flyover at Agip-Rumueme-Abacha roundabout and the construction of flyover on East-west road at Obiri-Ikwerre, with rotary turning and service lanes. Other projects inspected include – Eleme junction flyover and interchange and Ada George road phases one and two.
Eze maintained that the efforts to erase the uncommon feats of Amaechi in the construction of modern Rivers State notwithstanding, Amaechi has remained a hero so far as governance is concerned in Rivers State and Nigeria as a whole.