A political organisation in Cross River State known as Southern Senatorial Group has come hard on Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State, warning him to stay clear of Cross River State affairs as his meddlesomeness is a distraction that is not welcomed by the people of the state.
This followed the recent statement by Wike casting aspersion on Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade. In a statement signed by the group’s Coordinator, Chief Okon Edet (JP), the group said Wike’s assault is not just on the person of Ayade alone but on the entire people of the state. ‘‘For us here in Cross River, Wike didn’t insult Ayade but our dear state. Ayade symbolises Cross River and so any dart thrown at him is invariably thrown at Cross River,’’ said the group.
The group said it was wrong for Wike to compare his state with Cross River, saying that: ‘‘Wike’s infantile comparison of his state with Cross River in terms of availability of funds smacks of shallow thinking.’’
It then questioned the prudence of Wike given the high unemployment rate and lack of industries in the state. ‘‘Under Wike, how exactly has River’s financial wealth directly impacted on the common people? Under Wike Rivers was recently listed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as one of the states with highest unemployment rate.
“Building flyovers all over Port Harcourt and commissioning two kilometer roads amid TV cameras create no jobs for Rivers youths, while Julius Berger carts offshore the collective wealth of Rivers for the contract awarded.’’
Therefore, it called on Wike to take lessons from Ayade on prudent and effective management of limited resources instead of pouring insult on him for his commendable management of Cross River’s lean resources. ‘‘Wike perhaps needs urgent tutorials from Ayade on how to utilise limited resource to establish projects that impact directly on the people. With Cross River’s meagre income, Ayade has built a plethora of industries that create jobs and wealth for the people,’’ it said.
According to the group, Wike’s drunken outburst is a form of disguise in his sinister move to impose a governorship candidate on the people in the 2023 general elections, warning that he should stay clear of the internal affairs of the state. ‘‘Wike absolutely have no right to impose a governor on Cross River in 2023. Essentially, the whole gamut of reason for his insult on Ayade, nay Cross River, is our governor’s rock- solid determination to resist his sinister design for Cross River.’’
The group made it clear that the governorship slot in 2023 is reserved for the Southern Senatorial District based on the rotational principle adopted by the people, therefore, any attempt by Wike and his goons in the state to scuttle this arrangement would not see the light of the day as the people will resist it.
‘‘It is the turn of the Southern Senatorial District to produce the governor in 2023 at the end of His Excellency, Governor Ayade’s tour of duty but Wike is hell bent on bulldozing into office, his friend and fellow ex local council boss, Senator Sandy Onor,’’ said the group.
Adding that: ‘‘Senator Onor, is of course, from the Central Senatorial District, which has produced former governor Liyel Imoke.”
The group noted that Wike is not alone in his sinister plot but working with some of the politicians in the state for their self interest.
They fingered ”the National Assembly members from the Southern Senatorial district, most especially Senator Gershom Bassey, Hon Daniel Asuquo and Hon Essien Ayi,” as “Wike’s collaborators in his assault on the sensibilities of Cross Riverians and on our state’s hitherto peaceful political firmament.
“Because they all want to return to the National Assembly in 2023, they are prepared to trade off South’s claim to 2023 governorship for bankrolling of their election by Wike.
“They have agreed to support Wike to enthrone Senator Onor. This is the most despicable betrayal a group of desperados can ever inflict on the collective wish of their people. But this betrayal will eventually consume them.”