*Says media must critically oversight public officers
The Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike has revealed that politicians are exerting pressure on the National Assembly to hurriedly pass the N500B Niger Delta Development Commission, 2023 budget ahead of the general elections.
The Governor has also 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 when the Senior Vice Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of Leadership Newspaper Group Limited, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene led the Company’s Management Team to the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday to present a nomination letter of award to him as the “Politician of the Year 2022.”
The Sun Newspaper Publishing Limited Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Onuohia Ukah, was also in the Government House, Port Harcourt to present an l of the nomination of the award of “Courage in Leadership 2022” to Governor Wike.
Governor Wike while addressing his guests, revealed that within the total estimate of N500 billion, N70 billion is expected from the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG), N4 billion is earmarked for the distilling of the public drains, and N60 billion earmarked as support to the security agency.
The Rivers State Governor said a critical look at the details of the various estimate reveals that it is a fraudulent budget.
He said it is 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 will earmark N60 billion to security agencies and not devote it to doing an enduring project and seeing the impact.
The Governor expressed concern that politicians are already mounting pressure on the National Assembly members to speedily pass the NDDC budget so that it can be shared instead of the February and March general election approaching.
Speaking further, Governor Wike lamented that it is becoming almost difficult to see people standing on the side of truth whether it benefits them or not.
Wike contained that 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 bent 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.
The Governor noted that some people have been hired and 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.
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.
Recollecting his stewardship as Governor, Wike said he has between 2019 and now built 12 flyovers, spent over N17 billion Naira to build the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School, completed within 10 months and those who opposed it are scrabbling to get space for their wards to be admitted.
The Rivers State Governor urged the Nigerian media to be forthright, oversight public officers, and criticize them so that society can become better.
Governor Wike said the award they have given to him, which he dedicated to God and Rivers people, will spur his administration to do more, noting that the major problem in Nigeria is not the availability of money, but leadership that can stand on truth to promote it and be empathetic towards building a virile society that offers a good life to the citizenry.
Speaking, the Leadership Newspaper Group Limited, Senior Vice Chairman/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene said Governor Wike was nominated as the “Politician of the Year 2022” because his activities have a consequential impact on Nigerians.
Mr. Ishiekwene noted that Governor has restored the Garden City status of Port Harcourt, made it a City of bridges, empowered women with the law that makes them inherit husband property, and stood for justice.
On his part, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of Sun Newspaper Publishing Limited Mr. Onuohia Ukah said Governor Wike is awarded “Courage in Leadership 2022” because, despite the economic recession, he has delivered soul-lifting projects for the people of the State.
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