Wike inept, mismanaging Rivers, says Dakuku Peterside
Dakuku Peterside, former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, has censured Governor Nyesom Wike for blaming Rivers people over flooding in the state, accusing him of ineptitude.
He urged him to reactivate the drainage master plan put in place by ex-Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Mr Peterside mentioned that “this is the time for the state government to show compassion rather than grandstanding and looking for who to blame for its own ineptitude and maladministration.”
“Former Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s administration had put in place a drainage master plan for the city of Port Harcourt,” he explained in a statement on Wednesday, reacting to the flooding in several parts of Rivers.
Mr Peterside added, “It was already being executed before he left office in 2015 but was, however, abandoned by Wike for political reasons.”
The former Rivers works commissioner blamed Mr Wike’s government for not paying attention to early warning signals from NIMET.
“But rather, it chose to put the blame on Rivers people who are already suffering from lack of jobs and economic empowerment,” added the former NIMASA DG. “Our people are traumatised, a lot of persons are displaced, we have lost several goods and property estimated at over N3 billion; social and economic life has been disrupted.”
Accusing Mr Wike’s government of complacency and incompetence, Mr Peterside pointed out that “the state government slept off, and people are suffering.”
He further alleged that Mr Wike awarded projects from his office without going through due process and “the very important” Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
“It is even more shocking that the state government is yet to respond, even if half-heartedly to the cries of the people, but chose to blame everybody other than itself,” Mr Peterside stated. “A responsive government should by now be engaging and looking for ways out of the crisis.”
Mr Wike’s government had earlier assured residents that it would begin the process of checking flooding in the state.
Rivers information commissioner Paulinus Nsirim said the state was working with relevant agencies to roll out the process to check perennial flooding.
The commissioner also expressed “disgust at the attitude of residents who turned drains into refuse bins and urged them to desist.”
He further advised the residents and businesspeople to assist the administration in addressing the flooding.
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