Wike’s ex-commissioner condemns revocation of C of O of Novotel

Wike’s ex-commissioner condemns revocation of C of O of Novotel

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 8:39 am

Gov. Wike of Rivers State

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Immediate Past Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State, Dr. Austin Tam George, has slammed his former boss, Governor Nyesom Wike over the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy of Novotel hotel , Port Harcourt, last Sunday.

Wike had directed the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy of the hotel which was the venue of the All Progressives Congress non-election delegate election on Saturday over allegations that it was used for electoral fraud.

Dr George who took to his Facebook page to post to assert that “The revocation of the certificate of occupancy of Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt over the weekend by Governor Nyesom Wike disappoints and saddens me.

“If a business premises is suspected or established to be a crime scene, the police, acting on a court order, could move in to take control.

“It is extraordinary for a State government to revoke the certificate of occupancy of a business, simply because opposition politicians lodged there.

“Politicians in the state might think this is part of politics.

“But it is a hostile signal to the business and investment community that Rivers State is a toxic environment, and that a 99-year land lease could be withdrawn impulsively at any minute, by the governor.

“As Commissioner for Information in Rivers State, I held 41 media events, including world press conferences and television appearances, to make the case for the state as Nigeria’s best investment destination.

Even now, the Wike administration is running an expensive advertorial on CNN, inviting foreign direct investment into Rivers State.

The former commissioner added that “The whimsical attack on Novotel feeds the noxious narrative that Rivers State is a risky place to invest. It is a direct kick in the face of the administration’s own efforts to attract investors to the state, in order to create jobs.”

Dr George warned Wike that as governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi made similar wrong-headed and extreme decisions.

“I urge governor Wike to avoid taking the same intemperate path, in the interest of the State, “Dr. George cautioned.

However, in a swift reaction, Simeon Nwakaudu, the Special Assistant to Governor Wike said Tam-George is entitled to his opinion.

Nwakaudu alleged that “Novotel is a den of electoral fraud and malpractice. The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi and his faction within the APC have turned that hotel to the centre of deadly machinations, from where mayhem is unleashed on the good people of Rivers State.

Nwakaudu added that Tam-George is aware that Governor Wike never plays to gallery and committed to the defence of Rivers people.

The media aide to the governor said, “While Governor Wike continues to build the framework for investments in the state, he will continue to insist that all businesses operate in line with the tenets of the law.

“Novotel is not above the law. Therefore, it must face the consequences of its illegal actions.

“In case Tam-George has conveniently forgotten, Rivers State plays host to the largest fertiliser plant in the world, Indorama. The facility was commissioned last week by the Acting President. I will oblige him the information that Notore Fertiliser Plant, the second largest fertiliser facility in Nigeria is also domiciled in Rivers State.

“The Green Gas LNG Facility being constructed by Grenville Oil and Gas Limited in Rumuji community of Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State is the new N140billion project that will add value to the economy of the country.

“As I write, the NLNG Limited is building trains 7 and 8 in Bonny, Rivers State, which will take the capacity of the NLNG to 30million tonnes and make it third in the world. It will generate over 100, 000 direct and indirect jobs across the country.

“Tam-George more than any other person should be aware that sponsored propaganda has no effect on the Wike administration.

“The same statement credited to Tam-George was earlier released by the defeated Rivers APC Governorship Candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside. While groups can partner to circulate propaganda, the facts remain that a centre of electoral fraud and malpractice cannot be allowed to unleash mayhem on Rivers people without being checked.”

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