Sunday, May 10, 2020 8:21 pm
…Condemns illegal demolition of buildings
The immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has condemned in strong terms Sunday’s demolition of two hotels in Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike over alleged violation of an Executive Order.
Peterside, who says he had long observed the dictatorial tendencies of Wike, declared that the latest action of the governor was “wicked, insensitive, irresponsible and unlawful.”
According to him, Wike has left no one in doubt as to his lack of concrete pursuit of how to fight Coronavirus with solid policies and programmes but has rather resorted to brute force, a show of strength and muscle-flexing with imaginary enemies.
“Last week, Governor Wike made two broadcasts, where Rivers people expected him to lay out well-determined plans of how to ensure mass testing following the inauguration of molecular laboratories in UPTH and RSUTH with achievable timelines, while also strengthening other areas.
“However, no such thing was heard from the governor but threats upon threats as to how he would dethrone traditional rulers, how he will sack local government chairmen, how he will summarily arrest violators of the executive order and punish them, how he will auction their vehicles, amongst other threats. Governor Wike is not a law unto himself and cannot be the law.
“For good measure, the governor rounded up by saying he would demolish buildings or hotels found wanting in implementing his orders without recourse to the due process of law and natural justice that confers the right of fair hearing on the accused.
“Governor Wike’s utterances do not suggest that he is fighting the coronavirus pandemic alone. His actions suggest that there is more than what he is telling Rivers people. He has become a dictator whose words must be obeyed or be damned,” he stressed.
Dr. Peterside explained that the fascist attitude of Wike was capable of leading to the breakdown of law and order, as those who bear the crude method of the governor and their families could resort to mass protest, capable of exposing the state further.
“This crude method of governance and law enforcement is obsolete, counterproductive and will put Rivers State and her people in bad light before the right-thinking members of society.
“While we all support the governor to ensure that the state is free from coronavirus, his transformation into a dictator and a god that must be worshipped will be challenged by all well-meaning Rivers people and Nigerians at the appropriate time.
“Governor Wike must change from this destructive path and follow that of responsible leadership that has a human face and not one that will turn him to a demi-god that must be offered sacrifices to assuage his anger, vengeance and greed,” he summed up.
Meanwhile, explaining his actions Governor Wike said that “Government has no alternative but to apply the Executive order which I signed before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I called all the Traditional Rulers and Council Chairmen and told them to ensure that no hotel operates in the State.
“We are not saying it will be forever. This is for now, so that we know where we are. To reduce the cases and check the spread.
“Whether you are PDP or not, all we are saying is that nobody is above the law. If we can do this to a PDP person, then you know we are not discriminatory. Everyone must obey. Whether you are in PDP, SDP or no party, you must obey the law. If any other person does the same thing, the same rule will apply. ”
Governor Wike reiterated his declaration that no hotel should operate anywhere in the state.