Tuesday, June 15, 2021 7:41 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Monday replied President Muhammadu Buhari over whose responsibility it is to tackle the growing problems of insecurity in the country.
President Buhari had in an interview on Arise Television last week said the Governors should live up to the expectations of those that elected them by taking responsibility for tackling challenges of insecurity in their states.
But speaking on Monday, Wike said it is unconstitutional for President Muhammadu Buhari to shift the power of securing life and property of Nigerians to the state governors.
According to him, Mr. President is the Commander- In-Chief of the Armed Forces and cannot declare that governors are in charge of security in their respective states.
Governor Wike, while speaking at the commissioning of the 21 kilometers Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road in Etche Local Government Area of the State on Tuesday, said such position, suggests that the APC led federal government has lost grip of strategy of how to tackle the troubling security issues, and make the country safe for Nigerians.
“Mr. President, you’re the Commander- in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You appoint Inspector General of Police (IG), you appoint the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Director of Department of State Service (DSS) and other heads of security. Which one do we appoint? How can people appointed by Mr. President be under me?”
He further continued: “It is not only to borrow money for Nigeria that you’re in charge. You must, also, be in charge in other things including, security. Who signed order 10? Is it the governors? It is not when things are going bad concerning security, and you say you’re not in charge, and it becomes governors’ responsibility.”
Governor Wike admonished the APC federal government to own up that it can no longer fulfil promises made to Nigerians, and also lead the country out of its present predicament.
According to Governor Wike, when there is a failure, what makes leadership respectable is that such leader is able to accept its weakness publicly.
The governor pointed out that it was time Nigerians begin to compare the performances of PDP and APC governors in office.
He said, Mr. President was short of calling names of those governors who run to Aso Rock when they are supposed to stay in their states to see the needs of their states and people.
“Mr. President should have come out openly and said, my APC governors, stop worrying me. Go back to your states and do your work. On that, I support him.
“Thank God, Mr. President knows that I am not one of those that go to visit him over one problem or the other. I, as the governor of Rivers under PDP, you’ll never find me there.”
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark, who performed the commissioning of the 21 kilometers Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road, noted the excitement expressed on the faces of the locals who are directly impacted by the project.
He noted that even those in opposition in the state have become so weak to have anything more to say against Governor Wike who is not only performing, but has remained as a strong pillar of the PDP.
“I told him I’ll be here because he loves his people. Politics and democracy is not about enriching one or two persons within a community. The Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road is project that will outlive everybody in this place. The legacy you’re leaving behind, Rivers people will not forget you. They will defend you, they’ll protect you and they will stand by you always.”
“That is why you can walk tall. That is why you can jump into your car and go anywhere because you’ve shown them love. You’ve brought democracy to the people. PDP as a party is happy to have you. You’re one of the pillars of our great party. ”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road connects part of Etcheland to Omerelu, Apani and Omademe communities in neighbouring Ikwerre Local Government Area, and onwards to Imo State.
“This is the very first time a road is being constructed here along this axis. Prior to this time, this was merely an earth Road with gullies all over, it was something best suited for only the toughest 4 by 4 off road vehicles. Today through the instrumentality of the Governor of Rivers State, we now have a 10.3m wide 21km long road. 7.3m of this is the carriageway, which is flanked on either side by a 1.5m wide shoulder.
“9.3km of drainage is constructed for water discharge and 32 road signs installed to aid drivers, commuters and enhance safety in the area. With this road will come all the socio-economic benefits associated with good transportation access.”