The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has said Rivers cannot continue to be a dumping ground where the interests of the people are considered inconsequential.
Wike, speaking on Monday at the flag-off of construction work of the Elele Civic Centre in the Elele Internal Roads, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state, insisted that there will not be no Peoples Democratic Party in the coming general elections, if the interest of the state is not considered.
“Despite the state’s contributions, there is nothing of note, in terms of project that can be reckoned as benefit to justify the support,” the governor said.
Arguing that the state plays a pivotal role in the national affairs of the country and that is why when they decide to support an individual, the gesture has to be reciprocated, the governor said the upcoming election would prove the strategic political importance of the state.
He argued that Rivers ranks higher above other state, recounting how they refused to enter into a negotiation with the All Progressives Congress and did not give the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret’d.), 25% votes in the 2019 election despite the heavy military presence in the state.
The Rivers State governor disclosed that some politicians, in preparation for the forthcoming general elections, have started mounting pressure on the National Assembly to speedily pass the Niger Delta Development Commission N500bn budget.
He said, “Since NDDC was established, look at the money that has gone into NDDC. What can we show for it? The NDDC has become a cash cow for politicians. The President has just inaugurated the new board of the NDDC. Do you know what is going on now? There is a N500bn budget for NDDC. The election is coming on 25th February, Now, what the politicians have done is to put pressure on the National Assembly so that they will pass the N500bn budget for NDDC.”
He alleged that some politicians with vested interest in the 2023 general elections have already determined how the NDDC budget will be siphoned, and if they succeed, the region will further suffer.
Wike lamented, saying that those who superintend over the affairs of the NDDC are indigenes of the oil-producing states, yet, the commission has never deemed it appropriate to seek the input of these states in its budget preparation.