Former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, says his frequent criticism of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State over the years is neither driven by personal ambition nor pecuniary comfort.
Rather, Peterside who is anxious to succeed Wike in 2023 on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) said his tongue lashing of the governor is for his love for the state which, in the past seven years, has been allegedly robbed dry by the governor.
He was speaking in response to Wike’s remarks at a Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Sunday.
The APC chieftain reiterated his earlier calls on Wike to stop raping Rivers through his unending, forceful seizure of public and private landed property, large-scale looting of the state’s treasury through proxies and over-bloated contracts’ values.
For him, Wike is a colossal failure ‘’whose only legacy is unbridled tyranny’’.
Continuing, he claimed that Wike expected that he should keep silent ‘’while he shamelessly and brazenly raped Rivers that our founding fathers laboured to achieve, some with their blood. He expected me to have remained silent, or hailed him as he continued his unbridled and unexplainable greed exhibited in his continual, forceful seizure of developed and undeveloped public and private property which he converted into personal use.
‘’Wike thought that he had conquered Rivers State and reduced her citizens to zombies and mannequins that nobody would raise their head to ask him appropriate questions on accountability.
‘’Wike said that I have been criticizing him for the past 7 years so I can get APC governorship ticket. Nothing can be more run off at the mouth than this statement. Proud to say I am a patriotic stakeholder who cannot fold my hands and watch Wike’s maladministration and corruption in the past 7 years.
‘’His incoherent and uncouth statement in the church shows clearly his poor upbringing and that he was under the influence of alcohol, as always. I have consistently and constructively engaged Wike in the past 7 years not for any personal ambition but strictly for what he represents gross incompetence, corruption, greed and lack of vision.
‘’All through my history of political involvement, I have never been driven by personal ambition. I have lived above board and laboured for the people. May be Wike wants me to keep quiet for his making Port Harcourt the dirtiest city in Nigeria; making Rivers people personification of poverty; visiting untold hardship on our pensioners; or abandoning education’’, Peterside alleged.
Not yet done, he said posterity will rate Wike as Rivers’ worst governor, and assured that he will continue to admonish the governor until he leaves office in 2023.
“If Wike thought that his guttersnipes and tantrums against me would debar my informed and topical reviews and criticisms of his failed administration, he better goes to hire more lecterns and turn every day in the week a Sunday, because I shall not stop unless he turns from his draconian style of governance; pays Rivers’ pensioners their legitimate entitlements; shows practical commitment to development of education and healthcare.
‘’Let him resume the payment of bursary to Rivers’ students as well as revive and fund the state Scholarship Board; allow open democratic society where his opponents are not framed, gagged, and slammed with frivolous charges.
‘’Except Wike ends his shameful and disgraceful display of high-something on national television regrettably financed with unaccounted for state funds; until Wike returns, with due restitution to Rivers’ natives, like Zaccheus in the Bible, those landed property scattered all over Port Harcourt which he appropriated by brute force, I shall not relent in bringing him before the torchlight of good conscience”, Peterside added.
He expressed shock that Wike is yet to properly situate himself as Rivers people see him. “Let Wike put his ears down. He will hear how Rivers people are ashamed of having him since 2015 as their governor. Let him put his ears down and he would hear how no sensible Rivers native takes his word for anything.”
He then admonished Wike to take an introspection of the time left for him in office, and ‘’sstop chasing shadows and see if he can use the 10 months left to redeem whatever is left of his battered image.
‘’One assurance I can give Wike is that his days are numbered and Rivers people cannot wait to see the end of this nightmare. No amount of ‘kokoma’ last dance can save a drowning man”, Peterside said.