News & Features
Dakuku Peterside hits harder at Wike, softer at Magnus Abe
Dakuku Peterside has continued to hit harder at his former rival in 2015 and future rival in 2019, Nyesom Wike; but he seems to apply kid gloves when hitting at his intra-party rival, Magnus Abe. Peterside contested against Nyesom Wike and lost but was asked to go head an important federal againcy, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as Director-General. He comes home once in a while to save members of his political party (APC) from alleged intimidation and feeble feeling.
In two recent interviews, he took harder swipes at Wike and softer ones at the man who lost to him in the concenus selection of the APC candidate, Magnus Abe, who returned o the senate.
Peterside declared the economy of his home state dead, saying it has crashed from lack of leadership and absence of any strategic plan to contain insecurity. He said people were suffering and that sections of the workers were no longer being paid while endless biometric screening exercise has been used as a ploy to separate workers from their salaries for months.
The DG said hopelessness is now the new feeling in the state, saying the opposition should think of how to rescue the state. “Rivers needs rescue. Somebody must rise to help out.”
He said the money belonging to the state has been used to sponsor political parties and other events around the world. He said Rivers State now occupies the number one position in crime according all national security records monthly reviewed by all the agencies. “Rivers State government is not concerned. Businesses are closing down, no strategic initiative other than donation of a few patrol vans to the police”.
On whether this could be reversed by ending or restructuring the special police, SARS, he said it was wrong to vilify SARS or the head of SARS in the state. “I do not share that opinion. The entire police needs reforms, not just one arm. We cannot support reforms driven by political interest. This is because SARS in Rivers State refuses to cooperative with the state government in a plot”. He did not mention the kind of cooperation demanded.
He said his silence was due to the serious job he is doing at the federal government. He said when the time comes, he would make a decision and that the party he belongs to would unfold actions that would prove that the governor was not as popular as many felt.
He said anybody ready to throw money around would attract many followers and huge attention.
NIMASA and Rivers gains:
On charges by the PDP that his stay at NIMASA did not attract any tangivble thing to the state, Peterside said: “Now, I can tell you three things, the most important thing we need to know is that I am working on a national institution. Working in a national institution means there are multiple stakeholders and you must accommodate every part of the country. Of the 289 persons going for Sea Time, a good number of them are from Rivers State. Of the number of persons engaged in our Cabotage Regime, a good number of them are Rivers sons and daughters.
“NIMASA is about commencing the building of it’s regional headquarters in Port Harcourt. Before now, we use to have a leased building and we still have a leased building. We want to build a permanent structure in the city.
On the issue of Intels, he said; “it is an issue they have with the Nigerian Ports Authority but I am aware that the Honourable Minister of Transportation, has intervened and I think they are finding a solution to it. The problem is a bigger issues than the normal daily transaction of business deal. We are realizing that of will have an economic backlash on activities in Rivers State. He has intervened while focusing on national interest but conscious of the fact that the economy of Rivers State might be affected if anything adverse happens to Intels. So, he is trying to strike a delicate balance between national interest and the interest of Rivers State.”
On the area of tackling piracy, he went on: “We are doing a four-prong approach. One of the things we are doing is to put in place a legal framework to fight piracy. Before now, people carry out piracy attack here and run to Benin Republic or Ghana. If you arrest you arrest them in Ghana, under Ghanaian law, there will be no law to prosecute them and under Nigerian laws, you cannot also prosecute them. We we realised that that is a problem, we got a report from the United Nation’s Agency for Drugs and Crimes and we are putting in place a dedicated anti-piracy law. Part of the law is that if you do any of those criminal activities maybe in Ghana, we can take you from one jurisdiction and try you in Nigeria. If you do it in Nigeria and run away to Togo, Benin Republic or any other country, We can bring you back and try you. Anywhere you committed the crime outside our high seas territorial waters, continental shelves. We will bring you and try you in Nigeria.”
Is there crisis in Rivers APC? Hear him: “Without fear or contradiction, there is no crisis in APC. For a big party like APC in Rivers State, a party that can be described as the beautiful pride of Rivers State, you will expect people of different persuasions, different tendencies go about the I’d aspiration in the way they best understand. I don’t think you expect a party where all of us will see things from a common perspective. We will be robots, we are not robots, we are human beings. Or backgrounds are different, we grew up in different environments, our context of operation is different. So, if that is understood to mean conflicts that cannot be resolved, I don’t think that is putting issues in proper perspective. I understand people are going about their aspirations in the ways that seem best to them. So if you ask me is there any problem in APC, my answer is there is no problem in APC. All of us subscribe to a common leadership; the leaders of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. If you engage Senator Magnus And, he will tell you there is no dispute over who is the leader of APC in the state, that is Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi; that there is no dispute over who is the Chairman of the party in the state, that is Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya. If he calls a meeting today, everybody will attend the meeting.
“I challenge you, nobody has been suspended from the party to the best of my knowledge. I am the Deputy Leader of the APC. They are members of the party. Nobody has been suspended from the party. They were not removed as leaders of the party; they were never leaders of the party in that sense. Chief All well Onyesoh is a leader of the party in a generic perspective, is he an official of the party? Was there any party official that has been removed from office and what office was he occupying before now? He is a former Commissioner who served the state meritoriously and virtue of that a leader of APC. Is he no longer a leader of APC in the state?”
On Bodo-Bonny Road
He labeled Wike as the worst enemy of the people, following his alleged frequent “serial desperation and fake concern about the growth and development of the state.”
The DG recalled that while Wike was minister during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, oil wells belonging to Rivers state were ceded to Bayelsa without him saying anything, just as he also frustrated all efforts by the then Chibuike Amaechi administration to get back over N100bn spent on federal roads.
According to him, “the same Wike wants to frustrate the flagging off of Bodo-Bonny road project that will not only employ our youth but will open up Rivers state to a new frontier.”
The NIMASA DG stated the Rivers governor lacks the capacity to stop such a project or he should be prepared for the uprising of the people, whose lives will forever be changed by the road project.
“Let me assure Wike that the project will proceed as planned and completed. It will catalyse the development of Bonny and Ogoni land.
“The FG is committed to the project, and no amount of resistance will stop it. One hundred Wike cannot stop this project. Such hatred for Bonny and Ogoni people is being taken too far.
“I will repeat this; Wike lacks the capacity, ingenuity and resourcefulness to govern Rivers state. He has no single economic plan to make the state better. On the one hand, he cries for development, on another, he plays the ostrich. How can a sensible governor hang the fate of Ogoni and Bonny people in suspense,” he queried.
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