The 2015 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers, Dr Dakuku Peterside has descended heavily on Governor Nyesom Wike, admonishing that the “governor’s penchant for lying may destroy him.”
He was reacting to statements credited to Governor Nyesom Wike, who claimed that while he (Peterside) was Commissioner of Works during the Chibuike Amaechi administration, he could not construct a road to Opobo/Nkoro, his home local government.
However, Dr Peterside has berated the governor, who he says has functioned with indignity and constantly romancing with half-truths to deceive Rivers people who are daily seeing through his lies.
Going down the memory lane, he narrated how the road came into being and determined efforts by the Amaechi-led administration to see to the completion of the road.
According to him, “I served as commissioner for works at a time one of the pillars of the administration was infrastructural development. Dr Peter Odili’s administration through the instrumentality of then Deputy Governor, Sir Gabriel Toby, initiated the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo unity road, a total of 37km road with 10 bridges and several culverts. Unfortunately, the administration was winding up so could only do two bridges and got the road to Iwoama Asarama achieving 26% of total job scope.
“This is the point we met the road. At the insistence of the Amanyanabo of Opobo and the people of Nkoro, we did a new alignment to Nkoro, taking it to Kalaibiama and from there to Opobo town, thus introducing the Nkoro-Kalaibiama-Opobo town alignment of 11.5km and 4 nos bridges. With the change in alignment, the Unity road became a 44.09km as against 37.7km awarded by the Odili administration in 2005. In all 6 bridges were completed under my watch and 2 bridges (No 9 & 10) were at 70%and 50% completion respectively at the end of the Amaechi’s administration in 2015.
“We started driving to Nkoro town and I drove down to Kalaibiama town in Opobo to campaign in 2015. This is the true situation of things which every Rivers man know, especially those from Andoni and Opobo. Similarly, those from Ikuru town could drive home, I did that with the then Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru many times.
“It’s unfortunate that Governor Wike has neglected the completion of this important road with only two bridges to go, one on the Andoni axis and the other, on the Opobo axis. Suffice it to add that the abutment and beams of both bridges were ready before we left government. By our estimates, we needed less than N7bn naira to complete both axes of the road as at May 2015.”
Peterside, who is also the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), regretted that rather than completing the road, the governor has embarked on “lies, distortion of facts and politicization of a major project.”
“I am proud to be an Opobo son, an Ijaw son and a Rivers son and that whenever I have the opportunity, I have always and will always add value to the developmental aspiration of my people and humanity.
“For some time now Wike has laboured hard enough without result to convince Rivers people that he is making effort to develop infrastructure and particularly play a role in the completion of Ogoni -Andoni-Opobo unity road. His effort can at best be described as pouring water on the back of a duck as Rivers people know him very well for who he is.
“The only crime Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro people committed is that they have a son who ran for governor of Rivers state. This is the only reason why Governor Wike has completely removed them from the development equation as he has done to all communities in Rivers state. Wike instead of spending multiple billions on propaganda can spend a fraction of that in the development of the state,” he stressed.
Admonishing the governor to change from his ways, he stated “I have restrained myself from joining issues with Governor Wike for obvious reasons; when you see anybody dance naked in the marketplace you don’t need to convince onlookers that he has gone mad.
“I am particularly ashamed that a man who by hook or crook found himself in the office of governor should be decent enough to keep the dignity of the office. Lies are not part of the virtues of the office of a governor.”