Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, says the appointment of former Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, as FCT Minister is devoid of good reasoning and basically fraught with the intendment to wage a personal vendetta against perceived political adversaries through revocation of property rights within the FCT.
In a statement made available to the media, Chief Eze said he is persuaded to agree with widespread belief in Nigeria that another reason for the undeserving appointment may have arisen from the contemplation within the presidency, of a possible rerun election, by which event the former Rivers Governor, often accused of election rigging, would deploy his rigging skill to compromise the process and probably steal the election to help President Tinubu meet the statutory 25% requirement in the FCT, which is considered to be one of the basis for a possible nullification of the election.
Aside from the points afore-canvassed, the APC chieftain said Wike’s appointment would help him further explore his vengeful avaricious land-grabbing skill in Nigeria’s capital city as he did during his tenure as Governor where he used the powers of his office and the public fund within his disposal to force land owners to surrender their properties which became part of his private estates; and as a result, Wike holds the title of the biggest landlord in the whole Rivers state having acquired almost 1/10 of the state’s landmass.
He is on record to have pushed out civil servants from 11 streets in the GRA in Port Harcourt and compensated them with govt funds and took over all of the plots with his cronies.
If President Tinubu had critically considered the antecedents of his appointees who have previously held public office as part of the criteria for qualification to serve in his government, he would have had Wike’s name struck out of the list given that his term as Rivers Governor is historic on the negative note and would continue to be of unblessed memory.
How do we explain to Nigerians that as Governor, the new FCT Minister wickedly withheld and in fact, pocketed pensioners gratuities for eight years and subjected them to a life of anguish and penury where they perpetually wallow in poverty and deep want.
Reminiscing on the days of the FCT Minister as Rivers Governor evokes memories of waste, disappointment, official lies, deceit, looting, media fanfare, regrets and so much ado about nothing.
How do we explain to Nigerians that for the eight years he held sway as Governor, Wike could only build 12 overhead bridges with grossly overblown costs which served as avenues through which he looted and is still looting state fund. And, the flyovers were built with the FG refunds from Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s projects which he found a way to loot through flyovers.
The Mile 1 market, Mother and Child Hospital and Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Treatment Centers which are the additional three projects he executed as Governor have all been overtaken by grass and dangerous reptiles. He reformed the pockets of media organizations to help portray him as having achieved so much whereas to the total neglect of Rivers State owned media outfits, yet, his performance index did not bring him close to the best 20 Governors of his time.
Health, education and infrastructures in other critical sectors remained in shambles under the Wike regime even though billions were allocated to them annually on the state budgets, which remained shrouded in secrecy despite the loud hue and cry.
Recalling with sadness the antecedents of Wike during his miserable eight-year-reign as Governor Chief Eze noted that Rivers State attracted zero foreign earnings, zero foreign investment in the 8 years of the Wike administration, whereas states like Oyo, Abia, Akwa Ibom attracted foreign inflows into Nigeria’s economy.
According to him, “the Treasure Base of the Nation’ could not attract any foreign inflow; not one all through his administration which solely depended on federal allocations from Abuja and the IGR shores up during the Amaechi days. He undermined all the basic areas that required attention to grow the state and only channeled energy to building 12 overhead bridges at very exorbitant costs and with great media fanfare; the biggest media show in the annals of history just to gain cheap popularity.
I don’t need to waste my time on the European Union(EU) Election Observatory report for the 2023 election which singled-out the Minister for FCT for indictment over his deliberate disrespect and flagrant disobedience to extant laws coupled with his uncouth desperation and crude engagements which clearly ridiculed Nigeria’s global reputation and earned the country an electoral embarrassment as Wike’s appointment and posting to FCT may be to improve on his disgraceful outing during the 2023 general elections that have dampened the electoral credentials of both President Tinubu and the APC as a political party in case the Court decides on rerun election
Wike’s appointment at a time the country is struggling to redeem her electorally battered image and reclaim credibility within the international community is to say the least, ridiculous.
What many people refused to accept is that the former Rivers Governor whose eight- year term left a humongous legacy of misery, does not fit into the caliber of people needed to help the President meet the expectations and yearnings of Nigerians.
His acceptance to serve in an administration of a political party he once described as cancerous and the cause of all the major crisis facing the nation is to me both mischievous, unacceptable and a display of unusual desperation.
Those celebrating the appointment and designation of Wike as Minister of FCT should understand that Abuja needs a brilliant fellow who can create strategies for developments and bring the state to shape to compete with London, Mexico, Lagos, Washington DC and similar capitals of other big nations and not a fellow whose destructive acts will dwindle the city’s reputation.
Wike left Port Harcourt in shambles; from garden city, he reduced Port Harcourt to a garbage city with refuse dumps just to hurt his former ally who was heading the sanitation agency. As a result, refuse was littered all over the place. He couldn’t manage waste in Port and he cannot manage anything in Abuja, not at all.
As it is, Abuja does not have many roads and bridges to build given that the City is fairly well-built and does not need Wike. What the FCT requires is a minister who can drive economic development; a visionary town designer, someone who understands that the contemporary city promotes economic progress.
Eze said he had expected to see a minister who knows that the city must have personality. And Abuja, with its population of diplomats, scholars, and policy champions, should be appealing in order to build an appealing hub and capital city.”
Abuja does not need a man who scares away investors but attracts hoodlums and goons. The FCT has a status and needs men with class and status to lead it.