The All Progressives Congress in Rivers state has accused the GOVERNOR Nyeson Wike of Rivers State of offering to clear six month salary arrears Ekiti State owed to its civil servants in the run-up to next month’s governorship elections.
On July 14, Ekiti State will go to the polls to elect a new governor with a former governor and solid minerals minister Dr Kayode Fayemi standing as the APC candidate. He will be up against the current deputy governor Professor Kolapo Olusola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who has the backing on the incumbent Governor Ayo Fayose.
According to the APC, the PDP is so desperate to clinch victory in Ekiti State that one of its governors has opted to bail Governor Fayose out by clearing his salary arrears. The Rivers State chapter of APC said Governor Wike has turned himself into a Father Christmas who shares money at will, expressing concern over what it described as his penchant for alleged misappropriation of public funds.
Chris Finebone, the spokesman for the Rivers State chapter of the APC, added that Governor Wike has concluded plans to pay off six months’ salary arrears the government of Ekiti State is owing its workers ahead of the forthcoming governorship election. Mr Finebone said the planned clearance of salaries owed by Governor Fayose comes against a decaying secretariat complex where Rivers State civil servants endure untold inconveniences every working day.
“Indeed, it comes against the suffering of pensioners owed several months of gratuity and pension and paradoxically, even political appointees of Governor Wike are enduring untold hardship, suffering and smiling except for the select cabal popularly referred to as cardinals. The APC recalls that after the defeat of the PDP in the 2015 presidential elections, Governor Wike effectively took over control of the party nationally and has since been spending billions of naira belonging to Rivers taxpayers to sustain the PDP.
“Sadly, we recall that Governor Wike spent several billions of naira to hold an ill-fated national convention of the party in Port Harcourt in May, 2016. Afterwards, Wike single-handedly sustained the PDP with billions of naira belonging to Rivers people throughout the period the party was under the leadership of the Markarfi-led caretaker committee,” Mr Finebone added.
He pointed out that Governor Wike used the resources of Rivers State to fund the protracted legal tussle between the caretaker committee and its factional group led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. According to Mr Finebone, following the victory of the Makarfi-led caretaker committee at the Supreme Court, Governor Wike, again, bankrolled the national convention of the party that followed in 2017 with Rivers State commonwealth.
Mr Finebone said: “This culminated in Wike decimating and silencing the southwest and other leaders in PDP to successfully capture the national structure of PDP by installing his acolyte and stooge, Prince Uche Secondus as the party’s national chairman. Quite sadly, we note that the decision of Governor Wike to pay outstanding six months salaries owed to Ekiti State civil servants is coming as part of his inordinate desire to maintain his position as the leading financier and national leader of the PDP.
“Whereas other PDP governors are busy developing their states and bettering the standard of living of their people, Governor Wike remains consumed by the obscene and inordinate craving to continue as the little god of PDP. While no one begrudges him the pursuit of his vane glory, the bitter truth is that Governor Wike is fritting away resources that should be channelled at bettering the lot of the ordinary Rivers people.”
According to Mr Finebone, the APC finds it hard to believe that a governor that came into office and immediately discontinued and returned Rivers youths on overseas scholarships on account of lack of funds, finds it convenient to play Father Christmas for purely political reasons. He asked why other PDP governors of equally oil-rich Akwa Ibom and Delta States are not throwing the commonwealth of their people at sustaining and controlling the PDP.
“Again, we recall that in his bid to take advantage of the killings in Benue State some months ago, Governor Wike doled out N500m to Benue State with the sole aim of luring Governor Ortom to join the PDP. The APC calls on Rivers people to protest the decision of Governor Nyesom Wike to, once again, embark on this senseless and atrocious decision to spend billions of naira belonging to Rivers people to pay six months outstanding salaries of Ekiti State civil servants while the workers and people of Rivers State are suffering poverty, indignities and penury,” Mr Finebone added.