PDP defends Wike’s N500m donation to Sokoto over market fire

The Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has defended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike for donating N500 million to Sokoto State Government following a fire that razed down parts of the Sokoto Central Market.

State Chairman of the party Amb. Desmond Akawo said in Port Harcourt that the donation was in furtherance of the long standing relationship between Rivers and Sokoto States explaining that the relationship dates back to the era of Melford Okilo.

He said: “You are aware that Rivers and Sokoto States, they are strategic partners. Of course you know the story that Rivers and Sokoto States right from the Okilo period, Ramani Abba, we’ve always related. When it comes to politics wherever you see Rivers state going that’s where Sokoto State will go.”

“Today, he has extended his hand of fellowship to traders in Sokoto State, where most of them are southerners and somebody somewhere now is asking why should he do that? How can you please people?

In terms of projects, he is executing they said the bridges are too many or the roads are too long or the roads are too many when some states are complaining that their governors are not performing. Please I think it is time for us to encourage our own,” Amb Akawo added.

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The Rivers State PDP Chairman said that Governor Wike extended hands of fellowship to his Sokoto counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal because the federal government would not come to its aid since it is an opposition state.

“It’s not just reciprocal, it is about us, it is about humanity, this is a virtue, if you have it, you have it, if you don’t have it no matter the amount of money available to you. So what he has done is to extend the hands of fellowship because people do the same to us at the time of our crisis.

You remember Sokoto is in PDP, the Federal Government will not extend hands to them. You know what we have gone through, they didn’t listen to us, the same way we know that our brothers in Sokoto, nobody will come to their rescue.

I think this is the time for all PDP governors to rise up and support their own. What Nyesom Wike has done is being applauded, he has to be praised and we support him completely from our party,” he stated.

However a Human Rights Lawyer, Henry Ekine has joined many others in the state to fault the governor’s donation describing it as, ”reckless financial impropriety of impeachable generosity.”

He accused the governor of acting independently in the governance of Rivers State and expressed worries that certain institutions that are meant to check some of the excesses of the Governor, like the doling out of the state’s N500 million to Sokoto State have failed in their duties.

He accused the governor of spending state funds for political reasons instead of solving the people’s needs.

Ekine said: “He has been clearly acting without due consideration of financial prudence and responsibility and without any hindrance from the Rivers State House of Assembly or any mechanism of checks by any institution, whatsoever in Rivers State.

The last time it was Benue State, later it became reckless expenditures on political grounds in Edo State, and even Ondo State during their elections. Now it is another reckless financial impropriety of impeachable generosity by the governor.

It is an issue that Rivers people have to be concerned about.

The former National Publicity Secretary of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights said Rivers State has hundreds of out of school children which the state funds could have been used to cater for.

He also enumerated other basic amenities lacking in the state. “children in this state are out of school, they just can’t get access to school, no notebooks, children walk to schools barefooted and this is really disturbing. They cannot get access to public primary schools because many parents are indigent.

They cannot afford the illegal charges in public schools by the heads of those schools. There are no desks in some schools, there are dilapidated school buildings all over the state.

“Across the 23 local government areas there are hundreds of women in rural communities lacking access to effective primary health care,” he added.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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