Former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and a staunch critic of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has cleared the air over his constant criticism of the governor over the years.
He said it had nothing to do with his personal ambition neither does he have anything to gain, but purely based on the interest of the state.
Peterside who disclosed this in a statement on Monday said the love he has for the state has continued to propel him to speak against bad governance and would not be expected to keep quiet when the state is being “robbed of its treasures.”
Describing Wike as a colossal failure whose only legacy in Rivers was that of “unbridled tyranny,” Peterside called on the Governor to stop “raping Rivers State through his unending, forceful seizure of public and private landed property, large-scale looting of the state’s treasury through proxies and over-bloated contracts’ values.”
Peterside, a 2015 governorship candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, while reacting to remarks made by Wike at a thanksgiving service held at St Paul’s Cathedral in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Sunday, said no amount of intimidation from the Governor would stop him from pointing out his wrong doings.
At the service, Wike had lampooned Peterside for allegedly threatening the peace and stability of the state over the arrest and arraignment of a member of the House of Representatives and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Farah Dagogo.
But in the statement titled “My criticism of Wike not driven by personal ambition,” Peterside said if Wike expected him to keep quiet while things are not done right, he would not remain silent.
“Maybe Wike expected that I kept silent while he shamelessly and brazenly raped Rivers State that our founding fathers laboured to achieve, some with their blood?” Peterside queried.
“Or, he expected me to have remained silent, or hailed him as he continued his unbridled and unexplainable greed exhibited in his continual, forceful seizure of developed and undeveloped public and private property which he converted into personal use?
“Or, Wike thought that he had conquered Rivers State and reduced her citizens to zombies and mannequins that nobody would raise their head to ask him appropriate questions on accountability?”
“He said that I have been criticizing him for the past 7 years so I can get APC governorship ticket. Nothing can be more run off at the mouth than this statement. Proud to say I am a patriotic stakeholder who cannot fold my hands and watch Wike’s maladministration and corruption in the past 7 years.
“His incoherent and uncouth statement in the church shows clearly his poor upbringing and that he was under the influence of alcohol, as always. I have consistently and constructively engaged Wike in the past 7 years not for any personal ambition but strictly for what he represents – gross incompetence, corruption, greed and lack of vision.
“All through my history of political involvement, I have never been driven by personal ambition. I have lived above board and laboured for the people. May be Wike wants me to keep quiet for his making Port Harcourt the dirtiest city in Nigeria; making Rivers people personification of poverty; visiting untold hardship on our pensioners; or abandoning education.
“If Wike thought that his guttersnipes and tantrums against me would debar my informed and topical reviews and criticisms of his failed administration, he better goes to hire more lecterns and turn every day in the week a Sunday, because I shall not stop unless he turns from his draconian style of governance; pays Rivers’ pensioners their legitimate entitlements; shows practical commitment to development of education and healthcare; resumes the payment of bursary to Rivers’ students as well as revive and fund the State Scholarship Board
“He should allow open democratic society where his opponents are not framed, gagged, and slammed with frivolous charges; except Wike ends his shameful and disgraceful display of high-something on national television regrettably financed with unaccounted for state funds; until Wike returns, with due restitution to Rivers’ natives, like Zaccheus in the Bible, those landed property scattered all over Port Harcourt which he appropriated by brute force, I shall not relent in bringing him before the torchlight of good conscience.
“Let Wike put his ears down. He will hear how Rivers people are ashamed of having him since 2015 as their governor. Let him put his ears down and he would hear how no sensible Rivers native takes his word for anything.
“Wike should stop chasing shadows and see if he can use the ten months left to redeem whatever is left of his battered image. One assurance I can give Wike is that his days are numbered and Rivers people cannot wait to see the end of this nightmare. No amount of “kokoma “last dance can save a drowning man,” Peterside reiterated.