Chides NASS, Presidency as problems of NDDC
By Egufe Yafugborhi
GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike has reasoned that Nigerians are angry with the National Assembly (NASS) for confirming the nation’s recently retired Service Chiefs nominated by President Mohammadu Buhari as Ambassadors.
Wike, expressing perceived disappointment of Nigerians in the NASS over the development asked visiting Senate Committee on Niger Delta at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday why the Senators who concurred with Nigerians in decrying poor performance of the Service Chiefs would now clear them for another appointment.
He told the senators, “Let me express the dismay of most Nigerians at the Senate. Convey this to the Senate. We must be courageous in whatever we are doing. Everything must not be party affairs. You (Senators) sat and discussed that they should dismiss the service chiefs.
“You said they’re not performing. Now, the same people who were not performing, you have confirmed as ambassadors. What kind of country are we in? In anything we do, we must remember there is tomorrow. Conscience is key. It’s not because I want to be a loyalist to a party. There are things you cannot reconcile at all.”
On Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Governor told the senators, “I don’t like talking about it. It is unfortunate that those who fought for it if they knew that this is how NDDC will be, I don’t think they would have even asked for it.”
He chided the NASS committees on NDDC for failing to provide sufficient direction to make the commission focus on the core mandate of developing the region, accusing some politicians of rather transforming NDDC into a cash cow for prosecuting sinister political agenda.
He said, “As Senate Committee Chairman, and that of the House Committee, you’re from the region too, supervising NDDC. Why not sit down with them to know the legacy projects they want to carry out this year in the Niger Delta States.
“Tell them these are projects they must make sure are being done first. Rather than do that, you allow them to do 50 or 100 meters road or a close that leads to someone’s house. What’s their business there?
“NASS is part of the problem of NDDC. The presidency is part of the problem and the party in power is part of the problem of NDDC, whichever party it is. They don’t allow NDDC perform. We too in Niger Delta are not allowing them to perform. We are enemies to ourselves.”
Wike also expressed his displeasure over a Senator (Smart Adeyemi) for allegedly overstepping his immunity during a plenary to demean a serving governor by calling him a drunk.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Peter Nwaoboshi told Wike, “As a committee, we are aware that you have some reservations with the NDDC based on your state’s previous relationship with them.
“We have come to assure you that with the people you have seen here, who are patriotic Nigerians, that we will make sure that the aspirations and the aim of creating the NDDC will be achieved. We will do everything that is possible within the limits of the constitution through our oversight functions for them to achieve their objectives.”
On Wike’s disposition to leadership, Nwaoboshi said, “We say without fear of contradiction that you are the strongest voice in the Niger Delta Region. You have always been courageous even at the risk of your political career to speak the truth to power.
“You have also advanced the interest of the people of Niger Delta. That is why anybody visiting Niger Delta will have nothing but to come and see that courageous man that is bestriding the area like a colossus.”