Why I sacked my Environment Commissioner ― Wike

By Egufe Yafugborhi, Port-Harcourt

Governor Nyesom Wike has said he summarily dismissed his Commissioner for Education, Dr Igbiks Tamuno, on Tuesday for alleged sabotage against the Rivers State Government.

Shortly after signing contracts for the construction of more major roads in the state, Wike, at Government House Port Harcourt on Wednesday said, “I don’t know how a commissioner can write to a company to stop work without my approval.

“And Julius Berger for that matter, to stop construction in the entire State. I have never heard of such before, didn’t know commissioners have so much power. I’m saying it because some of you don’t even know the limits of your power.

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“These are contractors working for the state government. He (Tamuno) never interfaced with the Ministry of Works. We have paid Julius Berger and you ask them to stop work so that they will come and ask for variation later?”

Wike said the two new road contracts he signed, including the Trans-Kalabari Road phase one and the Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road phase two projects demonstrate the importance his administration places on opening up more rural communities for development.

On commitment to see their completion before exiting office, the Governor said, “Many have said all these things are political statements. We want to let you know that they are not political. We are serious about it. If there is one road that must be completed within time, it is the Trans-Kalabari Road.

“It is very key to us, to link up so many communities within the Kalabari area. So, we have tied our funds to these roads. Every month; you (contractors) don’t need to come to us, or write to us to say you’ve done 50 metres, 100metres or 1km, no.

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“The money is paid to you directly every month by the banks. N1billion each. For the Trans-Kalabari road, which is about N13 billion. We believed that you have no excuse not to finish the road in 14 months. I am going to commission those roads next year.”

On the significance of the projects, he said, “I hear people are criticising us that we are doing roads everywhere. How do you develop a community without roads? The key thing to development is road infrastructure. How do you promote agriculture when you cannot evacuate whatever is produced from the farm.

“How do you talk about human capital development when students cannot have roads to schools. Even to access healthcare service you need a road to go to the health facility. No investor can come to a place when there are no roads. Let me tell those from Kalabari, I will not take any sabotage.

“If anybody tries to sabotage the work, then your people will suffer because I’ll cancel the contract. Even the companies, they shouldn’t cause the crisis to sabotage the work. I will not hesitate to take drastic action.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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