7 October 2017
By Ugonnabo Ngwu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Friday accused the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government of plunging the country into its worst depth of corruption since independence, dismissing the current anti-graft war as a witch-hunt against political opponents.
He stated that the mind-boggling $25bn corruption scam contained in the leaked memo of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had highlighted the high-level sleaze amongst top officials of the APC government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Kachikwu had in the letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari on August 30, but leaked to the press four days ago, accused the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, of illegally awarding contracts to the tune of that amount, and making appointments without adhering to due process.
Speaking during a visit to the Abia State Government House, Umuahia where he commissioned construction equipment and also held a meeting with the Abia governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Wike said the anti-corruption crusade is simply aimed at browbeating the opposition because the APC has metamorphosed into a monumental failure.
According to him, “When they said judges were accused of corruption, they were told to step aside. They have not told anyone to step aside so that they can conclude investigation. When you are in office, investigation will be compromised.
“It is for Nigerians to see. Are we fighting corruption? The corruption they are fighting is against some people who are their opponents. All of us are victims. I have never seen this kind of scandal in my political career. We have never heard of it like this. What about this $26billion (N9trillion) contract scam and nobody is talking. Everywhere is quiet.
“So many promises were made, but none has been fulfilled. Every day, what they have to say is corruption, corruption, and no other statement. Corruption from day one and corruption till the day they will leave office. What have they achieved? No roads, no infrastructure. I could not come to Abia by road. It is not possible,” he said.
The Rivers State governor asserted that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is ready to rescue Nigerians from the failure and under-development foisted on them by APC.
He said: “They are working to see that there is disunity amongst the governors. But we have realised that we must work together because of the country. We will do everything possible to make PDP stronger.
“It is not by propaganda. No amount of blackmail will make the governors to shy away from taking Nigeria to the level Nigerians want it. We are going to work together to ensure that PDP emerges victorious in 2019.”
The Rivers governor commended his Abia counterpart for his commitment to rural infrastructure, pledging that the Rivers State government would partner the Abia State government to reconstruct the Oyigbo to Aba Federal Highway.
In his remarks, Ikpeazu said that the construction equipment commissioned by Wike will be used to revolutionise infrastructure in the state. He further stated that the earth-moving equipment will serve the rural communities of the state.