PORT HARCOURT—AS bickering continues over the planned visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe has implored Governor Nyesom Wike and all dissenting voices to be grateful to the President, instead of casting aspersions over the anticipated visit.
Abe, a Senator representing Rivers South East, expressed the sentiment, yesterday, even as Governor Wike maintained that the key reason of security informing the said visit was misplaced.
Abe said: “Rivers State has been in the news for the wrong reasons of recent. The governor should have been the happiest person to hear that the President is coming to see those people who lost loved ones and empathize with them.
“It would be an opportunity for the governor to find a way to work with the President to ensure that we have better security but because of the undertone of violence in Rivers State, I think that is why he finds the visit uncomfortable at this time”
No security challenges to attract his visit—Wike
Meanwhile, Governor Wike, in his disposition to the said presidential visit maintained that the move is misplaced although with a ray of hope that it could afford the President the opportunity to make a turnaround on perceived Federal Government and APC neglect of Rivers.
Wike said: “They say the President is coming to our state. I have not been told the President is coming and why he is coming. He has the right to go to any state. Maybe the President is coming to improve the fortunes of the APC that is dead in Rivers State.
“Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who raised a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers State. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up.
“Let nobody bother himself or herself that the President is coming for security reasons. We don’t have security challenges in the state. We have never had herdsmen killings or crisis in the state, except when some criminals tried to disrupt the peace and they were checked. We resolved that challenge.”
He said there was no state in the nation where kidnappers and armed robbers were not operating, adding that if President Buhari was visiting because of kidnappers and armed robbers, he should visit all the 36 states.
State of Rivers devt
Both political figures also differed on the state of development of the state with each crediting his respective party to have delivered more dividends of democracy to the people.
Wike claimed that for close to three years, Rivers State had not benefitted from the APC-led federal government.
He lamented that the Ogoni clean-up had remained in the realm of rhetoric, Bodo-Bonny Road about to be abandoned and East-West Road, the Port Harcourt International Airport and other federal projects left unattended to.
Abe on his part said: “The APC government has done more for Rivers State than the PDP government. The Bodo-Bonny road is on-going. Work has started and the East-West road is also on-going. The president is committed to the Ogoni clean-up and he is working. This is the take-off point.” The trust fund account is being opened and you have to finish all this process before you can accelerate.”