OPERATION SAVE RIVERS STATE: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council notes with absolute shock and regret yet another decision by the insensitive and rudderless Administration of Governor Nyesom Wike to seal the EUI Events Centre, off Abacha Road in GRA, Port Harcourt.
Conveying the poisoned chalice through the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, the Government gave incoherent reasons for decreeing the event centre sealed. However, Rivers people are aware that the EUI Events Centre was shutdown because it inadvertently incurred the wrath of Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday with his convoy held-up for about 10 minutes as a result of heavy vehicular traffic from guests attending the service of songs in honour of Late Mrs. Tamunomiete Tombomieye, the mother of an illustrious son of the State and Executive Vice President (Upstream) of NNPC Limited, Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye.
We are also aware that a huge pool of those guests are politicians who speak a language different from that spoken by Wike on the road to the 2023 general elections.
Coming on the heels of the sealing of Spar Mall only two weeks ago via an Order of a Magistrate’s Court, suffice to say that this action by a government that killed the State’s huge investments in agribusinesses at the Songhai Farms in Tai LGA, the Fish Farms at Buguma and Ogbakiri in Asari Toru and Emohua LGAs respectively, is one economic sacrilege too many. We cannot be driving away investments that should create jobs for the teeming population of unemployed Rivers youths and residents of the State and pretend that we are offering leadership. A State Government that has failed in nearly eight years to employ Rivers people or create opportunities for gainful employment outside converting the potentials of our young people to Taskforces and casual workers at construction sites should never be seen swooping down on the few that provide jobs, thereby taking crime off our Streets.
As a Campaign Council, we decry this further manifestation of Wike’s full-blown dictatorship. We condemn in no uncertain terms the naked abuse of power by a desperate regime that is quick to serve her personal interests alone. A Governor is bound by the Constitution to cater for the welfare of the mass of our people and shutting down the EUI Events Centre under any guise is by no means a welfare package. This siege on businesses sends more dangerous signals on the safety and security of investments and remains a PR disaster for our State as we approach the Yuletide season.
Recalling that Wike himself had gone to this Centre to receive the State’s international music icon, Burna Boy, after he won the Grammy Award, the “offence” of hosting the service of songs in the EUI Events Centre could have been “punished” otherwise. For instance, if this Government had shed its vindictive toga from start it would not have disbanded the TIMARIV that employed thousands of Rivers youths in traffic management, including those who could have been deployed around the EUI Events Centre yesterday. Unfortunately, we lost that Agency to crude politics fuelled by a regrettable short-sightedness.
This closure is another Red Flag in a long line of actions suffocating businesses that Rivers State can least afford. Thankfully, an opportunity to correct the 2015 tragic flaw approaches with next year’s general elections. We therefore charge Rivers youths to take their destinies in their hands. Our vibrant youths must put their money where their mouths are by running a referendum on the State’s employment index in the era before May 2015 and thereafter. Wike’s repressive government has emasculated private businesses enough and must not be allowed to continue via any proxy. We have suffered enough from one man’s poor decision-making. Indeed, enough is enough.
Come March 11, 2023, we must end Wike’s brutal tactics by voting en masse for the All Progressives Congress gubernatorial candidate, Tonye Cole. With the globally tested, proven and certified business mogul as Governor, it is guaranteed that not only would existing businesses be given incentives to flourish, many more local and foreign investments will troop into the State to provide Rivers youths with the opportunities they have missed in the last horrendous seven years.
Sogbeye C. Eli
Spokesman, Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council
December 8, 2022.