OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE ON INDUSTRIAL, INFRASTRUCTURAL, SOCIAL & YOUTH SUSTAINABLITY PITFALLS PREVAILING IN RIVERS STATE

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE ON INDUSTRIAL, INFRASTRUCTURAL, SOCIAL & YOUTH SUSTAINABLITY PITFALLS PREVAILING IN RIVERS STATE:

 

FROM OFFICE OF INDIGINE OF RIVERS STATE, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

 

Your Excellency Sir, it’s with unwavering emblem of support and solidarity that am prompted to write you through this medium of communication, not as PDP Governor but as Rivers State Governor. My contention is not to chastise, criticize or castigate your Administration for itemized pitfalls, far from it. My singular intention is to call your attention to compounded developmental anomalies that are quaking and wobbling the wheels of Industrial, social, political and security sustainability in the State, which cumulatively continues to engrave and endanger the collective posterity and socioeconomic welfare of Rivers People, and they’re listed as follows:


1: SYSTEMATIC DEBASEMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION:

It’s with much respect that I wish to remind you that, as at when you served as Executive Chairman of Obio-Akpor LGA, there was some form of financial liberality and less State domination over LG Councils and with much lower monthly allocation, most LGA elected and CTC Chairmen rehabilitated access roads, renovated schools and health centers, carried out rural electrification projects, provided transformers, sank boreholes, constructed concrete bridges, opened up new link roads, maintained fleet of commercial transport buses, never defaulted in payment of salary, pension, bursary and provided means of economic empowerment for the people. However, from year 2009 till date, administration of LG Councils has continued to be punctuated and ridiculed by political peonage, extreme partisanship, imposition of infantile leadership franchise, gross financial enslavement, administrative restrictions and domineering State oversight, which in the long run aided in incapacitating successive Council Chairmen with demobilizing psyche that made it practically impossible for them to assuage and assimilate the difference between LGA Functions as prescribed by the Fourth Schedule of Nigerian Constitution, amplified loyalty to the Governor or obligatory service delivery to the people, even with increased monthly FAAC allocation.


As at today Sir, we have DEPENDENT THIRD TIER OF GOVERNMENT in the State, as such very little is expected, seen or heard from Council Chairmen in terms of project execution, Infrastructural development and essential serve delivery, it’s so bad that with average monthly allocation in excess of N100million Naira each, over 90% of the 23LGAs still find it very difficult to pay normal workers salary, retirees pension and students bursary. Some Council operate under leaking roofs and dilapidated Complexes, totally de-linked and disabled from fulfilling their primary functions and constitutional obligations to the people, thereby fueling dissension, division, corruption, conflict, underdevelopment, insecurity and instability in such LGAs.

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OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE

2: ROAD DILAPIDATION, INFRASTRUCTURAL DECAY & PROJECT ABANDONMENT:

With all emphasis of reliable records at my disposal, I wish to confirm that the State is heavily burdened by Infrastructural decay and project abandonment of ironic order, it’s so bad that about 50% of Communities that constitute the 23LGAs lack access to portable water, rural electrification, functional Primary Health Facilities, equipped Primary and Secondary Schools, Motorable access road Network, Social Amenities, Public Utilities and viable means of economic engagement for their youths. Because of space, let me give you few examples of some deplorable access roads across the State to back up my submission;

•• Chokocho-Okehi- Okpalla road serving as alternative route to Imo State; Owaza-Eberi- Umuechere trunk road, serving as alternative bypass to Abia State; Okehi-Eberi DFRRI road, linking Etche and Omuma LGAs; Umuebulu-Ikwerrengo-Igbo- Umuechem-Ozuzu road; Igbo Etche-Eleme Junction road, all in Etche axis.

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•• Ubeta-Awunugbokor link road; Mbiama-Agbo road; Okaki-Ikodi link road; Ahoada internal road Network, all in Engeni / Ekpeye axis.

 

•• Taaba-Bori-Kaani link road; Kor-Kong-Beeri- Nyowuii acess road; Yeghe-Barako link road in Ogoni axis.

 

•• Abua-Emughan link road; Elok-Emoh- Okbeden access road; Abua-Odua link road in Abua axis, it’s so bad that Odua people must transgress through Bayelsa to locate their home town in Rivers State.


Your Excellency Sir, aside from deplorable Rural road conditions, Rivers State equally tops the list of States with the highest number of abandoned projects in Nigeria, prominent among such abandoned projects littered across the State that has already consumed Billions of Naira from previous Administrations include but not limited to the following;

•• Multi Billion Mono Rail Project.

•• Multi Billion Greater Port Harcourt City Development Project.

•• Multi Billion Rainbow High-rise Estate.

•• Multi Billion dollars Trans Amadi Industrial Area.

•• Multi Billion Iriebe Modern Housing Estate.

•• Multi Billion Ogoni Banana Plantation.

•• Multi Billion Kalabari Ultra Model Fish Farm.

•• Multi Billion 106 Primary Health Centers.

•• Multi Billion Model Primary & Secondary Schools (over 200).

•• Multi Million Egke/Umuba School-To-Land Project & Abara Sports Complex.

•• Okehi & Eberi General Hospitals among other abandoned Secondary Health Facilities across the 23LGAs etc.


• Please Sir, note that the above mentioned projects already overtaken by weeds were initiated for the purpose of bettering the lots of the State, they have already consumed huge public funds and *therefore should not be left in their present state of abandonment for the sake of future generation of unborn Rivers people.

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE

3: SYSTEMATIC INDUSTRIAL DETERIORATION:

• Sir recall that prior to 2003, there was a sort of trending communal gossip that Rivers Youths were not industrious since they enjoy idling away their time, resorted to selling off employment slots to none indigines and would rather prefer “Stay-At-Home” monthly larges from same companies, anyway this is just an addendum with respect to the subjectmatter, not the issue. From 1970s through 80s to 90s down to Year 2000, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout used to be epicenter of Industrial activities in Nigeria, seconded only to Apapa Industrial Area in Lagos, while Onne Seaport and Port Harcourt Wharf Axis were equally replete with beehive of construction, manufacturing, servicing, storage, fabrication, haulage, and production activities, with over 2500 multinational and indiginous companies competing for space and services, thereby providing direct, indirect and interim jobs for close to one million people resident in the state.


But today Sir, Trans Amadi is now a Residential Area with Hotels, Churches, Night Clubs and Private Schools competing for dominance, most regrettably over 70% of multinational and indiginous companies that used to operate in the area before year 2000 have either relocated, collapsed, closed down or in perpetual state of insolvency, the same applies to Onne and reclamation road axis, throwing out thousands of people mostly youths to the streets of Port Harcourt. This is the pivotal factor that compounded, amplified as well as inflated the rate of unemployment, youth restiveness, insecurity, criminality, poverty, political instability and economic decline across the 23LGAs, the situation will persist until it’s revived, this is the issue Sir.


4: CONDENSATION OF STREET CULTISM AMONG THE YOUTH

Cultism in its dire mal-representation remains the most tetanic signage of sociocultural phenomenon that has almost scuttled the prospects of youth engagement, social mobilization, educational advancement and rippled the possibility of peaceful coexistence among young people across the State. In the last 15yrs, reoccurring Fraternity street networking has fostered and festered across all the Communities that make up the 23LGA, and has systematically eroded, corroded, dented as well as demented the mentality, morality, personality and identity of its adherents. At the last count, Rivers State parades over 2million retired, active and prospective cultists who express no reserve in exerting or displaying extreme acts of brutality, criminality, banality, bestiality, irresponsibility and deviancy when occasion demands, this is how bad the case is today Sir. I am aware that prior to advent of the 4th Republic in 1999, CAMPUS CULT cum FRATERNITY was classified secret orientation and practices exclusively reserved for students in Higher Institution, but from year 2000 Campus Cult groups broke the secret-code-of-conduct in their bid to dominate the streets and LGAs for political politcal and economic purposes, from then Cultism and Cult related activities became open-code-of-behaviour, operational badge for illiterates, school dropouts, drug addicts, ex-convicts, hoodlums, aspiring youth leaders, gangsters, okada riders, artisans, Keke operators and also the major system mechanism for unhindered Political Ascendency in Rivers State.

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE

Your Excellency Sir, it’s with greatest concern that I feel obliged to affirm that our state also known as the Treasure Base Of Nigeria may be sitting on youth improvised implosive bomb (YIIB) capable of dismantling all that the State stands for, you want to know why Sir? As at today, Rivers State has the highest number of street Cult groups and also holds the record of state that produced highest number of most brutal cult Leaders in Niger Delta Region, but this is not the issue Sir. My fear is the futuristic consequences of harbouring conglomeration of Teenagers, Adolescents and youths with enthroned mentality of RUGGEDITY and BRUTALITY, the continued impression of NOTHING DEY HAPPEN psyche on children in Primary and Secondary Schools and the violent clashes over who controls what in Streets, Clusters, Villages and Communities, lives much to be described. Cultism has metastasized into virulent epidemic that has eaten up the fabrics and foundation of youth morality, mentality, sensitivity, productivity, sensibility, identity, civility and the most popular preoccupation for young people aged between 12yrs to 40yrs apart from politics and touting. So far so bad, the cumulative cost of violent clashes, reprisal attacks and destruction associated with street Cultism can not be equated, hence need not to be recalled further.


5. NONE INVESTMENT IN THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY

Rivers State plays very active role in Marine, Oil and Gas subsectors, and pays host to strategic National and Multinational Facilities that includes but not limited to NLNG, Eleme Petrochemical, PH Refinery, Intels Complex, OGFZA, Onne FOT/FLT, NPA Wharf, and Afam Power Station etc. However, the state does not operate, partner or own one single oil or gas based investment, not even Jetty, Storage Tanks, Maintenance Yard, Fabrication Complex, Dockyard, or Filling Station from 1999 till date, as such apart from State and LG Civil Service, we have no other sustainable economic engagement and job creation avenues available for able-bodied youths, unless TASKFORCE. My main point of concern is that whereas the State Government is not shoring up enough external reserves or expanding State Investment Profile or reactivating State owned Companies like Delta Rubber, Isaka Sports Institute, Delta Hotels, Olympia Hotel, Cattering Rest Houses, Rivers Marine Transport, PH Tourist Beach and RIVOC etc, yet the state remains perennially indebted to FG and Banks, even with N12Billion average monthly allocation.

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR NYESOM EZENWO WIKE

SUMMATION / APPEAL

Your Excellency Sir, without doubt you’re doing your best in line with your vision and deserves some form of commendation, but note that what gave Port Harcourt its Name and Fame is not the number of FLYOVERS or grip over political party, but the rate of economic stability, Nightlife, public safety, employment opportunities, social amenities, public utilities and Industrial activities. Governors come and go but the Institution they built, Infrastructures they established, Jobs they created, People they lifted out of poverty, State owned Investment Profile they reactivated, Empowerment opportunities they provided and the Developmental records they set, is what projects and preserves the names of such Governors’ in the book of History for people to recall and appreciate.


• As a bonafide indigine of the State, I can confirm to you Sir that there’s hunger, anger, anguish, economic uneasiness, project abandonment and rural Infrastructural decay in the land, it’s not yours to be blamed for but yours to address and revalidate. On my side I have developed strategic template to address all the major concerns raised herein, and will be obliged to discuss further on it if given the opportunity to do so at your description.

 

 

Thank you and God bless.

 

 

Comr (Engr) Japhet Ogbueri, aka Zik of Nigeria. From Umueze Village in Umuogba Community of Omuma LGA in Etche Ethnic Nationality.

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