13% Derivation Arrears: Wike declares war against unnamed Niger Delta Governor
“Now you have touched me, anything you see you take”
Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike, has drawn a battle line with an unnamed Niger Delta Governor following his remarks on the 13 percent derivation arrears, which Wike recently revealed was paid to some Governors in the region.
Though the Governor did not mention the name, his Bayelsa counterpart, Senator Douye Diri, recently said the cost of construction in difficult terrain like Bayelsa was three or more times than elsewhere.
The Bayelsa Governor further added the cost of constructing a road project in the state was more than three or four flyovers in some other states even in the Niger Delta.
Wike said that one of his colleagues, while trying to justify how he utilised his State’s share of the money remarked that the cost of constructing a three-kilometre road in his state was enough to deliver 15 flyovers.
Speaking on Wednesday when he inaugurated a Renal Centre and House Officers Quarters built and equipped by his administration at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) said he would soon reply the Governor.
According to him: “One of the Governors who I will soon reply because I have the capacity to reply any of them. Simply because I said people should thank President Muhammadu Buhari for releasing 13 per cent arrears to some Niger Delta governors.
“I didn’t abuse any of them. I said thank him because if he did not release these arrears to me and some of our States, it would have been difficult for me to talk about building a renal centre, Cardiovascular Centre, basic and clinical sciences, house officers quarters and many of them.
“I don’t think saying ‘thank you’ is an offense. On television, I heard one of the Governors say in his state to do three-kilometre road will do more than 15 flyovers. Rivers is it not a Niger Delta State? Don’t we have riverine areas in Rivers?
“The Amayanabo of Opobo said since he was born he had never driven on the road to Opobo. The day he drove to Opobo he said ‘God is it possible that in my own time I am not going through the river again, I can now drive to Opobo?
“That is a major riverine area. By the grace of God this December, we are going to inaugurate the first phase of the Trans-Kalabari road. It is a major riverine area. I don’t know why some people are sick about my flyovers. Don’t be sick again, I won’t do it again.
“Instead of you appreciating and asking someone how are you doing this? I have turned the state capital around using a major construction company. If you know you have the capacity go and hire that company and see whether you can pay salaries.
“People know the contractors I use in this State. Some of them nobody knows their contractors. Who are they? Now you have touched me, anything you see you take.”