IYC chairman scores Wike 45%, urges him to pay pensioners, employ Rivers youths
The chairman of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Kalabari Se-Ikpangi, Comrade Edward Asikitams, has explained that the governor of Rivers State, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike, needs to lift the embargo on employment, pay pensioners and clean the state in the few months remaining before he leaves office and went on to score him 45% on his performance so far.
Speaking to newsmen in Port-Harcourt, recently, he compared the performance of Governor Wike with his predecessors and found him wanting.
He said: ” In terms of health care, compared to others before him, he has not done well. Governors Peter Odili and Rotimi Amaechi gave free health care to the masses in the 23 LGAs till date. Wike has not sustained it; no security in the facilities, no doctors and there is poor maintenance,” he explained adding that “Odili also gave free education which I benefited from. There were free buses and free trains. These are not there now. I have siblings who pay for everything— uniforms, exam fees, etc.”
Asikitams also lamented the poor state of security in the state especially along the Emohua-Kalabari Road which he described as a death trap where vehicles with their occupants are kidnapped weekly. He posited this will affect the voting strength of the people as they are scared of going home to register for their PVCs and may not return home to vote during the election next year due to fear.
He, however, scored Wike high in terms of infrastructure. “Our roads in Port-Harcourt and Obio/Akpor are wearing a facelift but no human capital development, no employment. During the time of Odili, I benefited from the skills acquisition programme where we were given 150,000 naira each for starter packs after the training. Amaechi had town hall meetings where people were empowered up to 5million naira each. Bursary was also regularly paid yearly but Wike has not continued with these,” he explained adding that “the only type of employment now is ethnic based where only Ikwerre people are employed. This was not the case when riverine people like Diette Spiff, Ada George and other Ijaws were leaders. They took everyone along. That was how Odili emerged; we fought against our brother then for him to emerge.”
Asikitams called for this anomaly to be corrected by Wike before he leaves office next year.
“Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, etc have spaces to be filled. Wike should lift the embargo on employment and ensure merit is used in the process of employment,” he advised.
He concluded by thanking God for the emergence of mainly Ijaw candidates in the different political parties including the major ones.
” We should, however, come to a roundtable and determine who will best serve our interest after a careful scrutiny of the blueprints of the lot. We would have preferred the former SSG, Dr. Danagogo, to the person Wike is presenting as a stooge. In all, 2023 is the Rivers-Ijaws, particularly, Kalabari turn to serve the people with diligence.”
He said he was hopeful the incoming leader will tackle the challenges of insecurity, pay bursary to students to encourage them, tackle health care challenges and pay their parents pension and gratuity after serving the state for 35 years, and clean the state “as Port-Harcourt is no longer a Garden City but a Garbage City.
“Wike still has some months to look into these as well as the 2nd Phase of the Trans-Kalabari Road he promised, though. This will aid transportation of goods from the communities.”
He posited youths of Rivers State are better off united especially as the 2023 general elections are approaching.
“This is no time to be divided or take up arms against your brother based on such sentiments as upland/riverine dichotomy or party disparity etc. We should rather unite and decide where we are going in future,” he advised adding that “some of our past leaders were governors, ministers at 32. At 32, you should not attack your brother. We should unite and choose those to lead us in the next 4 to 8 years.”
By Adamu Usman