Amaka Agbu, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has described as an aberration and a joke taken too far, the comparism of Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the President of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) with the governor of the state, Barrister Nyesom Wike, by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Reacting to a recent press statements entitled, ‘Rivers PDP Dares Dakuku over Wike’, APC in a statement signed by its state Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, in Port Harcourt on Tuesday reasoned that “the only crime that Dr. Dakuku Peterside committed to warrant this unguided and uncouth reaction from the PDP was his caution against the plot by Governor Wike and his government to disrupt the flag-off of the Bonny-Bodo Road by the Federal Government .”
The APC asked: “What is the crime that a concerned son of Rivers showed concern over a plot to under-develop Rivers State?
“Not minding the misgiving on the side of PDP in this regard, we commend and congratulate Dakuku for this proactive caution which if not, Wike wouldn’t have ran away and avoided the flag-off to show his disdain and discontentment over the APC-led Federal Government drive to develop Rivers State.”
The party reasoned that for Wike to have distanced himself from that great event aimed at addressing one of the lingering challenges facing the State “exposed him as an unserious leader.”
“…Dakuku Peterside, the PDP believes is only trying to dust his rickety and outdated political profile by making bogus statements and insulting his naturally superior Executive Governor of the State, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike, thinking that will impress his political benefactors to reconsider him for another shot at the Office of the Governor of Rivers State…”.
The party further questioned the rationale behind comparing Wike who it alleged abandoned medical students of the state who were in their final year of study stranded in foreign lands and preferred to travel to Spain to pursue the setting up of Real Madrid Football Academy “as a means to loot and launder our hard earned funds outside the country” with Dr. Peterside who instituted private scholarship scheme to ensure the education of our students within and outside Nigeria.
The party queried: “How does one compare Wike with a patriotic son of Rivers State in the stature of Dr. Dakuku Peterside whom we all know has a well-documented blueprint which he tagged ‘Road To Prosperity’ that would have made Rivers State one of the most developed states in Nigeria by now.”
The APC alleged: “While Wike has ran the economy of Rivers State aground without any budgetary law in running the affairs of the State on the other hand, today, NIMASA under Dr. Dakuku, is a model of reference on the continent of Africa, an agency that understands that it is set up to serve the Nigerian people, ensured the full implementation and enforcement of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) code in the nation’s ports, and shut three jetties and port facilities for non-compliance with the provisions of the ISPS Code.
“Today, while Wike wastes Rivers State funds on issues of no interest to the people of Rivers State thereby owing our civil servants months of salaries and our Pensioners arrears in their entitlements but on the other hand, Dr. Dakuku Peterside within less than two years in office has for the first time made NIMASA to remits N21.805bn to Federal Government Coffers.
The party notes with proud that NIMASA under Peterside’s watch had commenced the full implementation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003, also known as the Cabotage Act, and forged strategic partnerships with the Nigerian Air Force as well as other naval assets to patrol and monitor the country’s waterways with a view to enhancing maritime security by decisively tackling piracy and criminality on the high seas.