Senator Andrew Uchendu, representing Rivers East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has advised Governor Nyesom Wike to stop wasting Rivers money on unnecessary foreign trips.
It will be recalled that Governor Wike of Rivers State, recently travelled to Spain with a large entourage of political loyalists, just to watch the La-Liga match between Gatafe CF and Real Madrid (his favourite football club).
In a statement released to the press in Port Harcourt, Senator Uchendu cautioned Governor Wike against squandering the scarce resources of Rivers State on expensive football tours abroad, especially in this time of harsh socio-economic realities and the rising tide of insecurity in the state.
He said: “Ordinarily, I would not have bothered to react to Governor Nyesom Wike’s incessant foreign leisure trips, but for the ‘Real Madrid Soccer Academy’ excuse that he put out in the public domain to justify his unending shuttles around the world, I am compelled to make this statement.
“First, it was after travelling severally with a host of political associates to watch football matches in Spain, that Wike came up with the story of setting up a football academy in Rivers State, just to douse the mountains of public criticisms that ensued. Wike is simply insulting the intelligence of Rivers people with these shenanigans.
“Let it be made abundantly clear to Wike that a football academy is not the priority on the scale of preference of Rivers people at this material time, that should warrant the wastage of humongous public funds on luxurious travels. Rivers people are in dire need of good education, quality health-care, security, employment et al, and not tales of an unplanned and unsustainable project, amateurishly tailored to cover up Wike’s vain proclivities.
“It smacks of gross insensitivity for Wike to expend huge public funds on irrelevant things, like watching football matches with a retinue of politicians abroad, while thousands of students from Rivers State studying in various universities around the world under the platform of the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency, RSSDA, are languishing in frustration due to the blunt refusal of the Wike-led state government, to update their tuition and sundry fees.
“Is Wike not aware that about five of such students have been imprisoned in the United Kingdom, owing to lack of funds to offset their debts, and that one of them has already gone mad from depression? The millions upon millions of Naira that Wike keeps using to ferry his political allies abroad just to watch football matches, would have gone a long way in putting an end to the suffering of these children in foreign lands.
“In the same vein, before embarking on any foreign leisure trip, Governor Wike ought have ensured that the two years salary arrears owed staff of Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency, RSSDA, pensioners, and even local government workers in the state were fully settled. You cannot be watching football matches abroad while your workers and retirees are starving to death back home. Where is your conscience?
“I am using this medium to advise Governor Nyesom Wike, to stop wasting Rivers money on unnecessary foreign trips that will add no tangible socio-economic value to the state. The Governor should rather get his acts together and focus on real governance. It is sad that after two years in office, Wike has been unable to come up with any developmental blueprint for the state,” he said.
The Rivers East Senator also called on Governor Wike to utilise scarce resources in tackling crime and criminality in the state, instead of junketing the globe like a fun-seeking teenager.
“Unless the Governor is telling us that his Commissioner for Sports is incompetent, otherwise, he should not have abandoned a state that is riddled with so much insecurity for a foreign leisure trip, on the hollow excuse that he is going to finalise negotiations for a football academy.
“Only recently, fifteen persons were massacred at Mgbuoshimini Community, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State and the unanswered question remians thus: Have the killers been identified, apprehended and prosecuted? Has the Governor reached out to the families of the deceased? What effort is the Governor making to ensure that the endless killings in Rivers State are halted?
“I hereby call upon Governor Wike, as the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State, to shun voyaging around the world in search of youthful frivolities, and stay focused on his foremost constitutional responsibility — the protection of lives and properties,” he stressed.
Media Aide to Senator Andrew Uchendu
Rivers East Senatorial District
October 17, 2017