By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has told President Muhammadu Buhari that it is unconstitutional for him to shift the power of securing the life and property of Nigerians to the state governors.
Wike insisted that as the Commander-in-Chief, the President could not declare that governors were in charge of security in their respective states.
The governor spoke on Tuesday during the inauguration of the 21km Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road in Etche Local Government Area of the State.
He said such position of the President suggested that the APC-led federal government had lost grip of the strategy to tackle the troubling security issues and make the country safe.
Wike said: “Mr. President, you’re the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You appoint Inspector-General of Police (IG), you appoint the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Director of Department of State Service (DSS) and other heads of security. Which one do we appoint? How can people appointed by Mr. President be under me?
“It is not only to borrow money for Nigeria that you’re in charge. You must also be in charge in other things including security. Who signed order 10? Is it the governors? It is not when things are going bad concerning security and you say you’re not in charge, and it becomes governors’ responsibility.”
Wike admonished the APC federal government to own up that it could no longer fulfill promises it made to Nigerians lead the country out of its present predicament.
“When there is a failure, what makes leadership respectable is that such leader is able to accept its weakness publicly,” he said.
The governor pointed out that it was time Nigerians began to compare the performances of PDP and APC governors in office.
He said the President was short of calling names of those governors in the habit of running to Aso Rock instead of staying in their states to actualize the needs of their states.
He said: “Mr. President should have come out openly and said, my APC governors, stop worrying me. Go back to your states and do your work. On that, I support him.
“Thank God, Mr. President knows that I am not one of those that go to visit him over one problem or the other. I, as the governor of Rivers under PDP, you’ll never find me there.”
A former Senate President, Senator David Mark, who inaugurated the 21km Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road said Wike has put smiles on the faces of the locals who were directly impacted by the project.
He noted that even those in opposition in the state had become weak to criticise Wike, whom he said had not only performed but had remained a strong pillar of the PDP.
He said: “I told him I’ll be here because he loves his people. Politics and democracy is not about enriching one or two persons within a community.
“The Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road is a project that will outlive everybody in this place. The legacy you’re leaving behind, Rivers people will not forget you. They will defend you, they’ll protect you and they will stand by you always.
“That is why you can walk tall. That is why you can jump into your car and go anywhere because you’ve shown them, love. You’ve brought democracy to the people. PDP as a party is happy to have you. You’re one of the pillars of our great party. ”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road connects part of Etcheland to Omerelu, Apani and Omademe communities in neighbouring Ikwerre Local Government Area, and onwards to Imo State.
He said: “This is the very first time a road is being constructed here along this axis. Prior to this time, this was merely an earth Road with gullies all over; it was something best suited for only the toughest 4 by 4 off-road vehicles.
“Today through the instrumentality of the Governor of Rivers State, we now have a 10.3m wide 21km long road. 7.3m of this is the carriageway, which is flanked on either side by a 1.5m wide shoulder.
“9.3km of drainage is constructed for water discharge and 32 road signs installed to aid drivers, commuters and enhance safety in the area. With this road will come all the socio-economic benefits associated with good transportation access.”