·Tells Buhari policy is anti-people
·Supports claim that cabal in Aso Rock is backing Atiku
By Ignatius Chukwu
Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has warned President to beware of those that advised him into the naira redesign. Buhari as military head of state carried out currency change as part of his war against indiscipline (corruption), and has done something similar.
Wike has thus advised Buhari to reconsider the manner with which the currency redesign policy has been implemented so far because, according to the governor, it is anti-people.
Gov Wike, who is rumoured to have endorsed Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Proressives Congress (APC), maintained that those who recommended this apparently anti-people monetary policy do not love the President and are bent of tarnishing his legacy.
He stated this at the Comprehensive Secondary School field, Ibaka Town, Okrika Island during the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Flag-off Rally for Okrika Local Government Area on Friday.
The governor urged President Buhari to take a critical look at the socioeconomic chaos and hardship that the exercise has caused, and revisit the policy in order to curb the pains of Nigerians.
“This policy is anti-people. The new Naira note is not there. Even though I have money in my account, I cannot get N10,000. I cannot go and buy fuel. Who is losing? Is it not the masses? Is it not the people?”
He suggested that the President should stop listening to those who advise him on this monetary policy under the guise that it will curb vote buying. He said those advisors do not mean well for Nigerians and cannot feel their sufferings.
Gov Wike also dismissed the claim that the policy is being implemented to fight politicians and corruption, and wondered if such goals can be achieved within, barely, the three months left within the lifespan of the President Buhari’s administration.
“You’re merely fighting against the poor people. Mr President, I know the pressure, but please since two of us are going the same time, this policy, it has nothing to fight corruption at all. It has nothing to fight politicians.”
“This policy is aimed to suffer the people who elected us to govern over them. Our business is not to make the people to suffer. We all know how to fight corruption. We all know how to fight politicians. This particular one, it does not come in at all.”
Gov Wike expressed dismay that people are now prevented from accessing money lodged in their bank accounts and small scale commercial activities grounded for lack of cash. According to him, there is reduced cash flow in circulation and even the redesigned Naira notes are hardly available to the citizenry.
“I know Mr President has good intention, but there are these people who believe they know more than everybody, they go and put the country in total chaos and that is what we are suffering now.”
He stressed the futility of presenting credit cards to pay for food items bought from an elderly woman who depends on daily sales to raise money in the rural areas with prevailing illiteracy.
According to the governor, there is nowhere in the world where such currency change has been done conclusively within six months.
“I have never seen anywhere in this world where you change money within six months and say no more use of old money. It doesn’t work. It takes time and you have to prepare. Look at our economy, look at the rural areas, the level of illiteracy in the country.”
Gov Wike therefore, urged the president to endeavour to avert aggravating the security challenge across the country and pushing Nigerians deeper into economic hardship.
“Can you imagine the problem you’re causing for us? As we are here, the level of insecurity will increase. We can’t get security agencies money any longer for them to use and pay those who are in the field. Even the CIA they carry cash for operation. Even NIA, they carry cash for operation. But here, we can’t even give our security One Million Naira.”
Says Aso Rock cabal working for Atiku
Speaking further, Gov Wike said recent events has vindicated him over his initial public statement that the PDP presidential candidate and his supporters boasted that they do not need the G-5 governors to win election because they had been assured of victory by a cabal in the presidency.
“I said they have been given assurance, but this election is not going to be based on that cabal assurance. It is on the people’s assurance.”
Gov Wike has however, insisted that there they will still need Rivers State to win or they will lose the election. According to him, “whether you like it or not, you must need Rivers State. If you don’t need Rivers State you must fail. If you say you don’t want us, you’ll fail. There is no two ways about it.”
Soliciting votes for Siminialayi Fubara, his running mate Prof Ngozi Odu and other PDP candidates, governor Wike urged the people to vote overwhelmingly for the PDP.
He informed that the contract for the Okrika sand-filling project has been rewarded because the former contractor who is their son has failed to finish the project.
Gov Wike also announced the upgrading to first class traditional stool status, confirmation and recognition of King Nelson Atubo Oputibeya as the Amanyanabo of Koniju.
Rivers State governorship candidate of the PDP, Siminialayi Fubara, said his administration, when elected as governor, will work to sustain the existing peace in Okrika, complete any on going project it may inherit, and provide more development projects to them.
Rivers State Chairman of the PDP, Desmond Akawor, who presented party’s flags to the various candidates in the area contesting the forthcoming election, urged Okrika people to vote massively for the party’s candidates.
Speaking on behalf of other candidates, Allwell Onyesoh, the Rivers East Senatorial candidate, thanked the leadership and members of the party for the privilege given to them to fly the party flag. He pledged that they would provide quality representation when elected.
Earlier, Gov Wike inaugurated a 100-Bed Mother and Child Hospital in Okrika, which was built under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the office of the presidency.
The project was nominated and attracted to the area by Hon. Bright Gogo, the House of Representatives member for Okrika and Ogu/Bolo federal constituency.
While commending Princess Adejoke Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistants on SDGs to president Muhammadu Buhari, for ensuring the building and equipping of the hospital, Governor Wike noted that Hon. Gogo has distinguished himself for attracting and realising the project in his constituency unlike other federal lawmakers from the state who spend their time without any of such project so attracted.