It’s therefore childish for Dakuku Peterside to say the contractor owed them and should have been made to continue the job
By Emma Okah
The Rivers State Government insists that the version of explanation it put out there in the public domain is the correct one, not minding what drowning persons are flying about. They are now saying that the contractor was rather owing the Rivers State Government by the time the last administration left office, meaning that the job was not abandoned. They have also argued that the contractor should have been made to complete the job and be paid a mere N6bn balance instead of canceling it and re-awarding it at N14Bn.
Our answer is that itt is always easy to concoct lies and feed the public. If the contractor owed you, which action did you take to show that you felt aggrieved? It is not enough to say a contractor owes me. If a contractor owes me, and I demand for it and he does not give me, I go to court. Or, as I hand over power to my successor, I say, this man owes us oh. This is the case file. Pursue the matter from where we stopped. They should show us what action they took. If a contractor owes you and you are satisfied he defaulted, then go to court. It is a simple case of breach.
I can tell you that no such thing exists. All you see is a drowning man trying to hook on to something just because Nigerians are never interested in verifying to know who is lying.
In the case of Trans-Amadi, you granted a job, you won’t pay the contractor, you just award a contract and you leave office. Immediately another governor comes to fund the project from beginning to end, when they commission the project, you say, oh, you started the job. What kind of people are these? If you had money to finish the job, why didn’t you commission it? I listened to Dr Dakuku Peterside saying he was driving to his town on the Unity Road as far back as 2015 and I said, you could only have been flying because there were no rams to drive down. Credit goes to the man who is finishing the job; because it takes political will to fund a project another person started in the face of competing interests. The man (Wike) says, no, am going to do this for the people.
Do not forget there were campaigns and promises were made. Campaigns would soon start again. So, what are you going to tell the people out there? They will confront you when you come back and you have to show them that you have kept your part of the bargain, as it were. They (Dakuku Peterside and APC) have nothing to say about Unity Road. The Government’s version of the story is the truth and nothing but the truth.
There would have been nothing wrong to fund the contractor ahead. Sir Celestine Omehia did that, he funded projects 100 per cent and put it in the bank and said, take your money as you go. When a government could not pay salaries, was selling assets and using the money for politics, is it to build road that was there since the creation of the state? As far as they were concerned, the road was not a compelling issue to them. Salaries that were more compelling were not paid with workers you saw daily crying, is it road that you will not abandon? That is where we are.
We insist on our position that the APC Governorship Candidate in the 2015 election Dr Dakuku Peterside should rather apologize to the people of Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Areas for deliberately abandoning the Unity Road when he was the State Commissioner for Works. We insist that people of the area know the truth and that it was the major reason why the people of Opobo/Nkoro LGA rejected their son Dakuku Peterside and voted massively for Governor Nyesom Wike from Obio/Akpor in 2015.
We do not take any person who says he was driving on that road serious; anybody who claimed to have driven to Kalaibiama during the 2015 electioneering campaigns.
The truth remains that the Nyesom Wike administration came on board and discontinued the cancellation of the contract but went ahead to revalidate it and has funded the contractor to the tune of 50% of the revalidated contract price”. It is the reason why work progressed to the point of vehicles driving into Opobo/Nkoro LGA and will get to Opobo Town in due course.
Governor Wike has been sincere in executing the Unity Road project and has matched words with action. Dakuku Peterside should find another tale to tell his people because the administration he served as Commissioner for Works was receiving an average of N21Bn every month from federal allocation but only N14Bn was committed to the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo (Road) for the 8 years of that government.
On the contrary, the Governor Nyesom Wike administration has since committed the sum of N7Bn in less than three years towards the completion of project and the results are positive. So between that administration and the present one, who loves the people of Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Areas more?
The Unity Road is on course and will be historically delivered as promised by Nigeria’s ‘Mr Project’: who else?