Barely four years after the Federal Government initiated clean-up of oil-polluted sites of Ogoniland in Rivers, the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has raised concerns over continued delay in completion of the project, describing the promises made by the apex government on the exercise as deceptive.
Wike further urged the indigenes nursing the dream that All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government would complete the project to shelve it and rather focus on voting for another government that could complete the exercise recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
He noted that Ogon, having played a pivotal role in the economic development of Rivers State and the country, deserves more than what it was currently being offered by the federal government.
The governor stated this during the commissioning of the 16.06 kilometers dual carriage Sakpenwa-Bori Highway by his Enugu counterpart, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi, in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State on Tuesday.
While arguing that President Muhammadu Buhari used Ogoni clean-up exercise to lure voters during elections, he queried the continued delay in the project even after the government claimed to have released over $30 million with its partner for the project.
According to him, I am not like Federal Government. They promised you they will do Ogoni clean-up. Has it been cleaned? I promised you road, have I done it? So you can see the difference between our party and their own party. The difference is clear.
“When election comes in 2023, they will start another clean-up. You people don’t even ask question. Why is it a year to election that Ogoni clean up will always commence? Now that there is no election are they doing clean-up now? Watch from next year they will start clean up.”
Wike said it has remained undisputed that only the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are delivering development projects to their people.
The governor challenged those who feel uncomfortable with his public declarations to also showcase their projects and invite persons of repute to commission them as he has done since December.
He stated that because of the existing mutual trust between his leadership team and the people, sufficient progress have been achieved in Ogoni land and in the entire state in terms of project delivery.
“PDP Governors, we are challenging others, tell us what you’re doing. It is not to take money to go and buy one governor. That’s not it. We are talking about governors that are interested in the development of their people. We are commissioning projects.”
Wike said he promised and within the specified period, he had delivered to then what he promised to demonstrate that his party is different from the other that is associated with failed promises.