A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Yekini Nabena, has berated Rivers State Governor, Nysome Wike, for not having a rethink before he ordered the demolition of Bayelsa State properties in Port Harcourt.it
Nabena, who condemned the action in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, expressed strong conviction that Wike’s action was a case of vendetta against the Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, over his failed bid to clinch the Peoples Democratic Party presidential ticket won by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Saturday PUNCH had reported how the two residential quarters for workers of Bayelsa State Government, which were sited on a large expanse of land at No. 5 and 9 Akassa Street in highbrow area of Old GRA, were mowed down five days ago.
But government officials, who carried out the demolition exercise with the aid of caterpillars and bulldozers, had insisted that a vacation notice was given.
The notice partly read, “The said buildings are not only constituting public nuisance, but also defacing the Rivers State Government’s Urban Renewal Infrastructural Development policies as relates to the Golf Course Old GRA Layout.
“Take further notice that at the expiration of this notice, Rivers State Government will take possession of the properties.”
Reacting to the demolition, Bayelsa State Government through the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Andrew Esua, had frowned at the action of Rivers State Government.
Esua reiterated that the demolition of properties should not have been allowed to happen as both Rivers and Bayelsa are sister states and have a long history of cordiality.
Historically, Bayelsa was created out of Rivers State by the late Military Head of State, Sani Abacha on October 1, 1996.
Following heavy criticisms and backlash that trailed his action, Wike had defended his action, saying the demolition is not for political reasons.
The governor, who addressed journalists at the Port Harcourt International Airport after returning from a foreign trip on Thursday, argued that the said demolition was not the first to be carried out by his administration as part of urban renewal plan.
He enumerated Edo State Government as one of the demolished assets that was pulled down after due consultation with the then governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
Wike also listed persons and corporations that have been affected by his urban renewal policy to include Globacom owner, Mike Adenuga, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Nigeria Airways among others.
But Nabena believed Wike’s excuse was a mere smokescreen cooked up to mask his real motive.
The former deputy spokesman of the ruling party counseled the outgoing governor to concentrate on sorting out whatever personal differences he has with Diri, including his failed presidential ambition, instead of bring disrespect to Ijaw Nation.
The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain also warned Wike not to extend what he described as “political drunkenness” beyond Rivers, stressing that state properties should not be used to settle political scores.
He said, “As a Bayelsa son, I felt slighted and offended that Governor Wike is trying to rewrite history by redefining a long time relationship between Rivers state and Bayelsa state.
“The whole world is in the know about the political rivalry between Governors Wike of Rivers and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Diri, in their People’s Democratic Party. Such is not new in politics but fighting a whole state and Ijaw Nation because of their individual political ego is way beyond comprehension.
“In 2019, when the going was good between the two, Wike even spearheaded the Supreme Court case against the APC. At this time Wike did not think of demolishing Bayelsa state properties. But because Governor Diri failed to support his failed presidential ambition during PDP’s primary election, he has suddenly woke up to remember that Bayelsa state properties are defacing an area in Port Harcourt. This is unacceptable.
“I will, therefore, call on Governor Wike to limit his dictatorship and political drunkenness to Rivers state. The Ijaw Nation will not tolerate disrespect, Bayelsa people will not bow to Wike’s god and as a state Wike cannot force his political interest over us, Bayelsa is not Rivers.”