The Misfit Regime
Caveat: Another long piece, avoid it if you're not a patient reader.
Those whom the gods have decided to kill or punish they first make them mad, they make them inarticulate and sometimes, incomprehensible. This is the present situation in my “Obodo Rivers State”. The current 'babalawo' regime in Rivers State is not only a conglomeration of some desperate political misfits only congregating to commit spoils and cause despoliation in the state, this funny regime is headed by a unidirectional 'jaguda' as the captain who cannot see beyond his nose. A government not different from the current globe-trotting central government.
Witch-hunt is the 'only' language they both understand. Whilst the former solely believes in violence and lies to carry out his dastardly act, the later feast on lies and make-believe. They are birds of a feather. According to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, “everything about President Buhari is inconclusive” but, I add by saying; most things about Alhaji Chief Nyesom Wike is always violence, force and ill-conceived.
Behaviourally, the current joker at the 'Rivers Brick House' is a man who appears to me would ordinarily prefer to give an hungry Child serpent and scorpions to eat instead of real food. Because of politics, this 'eze-nmor' (an Igbo word) we have as Mr.Governor can give you vinegar in place of water just to satisfy his political ambition. He is no different from a man who will prefer to lavish his monthly earnings in a “Bia-Bia Bank (local parlance of brothel)” than feeding his hungry family with his wages. How did we even get here in Rivers State? The answer is not far-fetched; this man is a complete misfit to be governor;
In my considered opinion, he lacked the rudimentary ingredients that makes a visionary leader. Perhaps we're still unaware that Governance is not by shouting, ranting, bickering and/or, threatening the citizens with your political thugs etc? Mind you, not all Government House occupiers are fit to be governors, some got there by default. In any case, what do you expect from a Governor who is like the the current President (the globetrotter)' who is without policy direction? Where are we headed in Rivers state?
First of, when I heard the news about the sacking of about 431 plus lecturers and non-academic staff of the State Polytechnic by the governor because they were accused of not voting for him, I helped myself by pretending to understand his administrative malaise. Better put, I made excuses for him. Secondly, when I heard about the calibre of lawmakers we now have in the State Assembly under this same drowning administration, I resolved to always pray for Rivers State instead. And thirdly, when the news of scrapping the RSSDA and withdrawung all the scholarship Students under the scheme flickered into my already vexing ears; again I managed to maintain a facade of bravery in other to keep my emotional state balanced. My people, I no go give myself high BP (said in local pidgin) because of this man's bad governance model.
In other not to make a kilimanjaro out of a molehill, everyone knows this and it is unarguable. That; no sane Rivers man or woman would say the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) is not a well-thought-out plan that is aimed at adding flesh and colour to the state economy, however, there is corruption in the agency. Underhand practices like; the former governor (ably aided by Wike as his chief of staff) using the agency to empower their tribesmen and women as against the general interests of Rivers people. Again, using the agency as one of the reliable conduit pipes to drain the State coffers. Although the RSSDA to my mind is an empowerment agency for the Ikwerres and Ogonis, notwithstanding I am glad that it is helping 'some' Young people (be they Ikwerre or Ogoni). Aside that, the agency (by hook or by crook) would have trained some Rivers Youths by sending them abroad for studies. Whether they are all made up of 98% Ikwerre and Ogoni Youths, bottom line is; they are Rivers people sent abroad with Rivers money.
Some of these Youths have been away from their families for more than three to four years. Whilst some of them have concluded their programs and have even returned home, others are yet to complete their studies. So far, millions of Naira if not billions or more have been spent on the current students/beneficiaries who are yet to get to their final year. So, for a misfit and lavish governor and his greedy gang to wake up one morning and say the agency should be scrapped and the current students under the scheme should all return home (Nigeria), speaks volume of this man's mundane understanding of good governance and global best practices. Gosh! This must be a joke I guess. Indeed it is a pity for Rivers State, we are so unfortunate for the funny specie of humans that keeps ruling us. This is just another facsimile of “babalawo governance” and a forced face of conceit if you ask me. A government that solely depends on what the 'babalawo (the 'one-eye god' ritualist)' say, if not, how could one even contemplate such insanity? Thing is, when a government is without policies and programmes to better the lots of many and; when the government lacks content and direction, these are the kind of putrid decisions you should expect. I am not surprised though, anyways, we have an option to boot him out in the forthcoming rerun, hopefully.
Now let us try to digress a bit and give some specifics. Since this “dibia” forced himself on Rivers people as Governor, he has borrowed close to N120billion if not more apart from the monthly allocation that constantly comes from the federation account. We have not talked about the internally generated revenue (IGR) that comes from only the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Elf, Total, Agip, ExxonMobil, Chevron etc. Other government taxes from; Century, SEPLAT, Forte Oil, Oando, Conoil, Ibeto, Dangote etc among others. What about the numerous marine/maritime companies and other Oil servicing companies, private businesses, profits accruing from government-owned businesses and companies etc? We have not talked about the revenue from the banks and other corporate agencies that operates within the state, yet Wike is offending us by saying there is no money in the State coffers? And that, it is only when the innocent RSSDA scholarship beneficiaries return home to RSUST that the State can be liquid enough for him and his boys to steal and intimidate us with the loots? Or, is Wike trying to save money for the rerun? I smell a rat here. Who is trying to fool who?
Need I say more, it is no news that this administration is putative mother of retrogression and witch-hunt. At least, Rivers people now have the second chance of correcting this monumental administrative lacuna created by greed. This can only be achieved by voting for the right Candidate as we prepare to vote again in the coming weeks. If not, we must learn to deal with this mess for four years, God forbid!!! Even 'ekwensu (satan the devil)' should be frowning at this executive wickedness in Rivers State. Chai, Alhaji Wike, na so?
If the Rivers State government were to be a government that has vision and direction, it would rather close down the shonghai farm than using it as a relaxation spot for the political elites. I make bold to say that the only working department in the RSSDA is the education desk, particularly, the scholarship scheme even if the selection process is lopsided. The agricultural area of the RSSDA is nothing to write home about because it does not benefit the State in any way unlike the education desk that must have at least benefited about 0.5% of other tribes in the state. So, I would have taken this government seriously if they have stopped using the shonghai farm as government guest house and relaxation spot, but a serious production site. Originally, the shonghai farm ought to be a self-funding project, but for its misuse by the government previously and currently.
So, if anyone should jump at the suspension of all scholarship schemes in Rivers State because of the corruption and the sectionalism imbedded in the selection process, I should be number one. But, scrapping the RSSDA and returning the innocent diaspora students to the State University with lies that there is no money in the State is not the solution and this is unacceptable.
Rather, revamping the agency and being exemplary would do the magic. Meanwhile, I am not a beneficiary of anything in Rivers State, I do not have any family-beneficiary either in the RSSDA scholarship scheme, but I am vehemently against frustrating any Rivers man by the current 'not-thinking' government of Rivers State.
We will not allow Wike and his cohorts to frustrate our Children, they should be allowed to conclude their studies abroad. Rivers State is buoyant enough to pay the fees of her students. You can still misappropriate funds and steal even if you pay their fees and allowances etc. If education is important to this government, they should ensure our Children are safe and not returned home without concluding their studies.
I have no doubt and now I believe this is a bipolar regime, we do not know what next to expect.
It's me again,
Maobuye Nangi Obu