You’re Living In The Past, ACN Tells Iyofor
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State has urged the chief press secretary to the Rivers State government, Mr David Iyofor to wake up to realities of modern times and stop living in the past.
Reacting to comments created to the CPS on Governor Rotimi Amaechi's 100 days in office, the State ACN in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam described Iyofor's criticism against opposition assessment as misdirected impropriety.
The party noted that perception makes a world of difference in what people read and see. It wondered what could have led the conceited CPS to perceive an objective assessment aimed at critically highlighting Governor Amaechi's successes as well as failures (in one piece) within the first 100 days of his return to Government House as a “comedy of contradictions” when he could not cite a single disagreement in facts or opinions in the said assessment.
The ACN stressed that Iyofor may have confused himself with what the assessment had on Governor Amaechi up to the electioneering period for his return as against the first 100 days after his return, and advised the CPS to bury his unwarranted conceit and read the statement again with diligence for proper understanding or call for explanations to help him do his job better.
While overlooking the flaws of the statements from the CPS, largely because he is human and journalism has since its inception to date recognized “the printer's devil”, the ACN berated Iyofor for not realizing, even in his exalted position that gone are the days when Nigerians expected electricity from only the federal government.
The party in the statement, thus sounded it loud and bold for Iyofor's hearing that every child in Rivers State today knows and expects that the state government can and should give electricity, wondering what he (Iyofor) understands by the investment of billions of Rivers money into gas turbines and other IPP programmes since the time of Dr Peter Odili to date without a single unit of power being enjoyed from the programmes.
Further to this, the ACN recalled for Iyofor's benefit Governor Amaechi's recent threat to distribute power from the state's IPP in defiance of the existing federal legislative difficulties, drawing the CPS' attention to an earlier statement issued on the subject where it advised the governor to first seek and work for a conducive legislative atmosphere before threatening to give the state light against existing laws.
The CPS, in his comments had stated, “ACN claim that Amaechi administration has failed woefully in the provision of electricity, but even a child in Nigeria knows that providing electricity is a function of the federal government. And people in the country knows (rather know) that Rivers Independent Power Plants are generating power that cannot even be evacuated or distributed by the federal government own (guess, owned) PHCN. And Governor Amaechi has it it(?!) time and again that Rivers State should be allowed to distribute the power it generates from its state owned power plants. And by the time we finish the power plants in Afam, we will have more than enough power to serve the state and even give to neighbouring states, but the problem will remain distribution which is still under the federal government unless it is concessioned to the state to distribute. ”
Given the foregoing comment, the ACN wondered why Iyofor could not understand that the expectation that electricity could come to Nigerians from the federal government alone ceased with the inception of the Independent Power Projects (IPP) which most states like Rivers embarked upon about a decade ago, noting that if after these many years and the huge resources sunk into IPP, Rivers people still don't have electricity, Governor Amaechi can receive blames.
The ACN also wondered why Iyofor and the governor would be working on the Afam power plants when the provision of electricity is not their function.
The party further regretted that the likes of Iyofor are key appointees of the Rivers State government, who would see and describe as “noise” the well-intended and objective but fearless criticism of the opposition minds in the state rather than learn from it and perform better, even while they seek flaws in the works of their superiors.
While describing the entire comment as hollow, deceitful, adventurous and amazingly mischievous, the ACN reminded Iyofor that he cannot know Rivers State better than a party whose membership includes most of the state's elders and elder statesmen as well as key political players to warrant his claim that their criticism is noise making for recognition as opposition.
On the several visits of Governor Amaechi to the capital market and other financial institutions, the ACN regretted that people like Iyofor are encouraging the governor to count his eggs before they are hatched, and run the state on borrowed funds.
The party wondered why a government with annual budgets of nearly half a trillion naira for each of the four years past could not operate these successfully to develop its people but now borrows money in expectation of future budgets it might not also successfully guarantee.
ACN questioned if this glaring lack of frugality in the handling of public treasury is what Iyofor referred to as “understanding of financial matters”, adding that, if borrowing from the capital market were a recommended mode of development instead of judiciously managing one's earnings, the federal government could raise as many trillions of naira as would be needed to provide all unavailable services across the states of the federation, pending when it earns the cash to repay the loan.
ACN in the state, therefore reiterated that the Rivers government only cannot wait for its earnings to come in before embarking on its contract award and spending sprees, and cautioned Iyofor and his likes to seek better ways of serving out their praise-singing but largely undeserved appointments in the administration of Governor Amaechi and leave Rivers problems to its elders and founding leaders to solve.
Jerry Needam, JP
Action Congress of Nigeria
Tuesday, September 13, 2011