The Rivers State Government has called on 2015 gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, to apologise to the people of Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Areas over an allegation that Dakuku deliberately abandoned the roads in the local government when he was the State Commissioner for Works.
According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State, Emma Okah, that was obtained yesterday, the neglect of the road was the major reason why the people of Opobo/Nkoro LGA rejected Peterside, who hails from the area and voted for Governor Nyesom Wike in 2015.
Okah who was reacting to a statement credited to Peterside, said it was â€œa political tragedy that Dakuku Peterside has not learnt any lesson from his failure in the 2015 governorship election in his ward and Opobo/Nkoro Local Government,â€ saying the same fate awaits him in the future if he does not apologise to his kinsmen.
â€œI donâ€™t take my friend Dakuku Peterside serious on many political issues because his arguments and claims are usually self destructive. He talks like a child and telling lies runs in his blood vessels like a virus.
He claimed that he drove to Kalaibiama during the 2015 electioneering campaigns. He was possibly using a flying car,â€ Okah said
According to Okah, the previous administration had substantially built Bridge 8 before abandoning it.
â€œAt that stage, ramps which slope the bridge level to the road level had not been built to enable vehicles pass the bridge level in descent to the road level.
â€œSo how did Petersideâ€™s vehicle drive across the bridge without ramps and he did not somersault?
â€œBefore the Wike administration did the work, the people of Kalaibiama were using planks as ramps to cross the bridge and maneuver their motorbikes,â€ he alleged.
Continuing, Okah said: â€œBesides, the distance from bridge 8 to Kalaibiama town is about two kilometres of extremely swampy and challenging terrain which was the reason why the previous government abandoned it.
â€œTo the glory of God, Governor Wike has battled and successfully constructed the ramp and road from the bridge to Kalaibiama. This is a feat that Dakuku Peterside seeks to appropriate.
â€œWhat Dakuku Peterside did not inform Rivers People is that after abandoning bridge 8, the previous administration initiated the process of secretly cancelling the Andoni – Opobo road contract and to demonstrate this, they refused to fund the contractor any more. Is this an action of a man who loves the Opobo people?
â€œThe 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 per cent of the revalidated contract price,â€ Okah said.
He noted that this was the reason why the work progressed to the point of vehicles driving into Opobo/Nkoro LGA, just as he assured that the work would get to Opobo Town in due course.
â€œGovernor Wike has been sincere in executing the Unity Road project and has matched words with action. Dakuku should be ashamed that the administration he served as Commissioner for Works was receiving an average of N21 billion every month from federal allocation but only N14 billion was committed to the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo (Road) for the eight years of that government.
â€œOn the contrary, the Governor Wike administration has since committed the sum of N7 billion in less than three years towards the completion of project and the results are positive.
â€œSo, between that administration and the present one, who loves the people of Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Areas more?,â€ he added.
He urged Peterside to always consult widely before making â€œunfounded assertions and abuse others like an ill-bred child on matters he has scanty knowledge because those who live in glass houses do not throw stones.â€