By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has commenced consultations to decide on his 2019 governorship ambition.
Interacting with journalists in Lagos yesterday, he disclosed that he was nearing the end of a series of consultations that would enable him decide whether to run for the office of governor of Rivers State or not. Peterside was the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 election.
While correcting the impression that he may be late in making his intention known, the NIMASA boss said, “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set September 15 deadline for the political parties to submit the programme for their primaries”.
“I know that the APC NEC will meet before the end of this month to decide what method should be adopted to choose the governorship candidates. That is a potential contentious issue because the governors are very powerful and influential. They have decided to push for a delegates’ primary, which gives them enormous powers to decide the party’s flagbearer in their states, but the NEC wants an inclusive process that will carry majority of party members along; and that is by direct primary,” he added.
Peterside who called on the media to report the “true position of things in Rivers State”, blamed journalists for overrating the achievements of Governor Nyesom Wike. He said, “The governor may have completed a few projects which he inherited, but compared to the volume of money which comes into the state, he has not done much. Rivers State is Number Three on the federation accounts allocation table. The state is Number Two in terms of VAT earnings. We got so much money from Paris Club refund. Last year, we had N169 billion from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), but Wike has run a very reckless administration that does not publicise call for tender. He does not adhere to any known due process and nobody knows about the budget of the state. I don’t know any area in which he has performed well. The National Bureau of Statistics has rated Rivers State Number One in unemployment. Industries are leaving the state because there is so much insecurity, multiple taxation and lack of conducive operating environment.”
Expressing concern on the increasing incidence of politically motivated violence in Rivers State, Peterside suggested that denial of reward to sponsors of violence would curtail the trend drastically.