OP-UNEDITED | Why Governor Wike Must Learn to Take Responsibility – By Brian Jonah Dennis
By Brian Jonah Dennis
Governor Wike’s victory at the Supreme Court almost a year ago feels like a life time now because the goodwill and love the good people of Rivers state bestowed on the Governor is quickly turning to regret.
While the Governor has made strides on road infrastructure and in the civil service generally, there is a reality that dawns on Rivers people that the security situation in Rivers state cannot be overwritten by the renovation and construction of roads and markets.
The value of life in Rivers state has been reduced to the barest minimum. Kidnapping, armed robbery, highway robbery and hijacking of boats are at an all time high. The insecurity in Rivers state at the moment can only be compared to the militancy era, it even feels worse and this is the sad part – Governor Wike has refused to take responsibility for the security situation in the state.
There is no week that passes in Ogoni land without a report of a cult related killing, there is no week that passes without a report of a beheading in Ahoada, everywhere else there is a report of a killing or a kidnap. While I will not question if these killings are politically motivated, anyone who claims they are not will only be playing the ostrich.
What is even more shocking is how the Rivers state Government chooses to ignore reported criminal actions, and even when they chose to respond, there are no traces of affirmative action after the theatric press statements which are made to appease newsmen and women.
A fortnight ago, Reports stated that four speedboats fully loaded with passengers were hijacked by sea pirates in Soku community, a later report revealed that all the passengers were robbed of their valuables, the females raped while a chief was kidnapped with the speedboats and taken away.
This is despite the fact that Rivers state government is offering amnesty to these same criminals and paying them monies. These are the exact actions of Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna to Fulani Herdsmen that were condemned but everyone is clapping for the People’s Governor. The reward for crime should not be payment but decisive action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
It will interest you to know that Soku Community produces well over 300,000 barrels daily of crude oil while also hosting over 200 oil wells as well as the largest gas plant to the Nigerian nation.
Section 14(2)b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended states that ”the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’. In simpler terms, A Governor is the Chief Security Officer of the state he governs and works hand in hand with the commissioner of police to provide security.
Some would say the Governor has no control over the police apparatus in Rivers state because they are under the control of the federal government. This is a very outdated excuse, in the words of Mitt Romney “Leadership is about talking responsibility, not making excuses”. The time for excuses are over.
Governor Wike must learn to take responsibility for the security of Rivers state, and granting amnesty to criminals will only raise more criminals. There are no two sides to objective truth. The Governor’s advisers should tell him this truth -Rivers people are dying everyday, investors are leaving because of the rising level of insecurity and the construction of a pleasure park will not bring them back, adequate security will bring them back and even more.
Rivers State is still the treasure base of the Nation.
Brian, a poet, journalist, new media strategist and public affairs commentator writes from Abuja
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