A plot to disturb the contractor hired by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to reconstruct two roads in Benue State may have been uncovered.
The Rivers State governor yesterday raised the alarm over the plot to scuttle the multi-billion project.
On Sunday, Wike said he decided to reconstruct the Makurdi-Naka-Adoka and the Aliade-Oju-Obarike-Ito-Otukpo roads in Benue State, as his contribution to alleviate the suffering of people of the state. He put the project cost at N4 billion.
Speaking yesterday, Wike alleged that some elements in the Benue State were planning to disturb contractor he had mobilised to the sites.
He said: “We have mobilised the contractor to site, to reconstruct the two roads in Benue. But information reaching us indicate that there is plan to disturb the work. We want to get the road done as quickly as possible, but the plan to disturb the contractor is giving us some worries.
“Those who are planning this should bear in mind that they are working against development. The people of Benue, who use these roads, are suffering and we want to bring an end to this by reconstructing the roads. Those against the job should not be enemies of progress.”
According to him, the recent protest of pensioners in the state confirmed his earlier claim that the welfare of the people in Benue State has not received adequate attention from the government.
“You must have heard that pensioners protested in Benue. They protested because they are being owed pension arrears. I have been vindicated. The Benue State government has failed in its duties,” he said.
Wike’s call for the imposition of a state of emergency in Benue State over what he described as the state government’s show of incapability in handling security matters drew the ire of his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe Ortom over the use of Paris Club refund allocation.
On the Paris Club refunds, the governor said despite the amount of money disbursed to Benue, the state government has not done much for the people.
Wike said Benue people are suffering “because they don’t have dividends of democracy.”
He said it was because of the concern for the suffering of the Benue people and respect as well as value he has for elder statesmen from the state that he has elected to reconstruct Makurdi-Naka-Adoka road and Aliade-Oju-Obarike-Ito-Otukpo road in Benue State.
“I sympathise with the suffering of Benue people. I value and respect the likes JS Tarka, Apar Aku, George Akume, Victor Malu and David Mark, all prominent indigenes of the state. That’s why I am financing the reconstruction of the roads. I think there is need for a probe of the finances of the state,” he said.
Replying Wike last week, Ortom said his Rivers counterpart should ask for a state of emergency in his state first, before talking about Benue.
Ortom, in an interview with reporters, said: “If Wike wants state of emergency, he should first ask for it in Rivers. Leaders should be careful what they say.
News Day Reports