Rivers State Government on Monday tackled Governor Nyesom Wike’s former aide , Austin Tam-George for calling on the international community to place travel restrictions on Wike over the demolition of two hotels in Eleme.
Tam-George, a former commissioner of information under Wike had in a post titled “ILLEGAL DEMOLITION OF HOTELS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY GOVERNOR NYESOM WIKE” alleged that the illegal demolition of the hotels fits into a “long and sickening pattern of lawlessness and impunity by Governor Wike in Rivers State.
“In July 2017, Governor Wike had shut down and revoked the Certificate of Occupancy of Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt, simply because critics of his lawless regime had lodged overnight at the hotel.
” In the past three years, Mr Wike has deployed his private army of thugs, disguised as State “task forces”, to kill innocent citizens, loot markets and shops, terrorize young women in Port Harcourt, and extort money from drivers and traders in Rivers State.
“Three weeks ago, on the 24th April, Sergeant Lovender Elekwachi, a traffic warden on duty in the Eneka area of the State, was murdered in cold blood, by Governor Wike’s marauding task force. The tragic incident was widely reported by the media, including the BBC.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only served as a perfect smokescreen for Governor Wike to escalate his reign of criminality and terror in Rivers State.
” On the 27th of April, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet warned governments to refrain from violating fundamental human rights, “under the guise of exceptional and emergency measures” during the COVID-19 crisis.
“But in the past six weeks of the pandemic, Governor Wike has caused the death of a law enforcement agent, confiscated private properties, demolished hotels, brutalized market women in Port Harcourt, and held pilots and oil workers on essential duties in illegal detention.
“The alarming acts of lawlessness by Mr Wike mean that Rivers State has descended into a state of anarchy. State institutions have been hijacked by a lawless government, and the people themselves have been ‘kidnapped’ by a moral hoodlum in power”
Tam-George noted that Governor Wike is an extremely powerful politician in Nigeria, who is widely deemed to be above the law and called on the UN to investigate the matter.
“We therefore call on the UN Human Rights Commission to urgently investigate and initiate criminal proceedings against Mr Nyesom Wike in Rivers State.
” We strongly appeal to the United States Congress and the State Department to urgently initiate and maintain consequential pressure, including visa restrictions and asset freezes against Mr Wike, for his reign of impunity in Rivers State.
” Governor Wike is well-known for his expensive vacation junkets to European cities, even as children die from preventable water-borne diseases in Rivers State.
” We therefore strongly appeal to the European Union to initiate and maintain consequencial diplomatic actions, including money laundry investigations, visa restrictions and asset freezes against Governor Wike, who constantly proclaims that “nothing will happen” to him, despite his reign of terror” he added.
But his views did not go down well with the state government who in an article by the Commissioner for information, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim titled “AUSTIN TAM-GEORGE: AN INTELLECTUAL PROSTITUTE LET LOOSE” accused him of consistently been biting the finger that fed him because he is an intellectual prostitute.
Nsirim said Tam-George looks for every available opportunity to lampoon Governor Nyesom Wike in order to impress his paymasters as a paid hack without conscience.
“Someone like Austin Tam-George does not have the moral standing to discuss governance because his tenure as Commissioner for Information in Rivers State was a monumental failure.
” A man who used his first month in office as Commissioner to throw 2O Rivers indigenes who were earning a living in the Ministry as casual workers into the unemployment market surely loves Rivers State.
” Perhaps Austin Tam-George’s patriotism also led him to seize the monthly imprests meant for Departments in the Ministry.
” Maybe he should explain to Rivers people and the those he is serving why a Commissioner should arm twist Heads of Parastatals under him to make monthly returns to quench his voracious appetite for money.
” Was it not his kinsman in one of the parastatals that engaged him in a verbal warfare along William Jumbo Street in Port Harcourt that helped to tame his unquenchable taste for money?
” His grouse with Governor Wike is because the over inflated and bogus proposals he made under the guise of upgrading the State Media Houses without recourse to the Bureau for Public Procurement were turned down by the governor who insisted on due process.
“Austin Tam-George was quoted as saying that he will never forgive Governor Wike for not allowing him dupe the government.
” The likes of Austin Tam-George are always available for the highest bidder that is why his recent outburst should not be taken seriously.
” When he was looting the money generated by parastatals under him he never remembered United Nations and European Union.
” As the proverbial dog that eats the bone hung on his neck, he milked the media houses dry before he was sacked from the State Executive Council.
” He should know that the record of monies siphoned from the Media houses are still in the archives and will be released if he dares to make any more noise.
” If Governor Wike did not retain him in his cabinet because he lacked character is it enough to look for any slightest opportunity to impugn his integrity?
” Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. A word is enough for the wise”.