Rivers residents say the donation of 500 million naira to Sokoto state by governor Nyesom Wike is recklessness taken too far.
Wike who visited Sokoto on Wednesday, said part of the money, is also intended to support the victims of the inferno. He said he was shocked and disturbed when he learnt about the fire.
He affirmed that whatever affects Sokoto State also affects Rivers. According to him, his administration will do all it takes to ensure that the affected market is reconstructed and becomes functional.
Wike worried that a situation where the means of livelihood of the people of Sokoto state, the drive of the government to improve the people’s lives and a broad spectrum of socio-economic wellbeing of many people will be affected does not augur well for development and progress.
However, the Chairman of the Rivers Civil Society Organizations, Enefaa Georgewill, said while it is not wrong for an entity to make donations, it is wrong for a government who is yet to develop its State to do so.
Goergewill said it was saddening that residents of Rivers State are currently grappling with survival tendencies while Governor Wike has embarked on a spending spree without appropriation by the legislature.
According to him: “There are flooding issues that need urgent attention that has not been looked into. Every year, buildings, plants and people’s sources of livelihood are being destroyed due to the disaster that can be managed if the government simply pays attention.
“Indigent Rivers students are struggling in different tertiary institutions because the Governor stopped paying them bursary. Pensioners are dying because the Governor is withholding their pensions and gratuities.
”What Governor Wike has simply done with that donation to Sokoto is eye service and dirty politics.
“The Governor should be concerned about removing the log in his own eyes before removing the speck in another person’s eyes.”
Also, a retiree Mike Dumle said the donation was reckless due to the fact that Wike has refused to pay pensioners their due retirement benefits.
He said: “How can our governor give out such an amount of money when there are so many unresolved financial issues? We want the governor to immediately settle the issues surrounding the gratuity and Pension arrears now that it is obvious that he has so much to spend.
“Some of our colleagues have died for lack of funds to take care of themselves medically and otherwise. The Governor must stop playing politics with the lives of pensioners in this state.”