Rivers State Pensioners are gnashing their teeth over Governor Nyesom Wike’s N500million largesse to the Sokoto State Government to douse the pain on the state and traders affected by the inferno at Sokoto Central Market.
The pensioners, who lampooned the governor, said N500million would have to a high extent met some of the demands of retired civil servants in the State.
Some retirees who spoke to newsmen at the Rivers State Secretariat Complex lamented that since the Governor assumed office in 2015, Pensioners are yet to receive their gratuities and pension arrears.
One of the retirees, Bariza Kpaen said, “How can our governor give out such an amount of money when there are so many unresolved financial issues? We 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.”
Another retiree who simply identified herself as Hart, said, “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.”
On his part, Youth Activist, Charles Jaja blamed elders statesmen and youths for being silent in the face of Governor Wike’s financial recklessness; “I am disappointed because I am simply worried about our elder statesmen and good number of youths who sing the praises of Governor in the face of this financial irresponsibility.”
Also reacting, Chairman of the Rivers Civil Society Organizations Enefaa Georgewill, expressed disappointment over the donation, stating that while it is not wrong for an entity to make donations, noted that it is wrong for a government who is yet to develop its State to do so.
Enefaa, stated that it is 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 Georgewill, “There are flooding issues that need urgent attention that have not been looked into, every year buildings, plants and people’s source 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 spec in another person’s eyes.”
Wike had on Wednesday pledged the sum of Five Hundred Million Naira to support the Sokoto State government to rebuild the Sokoto Central market that was gutted by fire.
“What affects Sokoto State affects Rivers State. We are going to support the traders and the government of Sokoto State. We are donating the sum of N500million to support the traders and also support in building the market back part of which will go to bringing back the market”, Wike said.
WIKE PLEDGES N500M TO SUPPORT SOKOTO REBUILD DESTROYED MARKET, TRADERS.
Rivers State government has pledged Five Hundred Million Naira (N500m) to support the Sokoto State government rebuild the Sokoto Central market that was gutted by fire on Tuesday.
Part of the money will also be used to support victims of the devastating fire that destroyed goods worth billions of Naira.
Rivers State governor , Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, made the pledge on behalf of the State government during a visit to the Governor of Sokoto State ,Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on Wednesday.
Governor Wike who was conducted round the destroyed market by Governor Tambuwal, said he was saddened by the devastating fire that razed over 60 percent of the 16000 shops there.
“We have come here to commiserate and sympathise with our brother, our friend and the good people of Sokoto State on what had happened to one of the biggest market in this country, the Sokoto central market.
“When I got the information last night, I was touched and I said as brothers, what affects you affects us. What affects Sokoto State affects Rivers State.”
The Rivers State governor who empathized with the traders over the loss of their good worth billions of Naira, thanked God that no life was lost in the disastrous inferno.
“There is nothing you can equate with life. That there was no life lost, we give glory to the almighty Allah. Having come here, I’ve seen the level of destruction, it is unfortunate. People have lost their goods, the state government will have to see how this market will be brought back to the way it is supposed to be .
“We sympathise with you. We identify with you and we know the negative effect on the economy of the various families; families who depend for day to day trading and sales of their goods .”
Governor Wike expressed his appreciation to the various security and paramilitary agencies that prevented the fire from destroying the entire market.
He pledged that the government of Rivers State will support Sokoto State to rebuild the market and ameliorate the plight of the traders with N500 million.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Rivers State, we will support the Sokoto State government to see how quickly they can rebuild this market” he added.
Governor Tambuwal thanked Governor Wike and the people of Rivers State for the kind gesture.
Governor Wike also paid a courtesy visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in his palace to commiserate with him over the demise of junior brother , Hon. Abdulkadir Jeli Abubakar, who was Sokoto State Commissioner for Home Affairs.
In his response, Sultan Abubakar, acknowledged the age-long relationship between Sokoto and Rivers State and lauded to Governor Wike for sustaining it.
He explained that Governor Wike’s visit and pledge to support Sokoto State is a demonstration of what Nigeria is and should be.
The Sultan further commended Governor Wike for his remarkable developmental stride in Rivers State
” I commend you and congratulate you for all what you have been doing for Rivers state in particular, because we have seen a lot of infrastructure being put in place and that is why they call you Mr project in Rivers.
” You have just some few more years, please do much more so that no body will beat you when he take over from you
Similarly, the Sultan lauded Governor Tambuwal for his judicious management of the state resources which earned the State a World Bank grant under the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability And Sustainability (SFTAS) program.