By Charles Kalu
The Kengema Unity Forum; the pan socio-cultural organisation of the Kalabari people in Nigeria has expressed it’s displeasure over the style of leadership of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike especially in the last 100 days of his second term in office.
A statement by the leader and founder of the Kengema Unity Forum, Sobomabo Jackrich expressed regrets that Governor Wike’s style of leadership has continued to skew and locate infrastructure developments in only one area of the state.
Evaluating Wike’s developmental style in the last 100 days; Ambassador Jackrich also known as Egberi Papa noted that a ” recent publication of schedule of activities and projects to be commissioned to mark Governor Nyesom Wike’ second tenure 100 days in office by the Secretary to the state government, Tammy Danagogo has once again clearly given credence to our repeated claims of sectional governance in Rivers State under the present administration”.
“It might interest you to know that according to the publication, whereas there are twenty three local government areas in Rivers State, the thirteen underlisted projects earmarked for commissioning to mark the governor’s100 days in office are all located within Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre Local government areas”.
According to the leader of the Kengema Unity Forum, “There is the need for an even spread of development across the twenty-three LGAs of the state in order not to send the wrong signal to the people and stakeholders of other areas, suggesting that the Wike led Rivers State government has an agenda to develop only Ikwerre land at the expense of others”.
“It is important to note that in the entire Degema, Asari Toru and Akuku Toru local government areas that make up the Kalabari region, there is no single higher institution, satellite campus or a technical college cited in any of our territory.”
Ambassador Sobomabo Jackrich recalled that Governor Wike during inauguration of his first tenure in 2015, promised to flag off the Trans-Kalabari road project but expressed regret that nothing of such had been done.
He also disclosed that; “The renovation of the Buguma General hospital had been abandoned since its commencement three years ago, leaving citizens of the area in dare need of secondary medical attention”.
According to Egberi Papa; “The Kalabari region contributes about eighty five percent to the economic sustenance of Rivers State through proceeds of the oil mineral resources taken from the area, yet suffers the worst form of underdevelopment and political marginalization.”
“We therefore appeal strongly to Governor Wike to use this second phase of his administration to better the lot of the Kalabari Kingdom by citing meaningful projects that will have direct bearing on the welfare of our people.”
He said such projects should be contracted to reputable construction firms like Julius Berger and others just the way it is being done in Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt and Ikwerre LGAs.
Jackrich reminded all that the Kengema Unity Forum,KUF, was not at enmity with Governor Nyesom Wike, but will not deter to speak up against obvious cases of injustice against the Kalabari people.
The KUF therefore called on its political elites to close ranks irrespective of their political affiliation and work towards achieving their collective task of supporting a Kalabari man to become the next governor of Rivers State, as that seems to be the only means to achieving the rapid development of the Kalabari region.