FG has abdicated its responsibility in Rivers, says Wike

Nyesom Wike

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the Federal Government of abdicating its responsibility of infrastructural development in the state.

Consequently, he said his administration took the bull by the horns in the midst of scarce resources owing to its commitment to rapidly develop the state.

Wike spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt during the groundbreaking of the National Industrial Court (NIC) to be funded by his government.

At the ceremony, attended by court’s President, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, the governor explained that the state government was embarking on the project because 90 per cent of the cases in the Yenagoa division of the court come from Rivers.

He said: “The need therefore to have a functional NIC in Port Harcourt to peacefully settle labour and industrial relations disputes, enhance industrial harmony and engender economic development cannot be overstated.

“All points to the fact that Rivers State does not count in the development programmes of the Federal Government. And this has sadly been the situation for decades. Yet, we produce the bulk of the resources that are sustaining the entire country and funding multi-billion naira development projects in other states of the federation.”

Wike went on: “And so, our position is that, while we shall continue to demand for a fair treatment and commensurate recompense for our contributions to the national pool of resources, we cannot, but endeavour, to put our development destiny in our own hands, even if it means spending money on projects that should be initiated, funded and maintained by the Federal Government or its agencies.”

He noted that the five-storey state-of-the-art court project, when completed, would create access to justice and reflect the transformational legacies of the state.

Adejumo said the governor had showed his colleagues the way to go by his commitment to the project. He enthused that the facility would resolve the challenges faced by litigants from the state who are being compelled to travel all the way to Bayelsa and Imo states to seek justice.

Adejumo, who commended the Rivers chief executive for agreeing to fund the project, disclosed that two judges had been transferred to the state to work in two courtrooms allocated by the state Chief Judge, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra.

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