The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Petetside, has berated Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, over his recent revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt.
Peterside, who described the action of Wike as worse traits of fascism, however, said he had forewarned Rivers people and the international community, saying “in 2015, I warned Rivers people, the international and business community that Wike should not be trusted to protect their investments and stakes.
In his reaction to the Sunday action of Wike, Peterside wondered how a state governor who took an oath of office to uphold and respect the Nigerian Constitution “without fear or favour” would revoke a document as crucial to property and business as Certificate of Occupancy without any impartial adjudication.
“Wike had sworn to uphold the Nigerian Constitution without fear or favour and ill-will or malice against any citizen. It is now left to Wike and his conscience to check whether he has been faithful to his oath,” he stated.
According to Peterside, the revocation order is nothing but a reckless, irresponsible and draconian act that could have only come from the desk of a “fascist, despot and dictator.”
“When I heard that Wike had revoked the C of O of Novotel Hotel, I thought it was a joke until I saw a statement to that effect. In his trademark style of governance, he denied the management of Novotel any opportunity to respond to any accusation. Wike alone was the accuser, prosecutor, witness and jury in this matter.
“It is sad that at a time when Rivers State needs every investment it can muster to create jobs for youths, arrest insecurity and stabilise social relationships, Wike is busy closing established multinationals, global chains and respected franchise to which Novotel belongs. In his maladministration, Wike blames everybody but himself for the woes that have befallen Rivers State since he shot into the Office of the Governor.
“It is part of a government’s fundamental and social duty to create a conducive economic baseline for companies and firms to operate and expand their businesses while new ones are attracted. Serious governments offer free land, tax rebate and other incentives to woo investors. But for Wike, his is to create joblessness and stifle companies struggling to break even.
“In this singular action, Wike must have pushed not less than 500 people into the labour market. The social and economic reactions would be dire on the families, the state and the country at large. He has also raised an adverse business advisory to would-be investors that Rivers State is not safe for investment.
“By the singular act, he advertised his contempt for hard work and industry. He twitched his nose against commerce. As a man who has no calculation of state interest in mind, he has added with his own hands to the pool of the unemployed in the state. It is frightful omen of unemployment in the context of the rise of criminality, violence, gangsterism and cultism under his watch as the chief steward of River State,” he declared
The former House of Reps member expressed concern that the governor has formed the habit of going to churches to make pronouncements that have been at best “ridiculous and attempts to hoodwink Christians into believing some his baseless allegations.”
“I feel for him because he will be disgraced out of power. Already he is a shame in conduct, diction and association. Nobody can use the name of Christ in vain; God cannot be fooled and cannot be mocked. The Church of Christ knows all political leaders and their antecedents.
“Recently he said Rivers State is a Christian state, real enough. The Bible says, among my people are wicked men. All may be called to the Church of Christ in Rivers, but Wike is among those not chosen.
“So, he has no bona fides to address how the church should behave. His presence around any pulpit is like soiling the sanctuary. Apostle Paul advised us we should come out from around people like Governor Wike and be ye separate.
“Pensioners & civil servants know political leaders who will owe them for several months using ceaseless biometrics as an excuse. God knows those who are stealing from the collective wealth of the people for themselves. God knows those who abuse power and use it to oppress the poor,” the former Rivers commissioner for works summed up.