by Goodliffe Goodhead
Those elected into political offices are fundamentally, servants of the people who elected them. They are therefore, expected to, at all times, project, protect and defend the interest of the people that elected them. Anything otherwise, amount to irresponsibility, untrustworthy, unreliability and unfaithfulness.
Some times in 2019, Governor Nyesom Wike, in keeping to his promise of spreading projects to every part of Rivers State, awarded the contract for the reconstruction and renovation of Government Secondary school, Okarki, Engenni, in Ahoada West local government Area. Three years after the award of the contract, non of the project is completed, while similar contracts awarded same time in other local governments has been completed and commissioned.
Several efforts made by Okarki people in particular, and Engenni people in general, to call the attention of the Governor is yet to yield any result. However, on the 16th of December, 2021, the Governor visited Odioku town, also in Ahoada West local government Area, to commission the Odioku town internal road network project, executed by his administration.
The Governor, while speaking during the occasion, revealed to the chagrin of Engenni people present, that he, the Governor, has made full payments to all the contractors handling the reconstruction and renovation of the Government Secondary school, Okarki project. According to him, “those evil, shameless and unreasonable politicians from Ahoada West, who are here looking at me, have eaten the money ” he, nonetheless, promised to complete and commission the projects before leaving office in 2023.
Facts checked revealed that the contract was awarded to three different companies namely, Agrigbe Nigeria Limited, Reachmax Global Services and Caro Integrated Services.
While one of the companies is allegedly owned and operated by Hon. Nwanaka Okpokiri, member, representing the good people of Ahoada West local government Area at the Rivers State House of Assembly, the other two, allegedly use by Hon. (Evang.) Hope O Ikiriko, chairman, Ahoada West local government Council, to secure and execute the contracts are owned by Hon. Ezekiel Agri, Secretary, Ahoada west local government Council and Hon. Frank Rogers, immediate past Care Taker Committee chairman of Ahoada West local government Council.
One therefore, wonder why Hon. Hope Ikiriko, chairman of the local government and Hon. Nwanaka Okpokiri, House of Assembly member, representing Ahoada West, would, in addition to their enviable political offices, would appropriate to themselves, contracts that could have been given to other party faithfuls, received full payments and abandoned the projects. Is the Governor lying that he has paid the contractors fully? I don’t think so