From Ekaete Ikubor
The sole governorship aspirant of the National Rescue Movement (NRM) in Rivers State, Sobomabo Jackrich, has said the recent decision of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to declare wanted four officials of the State government has vindicated him and his supporters.
Jackrich said he was called all sorts of names a few years ago when he raised the alarm about the whereabouts of N118 billion withdrawn by officials of the state government without it being accounted for.
He spoke in Port Harcourt during his formal declaration to contest the 2023 governorship election on NRM’s platform.
The governorship hopeful said: “We received a lot of backlashes a few years ago when we raised the alarm of the whereabouts of our 118 billion naira withdrawn by officials of the state government without it being accounted for, maintaining that the recent move by the EFCC to have declared the government officials wanted has vindicated us.
“We have been demanding for accountability from this present administration not because we disrespect them, we love them, but we cannot sacrifice our future and that of our children just so we can be in their good books,” he said.
Jackrich vowed to entrench transparency and accountability in public service beginning with ensuring the functionality of all ministries, departments and agencies of government, if given the opportunity to be the next governor of the state.
He said, “Rivers State has been under economic siege under successive administrations, economically, we seem to have retrogressed to about 18th century. Government should have a functional administrative system such that you don’t necessarily need to have any connection to the governor to benefit from the system.
“However, the situation in our hands under the present administration is such that, the only functional office in the state is the office of the governor, that is the only office that decides who gets a contract, as well as determines the vendors to work with the contractor. Rivers people, it is time to rise up and resist this impunity,”, he stated.
Meanwhile, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has said no person would succeed in becoming the next governor of the state if the intention was to make the state a personal estate.
Wike made the declaration at the thanksgiving to celebrate the legal victory secured at the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the oil well dispute between Rivers and Imo states, held at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Port Harcourt.
The governor said the All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant, Tonye Cole, would have to first answer to what had happened to the $50 million his Sahara Energy Company received through the Access Bank from the state government when Chibuike Amaechi was governor.
The governor insisted that he was not against anybody aspiring to be governor of the state, but in the case of Cole, he must first give account for the money he received from the Amaechi’sadministration.
“He (Cole) must account for the $ 50 million they took from our account. Whoever knows him should tell him. $50 million was taken from Rivers State Access Bank account and taken to Sahara Energy account. And I asked them what the job you people did for Rivers State is? Can I see the contract paper, did you people loan us money?” he stated.