The Rivers State Government and the Isaac Ogbobula-led All Progressives Congress (APC) have traded words over the decision of Governor Nyesom Wike to dole out N400m for the resettlement of the war-ravaged Ekporo community in Eleme Local Government Area of the state.
Wike said the money was meant to rebuild the community and compensate families, who were fatally affected by the inter-communal war that occurred in the area eight years ago.
The governor insisted that the money would help to develop the area and bring back the people, who had suffered as refugees in other communities after the conflict.
The governor made the offer to the elders and stakeholders of Eleme community during a meeting in Port Harcourt.
The meeting was also attended by the State House of Assembly member representing Eleme Constituency, Igwe Aforji; a former Commissioner of Culture, Mr. Marcus Nle-Ejii; a former Eleme LGA Chairman Chief Ejoor N. Ejoor and the Paramount Ruler of Ekporo, His Royal Highness, Emere Samuel Obe among others.
Wike, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo said it was the desire of his administration to ensure that communities remained peaceful and enjoy the infrastructural prosperity of the state.
He said that government would continue to foster inter-communal coexistence and peace in order to build a safe and secure state for all.
He said: “It is unfortunate that members of the Ekporo community were sacked from their community for about eight years now as a result of the inter-communal wars”.
“We expect you to work with government on beneficial plans to utilize this funds in terms of primary infrastructure and resettlement of the people back into their community.”
He urged indigenes of the state to continue to toe the line of peace as conflict and war will only brew devastation and under-development.
But the Isaac Ogbobula-led APC lampooned the state government for releasing only N400million for the resettlement.
Spokesperson for the APC, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke said in a statement in Port Harcourt that it was disheartening that a community, which deserved to be resettled, following the loss of property, could only merit N400million while a mere market in Sokoto State got much more from the state government.
He said: “We are shocked by the move made by the State Government to release the sum of N400 million for the resettlement of the Ekporo people.
“The same Government recently released the sum of N500million to the Sokoto State Government for the reconstruction of a market. We have learnt that only 16 stalls were burnt in the Sokoto market in which the Rivers State Government doled away N500million.
“Similarly, the popular Mile 3 Market in the State capital was recently engulfed in flames. Yesterday night, the ‘Plank Shed’ in Marine Base was completely raised to the ground by fire. Strangely, these incidents which have left many people in pain have not warranted the visit of the Governor or any positive reaction from his government.