Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to heed agitations for restructuring and fiscal federalism and douse rising tensions in the country.
Wike said stakeholders in the South-South and other geopolitical zones, who met Federal Government’s delegation led by Chief of Staff (COS) to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, expressed their grievances, which he said, should be genuinely addressed.
He stated this when he featured on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, noting that South-South stakeholders outlined their expectations and that President Buhari required the political will to implement their demands.
His words: “President Buhari has an opportunity in the sense that Nigerians are asking what they want to move the country forward and he has to show leadership by listening to those needs and implement them.
“He may not necessarily implement everything, but let the people say that under President Buhari, he implemented some of the people’s demands.
“But, if he does not take this opportunity and does not implement some of the requests, I don’t think it will be good for Nigeria and his legacy. I don’t think that will mean well.”
Wike acknowledged that some of the demands of the South-South zone required constitutional amendment to execute, urging the President and the National Assembly to amend the country’s constitution as it concerns restructuring, true federalism and resource control.
“The president should sign such amendments, but if constitutional amendment is being made and the President vetoes it as he did the Electoral Act, it will become a problem for the country and Nigerians.”
He dismissed insinuations by Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege that lawmakers and ministers from the South-South region were not consulted before Tuesday’s meeting with the presidential delegation.
“We won’t play politics with germane issues that concern Nigerians and issues that concern the region. I don’t need to be told, assuming I am a legislator and something like this happens, I will rush back to the state to meet the governor and the stakeholders and plan what to do.
He, however, described Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who arrived Government House, Port Harcourt with Gambari, but failed to participate in the meeting, as regrettable.
“When I asked the Chief of Staff about my minister, he was also shocked, because he knew that Amaechi was with them at the airport,” he said.
Governor Wike also said President Buhari had done the needful by appointing people to manage the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the interest of the region.
He lamented that those appointed to manage the NDDC were politicians who have refused to work with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors in the region and accused the NDDC of pervasive corruption to the extent of claiming projects executed by the Rivers State Government as its own.