Rivers residents, pensioners criticise Wike over N500m Sokoto donation
Residents and pensioners of Rivers State Thursday expressed their displeasure over Governor Nyesom Wike’s donation of N500 million to rebuild the Sokoto Central Market which was destroyed by an inferno.
The displeased citizens said the N500 million could have greatly met some of the demands of retired civil servants in the state.
According to them, since the governor assumed office in 2015, pensioners were yet to receive their gratuities and pension arrears.
Bariza Kpaen, a retiree and native of Rivers State, spoke to newsmen on the issue, saying, “How can our governor give out such an amount of money when there are so many unresolved financial issues? We the governor to immediately settle the issues surrounding the gratuity and Pension arrears now that it is obvious that he has so much to spend.”
Another retiree who simply identified herself as Hart, lamented that some retirees had lost their lives as a result of inadequate funds to cater for their health.
She said, “Some of our colleagues have died for lack of funds to take care of themselves medically and otherwise. The Governor must stop playing politics with the lives of pensioners in this state.”
Also speaking on the situation, a Youth Activist, Charles Jaja said, “I am disappointed because I am simply worried about our elder statesmen and good number of youths who sing the praises of Governor in the face of this financial irresponsibility.”
Chairman of the Rivers Civil Society Organizations Enefaa Georgewill, stated that “while it is not wrong for an entity to make donations, it is wrong for a government who is yet to develop its State to do so.
He said, “it is saddening that residents of Rivers State are currently grappling with survival tendencies while Governor Wike has embarked on a spending spree without appropriation by the Legislature.
Georgewill added that, “There are flooding issues that need urgent attention that have not been looked into, every year buildings, plants and people’s source of livelihood are being destroyed due to the disaster that can be managed if the government simply pays attention.
“Indigent Rivers students are struggling in different tertiary institutions because the Governor stopped paying them bursary. Pensioners are dying because the Governor is withholding their pensions and gratuities.
”What Governor Wike has simply done with that donation to Sokoto is eye service and dirty politics. The Governor should be concerned about removing the log in his own eyes before removing the spec in another person’s eyes.”