‘I Didn’t Abuse You Now’ – Wike Tackles Diri Over Comments On Derivation Fund Payment
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has slammed his Bayelsa State counterpart, Douye Diri, over his comments on the payment of 13 percent derivation fund arrears to core oil-producing states.
Naija News recalls that Wike had asked the Niger Delta governors to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for releasing 13 percent derivation arrears to the states recently.
Reacting, governor Diri said that the cost of construction in difficult terrain like Bayelsa state was three times or more times the cost elsewhere.
The Bayelsa governor remarked that the cost of constructing a three-kilometer road in his state was enough to deliver 15 flyovers in other Niger Delta states.
Diri, however, asked Wike to speak for his state and not generalize his statement on the release of the derivation fund arrears.
Responding to Diri’s statement, Wike berated his colleague for trying to justify how he utilised his state’s share of the money on projects, saying that his comments were unnecessary.
The Rivers governor said he only advised his colleagues to commend President Buhari for releasing the funds and should not be attacked for giving advice.
Wike made this known at the inauguration of a Renal Centre and House Officers’ Quarters at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) on Wednesday.
He said: “One of the governors who I will soon reply to because I have the capacity to reply to any of them. Simply because I said people should thank President Muhammadu Buhari for releasing 13 percent arrears to some Niger Delta governors.
“I didn’t abuse any of them. I said just thank him because if he did not release these arrears to me and some of our states, it would have been difficult for me to talk about building a renal center, Cardiovascular Centre, basic and clinical sciences, house officers’ quarters, and many of them.
“I don’t think saying ‘thank you’ is an offence. On television, I heard one of the governors say in his state to do three-kilometer road will do more than 15 flyovers. Rivers is it not a Niger Delta State? Don’t we have riverine areas in Rivers?
“The Amayanabo of Opobo said since he was born he had never driven on the road to Opobo. The day he drove to Opobo he said ‘God is it possible that in my own time I am not going through the river again, I can now drive to Opobo?
“That is a major riverine area. By the grace of God this December, we are going to inaugurate the first phase of the Trans-Kalabari road. It is a major riverine area. I don’t know why some people are sick about my flyovers. Don’t be sick again, I won’t do it again.
“Instead of you appreciating and asking someone how are you doing this? I have turned the state capital around using a major construction company. If you know you have the capacity go and hire that company and see whether you can pay salaries.
“People know the contractors I use in this state. Some of them nobody know their contractors. Who are they? Now you have touched me, anything you see you take.”