Dakuku Peterside, one-time gubernatorial candidate of the APC, who appears to be having great fun poking his fingers into Governor Nyesom Wike’s face, has struck again.
This time in statement entitled, “Wike Seizing, Dashing Off Rivers’ Property To Friends, Cronies” the former Director General of NIMASA accused the Rivers Governor of embarking on “a property acquisition spree.”
It would be Peterside’s second attack after he recently took the state government to task over demolished structures along some waterfronts in Diobu, a high density area of Port Harcourt.
Dakuku who is offering no concrete proof; who controls a media team that pushes out releases that are signed by no one in particular; but who feels strong about his allegations against Wike insists the Governor’s alleged actions are “ridiculous and undignified.”
Accusing the State Governor of allegedly cornering 400 houses for himself and those he described as his cronies, Peterside remarked, “Wike will go down as the most greedy and covetous governor in Rivers’ history.”
According to the Opobo born politician who may be eyeing the 2023 gubernatorial ticket of his party, “no governor has ever shown such crave for obscene wealth in Nigeria’s history as Wike.”
Peterside who reportedly owns a luxurious home on Banana Island, a billionaire’s playground in Lagos, descended on Wike whom he says has turned his private residence at Rumueprikom to the official abode of the Governor.
“Wike’s house in his village, Rumueprikom, with all luxurious appetite that includes a helipad and bullet-proof gadgets, has become the official Government House of Rivers.
“From Diete Spiff to Chibuke Rotimi Amaechi, we had governors who showed humility and never turned their private houses to Government House; they never oppressed Rivers’ people with open displays of wealth as Wike has done”, Peterside added.
Reacting to Peterside’s attack on the Rivers Governor, his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim lashed out, saying it was difficult to understand why the former Works Commissioner was flying low.
Nsirim noted in his reaction titled “Dakuku Peterside’s Petty Obsession With Governor Wike” that “One cannot help but wonder, not for the umpteenth time, how low, petty, jaundiced and begrudgingly spiteful Mr. Peterside has sunk, in his unbridled obsession to discredit Governor Nyesom Wike.
“His latest rant not only reeks of resentful bitterness and acrimonious slander, but has dangerously crossed the line of decency into primitive maliciousness, unbecoming of a man of his supposed intelligence…
“From puerile and unsubstantiated allegations of seizing property and dashing them to his friends and cronies, Dakuku Peterside betrays his shallow pettiness by crudely attempting a graphically salacious, yet tasteless description of a functional and operational building, located in the very heart of a throbbing capital city like Port Harcourt, in line with the urban renewal initiatives of the Governor Wike administration, which is transforming Port Harcourt in particular, into a capital city of picturesque beauty.
“For the avoidance of doubt and with sincere apologies for repetition, we wish to appeal to the patience of those who may rightly recall, that we have explained and cleared the air on the recovery of properties, especially in previous rejoinders to this same Dakuku.
“We want to state again categorically, that the Rivers State Executive Council took the decision to recover dilapidated government quarters from civil servants and illegal occupants within Old and New Government Residential Area (GRA), Port Harcourt and reallocate them to competent private individuals”, the Commissioner emphasized.
He revealed a task force was set up the Government to carry out the assignment
and “the findings of the task force revealed that some of these properties were fraudulently acquired by retired civil servants through dubious processes.”
The taskforce discovered that some other structures outside the manipulative hold of retired civil servants deteriorated due to abject neglect and lack of maintenance.
“The properties were totally in uninhabitable condition and many were converted into commercial and business uses, the Commissioner explained, “in some cases, they were even subleted to private tenants, and some of these tenants used the premises for poultries, fish ponds, barbing saloons, and other unauthorized activities.
“The Task Force also discovered that some of these properties were found to be under illegal occupants by non-civil servants, some of whom were even non-indigenes. This therefore, necessitated the recovery of these properties as part of government’s urban renewal programme.”
Continuing, the Commissioner revealed that “civil servant-occupants, who were affected by the recovery were settled by the State Government.
“Contrary to the lies and misinformation by Dakuku Peterside”, Nsirim disclosed that the affected persons “now have alternative private properties through financial support provided by the State Government.
“They are very comfortable in their new residences; a situation which would have been near impossible for them to accomplish at the time, on their civil service emoluments.”
“So it completely beats the imagination to identify where Dakuku Peterside came up with the hallucination that people were ‘ejected in a ridiculous and undignified manner'”, the Government’s Chief spokesman pointed out.
He equally wondered where Peterside got the “misleading rumour that the Governor had cornered no fewer than 400 houses for himself and his cronies” and sold them off “at ridiculous market value.”
Dealing with Peterside’s reference to Wike’s home and the status of his community, Nsirim said:
“Again, we have consistently declared that Dakuku Peterside does not live in his village, Opobo, the capital city Port Harcourt, or anywhere within and around the capital city territory.
“Otherwise, he would have been a little bit more circumspect and less flippant before describing Rumuepirikom, a bustling, thriving modern community, located in the very heart of the state, as a “Village.”
“Governor Wike, unlike some past leaders in the State, who took Rivers wealth to build mansions in Abuja and develop other specific parts of the country, ostensibly to
curry favour, is proudly and patriotically building at home, developing Rivers State and transforming the state capital into a befitting metropolitan hub”, he added.
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