Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over what it describes as ‘ the alarming rate of connivance and speed’ with which the outgoing All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of Gov Chibuike Amaechi is mortgaging the state.
In a statement issued, weekend, State chairman of the PDP, Bro Felix Obuah, and signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Nedam, the PDP accused the state governor of dispatching properties of the state including ‘sharing state lands to his friends, certain chieftains of the All Progressives Congress’ relations and family members.’
“This is being executed through his stooge and Commissioner for Land and Urban Development. Perhaps, suspicious of a possible revocation of the illegal deal by the incoming PDP government, Amaechi is now hurriedly signing illegal Certificates of Occupancy (C of O), without due process, of such illegally acquired lands.
“The PDP is shocked at this weird behaviour of Chibuike Amaechi who is carrying on as though his exit as State Governor is the end of the state, which is strange and unprecedented in Nigeria,” the state PDP chairman said
The party, however, enjoined the Rivers people to remain focused, saying they ‘will live to tell the story no matter how hard Amaechi tried to destroy the state.’
“This is not an action to get at the incoming PDP government; it’s a crime against the Rivers people as a whole because of one man’s inordinate ambition. We are however consoled by the fact that this madness will not last forever. It can only tarry for few days”, Obuah declared.
Meanwhile, the party has disclosed that it had uncovered another plot by the outgoing Governor to sell off state-owned public facilities and business ventures before leaving office on May 29.
“The PDP is alarmed over the party’s latest discovery of the almost concluded arrangement by the outgoing governor to deprive Rivers people of their ownership status of the Port Harcourt Flour Mills Limited, by selling off the company to Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Apapa, producers of Golden Penny.
“Information available to the PDP indicates that while Rivers State Government owns 55% of the Port Harcourt Flour Mills Limited, Bayelsa State Government controls 45% shares.
“With the latest arrangement between Gov Amaechi and management of Nigeria Flour Mills, producers of Golden Penny, Rivers State Government has opted to relinquish its entire 55% share to the private company with some benefits of the arrangement to be remitted to the private account of the out-going Governor (Amaechi).
“To execute this plot, the current management of the PH Flour Mills Limited has placed all the workers on redundancy, starting from May 2015, giving spurious claim that the company is no longer viable and cannot meet up its financial obligations.
“The Party’s position is further corroborated by a Save Our Soul (SOS) letter dated April 22, 2015, sent by staff of the company, denying such unfounded claim by the Rivers State Government under the guise of the company’s management,” the PDP chieftain said.
The Staff under the umbrellas of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) and the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), had in their protest letter disclosed some deliberate management decisions aimed at creating the impression that the company was no longer viable, which led them to force the workers to proceed on compulsory Leave from March 23 – April 13, 2015, with an assurance that full operations will commence on a joint return from the said leave.
“It is therefore, in view of this development and our experience in several others cases, including the ongoing massive looting of government facilities and enterprises in the state, that the Peoples Democratic Party calls on the general public, the security agencies, and other government relevant authorities to come to the rescue of the State by prevailing on Governor Amaechi to discontinue mortgaging the people and institutions of the State to his cronies and private organizations,” Obuah restated.