Governor Amaechi cannot allow any local government chairman who is not performing to remain in office. I know the governor and I know how much he believes in the dividends of democracy. Any local government chairman that is not performing now is taking a risk.
Chief William Ubaka, the former chairman of non-indigenous politicians in the People’s Democratic Party in Rivers State (NORIP), says he has the conviction that Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi will bring non-performing council chairmen in the state to book because of his passion and desire to provide the dividends of democracy to the people.
According to him, local government chairmen in the state who were basically elected on the platform of PDP but are not providing the dividends of democracy to the people who elected them, are merely taking a risk.
He explained that as a governor who believes in providing democracy dividends to the people, Governor Amaechi would not spare non-performing council chairmen, as he would likely bring them to book through existing laws and the State House of Assembly.
Ubaka who made the declaration in this encounter with The Tide On Sunday in Port Harcourt said local government chairmen were elected into office, in the first place, to provide democracy dividends to their people.
He averred that some of the council chairmen were living up to the expectation of the people while those whose performance fall short of expectation should buckle up and provide the dividends of democracy to the people.
His words: “Governor Amaechi cannot allow any local government chairman who is not performing to remain in office. I know the governor and I know how much he believes in the dividends of democracy. Any local government chairman that is not performing, I know Governor Amaechi will scrutinise the person and bring that person to book through existing laws and the House of Assembly. Any local government chairman that is not performing now is taking a risk. The council chairmen should now open their minds and hearts and give the people the dividends of democracy. That is what is required from all the people that were elected.”
Commenting on insinuations that members of NORIP were yet to be carried along by the present administration in the state, Ubaka who hails from Ideato in Imo State said: “I know that those non-indigenes he is carrying along are not politicians because I believe that every non-indigenous politician must emerge through NORIP. Those the governor is currently carrying along are not politicians but those he feels will help him do his job. Those who get appointment in government should come from NORIP. But since he has not looked at our direction but chose one or two non-indigenes to work for him, we are not grudging. We are politicians. We are party men and women. We remain loyal to the party. We are, however, urging him to look inwards and see us as partners in progress.”
On the area he felt the present administration had not performed creditably in the past two years, the PDP chieftain actually found it difficult to come up with a particular sector in the society but declared: “Well, no man is all in all. I mean no man is perfect. The governor himself has said that the areas he is not doing well, he knows the areas but it is better for people to point them out to him so that it would encourage him to look into those areas so that the government will be successful. I don’t know any area and I cannot remember any area. But he said that people should point out areas they feel he is not doing well. I can’t even remember one area. The only area I can remember is agriculture. I have not seen much in that area.”
He, however, expressed delight that a lot was being done in the area of youth development through the award of scholarships.
Hear him: “But in other areas, I can see what the governor is doing. In youth development, I can see what he is doing; It is very prominent now and he is trying in that area. How many scholarships have been awarded? The whole of South Africa is filled with Rivers youths today. Go to Malaysia, Russia and other countries, Rivers youths are there. In education, new schools are being built. The governor is doing well but it is only in agriculture I have not seen much.”
When he was, however, asked to give a comprehensive assessment of the administration within the past two years, Ubaka replied: “Relatively, compared to other people that have ruled this state, Amaechi’s administration has done well. I give him a pass mark. In education, road construction, health which is primary to the people, and energy. The governor is trying but I want him to continue. He has done well in these two years. What he is doing I can see. I have always told people that the taste of the food is in the eating.”
According to him, what the people of the state now owed the governor in return for the good works was support and prayers.
“We should support him. We should agree with him. We should encourage him. We should pray for him. Most importantly, we should come out enmasse and support him so that he can succeed. Because if he succeeds, all of us have succeeded and if he fails, all of us will fail with him,” he declared.
Commenting on the recent supreme court judgement against barrister Celestine Omehia, the former NORIP chairman had this to say: “The judgement was on the right track. I saw his running back to the Supreme court after two years as a waste of energy and time. Let us all be patient and allow the governor to complete his tenure. After that, anybody who wants to become governor can vie for the position.
For now, the earlier judgement of the Supreme court can not be reversed. Let us be patient because politics is not do or die. God has given judgement. It is turn by turn. For now, Amaechi is there as governor. There can never be two governors in the state. There is no vacancy in Government House.”
When he was asked to advise the governor, he said: “The governor is doing well but he should avoid bad advisers. He should also be wary of sycophants. If bad advisers advise him wrongly, he should pray and God will give him wisdom to make a choice that will be okay for him and for the people of Rivers State. The governor should also not allow the good works to get into his head.”
Ubaka equally appealed to the governor to direct the attention of his government to roads in various streets within the Port Harcourt metropolis, stressing that most street roads which he described as link roads are in a terrible state of disrepair.
According to him, since owners of buildings and residents of the streets had over the years been maintaining the roads, this was the time for the government to step in and rehabilitate such roads.
On the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra State, the PDP chieftain maintained that Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo remains the candidate of the PDP for the elections, insisting that the former Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor’s choice would never spark off crisis in the state.
He said since other political parties in the state had succeeded in choosing their candidates without plaguing the state into crisis, the choice of Soludo as the PDP’s candidate would as well not cause any crisis.
“Soludo is the candidate of PDP in Anambra State as far as I know. We don’t have any other candidate because it is a party’s affair. It is not something anybody from outside can poke nose. As PDP has chosen him as our candidate, that is the bottomline. All other political parties have chosen their candidates without crisis. Soludo’s choice will not cause crisis,” he declared.