I was informed that Mr Ajuri Ngelale, an aide of the Vice President, smuggled himself into Rivers State through the notorious Nigeria Info radio station to ply his lying trade in order to step up the failed ladder of the non-performing All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government.
It is a shame that Ngelale would choose this trying time to play dirty politics. Of course, he found Nigeria Info, the Lebanese medium, as willing partners to circulate falsehood and mislead the listening public.
Right from his days at APC-controlled Channels Television, Ngelale has used every single opportunity to concoct lies against Rivers State and her government. An indigene of Rivers State, Ngelale has never made any attempt to promote the state and attract projects for the good of Rivers people.
Every step of the way, he teams up with the leaders of APC to deny Rivers State her entitlement. For Ajuri, this will fetch him accolades from APC leaders who are ever willing to work against the interest of the state.
This is the same guy who sang the praises of the APC/FSARS rigging machine during the ill-fated Port Harcourt State Constituency III Election.
I expected Ngelale to discuss the measures taken by the Federal Government to ensure that Coronavirus is contained across the country, including Rivers State, and not to resort to the usual lies of the APC Federal Government. Collaboration between the Rivers State Government and Access Bank is what Ngelale thinks he can use to hype the failed Federal Government.
The Federal Government issued a grant of N10 billion to Lagos State to fight the containment of Coronavirus, but nothing was extended to Rivers State, even though the Federal Government flies in expatriates from Lagos daily to engage in oil production in Rivers State. Nothing is known of the status of these expatriates, even as they jeopardise the measures put in place to contain the disease in Rivers State. Trust Ngelale of the failed APC Federal Government to support the exclusion of his home state.
It is in the nature of the APC members from Rivers State to struggle for space to campaign against their home state in the distribution of support and projects from the failed APC Federal Government. They have studied the body language and that is the only way they can be appreciated by the anti-Rivers elements.
Since 2015, the APC Federal Government has not initiated a single developmental project in Rivers State. Even projects initiated by previous administrations have been neglected by the APC Federal Government.
For the Lebanese radio station, it is the epicentre of anti-Rivers reportage. For every single event, Nigeria Info seeks ways to promote a misleading narrative. There is nothing like social responsibility in the understanding of the promoters of the Lebanese radio station.
If markets are shutdown in Rivers State, Nigeria Info and the APC leaders say it is not right because people will suffer. If security agencies work towards enforcing the sit-at-home order, the Nigeria Info/APC collaboration says the Wike administration is oppressing the people. Wait for it; the markets were opened for two days, the Nigeria Info/APC collaboration goes to town saying that the traders and buyers have refused to maintain social distancing.
The Nigeria Info/APC collaboration sees the fight against Coronavirus as a competition, wherein they seek to gain advantage. For them, advantage means spreading falsehood and half truths to cast the Rivers State Government in bad light. They have no commitment to the protection of lives. They have no interest in the development of Rivers State.
What these people fail to realise is that the fight against Coronavirus is a collective struggle. There is no part of the community that is at advantage. Once it spreads in the community, it doesn’t discriminate. Everyone is at risk. The privileged and the less-privileged. The professional and the unskilled labourer.
Shooting down all precautionary measures and misleading the public only endangers the state.
Beyond precautionary measures, Governor Wike has put in place platforms to cater for the people of Rivers State during this trying period.
A state Food Bank has been established. The very first in the country! From the food bank, a committee headed by former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Chief Desmond Akawor, draws resources to reach out to less-privileged Rivers people.
Governor Wike has also established a stimulus package to keep the economy of the state afloat. The Rivers State Government has set aside N2 billion for the launch of the state Farmer/Fisherman Empowerment Programme to purchase and distribute foodstuffs to Rivers people.
Working with the private sector, a major Isolation/treatment centre has been established in Port Harcourt. This is a determined move to protect Rivers people.
Governor Wike’s commitment to the protection of Rivers people is unwave-ring. From proactive measures to check the spread of the disease to the distribution of palliatives to the less-privileged and the provision of medical facilities to cater for those who fall ill, Wike is a leading example of quality leadership.
Also in existence is another isolation/treatment centre in Ngelale’s native Eleme LGA. That is where the state’s index case received medical treatment. With the support of the Rivers State Government, holding centres are functional at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.
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