From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Governorship hopeful under the National Rescue Movement (NRM) in Rivers State, Sobomabo Jackrich, has said that lack of transparency and accountability in governance has continued to stiffen the collective growth and economic development of the state.
Jackrich stated this when he formally declared his intention to join the 2023 governorship race in the state, vowing to entrench transparency and accountability in public service beginning with ensuring the functionality of all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government, if given the opportunity to govern the state.
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He expressed: “Rivers State has been under economic siege under successive administrations, economically. We seem to have retrogressed to about 18th century. Government should have a functional administrative system such that you don’t necessarily need to have any connection to the governor to benefit from the system.
“However, the situation in our hands under the present administration is such that, the only functional office in the state is the office of the governor. That is the only office that decides who gets a contract, as well as determines the vendors to work with the contractor. Rivers people, it is time to rise up and resist this impunity”
“If given the mandate, what my administration will do is simple: We will first of all, open up the system to ensure transparency and accountability by ensuring the functionality of all ministries, departments and agencies of government.
“Transparency and accountability will be our watchword. We will lead by example. We will not hesitate to open our books and records for the purpose of financial scrutiny.
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“We received a lot of backlash a few years ago, when we raised the alarm of the whereabout of our N118 billion withdrawn by officials of the state government without being accounted for. But, recent move by the EFCC to have declared the government officials wanted has vindicated us.
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“We have been demanding for accountability from this present administration, not because we disrespect them, we love them. But, we cannot sacrifice our future and that of our children just so we can be in their good books.”
Also speaking at the event, NRM national Chairman, Isaac Ude, said Jackrich was the sole governorship aspirant of the party in the state, having paid his dues in the growth and development of the party.
Ude said: “The kind of popularity exhibited by Jackrich in Abuja was so alarming. I want to appreciate Rivers people for standing by this man. On behalf of the national leadership of NRM, we love him so much. I want to let him know that he has no competitor of bearing the flag of our great party. He has paid his dues and we want to pay him back.
The event featured good will messages in support of the governorship aspiration of Jackrich from various individuals and groups from across the country and the diaspora.