Tonye Cole must account for Rivers $50m –Wike

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From Tony John, Port Harcourt

Governor Nyesom Wike has said no person would become next governor of River State, if the intention is to make it a personal estate.

He made the declaration at a thanksgiving service, yesterday, to celebrate the legal victory secured at the Supreme Court in the oil well dispute between Rivers and Imo states, at Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Port Harcourt.

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He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant, Tonye Cole, would have to first answer to what happened to the $50 million his Sahara Energy Company received through a bank from the Rivers State government when Chibuike Amaechi was governor.

The governor insisted he was not against anybody aspiring to be governor of the state, but in the case of Cole, he must first give account of the money he received from the Amaechi’s administration.

“Whoever knows him should tell him. $50 million was  taken from Rivers State Access Bank account and taken to Sahara Energy account. And I asked them what is the job you people did for Rivers State? Can I see the contract paper, did you people loan us money?”

Governor Wike said it should not be a situation where the former governor would bring his business partner to become governor when they have both sold and bought assets of the state including gas turbines.

“You think you can sell this state? The former governor think he can bring his business partner, after you have sold all our gas turbines, Olympia Hotel, collected our $50 million cash? People think we will sit here and you will sell our state? Nobody can sell this state. Nobody can make this state his personal estate. A governor must be somebody who wants to develop this state, not somebody who wants to put the state in his pocket.”

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Governor Wike described as a waste of time, the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Ijaw National Congress over the arrest of Farah Dagogo, who is standing trial on 

two-count charge of conspiracy to felony and cultism.

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He said the right thing for them to do would have been to come to government to find out the crux of the issues.

He expressed the regret how criminals who raped women, kidnapped people and done several crimes were allowed to live above the law with the lifestyle that they are lords who cannot suffer any consequence of their actions.

According to Governor Wike, Farah would have lived within the bounds of the amnesty offered him by the Federal Government instead of returning to acts that threatened the peaceful conduct of the Peoples Democratic Party screening exercise.

Governor Wike explained that as chief security of the state, he directed the police to arrest the lawmaker alleging that he had mobilised cultists to disrupt the screening of federal and state legislature aspirants.

According to the governor, some of the cultists were arrested by the police and arraigned in court.

“Enough is enough of all these young boys, thinking they can take everybody for granted and overrun the state, not when I’m a governor of this state. You can do it when another person is a governor, not while I’m here.

“You (Farah) are not running for National Assembly, you are not running for state Assembly, you went and brought cultists to the party secretariat, to destroy the party secretariat and as a governor, as a leader of the party, I should fold my hands and see a criminal, an illiterate overrun my party.”

Governor Wike also berated the former director general of  the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency , Dakuku Peterside, for threatening the peace and stability of the state over the arrest and arraignment of Dagogo in court.