Frowns at non-payment of salaries, no palliatives, test kits… Charges Wike, other governors to learn from Lagos shining example… Recalled how Amaechi handled the Ebola outbreak of 2014… Urges Wike and his Commissioners to emulate Amaechi and other Ministers by donating part of their salaries to cushion the effects of COVID 19
Good governance in the eyes of Wikipedia the great system of defining some difficult policies of government or words simply means “Another way to think about good governance is through outcomes. Since governments carry out with goals like the provision of public goods to its citizens, there is no better way to think about good governance other than through deliverables, which are precisely the one demanded by citizens, like security, health, education, water, the enforcement of contracts, protection to property, protection to the environment and their ability to vote and get paid fair wages”
It is based on some of these principles that Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, critically examined some of the actions and inactions of his good friend, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State since the ravaging of the entire world by the COVID 19 pandemic.
In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Chief Eze said, “in the past couple of days in Rivers State Gov. Wike, like a military dictator, has been dishing out orders and prohibitions as measures to curb the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world”.
Recall that In a recent statewide broadcast, Governor E.N. Wike directed the closure of markets and barricading of all entrance and exit points in Rivers; shutting out neighbouring states and subjecting inhabitants to solitary confinement.
Decrying the lackadaisical attitude to urgency of pandemic, Eze, a former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) said Rivers State is currently lacking in the necessary facilities to handle Covid-19 cases. The state does not have any Covid-19 Test Centre and most sadly, without any organized or strategic framework to enable residents who are symptomatic or asymptomatic or those who are reasonably suspicious of coming in contact with any case or suspected case to present themselves for test; nonetheless, the Governor hurriedly embarked upon a complete lockdown without any consideration for the above factors and this simply portrays him as grossly flippant in the administration and welfare of the good people of Rivers State.
The above notwithstanding, the party chief said it is in order for citizens to remain within the province of their places of rest and observe social distancing as directed by medical experts, however, he opined that it is grossly irrational and conspicuously suicidal for Gov. Wike to order closure of markets and other places of bazaar without first, putting into consideration the resultant effects of the implementation of such directive on the citizens especially, the poor of society.
“It is inhumane and characteristically wrong in essence and manner for the government of Rivers to take pleasure in imposing hunger and starvation on the good people of the state”, he said.
Gov. Wike cannot claim to be solving one problem and ending up creating even a bigger pandemic as hunger and fear kill faster than any endemic disease, Eze opines.
One would have loved to see a situation where the total shutdown is followed by food supplies and subventions to Rivers people to cushion the effect of market closure and sit at home order, as was the case in China, Amwrica, UK, and other worse-hit countries including our dear Lagos State that have resolved to supply food stuffs to her citizens and provide other palliative measures.
The implication of the closure of markets which according to the Governor, include both small and big markets in all the areas of the State means that the people of the State can go ahead to starve to death. Is this governance?
To worsen the situation, Eze said, the Governor has refused to provide any palliative measure or even consider the payment of the salaries of civil servants as the issue of payment of the minimum wage increase approved by the Federal Government is not under the purview of the Governor at the moment.
One could liken the situation in Rivers State without any testing machines or sound Isolation centres as obtainable in other States to the situation in Burundi, the only assumed African country without any case of COVID 19 where the Minister of Health was asked what is the secret behind the zero case of COVID 19 in the country he said ” This is very simple, we don’t have the test kits”. Apart from the Index case in the State, the State lacks every other means through which her citizens’ status can be checked or determined.
On the Index case that brought this dreadful virus to Rivers State, I will like to ask the Security Agencies to investigate how this lady was smuggled into the State and expose the so called highly placed personnel that facilitated her coming to the State and why the GM of The Tide Newspapers should be sacked because the paper reported this ugly incident.
The fact remains that Lagos is the Chief host and epic center of the disease with over over 40 confirmed cases, yet, the government of Lagos has continued to mange the outbreak with diplomacy and sense of humanity. Markets, Casinos and other places of exchange has remained open to citizens because of their very importance in day to day living. This has earned the State a whopping sum of N10B from the Federal Government apart from other foreign donations. This is how a serious Government is ran.
Eze reported the Peoples Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu as saying, “that the food packs will reach the most vulnerable communities and households across Lagos, adding that, the indigents who rely on daily wages will be given priority in the distribution of the food packs produced for a size of six people per household and expected to last for at least 14 days. “We have packaged dry food stimulus for about 200,000 families in the first instance for a household of husband, wife and about four children.
We would be giving bags of rice, bags of beans, garri, bread, dry pepper and we are trying to see if we can add water and some elements of vitamin C. Each ration, we believe is going to be able to last them at least minimum of 14 days so that our advocacy around ‘stay at home’, ‘stay with your loved ones’ will be respected,” The governor described the gesture as a catalytic initiative with the hope that well meaning corporate organisations and private individuals can step up to complement the efforts of the government.
“I wish that Governor Wike, with other Governors can sit with the Lagos State Governor and learn how to be proactive in handling emergency situations, such as the menace called COVID 19.
Eze expects Governor Wike to go through the records of how Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi handled the Ebola outbreak in the State in 2014 and learn the best strategy to handle the ongoing menace of COVID 19 without putting the people in a melancholic situation.
Finally, Eze congratulates Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Femi Otedola, Tony O Elumelu, Herbert O. Wigwe, Segun Agbaje, Wokne-Eze Newman, Jim Ovia, Atiku Abubakar, RCCG, NNPC, UBA and several other Corporate Organisations that have teamed up to donate billions of Naira in order to eradicate this evil ravaging our nation and the world.
In the same vein, he appealed to Governor Wike to emulate Amaechi and other Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that have donated part of their salaries for the fight against the COVID 19 menace by cutting down his security vote and other benefits together with his Aides and Commissioners and plough the funds back to the fight of the menace of COVID 19. The same appeal is made to all great sons and daughters of Rivers State; churches, corporate organisations to rally round and emulate Hon. Victoria Nyeche, Hon. Wenah Asondu,Dame Ibifuro Thompson Tatua, Prof Georgewill by visiting and donating essential materials to the less privileged and save Rivers poor masses from the imposed hunger virus occasioned by the ill actions of the Governor. We must be our brothers keeper at this period.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
APC Chieftain, Rivers State
Former National Publicity Secretary, nPDP
29– 03 – 20