From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The announcement of the refund of a N78.9 billion to the Rivers State government by the President Mohammadu Buhari led Federal Government has continued to attract commendations from people of goodwill.
Reacting to the development, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze described the refund as a sincere, patriotic and display of commitment by President Mohammadu Buhari and the APC towards the development of states’ economies.
In a statement made available to media houses, the party chief said the fund was released as a reimbursement for several federal road projects executed by the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as then the Governor of the state.
Commending the President for his magnanimity and kind gesture, Chief Eze accused the previous federal government of frustrating efforts by the then Chibuike Amaechi led state government to get a refund for all FG projects executed in the state under his watch.
He said “This was the fund Amaechi sought for approval from the then administration of Dr. Jonathan Goodluck, a son of Niger Delta, but was denied through the influence of the then Minister of State for Education and to the detriment of Rivers people”.
The APC chieftain recalled that Chibuike Amaechi was part of the inter ministerial committee set up to investigate the authenticity of claims of executed FG projects for which refunds were sought.
The party chief commended President Muhmmadu Buhari for the timely reimbursement, said the President has shown maturity as a statesman and a true leader of a united Nigeria.
He urged Governor Nyedom Wike to reinvest the money into reviving the over 300 model primary health centres, 350 model state of the arts Primary schools and 24 international standard secondary schools built by Amaechi as well as most of the roads scattered all over the State screaming for attention.
“He should use part of the funds to pay Pensioners their dues which he has refused to pay for reasons only known to him. Salaries of Civil Servants in the State should be settled within the next one week”, Eze reiterated.
The party chief said three roads and three flyover bridges including the Obiri-Ikwerre boulevard constructed by Rotimi Amaechi were the six projects that attracted the refund.
Eze maintained that the efforts to erase the feats of Amaechi in the construction of modern Rivers State notwithstanding, Amaechi has remained a hero so far as governance is concerned in Rivers State and Nigeria at large.