A former security adviser to the Bayelsa state fovernment, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, has described as a waste of time the smear campaign allegedly being launched by some politicians in the Niger Delta against the immediate past minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and the acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Nelson Branbaifa.
According to Kpodoh, though the smear campaigns are the handiwork of the enemies of the region, the progressive people of the region appreciate the contributions of the former Rivers state governor and the acting managing director of NDDC,
He described them as being role models on infrastructural development, capacity building and performance in the public service to the region.
Chief Kpodoh, in a chat with newsmen in Yenagoa, noted that those sponsoring the smear campaigns should stop and support the contributions being made by the duo of Amaechi and Branbaifa.
According to him: “We don’t have many politicians like Rotimi Amaechi in the Niger Delta. These Niger Delta governors and politicians should learn from him on the issues of his numerous contributions to Rivers and Bayelsa state in terms of political appointments, capacity development, infrastructural development and connecting the region to the national politics.
“if you visit Port Harcourt, you will see his appreciable legacies as a governor. None has done such in Bayelsa. Bayelsa politicians only know about uncompleted projects, lack of continuity on previous administration projects and they take stolen money out of the state with local sense of investment.’
‘For me, I regret that we don’t have the likes of Rotimi Amaechi in Bayelsa state. Bayelsa would have been turned into hub of completed projects and sensible issue of development. Bayelsa remains the yard of abandoned and uncompleted projects. There are issues of insecurity and total darkness.
‘We also commend him for the unconditional support given to the people of the riverine area and the Ijaws of Niger Delta to produce governor of Rivers state in the last election. We thank him for the effort and we are still behind you.’
On Prof. Branbaifa, Chief Kpodoh noted that in the last few months, the present administration has done noble by delivering on its core mandate of developing the region.
He said: “This executive management on assumption of office drew up a strategy of intervention to kick start the economy of the region and drive progressive development’
“As a result, it decided to tackle the mountain of debts owed to contractors. As part of that process, payment had commenced for those owed N20 million and below. Some of these date back to 2008.
“These debts were not incurred nor contracts awarded by the present management. Those who have been paid did not need to engage with the commission before being paid. This, in fact, is a sea change in contractual responsibility on the part of the commission.
“The executive management had also cleared all arrears of tuition and maintenance fees owed scholars of the commission studying abroad. ”
“In the last four months, at least N2 billion has been remitted. The liability in respect of the scholars dates back to 2018, before this executive management assumed office on January 25, 2019.’
“The commission has also prioritised key projects for completion. One of such is the N24 billion 29 kilometre Ogbia Nembe road which is due for commissioning. This road creates a land route to Nembe, and also opens up arable lands for economic activity. The management has also embarked on the emergency repair of roads.’
“One of such roads, Reclamation Road in Port Harcourt, had revived the fortunes of the Nigerian Naval Shipyard, and dozens of industries in the vicinity of the Port Harcourt port.’
‘For the purpose of clarity, the revenue inflow to the commission is an average of N7billion a month. Rather than become the victim of a smear campaign, this management deserves acclaim.
“We are happy that the ordinary people of the region (silent majority) who are beneficiaries of the work of the present management in the past four months have appreciated our efforts and given resounding approval.’