Worried by the slow pace of development in Rivers State, a socio-political group which calls itself, Rivers Integrity and Development Forum has cited five (5) major reasons why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) must probe Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
This was contained in a press statement entitled, “Why EFCC Must Intervene in Rivers State Now!” and made available to The Newswriter on Monday, the group highlighted: saving and reckless borrowing, inflation of contracts, sales of Government properties, Abuse of power and outright stealing of government funds as reasons for inviting the anti-graft commission to investigate the activities of the Rivers State Governor.
The press release which was jointly signed by the state Chairman of the group, Comrade Warigbani Ezekiel and the Secretary, Comrade Sotonye George, the Rivers Integrity and Development Forum regretted that despite the huge allocation received by the state from the Federation Account, the Rivers people are still living in an abject poverty.
The Group alleged that since Rt. Hon. Amaechi became the Governor of Rivers State in October 2007, the state has received over N2.4 trillion from Federal Allocation and had also gotten billions of naira from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The statement reads in part “It is our intention to show where the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has shown scant regard to transparency in governance which he trumpets with pseudo zealotry and that his trumpeted infrastructure development remain at best a ubiquitous façade to shield monumental mismanagement, hyper-contract inflation, outright fraud and gross abuse of office.”
The group decried the rising external debt profile of the state, saying that it would enslave and mortgage the future of the Rivers people.
The Rivers Integrity and Development Forum lampooned Governor Amaechi for what it calls, “Inflation of Contracts, alleging that, “on resumption of office in October 2007, Governor Amaechi and his men put in place an elaborate scheme to defraud Rivers State”. According to the group, the Governor through the construction of monorail, 10km Trans Amadi Road, new stadium and the Greater Port Harcourt project has openly defrauded the Rivers people.
The group further condemned the sales of some notable government properties namely: Obi Wali Cultural Centre, Abonnema Wharf, Hotel Olympia amongst several others by Governor Amaechi. The socio-political organization blasted the Governor for engaging in series of abuse of power. It accused the governor for allegedly using funds from the Rivers treasury to fund the newly registered All Progressive Congress (APC).
“We, therefore call on all anti-corruption agencies, including the EFCC and ICPC to probe the financial affairs of Rivers State from the inception of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s administration on the 26th October, 2007 to date without further delay. Rivers people want to know how the over N2.4 trillion revenue that has accrued to the state has been spent. We invoke all the relevant statutes on corruption to be brought to bear on this very important investigation. This is the only war Rivers people can be re-assured that the war against corruption is real” the group demanded. ###