Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in the state, Pastor Tonye Cole, yesterday engaged in brickbats over the state government’s termination of the sale of the stateowned power plants to subsidiaries of Sahara Energy Limited co-founded Cole.
Wike, through the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emma Okah, yesterday in Port Harcourt, announced the termination by the Rivers government of the sale of the state-owned power plants to subsidiaries of Sahara Energy Limited. The commissioner, while briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, said: “The Rivers State government has approved the termination of the share sale contract for the sale of 70 per cent equity of the state government-owned power generation assets held by First Independent Power Limited in Omoku, Afam, Trans-Amadi and Eleme Gas Turbines to NG PowerHPS Limited.
“The Rivers State government also terminated the concession of the Rivers and Bayelsa States’ owned Olympia Hotel (in old Government Reservation Area, near Government House, Port Harcourt) to Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited. “The Rivers State government further terminated the concession agreement between the government of Rivers State and Kild Concession Limited, in respect of the construction of a toll road and secondary developments in Abonnema Wharf, Port Harcourt. “The three companies that had their contracts/concessions terminated are subsidiaries of Sahara Energy Limited, used by the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, to acquire state assets.”
Okah also stated that the Rivers government arrived at the resolutions, in line with the yet-to-be-implemented recommendations of the white paper on the report of the judicial commission of inquiry on the investigation of the administration of Amaechi, on the sale of valued assets of Rivers State and other related matters, under the chairmanship of Justice George Omereji. Cole, a billionaire businessman, who is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), in his reaction, however, declared that Wike is frustrated and playing vindictive politics. The Rivers governorship candidate of the APC, who spoke through the Director, Strategic Communications of his campaign organisation, Prince Tonye Princewill, said: “This may be a surprise to some, but not me.
This is the vindictive nature of the politics we play today and the reason why many who can salvage our analog politics stay away. “We have said it before that politics is too important to be left to politicians. So, the Tonye Coles of this world should have no fear. The old way is going and the old style politicians know it. My surprise is it took this long. “I can only imagine that now Wike knows that Tonye Cole will be confirmed as his opponent, he can no longer hide his frustration. What he fails to appreciate is that no serious businessman will want to do business with Rivers State. All this from a state with the highest level of unemployment in Nigeria and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) untapped. Yet we wonder why insecurity remains.”
By Bisi Olaniyi, The Nation