News Column

Group Vows to Scuttle Amaechi's U.S.$280 Million Loan

July 10, 2014

Ernest Chinwo



A political pressure group in Rivers State, Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), has said it would use every means to ensure that Governor Chibuike Amaechi did not succeed in accessing the $280 million loan from World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB).

The GDI, a political pressure group loyal to Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said Amaechi had not given account to the people of the state on how he spent other loans he secured on behalf of the state.

The President General of GDI, Worldwide, Hon. Bright Amewhule, said in Port Harcourt yesterday at a press briefing that even though the state government had stopped the courts from functioning, the group would use other means to ensure that the loan was not released. "Since the Rivers State Government has stopped the courts from functioning, we will therefore take any other available means to stop Amaechi from taking that loan," Amewhule said.

According to the GDI president general, "It is unfortunate that the present Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, has decided to exercise total impunity and disregard for the people of Rivers State and Nigeria at large. "He has taken several loans that are already being questioned by the people of the state. As if that is not enough, he is seeking for another approval from his friends at the assembly to secure a loan from African Development Bank and World Bank to the tune of $280 million purportedly to provide water and sanitation for Rivers people."

Amewhule alleged that the state government had not used previous loans in the interest of the people of the state, adding that the new loan would also be shared among the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC). "This $280 million loan that is now being approved by his friends again, if at all it exists, is to be shared amongst themselves who are top notches of APC in the state just as they allocated the Omagwa and Igwuruta-Ali land to themselves," he alleged.

While calling on the people of the state to speak out against the loan, Amewhula said, "The World bank and AfDB should not serve as instruments in the hands of the out-going Rivers State government to impoverish the lives of Rivers people for the next forty years. Rivers People must surely have good drinking water provided for them with Rivers money, not borrowed money." On the strike by judicial workers in the state, Amewhule expressed regret that some politicians in Rivers State Government had decided to weaken the powers of the judiciary by encouraging the crisis in the state judiciary. He also said the explosions at Ahoada High Court should not be the basis of the indefinite strike as the state commissioner of police had assured the workers of their safety.

He also said it was not fair for national officers of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to say that suspects in police custody should perish in detention instead of the workers to return to work. "They (judiciary workers) should see themselves as an arm of government and not an appendage of Rivers State Government. And their actions will have effect on them tomorrow because any other government, if not properly checked, may exercise worse impunity than Chibuike Amaechi-led executive," he advised.


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Source: AllAfrica


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