The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rivers State Chapter says it has been vindicated on earlier calls for anti-graft agencies to investigate the Operation Zero Potholes Programme of the Rivers State Ministry of Works under its former commissioner, Mr Dakuku Peterside and the activities of the Road Rehabilitation Committee in the state headed by Elder Chidi Wihioka.
The ACN, in a statement signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam reiterates that the two interventionist programmes on bettering road conditions in the state are not only an unnecessary duplication of function but also a massive fraud and conduit pipes through which billions of Rivers State funds go down the drain even when no genuine efforts are made at achieving the purported objective.
The statement holds that the rains in the state have laid bare the huge jokes of the two programmes, thus confirming earlier fears that nothing good would come out of them.
The party wondered why roads and streets in Port Harcourt and its suburbs are rendered impassable as a result of the numerous potholes on them if they where sincerely rehabilitated only a few months ago.
According to the party, several billions of state funds were sunk into street and road maintenance in the state through the programmes, with the bulk now apparently gone without any benefit to society.
The party expressed regrets over the untold hardship suffered on a daily basis in Port Harcourt as a result of worsening road situation, especially along roads and streets such as Ikwerre, Aba, Nsimiro, Slaughter, Odili, Amadi Ama, Udi, Nnewi, Abakaliki, Timber, Abel Jumbo, Emole, Ojoto, Azikiwe, Illaobuchi, Emenike, Afikpo, Woji, Forces Avenue, Aggrey, Trans Amadi, Rumuomasi, as well as the Ada George, Iwofe, Ikwerre, Elioparanwo, Egbelu and Ogbogoro Roads, among others.
The ACN, therefore challenges Governor Rotimi Amaechi to prove his sincerity to fight corrupt practices in the state by ensuring that the operators of the two programmes are urgently investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies.
The party further holds that the present state of the roads and streets in Port Harcourt and its suburbs, put side by side the billions invested through the programmes a few months ago is one issue that will prove if Governor Amaechi meant well when he promised Rivers State that he would not take kindly to any acts of corrupt enrichment by any state functionary or other public appointees, and urges the governor to institute the investigations to assure Rivers people that their money is not being thrown into wrong hands that only corruptly enrich themselves to the detriment of the rest of the citizens.
Jerry Needam, JP
Action Congress of Nigeria
Thursday, September 1, 2011