The National Rescue Movement (NRM) In Rivers State have raised an Alarm Over plot by the Rivers State Governor E.N wike to shut down its newly Commissioned Party Secretariat
In a State press Conference signed by Hon. Ibiyekaribo Peters, Chairman Caretaker Committee National Rescue Movement in the State as reads, says;
“The National Rescue Movement (NRM) and our affiliate group, the Network for Defense of Democracy and Good Governance – NDDGG wish to express our concern over the recent ban placed on all Motorcycle operations within Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
While we acknowledge the veracity of the security concerns which had informed the governor’s decision, as well as the existing ban on commercial motorcycle operation in Port Harcourt and its environs, we however view it from a different standpoint; that the decision was made a bit in a hurry without considering the economic difficulty such an outright ban would cause to those affected directly and indirectly.
This concern is particularly on the inclusion of dispatch riders or delivery service providers who are now to undergo an arduous process of seeking permission from the office of the Governor before they could carry out their legitimate businesses.
The negative impacts of this decision far outweighs the reason given for it.
Businesses will be shut down and dozens of job opportunities will be lost.
Other retail businesses who depend on these dispatch riders to deliver goods to their customers all across the state will be made to suffer untold losses as a result of this ban.
Considering the harsh economic realities that has brought untold hardship on citizens of the state and indeed Nigerians, we crave the indulgence of the state government rescind its stance.
It is rather unfortunate that despite the huge resources at the disposal of the Rivers State Government, there has not been any notable economic policy that would provide jobs and empower Rivers people to do businesses in the state.
No capacity-building programs for our youths amidst unfair labor practices by government contractors.
It is quite disheartening that Rivers State which is among the wealthiest states in the country in terms of Federal Allocations and Internally Generated Revenues, stays in the lead as a state with the highest number of unemployed people.
According to a 2021 BudgIT Report, Rivers State plays host to the second-highest number of unemployed population in the country having 1.64M of the 3.92M labour force remaining unemployed; which leaves the unemployment rate at a staggering 59.22%.
In spite of these worrisome economic realities, the state government which has not taken any notable step to creating jobs or encourage businesses in the state to create more jobs has rather gone ahead to ban legitimate businesses thereby, further plunging the state into the abyss of the existing job crisis.
We begin to wonder how banning legitimate businesses would help solve security issues, when insecurity partly stems from severe hunger.
The state government would definitely not subscribe to these young individuals resorting to criminal activities to make ends meet having taken away their legitimate means of livelihood.
We advise the state government to consider other effective and efficient strategies to tackling the security concerns.
These may include proper registration, screening and profiling of all delivery service providers in the state for purpose of identification and tracking in an event of a misdemeanor.
The state government should empower security agencies to step up efforts in carrying out regular stop and search routine within the state in order to arrest the culprits who carry out criminal acts in the guise of dispatch riding or motorcycling activities.
These approaches will isolate crime from legitimate business activities instead of an outright ban which will add to our existing unemployment problem and cause further insecurity rather than solve it.
Bearing in mind that those who carry out criminal acts are not limited to motorcycles, and could easily transit to other means of transportation, including using private vehicles.
However, where the state government is not considering reneging on its decision, it should consider providing an alternative program to integrate and engage these dispatch delivery service operators because the idle mind they say, is the devil’s workshop.
We wish to also use this medium to notify the general public and security agencies of a fresh plot we have just uncovered from a reliable source.
Information at our disposal from a reliable source has it that the state government upon hearing our jingles on air and seeing that the state party Secretariat is at its completion stage, has perfected plans to come in the guise of carrying out a construction work around the NRM party office to dig around the streets, thus denying people access to the secretariat, and will further claim the office is affected in the cause of the reconstruction work.
They have also perfected plans to unleash miscreants and hoodlums to cause a breach of the peace during our activities in order to distract us from carrying on our activities and advocacy programs.
We must however, state unequivocally, that we are out to rescue Rivers State from the shackles of misrule and will not be deterred or intimidated by their antics.
This is not the first time such plans have been made and hatched against us, but with the help of God, we shall always triumph in victory.
Recall that just recently, the Rivers State Government had commissioned connected and adjoining roads within the Tombia Extension, Birabi axis of the New GRA and its environs of which those areas all link up to the NRM office, just as it did for Old GRA when it concluded construction activities in that area.
So if construction activities had not been concluded within this axis, the Rivers State Government would not have commissioned them.
They hurriedly devised a means to silence us in the guise of embarking on construction activity within our vicinity, because they are afraid that we pose a big threat to the chances of the PDP led state government to retaining power in 2023.
May we remind all who cares to listen that power is transient, no one can hold on to it forever. And instructive to state also that power should not be used as a tool of oppression.
We are in a democratic dispensation, and everybody should be allowed to go about their activities within the framework of the law.
We therefore appeal to people of good conscience to join faith and watch keenly with us to see if and when the Rivers State Government carries out this sinister plot against us.
With or without an office, the National Rescue Movement- NRM and our affiliates groups will continue to march forward to Rescue River State from the oppressors and for the good of all her citizens.
The time for the liberation of Rivers state is now and no amount of intimidation will stop the movement.