PDP queries Amaechi over unpaid workers salaries •Allegation, padded emptiness -Rivers govt

THE crises within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State assumed a new twist Monday as the party’s leadership queried the state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on delayed payment of workers’ salaries.
The Felix Obuah-led PDP blamed Amaechi for the agony the civil servants in the state have passing through over the delay in receiving their July salaries.
The party in a statement issued and signed by Jerry Needam, Special Adviser on Media to the state chairman, Hon Felix Obuah wondered why the state government “remained insensitive and unconcerned about the plight of these workers almost two weeks into a new month without salaries and with no explanation on why they should not be paid their July salaries which are a legitimate right.”
Describing the development as unfortunate, the party said no matter the situation, the civil servants should not be made to suffer the weaknesses and mistakes of inefficient state administrators as it appears to be the case.
The PDP said with all projects, including the vaunted developmental efforts of the Amaechi administration now on hold, it sees it as a willful act to let all Rivers people share in his political fight that has gulped billions of naira from the state coffers.
The party said, “This has, therefore, confirmed our fears and earlier alarm, that Rivers resources are being sacrificed on the altar of personal ambition and lust for power,” the party noted.
The party averred that Amaechi should explain to Rivers people what informed his recourse to paying Banks to assist him with the July salaries which has confused the situation the more as only two of the banks could afford to do so, and could only pay less than 40% of the workforce.
“There is no other rationale for this misnomer other than that the state is broke to the point of not paying monthly salaries. And we make bold to ask where has the money gone to, if not for the hosting of numerous supporters, fans and political gold diggers to whom Rivers State has been portrayed as a haven for such games,” the party regretted.
The party leadership therefore urged the Rivers State governor to pay all the civil servants their legitimate July salaries without delay.
It is all lies —Chief of Staff
Responding to Obuah’s allegation, the Chief of Staff of the Rivers State Government House, Tony Okocha, described it as cheap lie.
According to him, what the party is alleging is falsehood, adding that the spokesman to Obuah, Jerry Needam, is just trying to justify his pay by issuing statements that are mostly “padded emptiness.”
“It’s all lies, cheap lies. There’s nothing like that, you can even ask the Head of Service about it. Ignore him, it is not true,” he said.
He also said the governor will not shift the governor’s focus from development and delivering on the dividends of democracy to Rivers people, Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Sir Tony Okocha said Monday.
He spoke when the chairman and council of chiefs of Ekinigbo clan in Obio/Akpor council area of the state paid him a solidarity visit.
Okocha said Governor Amaechi would remain focused to pursue his development agenda for the people of the state.
He said, “We will refuse to be deterred. The governor (Amaechi) has refused to lose focus because of what is going on. His focus, his mission is to better the lives of our people. His vision is to put smiles on the faces of our people. His vision is to develop our people rapidly in a manner that nobody else would have done in the state. That is his mission and we are still hell-bent on it. Before the end of this month, we will be on the streets commissioning projects so that Nigerians will now know what projects the governor has been able to do in Rivers State.”
“I’m aware of the fervent prayers of the chiefs concerning the ‘madness’ of disgruntled elements of Rivers state who like Prof. Tam David West would say, would have refused to see the good works of His Excellency, the Governor and his administration and for whom Prof. Tam David West referred to as “blinder than the bat”.
He said the antics of the opposition would fail and lamented their unsuccessful gang-up against the governor for their personal interests.
He thanked the chiefs for their support and prayers for the Amaechi administration, noting that Governor Amaechi has the people’s mandate to protect the lives and property of all Rivers people.  He however expressed disappointment that the governor was given a bad name for taking steps against the attempted ceding of oil wells in the state to other neighbouring states.
He said the attempt to cede oil wells in the state to other neighbouring states was  plotted to stifle Amaechi’s development effort in the state.
On the recent threat by the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike to make Rivers State ungovernable, the Chief of Staff expressed sadness over the failure of the police to invite him for questioning over his threat.
He bemoaned the latest cases of kidnapping and armed robbery in the state which he explained resurfaced because the police in the state compromised the security of the state.
He described the Minister of State for Education as being ungrateful to Governor Amaechi who brought him to the limelight. He also blamed him for failing to protect the interests of the state.
Okocha recalled that Amaechi appointed Wike as his Chief of Staff and then later nominated him for Ministerial appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan.

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