Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, has threatened to fire George-Kelly Alabo, his commissioner for works, if a road project’s contractors do not mobilize to the site within 24 hours.
While conducting the official flag-off of the Ekagho-Ogboloma-Adada Link Road’s construction in the state on Friday, the governor verbally threatened the Commissioner with the termination of his or her employment.
The governor interrupted his speech and questioned the construction company’s officials why they hadn’t mobilized to the site.
“Why have they not mobilised to Abua? They collected the money; they collected [for the roads] here, so why have they not mobilised?”he asked the Commissioner
The Commissioner responded inaudibly to which the governor said;
“What is preliminary works? Did they collect our money preliminarily? Call the company, now! Let them come here.”
When a man of South-Asian descent appeared before the governor, the governor asked why the company had not “moved to site on the other road in Abua” after collecting the state government’s money.
“Soon we will start to move to that place,” the unidentified contractor replied.
A visibly angry Governor Wike responded;
“Commissioner for Works, I give you 24 hours. If they don’t move to site, return our money immediately. You see, part of the problem, that’s why our problem is not only the company. Even those that are supervising the job are part of the problems we have.
This company has collected the money more than two months ago, and you’re telling us now that they are preparing after [taking] money from us. Let them not move to site till tomorrow, I will sack you as the Commissioner for Works.”
According to Wike, there is no basis for the delay.
“You don’t take our money and keep it in the bank, and do your other businesses, and then the people are suffering. Before you know it, in March, the rains will start and then you tell us, ‘Because of rain….’ It can’t happen,” he said.
The Rivers governor urged the people of Abua/Odual to “shout” and “cry” on social media if they perceive a slow rate on the project, saying the outcry would get to his attention.