The Rivers State Government has called on the Federal Government to urgently address the problem of the East West Road.
The State Chief Executive Nyesom Ezenwo Wike stated this during a One- day Sensitization Seminar for the South -South Zone, organized by the Federal Character Commission at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt on Thursday, 12th April, 2018.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Governor Wike expressed displeasure that the East West Road was not mentioned among the roads that needs attention, by the representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“The East West road which connects most of the South –South States and also connects the Onne Port, which is the deepest Sea Port in Nigeria, as well as the Oil and Gas Free Zone, which is a major employer of our young people, has been totally paralysed, because of the State of the East West Road. I hope the Federal Character Commission will put a word across to the Federal Government on the need to immediately address the problem of the East West Road and alleviate the suffering of our People”. The Governor stressed.
Governor Wike said Nigeria must strive to close the gap of agitations by groups, by being fair and just which is the hallmark of what the Federal Character Commission was set to achieve, noting that Rivers State is one of the disadvantaged states in terms of bureaucratic appointments within the Federal Structure.
“For over two years Rivers State has not been represented in the Commission. May I use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, appoint a representative from Rivers State, because further delay will compound our sense of being marginalized”. He stressed.
He urged them to deliberate consciously in order to find solutions to the problems affecting the nation’s development, noting that people cannot live peacefully when there is perceived feeling of marginalization and non inclusiveness.
According to Governor Wike his Administration considers the provision of infrastructure across the 23 Local Government Areas in the State as a clarion call to emancipate our People from poverty and provide the good things of life.
In his address the Acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Character Commission Dr. Shettima Bukar Abba said the 1999 Constitution and the Federal Character Commission’s enabling Act gave the Commission the mandate of ensuring fair and equitable distribution of posts in the Public Service throughout the Federation among indigenes of the various States and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to him it is also saddled with the responsibility of ensuring fair and equitable distribution of social services, economic amenities and infrastructural facilities among the federating units.
He said issues that created the imperatives for the creation of the Federal Character Commission are note peculiar to Nigeria alone, noting that most multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-social nations in the world had always been confronted with the challenges of balancing the different socio-economic conditions which created structural imbalances in such societies.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation Alhaji Boss Mustapha who spoke through Mr. Alex Yinka Aguda in his keynote address on the theme “The Spread of Socio –Economic and Infrastructural Facilities: Need for Strategic Partnership with Stakeholders.” said the seminar was organized to sensitize stakeholders on the mandate of the Federal Character Commission to ensure equity, fairness and justice to promote even development and national integration.