The Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has defended the position of the Supervising Minister for Education, Barr Nyesom Wike on the Ogoni Banana plantation, describing the state government’s project as a huge disservice to the people.
Lashing out at the critics of the minister for his uncomplimentary remarks about the plantation, the party through a statement issued and signed by the Special Adviser, on Media to the State Party Chairman, Jerry Needam said those stunned by the Minster’s hard knocks on the exponents of the banana plantation are those feeding fat from the plantation which has
impoverished the landowners the more.
The statement regrets that up to date, the commissioner of agriculture has refused to make public the consultants to the project, and billions of naira involved in paying those ‘ghost’ consultants, arguing that the real beneficiaries and management staff of the unnecessary agricultural project are Governor Amaechi’s political friends and acquaintances from outside the shores of Rivers State and Nigeria.
“Is it not wicked and inhuman that several years after its forceful acquisition, Gov Amaechi and his agric commissioner are yet to pay the necessary compensation to the real land owners or attend to the bereaved families whose relations lost their lives and property worth millions of naira as a result of the communal crisis generated by the land acquisition”, the party queried.
Even the much trumpeted employment of Ogoni youths in the plantation, the party notes that none of these Ogoni youths are permanent staff on the payroll of the Rivers State Government, and challenge the Agric Commissioner and the Minister’s critic to be bold enough to advance the reasons for the shortchange of the landowners or mention in practical terms how government’s forceful acquisition of Ogoni land for this plantation with no
consideration to their plight does not amount to gross injustice and exploitation.
In the days ahead the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State said it shall petition the police against Governor Amaechi, Emma Chinda and those involved in the loss of lives and property as a result of the forceful and illegal acquisition of land for the banana plantation.