In specific terms, what have you achieved in the last two years?
One area is security. When we came into power, people were saying that Rivers State was not safe. Despite Federal Government’s lack of support, today, Rivers State is one of the most peaceful states in the country.
In fact, the Federal Government made sure that the state was unsafe so that they could declare a state of emergency. The All Progressives Congress considered this in their meetings. But look at it; today, they are the ones with insecurity issues in their states.
Is Rivers not one of the richest states in Nigeria?
How will it be the richest when there is no employment and investment? The internally generated revenue is going down and oil price has crashed. So, where would the money come from?
You can be rich only when the economy is booming. Do you get rich when the economy is in recession? How we survive, we cannot explain it. But we are surviving and we are making an impact. When we award contracts, we don’t inflate them. A contract of N700m is given out for over N4bn in some places.
Look at the modern school they gave out (built) at over N4bn; we are building such at N1.1bn. You can see the difference. The road they built for more than N7bn, we are building it at a little over N1bn now. It means something was wrong.
Our (Rivers’) recurrent (expenditure) was N1.8bn before we came into power. Today, it is a little over N600m. You must make sacrifices. You must love your state; you must be committed. Every policy of the Federal Government is against this state. I don’t benefit from this government in any way.
Some states got money for stabilisation funds. Nobody has given me a kobo. They give states ecological funds, nobody has given me anything. If the Federal Government says it’s bringing about a change, is this the change it promised? Where is the change? What is the essence of the change?
What we have now is deceit, intimidation, and blackmail. If one talks, they (Federal Government) will say one is corrupt. The moment they say one is corrupt, they run to the media. I’m not even happy with the media. The media has not done well for this country. Part of the crisis (in the country) is caused by the media. Jonathan wanted to do partial removal of oil subsidy but you people came up with ‘Occupy Nigeria’. Now, this government came up with total removal of subsidy but nobody protested.
You have a new commissioner of police.
Yes, and he told me he is going to do a professional work and I told him, ‘You, a professional work?’ You can’t be independent and can’t do a professional work. The inspector general of police has given him instructions on what to do. The inspector general has told him he must cage the Rivers State governor. He shouldn’t come and tell me he wants to do any professional work. Who is he to say that?
He can’t have his own mind?
Which mind? Before he was posted here, he was told what to do. They don’t post people based on competence but loyalty; someone who will do their bidding. Do you know that we are the only state that has had about nine commissioners of police in just two years?
Did he agree with you?
Would he say yes? But I told him and he knew I was telling the truth. When he was going to be sent, there were about three of them that were called, and interviewed. They said they were going to kill me. They took this one who said he would be diplomatic about it. We know. This police commissioner has an agenda; I can’t be deceived. I’m not saying he should go; let him stay. He has been given an assignment to kill me. No problem. No man dies two times.
The inspector general of police couldn’t have ordered a police officer to kill someone, especially a governor.
This inspector general of police said so.
That the commissioner of police in your state should kill you?
Yes, I’m telling you (the truth). The inspector general of police, who removed my security details without letting me know until when I was going out and realised that I had no security personnel. What is the implication of that? When a supposed chief security officer of a state wakes up in the morning and realises that he has no security personnel attached to him, what do you expect? What’s the implication? Danger!
Maybe to ensure fairness; so that you didn’t have undue advantage during the election?
Undue advantage over whom?
Am I running for an election?
Your party was.
So? I would go with security operatives to everywhere in the whole state? What kind of rubbish is this, in my country? When the President was running for an election, would you have withdrawn his security details so that there would be fairness? Tell me more.
It is unfortunate that this is the only country where a chief security officer has been marked for elimination without anyone saying anything. And you, media, would keep mum because you are working with them. You withdraw security officers from a governor, suddenly. I have been on the danger list of the government and I have been saying it. Nobody is saying anything. I have been marked out for assassination. It is not hidden. People know. This government says it will use me as example for people to learn.
If I’m not a threat, why is the government killing my people? For ordinary legislative rerun election, the government posted 28,000 policemen to kill our people. At the end of the day, what did they say? That the governor of Rivers State paid bribes. I have challenged them, but they won’t talk. They have intimidated all the people and they say they can kill him and nothing will happen. Yes, they can kill me today and nothing will happen, but something will happen tomorrow. That’s why I don’t go out. I only go out to see projects, anyway. Why did they remove my security details?
Have you asked the police chief?
(I have done that) several times. There is an agenda. The only thing I know is that I have refused to allow them conquer the state. I have not committed any offence.
Let’s talk about the crisis in your party.
It is a crisis sponsored by the APC, engineered by security agencies – DSS and the police. They have a hand in it. That’s why I don’t believe in the so-called political solution. To allow the APC conduct convention?