FG, Security Agencies Politicising Security Issues-Wike
.Says “CBN Playing Politics With Agric Loans”
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has accused the Federal Goverment and security agencies of politicising and making mockery of serious security issues, including kidnapping and banditry.
He also alleged that politics has been used to deny the state access to agricultural loans offered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He made the accusations when he hosted the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri at Government House, Port Harcourt, on Monday.
According to a statement by the governor’s media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, the minister was in the state to inspect ongoing and completed Federal projects that will boost rural agricultural activities under his ministry.
Governor Wike said he wonders what has become of the spate of abduction of children in succession, only to hear that they have been released shortly afterwards.
“I saw breaking news; another banditry in Kaduna, taking away students and teachers. The thing is becoming funny.
“Yesterday, you took 300. Two days after, they release them. The next morning, you took another one. The next 24 hours, they are released.
“So, people know where they are. You take over 200 people in a 20-kilometre distance and nobody will know? And in the next 24 hours they have been released. What is really happening?
“Can somebody tell us the truth of what is going on. It is becoming funny. And why is it so? It is so because we politicise the issue of security,” he said.
Wike decried the situation where every issue in the country, including agriculture, has been politicised instead of implementing such policy dispassionately to achieve the intended food security and jobs for the youths.
The governor said: “I think, I am one of those states that nobody gives loans for agriculture. I don’t know what hatred the Central Bank Governor has for us? We do not know.
“We have been hearing of ANCHOR borrower this and ANCHOR that. But when it concerns Rivers State, you will hear a lot of things.”
Wike explained that in an ideal situation, devoid of politics, the CBN will partner with the Rivers State government to achieve the objectives of setting up the state-owned cassava processing plant.
“Please tell the Governor of the Central Bank to remember us too, that we are part of Nigeria. When we applied, they said this loan was N5 billion. We have applied for more than one year now. They said we should bring this and bring that.
“They said we should bring the cooperative societies and I say this is where the politics comes from. If I want to eat government money, I can sit here and write cooperative societies.
“Previous administration took loan and said they gave it to cooperative societies of over N3billion. Who are these cooperative societies? And the money went off like that.
“And we are telling you see the cassava processing plant that you are supposed to say we will buy into this (sic), we will support the state government. Nothing has happened,” he said.
Wike said, even without the loans from the CBN, his administration is achieving a revolution in cassava processing that will create jobs for youths and enduring patronage for farmer folks.
“It is not in dispute that to take the country out of where we are, agriculture is key. If we are sincere with reality that agriculture will employ a lot of our youths, give them jobs and achieve food security, then we must do it in such a way that we really mean what we say,” he added.
The governor said the state government would invite the Minister of Agriculture to commission the cassava processing plant in the state, adding that many companies have already keyed in to buy off what will be processed.
“We have over 3000 farmers who have registered. From them, the company will buy off all their produce. We are happy with this feat,” he said.
Speaking further, Governor Wike expressed surprised over the road projects and provision of solar powered electricity that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture claimed to have provided to rural communities in the state.
He said it is important for the state government to know where those rural roads and solar power are located so that proper recording will be done and a letter of appreciation written to thank the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the gesture.
“I am also surprised when you said you have done rural roads in Rivers State. I don’t know the roads you did. It is important for us to know them so that we will put it on record;
“That the Federal Ministry of Agriculture did this road. And we will be able to write to you and thank you for doing such road.
“If you put solar, let us also know. Except you gave it to your party people. There is no way you will do road in my state without the state government being aware,” he said.