BY Somina Ibitari
Reading a recent attack on the person of Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, by Governor Nyesom Wike, through a proxy, one Simeon Nwakudu, I felt obliged to render a voluntary duty, to state the facts in a simple, unambiguous manner, and next, leave the reader to the impartial judgment of the conscience.
The style adopted herein presents both Peterside and Wike, their personalities, motives in the respective portfolios they hold, and then, testimonies about them in the public domain. I shall sum my argument to proving that Peterside is refined, responsible and an invaluable asset to Rivers State and Nigeria. On the other hand, the evidence I shall plead in my argument shall summarise Wike in his true person while that treatise, tried as the author, a political appointee of Wike and therefore beholding to him, might, to arm-twist truth, there is no alternative to the truth.
The truth is a healer of the conscience except that Wike has shown to be a man without that human regulator. First, who is Wike? What is his personality? There is no doubt that Wike’s character defines his personality. Now to the specifics of Wike’s barrage of lies. To state that Peterside visited the All Progressives Congress, APC, National Chairman with bank statements and financial documents are nothing but a rehearsal of the Third Reich propagandist, Paul Joseph Goebbels, whose theory of “the big lie” sustained Adolf Hitler. This figment of the aide’s mind gives an insight into how Wike’s mind operates.
Everything, including serious state business, must be reduced to cash and bank statements. As to what Peterside told the APC National Chairman, it was never in doubt that he narrated the horror members of APC had been through in the hands of armed groups working for Wike Administration for which the author works for and labours, albeit fruitlessly, to prop its obnoxious human rights records. Wike has the worst personality image hiatus among governors in Nigeria. The Bible had Wike in mind when the Spirit asked, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots…?”
Then to the second, and the most critical question that I have to answer. Who is Peterside? What is President Muhammadu Buhari’s testimony about him? How impressed is the American Administration with Peterside? Peterside was the sole leading governorship candidate in Rivers State in 2015. His state-wide acceptance and popularity drew crowds to his campaigns. Truly, he was the candidate to beat.
Why was his popularity the threat Wike and his sponsors needed to crack? The single project Wike and those who sponsored him had was to stop Peterside by any means possible. President Muhammadu Buhari, a man, not given to flippancy, had this commendation for Peterside: “Peterside’s unanimous election (as Chairman, Association of African Maritime Administrators, AMAA) is not only a personal honour and an affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations incollaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.”
Unfortunately for Wike, nobody has such presidential commendation for him. President Buhari had acknowledged NIMASA’s encouraging performance under Dr Peterside especially in the fight against sea piracy through inter agency cooperation. There is indeed a new NIMASA under Peterside, but it is a story of hard work.
NIMASA under Peterside has a new direction. Under Peterside, NIMASA today is the beautiful bride while Nigeria’s waterways, including those in Rivers State, enjoy safety. In June 2017, Nigeria’s most credible news magazine, TELL, bestowed on NIMASA the prestigious Public Organisation of the Year 2016 award following outstanding achievements recorded by the agency in 2016, despite the economic recession in the country. Wike would not like to hear this as proclaimed on the day of the award.
The Chairman of the Awards Committee, Mr Babs Alasa, described the award as an honour well deserved, stressing that Peterside has repositioned NIMASA for greater recognition within and outside Nigeria in a short period. “NIMASA has done very well under Peterside, and even President Muhammadu Buhari recognised this and congratulated him when he was unanimously elected as the Chairman of AAMA. At present, 1,045 beneficiaries graduated from NIMASA’s human capital development programme, representing 42 per cent of over 2,500 participants sponsored by NIMASA. Credibility was the criteria for nomination.”
Peterside’s testimonials also have international recognition. Wike won’t like to hear his – the United States has recognised his exploits at NIMASA. Hear the verdict from America – “It appears the energy that NIMASA has at the ports is very tremendous, as seen in all the ports we visited in Lagos.” The United States Coast Guard (USCG) led by Commander Thomas Foster, on a visit to Nigeria, commended NIMASA for its strides in ensuring safety at the ports and expressed satisfaction with the infrastructure development regarding ISPS Code implementation in the ports. Through NIMASA, Nigeria now has about 80 per cent compliance rate for the International Ship and Port Facility Security, ISPS Code. Wike won’t understand this term. Under Peterside’s watch, NIMASA has targeted 100% compliance. In 2016, hear what Peterside said: “We have intensified NIMASA’s drive to ensure strict compliance with the provision of the ISPS Code.
The result is that Nigeria now has a compliance rate of almost 80%, as 114 port facilities out of the total of 145 ports and jetties in Nigeria are now fully ISPS compliant.
Let’s not forget that NIMASA was only appointed the Designated Authority for the implementation of ISPS Code in Nigeria barely five years ago when compliance level was barely 13%. Though 8% of the remaining 31 port facilities are currently pursuing compliance, our goal is to target a 100% compliance level writing the next twelve months.”While Wike is revoking Certificates of Occupancy of business chains in Rivers State, Peterside is pursuing Nigeria’s common good, creating jobs for thousands of Nigerians, including Rivers natives.
Wike is ignorant of the role of NIMASA so he should read up the function of a maritime administration and he will surely join to celebrate this pride of our country.While Wike has borrowed over N150 billion under two years, Peterside has moved NIMASA to a giant revenue earner for the country. My summation in this matter is simple. It’s on record that throughout the “abracadabra” PDP did in Rivers State through Madame Patience Jonathan, APC never lost any election in Opobo-Nkoro. Not even during the several rerun elections.
– Ibitari Is the Spokesman Of APC Youth Advocates
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