Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has attributed Nigeria’s lack of progress to over dependence on a “single economic product produced from the ‘natural bowels’ of the Niger Delta. ”
He made the remark while faulting various governments for “abandoning all other economic options” for oil.
Speaking at the Sharks Stadium in Port Harcourt on Sunday, within activities to mark Independence Day celebration, Wike also said that Nigeria’s situation had been worsened by the failure to successfully redefine and restructure the country towards progressive path since 1960.
The governor stated that Nigerians must unite and set aside the narrative of division, violence and hate.
He said, “After not quite 18 unbroken years of democracy and despite positive assertions to the contrary, our democracy keeps floundering under the watch of the government just whilst the vast majority of Nigerians are alienated from the state and estranged from the development process and denied the dividends of democracy.
“If economic progress may be the test of our democracy, then we’ve woefully failed as a nation. For 57 years, we abandoned all other economic options and depended about the same economic product derived from the natural bowels of the Niger Delta.
“We all crave for strong national institutions to aid our democracy, protect our freedoms and advance our development.
“Unfortunately, instead of advancing our democracy and protecting our liberties, some of our most important national institutions, especially the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Nigeria Police have grown to be the undertakers of their destruction by acts of deliberate compromise, partisanship as well as sabotage in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
“How else can we attribute INEC’s misfeasance and criminal complicity in the emerging, but strange jurisprudential contraption in election disputes, where fake results produced and procured from the custody of terribly partisan police agency were validated and accepted as evidentially superior to its results by the electoral tribunals to overturn the returns it genuinely and rightly manufactured in respect of the outcome of the 2016 legislative re-run elections in Rivers State. ”