By Somina Ibitari
Reading a recent attack on Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside, the Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, by Governor Nyesom Wike, through a proxy, one Simeon Nwakudu, I felt obliged to render an impartial judgment of the matter.
The 2015 governorship election captured in the opening paragraph of Wike’s essay: He was never elected through majority lawful votes.
To state that Peterside visited the All Progressives Congress, APC, National Chairman with bank statements and financial documents is nothing but a rehearsal of the Third Reich propagandist, Paul Joseph Goebbels, whose theory of “the big lie” sustained Adolf Hitler.
Meanwhile, Peterside narrated to the APC National Chairman the horror members of the APC had been subjected to in the hands of armed groups in Rivers State.
The Nigeria Police once alleged that Wike sponsors violent activities. And because of Wike, many civil servants working with INEC are not sure how their careers would end.
Meanwhile, 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 in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities”. Wike has no such presidential commendation.
Buhari also acknowledged NIMASA’s encouraging performance under 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.
In June 2017, TELL magazine 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.
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.
Under Peterside’s watch, NIMASA has targeted 100% compliance.
It’s on record that throughout the “abracadabra” PDP in Rivers State, APC never lost any election in Opobo-Nkoro. Not even during the several rerun elections. But the Opobo-Nkoro seat was lost at the Election Appeal Tribunal in circumstances that leave much for interpretation.
Peterside did far more in communities in Rivers as Commissioner for Works than Wike did as governor in two years. Peterside’s imprint can be seen in all parts of the state till date, years after serving as commissioner.
As a member of the National Assembly, Peterside instituted a scholarship scheme that sent several Rivers youths abroad for graduate studies at his own cost, but in his first year in office, Wike repatriated Rivers State youths sent overseas on scholarship by the Chibuike Amaechi administration.
At no time did Peterside escape with the election result of Ikwerre local government area nor did he need to. Ikwerre LGA is a haven for APC being the home LGA of Chibuke Rotimi Amaechi, leader of APC in Rivers State.
Peterside is an honest man, civility personified
- Ibitari is spokesman for APC Youth Advocates
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