Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has declared that the state will challenge in court the decision of the Federal Government to allocate the sum of N11 billion from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to the Nigerian Police without informing state governments.
The governor, who said this yesterday, at a press conference on COVID-19 update in Government House, Port Harcourt, noted that the Federal Government acted unilaterally, rather than discuss with the states. He noted that since the said N11 billion was removed from the federation account, which also belongs to Rivers, he would challenge the matter in court to show the state’s displeasure over the allocation. Based on this, the governor said he had directed the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to drag the Federal Government He said: “Our lawyers will prepare our papers and we will go to court. Nobody says you cannot support the police, but you must get the consent of states before taking their money. “I have told the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum that Rivers State will challenge this matter in court. You must let me know when you are taking my money.” Wike also said that the state rejected the palliatives by the Federal Government, because, according to him, the rice was contaminated and bad for consumption.
“The rice has expired and we cannot go to Cross River to go and collect contaminated rice,” he said, stressing that the state government would not accept such palliatives until Rivers farmers and fishermen are patronised. He expressed regrets that the Federal Government was yet to support the Rivers State Government in the fight against coronavirus.
The governor described as unfortunate the situation where the NCDC was yet to establish a laboratory in Rivers State. He said: “We are virtually fighting this battle without any tangible material support from the Federal Government. “We are wondering as most of you may also be that up till now the NCDC has not established any testing centre in the state in spite of our position, huge socioeconomic and demographic mix and high transmission threat hanging over us as a result. “Was this deliberate? If not so, why and what was the justification for this dangerous neglect, which is obviously limiting our capacity to expand testing for this virus in the state.
“But, for us as a government, every single new infection of COVID-19 in our state is one too many. “We shall therefore continue to take every necessary measure to control and possibly end the transmission of this disease in Rivers State in spite of the enormous challenges and lack of concrete support from the Federal Government.”