Thursday, 4 December 2008

Nigeria's Major Oil State Governor Launders Image With Cultural Festival

The Rivers State cultural festival tagged "Carniriv"' which is scheduled to last for two days(5th and 6th December, 2008) is designed primarily to give the state Government under Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi an image laundry from the battering the Administration's image received when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) arrested and arraigned some of the Adminisration's principal officers in court recently. Rivers State is a major crude oil producing State in Nigeria.

Investigations by chidi opara reports in Portharcourt revealed that although the cultural festival has been in existence, the Amaechi Administration revived it mainly to wash off the EFCC mud. "We are not fools, they must account for all the monies they are wasting", a worker in the state secreatariat complex told chidi opara reports. "Do you know that teachers have not been paid for three months now?", our contact complained further. We were however, unable to independently confirm this at the time of posting this report.

Further investigations revealed that despite the emergency declared on Education for instance, facilities in this sector is still in a pitiable situation. It is also discovered that infrastructures in other sectors are in similar situation. "We are talking of carniriv, whereas an average classroom has more than one hundred students, no seats, no writing materials, the man is only embarking on populist white elephant projects to hoodwink us", an opposition politician now working with the Administration told us.

chidi opara reports however, witnessed construction works going on in some parts of Portharcourt. We also saw more than a hundred students in one small class room, with most standing during a lecture in one government owned secondary school in the D/line area of Portharcourt.

The Rivers State Government on its website, however, maintained that "carniriv" will help project the rich cultures of the state to the world as well as helping to boost its tourism potentials. The State Government have declared friday, 5th December,2008 as public holiday.

Critics however, insist that as desirable as cultural festivals may be, the timing must be right, because according to another civil servant in the State, "we must feed well and generally live well before showcasing our cultures".

An update filed in(0938hrs on 5th December,2008)by a chidi opara reports' network member in Portharcourt indicates that the festival is holding in a very tight security atmosphere with the Joint taskforce on security(JTF)manning all the major road intersections in the State capital. Helicopter gunships, according to this update can be seen hovering overhead. "Vehicular and human traffic is strictly restricted in Portharcourt", the report further revealed.