GOVERNOR Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, and the state wing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are bickering over the frustrating unemployment rate in that axis of Nigeria’s oil and gas basin.
Amaechi blew the lid off the sleepy timebomb on Monday, in his country home, Ubima, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
The governor was there to formally registering as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), along with his wife, Judith, and thousands of unemployed youths.
Apparently jolted with the misery of the employable youths without jobs, he said he was in APC in a bid to secure them a better future, pointing out that his former party, the PDP, is incapable of rising to the challenge youth unemployment is posing.
Amaechi said over 80 per cent of the tens of thousands youths in the state, defecting with him to APC are unemployed.
Reacting on Tuesday, PDP said they are impressed that the governor has for once admitted the high rate of unemployed Rivers youths under his leadership in the past six years.
Special Adviser to PDP State Chairman on Media, Jerry Needam, in an online statement to AkanimoReports however regrets that Amaechi is realizing his failure in this regard after he has allegedly ran the state economy aground, an allegation they insisted is directly responsible for the growing youth unemployment in the top oil-producing state.
”It is not the PDP that is the issue, but Amaechi, who we gave the mandate to oversee the affairs of the state”, the party said, adding, ”the problem is that Amaechi feels he knows too much when he does not, and most unfortunately does not listen to wise counsel which is the greatest undoing to any recalcitrant leader”.
Continuing, PDP queried, ”who is to blame for the unemployment of over 80 per cent of our youths?” They also faulted the governor’s attempt to blame President Goodluck Jonathan for the rising unemployment problem in the country.
”It is sheer political miscalculation, childish and malicious to blame President Jonathan, for the unemployment situation in Rivers”, PDP said, saying it is the responsibility of governors to create jobs for their electorate.
According to the party, ”for six years, Governor Amaechi did not revamp any industry that would have helped to create jobs for the unemployed. Today, teachers are owed seven months pay, TIMARIV seven months also.
”Numerous projects are abandoned due to lack of funds. Most of our students studying abroad through the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), are about being sent home for failure by government to pay their fees for two years.”