Rivers State Government has explained that Novotel Hotel, Port Harcourt Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) was revoked for being “the centre of electoral fraud and malpractice”.
The Governor Nyesom Wike who spoke during the second session of the third synod of Anglican Diocese of Evo, directed the Special Adviser on Land to “with immediate effect perfect the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy of the hotel”.
He accused the hotel of turning itself to the state’s worst centre of electoral fraud, which causes insecurity and instability”. He claimed the facility was on Saturday used to manipulate the non-elective APC local government congress. He also alleged that the hotel was on December 10, last year used to rig elections.
“We cannot allow hotels to be used for unwholesome activities. The Special Adviser on Lands has been directed to revoke the Certificate of Occupancy of Novotel. Any business that is used to affect the security of Rivers State will face the music.
In reaction, the director general, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has berated Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, over his recent revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy, C of O, of Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt.
Peterside, who described the action of Wike as worse traits of fascism, however, said he had forewarned Rivers people and the international community in 2015, that Wike should not be trusted to protect their investments and stakes.
Peterside wondered how a state governor who took an oath of office to uphold and respect the Nigerian Constitution “without fear or favour” would revoke a document as crucial to property and business as Certificate of Occupancy without any impartial adjudication.
“Wike had sworn to uphold the Nigerian Constitution without fear or favour and ill-will or malice against any citizen. It is now left to Wike and his conscience to check whether he has been faithful to his oath,” he stated.
According to Peterside, the revocation order is nothing but a reckless, irresponsible and draconian act that could have only come from the desk of a “fascist, despot and dictator.”
“When I heard that Wike had revoked the C of O of Novotel Hotel, I thought it was a joke until I saw a statement to that effect. In his trademark style of governance, he denied the management of Novotel any opportunity to respond to any accusation. Wike alone was the accuser, prosecutor, witness and jury in this matter.
“It is sad that at a time when Rivers State needs every investment it can muster to create jobs for youths, arrest insecurity and stabilise social relationships, Wike is busy closing established multinationals, global chains and respected franchise to which Novotel belongs. In his maladministration, Wike blames everybody but himself for the woes that have befallen Rivers State since he shot into the Office of the Governor.
“It is part of a government’s fundamental and social duty to create a conducive economic baseline for companies and firms to operate and expand their businesses while new ones are attracted. Serious governments offer free land, tax rebate and other incentives to woo investors. But for Wike, his is to create joblessness and stifle companies struggling to break even.
“In this singular action, Wike must have pushed not less than 500 people into the labour market. The social and economic reactions would be dire on the families, the state and the country at large. He has also raised an adverse business advisory to would-be investors that Rivers State is not safe for investment.