Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Monday thumped his chest with pride to say that he has been able to grow the infrastructure and social services of the state beyond the expectation of both friends and opponents of his government.
The governor, who spoke at a special ceremony at Obi Wali International Centre, Port Harcourt where he gave an account of stewardship of the six years he has spent in office, said the state had witnessed massive infrastructure development and vast improvement in social services in a manner that was clear to all.
He said he started out in 2015 with a mission “to mobilise and deploy all resources to build a state that works for everyone; a state that every Rivers person and resident can all be proud of and live in to raise their children.” This he said he has to a very large extent achieved within the six years he has been in office.
He said though his administration inherited deficit infrastructure and abandoned projects, it has not only completed the abandoned projects, it has also started and completed so many others.
Wike said his administration has been able to restore security in the state, making Rivers the safest state in Nigeria today. He also said that contrary to the prediction of his predecessor that he would not find money to pay salaries and execute projects, his government has not only stabilized the economy of the state but has also buoyed the economy to the extent that salaries were not only being paid but he was also executing mega-projects.
He listed some of the projects he has executed to include flyovers in the state capital. Port Harcourt, the Trans-Kalabari road project, the Ogoni – Andoni- Opobo Unity road, which has connected Opobo island to the mainland by road since the founding of the town more than 150 years ago; the Sakpenwa – Bori – Kono dualised road, and more than 18 rural roads, which he said would help stem rural-urban migration.
In the area of healthcare, the governor said the Mother and Child Hospital, the five Zonal Hospitals, the Peter Odili Cancer Centre and the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital are projects that would boost and open access to healthcare by residents of the state.
In education, he mentioned the establishment of multi-campuses for the state university, the rehabilitation of tens of secondary schools across the state and the construction of the Port Harcourt campus of the Nigerian Law School, which he said will be the best campus of the law school on completion in six months’ time.
He said the completed cassava processing company at Afam would not only boost the economy of cassava farmers but would also provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the people.
He however criticized the All Progressives Congress-led federal government for bringing Nigeria to the precipice by its failure to secure the citizens from bandits, kidnappers, insurgents and killer Fulani herdsmen.
He said the Muhammadu Buhari federal government has mismanaged democracy and the national diversity, describing the situation as “a bad omen for our democracy.” He asked those in charge of national security to resign, having failed to show capacity in their assignments.
The Rivers State governor also kicked against the nomination of a social media aide of the President, Lauretta Onochie, as a national Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and urged the National Assembly to reject her nomination.
He also called for the inclusion of the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill before the National Assembly, saying that exclusion of electronic transmission of result would be a negation of the electoral reforms started several years ago by the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
A former governor of the state, Peter Odili, who unveiled the book containing the report card of the Wike administration, said Wike was the best governor in Nigeria today and the best governor Rivers State has ever had. “I have been there and I can say without equivocation that I stand here with the joy of the answered prayer of a father who has prayed for his son to do better than he has done,” Odili said.
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