(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-As political parties and politicians maneuvre ahead of the 2019 general elections in Rivers State, there are indications that vast majority of citizens in the four Ogoni Local Government Areas of Tai, Gokana, Khana and Eleme are disposed to supporting the re-election of Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Speaking with Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt, Hon. John Bazia, former commissioner in Governor Wike’s administration, harped on the need for any Ogoni clamouring to become governor of Rivers State in 2019 to understand that he cannot stop a performing governor.
According to the former lawmaker, “The best thing to do is to support that performing governor so that when he is done then you can take a shot at it. That way, you will also have the support of his people. I think that is what the leadership of Ogoni are desirous of doing”, he said.
Dr. John Bazia emphasized that, “nobody is going to be governor of Ogoni; you are going to be governor of Rivers State. It means you will work with the Ikwerres, Kalabaris, Andonis, Ekpeyes and others.
“For any Ogoni man who wants to be governor, I think he should understand the time and support the performing governor. You cannot be governor without the cooperation of other ethnic groups”, he stressed.
Responding to a question, Hon. Bazia explained that the performance of the governor in three years has been overwhelming, even as he referred to the recent Zik Prize for Excellence in leadership on Wike as the icing on the cake.
His words: “Governor Ezenwo Wike has done well in terms of good governance. In terms of following the rule of law, as a lawyer, he has done very well. The last administration that was in place had dictatorial tendencies; there were a lot of things that were wrong morally speaking.
“For those who will want to look at rule of law as a guide to participatory democracy in any country, you are aware that the courts were padlocked, the legislature was like a puppet.
“I have been a legislature, and I know how important that organ of government is. During the last administration they were performing their duties from the Government House.
“Invariably, we had a situation where only one organ of government was working and controlled the rest organs. And that’s not proper in a democracy because the three organs of government, though separate are expected to perform their own functions for the good of society”, the Tai born politician emphasized.
Hon. Bazia however gave kudos to the governor for his giant strides in infrastructural development, undeterred by the numerous abandoned projects inherited from the immediate past administration.
“The last administration will be known as one with the highest number of abandoned projects. They were scattered all over the place and most of the projects were not thought out, and so were not done. But the story is different now.
“One of the problems of this country is that new administrations do not complete projects of their predecessors, but Governor Wike has completed almost all the projects that were abandoned, and he has equally done new projects.
“The most important thing about his style of leadership is that he is people – oriented. The garden city is beginning to come back to life as all the roads have been given a facelift. When you go to Diobu, the place has been transformed. Without doubt, the governor has exceeded expectations”, the former lawmaker who represented Tai state constituency at the Rivers State House of Assembly between 1999 and 2007 further explained.
He described Governor Wike as a pacesetter as evidenced in the number of awards, as well as commendations from those at the centre, especially, the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who nicknamed him as “Mr. Projects”.
The former commissioner stated that the governor’s uncommon achievements and inclusive administration were the reasons why Rivers South East senatorial district recently called on the governor to present himself for re-election to complete the good work he has started in the state.
Prince John Bazia, who hinted that the Rivers South East senatorial district is predominantly PDP, said the district is thankful to the Wike administration for favouring them so much.
He listed the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus as one of them; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani; so many commissioners as well as the Head of Service, Barr. Rufus Godwins, are all from the Rivers South East senatorial district.
He summed:“We have been given so much, and we have to show appreciation”.