(By Chukwuemeka Woke) – Right from the inception of Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike’s administration in Rivers state in 2015, people of different values and political persuasions have expressed their hopes and aspirations for the state. While the opposition, who are in the minority, predicted doom for the emergent administration, the vast majority of Rivers people stood with Governor Wike, and he has not disappointed.
Although we recognize that in a democracy every citizen is entitled to freedom of expression, it has since been observed that some misguided persons are hiding under the umbrella of freedom of speech to misinform the public about events in the state with false narratives. In the process, they attempted to paint the beautiful as ugly. This is exactly what one Achinike Wobodo and his sponsors, in their recent write up, fruitlessly attempted to do. Their ideas were not only incoherent but also showed that their sense of values and objectivity on the development of Rivers state have been corrupted by partisan considerations.
It is not in doubt that, the contributions of the current administration of Governor Wike to the development of Rivers state is widely acknowledged locally and globally. As a matter of fact, it was the credibility of the development initiatives of the current administration of Governor Wike that inspired Nigeria’s vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the second highest official in Achinike Wobodo’s ruling All Progressives Congress at the centre, to nickname Governor Nyesom Wike as Mr. Projects when he visited the state in February 14, 2017.
Besides, other prominent individuals and organisations at home and abroad have also acknowledged the Governor’s model of development and accordingly rewarded him with awards too numerous to catalogue here. And for the critics in diaspora alleging uneven development in the state, we can only advise them to visit and see for themselves.
Today, our brothers and sisters from Opobo/Nkoro can now access other parts of the state by road while reclamation works are on going in the reverine areas of Kula, Asari-toru etc to broaden the scope of development in the state. Soon, the first phase of the Trans – Kalabari road, which was not done when Achinike Wobodo and his sponsor, Rotimi Amaechi, were at the helm of affairs in the state will commence. Another good news: Julius Berger has commenced the construction of three major bridges simultaneously, to ease flow of traffic for all who live and do business in the state.
Meanwhile, the following roads are under construction: Kira-Sakpenwa-Bori-Kono road linking Gokana, Tai and Khana Local Government Areas; Andoni-Opobo Unity road linking Opobo/Nkoro and Andoni Local Government Areas; Abonnema ring road in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area; Eteo-Sime-Nonwa-Kira road linking Tai and Eleme Local Government Areas and Bolo community internal roads in Ogo/Bolo Local Government Area and others, by the current administration that have united the state and given every Rivers person a sense of belonging.
On the illegal hosting of the outgoing governor of Bayelsa state, Hon. Seriake Dickson, by Amanyanabo of Kalabari, Prof. Prof. T. J. T. Prince will, Governor Wike did not overreach himself by calling the monarch to order because the governor is the chief security officer of Rivers State. It must be stressed that Governor Wike was not elected by the Ikwerre ethnic nationality alone but had the votes and support of vast majority of Rivers people from across the 23 local government areas of the state. Governor Wike therefore has the mandate of the entire state, and not in any way representing a section thereof as being treacherously presented by those whose sense of values and objectivity have been corrupted by their unjustified and legendary hatred for the administration.
The office of Governor of Rivers state is the highest authority in the state and all law abiding citizens are under obligation to join hands with the governor to advance the cause of development in the state. As the chief security officer, it is the duty of the governor to check any moves likely to undermine the peace and unity being enjoyed in the state, including calling any erring individual to order, no matter how highly placed. The multiple award winning governor is very much aware of this responsibility and remains committed to discharging it at all times, to the best of his ability.
Governor Wike’s recent advice to the Amanyanabo of Kalabari to respect constituted authority in the state or risk sanctions is consistent with this leadership philosophy. Understandably, Achinke Wobodo and his sponsors have gone to town with their own malicious interpretations of developments in the state. This cannot however take away the truth that Governor Wike acted within his powers, and remains committed to the oath to protect the interests of Rivers State.
It is still very fresh in the minds of Rivers people how Achinike Wobodo had hopped from one court to the other seeking the disqualification of Governor Nyesom Wike over allegations of falsification of age until his malicious and baseless petition was finally dismissed at the Supreme Court. This is Achinike Wobodo’s way of repaying Barr. Wike, who, as chief of staff to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, made it possible for Achinike Wobodo to access then governor before he was appointed executive assistant to Rotimi Amaechi. Unfortunately, the same Achinike Wobodo has decided to repay the good done to him by Barr. Wike with evil, by joining external forces to maliciously discredit the Rivers state Government under Governor Wike.
Having failed to stop Governor Wike’s re-election through the courts, Wobodo and his sponsors, who are envious of the superlative achievements of the current administration in Rivers state are looking for imaginary excuses to sustain their misguided attacks to distract the governor but their labours, as usual, will be in vain because the governor is at home with Rivers people. Governor Wike is fully committed to changing the narratives of development in the state and no amount of half truths and treachery can distract him from this mission.
Engr. Chukwuemeka Woke is the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt.
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