(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The phenomenal performance of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Nigeria in the last three years has proved that he is a rare breed who came prepared and at the right time to take governance in the state to a higher level.
This observation was made by the Special Adviser to the governor on Political Matters and Strategy, Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh, in an interview with newsman in Port Harcourt as the state celebrates three eventful years of the Wike administration.
Chief Emeh explained that, from the day of his inauguration May 29, 2015, Governor Wike has been conducting his affairs like a man in hurry to put Rivers State where it is now, ahead of others in development and governance.
“I have worked with several governors and each of them has his own pattern, but Wike is one governor that does not sit in one place for you to give him situational report”, Chief Emeh hinted, adding that he has executed utility projects that touch the hearts of Rivers people.
“Look at the pleasure park; it amazes many first time visitors to the state. The place that used to harbour criminals have been turned to a first class recreational facility. He has a very high level of taste and endeavours to improve any environment he finds himself.
“ I have traveled from UK to America and to most countries in Europe, that Pleasure Park compares favourably to any amusement park you can find anywhere in the world”, the political strategist maintained.
On infrastructural development, the former commissioner for transport and aviation during the administration of Dr. Peter Odili said the governor’s uncommon transformation efforts are evident in the remodeled Government House and Abacha road; Creek road which has been renamed Dame Patience Jonathan road and other roads in Port Harcourt and across the state, as well as the popular Bille Nembe Jetty, where until recently, women used to remove their trousers and put on shorts so they can be able to climb into the waiting boats.
“Now you will get into the boat without knowing that you are at the jetty. It is possible now to drive to Opobo because of Governor Wike’s dogged commitment to completing the Unity Road as promised. Hopefully, the people of Opobo will drive home freely before the end of this year, on the completion of that road”, he assured.
Also worthy of note, according to Chief Emeh, is that one can now drive to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in 10 minutes through the Obiri Ikwerre/Airport road which has been completed, even as he further observed that the governor has opened up the rural areas with network of roads, including internal roads in Omoku, Okochiri, Okrika, Elele Alimini and several other communities in the state.
He describes Governor Wike as a super performer, with an inclusive style of administration which accommodates all sections of the state, including non indigenes, in appointments, projects and even the new loan scheme that will become operational from the end of May, 2018.
“Wike has shown capacity and ability to perform, and that should be the basis for voting anybody into office and not where he comes from. In three years, the governor has infused a new spirit of time and promoted fresh commitment to the value of efficient performance.
“ He has also enforced a mechanism for close monitoring and control, so you can’t tell him what is not correct when he sends you on an errand. That is the reason he sacks people, including his close relations who are not moving at the same pace with him”, the Special Adviser stated, while reiterating that Wike came at the right time to bring about positive change in the governance of the state.
The seasoned politician further described the governor who was recently honored in Brussels, Belgium with the award of ‘Power of Sports in Africa’ as a bridge builder, for his deliberate policy of giving everybody a sense of belonging irrespective of where they are coming from, such that people have forgotten the age long divisive reverine and upland dichotomy that used to be a selling point for politicians in Rivers State.
On the reactions of Rivers people to the three years administration of Governor Wike, the former Chief of Staff, Government House said: “Wike’s projects have value, and if Rivers people would have their way they would want Wike to run for as many tenures as his strength allows. It is therefore not necessary for any body to talk about 2019 because there is no alternative to Wike in Rivers State.
“ Rivers people have found in Wike a leader they can trust. I Have no difficulty in believing that those who are aspiring to become governor of Rivers State in the opposition All Progressives Congress want Wike to recognize them”, he said while also observing that the governor has raised the traditional institution in the state by increasing the number of first class traditional rulers to enable them compete with their colleagues elsewhere.
On security, he said “the situation is no longer the same as we used to know it. In the next one year, emphasis will be placed more on internal security, the reason for the establishment of Neighbourhood Watch, a mechanism that will enable those who live and do business in the state to become active observers of the activities of those around them”, a new order which he believes is in the best interest of the state and requires the support of all.
On his advice to the federal government, Barr. Emeh called on indigenes of the state serving at the centre, including the former governor and current Minister of Transformation, Rt. Hon. Chinuike Amaechi to use their good offices to attract development to the state. He also pleaded with the federal government to be fair to all and let its presence be felt in all the states of the federation, irrespective of their tribal, political or religious affiliations.