(By Iheanyi Ezinwo) – Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has continued to advocate for peaceful coexistence as a panacea for ensuring development of the state.
Governor Wike, who was speaking when traditional and community leaders from Eleme local government area visited him at the Government House in Port Harcourt, insisted that peace is the only tool to fast track development in any civilised society.
He used the opportunity of their visit to charge the traditional and community leaders to ensure that government projects in their communities are protected.
Wike particularly mentioned the Alesa/Agbonchia/ Oyigbo road project, emphasizing that Rivers State government will not hesitate to stop any project in any location where the contractor is not protected.
On the chieftaincy tussle in the area, particularly the alleged dethronement of Chief Bebe Okpabi by the Ogali community, the governor insisted that no community can embark on that kind of adventure without following due process.
He advised Chief Appolus Chu, Emere Okori to ensure that he does not speak on behalf of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers without proper approval from the Chief’s council.
The Governor, who read copiously from the local Government law of the state urged traditional communities not to take laws into their hands on the matter concerning the installation and deposing of government recognised chiefs, advising them to adhere to due process.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Jaja, thanked the governor for his timely intervention in the chieftaincy dispute.King Jaja further said that he is delighted to work with all concerned, particularly His Royal Highness, Dr. Appollus Chu, who he described as a friend, urging him to wait for God’s own time.
It would be recalled that Governor Wike’s meeting with the traditional and community leaders and his charge for them to keep the peace and protect government projects in the area is coming on the heels of the ugly incident of kidnapping of expatriate workers at the Andoni axis of the Unity road for which traditional rulers in the area risk withdrawal of certificate of recognition by government of Rivers State.
Earlier, Eleme council chairman, Hon.Philip Okparaji, had thanked Governor Wike for appointing an Eleme son, Barr. Isaac Kamalu, as Commissioner of Finance, assuring that he will not disappoint.
Also speaking, the Acting traditional ruler of Eleme Kingdom, HRH, Philip Obele, had requested that the Governor intervene in the matter of Egberu people who have been in exile for sometime, and his response, Governor Wike directed the Secretary to State Government, Dr.Tammy Danagogo to bring up the on Egberu for urgent attention.
Meanwhile, HRH, Dr. Appolos Chu, who remains the Paramount Ruler of Okori Community thanked Governor Wike for his love for Eleme kingdom promising that as a peaceful person he will continue to ensure peace and development of the Okori Eleme kingdom.
Also present at the meeting were the Commissioner for Finance, Hon.Isaac Kamalu, service chiefs and other dignitaries from Eleme local government area.