By Simeon Nwakaudu
For over six weeks, Rivers State held the entire country spell-bound. The Third Year Anniversary Celebration of the Wike administration brought to the fore, the fundamentals of good governance in the face of governance failure in majority of the states of the Federation.
The superlative performance of Governor Wike brought into focus the extreme and disheartening failure of the APC Federal Government. Therefore, everyone, including well-meaning leaders of all persuasions gravitated towards Rivers State to identify with a people’s leader. A compassionate governor.
In the course of the third year anniversary of Governor Wike, which was marked by the commissioning of key projects and the flagging off of new ones, several leaders described him in different glowing terms.
But one strand of description stood out as it featured at different commissioning ceremonies in the health sector. It came from the leader of the medical professionals who could not hide their joy. This beneficiary-assessment was not induced. It came from a pure heart.
Rivers State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Datonye Alasia in a burst of inspiration declared that under Governor Wike, Rivers State has enterred a golden era in healthcare delivery.
Though, Dr Alasia viewed his assessment purely from the lenses of the profits that accrued to his profession, his assessment applied to the entire state and other key sectors.
From road infrastructure to education to judiciary through to empowerment and workers welfare, Governor Wike reached out to the people of Rivers State in the course of the first three years of his first term. He proved the relevance of having a prepared leader in Government House.
All through the three years of Governor Wike’s administration, all the three senatorial districts have benefited from key road projects. Several of these roads have helped to connect agricultural centres to Port Harcourt and other parts of the country.
In the course of the third year anniversary, another set of roads were completed, while others were flagged off. These roads provided the right linkages and helped to boost the economy of the state.
The Garrison-Trans-Amadi-Slaughter-Woji-Elelenwo Road is one of the major highlights of the anniversary. Abandoned at about 30percent by the immediate past failed Amaechi administration, Governor Wike completed this road through diligent supervision and funding.
Another road thrown up during the third year anniversary of Governor Wike is the Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge. The failed Amaechi administration ran away from this road because of the sheer funding requirement. Governor Wike dutifully funded and supervised this road for two years and delivered it to the people of Rivers State. The road has cut travel time between Eleme and Port Harcourt.
The 22.3 kilometer Airport-Ipo-Omademe -Ozuoha Road in Ikwerre Local Government Area was an economic gift to the people of the area who are predominantly farmers. This road was commissioned during the governor’s third year anniversary.
Governor Wike rolled out about 100 neighbourhood roads across the state to boost the living standard of the people.
In Elele-Alimini, the Rivers State Governor constructed and commissioned 19 roads to lift the area. For the people of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (ONELGA), the Wike administration completed 11 beautiful roads. In Okrika Local Government Area, 15 roads were constructed for the good people of Okochiri Kingdom .
In Port Harcourt Township, Governor Wike used the Third Year Anniversary Celebration to bless the communities with key roads. They include: Bishop Johnson Street, Creek Road, Bishop Fubara Street, Captain Amangala Street, Tourist Beach Street and Abacha Road.
The icing on the cake for road infrastructure was the completion and commissioning of the Obiri-Ikwerre Airport Road. This road is a beauty to behold and a wonderful example of good governance.
The Third Year Anniversary Celebration of the Wike administration also witnessed the flag off of the construction of Bolo Internal Roads and Eteo-Sire-Bariyira-Nonwa-Kira Road. The implication is that the delivery of projects will continue unabated. Health sector development
The health sector featured prominently during the third anniversary of Governor Wike’s administration. The quality of projects commissioned showed clearly that healthcare delivery will improve in the state.
The Deima Denni-Fiberesima Doctors’ Quarters at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital was flagged off by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and delivered by the administration of Governor Wike in record time.
This residential facility will serve as morale booster to doctors as it will encourage them to serve the people faithfully.
As part of the third anniversary, Governor Wike completed and delivered the Mgbuosimini Health Centre and the Primary Health Building in Port Harcourt. These two projects are targeted at developing the Primary Healthcare of the people.
The Training of qualified medical doctors and other health professionals to promote quality healthcare received attention as the Wike administration completed and commissioned the Medical College at the Rivers State University.
The growth of this sector is guaranteed as Governor Wike is still developing key projects across the state.
Great educational projects
This is one sector that proved to the world that Governor Wike believes in the future of Rivers State. Project after project came to the fore as Rivers people celebrated the beauty of performance.
These were projects that defined the very essence of visionary leadership. Three pilot projects for the introduction of Boarding Education were unveiled.
Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta, Nyemoni Grammar School, Abonnema and Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori highlighted the success of the education policies of Governor Wike.
At Onne, the Rivers State Government rolled out Government Secondary School, Onne, while Model Primary School, Mgbuosimini was commissioned.
The Faculty of Science and Technical Education Building at the Rivers State University came on stream while Governor Wike flagged off the construction of the Student Union Government Secretariat at the Rivers State University.
Educational advancement constitutes a major plank of the New Rivers Vision. Governor Wike sees education as a fundament route towards the empowerment of the next generation.
Administration of justice
Through consistent investments, Governor Wike has elevated Rivers State into the Judicial Hub of the South-South. From a state with a negative image that the Former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi closed the courts for two years, Governor Wike has improved access to justice.
In the course of the Third Year Anniversary Celebration of the Wike administration, the National Industrial Court flagged off by the President of the National Industrial, Justice Adejumo was commissioned by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Onoghen. The construction of the National Industrial Court has addressed the challenges of litigants going to Bayelsa, Imo and Enugu for their labour matters.
The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division was in a mess. It was on this premise that Governor Wike offered to intervene. Today, that intervention, the first of its kind has led to the delivery of a brand new Court of Appeal with enhanced facilities.
Civil servants welfare
The welfare of Rivers workers has always been prioritised by Governor Wike. The love for workers was exhibited during the third anniversary of Governor Wike.
The administration unveiled a 24-number 3-Bedroom Flats for Civil Servants in Port Harcourt. To ensure the sustenance of this project, the Rivers State Governor organised a facility manager for the civil servants residential quarters.
As part of the Third Year Anniversary Celebration of the Wike administration, the National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba was invited by the Rivers State Governor to lay the foundation for the construction of the Rivers State NLC Secretariat.
Certain critical projects that touch the lives of the people were inaugurated by the Wike administration as part of the third anniversary. These projects are vital to the development of the economy of the state.
They include: The Emmanuel Aguma House formerly known as Produce House, which was allocated to agencies of the United Nations and other international organisations. This structure was remodelled by the Wike administration. This building was revived from the dead.
The Rex Lawson Cultural Centre was inherited by Governor Wike at 30 percent completion. In 120 days, Governor Wike financed and supervised it to completion.
The Rivers State Traditional Rulers Secretariat was flagged off and completed during the Wike administration. Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa-ad Abubakar performed these two major functions. This is the best Traditional Rulers Secretariat in the country, with special facilities.
It was in the course of the Third Year Anniversary Celebration of the Wike administration that the construction of the Real Madrid Football Academy was flagged off by the President of Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad. This event attracted the global sporting press and football family. It was a defining moment for football as a business.
National integration/politics without bitterness
Beyond the practical gains of showcasing Nigeria’s best performing governor for close to two months, the Third Year Anniversary Celebration of the Wike administration was used to foster national integration and national unity.
As a statesman, Governor Wike carefully selected leaders from all divides and international community to commission projects executed for the good of Rivers people.
There were the ingredients of peer review, friendship, international cooperation and regional integration. Every community was given a sense of belonging.
The European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlson commissioned the Emmanuel Aguma House formerly known as Produce House, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Awkright commissioned the Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onoghen commissioned National Industrial Court and Appeal Court Complex, General Abdulsalami Abubakar commissioned the Garrison-Trans-Amadi-Slaughter-Woji-Elelenwo road while Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar commissioned the Isiokpo Internal Roads.
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa commissioned Mgbuosimini Health Centre/Primary School, Former President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned the Ozuoha-Ipo-Omademe Road , Former PDP Acting National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi commissioned Nyemoni Grammar School, Abonnema while Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio commissioned Omoku Internal Roads. Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose commissioned Elele-Alimini Internal Roads, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus commissioned Creek Road and 24-number 3bedroom Flats for Civil Servants was commissioned by former Plateau State Governor , Senator Jonah David Jang.
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa-ad Abubakar commissioned the Traditional Rulers Secretariat, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi commissioned the Rex Lawson Cultural Centre while the Obi of Onitsha , Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe commissioned Abacha Road .
Politically, Governor Wike used the third anniversary to emphasise the relevance of politics without bitterness. Political leaders may be from different political parties, but there must be meeting points to foster development.
On that note, Senate President Bukola Saraki commissioned the Obiri-Ikwerre Airport Road, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara commissioned the Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge while Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal commissioned the Medical College at the Rivers State University and the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori. These three leaders are members of the APC.
Blessed by God
It was a celebration that started and ended with God. A dedication and Thanksgiving Service was held at Winners Chapel D/Line. All through the programmes, there was no casualty or untoward story, despite visitors coming from across the globe. At the end, another Thanksgiving Service was held at Cathedral Anglican Church of Saint Paul in Port Harcourt.
The Blessing of God placed Rivers State on top and made it an international reference point. While others struggled to survive, Rivers State under the leadership of Governor Wike has become Nigeria’s centre of development and international recognition. For three years, Governor Wike has deepened the process of pro-people governance.