Several reports have credited Governor Rotimi Amaechi with some landmark achievements in the five years he has piloted the affairs of Rivers State. Some of these achievements will continue to linger in the minds of Rivers people. Our correspondent, Calista Ezeaku went to town to sample views on what they will remember Amaechi for were he to leave office at this point. Dele Obinna captured their facial expressions.
Mr Barth Ndubuwa, Journalist
I will remember him for all his infrastructural strides mostly in the area of education, the health sector and the roads.
The road network before Amaechi’s regime was a night mare but today we are happy that we can move around and everywhere the street lights are there. I think he has done well.
But in the area of what I may call liquidity, he hasn’t done very well. What it means is that in as much as we have the infrastructures, there’s supposed to be money in circulation too, it should trickle down from the top to the masses.
I will also want him to complete all its on-going projects before the end of his tenure. I don’t even advice him to embark on new projects for now. Let him finish the ones he has started.
Mrs Ibibene Gibert Governor Amaechi will be remembered for his good works like good roads, security. Now we can sleep with our two eyes closed.
However, some of the roads have not been completed. We pray and wish that he completes them before he leaves the seat so that his good works will continue to speak for him.
Mrs Faith Felix, Police Officer
Amaechi has been so kind to us. He provides good schools for our children, good roads, electricity and many more. In my place, Tai, we have constant power supply now. He built modern secondary schools for our children to enjoy. So he has done a lot for us.
We have good health facilities, good roads, water. He supports the widows and widowers. He gives them money to start business. So, for us in Tai, we are very proud of him.
But he should try and provide employment for our youths. Many of them are jobless. He should empower them too.
Pastor Emmanuel Lion, A Clergy Man
Governor Amaechi has done a lot of good things in Rivers State and he will be certainly remembered for those good works.
He has done very well in the areas of education and road construction.
But it will be wrong to expect him to do everything right. He is not God that he can do every thing the way everybody wants it. He has done his best and we should leave the rest for God.
Mr Raphael Nayiga – Civil Servant
There are so many things he has done. In the education sector, health sector, he has done well. He provided so many health care centres in the rural areas. One good thing about his administration is that he is not concentrating efforts at the capital city. Rather, he spreads the projects to everywhere in the state.
The only area I can say he has not done so well, is the area of civil servants welfare and agriculture. He has not paid adequate attention to the agriculture sector which is one of the most important aspects of life. As far as human beings are concerned, we must eat. Many years ago, agriculture was the main stay of this country, but the moment we stopped investing in agriculture, we became hungry.
So he should look into the agriculture sector and become friendly with all civil servants.
Mr Iheanyi Ezinwo, Publisher
If Governor Amaechi were to leave office today, he will be remembered for some of the visible, physical infrastructure that he has put in place. You can see the roads – NTA Road, the bridge at Agip junction, the one at Elekahia, the schools and others. These are visible things that in the next twenty years he will still be remembered for them.
Another area that I think he might also be remembered is his disposition to accommodating non-indigenes both in employment, in scholarship award, and almost everything that government does.
To some extent, he has tried to demystify the office of the governor. In spite of all the security apparatus and all that, he is still somehow accessible. He could go out of his way, talk to people and all that. So I think he has done quite some things that the people can remember him for.
However, in life there are the good, the bad and the ugly sides. To some people, it’s possible that they might have seen some ugly things about the administration of Amaechi. I think that will depend on individuals.
Let me take for instance, if at the end of his administration, he does not complete the monorail, to some people that might be a disappointment. If at the end of his administration, the new University of Science and Technology (UST) is not completed so that people can move over to that place, some people might see it as a disappointment.
If at the end of his administration the health centres and model primary schools are not completed, most of them abandoned, some people will see it as a regret. So as I said earlier, it depends on the individual and the direction he is looking at.
However, I want the Governor to know that what he does that will benefit the greater majority is what he shall be remembered for on a positive light.
Now, one of the areas I want him to pay attention to is, in the empowerment of Rivers people Yes, he may say that he has given out contracts to “Rivers people”. Who are those Rivers people? There are credible Rivers people who have the capacity to deliver in so many areas, but some of them are still waiting. So he should see how he can reach out to those people.
Let me take for instance, those of us who are into small businesses, we need encouragement. Our services should be patronised. We should be supported. There are some countries where government support the Rivers press, so we need help, we need support, especially for those who are hardworking. There are people who are idle, who are doing nothing and they ask you to give them money.
But there are those who are enterprising, who are making effort, who need support. We should be supported.
Government should also pay attention to awarding scholarships to those who want to do Masters and Phd programmes. That area is very very important, so that we will be able to really compete with others. He has been doing that but there should be more to that.