The chairman, Okrika Divisional
Council of Chiefs (ODCC), Chief Nemi Wisdom Adoki described it as a triumph of a people’s resilience, yet many others saw the formal installation of Inimieari F. I. R. Gobi Olei XI as a reward for hard work, service to community and indeed dedication to noble courses.
Before Gobi Olei XI, there had lived in Abuloma, community, in Okrika chiefdom, ten occupants of the stool. Although without formal government recognition, the people found in their leaders, light and strength of character that ensured unrepentant followership.
The journey of centuries finally ended last Saturday, when the Gobi Olei War Canoe House was formally recognised with the installation of Inimieari F. I. R. Gobi Olei as the eleventh Occupant of the stool. It was indeed a colourful ceremony that Abuloma people and indeed friends of the War Canoe House will not forget in a hurry.
As early as 8am Saturday, the community was agog with drum beats, gaily dressed women and men and all manner of festivities, awaiting the arrival of the members of the ODCC at the Abuloma Civic Hall.
At exactly 10.30 am the initiation for malities started, with the formal introduction of the Chief-elect by the Chairman of the Gobi Olei War Canoe House, Mr Precious T. Gobi, where upon he was grilled by the ODCC Excutive Head.
To become a chief, among several other considerations, the person must have a house of his own in the community, must be legally married, must not have been an ex-convict, and must have basic education. More importantly, such a choice must enjoy the unanimous support of all families (oko’s) within the House.
Prior to the public questioning, a committee set up by the ODCC, must have screened any chief-elect and reported finding to the committee of the whole before installation. The installation day edition is to enable any dissenting voices to speak-up against the installation, or for ever remain quiet.
That done, the chief-elect was then dressed by three other chiefs, namely: Chief Amba Kwani, Chief Soye Wilson Jamabo, Ogboru (The Third) and Chief (Prof) Opuamabe. He was then formally inducted into the ODCC as a recognised chief of Orkika chiefdom, after more than a century of struggles for formal recognition.
It was indeed a journey that constantly reminds members of the Gobi Olei House of the helplessness of their forebears. And indeed a history replete with exceptional communal unity, perseverance and indeed determination to have things right. That indeed is the destination which the formal installation of Inimieari Gobi Olei XI, eventually became.
From the Abuloma Civic Hall, the celebration moved to the precincts of the UPE Primary School Abuloma, where chiefs, and other invited guests, in turns eulogised the newly installed chief, in ways that truly justified his choice.
Speaker after speaker described Gobi Olei XI, as a very distinguished servant-leader whose contributions to the larger Abuloma community are awesome and his commitment to its development, overwhelming.
Until his choice as Chief of Gobi Olei House, Iniyeimiari was chairman of the Abuloma community Development Committee, CDC, after serving as vice between 2010 and 2012. He was also Vice Chairman, Abuoloma Chairmen Assembly, a position he utilized to foster unity, love and sense of purpose among all war-canoe houses in the community.
Also eventful is the chief’s social life. He was pioneer chairman of Ibise-Amamie Age grade of Abuloma from 1977-1986 and held other positions like Financial Secretary, Building Committee, Community Secondary School, six block building and was also Provost of the Tekena Douglas led CDC.
He had his primary education at the Abuloma/Amadi Central State School from 1971-76, Kalabari National College (KNC) from 1977-1978 before moving over to Okrika Grammar School, Okrika 1978-1984.
He recently graduated from the Industrial Service Centre, Civil Servants Progamme, Batch 4, 2013-2014 of the Rivers State Polytechnic, now Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State.
An astute leader, unrepentant sickler for communal growth and development and indeed positive role model of the youth in Abuloma, Gobi Olei XI means different things to different people. Those who consider his drive for community cohesion and unity, too fast for their pace, see him as stubborn while those keen on seeing Abuloma gain the needed limelight see him as a proactive leader.
In whichever divide one finds oneself, there is no disputing the fact that the young man has indeed impacted positively on his environment and is linked to virtually every development effort of his people ranging from environment, education, health and indeed youth development.
That perhaps accounts for the number of men, women and the youth that turned out enmasse to celebrate history last Saturday. It was indeed an occasion that revealed the best in the average Abuloma son and daughter, as they filed out in their colours and different dance steps in celebration of a long journey of struggles and perseverance that eventually culminated into a formal recognition of and eventual initiation into the prestigious Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs (ODCC).
Four-term member of the Rivers State House of Assembly and immediate past member of the Greater Port Harcourt Development Board, Chief James Fuayefika Bilogbolo, in a speech at the event described Gobi Olei XI as a likeable youngman whose progressive attitude to communal unity and growth are indeed exemplary.
He commended the Gobi Olei War Canoe House for their steadfastness in fight for the most desired recognition denied their fore bears for ages and urged the people to rally round their chief for further development of the House and indeed the Abuloma Community.
Hon Fuayefika commended the new chief for providing the much-need rallying point that formed the elixir for the eventual choice, screening and installation of a Head Chief for the Gobi Olei War Canoe House.
In his installation speech earlier, Chairman of the Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs (ODCC) Chief Nemi Wisdom Adoki described the chieftaincy institution as a very sacred one, designed to uphold and protect the people’s rich cultural heritage.
Chiefs, he said, must live an exemplary life of leadership, compassion, wisdom, love and dedication to service. He urged them to be proactive to modern developmental imperatives by serving as social engineers, motivators and indeed master-servants striving for rapid communal growth and development.
Chief Adoki described Chief Gobi Olei as an example of master-servant traditional head, who had contributed meaningfully to the development of his people and advised him to continue.
In an interview with The Tide shortly after his initiation into the ODCC, Chief Gobi Olei said his royal house could now heave a sigh of relief. He recalled the struggles of his predecessors who as Gobi Olei One-Ten, failed to get government recognition until his eventual choice as Gobi Olei XI.
He described the journey as a torturous one but said the end indeed justifies the means. He attributed the success to team work, unity, cohesion, dedication to the struggle and indeed determination of House members who were poised to jump every obstacle in the road to the coronation.
Highlight of the installation/initiation ceremony was the taking of oath of allegiance and the traditional chieftaincy banquet, amidst pomp and pageantry.
Soye Wilson Jamabo
NEW Rivers: A Glorious Second Term Is In Progress
During his first term, 2015 to 2019, award winning Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike put up a splendid performance that earned him the trust and respect of Rivers people. It was for this reason that Rivers people stood their ground despite the invading prowess of the AAC/APC/ARMY/FSARS Alliance.
On 3rd April, 2019 when INEC concluded the collation of results and declared Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, winner of the Rivers State Governorship election, the Rivers State Governor made a commitment to the people of the state to serve them diligently. He acknowledged the sacrifices of Rivers people in the process of his emergence as second term Governor.
On that day, he said: ”I want to thank the people of Rivers State for showing the kind of love we have never seen before. I thank them for showing the kind of support we have never seen before.
“Those who died not because they were criminals, but because they wanted to defend their votes. We dedicate this victory to God those who were killed .
“They protected our votes and they defended us. We pray God to grant their families the strength to bear the losses. We shall continue to support the families .We will not disappoint the PDP. We will not disappoint Rivers people. We shall continue to serve. “
Truly, Governor Wike has continued to serve Rivers people in the actual sense of the word. All sectors of the economy have been positively impacted for the good of Rivers people.
OPERATION STING FOR RIVERS SECURITY
One of the key areas where Governor Wike has excelled, is the promotion of security of lives and property. Though the state is yet to reach the desired point, marked improvement has been experienced in all 23 Local Government Areas.
This is a fallout of the launch of Operation Sting. This is a security architecture designed by the Wike Administration during his second term.
Governor Wike said Operation Sting will be fully funded by the Rivers State Government with the aim of tackling criminal elements and reducing crime and criminality in all parts of the state.
He said: “OPERATION STING” is therefore, our own specialized and dedicated security initiative anchored on an integrated and complementary approach, fully funded by the Rivers State Government to effectively tackle both the sources and drivers of insecurity in their diverse criminal manifestations and operations and nib them in their buds or rout and root them out of existence.
”Under Operation Sting we have taking concrete steps to strengthen the logistics and operational capability of the civil and armed security forces”.
PROFOUND MEASURES TO IMPROVE THE STANDARD OF LIVING OF RIVERS PEOPLE
Governor Wike has taken very profound measures to improve the standard of living of Rivers people.
In the course of his second term, Governor Wike abolished the payments of user-fees for persons living with HIV/AIDS who want to access treatment at State-owned Health facilities.
Governor Wike said that the State Government will take over the payment of the user-fees to encourage more Rivers people to seek treatment for HIV/AIDS.
To ensure access to education for the less privileged, Governor Wike abolished all forms of fees and levies in public primary, junior and senior secondary schools in Rivers State.
This was a major second term action. He has since released funds for the running of the schools for the 2019/2020 academic session.
The funds released by the Rivers State Governor would be used by the schools for registers, chalks, dusters, markers, notebooks, pens and other consumables
Governor Wike approved that the State Government will henceforth bankroll the form fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board(JAMB) for all Indigenes and non-indigenes in the state.
This approval by Governor Wike has been implemented for the 2020 UTME to be conducted by JAMB.
APPROVAL FOR UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL STUDIES AT THE RSU
During the closing days of his first term, Governor Wike ensured that the relevant facilities were on ground for the successful take off of the College of Medical Sciences and the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital.
Since commencing his second term, Governor Wike has created the right environment for the accreditation of the College of Medical Sciences at the Rivers State University.
The National Universities Commission in recognition of the facilities and personnel on ground, approved that the Rivers State University run full-time undergraduate programmes from the 2019/2020 Academic Session in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) and Nursing Science, BNsc.
RADIOLOGY DEPARTMENT, RIVERS STATE UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL
In November 2019, Governor Wike commissioned the New Radiology Department of the State University Teaching Hospital, upgraded and re-equipped by his administration.
Commissioning the new health facility, Governor Wike reiterated his commitment to quality healthcare for the people of Rivers State.
Governor Wike described the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and the College of Medicine as his initiative, saying that he will continue to invest in their rapid development.
“We will do everything possible to promote quality healthcare for our people. We need good healthcare for people to carry out their daily activities.
“We have good doctors, but there are no good equipment. What we are doing is to provide the right equipment “, he said.
EXCELLENT FIRST 100DAYS
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike took the entire country by storm during the first 100days of his second term.
For three weeks, Governor Wike rolled out very significant projects that touched the lives of Rivers people. Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi who commissioned the Rumuwoji Market confessed that he has seen why people insist that Governor Wike is Mr Projects.
The projects rolled out during the first 100days of the governor’s second term include:
.Bonny Street, Adaka , Boro/Elliot Henry Streets
• Government Secondary School, Ubima
(Formerly Community Secondary School, Ubima)
•Sea bed Model School , Port Harcourt
•Port Harcourt Pleasure Park Cinema
•Dualised – Birabi Street
•Justice Iche Ndu (Formerly Rumukwurusi -Elelenwo –Akpajo Road )
•Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt
•Civil Servants’ Quarters
•Rivers State NLC Secretariat
•Ogbum-Nu-Abali Fruit Garden Market
•Rivers State University, Students Union Secretariat
•Real Madrid Academy.
KEY PROJECTS SET FOR COMMISSIONING:
MOTHER AND CHILD HOSPITAL, PORT HARCOURT
This is a legacy project that will soon be commissioned by the Rivers State Government.
It was to be a Joint project with the NDDC, but the commission, reneged and Governor Wike had to drive the execution of the project alone.
The contractors are putting finishing touches to the modification works at the facility. Similarly, the equipment contractor is installing the equipment procured by the Wike Administration for the specialist hospital.
This is a mega hospital, the very first in the Niger Delta that will improve access to tertiary healthcare for Women and Children.
This is a legendary project initiated by Governor Wike to promote the Independence of the Judiciary. It is also aimed at ensuring that the welfare of Judges is taken care during and after their service.
The Judges Quarters has been completed. It has been furnished. It will soon be commissioned for use.
RECONSTRUCTION OF OVER 100 BASIC EDUCATION AND SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This is a state-wide intervention programme continued from the first term. During his first term, Governor Wike reconstructed and equipped over 250 schools through the Universal Basic Education Commission counterpart fund scheme and through the state’s direct funding.
Once again, the Rivers State Governor is using the two funding models to address issues relating to educational facilities in all the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE REBISI, RUMUOGBA AND OKORO-NU-ODO FLYOVER BRIDGES
The three Flyover Bridges already under construction in Port Harcourt are meant to improve traffic flow in the Rivers State capital.
These projects form the most ambitious developmental intervention by any Governor. The construction of the three Flyover Bridges is progressing simultaneously.
To icing on the cake is that Governor Wike has already paid 70 Percent of the contract sum. The contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc is expected to deliver the Bridges by February 2021.
The length of the Flyover Bridges include: Rumuogba (Formerly Artillery 1 and 2) : 517.5 metres, Okoro-Nu-Odo 360 metres and Rebisi (formerly Garrison 360 metres)
MASSIVE URBAN RENEWAL PROGRAMME
Port Harcourt and its environs have become a huge construction site. The Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor Wike is remodelling different parts of the state capital.
Other key projects like the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road, Zonal Hospitals, Sakpenwa-Bori Road, upgrade of different iconic secondary schools are progressing in different parts of the State.
BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD
Governor Wike is yet to conclude the first year of his second term and the results are everywhere. The future is bright for the state. The Governor has emphasized at every point that he will never be party to the second term failures of State Governors.
His administration will be a departure from the discouraging norm. Every step of the way will be decorated with pro-people projects and programmes to improve the lives of Rivers people.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.
FG Should Wake Up
I get so pissed off each time the news of insurgents’ attack on Nigerians begins to make the rounds in quick succession. My emotion gets worse when Federal Government, the supposed custodian of the people’s peace and safety appears so handicapped and helpless in situations they are looked upon to deliver.
While the nation yet mourns the Kogi and Delta killings of less than two weeks ago, fresh revelations have emerged on how Boko Haram insurgents attacked Garkida town in Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State for six hours on Friday night.
According to media report, many persons were feared killed by the invaders who announced their entry into the town by shooting aimlessly, looting the rural health centre, burning two ambulances and carting away another two.The source said, “they had unfettered access because a battalion of troops in the town was withdrawn sometime back, leaving behind just a few soldiers who could not repel the insurgents.
At the end of the day, the devastation of police barrack, police station, two churches; Living Faith and EYN, and a shopping mall, as well as a house belonging to Gen Paul Tarfa (retd.) in addition to lives either maimed or lost or captured, were relics of their heinuous visitation. This is not only frightening, it is sad.
This development does not in one bit present Nigeria as a country ready to combat insurgency which had lived with us before the advent of this administration.I do not want to be misled into believing that Nigeria has lost direction. Thus, I encourage the Federal Government to rise up to its responsibility before it is too late
By: Goodnews Mbachu, Owerri.
Talk About Sanitation Marshals, Not Cart Pushers
Going through the immediate past Wednesday edition of your paper, I came across a headline that captivated my attention; “RIWAMA Warns Cart Pushers To Steer off Streets”. I got to know that the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) under the leadership of Bro. Felix Obuah had, before now, ordered cart pushers to leave the streets and roads of Port Harcourt and its environ, an order which deadline ended February 17, 2020.
The waste management agency boss explained that the ban became necessary as the activities of the cart pushers have become a nuisance, turning some areas to an eyesore with indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the streets and roads.
In fairness to Obua, whose fears may not be far-fetched, I do not see the riddance of the cart pushers from the roads and streets of Port Harcourt as a panacea to the continuous ailing environmental state of the metropolitan capital city of the oil rich- state.
Instead, the realization of the adoption of sanitation marshals, will go a long way in solving the state’s sanitation problems. Recall that people were delighted with news of Rivers State government approving the appointment of sanitation marshals, which featured in your paper on Thursday, January 30, 2020. The subsequent approval that a bill be sent to the State House of Assembly to give legal backing to the appointments, gladdened their hearts the more.
Rather than chasing away these scavengers from their source of livelihood, it will be better to empower the sanitation marshals to check the activities of the former. With this in place, the state will not only have continued to sustain the economy of these peasants, it will have also created employment for the marshals thus providing a level playing ground for all.
I, therefore, suggest that the RIWAMA boss should consider hastening the bill that will give a legal backing to the marshals so they could be empowered to enforce the required sanitary practices and habits especially as it concerns strict compliance to the bagging of refuse, expected to be kept at authorised places for onward pick-up.
I hope that the coming of the sanitation marshals will, among other roles, end indiscriminate disposal of refuse on road medians and other unlawful places. Most importantly, ensure that residents of Port Harcourt city practise good sanitary habits.
By: Chinyere Ikpo, Ngbuoba.
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