After the creation of
Rivers State in 1967, the state under the leadership of Navy Commander Alfred Diete Spiff, the then Military Governor, who is now His Royal Majesty of Twon Brass, was ranked as educationally disadvantaged. This was as a result of few tertiary and secondary schools that existed before the Nigeria civil war of 1967-1970.
The quest to uplift the state from its doldrum of great academic retrogression occasioned by the effects of the Nigerian civil war and few schools then made successive governments in the state to establish more secondary schools in the state. This led to the birth of what we have today as Government Secondary Schools across the state. The new government policy on education saw the building of schools like Government Secondary School, Eneka, Government Secondary School, Okehi, Government Girls Secondary School, Ndashi, Government Technical College, Port Harcourt, to mention but a few across the state. The schools were officially commissioned and academic activities started in 1977.
Government Secondary School, Eneka, situated at Rumuesara in Eneka Kingdom in Obio/Akpor Local Government was one of those schools. This institution today is ranked as one of the glorious point of reference, a citadel of learning that is referenced in the academic records of the state education gazette as the school has to its credit produced people like the current Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (CON), who has also held political positions in the past as a two-time chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State, Chief of Staff in the state and Minister of Education in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, before becoming the Governor of Rivers State on May 29th, 2016. Apart from him, the school has also produced people like Professor Okey Onuchuku, a renowned economist at the University of Port Harcourt. What about Mr Collins Orji of the Mobile Telecommunication Nigeria (MTN), an old student as well who also occupies a very good position in the company. The list of the old boys of Government Secondary School, Eneka, who are doing well speaks in volume, as the school has recorded her graduands in medicine, enginerring, law and other professions.
As the school is well remembered for producing responsible Nigerian citizens, some of its graduands still have the school in mind despite their exalted positions they found themselves today in Nigeria.
His Excellency, Chief Barrister Nyesom Wike, is one of such intelligent and humble old students of Government Secondary School, Eneka, who has paid back his alma-mater with goodwill and support. History has it that right from when he became the Executive Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, he impacted on the school by providing portable drinking water, financial and moral supports to the school.
This political amazon, a legal luminary, a born administrator, continues to encourage his alma-mater from time to time as God continues to bless him in all life endeavours. In a flash back, one notices that when he became the minister of education under the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, he looked backwards and felt that his alma-mater -GSS Eneka needs to be improved.
The Rumuepirikom born son of Ikwerre ethnic nationality, immediately penciled down the school for the construction of a new administrative block for the Principal, Vice-Principals, the staff and Computer/Internet Centre for the Universal Basic Education section of the school. A gigantic bore-hole tank with a heavy duty generating set was built for the supply of water to the teachers and students. He did not stop there, he also ordered the renovation of the dilapidated classrooms which were installed with facilities to make teaching and learning to be effective.
No wonder, as Government Secondary School, Eneka, celebrates her 27th Annual Inter-House Sports on the 4th March 2016, encomiums were poured on the Governor for his care for the school. On that occasion, the school decided to honour him by making him the patron of the Purple House popularly known as Governor Wike’s House.
On that day, the Executive Chairman of the Rivers Senior Secondary Schools Board, Port Harcourt, Hon (Dr) David Briggs, who was the special guest of honour commended the governor for providing a Computer/Internet Centers for the school when he was a Minister of Education. The chairman who spoke through his representative, Mr Uche Fred Owho, the director administration, at the Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools Board, Port Harcourt, also called on parents and other philanthropists to encourage sporting activities in schools by donating sporting equipment and facilities to schools. This he said will boost the morals of students in track and field events. He maintained that sports was part of the learning process that falls under the psycho-motor domain.
The director called on the teachers to be punctual to their duties and that students should desist from examination malpractice as the forth coming May/June 2015 West African Examination Council (WAEC) is about to commence.
The chairman of the occasion for the 27th Annual Inter-House Sports 2016, Hon. Chris Nnanna Ogbonna, in his speech commended the school for the peaceful co-existence that has existed between the school and Eneka community. He also commended the Rivers State Governor for all the good works he has initiated in Rivers State and prayed God to continue to strengthen him to actualise his dreams to reality.
In her welcome address, the principal of the school, Mrs Rose Ego Odum, said that Governor Nyesom Wike’s House was created as a thank you gift and to immortalize his name in the school for his care and improvement of his alma-mater, especially on the renovations so far done in the school.
The principal called on other old boys to emulate the kind gesture of Governor Wike ensuring that his alma-mater comes of age.
According to her, it is not yet uhuru, as the school still needs to be fenced and the hostels and staff quarters need attention. The fencing of the school is very paramount because of the several issues of encroachment by the villagers on the school premises.
Mrs. Odum also said that landscaping of the school leaves the football field with water logs whenever it rains heavily. This she said disrupts football activities and therefore needs urgent attention. Commenting on the school laboratories, she said they also needs urgent attention to enable the present crop of our future scientists have a good sense of the world of engineers, doctors by the provision of audio-visual materials in the laboratories to enable them compete globally.
The school administrator said seven houses participated in this year’s sports competition. The Governor’s House took the first position in the march past, while Yellow House took first position in the overall field and track events with 471 points, seconded by the Blue House with 466 points and the Red House took the third position with 342 points.
Also recollecting what the Governor has done for Government Secondary School, Eneka, the Principal for the Universal Basic Education (UBE), Dr (Mrs) Anthonia Kabiri, was also grateful for what the Governor did in his alma-mater, especially the building of the new administrative block for the staff and a computer centre for the students including a 15KVA generator for light.
According to her, Wike has become “The spirit that inspires and the light of hope to our young generations in the school. His care for the school has proved that a determined student can pass through the four walls of our educational steps and rise to the pinnacle.
Dr Kabari feels that the Governor’s philanthropic nature and Christian life must have been the brain behind his success at the Supreme Court.
The UBE principal said that the Junior Secondary section has decided to also appreciate the Governor Chief (Barr) Nyesom Wike (CON) , the Executive Governor of Rivers State, by dedicating the 2016 inter-house sports competition of the Universal Basic Education to him as an old student and father to the school.
The school administrator complained that hoodlums come into the school premises to steal and extort money from both the teachers and students because of absence of school fence.
However, she maintained that through the efforts of the Parents/Teachers Association of the school, they have improvised seats for the students.
Samuel Nwagwu, is a Port Harcourt-based journalist.