Being a New Year message by Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to the good people of Rivers State to usher in 2017. Excerpts
Fellow Rivers people, as we come to the end of yet another year, let me heartily join you and the rest of the world to say goodbye to 2016.
For us, 2016 had been a year of mixed feelings. No doubt, it was a year we made some remarkable progress as we began to fulfil our promises to our people.
We managed to resuscitate our broken economy to drive and sustain our development efforts in the face of a crippling national recession. We reconstructed existing roads, built new ones and in the process created jobs and empowerment for our people.
We confronted insecurity by providing concrete support to the security agencies to combat and reduce crime across the state. Furthermore, among several other tangible achievements, we also ensured the regular payment of salaries to our workers and pensioners as well as started the process of restoring quality into our educational and health systems.
Although, it is difficult to forget the low and painful moments of 2016, especially the continuing economic difficulties and associated misery being experienced by ordinary people, as a result of the prostrate state of our national economy, as well as the extreme brutalisation, bloodshed and loss that characterised the re-run legislative elections, there is still much progress to look back on over the last 12 months.
And so, as we come to the conclusion of a largely challenging but fruitful year, we wish to assure you that we are right on course and things can only get better for every Rivers person as we strive to consolidate on our achievements and take our State to the next level of growth and development.
At this point and on this day, I wish to put on record that words cannot express how you inspired us with your courage, unyielding spirit and capacity to resist the machinations of the oppressors in order to reclaim and preserve our dignity as a free people.
We cannot thank you enough for your consistent prayers, understandings, sacrifices and unconditional support and encouragements throughout 2016, without which, we could have been vanquished by the political and economic predators who sought to conquer and enslave us so that they can freely and mindlessly plunder the State’s resources with strangers as they did in the recent past.
As the New Year beakons with fresh opportunities, ours is to renew our commitment and vigour to serve you and deliver on our reconstruction and development programmes through efficient, transparent and accountable governance.
Accordingly, we urge Rivers people to look forward to the New Year with hope. Hope for a better Rivers State, a better future, more progress and more wellbeing for our people. We shall surely work as hard as possible to achieve our objectives and deliver on our covenant with our people.
My brothers and sisters, let me take this opportunity to remind us that 2017 is a special year for Rivers State: it is our year of Golden Jubilee and we must roll out the drums and together thank God for His faithfulness unto us and celebrate its historic significance under the theme: “I LOVE MY RIVERS STATE, OUR CRADLE, OUR PRIDE.”
This theme truly encapsulates and evokes our sense of unity, our values, our love for one another, our struggles, our progress and our hopes for the future, which starts from now.
It is in this vein and in the spirit of the season that I call on all Rivers people of all economic and social backgrounds, from all religious and cultural persuasions, from every political party or social organizations and in all our communities to live in peace and work for the collective security, progress and prosperity of our State.
Furthermore, we pray that the New Year will usher in a new hope that the era of vindictiveness has ended and Rivers State will be justly treated and accorded its fair share of development projects and attention by the Federal Government.
Finally, as we graciously welcome 2017, I wish you all seasons’ greetings and a happy, healthy, productive and prosperous New Year.
May God continue to bless you, your families, and our dear Rivers State this New Year and always.