The common saying that “honour is given to whom honour is due” is indeed not a mere rhetoric, artificial or sarcastic expression, but it is a statement of fact.
Thus, the essence of honouring someone who has done well in the society is to appreciate such person to give him or her the morale booster to do more.
Since 29th May, 2015 when the administration of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was inaugurated in the state, the Governor has not left anyone in doubt that he has the capacity to watch over Rivers State and her people.
As part of his inaugural speech, the governor declared, “For us, the problems and challenges that any government is confronted with will also define the kind of solutions advanced in their resolution. We appreciate that these are difficult times. But we are confident about the brightness of our future which begins today.”
In order to actualize the government’s vision for a New Rivers State, the Governor, immediately after the inauguration ceremony, kicked-started the business of governance of the state with the setting up of the Road Maintenance Agency as a major driver of the “Operation Zero Pothole Programme”.
It is worthy of note that before the present administration took over the reins of power, roads in the State were in complete state of comatose due to lack of maintenance and repair.
But today, the story is different as over 200 internal roads and highways have either been completed and commissioned or are at various stages of completion.
This is indeed, a highly commendable effort as the provision of good road network in the State is critical to the government’s strategy of re-industrialising Rivers State.
Apart from road infrastructure, the State Government recently flagged off the reconstruction of 13 General Hospitals across the State that were in deplorable conditions as a deliberate effort to boost healthcare delivery to the people of the State.
Interestingly, and for the first time in the history of Rivers State, the State Government has given a grant of five million naira to private medical practitioners to complement the effort of government towards improving the healthcare delivery services in the State.
In the education sector, the State Government is also undertaking complete reconstruction of public schools in all parts of the State to make them more attractive and conducive for teaching and learning while emphasis is being laid on ICT with the plan of making Rivers State the future technological hub of Nigeria.
The Wiked-led administration has not only taken proactive measures aimed at fast-tracking the infrastructural development of the State, but has equally taken bold initiatives to grow the economy of the State by providing the enabling environment for business to thrive.
It is for this reason that the government considered it appropriate and pertinent to grant two billion Naira loan to 35,000 small business owners in the State in order to grow their businesses to enable them live a better life.
And with the dedication of seventy percent of the 2017 budget of the State to capital projects, it is certain that the development of the State would be momentous and accelerated in line with the agenda of the New Rivers Vision.
In all these, the government has not left any individual or community behind in its avowed commitment to develop all parts of the State.
Realizing the obvious fact that government is a continuum, Governor Wike is continuing with abandoned projects inherited from the immediate past administration especially the ones that are of economic and social values to the State and the people.
As preparations are in top gear to celebrate the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Rivers State on May 27, 2017, the governor has also dedicated some projects for commissioning or flagg-off, to make the event expected to showcase the rich cultural diversity of the people memorable.
But one thing that is puzzling the minds of many Nigerians including the opposition is that while the economic recession currently facing the nation is seriously undermining the administration of other States in the country, the Rivers State Government is paying salaries and pensions as well as executing projects.
No doubt, Governor Wike’s style of leadership has given new definition to governance and democracy in Rivers State and endeared him to all and sundry.
Recently, the Muslim Community hailed the Governor for his open-door policy and described him as a Muslim friendly governor who has always supported the course of the religion in the State.
Again, it is on record that the leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State at the State, local government and ward levels and members of the State caucus recently passed a vote of confidence on Governor Wike for his outstanding performance.
During the visit of the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to Rivers State, he described Chief Wike as “the man of the people” due to his developmental strides.
The former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido also poured encomiums on Governor Wike while commissioning the Rumoisi-Ozuoba Link Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Like the golden fish which has no hiding place, the superlative performance of Governor Wike in the past 18 months has spotted him out for recognition by individuals and corporate organizations within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
Prominent among the corporate organizations that have recognized the leadership potentials of Governor Wike are reputable national and continental newspapers including the Sun Newspaper, Independent Newspaper, African Leadership Magazine, United Kingdom and Authority Newspaper, all of them conferring on Chief Wike with the distinguished Awards of “Governor of the Year 2016,” in Nigeria.
Speaking while receiving the Authority Newspaper “Governor of the Year Award” in Abuja recently on behalf of Governor Wike, the Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo said it was a wonderful privilege for Chief Wike to be chosen for the award.
She confirmed hat the Wike-led administration remains committed to deliver service without excuses, declaring that “We dedicate the award to the people of Rivers State who chose us in the general elections in 2015 and continue to support our administration”.
Due to Governor Wike’s record of achievements in the past 18 months which are visible for everyone including critics to see, he is now popularly called “Mr. Projects.”
From the background of Governor Wike as a legal practitioner and an administrator par excellence, going by his pedigree, it is clear that he is divinely chosen to rescue Rivers State from the agents of darkness and place it on the path of aggressive infrastructural development and economic prosperity.
Kekii is the Head of Press, Deputy Governor’s Office, Rivers State.