Earlier in 2018, I had an argument with the Late Attorney-General of Rivers State, Emmanuel Aguma (SAN) on the appropriateness of a term that was used by some supporters of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. These supporters had coined the word — RENEW– to promote their belief that Governor Wike deserves a second term.
The late Attorney General, to buttress his argument that New Rivers remains apt, lifted the development blueprint and emphasised that the goal is the creation of a New Rivers State. Very correctly, he stated that Governor Wike is on the right track to re-defining Rivers State. As such, the second term should still be focused on developing a New Rivers State, which was the original intention of introducing Nyesom Ezenwo Wike into the governorship race in 2014.
The core of the New Rivers Development Blueprint was developing a new vision, new thinking and better opportunities across Rivers State. The goal was to take back Rivers State from the forces of darkness and treachery and return the state back to the people.
Indeed, the idea of a New Rivers State was to re-validate the state as the pivot for the revival of the entire South-South through purposeful leadership and execution of pro-people projects.
About three and half years down the line, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has achieved his mission in government.
The mission, as stated in the New Rivers Development Blueprint, is: “To actualise the aspirations of the people of Rivers State for a balanced development and enhanced quality of life for the present and future generations through responsive guided by the fear of God”.
Through careful investments in projects and good governance, Governor Wike has turned the fortunes of Rivers State. He has changed the story of Rivers State and made it the centre of development in the country.
Key projects in the areas of administration of justice, healthcare delivery, security, education, road infrastructure, women development, youth and women empowerment, sports development and provision of water have transformed the state. The people now feel the impact of good governance.
Governor Wike has justified his first term in office. He has lifted Rivers State above her peers and attracted respect across the globe for the state. Governor Wike is now Nigeria’s best performing governor.
In place is the foundation of a New Rivers State. The beauty of good governance backed by the support of the vast majority of the people.
There is no part of the state where the outstanding governance qualities of Governor Wike has not been felt. In Opobo, for the first time, the people are driving into the Ancient Island. In Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Governor Wike has reclaimed lands and expanded economic opportunities for the people. In Degema, the Zonal Hospital, a tertiary health facility is getting set for use. In Akuku-Toru, Nyemoni Grammar School has been commissioned while the Abonnema Ring Road is nearing completion.
The story is the same in Ogoni-land as the dualisation of the Sakpenwa-Bori Road is the greatest gift to the people since 1960. This is followed by the reconstruction of the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori and several other educational projects across Ogoni communities.
In Etche, Governor Wike has given the people a sense of belonging, reintegrating them to the mainstream of Rivers Development. Before the coming of Wike, Etche could only be accessed through Abia and Imo States. The story is now different. Governor Wike started with the Igwuruta-Chokocho Road before delving into Chokocho-Umuechem-Ozuzu Road and Chokocho -Igbo-Etche-Rumuokurushi Inter- Change commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
It was the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu that commissioned Ulakwo II-Afara-Nihi Road while the 16 kilometre Umueze -Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke- Umunju- Umuellechi-Eberi Road in Omuma Local Government Area and Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road in Etche Local Government Area are under construction.
Governor Wike has opened up Etche with the promise to do more in his second term. The economy of Etche has picked up and several projects are ongoing in the areas of health and education.
The people of Orashi region are also feeling the direct impact of good governance and coordinated leadership.
Governor Wike rolled out 10 Internal Roads in Omoku, while the Shore Protection project in five Ndoni communities is nearing completion.
The construction of the General Hospital, Omoku and the dualisation of the Omoku-Egbema Road in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state have reached advanced stage.
The state government has located two faculties of the Rivers State University in Ahoada Local Government Area, while the Western Ahoada County High School has been reconstructed. There is the ongoing construction of three major roads in Ahoada West Local Government Area alongside the construction of Model Primary Healthcare Centre, Odiokwu, Ahoada West Local Government Area.
In Abua, the Rivers State Governor has reconstructed and equipped the General Hospital, Abua. Many basic and senior secondary schools in the area have also been reconstructed to boost education.
The list of projects in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas is endless. Governor Wike has transformed the capital city and its environment.
This is an administration with a holistic approach to governance. Every section is carried along.
Presenting the 2019 Budget, Governor Wike said: “There is no local government area we have not reached; no State or Federal Constituency we have not touched; and no Senatorial District we have not positively affected with our development policies, programmes and projects.
“In the areas of urban renewal and rural development, we have constructed and reconstructed several roads in Port Harcourt City, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Omoku, Elele, Isiokpo, Okochiri, Ogbunabali, and Amadi-Ama communities. The numerous roads and other social amenities, including water, electricity, jetties, land reclamation we have provided are boosting socio-economic activities and improving the wellbeing of our people in several of our rustic and hitherto neglected communities across the State”.
Governor Wike has used his first term to address the developmental challenges created for Rivers State by the immediate past failed Amaechi administration.
Governor Wike told Rivers Lawmakers: “When we came in three and half years ago, we met a State that was literarily on its knees: physically battered, economically raped and psychologically traumatised, but we came in with a clear vision and mission: a vision to repair and renew the promise of our State; a mission to pull our people from the cesspool of despair and restore our hopes for brighter future.
” Three and half years after, we have substantially achieved our commitments on all directions of human advancement”.
For Rivers people, the decision has been made. Governor Wike will be re-elected in March 2019 to consolidate on the gains of his first term.
The reason why Governor Wike was elected in the first place was because of the extreme looting of Rivers resources by Amaechi and the destruction of the fundamentals of Niger Delta unity by the immediate past Rivers State Governor. The overwhelming mandate bestowed on Governor Wike was a message to the failed Amaechi that nobody derides his people successfully.
While Amaechi blabs about PDP destroying Nigeria for 16 years, he plays the Ostrich about his heinous crime against Rivers people by squandering N3trillion of Rivers resources and selling valued state assets to his business partner.
In 2015, Amaechi preached ethnicity and planned to foist his godson on Rivers State to elongate his regime of resource-theft. The people stood firm and voted Governor Wike. They declared that the dichotomy that Amaechi preached was irrelevant in the face of the need to revive Rivers State.
With the full process of revival on course under Governor Wike , nobody will touch Amaechi’s business partner with a long pole. There is no resident of Rivers State who would want a resumption of the Amaechi’s years of fraud, sale of state assets and squander-mania.
Governor Wike’s second term is guaranteed. It is the decision of the people. Their endorsements have come from the 23 local government areas. They have chosen a lover of Rivers State over a petty trader who betrays his people at the slightest opportunity.
The progress of Rivers State lies in the continuation of the construction of a New Rivers State. This process cannot be disrupted by crooks who thrive in propaganda, but lack the capacity to deliver when given the opportunity.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.
Political Space Is Only For Parties Ready To Take Power – Okoye
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s), Festus Okoye, national Commissioner on Information and Voter Education has reminded Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) that political space is meant for political parties that are ready to take power, maintaining that political associations can exist, mobilise, build structures before seeking registration, as soon as they get registered they must be ready to take power.
Okoye said this while speaking on a local media station after the High Court adjourned hearing in the case filed by 33 political parties under the auspices of IPAC, challenging their deregistration by INEC.
The national commissioner reminded IPAC that as registered political parties, they should be ready to take power, because the space was not for learning, as the electoral body would be prepared to de-register any political partyand relegate it to an association if it found out that the party failed to meet the threshold of its registration, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution.
“The political parties contesting did not meet the terms of their registration, neither did they win elections in their various states, nor met the projections. Two of the parties that went to court, Labour Party and African Democratic Party, were not deregistered. They claimed they had court injunctions and I don’t know what they are doing in court.”
“The spirit and intent of the constitution, is that political associations can exist, mobilize people, build up structures. The moment they come for registration means they are ready to take power. If you are not due for political power, you should not apply for registration, because the political space is not for learning or testing the ground”, he said.
Okoye said that 74 political parties had been deregistered and the deregistion had already taken place.
He maintained that because the 33 political parties that went to court were aware that deregistration had taken place, that was why on 14 February they filed an application in court, asking the court to reverse it.
The INEC official stated that the act had already been completed, that was why the court adjourned till 27 February for accelerated hearing.
IPAC Hails Court Order Restraining INEC From De-Registering 31 Parties
The Inter-Party Adversary Council (IPAC) has described the judgment stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering political parties as victory for democracy and future generations.
National chairman of the council, Peter Ameh, who made the comment while addressing newsmen shortly after the ruling, said the late Gani Fawehinmi gave the 33 political parties that went to court the courage.
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in her ruling, said, having failed to counter the application by the applicants, the affected political parties had the legal right, which must be protected.
In an interlocutory motion with suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/444/19 between Advanced Congress of Democratis (ACD) and two others vs. Attorney-General of the Federation and another (INEC), the applicants had on October 30, 2019, approached the court.
The IPAC chairman insisted that there was no way the commission would have succeeded in the illegality it perpetrated against the parties and the fundamental rights of Nigerians.
“We have every reason to thank everybody who stood against this illegality, especially Okey Raph Nwosu, who, despite his party scaling the deregistration hurdle, still joined in the suit because he believed in democracy.
“We believe in the spirit of the Constitution as stated in Section 40, which gave Nigerians the right to freely belong to any political association, and the Constitution stipulated that no agency of government can restrict that right.
“We started this case since last year when we saw that there was plan to put Nigeria upside down. It is our right to defend the constitution through section 225 to challenge the commission to stop it from taking this illegal action.
“INEC should know that if the interest of a political party is to talk about free education, the party should be allowed. If the interest is to talk about tree planting in the North-East, it should be allowed to continue with it.
Group Advises Women On Increased Participation In Politics
Enugu State chapter of the Nigeria League of Women Voters, has urged women to be very active in politics to avoid marginalisation.
The state chairperson of the league, Mrs Nnenna Anozie made the call in an interview with our source in Enugu yesterday.
was a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that aims at empowering women both politically and economically.
She said that the league encouraged women to participate in election; adding that they discovered that in the last elections, many women did not participate either as voters or contestants in the elections.
Anozie said that the organisation aimed creating more awareness on the girl child and for every woman to be aware of her civil rights in the state and the country at large.
The chairperson said the group recently visited one of the girls schools in Enugu where they shared sanitary pads, carried out sensitisation awareness on dangers of drug abuse, rape and others.
”This is one way of giving back to the society as well as empowering our women because knowledge is power. Most of them are not knowledgeable about their rights and how to keep hygiene.
”Many of them are rape victims and they are not opening up because of stigmatisation.
”We want to embark on the sensitisation drive in all the states in the country; hoping that come 2023 most of our women will be equipped to run for political offices both at the local, state and national levels,” she said.
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