Don’t just count your years, make your years count”. The immortal admonition of George Meredith appears to have been taken to heart by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike whose life clearly tells of a man who determined very early to make a remarkable difference in the social, political, economic and administrative circumstance of his environment.
Born December 13, to Rev and Mrs Nlemanya Wike of Rumuepirikom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike holds degrees in law from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu, Port Harcourt now Rivers State University and Political and Administrative Studies from the University of Port Harcourt, Choba.
After a brief private practice, Chief Wike’s illustrious political career kicked off on a high when he was elected Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council at the advent of Nigeria’s present democratic journey in 1999. That tenure ended in 2002. He was re-elected into the same office in 2004 for another three-year tenure.
While in office as local government chairman, Chief Wike was elected Deputy President and later President of the Association of Local governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and also represented Africa on the executive committee of the Commonwealth Local Government’s Forum. He was voted the best performing local government chairman and played pioneering roles in national security and primary healthcare in the country.
From October 26, 2007 and May 28, 2011, Chief Wike served as Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt with Rt Hon Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi as governor. However, on July 14, 2011, he moved up to the national stage when he was appointed Minister of State for Education by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Consequent upon a federal cabinet re-organisation, Chief Wike transformed into Nigeria’s Supervising Minister of Education on September 12, 2013. On the saddle, he introduced for reaching reforms in the basic as well as the tertiary education sub-sectors.
Under his watch, the federal government of Nigeria established four new federal polytechnics, with one sited in Bonny, Rivers State. It is also on record that he facilitated the immovative N1.3trillion intervention fund revive public universities in Nigeria. To this end, no fewer than 51 federal and state owned polytechnics had life lives in infrastructural development while colleges of education had micro-teaching laboratories constructed for them.
For his efforts, the Nigerian Pilot Newspaper named him the Best Performing Minister of the Federation in 2011 while the African Network Campaign on Education for AU (ANCEFA) awarded him the Policy Champion Award for Africa in appreciation his roles in the creation of quality access to education for Nigerian children.
According to Richele Goodrich “You were born and with you endless possibilities, very few ever to be realised. It’s okay. Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do.” Preparatory to the general election in 2015, Chief Wike resigned his ministerial appointment in 2014 and joined the race for the Rivers State gubernatorial contest. Of course, he won the election and was subsequently sworn in as the 6th democratically elected governor of Rivers State on May 29, 2015.
That mandate was renewed in 2019 consequent upon a superlative performance that saw his detractors as well as admirers labeling him Nigeria’s “Mr Projects”.
As chief executive officer of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has garnered a surplus number of awards, recognitions and conferment’s in celebration of his excellent service delivery credentials in outstanding administration, focused and visionary leadership and an uncommon display of political acumen from within and outside the shores of the country.
The latest of his recognitions and endowments is the “Dike Oha I” of Ikwerre Land” conferred on him by the entire chiefs and people of Ikwerre ethnic nationality on Saturday, December 7, 2019 in Port Harcourt.
“To me, a birthday means celebrating the presence of an individual in our lives”, so says Meeena Bajaj and this is true of not just the immediate family of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who turns 53 today but also for Nigerians in general and Rivers people especially who have had the benefits of his mida’s touch.
By: Opaka Dokubo
Rivers LGA Gets Substantive Female Chairman
Mrs Alaso Obi has been sworn-in as the substantive Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, following the death of the former Chairman, Chief Odiari Princewill.
Obi, who was the vice chairman of the council, was sworn-in on Wednesday by Governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike charged the new council boss to use her new position to make a difference for the people to feel the council’s impact.
He said: “Go and put your local government together. Do not allow busybody politicians to distract you. Use this opportunity you have to make a difference.
“We never thought that Chief Odiari Princewill will die but as God will have it, he is dead and we have to abide by the Constitution.
“That is why you, as the deputy, has to step in as the substantive chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area today.
“In choosing your Deputy, you must consult widely with all the stakeholders of the Party. As election is coming up next year, you have an opportunity to sell yourself.’’
Wike also used the occasion to direct the closure of the accounts of the Joint Account Allocation Committee from banks that allegedly gave unauthorised loans to some local government chairmen in the state.
He also directed the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take legal action against the affected banks.
According to the governor, both the banks and local councils will “suffer the consequences of the illegality’’.
He noted that the banks should not seek refund of the loans because they contravened extant laws of the state.
“We have taken a decision that for all those loans taken without approval, the affected accounts must leave the defaulting banks.
“I have told the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take necessary steps.
“The banks cannot go and seek for refund from the local governments. When you default the law, you suffer for it,” Wike said.
Edo Assembly: Buhari Pushing Nigeria Towards 1983 Crisis – CUPP
The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, to stop pushing Nigeria towards the 1983 crisis that led to collapse of democracy.
Describing Adams Oshiomhole as a disgraced former APC factional Chairman, the coalition said Buhari must call the former Governor to order before his actions instigate electoral violence that will consume democracy.
CUPP said the attempt to use former members of Edo State House of Assembly whose seats have been declared vacant to take over the House is an invitation to anarchy and an act of treason.
The Coalition urged the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to mobilise the citizens to resist political bandits using provision of Section 20 of the criminal code.
CUPP praises Obaseki for showing maturity in the face of unwarranted provocation but says the red line must be drawn.
In a statement signed by Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the spokesman for the Opposition Coalition and made available to our source, yesterday, CUPP said it was disturbed by the news of forceful takeover of the Edo State House of Assembly by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Opposition Coalition views this development taking place in a democracy as an affront to all our past and present heroes who fought hard for the enthronement of democracy in the country,” the statement added.
“The attempt to use former members of Edo House of Assembly whose seats have been declared vacant to take over the House is an invitation to anarchy and an act of treason.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his men to halt all actions and inactions capable of pushing the nation towards a crisis like the 1983 crisis that led to collapse of democracy.
“We also urge the President to call the disgraced former factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole and his desperate followers, to order before his actions in Edo State instigate electoral violence that will consume the nation and its hard-won democracy.
“The CUPP also calls upon the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to mobilise the citizens of the state to resist these political bandits.
“In doing so, the governor is urged to invoke the provisions of Section 20 of the Criminal Code and mobilise the citizens to exercise their constitutional right to stop people flouting the laws or carrying out criminal activities in their presence
“We however praise the governor for showing maturity so far in the face of unwarranted provocation. We advise him that while he is displaying maturity, the red line must be drawn,” the statement added.
INEC To Clear Materials For Previous Elections
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has directed that used and unused materials for 2019 general elections be disposed of the commission’s stores nationwide.
Yakubu spoke with our source in Nasarawa when he inspected election materials for the Nasarawa Central State Constituency, bye-election.
He told the National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, to find a way in ensuring the materials were properly disposed of.
He said there was need to clear the materials for the previous elections since there was no longer litigations on them.
Yakubu in a sideline interview said that there was need to clear them to create space in the commission’s offices.
”It has been part of the traditions of INEC that after elections, we have a large number of election materials from the elections.
“So, after litigations, we normally clear these materials. That is a protocol.
“Not only the unused materials or some of the used materials like ballot papers, but ballot sheets are preserved for eternity.
”Unused materials lying in the INEC offices and those in the state branches of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) around the country. We have a protocol for disposing these materials.
“That is why when I saw the heaps of such materials used for the general elections in Nasarawa State, I said that they should find a way of disposing them. Not only in Nasarawa but across the nation.
“Otherwise, our stores will be filled up with used and unused materials from previous elections,” Yakubu said.
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