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History Will Judge Amaechi – Akarolo

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Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi clocks two years in office on October 25, 2009. With barely three months to the anniversary, keen watchers of the administration have already commenced an appraisal of his activities so far. One of them is the former chairman of Port Harcourt Local Government, Prince Captain Akarolo who believes that the governor has achieved much within this period.
Prince Akarolo, told The TIDE in an interview that he arrived at this conclusion after making a general appraisal of Amaechi’s government’s performance since October 25, 2007. Akarolo insisted that even the most hardened critics of the government would agree that Amaechi has recorded giant strides in the areas of security, culture, health, road/infrastructure, housing, education, water supply and power generation as well as transport, women and youth empowerment, among others.
He particularly drew the attention to the education sector, where the governor emerged as one of the contractors that won the contracts for the building of model schools in the State and has indeed faithfully built the Elekhahia Model School among others.
He pointed out that the Amaechi’s government inherited an education sector that many believed was in deep crisis and being convinced that the crises was beyond the mere rehabilitation of existing structures, the government was compelled to declare a “state of emergency” in the sector which came into effect in September, 2007. Akarolo told The Tide that with the state of emergency declared, the education sector alone gulped 18 percent of the budget.
The former chairman acknowledged, however, that the 18 percent falls short of the 26 percent prescribed by UNESCO, but was quick to add that it was a great boost to the education sector, especially as government had to take over responsibility for primary school education entirely, a development he recalled, includes an annual wage bill of about N12 billion for the payment of teachers’ salaries. He stated that as further incentive to primary school teachers, government also introduced car loan for teachers and approved a special remuneration and welfare regime for teachers who work in rural areas.
More fundamental, he said, is the known fact that under the emergency scheme, the Amaechi government decided to build an average of 250 new primary school complex per annum to replace the existing dilapidated structures scattered all over the State, with the projection that by the end of the exercise, it would have built a total of 1, 000 new primary schools, thus replacing the entire physical structure of the State primary school system. Besides, ­government is resolute in equipping the schools and manning them under a new teachers training initiative that is part of the education emergency programme”, he said.
Akarolo commended Amaechi for building the Elekhahia model primary school with dispatch, candour, utmost seriousness, dedication and commitment. The former chairman said his father (the incumbent paramount ruler) and the entire indigenes of the community would remain eternally grateful to the government for the project.
Amaechi’s stride in education, he said, is not limited to primary schools. At the secondary school level, government, under a unique Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with various interests such as banks and oil companies, embarked on the construction of new, and properly equipped modern secondary schools, with the ultimate aim of having these model schools in every local government area of the State. The project started with a pilot scheme of one per senatorial zone. He re-echoed the governor’s assurance to the State that these schools would be adequately equipped with boarding facilities for up to 1,000 students per school as well as housing facilities for an estimated forty (40) teachers per school, with all utilities.
Akarolo also Commended the Rivers State commissioner for Education, Alice for fortuitously executing Amaechi’s vision in the sector, saying that under her, education has really moved forward in the State. It is on record that the state government has embarked on massive re-orientation programme for school teachers at all levels as a way of preparing the State for its new education programme aside the provision of adequate learning tools for State schools in form of books and other institutional materials.
“Beyond secondary school education, the Amaechi’s government’s giant footprints could also be seen at the tertiary level”, Akarolo said, adding that government has continued to adequately fund the State University of Science and Technology (UST), the College of Education and the Polytechnic at Bori so much that over N3 billion has been sunk in UST alone to advance teaching and learning there.
The erstwhile chairman argued that in taking these giant steps, Amaechi was obviously driven by the need to assist the institution to update its facilities/infrastructures, and to put it in a better state for accreditation. He said that this objective has been achieved as the University has now earned full accreditation of its major courses, while members of the institution’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are being motivated to pursue higher degrees in their respective disciplines to ensure a higher quality of instruction and competitiveness, internationally.
He also drew the attention to the State scholarship scheme which the government has under a new board. Under the revamped scholarship scheme, he noted that, Amaechi’s government has trained several Rivers State students at home and abroad while vigorously pursuing rapid development through its policies and programmes.
Akarolo said with this level of achievements under two years, it be hooves on all those who meant well for Rivers State to support the government in its glaring quest to take the State to the next level. In particular, he appealed to the opposition in the State, including those resident outside the state, especially those referred to as ‘Abuja Politicians’ to close ranks with the government and join in the effort at remaking the State.
It is his tenacious belief that more than anything else, if those who have instituted various litigations against the government could have a rethink and withdraw these cases from the courts, it would augur well for the development of the State and solidify the unity of the State, adding that they need no Nostradamus or Haruspex to tell them that Amaechi meant well for the State. He therefore enjoined the governor to continue with his good works and refuse to be distracted by detractors, as history will surely judge him right.

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Dissecting Benefits, Opportunities, Challenges Of PH Ring Road

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This is the concluding part of this article first published on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

It is a huge signature infrastructure development initiative, driven by the Fubara-led administration, to stimulate and contribute to economic growth of the State in general, and to the impacted communities in particular. The assurances it brings, in part, are these: to enable a sustained social integration, which is a given, facilitating the acceptance process that would ease interaction among the people across the LGAs for social support, friendship, and foster intimacy. This single but far stretching road will also create a transportation connectivity that will ultimately ease mobility. This will enable people to have the ability to travel to work or business places, if such place of employment or business was in distant communities across the six LGAs that the road connects. In fact, the road promises to make the categorisation of Rivers State in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking very easy.
This is not a project stuck in the city. It is a major transportation artery that all motorists, and indeed, road users are gearing up to enjoy the reduced travel time benefit it will offer. Access to essential services like healthcare and education, including leisure will be made easier from the catchment communities into the city and in reverse. When there is good connectivity through roads, people more likely travel farther and explore new opportunities. This definitely leads to a better quality of life, and life expectancy.
Since the day of flag-off and with actual construction work commenced, the progress achieved has been heart-warming. The start point of the road is at the UTC Junction axis, off the AbonnemaWhaff Road. A transformational construction work is ongoing, meaning a redefinition of the entire landscape, including adjourning Abonnema Wharf area. From there, the road runs along and branches off into Njamanze Street, and with a quadrant curve, it turns to connect Rumuji and Sabagiriya streets. From there, it links Illoabuchi Street, and onward to Opobo Street. All of these are in Mile One and Two Diobu axis in Port Harcourt. It drives on to Eagle Island, then turns rightwards towards the back fence of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), from where the river-crossing bridge of 350 meters takes off, rising, crossing over the creek and descending to link Mgbuodohia community.
Again, the road runs from Mgbuodohia unto Aker Road. At St. John’s Catholic Church axis of the IAUE/Rumuepirikom Road, the first flyover is mounted. The second flyover is at the Ozuoba Junction axis of NTA/Mgbuoba/Choba road. The third flyover begins from the Rumuosi axis of the East-West Road and descends unto Rumuekeni community. The fourth flyover is at Rukpokwu and crosses over Port Harcourt Airport-Owerre Road unto Eneka, with a roundabout and trumpet arms on the Rumuokurusi-Igwuruta Road. The fifth flyover is elliptical in nature and rises from the Igbo-Etche community axis over the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway unto Iriebe Community at Elelenwo. The sixth flyover is at Alesa-Eleme, and runs across the East-West Road unto Abam-Ama in Okrika.
Specifically, the ring road criss-crosses many communities in six LGAs, including Port Harcourt City, Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Etche, Eleme and Okrika. Rivers State has 23 LGAs, and the road traverses six of 23 LGAs, representing approximately 24.38percent. In terms of population projection, Rivers State had 7,476,800 people as at 2022, occupying 9,669km² area, with 773.3/km² density, and has annual population change of 2.3% from 2006 to 2022. This also means that in terms of population growth, these six LGAs have seen significant rise in population, rising from 1,852,256 recorded in 2006 census to a projected 2,664,000 in 2022, out of a total state-wide population of 5,198,716 in 2006, and 7,476,800 in 2022. A further look shows that Port Harcourt City had 774,600 population in 2022 against 538,558 in 2006; Obio/Akpor had 665,000 in 2022 against 462,350 in 2006; and Eleme had 273,500 in 2022 against 190,194 in 2006. Also, Etche had a population of 249,939 in 2006 against 359,500 in 2022; Okrika had 222,285 in 2006 against 319,700 in 2022; and Ikwerre had 188,930 in 2006 against 271,700 in 2022. Even as conservative as these population figures show, the numbers exhibit signs of explosion in concentration owing to inflow of economic activities and concerns, thereby justifying the urgency for a good network of roads linking all six LGAs to facilitate interactions between their peoples, investments therein as well as goods and services.
Therefore, the ring road serves as to connect other roads, creating a perfect linkage between communities that will surely advance rural connectivity while offering multiplier gains that could reflect in growth in local employment, livelihood enhancements and other enablers of sustainable development. When such local employment opportunities are identified and accessible, a much-needed safety net would have been created to reduce financial distress that weigh so heavily on the people.
Of course, adequate compensation has also been paid to owners of property on the right of way and affected by the construction. Estate valuers had done proper evaluation and assessment of each property so affected. Payment is still ongoing, but is being done after all the certifications have been verified. No one is short-changed, and it is only when payment has been done that affected property are pulled down and the site cleared.
Expectedly, those negatively affected by the construction work are wont to complain, particularly of low value of compensation payment. It is human to so do. But the truth is: No amount of compensation by government can offset the cost of building new structures either for residential, industrial or corporate business purposes. That is one of the sacrifices people make for new infrastructure development projects to take place, especially in populated areas. Another inconvenience is traffic diversion and disruptions, occasioning stress and manhours lost in travel time, especially when it comes to road construction projects. Again, such pains and sufferings are natural in heavily populated areas, and remain the price we pay for development to take place.
In Rivers State, the people have made similar sacrifices in the past for government development projects to come on stream. Whether it is under the military junta from 1967 to 1979, 1984 to 1991, or 1993 to 1999; or under the civilian administrations from 1979 to 1983, 1992 to 1993, or 1999 to date; history is replete with moments of human sufferings triggered by the execution of road infrastructure development projects, including flyovers, interchanges and bridges. In recent memory, the Dr Peter Odili, Chibuike Amaechi and Nyesom Wike governments are characterised by many such undertaking resulting in demolition of structures along project rights of way and or diversion of traffic thereof. Residents, landlords, business owners and motorists impacted by the Ikwerre Road expansion from Education Bus Stop in Port Harcourt City to Airport Junction in Ikwerre LGA by former Governor Peter Odili can remember vividly what they went through. Or is it the impacts of the dualization of Peter Odili Road, Rumuobiakani-Oginigba-Slaughter Road, Artillery-Rumuomasi Old Aba Road, Woji-Okporo-Rumuodara Road, Rumuomasi-Elekahia-Waja Junction Road, Nkpogu-Amadi-Ama/Nkpogu-NLNG Roads, Rumuokurusi-Elimgbu-Eneka-Igwuruta Road, Rumuola Road, Rumuokwuta-Mgbuoba-Ozuoba-Choba Road, Eliozu flyover, AGIP Junction flyover, and Eleme Junction Interchange, among others by the Chibuike Amaechi administration? Or the sufferings that the construction of Oro-Abali, Rebisi, Rumuogba, Okoro-Nu-Odo, Rumuokwuta, Rumuepirikom, GRA Junction, Oroworukwo, and Rumuola flyovers, among others, unleashed on the people during the Nyesom Wike years? All are signposts of the impact, whether negative or positive, that the execution of infrastructure development projects in populated areas bring.
Now, to the specifics of the ongoing construction work: The project sites have been cleared, piers, including the vertical support structures of the flyover bridges have been cast and mounted. At some sections that have been so cleared, top soils have been removed to allow for unbound mixture of coarse, fine crushed stones, together with crushed sand have been laid in most areas. These will enable the road to achieve the desired load-bearing capacity and prevent the underlying subgrade from being deformed while absorbing traffic loads. And across many sections of the road, massive construction activities are ongoing at high intensity. Of course, the ring road comes with walkways, and street lighting too.
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, visited two sections of the construction site and was conducted round by the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr. Lars Richter. The Governor took a ride on a section of the stretch of the road, pulling off from the Obiri-Ikwerre-Airport Road axis, through the Jesuit Memorial School in Elikpokwuodu Community unto Rukpokwu on the Port Harcourt Airport-Owerre Road intersection. From there, he moved on through Rumuodomaya – Rumuokoro to Rumuosi and Ozuoba communities before terminating the inspection tour at the UTC Junction.
At the end of the inspection tour, the Governor expressed satisfaction with the progress of work achieved thus far. He said: “I think that we are good, considering the understanding that we had with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC. We signed off that in 36 months, this project will be done and delivered. And with what I have seen, they are meeting up that target. I think that we have a few issues: the price rate of things at that time we signed the contract and what subsists presently is not the same due to high inflation and the exchange rate spike.
“But whatever it is, I have assured the contractor that we are going to provide the necessary support to make sure that we deliver. You know this project is very important to us. It is one of the first things that I signed off when I came in as the Governor of this State. It is a signature project for me, whichever way anybody wants to look at it. We signed on for it. We are paying dearly for it, and it is one of the objectives of this administration to make sure that we deliver it to our people”, he noted.
In his remarks, Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr. Lars Richter, gave explanation of the milestone achieved by the company. He said: “I think we went along various alignments of the road. We could see several spots where we are working: Is it on the U-channels? Is it on the road construction? Or even on the two flyovers? Over the East-West Road, we had started with laying of the first beams on one of the flyovers. On the other flyover, we will soon finish drilling; we are using two drilling rigs to complete the piling. We are moving to the second flyover already.
“So, you can see, the first flyover we started on January 15, 2024. Two months later, we are already laying the beams. So, we are on track. We are on schedule as we promised His Excellency. I am really satisfied with the work, with my team. Of course, I am satisfied with His Excellency for his support. I am excited that we had the opportunity today to inspect the road together, and to discuss also the challenges; for example, compensation and relocation. He has assured me that everything will be done as soon as possible so that we can also meet our timeline. I am really happy and satisfied with the work here”, he said.
Indeed, his assurance is testament that Governor Fubara means well for Rivers State, and that his administration is working tirelessly to deliver quality good governance to the people. This road, among others, is a genuine proof of that commitment! Increasingly, Rivers people will not be burdened with limited access to road infrastructure that they had suffered when this road is finally delivered. This is particularly as it relates to urban-rural connectivity because such limited access to road had inhibited easier mobility of people, and undoubtedly delayed their access to the benefits of development. So, the disproportionate disadvantages that people likely suffer will be over soon. I dare say that the Port Harcourt Ring Road will improve rural infrastructure. Governor Fubara makes me see it so because he knows it as much as that, which is why he has designed it in a manner that it is seen as a crucial pathway to alleviating poverty.
Also, to be noted is that this road adds to the long-sought after solution to resolving the traffic congestions experienced in parts of Diobu axis of Port Harcourt, particularly on Ikwerre Road. Such traffic jams, over and again, had caused unnecessary pollution, and arguably, raises environmental concerns, and other levels of disruption on economic development.
A well-constructed road, as we are seeing of the ring road, assures that travel time will be reduced for motorists, and indeed, all road users getting out of the city centre. Another is the fact that there will be increase in the speed limits that motorists will apply, while also providing smoother driving experience. There will be overall transportation efficiency within the benefitting communities. What else can be a good respite for motorists other than knowing that the derivable benefits extend to enjoying reduced fuel consumption rate, lower vehicle maintenance costs, and increased productivity level for businesses.
The truism about this is remarkable: When a city is beautiful in outlay, it is 80percent a reflection of the good roads that have been provided, well developed and maintained. Without a doubt, the city of Port Harcourt is growing and expanding. So should the road infrastructure, essentially so that it does not only accommodate the increasing population density and the associated urbanization but diffuse same to border communities in none urban LGAs so as to decongest the metropolis. By all means, Governor Fubara is using this road to contribute to the socio-economic and cultural development of rural communities in particular and the state in general.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

 

 

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Dissecting Benefits, Opportunities, Challenges Of PH Ring Road

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It is massive. It is gigantic.
It is expensive. It is first of its kind. It is a legacy signature impression. It is the single largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by any sub-national government in Nigeria. It is the Port Harcourt Ring Road!
The Port Harcourt Ring Road project is a clear evidence of Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara’s resilience, foresight and exhibition of political will to take tough decisions. The project shows a convincing strength of courage. Moving what was once a concept on the drawing board for decades into the sphere of reality, does not depict weakness but strong commitment and determination to dare, and do extraordinary things.
Lest we forget, this ring road project for Port Harcourt was first contemplated decades ago. The initial proposals were made in the 1970s during the military era. When the administration of Chief Rufus Ada-George superintended the State between January 1992 and November 1993, the idea was birthed again. At the time, Port Harcourt City was not as expansive as it is now, and some of the areas were forested and uninhabited.
With the Ada-George’s concept, the ring road was to run from then Slaughter at Oginigba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area through Okujagu to Abuloma, Amadi-Ama, and connect Eastern Bypass to Amadi Flats, Old GRA to Aba Road by Abali Park, all in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area. He also thought of linking Borokiri to Okrika by road and bridges. Another section was to begin from Njemanze, connect Nanka to Illoabuchi, link Eagle Island also in Port Harcourt City to Rumueme. But that link was not finalised. However, he okayed the Rumueme-Rumuepirikom-Mgbuoba link road connecting Ozuoba through the popular Rumuokwuta-Ozuoba-Choba Road. It was to via off at Ozuoba to East-West Road in Obio/Akpor. It also was to connect Port Harcourt-Owerri Road by Airport Junction in Ikwerre Local Government. Here again, the administration could not take the project off the drawing board.
The administration of Dr Peter Odili, between 1999 and 2007, understood the importance of the ring road to the economic rejuvenation, and revived the project to attract investments to the State. It actually executed the first stretch of the road from Slaughter through Okujagu to Abuloma, and then, linked Amadi-Ama to Eastern Bypass and Amadi Flats. It completed that section of the road on a single lane ticket. It further connected Mgbuoba to East-West Road by now Obiri-Ikwerre. The project was not 100 percent completed.
During the Chibuike Amaechi’s eight years in the saddle between 2007 and 2015, the administration dualised the Peter Odili Road, reckoning with its potential benefits in opening up the city of Port Harcourt to accelerated development. It also embarked on the construction of the Ada-George Road, and dualised it, linking it to Rumuokwuta-Mgbuoba-Ozuoba-Choba road. He completed it. He also completed the Mgbuoba-East-West link road by Obiri-Ikwerre. Amaechi constructed an interchange on East-West Road by Obiri-Ikwerre, and began the dualisation of Obiri-Ikwerre-Airport Road, which he named after Prof Tam David-West. He did not complete the road before the expiration of his tenure.
In addition to that, Amaechi initiated the extension of the ring road by connecting Prof Tam David-West Road in Greater Port Harcourt City Area through Igwuruta, with a flyover across Port Harcourt-Owerre Road by Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) office in Ikwerre Local Government Area. That new design was to take the road from Ikwerre Local Government through Eneka in Obio/Akpor, to Etche Local Government; again, connecting Iriebe in Obio/Akpor, across Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway, and link Agbonchia, Ebubu, Ogale to Onne in Eleme Local Government Area. The project was also commenced but abandoned by the administration.
On arrival in office in 2015 as Governor, Nyesom Wike took up Obiri-Ikwerre-Airport Road, and completed it. He did that because he bought into the idea tapping into the obvious benefits of the ring road to the sustainable development of the State. The current ring road project was first suggested in 2019, but gained approval from the Rivers State Executive Council in 2020. Wike reasoned that redesigning the route will better serve the overall interest of the State. He contracted Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to do the design. What the contractor put out was inconclusive before Wike left office on May 29, 2023. Little wonder he did not factor the project into the 2023 budget.
But the paradigm shift in concept made the new project unique in many ways. The route traverses six local government areas – Port Harcourt City, Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Etche, Eleme and Okrika – and connects Port Harcourt in a circular form. It covers 50.15km dual carriageway, with varied widths of between 7.6m and 29.2m where there are service lanes. It also has six flyovers, and one major river crossing bridge. In addition, it has not less than 19 roundabouts. But despite the importance attached to it by Wike, he did not make any budgetary allocation to the project in the 2023 Appropriation Act.
Indeed, it took the administration of Sir Siminalayi Fubara to take the project off the drawing board, and ensure that the N195billion project was actually flagged-off on Monday, July 17, 2023. How did it happen? Governor Fubara awarded the contract for the project to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in July, 2023, barely 50 days into the new administration, with a target completion date of 36 months, which draws into 2025.
The Governor did that because he understood the importance of the project. For this reason, he sent a supplementary budget of N200billion to the Rivers State House of Assembly because funding of the project was not provided for in the budget he inherited. On the day he assented to the supplementary budget in Government House, Governor Fubara stated: “Let me on behalf of the Executive arm of government commend you for your prompt response to the supplementary budget. We are a product of Consolidation and Continuity. We will implement every good idea by the previous administration geared towards improving the lives of Rivers people.”
On the day of flag-off of the project at UTC Junction in Port Harcourt, Governor Fubara said, “When all these places are opened up, people, including real estate investors, will start moving in, and businesses will open up the areas because people have started acquiring land there”. He also said that the road will not only facilitate travels, decongest traffic in the city centre, but will further boost interactions, social and cultural exchanges between communities and populations in the various LGAs along the 50.15km route.
Honestly, successive governments from 1970s to 2023, had seen the importance and overarching benefits of the ring road to the socio-economic growth and development of the State. This is why any discerning minds would reckon with the serious attention past governors and administrators placed on bringing to fruition the life of the Port Harcourt Ring Road as a key to fast tracking the overall development of the State. Therefore, dismissing the project as “not of any significant economic benefit to the State”, shows how short-sighted purveyors of this negative narrative definitely are. Even more laughable is the assumption that “the project is not fundamentally different from the 12 flyovers built by the immediate past administration of Nyesom Wike”.
Let’s take a tour of the benefits a little bit. The project signals a pivotal milestone for Rivers State. It has the potential to enhance the quality of life for residents and stimulate substantial economic growth in the region. It stands as a valuable asset for the State, facilitating smoother transportation and communication between its various LGAs. By addressing traffic congestion, enhancing transportation linkages, generating employment opportunities, and stimulating economic growth, this signature infrastructure project will undoubtedly leave a lasting positive impact on the State for generations to come.
The road will decongest traffic in Port Harcourt, providing an effective bypass route for inner city traffic, alleviating congestion and significantly improving traffic flow within the city. No doubt, this will reduce travel times and improve air quality, making the city more livable for residents.
It will improve transportation link between different parts of the state, by facilitating seamless logistics connectivity for different areas, promoting greater mobility for both people and goods. It will also boost economic activities, make investment decisions easy, and help reduce poverty in the land. Another plank of its benefits is the fact that the road will create a substantial number of direct and indirect employment opportunities, stimulate economic growth and uplift thousands of livelihoods. The local communities will boom and unemployment will reduce. The economic benefits include the fact that it is a major investment that gives hope to thousands of people; just as it will open up new areas for development and influx of new businesses, increasing ease of doing business and accelerating investors’ confidence in the state.
Now, let’s dig a little bit into the details of the project. The ring road, understandably, is an essential component required to achieve sustained socio-economic development. In fact, roads make movements easier, of a person, goods or services, from one point to another. This road will be doing just more than that because it is not just a path secluded within the city, it is of a diverse nature, conveying traffic more out of the city centre, to six LGAs on a seamless drive. To be able to navigate one’s way easily in and out of the metropolis on such road cannot be dismissed as a waste of scarce resources. Obviously not! On the contrary, the decision-making process for the project must have been guided by sound wisdom, political will and foresight.
This road, like well-planned routes, make urban areas rampantly inhabited, which is why they flourish. The ring road, sprouting out from the city centre, offers any travellers a chance to criss-cross several communities on one smooth drive while not pulling off; and can return to the city in a circular drive. It is a far stretching, wide enough road. With a length that is 50.15km, out of which 45km is dual carriageway, the road has six distinct flyovers, measuring 4.8km, and one river-crossing bridge of 350m. There are four lanes on each side. Altogether, there are 19 roundabouts and rotary intersections.

 

 

It is a huge signature infrastructure development initiative, driven by the Fubara-led administration, to stimulate and contribute to economic growth of the State in general, and to the impacted communities in particular. The assurances it brings, in part, are these: to enable a sustained social integration, which is a given, facilitating the acceptance process that would ease interaction among the people across the LGAs for social support, friendship, and foster intimacy. This single but far stretching road will also create a transportation connectivity that will ultimately ease mobility. This will enable people to have the ability to travel to work or business places, if such place of employment or business was in distant communities across the six LGAs that the road connects. In fact, the road promises to make the categorisation of Rivers State in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking very easy.
This is not a project stuck in the city. It is a major transportation artery that all motorists, and indeed, road users are gearing up to enjoy the reduced travel time benefit it will offer. Access to essential services like

healthcare and education, including leisure will be made easier from the catchment communities into the city and in reverse. When there is good connectivity through roads, people more likely travel farther and explore new opportunities. This definitely leads to a better quality of life, and life expectancy.
Since the day of flag-off and with actual construction work commenced, the progress achieved has been heart-warming. The start point of the road is at the UTC Junction axis, off the Abonnema Whaff Road. A transformational construction work is ongoing, meaning a redefinition of the entire landscape, including adjourning Abonnema Wharf area. From there, the road runs along and branches off into Njamanze Street, and with a quadrant curve, it turns to connect Rumuji and Sabagiriya streets. From there, it links Illoabuchi Street, and onward to Opobo Street. All of these are in Mile One and Two Diobu axis in Port Harcourt. It drives on to Eagle Island, then turns rightwards towards the back fence of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), from where the river-crossing bridge of 350 meters takes off, rising, crossing over the creek and descending to link Mgbuodohia community.
Again, the road runs from Mgbuodohia unto Aker Road. At St. John’s Catholic Church axis of the IAUE/Rumuepirikom Road, the first flyover is mounted. The second flyover is at the Ozuoba Junction axis of NTA/Mgbuoba/Choba road. The third flyover begins from the Rumuosi axis of the East-West Road and descends unto Rumuekeni community. The fourth flyover is at Rukpokwu and crosses over Port Harcourt Airport-Owerre Road unto Eneka, with a roundabout and trumpet arms on the Rumuokurusi-Igwuruta Road. The fifth flyover is elliptical in nature and rises from the Igbo-Etche community axis over the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway unto Iriebe Community at Elelenwo. The sixth flyover is at Alesa-Eleme, and runs across the East-West Road unto Abam-Ama in Okrika.
Specifically, the ring road criss-crosses many communities in six LGAs, including Port Harcourt City, Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Etche, Eleme and Okrika. Rivers State has 23 LGAs, and the road traverses six of 23 LGAs, representing approximately 24.38percent. In terms of population projection, Rivers State had 7,476,800 people as at 2022, occupying 9,669km² area, with 773.3/km² density, and has annual population change of 2.3% from 2006 to 2022. This also means that in terms of population growth, these six LGAs have seen significant rise in population, rising from 1,852,256 recorded in 2006 census to a projected 2,664,000 in 2022, out of a total state-wide population of 5,198,716 in 2006, and 7,476,800 in 2022. A further look shows that Port Harcourt City had 774,600 population in 2022 against 538,558 in 2006; Obio/Akpor had 665,000 in 2022 against 462,350 in 2006; and Eleme had 273,500 in 2022 against 190,194 in 2006. Also, Etche had a population of 249,939 in 2006 against 359,500 in 2022; Okrika had 222,285 in 2006 against 319,700 in 2022; and Ikwerre had 188,930 in 2006 against 271,700 in 2022. Even as conservative as these population figures show, the numbers exhibit signs of explosion in concentration owing to inflow of economic activities and concerns, thereby justifying the urgency for a good network of roads linking all six LGAs to facilitate interactions between their peoples, investments therein as well as goods and services.
Therefore, the ring road serves as to connect other roads, creating a perfect linkage between communities that will surely advance rural connectivity while offering multiplier gains that could reflect in growth in local employment, livelihood enhancements and other enablers of sustainable development. When such local employment opportunities are identified and accessible, a much-needed safety net would have been created to reduce financial distress that weigh so heavily on the people.
Of course, adequate compensation has also been paid to owners of property on the right of way and affected by the construction. Estate valuers had done proper evaluation and assessment of each property so affected. Payment is still ongoing, but is being done after all the certifications have been verified. No one is short-changed, and it is only when payment has been done that affected property are pulled down and the site cleared.
Expectedly, those negatively affected by the construction work are wont to complain, particularly of low value of compensation payment. It is human to so do. But the truth is: No amount of compensation by government can offset the cost of building new structures either for residential, industrial or corporate business purposes. That is one of the sacrifices people make for new infrastructure development projects to take place, especially in populated areas. Another inconvenience is traffic diversion and disruptions, occasioning stress and manhours lost in travel time, especially when it comes to road construction projects. Again, such pains and sufferings are natural in heavily populated areas, and remain the price we pay for development to take place.
In Rivers State, the people have made similar sacrifices in the past for government development projects to come on stream. Whether it is under the military junta from 1967 to 1979, 1984 to 1991, or 1993 to 1999; or under the civilian administrations from 1979 to 1983, 1992 to 1993, or 1999 to date; history is replete with moments of human sufferings triggered by the execution of road infrastructure development projects, including flyovers, interchanges and bridges. In recent memory, the Dr Peter Odili, Chibuike Amaechi and Nyesom Wike governments are characterised by many such undertaking resulting in demolition of structures along project rights of way and or diversion of traffic thereof. Residents, landlords, business owners and motorists impacted by the Ikwerre Road expansion from Education Bus Stop in Port Harcourt City to Airport Junction in Ikwerre LGA by former Governor Peter Odili can remember vividly what they went through. Or is it the impacts of the dualization of Peter Odili Road, Rumuobiakani-Oginigba-Slaughter Road, Artillery-Rumuomasi Old Aba Road, Woji-Okporo-Rumuodara Road, Rumuomasi-Elekahia-Waja Junction Road, Nkpogu-Amadi-Ama/Nkpogu-NLNG Roads, Rumuokurusi-Elimgbu-Eneka-Igwuruta Road, Rumuola Road, Rumuokwuta-Mgbuoba-Ozuoba-Choba Road, Eliozu flyover, AGIP Junction flyover, and Eleme Junction Interchange, among others by the Chibuike Amaechi administration? Or the sufferings that the construction of Oro-Abali, Rebisi, Rumuogba, Okoro-Nu-Odo, Rumuokwuta, Rumuepirikom, GRA Junction, Oroworukwo, and Rumuola flyovers, among others, unleashed on the people during the Nyesom Wike years? All are signposts of the impact, whether negative or positive, that the execution of infrastructure development projects in populated areas bring.
Now, to the specifics of the ongoing construction work: The project sites have been cleared, piers, including the vertical support structures of the flyover bridges have been cast and mounted. At some sections that have been so cleared, top soils have been removed to allow for unbound mixture of coarse, fine crushed stones, together with crushed sand have been laid in most areas. These will enable the road to achieve the desired load-bearing capacity and prevent the underlying subgrade from being deformed while absorbing traffic loads. And across many sections of the road, massive construction activities are ongoing at high intensity. Of course, the ring road comes with walkways, and street lighting too.
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, visited two sections of the construction site and was conducted round by the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr. Lars Richter. The Governor took a ride on a section of the stretch of the road, pulling off from the Obiri-Ikwerre-Airport Road axis, through the Jesuit Memorial School in Elikpokwuodu Community unto Rukpokwu on the Port Harcourt Airport-Owerre Road intersection. From there, he moved on through Rumuodomaya – Rumuokoro to Rumuosi and Ozuoba communities before terminating the inspection tour at the UTC Junction.
At the end of the inspection tour, the Governor expressed satisfaction with the progress of work achieved thus far. He said: “I think that we are good, considering the understanding that we had with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC. We signed off that in 36 months, this project will be done and delivered. And with what I have seen, they are meeting up that target. I think that we have a few issues: the price rate of things at that time we signed the contract and what subsists presently is not the same due to high inflation and the exchange rate spike.
“But whatever it is, I have assured the contractor that we are going to provide the necessary support to make sure that we deliver. You know this project is very important to us. It is one of the first things that I signed off when I came in as the Governor of this State. It is a signature project for me, whichever way anybody wants to look at it. We signed on for it. We are paying dearly for it, and it is one of the objectives of this administration to make sure that we deliver it to our people”, he noted.
In his remarks, Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr. Lars Richter, gave explanation of the milestone achieved by the company. He said: “I think we went along various alignments of the road. We could see several spots where we are working: Is it on the U-channels? Is it on the road construction? Or even on the two flyovers? Over the East-West Road, we had started with laying of the first beams on one of the flyovers. On the other flyover, we will soon finish drilling; we are using two drilling rigs to complete the piling. We are moving to the second flyover already.
“So, you can see, the first flyover we started on January 15, 2024. Two months later, we are already laying the beams. So, we are on track. We are on schedule as we promised His Excellency. I am really satisfied with the work, with my team. Of course, I am satisfied with His Excellency for his support. I am excited that we had the opportunity today to inspect the road together, and to discuss also the challenges; for example, compensation and relocation. He has assured me that everything will be done as soon as possible so that we can also meet our timeline. I am really happy and satisfied with the work here”, he said.
Indeed, his assurance is testament that Governor Fubara means well for Rivers State, and that his administration is working tirelessly to deliver quality good governance to the people. This road, among others, is a genuine proof of that commitment! Increasingly, Rivers people will not be burdened with limited access to road infrastructure that they had suffered when this road is finally delivered. This is particularly as it relates to urban-rural connectivity because such limited access to road had inhibited easier mobility of people, and undoubtedly delayed their access to the benefits of development. So, the disproportionate disadvantages that people likely suffer will be over soon. I dare say that the Port Harcourt Ring Road will improve rural infrastructure. Governor Fubara makes me see it so because he knows it as much as that, which is why he has designed it in a manner that it is seen as a crucial pathway to alleviating poverty.
Also, to be noted is that this road adds to the long-sought after solution to resolving the traffic congestions experienced in parts of Diobu axis of Port Harcourt, particularly on Ikwerre Road. Such traffic jams, over and again, had caused unnecessary pollution, and arguably, raises environmental concerns, and other levels of disruption on economic development.
A well-constructed road, as we are seeing of the ring road, assures that travel time will be reduced for motorists, and indeed, all road users getting out of the city centre. Another is the fact that there will be increase in the speed limits that motorists will apply, while also providing smoother driving experience. There will be overall transportation efficiency within the benefitting communities. What else can be a good respite for motorists other than knowing that the derivable benefits extend to enjoying reduced fuel consumption rate, lower vehicle maintenance costs, and increased productivity level for businesses.
The truism about this is remarkable: When a city is beautiful in outlay, it is 80percent a reflection of the good roads that have been provided, well developed and maintained. Without a doubt, the city of Port Harcourt is growing and expanding. So should the road infrastructure, essentially so that it does not only accommodate the increasing population density and the associated urbanization but diffuse same to border communities in none urban LGAs so as to decongest the metropolis. By all means, Governor Fubara is using this road to contribute to the socio-economic and cultural development of rural communities in particular and the state in general.

Nelson Chukwudi is the Chief Press Secretary to the Rivers State Governor, and writes from Government House, Port Harcourt.

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Reminisces On Tributes To Mrs Adeline Ndalu Jaja

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Live not as though there
were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours,” so said the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, who had spent valuable time in meditation, and from deep moments of reflections.
The counsel was in recognition of death, nonetheless, as a marker of the ephemeral nature of life. A necessary end, that would come when it may, and never cared at what age of a person it strikes. So, at 87 years, death struck and Mama, late Mrs Adeline Ndalu Jaja (Nee Ohochukwu) yielded and was taken to glory.
Late Mrs Adeline Ndalu Jaja (Nee Ohochukwu) was mother-in-law to the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara. Mama was a loving mother to her first daughter, Lady Valerie, the wife to the governor.
Mama’s death weighed heavily. The feeling was painful. The memories traumatic. Death, always left pain of loss that ran deep, discomforting and grave. When it happened, it affected, not only the surviving kin, the children, church, but the entire community because it would be a serious loss to it’s identity and continuity.
It was on Saturday, March 16, 2024, that the earthly remains of Mama Adeline Ndalu Jaja (Nee Ohochukwu) returned to mother-earth in a blaze of glory. She was buried in Opobo Town, the capital of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The events that led to the interment were wrapped up as a festival of sort. This was despite the fact that, originally, the plan was to have solemn sessions, such that offer an atmosphere to encourage deep reflection, remembrance and to celebrate the life of Mama.
Regardless, all outlined intentions were achieved. It was festival cum solemn assemblage. Many people were attracted to attend, across spheres, professions and vocations. Tributes were in rich supply, paid.
First, it was the Service of Songs at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Mile One, Diobu, in the heart of Port Harcourt City on March 13. Then, the Funeral Service held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Opobo Town on Saturday, 16th March. The outing and Thanksgiving Service was on Sunday, March 17, at the same church venue.
All those who attended bode farewell to Mama. They left with unforgotten experiences of what they encountered, which was how well Mama lived, as conveyed in the tributes that were paid.
The witty, energetic, and optimistic personality of the Matriarch were sumptuously acknowledged. She taught many persons the lessons of how to embrace and celebrate life. Mama was generous with what she had, defended the weak because she was outspoken and brave. She was never shy to stand in the gap, looked out for the less privileged, promoted the common good as a disciplinarian, and with visionary leadership, shaped many lives positively.
Born on May 17th, 1936 at Nkarahia, Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Mama was an enterprising business owner and remained a devout Christian until her death. As an unrelenting activist, she uplifted humanity, worked to promote timeless virtues that make life valuable. She was the third daughter of four children born to late Elder Maxwell Wahusie Ohochukwu of Isiokpo in Rivers State and Margaret Uwakwe from Umunjam, Mbieri in Mbaitolu Local Government Area of Imo State.
Mama attended the St. Peter’s Primary School in Isiokpo where she got her First School Leaving Certificate, and eventually graduated from standard six. She got employed into the Nigerian Police Force in 1962 and eventually retired in 1997.
Late Mrs Adeline Ndalu Jaja found love in late Senibo Ebenezer Gberepikima Jaja (Senior), and eventually married him. She was blessed with five children, and the wife of the Rivers State Governor was her first daughter. Her worldview was shaped by the values of hard work, respect for others, integrity and perseverance. She died on December 17, 2023.
Reminisces of the tributes to Mama are compelling and memorable. Governor Siminalayi Fubara recalled how close he was with Mama when he spoke at the Service of Songs: “Mama was a great woman. She made me marry her daughter because of what she saw in me. When Mama believed in you, she would go all out for it. I feel so sad that all the mothers in my life; my mother and my mother-in-law, that would have enjoyed their support to me, have all passed.”
While speaking at the Funeral Service, Governor Fubara harped on the need for people to learn lessons from the life that Mama lived. He said: “We are all here this afternoon to say bye-bye to Mama. But I want you to go home with something. And by the grace of God, I don’t think there will be any counter to the point I will make.
“How do we live our lives? Can we live in such a way, that when we are no more, our names can open doors for our children? That is what I want you to go home with.
“Mama has lived her life, and it has opened a lot of doors for her biological children. Even those people that are close to Mama, when you mention that you know so and so person, doors will open.
“So, I want everybody here, to go back and reflect on it. You must live life, so that when you are no more, and our children who are left behind when you are gone, when they mention our names, let that name open doors for them. I feel that is the greatest virtue parents should leave for their children.” Serious food for thought!
But one of the most touching is this from Governor Fubara: “Mama was not just my mother-in-law; she was more than that. From the very day I became a member of their family by marrying her daughter, she took and related with me as her son. A strong woman of faith, my family and I enjoyed immense love, support, and prayers from her presence in our lives. She was always there for us throughout her lifetime.
“Though we mourn her departure, I cannot but be proud of Mama’s remarkable lifetime of service to the nation, God and humanity and her legacy of positive impacts and accomplishments.
“As a police woman, she was respected for her honesty, discipline, and fairness. As an entrepreneur, she was focused, hardworking, and resourceful. As a devout Christian, she loved and served God in diverse ways, and contributed to the development of the church in her community, Opobo. She was also an exceptional woman, a responsible mother and grandmother, a disciplinarian, yet compassionate, generous, and always there to lend a helping hand to everyone who came her way.
“I will forever cherish the great moments she shared with my family and me, and be ever thankful to God for the fact that Mama will continue to live because of her positive impacts and glorious legacies.”
Another tribute inspiring introspection from Wife of the Governor, Lady Valerie Fubara reads: “Indeed, my mother was an inspiring soul, who was always there for all, even when they come with their challenges of any kind. Her home was widely open to all, as her hospitality made people around her feel important.
“Mummy was the most loving, humble, compassionate, understanding, family-oriented woman, and one of the most beautiful souls one could ever ‘encounter’. If there is reincarnation, I will choose you a million times. Your life was indeed a blessing, your memory a treasure!”
That event was also attended by the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri. He paid his tributes too, saying: “I know how I felt losing a father at 88 years, and so, no matter how old your parents are, whether it’s 100 years, it can be painful. But we would have wished that she would have died thereafter, particularly against the background that her daughter today is the Number One Lady of Rivers State, but we can only wish it, but God decides when anyone of us would go. So, I urge you to take heart, as her legacies and memories will continue to be a guiding light for you and the family.”
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Prof Ngozi Odu said, “During her lifetime, Mama was known as an amazing woman who positively touched the lives of many with her kindness, grace and the love she shared with those around her.
“She was a police officer who was loved and erected because of her integrity, diligence and commitment in the discharge of her duties which will forever be remembered by all those who knew her.”
The Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Dr George Nwaeke, wrote: “Mrs Jaja’s remarkable legacy, as reflected in her age of 87 years, reminds us of a life well-lived, imbued with wisdom, love and lasting contributions to her community. We can only imagine the depth of your loss but hope you find solace in the memories you shared with her and the knowledge that she touched many lives in meaningful ways.”
Her son, Dr Ebenezer Gberepikima Jaja (Jnr) said, “If this, however, is the last time I get to say goodbye to mother, I will do it with the knowledge and understanding that I consider myself to have been gloriously blessed to be your son.
“You touched not only my life, but the lives of many others by your selfless and countless acts of kindness. Mama, you always gave and never expected any favours in return – not even when you needed it. You were a no-nonsense disciplinarian who made me stay within certain parameters, which I had to obey to be on the up and up. You always ensured I stayed focused and on course in everything I did. Your discipline was based on love, God’s fear and ultimate care. You were also generous, almost to a fault.
“You were a fulfilled and accomplished woman. The evidence is obvious and manifest in us, your children, who you raised uprightly, successfully, and worthily… Sorrow is not enough to wash away your wonderful memories. You were simply the best; just knowing that you are the apple of God’s eyes is enough for us. I love you but God loves you more!”
Her second daughter, Engineer Vanessa Donald Banigo also reflected on the life Mama lived, saying, “Though as a fact that death is inevitable, regardless of the age, I would have wished my beloved Mummy could live forever… Your departure has somewhat placed me empty, as I could recall living with me, you became my guardian angel, and a source of strength… With you, I never had any reason to say I am broke, because you were always there to lend or give me instead.
“You taught me how to be bold and strong in the storm of any challenges, because you were a woman of wisdom. You taught me that prayer is the only source of greatness. Words alone cannot express how I feel right now. I truly miss you Mummy! You have fought a good fight, may you be crowned with the crown of glory in the heavenly kingdom”.
The St. Andrew’s Anglican Church of the Niger Delta Diocese said, “With each step, she illuminated the path of righteousness, her unwavering faith, a beacon in the times of darkness. Though trials and triumphs she held fast to her beliefs, in every word spoken, in every gesture relief.
“Her kindness knew no bounds, her compassion, profound, in serving others; true joy she found with a heart full of love, she touched lives near and far, leaving behind a legacy that outshines every star.
“Paying dues with diligence, fulfilling each vows, her commitment to serve an example unsurpassed. Though she is departed from our earthly sight, her presence lingers, a guiding light. For in the hearts of those she touched, she will forever remain.
“A faithful woman now free from earthly pains. As she joins the church triumphant, let us rejoice and sing, and not mourn, for she has found eternal peace on angels’ wings.”
Bishop of the Diocese of Evo, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Province of Niger Delta, The Right Reverend Innocent Ordu, said, “We thank God for giving Mama a long and fruitful life during which she touched the lives of many positively by her honesty, sincerity, integrity, devotion and selfless service to her family and the community.
“Your Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, this death of your dear mother-in-law must have come to you as a rude shock, particularly at these challenging times when her presence and admonitions would have been a great source of support and encouragement to you. We urge you, however, to be of good comfort, knowing that she us now resting in the arms of the Lord after her labours here on earth.
“Our dear Lady Valerie, what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that determines the significance of the life we lead. Your mother is an expression of thus fact. More so, a mother’s love, they say, is eternal. We, thus, encourage you to hold on to that infinite love of your mother and let it be your guiding light.”
The Chief Medical Director of Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Chizindu Alikor said: “Auntie Ploice was a remarkable soul who embodied strength, warmth, kindness and commitment to family and community. She was a beacon of wisdom, a custodian of history, and a source of inspiration.
“Her presence lit up every room, and her giggling was a melody that brought joy to all fortunate enough to share in her company. She approached life with resilience, and a unique blend of grace and determination that left an indelible mark on everyone around her. Her role as a mentor and guide extended far beyond familial bonds; she was a source of support for all who sought her wisdom. Her compassionate nature and genuine interest in the wellbeing of others made her a pillar of strength in times of joy and sorrow alike.”
Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu said, “Your mother’s unwavering dedication and professionalism as a police officer leave an indelible mark on the history of the Rivers State Police Command… Throughout her distinguished career, she served with distinction in various capacities and State Commands, including Edo, Abia, and Rivers states… While we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, we draw strength from the profound impact she made during her lifetime. Her commitment to service and the invaluable legacy she leaves behind will continue to inspire generations to come.”
Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Rivers State Command, ACG Rev Canon Charles Hart said, “We mourn with you and celebrate the extraordinary life of a remarkable mother, who was, indeed, a mother to all. She was a shining example of motherhood, kindness in her services to the people of Opobo Clan.
“Whilst her death has left a gaping void among the ranks of mothers, I encourage you, however, to take solace in the fact that she lived a fulfilled life and left behind an enduring legacy.”
The Accountant-General of Rivers State, Uche Ideozu said, “The demise of your dear mother at this time is not only a great loss in your beloved family members and close relatives, but also one that affects the good people of Rivers State at large. Because we cannot question God for choosing to call her home at this particular time, we can only but take solace in the fact that He permitted her to leave her footsteps in the sands of time.”
Also, the Forum of Permanent Secretaries in Rivers State said, “Sir, the passage of Mama came as a great shock not only to the Permanent Secretaries in the State Civil Service but to the entire people of Rivers State. We have truly lost a virtuous mother and a great daughter of the State who served her fatherland as a police officer and contributed immensely to the peace, security and development of Rivers State and Nigeria in general.
“We are, indeed, saddened by her sudden departure at this time that her motherly love, care and wisdom is much needed to move Rivers State forward. However, as mortals, we cannot question our Maker, the Almighty God.
“We kindly urge Your Excellency and your entire family to be consoled by the fact that Mama was a great mother who lived a life worthy of emulation, created positive impact while she was alive and was loved by all. She would be greatly missed.”
Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Chairman, Dr Enyiada Clifford Cookey-Gam said, “Your mother was a peaceful and disciplined police officer, who served the nation meritorious in her days of service. She was a quintessential mother, and a good Christian. Indeed, her death is an irreplaceable loss to you and your family. However, may the impeccable lifestyle she lived, and the loving memories of your mother console you at this time of grief.”
The Queen Osunju Jaja House said, “We are indeed, short of words but we are consoled that she lived a good and peaceful life before her sudden demise. She was indeed a kind woman who extended her kindness and love to all those who interacted with her in her sojourn on earth. Her pleasantries, firm mien, hard work, discipline, industry, and good official conduct in public service bear testimony to the great personality of Late Mrs Adeline Ndalu Ebenezer Jaja. We are indeed proud of her that is why we call her ‘Mama Police’”.
Rev Dr. Peter Finebone and Evangelist Ibiene Peter Finebone emphasised that: “As a retired police officer of the Nigerian Police Force, Mama was a peace-maker and a disciplinarian, which she inculcated to her children. She was a woman of many feathers and of distinct characteristics.”
These are only but a few of the flurry of tributes paid in honour of late Mrs Adeline Ndalu Jaja, at activities celebrating her final interment in Opobo Town. These tributes would remain stark reminders of the legacies she left behind. Like they say, these are memories that would remain indelible in history for centuries to come. Goodbye Mama!
Chukwudi is the Chief Press Secretary to the Rivers State Governor, and writes from Port Harcourt.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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