Political and business leaders across the country have extolled the outstanding development strides of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike even as he continues to garner accolades and awards from diverse corporate organisations and institutions nationally and internationally.
The commendations poured in, last Friday night as the governor was enthroned the Silverbird Man of the Year 2017, after majority of Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for him following his nomination by the management of Silverbird Group.
Presenting the Silverbird Man of the Year 2017 award to the Rivers State Governor at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar described Wike as a worthy leader who was laying the right foundation for the rapid development of the state.
Atiku said: “I have witnessed virtually all administrations in Rivers State. I have not seen an administration that has done so much, within a short time as that of Governor Wike.
“Believe me; Governor Wike is laying the foundation for the prosperity of Rivers State and Nigeria. This is a remarkable achievement that I find difficult to locate in any part of the country. I congratulate the people of Rivers State for having you as a governor”.
The former vice president commended Wike for his efforts at connecting Opobo-Nkoro to the mainland, saying he was elated when the Rivers State governor showed him the road in the state’s projects compendium.
Also speaking, Chairman of Silverbird Group, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike emerged the Silverbird Man of the Year on the strength of votes by the people.
“This award was voted by the people of Nigeria. In other words, it was earned. I am honoured to know a man called Governor Wike. He is a terrific governor, Mr Projects”, he said.
Murray-Bruce explained that Wike focuses on the development of the state through delivery of projects and programmes.
Responding, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike assured Rivers people that he remains committed to the development of the state.
Wike said: “My commitment is and has been to promote, defend and advance the best interest of our people, and contribute to the progress of our state and nation.
“Today, I am very honoured to receive this award because it represents the very ideals that sustain my interest in public service”.
The governor said that his administration was inaugurated during a period of financial crisis, but he chose to be different, instead of giving all manner of excuses like the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
“We refused to be daunted by the rot we inherited. Today, the testimonies are everywhere that Rivers State Government is working very well for our people”, he said.
Wike dedicated the award to the people of Rivers State for their support and prayers.
He also dedicated the award to his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike.
The governor said that the situation in Nigeria was precarious. He said that Nigerians have no choice but to work together in the interest of the nation.
The award also witnessed several other categories of the award.
Meanwhile, for the second year running, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has been honoured as The Sun Newspaper Governor of the Year.
He emerged as the Sun Newspaper Governor of the Year 2017, last Saturday, at an award ceremony held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Presenting the Sun Newspaper Governor of the Year award to Wike, Publisher of Sun Newspapers and former Abia State Governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu said the Rivers State governor deserves the award in view of his outstanding performance.
He said that Wike made history by becoming the first governor to win the award back to back, and urged the Rivers State governor to maintain the tempo of development in the state.
He said that the Sun Newspaper is a platform that represents all interest groups in Nigeria, noting that it basically works for the growth and development of the country.
Receiving the award, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike assured that his administration will continue to deliver quality projects and programmes for the benefit of Rivers people.
He stated that he was determined to always make Rivers people happy by sustaining his performance.
The governor said: “We will continue to deliver quality projects and programmes for the good people of Rivers State. We will not lower our performance.
“All local government areas of Rivers State have been touched by the administration. It is either a school or hospital or road. Every local government area has one project or the other”, Wike emphasised.
He said the only way that the state will continue to defeat the Federal Government and the security agencies is the sustenance of the delivery of sustainable projects.
The governor added that the only state that can never be defeated is Rivers State, adding that the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government’s only agenda is to rig elections, pointing out that the people of the state will resist any attempt to undermine the electoral process.
He said that Rivers State was developing very fast because all the people were working in unity.
After the award ceremony, a reception was held by Rivers people in honour of the Rivers State governor.
Speaking at the reception, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio said that Wike will be re-elected on the basis of his outstanding performance and not on the basis of party consideration.
Akpabio explained that the former Governor, Dr Peter Odili took Rivers State to Nigeria, while Wike has taken the state to the world.
He said: “We came here to celebrate a son of the Niger Delta and a humanist who believes in development”.
Also speaking, National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus described the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike as a genuine development expert who has touched all areas in the state.
Secondus said one of the miracles of the Wike-led administration was the fact that Unity Road has been extended to Opobo Town and nearby communities.
Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, Hon Zakari Mohammed said Governor Wike was a shining star that delivers on critical areas to improve the living condition of the people.
Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Chibudom Nwuche said the award to the Rivers State governor was for the entire people of the state.
Nwuche said that in all the decisions that leaders take, they must always factor in the interest of the people.
In their separate speeches, Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani and the Head of Service of Rivers State, Barrister Rufus Godwins praised the governor for providing the right leadership that has improved the fortunes of the state.
Fubara Set To Create New Cities In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has disclosed that arrangements are at advanced stages to achieve the development of new cities in the state that would help to decongest Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Fubara said that the new cities would end the one city status of Rivers State and attract more investors into the state.
The governor stated this when he inspected the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority’s (GPHCDA) office and project sites in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Fubara said: “I can assure you that in our time, we might not achieve the dream of that big city in four years, but we will add a few things that would also help us in getting at that target.
“This is because, we are thinking of decongesting the present one city state that we have, which is Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor. We are thinking of developing other parts of the state and our coming here is to see what the agency has been doing, what you have done already and what we can also do to make us achieve more new cities in our state.”
Fubara noted that despite the challenges the agency has been facing, there would be remarkable difference in what it would achieve within his tenure if the agency’s development ideals are aligned with those of the state government.
He, however, charged the agency to be self-sustaining by attracting investors as outlined by its establishment law.
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator of GPHCDA, Amb Desmond Akawor, said that since its establishment in 2009 by the Greater Port Harcourt Law, the agency has been slowed down in creating more cities because of its operational structure and the nature of the Public-Private Partnership it adopted.
Akawor, who is the Rivers State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that a new legal framework has been fine-tuned by the last GPHDA board, which the current management would present to the governor.
He said: “I am sure that with your directives, we will be able to reschedule some of the projects so that we can move forward with all of our partners, especially in the area of reforming or strengthening the public private partnership arrangements.”
Majority Leader Seeks Immortalisation Of Slain DPO
The Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie, has appealed to the Police High Command to consider the immortalisation of the murdered Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in charge of Ahoada East Divisional Headquarters, SP Bako Angbashim, and commiserated with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emeka Nwonyi; officers and men of the Police Force; and the family of the deceased over the brutal murder of the DPO.
Ehie, who made the appeal in a statement said the slain DPO deserves to be immortalised as he was a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, adding that the calamitous killing and decapitation of the DPO by Mr Gift David Okpara Okpolowu, alias 2 Baba and his criminal gang is “an unprecedented low which shocked me beyond words and threw my constituents into an endless mourning circle”.
As the Honourable member representing Constituency 2 at the Rivers State House of Assembly and the incumbent Leader of the House, Ehie said he is using this medium to unreservedly condemn the senseless killing and decapitation of the DPO, and also to reiterate the call for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of his killers and everyone associated with the condemnable act.
Describing SP Angbashim as a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, the lawmaker said the slain DPO was the one who single-handedly restored peace and order in Ogoniland.
“Even within the few months he spent in Ahoada East Local Government Area, the results of his gallantry were visible for all to see and appreciate.This is why his killing is not only calamitous and lamentable, but an affront to the government of the day in the State”, he said, adding that no government worths its salt will fold it’s arms and allow criminals and bandits to freely prey on its citizenry in order to make the State ungovernable.
On this score, therefore, Ehie thanked the Governor of the State, Sir SiminalayiFubara for prompt response to the situation which he said has already started yielding wonderful fruits, with some of the criminals associated with the killing of the DPO now under police detention and interrogation.
He also thanked and commend the officers and men of the Police Force as well as operatives of other sister security agencies in the State for their uniquely stellar efforts in fishing out the killers of the DPO.
The Majority Leader, however, called on all Ekpeye people, traditional rulers, chiefs, political elites and the general public to gratuitously assist and work with the police and other security agencies in ensuring that the killers of SP Angbashim are fished out, apprehended and made to face the full weight of the law, saying, “May our State never again witness this type of murderous orgy and life wastage”.
Ehie also appealed to the Police High Command in the State to consider the immortalisation of the slain DPO, while also appealing for meaningful and deserving support to his family and dependants.
While conveying his heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian Police, especially the officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command, the lawmaker prayed the Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the monumental loss. He equally extended his deepest condolences to the family of the DPO, and prayed God to console them and heal their wounds.
Ehie further noted that “the biggest debt we collectively owe SP Bako Angbashim is to redress his killing by arresting his killers and subjecting them to justice.”
Appeal Court Upholds Banigo’s Senatorial Election Victory
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, upheld the judgment of the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that declared Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Rivers West Senatorial District Election held on February 25, 2023.
The Appellant Court, in her judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial Candidate, Hon. Asita O. Asita as “lacking in merit”.
In her reaction shortly after the verdict at the court premises, the Banigo hailed the judgment, describing it as an “incontrovertible victory of irreversible Senate seat”.
She expressed gratitude to the Almighty God, the leaders/stakeholders of the PDP and the entire members of the Rivers West Senatorial District for their unflinching support.
Banigo assured them of her loyalty and total commitment towards realising the tenets of her Kingdom Mandate.
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