Published On: Mon, Apr 23rd, 2018

Gov. Wike: More garlands for Mr. Projects

By OBINNA EZUGWU

On Sunday April 15, 2018 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike was the cynosure of all eyes as he stood firm and composed to the cheering of the audience at the capacity hall to receive the prestigious Zik Prize for good governance.

It was indeed an honour to whom it is due, and the applause from all and sundry in the hall, including his fellow governors: Aminu Masari of Kastina who was also an awardee; Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto; Willie Obiano of Anambra and Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi, whose wives, Eberechukwu Obiano and Hadiza Abubakar respectively also received awards for humanitarian service, was a testament to this fact.

Widely hailed as Mr. Projects, Wike has, since taking over as governor of Rivers on May 29, 2015, proven beyond reasonable doubt that he means business.

With a vision to turn Rivers into “a state that is truly united, secure and prosperous with boundless opportunities for everyone who lives in it to peacefully pursue their goals and realize their full potential in dignity and happiness”

And a mission “to actualise the aspirations of the people of Rivers State for a balanced development and an enhanced quality of life for present and future generations through responsive governance guided by the fear of God,” Wike went to work in the streets of Port Harcourt, Rivers men and women say the state has been on the tangent of progress since he became governor.

“The governor is doing well, we appreciate him,” said Amadi Nyebuchi, a resident of the city. “Rivers workers are being paid regularly, and the governor is embarking on massive capital projects.”

For Onah Jude, another resident, Wike is easily the best governor the state has produced in recent times.

“I have been in this state for a number of years and I can tell you that Wike is about the best governor we have had. He is not called Mr. Projects for nothing.”

The governor obviously had a clear agenda from the onset. On the day of his inauguration on May 29, 2015, he declared:

“Our blueprint is an agenda of hope. We pledge to offer a New Rivers Vision based on new thinking. Our goal is to make Rivers State a land of peace and prosperity with and prosperity with boundless opportunities and possibilities; a place where no one is left behind because of his or her station, and everyone who works hard can achieve his or her life’s dream.”

Within the first three years of his administration, Wike has proven his words to be true. At a time when economic recession dealt a huge blow to most states of the federation, Rivers was like a lake in the desert.

The governor had embarked on massive construction and rehabilitation of roads and hospitals, schools; land reclamation and manpower development across the state.

Some of the projects embarked upon and completed by the governor include the rehabilitation of Ahoada roads, Forces Avenue, Churchill and Creek roads, Evo and Woji roads, Ohiamini road, Tombia Extension, Sokoto road and so on.

The governor had also reconstructed many roads and streets, including Sani Abacha Road, Tourist Beach Road, Rumuola Bridge, Birabi Road, Adaka Boro Street, Elliot Henry Street and sundry others.

To ensure that Rivers children study in peaceful environment, Wike has upgraded several secondary and primary schools in the state to world class standards, while building new ones. Some of this include Nyemoni Grammar School, Abonnema;  Birabi Memorial Grammar School; CPS Queen’s Town, Opobo; St. Michael State School, Buguma and many others. Indeed, the governor had reconstructed a total of 199 classroom blocks thus far.

Ensuring adequate healthcare, the governor had made clear from the beginning, is one of the major focus of his administration. He has not disappointed. The Wike administration has greatly in the improvement of healthcare facilities and services in the state, while also ensuring that healthcare workers are not neglected

To guarantee adequate supply of quality medical staff in the state, the governor set up College of Medical Sciences at the Rivers State University, and equally set up teaching hospitals.

The governor is presently embarking on the renovation of several general hospitals in the state. He is also building massive doctors quarters at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital; has completed Mother and Child Hospital, Port Harcourt; renovated General Hospital, Abua; General Hospital, Bodo; General Hospital, Emohua; General Hospital, Isiokpo; General Hospital, Buguma; General Hospital, Abonnema; Psychiatric Hospital, Rumuigbo; Healthcare Centre, Rumueme; Zonal hospitals in Okehi, Degema and many others.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed. Wike is already a winner of many awards. In 2016, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) honoured him with the Apostle of Peace Award and Daily Independent Newspaper gave him Man of the Year Award.

In 2017, the Global Human Settlements gave him the Outstanding Contribution Award, The Independent Newspaper named him Political Icon of the Year and the Silverbird Group named him the Silverbird Man of the Year.

This year 2018, he has capped it all with the prestigious Zik Prize for Good Governance, awarded to him by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC) at an event attended by the creme of the Nigerian political field.

It was a day the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), shook hands of friendship. Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Uche Secondus, flanked by APC chairman, John Oyegun and other stalwarts of both parties, presented the Political Leadership Award to Chief Bisi Akande, first national chairman of the ruling party and former governor of Osun State.

Also on the list of awardees on the night were Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe; Chief Adedeji Adeleke, Chairman of Pacific Holdings; Mr. Ernest Ebi, Director at Fidelity Bank PLC and Alhaji Maikanti Baru, GMD, NNPC.

Other dignitaries present at the event included former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; former Ambassador to the US, Prof George Obiozor; General Ike Nwachukwu; Senator Ademola Adeleke; Zinox Computers CEO, Leo Stan Ekeh; Professor Pat Utomi; former Bayelsa governor, Timipre Sylva, Emilia Okonkwo and many others.

 

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