Wike and the Spirit of Rivers Development

  • Posted on: 18 March 2017
  • By: editor

By Simeon Nwakaudu

 

On Tuesday , a friend and colleague drew my attention  to a feature titled: "Rivers State: Wike, Amaechi and the Familiar Spirit " by Ifeanyi Izeze. Without  any doubt, the piece no matter the  intention of the writer;  was produced on a faulty premise. It had no truth in it, because  the writer came to absolutely  wrong  conclusions, even though  he accepted  the reality of today's  New Rivers.

To begin with, the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi has concluded his sojourn in office in the state. With the benefit of hindsight, he can be  judged in relation  to  his policies, projects and programmes.

On the other hand, Governor Wike  is a work in progress and as the writer reluctantly  admitted, the governor is transforming Rivers State  through massive  infrastructural development and investment  in human capital development.

Governor Wike’s developmental  operations are totally different from that of Rotimi Amaechi.  So, there is no basis for comparison.

Unlike Amaechi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission,  which the writer claimed was politically motivated, the Rivers State Commission of Inquiry on the Sale of Valued Assets set up by Governor  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was established in  the interest of the people of the state.

The setting up of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was purely a pragmatic  decision, which set in motion the process for the recovery of misappropriated  and misapplied  funds. It also set in motion a deterrent machinery to discourage the economic  bleeding of the state  in future.

Governor Wike’s  New Rivers  Development Blueprint was designed  principally to ensure that the state does not return to the old ways foisted on it  by the failed Rotimi Amaechi era. It was on this platform that he campaigned and got the mandate of the people.

For Governor Wike, it is Rivers first. The rapid development of Rivers State is the cornerstone of all his political and economic  engagements.  All policies since he took over the reins of leadership have  been  pro-Rivers.

For Rivers State, Governor Wike is ready to lay down his life. For the state, he has taken unimaginable  risks. He is working daily for the social, economic and political emancipation  of Rivers State.

  On this score, Governor Wike is facing political  persecution.

During the visit of the leadership of  Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, Governor Wike said: "No amount of persecution will stop me from doing what is right. I will  continue to defend the interest of our people. I am from Rivers State and I will protect the interest of the state.

"All ethnic groups must work in unity to ensure that Rivers State  attains development ". All political  engagements of Governor Wike  are targeted at the improvement of the living condition of the people.  He has never taken an action that is centred on personal  promotion.

On the issue of travels, the writer was totally  wrong. Governor Wike spends over 90 percent of his time in Rivers State. 

 Indeed, the governor recently  offered explanations on why he hardly  travels  to Abuja.

 If there is one Governor that is focused on projects and programmes  delivery in Nigeria today--that Governor is Nyesom Wike.  But for his  focus and commitment  to  the ideals of development, Governor Wike would have derailed  in view  of the  concocted and orchestrated politically attacks on the state.

 

If is not DSS, then it the Nigerian Police  or the Army.  For the first time in the history of the country, an Inspector-General of Police has been appointed strictly  to wage political war   against  a sitting  governor.  Because he is prepared,  Wike takes these ugly attacks in his stride and remains  at the workplace.

I sincerely  believe that most outstanding difference between Governor Wike and his predecessor  is their attitude to institutions of state and the rule of law. Amaechi  had no respect for the rule of law or the institutions of state. Therefore, it is uncharitable  to attempt to place such a man on the same platform with a bencher who thrives under the rule of law.

The writer deliberately  forgot that Amaechi  murdered the judiciary, closed the courts, welded the entrances to courts and denied Rivers people access to justice.  He also locked the State House of Assembly and turned a few  members of the house into gluttons, who met at intervals at his dinning at the Government House.  He stopped paying salaries and pensions, while the state  bureaucracy was incapacitated by the former governor’s refusal  to pay monthly  overheads.

Many believe  that Governor Wike's revival of the courts, State Assembly and his regular payment of salaries and pensions have already  secured  his  position  in the hall of fame of Rivers State.  A man who restored the rule of law amongst his people cannot be equated to the man who destroyed  it.

Rivers State is  now a huge construction site.  From roads to hospitals, to water projects, to modern schools, agricultural programmes, international recreation  facilities, marine transport and  land reclamation amongst others. These projects have helped to rebuild the economy of the state.

There is a developmental  revolution taking place in Rivers State. This cannot be  trivialised by pedestrian  comparisons.  There is no meeting point between day and night.

 

Governor Wike  represents the morning of Rivers State after a long dark night that lasted eight years. He has entrenched good governance, transparency  and prudent  management of scarce resources  into the  administration of the state.

He lives amongst his people, shares their joy and aspirations.  He leads from the front as he fights their battles against forces of oppression.

Governor Wike embodies the spirit of progress and development.  He is a true Rivers man, a pragmatic politician and focused leader.

He is not distracted by  propaganda, political schemes  and blackmail.  Indeed, Governor Wike was prepared  over the years for a time like this. The way he was of immense service  to  Rivers State and Nigeria  whilst  serving as Honourable Minister, has been  multiplied  as he serves the people as Governor of Rivers State.

Under Governor Wike, nobody is hounded out of the state. As few as APC members  are in the state, they freely carry out their  sponsored street march once in a blue moon. They spread all manner of falsehood online and in the traditional  media without  molestation.  The governor plays politics of tolerance.  This  was not the case with the immediate past APC administration in the state and certainly  not the type of scenario  you find in APC  controlled states where Facebook  critics  are regularly  arrested and prosecuted.

Rivers State is now a reference point.  An example of a  state where the people's democratic power overcomes the guns of security  marauders.  A state where development  projects are churned out daily to the chargrin of the powers that be at the centre.  A state where the people are satisfied  with their performing governor.

Going forward, there are no indications  that Governor Wike  would deviate from the route of development and empowerment of Rivers people.  He is not a traitor, hence  he will never betray his  people.