BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
In his second and final term in office, Governor Amaechi only has his shadow to beat in his efforts at consolidating achievements of the first tenure. But the politics of shaping the future as it always happens in Rivers could be an unhelpful distraction.
IT is the opinion of many who visit Port-Harcourt that Governor Chibuke Amaechi gave governance a meaning after his inauguration in 2007. In his second term the administration is continuing on its efforts in infrastructure development.
He assured recently that two hundred and fifty of the model primary schools would be delivered by September this year.
The governor explained at a forum recently that his vision is to build a society where both the rich and poor could access qualitative education in the same class room. And he is driving to achieve this goal. In the health sector the administration is also making appreciable impact. Over 70 ultra modern health centres have been delivered to various communities in the state.
The administration’s efforts in the education sector have been especially hailed by the citizenry though the desire for more is clearly apparent mostly in the rural areas.
New road constructions
Likewise, the moves to open up the rural areas through new road constructions are clearly obvious even though some citizens still urge the state government to make more of the roads in Port Harcourt passable. As some citizens allege the government’s worthy efforts including the Operation No Potholes were sabotaged by contractors.
Though still three years away, the subtle battle on who succeeds Amaechi has crept in to cloud the political space.
Some close aides and associates of the governor have quietly commenced subtle campaigns to position themselves ahead in the succession battle.
Amaechi, at a forum with media men in the state had, however, pledged not to interfere in the succession.
Linkage with legislature
A school of opinion in the state believes the executive has not granted the House of Assembly the necessary autonomy to exercise its functions. They cite the bill providing pension benefits for former governors and deputy governors of the state as an instance. The bill provides for a former governor to be entitled to two houses in any place of his choice in the
state and the federal capital territory, Abuja.
In the area of flood control and supply of portable water in Port Harcourt, residents think the government should take more practical measures. It is claimed that despite its efforts that flood remains a major problem in several parts of the state.
The administration is still challenged by the problem of providing potable water to the citizenry in the state capital. At the moment most residents rely on personal boreholes for their water consumption.
The government on its part has been making efforts to resolve the flood problem in the state with construction of drainage and clearing of water channels.
Power supply in some areas of the state remains very epileptic. The state administration has on its part bemoaned legal constraints limiting it from wholly tackling the issue.
On a general note, residents who commented on the performance of the governor Amaechi administration within the last year scored it high. But they nevertheless said there was still enough room for improvement. They, nevertheless, also advised the governor to concentrate on completion of ongoing projects.
The governor also reconciled with his erstwhile political boss and former governor of the state, Sir Dr Peter Odili within the first one year of his second coming . It is not clear if the reconciliation shaped his administration in any way but most residents of the state hailed it, describing it as a necessary action between a father and a son.