By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT – Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Thursday, restored the benefits and entitlements of Mr. Celestine Omehia as a former governor of the state.
This came on a day the governor, at the opening of South African Visa Application Centre, in Port Harcourt, assured investors that Rivers State was a safe place for investment
Wike, who performed the exercise at Government House, Port Harcourt, said though Omehia later lost his seat to Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, he functioned as a governor between May 29, 2007 and October 25 of the same year.
The governor further ordered that the official portrait of Omehia be mounted among former governors of the state at Government House.
He said: “I, hereby, put back his official portrait among those of former governors. He is now entitled to the benefits of all former governors. “
Wike said the era of bitter politics was over in the state, wondering why Omehia, who discharged the functions of a governor for about four months, would be denied his benefits as a former governor.
An elated Omehia described yesterday as his happiest day, thanking the governor for restoring his rights as a former governor of the state.
It would be recalled that Omehia was relieved of his office as governor of the state by a Supreme Court verdict which installed Amaechi as the governor of the state.
The court had said in its ruling that Amaechi was the rightful candidate of Peoples Democratic Party in the eye of the law that brought in Omehia as governor.
The event was witnessed by the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani, Rivers State Housing Commissioner, Barrister Emma Okah, and the State Attorney-General, Chinwe Aguma.
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has assured investors that Rivers State was a safe place for investment
Wike, who spoke yesterday while formally opening a South Africa Visa Application centre operated by VFS in Port Harcourt, enjoined investors to come to the state, assuring that it was peaceful for business.
He lauded the South African government for its move in the state, saying that it would send the right message to other investors that Rivers State was a safe business haven.
He said: “I wish to commend the South African government for letting the world know that Rivers State is safe for local and international businesses.
“We will continue to work with the South African government and other investors to ensure that the business environment is improved. We will continue to improve on the security of the state to attract more investors.”
While promising to collaborate with the Federal Government to further develop the Port Harcourt International Airport, the governor said other countries are free to come and invest in the state.