By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that one of the greatest achievements of his administration is the elimination of the upland/riverine dichotomy which plagued the state in the past.
Speaking during an interview with organisers of Zik Leadership Prize Award, Wike said his administration has been able to promote unity for the overall development of the state.
He said: “First of all, you remember that the founding fathers of this state maintained that Rivers State should be seen as a place or land of opportunity, where people will have to achieve their potentials in life.
“In this state before, all you see and hear was tribalism; that you are from the upland, you are from the riverine and so people were not doing things as if we are one Rivers.
“So, we felt that, one way we can make progress is if we see ourselves as one and once that is done, then we have moved to the next step. So today, our concern is that the issue of upland/riverine is no longer necessary.
“We see ourselves as one Rivers State and it is necessary because of the projects and programmes we are carrying out in all the local government areas in the state. So the issue of upland/riverine differences is relegated to the background.”
Wike noted that Rivers State has made tremendous progress in the last three years because project execution has been prioritised.
The governor said his administration was committed to making sure that Rivers State takes her rightful position in the comity of states in the country.
He said a trip round the states of Nigeria under the current dispensation reveals that Rivers State under his watch is one of the leading centres of rapid growth.
Governor Wike said he inherited a collapsed infrastructure and damaged governance structure, hence the decision to prioritise projects execution for optimum output.
He said: “The idea of ‘I started this project’ without completion amounts to bad governance. My administration has taken the step by completing all abandoned and uncompleted projects.
“When such projects are fully completed and those that left them uncompleted, who did not handover properly to me will turn around to claim 95 per cent completion of such a project. How can a project left at 95 percent completion take three years to complete, isn’t it funny?”