By Chibuike Okeke
In 2016 while inspecting ongoing projects in the state, Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike said his administration had built over 200 roads and bridges in the state.
Since he assumed office in 2015 Governor Wike has built hundreds of bridges across roads in the state, he has even built symbolic bridges across political, ethnic and religious divides.
Nothing underscores this more than the peace and harmony that exists in Rivers State today. Before Wike became governor in 2015, River State was a hotbed of political intolerance, violence and ethnic crisis stoked by politicians who pitted the people against each other.
Wike has adroitly managed the situation to earn accolades from all including his political opponents who continue to commend him for restoring peace and calm to the Rivers State. He did this by espousing a “no victor, no vanquished” agenda, which assured his supporters and opponents alike that his chief interest was in seeing to the development of Rivers State.
A few days ago, the testimony of Wike’s success in calming “nerves” and transforming the state came from opposition politician and a long-time political adversary, Magnus Abe.
Abe, a former senator who was speaking during the funeral obsequy of Mrs Fyna Oby Atuzie-Boms, the departed wife of Barrister Worgu Boms, a former Attorney General of Rivers State, said:
“I want to stand here today to confirm that you are trying. I want to remember the broadcast you made where you said we should all come together and you were going to enter a nolle in respect of our younger brother, Ojukaye Flag Amachree.
“I also want to recollect all the efforts you have made, not just in words, but in action to end the bitterness and division that have characterised the politics of Rivers State. I want to say here today that some people are busy looking for who is causing the problem. But you are trying to look for solutions.
“I think we should align with those who are looking for solutions and leave those who are looking for causes.”
“The greatest challenge that Rivers State faces today is not all the things we have mentioned. It is the fact that hatred, bitterness has characterized our politics and have divided us in a way that we have never been divided before.
“It has made it impossible for us to come together to face the challenges that are confronting our state. I want to thank the Governor of Rivers State for leading by example.”
Before Abe’s acknowledgement of Wike’s peaceful disposition another top APC chieftain, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, had also applauded Governor Wike for his indefatigable efforts in bringing development. In September, Fayemi who had been invited to the state by Wike to commission some projects expressed pride in his (Wike’s} accomplishments.
“We are proud of him; we are proud of the work he is doing in Rivers State. He is going to continue to inaugurate projects till 27th September. That is almost 10 days from now. Even if it is one project per day, it will be almost 10 days. Now, I understand why they refer to him as Mr Project,” the Ekiti State Governor said.
Away from politics, Wike has also received praise and commendation from organizations and interest group for his commitment to the growth and development of Rivers State. One such group is the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), which hailed him for his commitment to improving the welfare of women and children.
Testimonials from the good people of Rivers State and other stakeholders in Nigeria show that Governor Wike through his many salutary programmes and developmental disposition has been a blessing to people of Rivers State.
As the Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Association Worldwide roll out the drums in honour of Governor Wike, there is no doubt that all the good people of Rivers State belive that the honour bestowed on ‘Mr Projects’ is well-deserved.
Okeke wrote in from Port Harcourt.