Tony John, Port Harcourt
State governors, serving and former federal lawmakers, council administrators, traditional rulers and religious leaders, yesterday, joined thousands of Ikwerre people to celebrate Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in a grand civic reception organised by the Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide.
The event was in recognition of the outstanding contributions of the governor to national development. The Chairman of Ikwerre government-recognised traditional rulers, Eze Oha Apara Kingdom, Worlu Wodo, who announced the conferment of “Dike Oha Ikwerre”, said the title was in recognition of the outstanding contributions of Governor Wike to the Ikwerre ethnic nationality and the rest of Rivers and Nigeria.
Leaders from all walks of life sang the praises of Governor Wike for distinguishing himself in his service to the humanity.
Present at the event were: Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and Taraba State Governor, Dairus Ishaku . Others were former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, former Rivers governors, Peter Odili and Celestine Omehia, former Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, former Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose , PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibodum Nwuche and Senator Dino Melaye.
While thanking the leadership of Ikwerre ethnic nationality for the honour, Governor Wike said: “I accepted this honour because when I look back from where we are coming from, I am a proud Ikwerre man. I am a Rivers man, but I come from the Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality.”
He urged all ethnic nationalities to work together to ensure the emergence of a Rivers governor that would carry the entire state along. “We will continue the legacy of Odili. Anyone with the interest of Rivers State will be supported. Wherever you are from, you must show that you are a Rivers man, he admonished. According to him, Rivers remains one united state, where all ethnic groups are important. “Rivers State is one. Nobody can divide Rivers State. No outsider can be Governor of Rivers State. Let us not allow anyone to divide us,” he added.
He praised former Rivers governor, Odili, Sergeant Awuse, Secondus, Senator Sandy Onoh, Dan Orbih and Alhaji Imam, for their contributions.