From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Felix Obuah, has said he was not surprised that Governor Nyesom Wike won The Sun Newspapers Man of the Year award.
According to Obuah, the reason for deserving such place of honour was not far-fetched in the light of the infrastructural revolution taking place in Rivers State powered by Governor Wike and which in the years past, were thought impossible.
The RIWAMA boss and Ikemba Idemili of Anambra State said Governor Wike has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubts that if given the opportunity, Nigeria can move again.
He described Wike as a visionary and pragmatic leader, saying the governor has not only demonstrated capacity, but also exhibited true understanding of democracy by confronting development and political issues head-on.
Obuah said one of such democratic imperatives and true federalism was the issue of Valued Added Tax (VAT), which Governor Wike has held the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government spell-bound, providing a morale booster for other state governors to follow suit.
He recalled other anti-social issues which Governor Wike, ‘as the man who saw tomorrow’ pointed out, which, if they were embraced by the rest of the country, would have saved Nigeria the calamity and losses eventually suffered.
One of such losses, according to Obuah, was the excesses of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police, which notoriety forced the Nigerian youths to embark on one of the bloodiest protests in the nation’s history.
“When Governor Wike raised the alarm and was shouting, little or no attention was given to his concerns. Had the authorities cared, a whole lot of losses would have been avoided. But, rather than do that, his genuine concerns were politicised and trivialised until they snowballed into a national crisis. So is the case of VAT for which the Federal Government is seeing Governor Wike as hitting the air,” he said.
Obuah, however, found solace in the fact that some sections of the critical media are alive to the realities on ground and still have the boldness to appreciate quality leadership and contributions of the likes of Governor Wike.
He considered Wike most qualified for the honour as exemplified by The Sun Newspapers Man of the Year award.
Congratulating Governor Wike on the award, Obuah said the honour represented the collective wish and appreciation of the people since the media is the voice of the masses.
He urged Rivers people and Nigerians generally to learn to appreciate and encourage those who show distinction in their service delivery like Wike through their support and prayers.