From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Ogoni people have apologised to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for the role they played to stop his governorship ambition in 2015.
The senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Barry Mpigi, rendered the apology on behalf of the ethnic group at an event held in honour of the governor’s contributions to the development of the area in Bori, Khana Local Government Area.
He regretted that the senatorial district attempted to truncate Governor Wike’s ambition to govern the state, and thanked him for overlooking their inactions and carried Ogoni along in his administration.
The senator described the event as remarkable in the history of Ogoni people to gather together Irrespective of their political affiliations to host the governor.
‘We are sorry for our inactions to stop your governor ambition in 2015. We were like the doubting Thomases. You have done well. Let me conclude by saying that all notable past and present elective leaders are all here to for this reception,’ he said.
Governor Wike has charged the Ogoni people to unite and work together to attract development to the area.
Addressing the crowd drawn from the four local government areas that make up Ogoni (Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme – KAGOTE), the governor said that their unity should be translated from words to action.
‘I want to say it again that your unity is very important. Ogoni is very important in Rivers State and the country. Don’t you ever betrayal your people. Don’t you ever blackmail your people,’ the governor said.
The governor commended Ogoni people, particularly Senator Magnus Abe, for honouring him with a chieftaincy title as an appreciation for his administration’s impact on the area, adding that it was a demonstration of love he (Abe) has for the people.
In his message, Senator Abe harped on the unity of the ethnic nationality, nothing that the best politician is not the one that has the highest number of enemies, but friends.
‘I am here today because I know that my presence will make you (Wike) happy and make my people happy. We have gathered to thank Wike for what he has done for us and the respect he has for us. Wike is not just a friend, but a brother, we thank him for given Ogonis opportunities,’ he said.
In his address, President of KAGOTE Emma Deeyah said the grand reception was a testimony of the governor’s good governance and infrastructural development in the state, particularly in Ogoni.
Also, Senator Lee Maeba, noted that under the Wike administration there is nothing like riverine and upland dichotomy.
Rivers State has done so much for Nigeria. Ogoni people have done much to Nigeria. We have the governor that can protect and defend his people”.
Chairman of the occasion Senator Benneth Birabi, in his welcome speech, said they gathered for Wike particularly for the amount of work he has done in Ogoni and the entire Rivers State.
He said Wike had sent a spiritual message to Nigeria, where the citizens could feel the impact of good governance.