From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has counselled members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to discard the politics of bitterness that often make them frustrate development projects attracted by others to their communities.
Governor Wike gave the counsel on Monday during the inauguration of the Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna/Awuse Link Road in Emohua Local Government Area, performed by the former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
The governor challenged Senator Andrew Uchendu of the APC to show what he has achieved for his community while a member of both the House of Representatives and Senate.
Governor Wike announced the immediate award of contract for the reconstruction of the Mgbuitawo Road in Senator Andrew Uchendu’s community to serve as a proof that he (Wike) is a liberal politician.
‘I am different; so, I will do the Mgbuitawo Road immediately. I am going to do it because I am not a vindictive politician. If I am a vindictive politician, that road will not be done. Also, I want to tell him, there is no need to play politics with bitterness,’ the governor remarked.
‘Politics is a game; we will talk today, and talk tomorrow. No permanent friend and enemy, but permanent interest.
‘For Mgbuitawo Community people, Ohna Awuse, and Emeka Woke do not hold anything against you. Therefore, the road will be constructed. So, the Commissioner for Works is hereby directed to go and scoop the Mgbuitawo community road, and also go for the internal roads in Ogbakiri Town.’
The governor also announced that streetlights would be installed on the just inaugurated Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse link Road and Isiodu Road all in Emohua Local Government Area, to further appreciate the support that they have given to him.
‘I came here, I told you that I will do this road, I give God the glory that I have done it using one of the best construction firms in Nigeria,’ he declared.
Speaking further, Governor Wike clarified that bringing Senator Okorocha, a member of the APC, to inaugurate the road project did not mean that he is fraternising with the opposition party, but because they had been friends since his days as council chairman.
‘Let me tell you what you may not understand. I don’t believe that you must only have friends at your own party. You must have to build relationship across boards; but, that does not mean that you’ll sell your party,’ the governor said.
‘Senator Okorocha has been my friend since I was Deputy National President of ALGON down to when I became the President of ALGON.
‘He was a member of the PDP. He left us and said they are going to make Nigeria great. He is still there, I believe that in these two years that they have, they’ll make us be that great. But, as at today, we are not great.’
Inaugurating the road project, Sen Okorocha, who represents Imo West senatorial district at the Senate, said it was time for people of like-minds who desire the best for Nigeria to stop complaining but come together and join forces to make the country great.
‘In this dispensation, there are many bad people in APC, many bad people in PDP. I think the good people of APC and good people of PDP must come together for purpose of making Nigeria great,’ he stated.
‘I could imagine where I join forces with Wike. Governor Wike, this is my hand of friendship. Let us bring all like minds, all great people of Nigeria. Rather than complaining, let us come together to make this country greater and greater as it should be.’
According to the senator, Nigerians must embrace each other no matter their political affiliation and break the barriers that make it difficult to work together as Nigerians for the good of the country.
‘What brought me here today is not party. What brought me here today is love and friendship. I am not PDP, I am APC. But the time has come when we must break the jinx of party division and begin to embrace brotherhood and friendship and be able to state what is good and what is bad. A bad man is a bad man, even if he is PDP or APC.’
Sen Okorocha described Governor Wike as a courageous leader who has spoken truth to power and continued to improve the lot of the people of Rivers with his project delivery mantra.
The senator said political power was a trust which could only be justified when used for the common good.
He noted that Nigerians are not asking for too much from their leaders other than the basic necessities of life.
According to him, leaders who are unable to provide basic amenities such as electricity, water and road must be considered failed leaders.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said the once deplorable Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse Link Road has been reconstructed into a desirable access road.
In his speech, Sergent Awuse expressed his gratitude to Governor Wike for ending the several years of unfulfilled promise by the previous administration.