From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has assured that his administration is committed to impacting every Local Government Area in the state with development projects.
Governor Wike gave the assurance at the inauguration of the 10.3-kilometre long Sime-Nonwa-Kira Road in Tai Local Government Area.
The commissioning was performed on Monday by the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed.
Governor Wike said that a few months ago when he flagged off the road people thought it would be abandoned, but that today the road has been completed and commissioned.
According to the governor, all projects awarded by his administration would be completed before the end of his tenure, and no one project will be abandoned.
‘Some people say we have been commissioning projects in Port Harcourt and Obio Akpor Local Government Areas. That there are no projects in other local governments,’ he said.
‘This is Tai and it is in Ogoniland and we have projects here that we are commissioning now.
‘When we flagged off this road, so many were thinking that it will be one of the abandoned projects. I have said no contract awarded by our administration will be abandoned. All projects must be completed before we leave office.’
The governor berated a former Commissioner for Community and Chieftaincy Affairs for saying that there are no state development projects in Ogoniland.
‘One of the former Commissioners, who took Traditional Rulers’ kola incidentally, he is from this Local Government Area; he was telling people that there is no single project in the whole of Ogoniland,’ the governor said.
‘But, he is from this Local Government, you can see how people can tell lies simply because we did not bring him back (as Commissioner). But, we don’t want our kola to miss again. Those who cannot keep kola or give to those who own the kola, we cannot bring them back.
‘Look at this project; 10.3 km, and look at the communities. How will anybody say that we have never done anything for the people of Tai? How would anybody say we have no presence in Ogoniland?
‘This road was handled by a local contractor, Lubrik Construction Company Ltd, it’s Rivers’ company. I don’t play with road construction because I don’t want any road that will not last. This road, as you’ve seen it, will last,’ Wike stated.
Inaugurating the road, Bauchi Governor Mohammed applauded Governor Wike for delivering a quality road project that connects several communities to ease movement of rural dwellers.
Governor Mohammed said he feels proud to be a Nigerian anytime he sees how Governor Wike, in spite of imposing challenges, has continued to deliver democratic dividends to Rivers people.
‘When I see the quality of this road and the community where it is sited, in Ogoniland, traversing all these communities and the kind of good sermon given by the Local Government chairman, and even the Commissioner of Works, I felt elated that I am a Nigerian,’ he said.
‘This is so because here is a Nigerian, a governor, who has been able to deepen leadership, bringing people of capacity on board. Even using a local contractor to bring local content. This is the kind of Nigeria we need tomorrow. People who can lead and bring people on board with quality and capacity,’ he stated.
The Bauchi Governor described Governor Wike as the face of leadership among other governors and within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), saying he inspires all of them.
‘I am always happy to be associated with Governor Wike. It is not because he is the most pragmatic governor in Nigeria; it is not because he has always worn the toga of leadership; it is also not because he has always tried to satisfy his people and defiled all odds.
‘But, it is because of his capacity as the face of our party, the PDP. He is the face of leadership of the governors. He has always defied all difficult terrain, cancerous projects and programmes to be able to produce, and deliver to his people.
‘That has endeared him to me as a person since we meet in the cabinet. He is somebody who says the truth no matter the situation and no matter whose ox is gored. We need people like that in Nigeria,’ Governor Mohammed stated.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said the commissioned road traverses several communities including Barayira, Barale, Gboroba, Nonwa, Kira, Sime, and Eteo.
‘It used to be somewhat of glorified track road with multiple failed sections with attendant consequences. The people, their livelihoods and their vehicles, pockets, and time were affected.
‘But, today, through the instrumentality of the governor, we now have a good and motorable 10.3-kilometre long road, which is 7.3 metres wide with a drainage network of 5.7 kilometres,’ he explained.
The Chairman of Tai Local Government Area, Jacobson Nbina, expressed the gratitude of the Ogoni people to Governor Wike for keeping his promise to the people.