By Henry Umahi
It is no longer news that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is called “Mr. Project” owing to his accomplishments in infrastructure development. What is news today is that going by his focused leadership, industry and tact, he has earned the sobriquet “Miracle Worker,” delivering “dividends of democracy” to his people even at difficult times.
An accomplished performer, everyone agrees that Wike has taken his state to greater heights in terms of social and infrastructure development in the last six years. His achievements are legion.
He has revitalized and fortified the primary healthcare system, restored and rehabilitated the long-abandoned general hospitals, established a medical school in the state’s university, restored and upgraded the Schools of Health Science and Technology as well as that of Midwifery. The icing on the cake is the world class 132-bed Mother and Child Hospital at Rumuomasi, and the construction of numerous flyover bridges across Port Harcourt to make commuting easy.
One of Wike’s most outstanding interventions in sports development is the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, which is aimed at exposing young people to the best that football can offer. And knowing that a hungry man is an angry man, Wike has ensured the completion of Rivers State Cassava Processing Plant with the capacity to process 45, 000mt of cassava tubers into 12,500mt of high quality cassava flour, among others.
The Rivers governor has constructed/reconstructed several kilometres of roads, flyovers and other projects. They include Rumuwoji Market, Rivers State University, Ogbum-na-Abali Fruit Garden Market, dualisation of Birabi street, Government Secondary School, Ubima, Justice Ichendu (Elelenwo-Akpajo road), Government Craft Development Centre and Bonny Street.
Others are Adaka Boro/Elliot Henry streets, Woji Road, Obagi street, Aker Base road, Rumuolumeni, now renamed Chief Orabule Adele road, the 10.3km Sime-Nonwa-Kira road in Tai Local Government Area of the State, and the 16.6km dualised Saakpenwa-Bori highway, which cuts across Tai, Khana and Gokana local government areas of the state, among many others.
The people of Opobo will never forget Wike for building the first ever asphalt road to the community. It is a several kilometres road with multiple bridges.
Last year, Wike taught the world how to keep people safe from COVID-19. Nigerians will remember his travel restrictions and the closure of Rivers State borders to ensure Coronavirus didn’t rear its ugly head in the state. He followed this up with effective lockdown. The low record of Coronavirus in Rivers State was a proof of the effectiveness of his “keep Rivers Safe” strategy.
It is for these reasons and many more that Wike is The Sun MAN OF THE YEAR, 2020.