From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike says he would begin to commission roads and other projects in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State from January 2021 to shame critics who have accused him of concentrating development in Port Harcourt alone.
Governor Wike gave that assurance on Monday during the commissioning of Emeyal, Elelenwo and General Diriyal Streets, all located in the new GRA Phase 2 in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State.
The roads were commissioned by the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Finitri.
Governor Wike explained that the expansion and reconstruction of the three roads located in Eligbam and Rumuodalu communities was part of the urban renewal programme of his administration.
According to him, property in the areas have been improved and their value enhanced.
‘Today, if you come here in the night you’ll think it’s one of the areas in advanced countries. So, we are very grateful that the communities gave us support and gave the contractors the support without any inhibition. This job was done and met the specifications with drainage all through.
‘Let me warn some of you who have abandoned where there is market [sic] and those who say you’re Bureau-de-Change people, nobody must trade along these roads,’ the governor warned.
The governor also stated that projects have been lined up for inauguration from the beginning of 2021 as proof that his administration was not tired of working for the state and fulfilling every promise made.
Governor Wike said the Opobo-Andoni Unity road is now ready for commissioning in January 2021, and this will enable the people to drive directly to the Island 150 years after it was founded.
‘I hear they are going to celebrate their 150 years as Opobo nation. They have never seen roads in their life. But, today, by the grace of God, they are going by road. And by January, we are going there to commission the road leading to Opobo directly, no more going by water.’
Speaking further, Governor Wike said the street light on the 16km Sakpenwaa-Bori road was switched on Sunday night and everywhere went agog because the people were happy about what they saw. According to him, the road has been stretched further by another 20km to Kono Town.
Governor Wike also said his administration has constructed a ring road for the people of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.
He enjoined critics of his administration to visit local governments in the state and to ascertain whether there are projects or not.
Inaugurating the three roads, Adamawa Governor Fintiri noted that Governor Wike had committed himself to advance the quality of life of his people with his landmark projects and making a difference that is unprecedented and hard to be equalled.
He also acknowledged Governor Wike as an irrepressible democrat who has continued to demonstrate uncommon vision and rare courage in working for the Rivers people, as well as advancing the unity of Nigeria.
‘It is really a rare privilege to commission landmark projects in Port Harcourt, the heartbeat of the South-South.
‘I am here on the basis that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the irrepressible democrat, who has demonstrated an uncommon vision and rare courage in working for the Rivers people and advancing the unity of our country.
‘Nowhere has Governor Wike demonstrated this than in the constant and consistent liaison with his fellow colleague governors such as my humble self in the North.
‘Let me assure the government and good people of Rivers State that the difference that Wike is making in Rivers State is unprecedented and can hardly be equalled,’ Fintiri declared.
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said the roads have been reconstructed under the Rivers State Government Urban Renewal Programme.
‘All the roads have street lights, marked for better traffic management. Elelenwo Streets used to be 7.8 metres wide. But, now, it is 12 metres wide. Emeyal Street was 8 metres wide, single lane; but, it is now 14.6 metres wide, dual carriage. General Diriyal Street was 5.8 metres wide but now 7.3metres wide. These improvement and expansion have been necessitated by increase vehicle count.’