From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said Governor Nyesom Wike has made the State a model for development in Nigeria through his visionary leadership.
Nsirim made the statement at a day sensitisation programme with the theme: Wind of Change envisioned by the essay competition winner of the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign programme of the Ministry of Information and Communications in Port Harcourt, at the weekend.
He, therefore, urged people living and doing business in Rivers to continue to promote the advocacy campaign to change negative narrative about the State.
Nsirim appealed: “Let us join hands with Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to build a better Rivers State where young people can be assured that in terms of education, healthcare delivery, infrastructure and so on, their needs will served. These needed infrastructures will not be lacking and such a man deserves our support.
“When I say that Governor Wike is the number one governor, I say it with a deep sense of responsibility because we travel around the country and one can state without fear of contradiction that Governor Wike surpasses all of his contemporaries today.”
The commissiober said Governor Wike’s dream is to restructure Rivers State to a phase where youths would grow with the assurance that their future is secured.
He said: “I urge everyone living and doing business in the state to cooperate with the Governor to build a better Rivers State, making her the investors destination of choice.
“Every negative news that goes out of Rivers State affects our socioeconomic development and we believe that the time has come for us to come together to begin to support our visionary Governor who has changed the infrastructural landscape of the State.”
Nsirim noted that the early stages of the advocacy campaign hash tag OurStateOurResponsibility, which began with advocacy visits to various stakeholders, were geared towards changing the negative narrative about Rivers.
Nsirim said the advocacy campaign has registered huge success so far with the second phase which produced the winner of #OurStateOurResponsibility essay competition, Miss. Sophia Oyibo, who is currently the Ambassador of the Ministry.
He urged the youths to shun negative tendencies and cultivate the virtues of honesty, hardwork and integrity as the hallmark of greatness in society.
The commissioner said: “Part of what we want to achieve is to draw attention to those values that make a nation. Values of honesty, hardwork and integrity.
“We have come to a point in our national life that we have to address those values because they are the values that will create a new Nigeria.”
Also, state Deputy Governor, Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo, has urged youths to take advantage of the huge investments made by the Wike-led administration in education to improve themselves academically.
Banigo, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uchechukwu Oriri, reiterated that Wike’s administration has reintroduced boarding system in selected secondary schools across the three senatorial districts of the State, while new courses such as medicine have been instituted in RiversState University.
She described the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign initiative of the State Ministry of Information and Communications as a positive contribution to the development of Rivers youths.
She noted that the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign has made tremendous impact on changing the negative perception of outsiders about State.
The deputy governor, therefore, called on other ministries, departments and the public sector to emulate the Ministry of Information and Communications and chat a future for youths of the State.
She expressed delight that the event was initiated by a girl-child who distinguished herself among her peers to emerge winner of the essay competition.
Also speaking, the Head of Service of Rivers State, Mr. Rufus Godwins commended the Ministry of Information and Communications for the initiative of carrying out the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign programme which he said had made positive impact on changing the negative narrative about Rivers.
He urged people of the State to have positive thoughts on how to better the lot of the State by propagating the benefits of the developmental strides of the State Government.
In her keynote speech, the convener of the sensitisation programme and ambassador of the State Ministry of Information and Communications, 18 years old Miss Oyibo, urged Rivers youths to utilise their talents maximally for the promotion of the State.
She said: “Think what you can do for Rivers State, be productive, contribute, be innovative, the Government can not do it only on their own.”