From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said discussions have been concluded on the commencement of construction work on the Trans-Kalabari Road, which would ease transportation difficulties experienced by the Kalabari people.
Governor Wike explained that he was deliberately embarking on critical projects that address the direct needs of Rivers people, stressing that he is determined to make the people happier than he met them on the assumption of office.
The governor made the explanation at the reception organised for the conferment of special chieftaincy title, Eze Gbuwara Uzor 1 of Ikwerre, on Sir Celestine Omehia, former Governor of Rivers State, at Isiopko Town in Ikwerre Local Government Area yesterday.
The governor said most Kalabari people had castigated his administration out of impatience, but they could see clearly that the Trans-Kalabari Road project has always been on the list of projects for construction before the end of his tenure.
‘I and the Deputy Governor, together with the Chairman of the Rivers State Elders Council, have agreed on how the Trans-Kalabari road will follow,’ he said.
‘Those, who said we don’t want to do anything in the Kalabari area, today, they are sending me text messages. They are thanking me and I said to them don’t thank me because their thanking me is temporary. They are not always stable.’
The governor said with several projects inaugurated in the various local government of the state, most critics who accused him of being sectional with his development programme were now ashamed and silenced.
Wike noted that ‘many people have said that I am discriminating in terms of projects. Now, when they saw us go to the various Local Governments to commission projects, they don’t say anything again. By February 10, 2021, we will start another round of project inauguration.
‘When we were doing Saakpenwa-Bori (Ogoni) Road, some politicians in our party were carrying propaganda. They were saying that we are not going to finish that road.
‘But they now have one of the best roads in the state. Some of them were even ashamed to watch it on television. We have also agreed that from Saakpenwa to Bori, we are awarding fresh contract to take it to Kono town. Which government has done that to anybody or town?
‘I have also told Isiopko people, don’t be impatient, Julius Berger Nigeria PLC is already taking measurement and we will link you up to Isiodu town.
‘To Aluu people, I have assured that we are linking them to Omagwa Town. We are almost ready to award the contract. When we make a promise, we must fulfil those promises.
‘No one project awarded by us will be left abandoned. I won’t leave any uncompleted project for my successor. I will leave office as a proud Ikwerre son who will feel satisfied that I made the people happy when I was governor.’
Governor Wike commended the people of Ikwerre local government for the courage to honour their son in recognition of his success in public office that has also impacted them positively.
‘I am a witness to this event. And what you’ve done today, shows that you know what is good. It shows that when somebody has done well, you can honour him when he is alive. When you honour a man when he is late, he doesn’t know if you’ve honoured him at all,’ the governor said.
‘I thank you for what you have done to Sir Celestine Omehia by honouring him with the chieftaincy title, as the Eze Gbuwara Uzor I of Ikwerre.
“Let me thank the Ikwerre Local Government Traditional Rulers Council for what they have done today to one of the illustrious sons of the Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality.’
The Chairman of the event and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara, said the Ikwerre Traditional Rulers Council acknowledged that it was a worthy act for them to honour Sir Omehia, who had served well in office and made his people proud.
He noted that the honour was a renewed call on Omehia to continue to use his position to foster peace in the area.
In his goodwill message, THE former Governor of Kastina State, Ibrahim Shema, lauded Governor Wike for his courage in bringing all Rivers people together to work with him in protecting and advancing the interest of the state.
He commended Omehia for not disappointing his people, but distinguishing himself in public life, thus prompting his people to publicly accord him special recognition with a chieftaincy title.
The Chairman of Rivers Elders Council, High Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed delight for being part of an event, where Omehia was been honoured.
He further described Omehia as an amiable person, who is humility personified.
On his part, Omehia expressed his joy to both traditional and political leaders, particularly former Rivers Governor Dr Peter Odili, who have contributed to his success in public office.
Omehia lent his voice to calls for the restructuring of Nigeria and good governance that would cement stronger unity and allow the country to actualise its full potentials.
The conferment of the chieftaincy title was at the instance of the Ikwerre Traditional Rulers Council headed by HRM, Eze Blessing Wagor, who decorated Omehia with his regalia, supported by other chiefs.