Governor Rotimi Amaechi
Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said despite comments by detractors against his government, God will continue to fight for him to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
Amaechi, who spoke Sunday night at a special thanksgiving service to dedicate the state to God at the main bowl of the Alfred Diete Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, said his administration would continue to depend on God as it strive tirelessly to build a new state and better the lives of the people.
He noted that his ascension to power as governor of the state was divinely orchestrated, and therefore, he has nothing to fear, especially over those who are bent on pulling him down.
“We need to tell our critics that development is not only about roads, but the projects that impact on the lives of the poor. What about education, health, power, water? But unto God, every day is thanksgiving, I am ready for a debate with all those who criticise what we have done in the state.
“They should come and tell us what they have done with the position they held. I am open to debate with all those people and I will show what I have done”. God will fight for me. When you have God, all those who are fighting you are nowhere and can never defeat or harm you,” he stated.
Amaechi, who recalled that his obedience and closeness to God at the time he was robbed of his governorship mandate in 2007 gave him victory in the apex court, “I didn’t depend on anything or anyone, but I depended only on God, and asked God that there must be a reason for me becoming governor of this state, and the first thing God said I should do was that majority of Rivers people that are poor, God will use me to better their lives.”
“So if I stand on the pulpit, the first thing I remember which God told me is that, I should ensure that Rivers money gets to the poor, but he didn’t say I should share the money, if I had done that, God should have dropped me long ago. God wanted me to embark on social projects that will impact positively on the lives of the people,” he added.
While taking stock of his achievements, Amaechi said his administration had fixed the Port-Harcourt-Owerri road (which is a federal road), including the Eleme flyover, the Elekahia-Rumumasi road, dualisation of Ikwerre road with street lights, the Olu-Obasanjo by-pass, Nkpogu road (now Azazi road).
Amaechi also disclosed that the reconstruction of Trans Amadi road would gulp N48 billion and that so far, N5 billion had been paid, while another N5 billion would be released soonest for the contractors to commence work.
“When I came, the Port Harcourt, Owerri Road was bad, I drove along that road on Saturday on my way back from Abuja, the road has almost been completed, it belongs to the federal government, and we have done it with Rivers money, if they like they refund the money, but if they don’t, it is not important to me any longer, and I will never fight that. They should just pay us,” Amaechi said.
“The same thing happened at Eleme junction, there was no flyover, after work commenced on the construction of the flyover, I sent General Bello to remain there everyday to ensure that people were not robbed, the Elekahia-Rumumasi road was very narrow, they said, no man can bring Ikwerre man’s house down, I brought them down and expanded the road, Mile One had no streetlights, it was bad, I fixed the road with lights,” he said.
On health, Amaechi said out of 160 health centres promised the people, 120 had already been completed with qualified medical doctors and nurses.
Speaking further on education, the governor said: “When I came, I met 1,300 primary schools, they where all six classroom blocks, but now, we have started building 14 classroom blocks, I didn’t see sanitary infrastructures, there was no public toilet, in fact, I went to Army Primary School in GRA, and asked them when you want to go to toilet where do you go, and they replied me, we either go to the bush or we run home, but if you go to our primary schools, we have a minimum of 16 toilets.”
Amaechi said the dedication and thanksgiving service was an initiative of his wife, Judith, that there was need to set aside a day to thank God with the people of the state to seek God’s intervention in the rapid social transformation of the state, promising that his administration would sponsor either an Executive bill or Private member bill to the state House of Assembly to declare January 27 of every year a day of dedication and thanksgiving to God in Rivers State.
Earlier, Rev. Uma Ukpai and General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, and other clergymen gave the sermon, had prayed and dedicated Rivers State to God.