Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is, undoubtedly, in love with the Ogoni ethnic nationality. He is committed to the transformation of the area and the comprehensive empowerment of Ogoni people.
His love for the Ogoni is practical, without any form of deceit. As such, right from the time of campaigns for the governorship to his assumption of office as governor of Rivers State, Wike has established and maintained a functional communication channel with the leaders and people of the Ogoni ethnic nationality.
This functional communication channel has led to a symbiotic relationship between Wike and the Ogoni. It is, arguably, the most fruitful in the history of the state. While the Ogoni people are ever willing to support Wike every step of the way, the governor has reciprocated by always delivering on his campaign promises to the Ogoni people.
The Ogoni people appreciate the efforts of Wike, and the governor’s investments in the hitherto neglected area have kick-started a rebuilding process that the people have yearned for over the years.
On Wednesday, Wike embarked on a development visit to Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni land. This visit was aimed at consolidating the development projects already being executed by the Wike administration in Ogoni land and also set in motion the machinery for new projects.
It turned out to be an agenda setting visit, as Wike met with the future leaders of Rivers State, exchanged views with them, and agreed on the processes to be adopted to further develop Ogoni and the state.
From the traditional rulers and political leaders, who received the governor on the project sites of the Sakpenwa-Bori Road, to the school children at the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori, down to the students and staff of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori , the love for the governor’s commitment to the development of Ogoni land was palpable.
It was a day of celebration of the efforts of the governor to fully drive practical development in Ogoni land. It was a day when the reality of genuine development triumphed over the futility of propaganda. It was a day that a solemn commitment was made to carry forward the banner of development in Ogoni land, with Wike as the experienced driver.
Of course, the transformation of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, into a world class centre for the grooming of leaders formed the centrepiece of the engagement of Wike with the Ogoni people. As a fundamental way forward, the governor stated that his administration will work towards the accreditation of all the academic programmes of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori. According to him, the process to revive the polytechnic will start with the upgrade of the school’s workshops and laboratories.
Addressing the students of the polytechnic at the school’s auditorium, Wike stated that upon the improvement of the state’s internally generated revenue, his administration would establish a polytechnic in each senatorial district of the state to create more access to quality education. The governor explained that the establishment of the Port Harcourt Polytechnic was not an attempt to kill the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, as being peddled by political opponents. He said he was interested in the development of Ogoni and other parts of Rivers State.
Wike stated, “I make the solemn pledge to ensure the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic facilities are improved for the school to carry out its core mandate.
That is why I am here to inspect the school and thereafter improve her facilities.
“Having a polytechnic in another location will not remove the polytechnic here. We will extend the necessary grant to the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic for the improvement of her facilities, especially, workshops and laboratories.”
The governor noted that the state government had concluded plans to improve security in Bori and its environs. He warned the students to shun crime and embrace peace. He assured that his administration will pay the bursaries of students after verifying the list of benefitting students across the state.
Wike announced the confirmation of the appointment of the Acting Rector of the Bori polytechnic, Dr Oneniye -Ofori Georgewill, following the request of the students through their leadership. The governor also announced the donation of a Toyota Coaster bus to the Students Union Government of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic.
In his remarks, the chairman of the Governing Council of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Chief Adokiye Amaesimaka, commended the governor for his investments in the development of the institution.
Also speaking, president of the Students Union Government of the institution, Comrade Peter Dunobari, commended the governor for setting up a credible governing council and management that have improved basic amenities in the state institution.
At the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori, Wike assured the students that his administration will conclude work on the total rehabilitation of the school.
He said the laboratories and hostels of the school will be upgraded to the best of standards. He also said his administration will dualise the Sakpwenwa-Bori road.
While inspecting the Sakpwenwa-Bori road, Wike told Ogoni people that the state government will also install street lights from Sakpwenwa to Bori to give the area the facelift it deserves. “I am here to entrench good governance and not to play politics. Whatever I say I will do, that’s what I will do. I am free within this community because I keep all my promises,” the governor said.
The future for the Ogoni ethnic nationality is, certainly, bright. In Wike, they have a partner who will always be truthful to them. In Wike, they have a committed ally who will always give them their due in the development equation of Rivers State.
The days of the political propaganda merchants who did nothing but tell lies are gone. This is a new era, when the people must continue to enjoy the benefits of democracy. The person to deliver these projects is Wike. Like most people in Rivers State, Ogoni people are celebrating because Rivers State is new.
–– Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, writes from Port Harcourt.