- Plans to blackmail governor failed, Rivers’ elders allege
By Ugo Aliogo
Former Secretary General of the Comminwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has declared that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike deserves The Sun Governor of the Year 2016 award because of his outstanding performance.
Presenting the award to Wike in Lagos at the weekend in Lagos, Anyaoku applauded the governor for placing development projects on the priority list of his government.
He said: “This is clearly a most deserving award. Wike has been in the news for good reasons. We know Wike is working. I learnt that his nickname is Mr. Projects.
“I have been asking questions and I was told the number of projects that he has executed in Rivers State. And I did ask him while we sat together, how he was able to raise funds for all these projects
“He told me that he manages to do all these projects through prudent management. Today, it gives me great pleasure to hand over this award to a most deserving awardee.”
Speaking on the award given to Wike, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, expressed happiness that the governor is getting global acclaim for his outstanding delivery of projects.
Akpabio said: “My advise to Wike is that he should continue with his good works. He should keep the pace. Today, Wike is identified with progress. He is committed to delivering projects to the good people of Rivers State and he has remained focused despite the distractions.
“Your Excellency, the world is praying for you, Nigerians are praying for you. Despite the distractions, despite the negative propaganda, you have remained focused. I urge the good people of Rivers State to continue to support you.”
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr. Jones Onyereri said Wike has set the right example for other governors to follow.
He noted that such high level performance will attract more members to the party.
Responding during a reception held in his honour in Lagos, Wike assured the people of the state that the tempo of projects delivery will be stepped up.
He said he would continue to count on the support of the people , pointing out that he will never disappoint them.
The governor said: “Without the support of the people, I wouldn’t have been governor. Based on projects, we will continue to win this award because we have increased the tempo of projects execution.
“I am always thinking of projects. When I talk with my wife, I talk projects. When she cooks for me, she cooks projects. My wife has made today possible be giving me the desired peace at home, so I can concentrate on building a New Rivers State.
“When you have the entire political class in your state supporting you, you have no excuse than to perform. This award is a challenge to us to continue to perform.”
The reception held in honour of Wike after his enthronement as Sun Governor of the Year 2016 was attended by members of the National Assembly, former governors,
Meanwhile, a socio-political group, Rivers Elders Consultative Council, alleged that plans by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to blackmail the Wike, has failed.
Speaking with THISDAY in Lagos yesterday, the elders said Amaechi was to take advantage of the burial of the late state Commissioner of Police to address a press conference to blackmail Wike and also misrepresent the security situation in state.
The Executive Secretary of the elders’ council, Chief Granville Abiye Georgewill, who said he was speaking on behalf of the group, described Amaechi’s planned press conference targeted to discredit Wike as childish and petty.
“It is worrisome that, in spite of the efforts of the government and people of the state to work together for a united, peaceful and progressive Rivers State, Amaechi is permanently and continuously hatching and promoting divisive tendencies, and deep seated hatred against Wike, who has in the past one and a half years shown capacity in governance, and above all love to all persons, irrespective of political affiliations, in order to promote unity and foster development in the state,” he said.
The elders, who further recalled how during the state visit of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo a few days ago, Amaechi had organised a parallel stakeholders meeting after the entire state had honoured the visiting acting president, urged the minister to reconsider his ways and shun the tendency to pull down fellow Rivers people who are making meaningful contributions to the development of the state.
They also reminded him that the state expects a lot from him and the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led federal government, advising him to focus on how to advance the cause of development in the state and stop chasing the shadows of Wlke.
The elders further warned that the peace loving people of Rivers State will no longer tolerate what the statement described as deliberate acts of sabotage against the interests of the government and people of the state from anyone, no matter how highly placed, maintaining that “as enough is enough.”
Also reacting, a civic society activist, Sampson Kole, came hard on Amaechi, describing him as a vindictive man, who has no reason to envy Wike because he was a recipient of the same SUN award in recent past.
In another development, Rivers Support Initiative has reacted to the allegation by Amaechi that the governor hired150 rooms in Eko Hotel for guests during the award ceremony in Lagos at the weekend.
In a statement in Port Harcourt and signed by the Secretary-General of the group, Mr. Collins Enyinda, he condemned the minister’s new antics of permanently attacking Wike.
Enyinda described the attitude of the minister as not only unacceptable to the people of the state but distracting the governor whom he said is performing.
“How can a person wake up to the figment of his imagination to raise such unfounded accusation?” the group wondered.
“Our people will no longer tolerate a man who has since abandoned his people without even a hurt in his village,” he said.