Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Thousands of residents of Old Port Harcourt Township trooped out wednesday to witness the inauguration of Creek Road and Bishop Johnson Street by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, as part of activities marking his third year in office.
This is as the governor renamed Creek Road after the former First lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
The two roads had been impassable for years until Wike undertook their reconstruction.
Renaming Creek Road after Mrs Jonathan, Wike announced that the former first lady was chosen because of her support and encouragement for the development of the state.
He stated: â€œOur mother, Mrs Jonathan, is a woman who has supported us. We recognise her because of her contributions, we recognise her because of her support for the development of the state. It is on this note that I rename this road, Mrs. Patience Jonathan Road.â€
The governor said the reconstruction of the road was in fulfilment of his campaign pledge to the people of Port Harcourt Township.
He said: â€œWhen we were campaigning, we assured the people that we will deliver this important road. All of us know how this road was before the reconstruction. Borokiri and township roads were in very deplorable conditions before we came on board.
â€œIt was as if Borokiri and township were no longer part of Port Harcourt. To the glory of God, this road has come back to life.â€
He charged the residents of the area and traders to cooperate with the Rivers State Government to ensure the maintenance of the road.
He warned against trading on the street, using the street as mechanic workshops and the indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Inaugurating the Mrs. Jonathan Road, National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, commended Wike for the transformation of the state.
He said the former Creek Road is a critical road to the economy of Port Harcourt as it links neighbouring countries for business transactions.
â€œFor 38 years, this road was left to rot. Previous administrations neglected the road. The road was completely destroyed. The governor has done this major project not only for Port Harcourt, but for the riverine communities,â€ Secondus said.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Orukwem Oparaeli, said the people of the area appreciate Wike for his outstanding developmental strides.
The Commissioner of Works, Hon. Dumnamene Dekor, said the road projects were constructed in line with approved specifications for the benefit of the people.
The celebration reached its crescendo as Wike; Secondus; Former Minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo and Senator Lee Maeba joined by thousands of residents and trekked from Dame Patience Jonathan Road (Former Creek Road) to Bishop Johnson Street for the second inauguration.
Along the five kilometres road, residents lined the route singing the praise of Wike. The governor stopped on two occasions to chat with students of two different schools who were on the road to appreciate his good works.
Inaugurating the Bishop Johnson Street, Wike said his administration would continue to make the people happy through the sustained delivery of projects.
He thanked the people for giving them him their mandate for service, noting that this is the time for him to repay them.
The governor said the entire township roads would be revived as the administration has directed Julius Berger to reconstruct more roads in the area.
He said the federal government spends valuable time on trading blame, rather than delivering development.
Wike said Rivers resources would be used strictly for the development of the state.
In appreciation of the reconstruction of the Mrs Jonathan Road and Bishop Johnson Street, hundreds of former APC members defected to the PDP.