Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has described the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike as a refinerâ€™s fire ad a fullerâ€™s soap because of the massive delivery of quality projects, and called on the people of the state to give him a second chance for diligently transforming the state.
The speaker spoke weekend in Port Harcourt when he inaugurated the Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway and Bridge, a major inter-change between three local government areas of Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt and Eleme.
He said: â€œThis governor is a consummation of excellence. I wonder who to compare him to. He is a representative of a refinerâ€™s fire and a fullerâ€™s soap. A refinerâ€™s fire separates impurities from the gold and leaves the gold intact. Refinerâ€™s fire brings out the best. A fullerâ€™s soap removes dirt and leaves the cloth sparkling clean. I am exceedingly proud of what Wike has done. He will continue to purify and refine Rivers State.
â€œTo the people of Rivers State, I know you are smart people. I will not tell you what to do. But you know what you should do. When a man has done this much to transform your state, you know what you should do moving forward. Do it.â€
He congratulated the people of the state for their luck in having Wike, who is thriving in excellence.
The Speaker noted that though he belongs to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a parliamentarian, the entire country is his constituency, adding that only tribalists are restricted to their tribes and political parties.
According to him, democracy has no place for tribalists, because they do not value performance.
â€œWe bear witness to what Wike has done in this state. I wonder why someone will look at this project and say nothing exists. If that is the case, the person is a tribalist. In some other states, projects of the nature of Woji-Elelenwo Dual Carriageway would be celebrated for weeks. As citizens, we celebrate excellence and we must celebrate Governor Wikeâ€, the Speaker said.
Dogara also stated that in view of the developmental nature of the major projects outlined by Wike, President Muhammadu Buhari would honour the invitation of Rivers State Government to inaugurate projects in the state.
In his remarks, Wike, stated that Nigeria needs democracy dividends and not party politics, adding that he asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives to inaugurate the road because pro-people projects transcend inter-party rivalry.
The governor said there was an attempt to distract the State Government, noting that the Federal Government has once again excluded the state in the refund of state funds used for federal projects.
Speaking further, he noted that the Mother and Child Hospital, Saakpenwa-Bori Road and Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road would be inaugurated by President Buhari, stressing that the projects would not be inaugurated until the President is available to do so.
On the road, Wike said though the road was awarded in 2009, the previous administration failed to fund it, leading to its abandonment in 2012.
â€œThis project is very useful. That is why we chose to complete it.
There was no road here at the time we came. We completed the road and the bridge.
We have paid the contractor up to 95 per cent.
â€œThis road is an alternative route to Trans-Amadi-Slaughter Road. Ordinarily, we would have tolled it, but due to our love for the people, we will not toll it,â€ Wike said.
He said the road was awarded by the previous administration at N3 billion and revalued by the same former administration to N11 billion before his administration took office. He assured the people of Rivers State that he would never disappoint them.
Rivers State Works Commissioner, Mr. Dum Dekor said the road was constructed on a swampy area, with a beautiful flyover, streetlights, an under-pass and a 750 metre bridge.