By Ernest Chinwo in Rivers State
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has announced its acceptance of the olive branch extended to members of the opposition by Governor Nyesom Wike.
The party said it has accepted to work with the governor for the overall interest of the state.
Addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt Monday on behalf of elected and appointed members of APC in Rivers State, the senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Andrew Uchendu, said the party believes the governor was sincere in his offer even though they were yet to see any evidence of the olive branch.
Uchendu said: “On April 17, 2019, the world woke up to a live broadcast by His Excellency, Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike, CON, Governor, Rivers State in which he extended his hand of fellowship to Rivers people, including all political parties which have been engaged in the struggle for power to guarantee a better life for the people of Rivers State.
“About two weeks have passed since this broadcast was made and as stakeholders in the Rivers project, we have waited with bated breath in the hope that we would see deliberate actions arising from that broadcast geared towards rebuilding our state and restoring the dignity of every Rivers person.
“Although we are yet to see indications of any intent in this direction, we are still resolved not to give up. We believe Governor Wike is very sincere in this initiative. It is for this reason that we want to commend Governor Wike’s call for collaboration and peaceful coexistence.
“Happily enough, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, in his Easter message re-echoed Governor Wike’s position on the fact that Rivers State has suffered enough and that every true son and daughter should be prepared to make the necessary sacrifice for the return of peace in our land. His clarion call, we hope, is one that should signal the end of politicking and the beginning of governance.
“It is our considered opinion that Rivers people must now become the centre of all politics and governance. We cannot continue to toy with the lives of our people or take them for granted any longer. A key indicator of good governance is the return of peace and security in the state.”
The senator advised Wike to borrow from the experience of his predecessor and Minister of Transportation, Amaechi, to tackle insecurity by investing massively in the security sector of the state.
He said: “Thankfully, Governor Wike can draw from the experience of his predecessor, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who inherited a state that was plagued by massive insecurity and infrastructural decay but within the first few years of his administration had addressed these challenges and set the state on the path of recovery.
“Then, Governor Wike was the Chief of Staff (CoS) and can attest to the massive investments in men and materials by former Governor Amaechi in the security sector to enable the state gain respite.
“As it stands today, life in Rivers State has become brutish and worthless with kidnapping and killings occurring daily. This is the narrative our reformed governor must change.
“We can offer some more areas of immediate intervention: revitalisation of the C4i Security architecture of the previous administration; rehabilitation of sons and daughters that are roaming the streets of foreign lands because of the cancellation or stoppage of their scholarship awards.
“Re-activation of the Greater Port Harcourt Project and completion of some of the laudable pro-people projects embarked upon by the administration of the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. These done, we can expect to begin to see some changes.”
He emphasised: “Let us assure Governor Wike that the All Progressives Congress has never and will never shy away from doing all it can to ensure a more secured, purposeful and prosperous Rivers State. Indeed this has been our ethos and mantra ever since we began elections. We abhor the thought not to mention the fact that any Rivers resident should be killed. We therefore join our voices to the call for a peaceful and united Rivers State.”