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Rivers: Issues As Wike Returns For Another Term

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, is among state governors in Nigeria who were reflected for a second term in office on the March 9, 2019 Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

From May 29, 2015 when he was sworn in for his first term, Wike has not hidden his desire to change the landscape of Rivers State with people-oriented and purpose-driven projects.

In the area of security of lives and property, Rivers State has turned out as Nigeria’s centre of conferences, international meetings  and  religious  programmes under the Wike-led administration, because of the secure environment. This secure environment  is the outcome of the high level investments in the relevant  architecture by Wike.

The governor initiated and signed into law the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism law passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly. The law gave the security agencies the legal instrument to tackle kidnappers and cultists.

To strengthen the security architecture of the state; Wike, since assumption of office on May 29, 2019, has distributed over 300 security  vans to all the security agencies in the state  to fight crime.

The present administration also procured six armoured personnel carriers, while 50 broken down armoured personnel carriers have been rehabilitated by the Rivers State government for use of security agencies.

The administration restored and sustained monthly subvention to security agencies. To improve marine security, Wike procured and handed over eight security gunboats to the Nigerian Navy.

In provision of healthcare, Wike worked towards creating  a comprehensive healthcare that caters for the needs of the people of the state. The administration invested in the improvement of health facilities and services across the state, while taking care of the welfare of professionals in the sector.

An ultramodern Doctors Quarters at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) which the Vice President laid its foundation for construction, have been completed.

Also, the BMSH is being reconstructed to serve as the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and for better service to the people. The governor released $4million for the purchase and installation of modern equipment at the tertiary health facility..

The Wike-led administration established a College of Medical Sciences at the Rivers State University.

In order to guarantee that more residents of  Rivers State have access to quality healthcare, the governor flagged off a private hospitals loan scheme (PHLS).

The Wike administration embarked on an unprecedented rehabilitation of secondary healthcare facilities across the state. The immediate past administration led by Amaechi paid attention to the development of primary health centres in communities in the state, thereby neglecting the General Hospitals.

In line with the vision of the governor to create access to quality healthcare for the people of Rivers State, the present administration embarked the total rehabilitation of 13 General  Hospitals.

The hospitals include: General Hospital Omoku, General Hospital Nchia, General Hospital, Abua, General Hospital Isiokpo, General Hospital Abonnema, General Hospital Okirika and General Hospital Opobo.

Others were: General Hospital Bodo, General Hospital Ngo, General Hospital Buguma, Psychiatric Hospital Rumuigbo, General Hospital Emohua and General Hospital Eberi.

Aside the development of physical  infrastructure in health facilities  across the state, the Wike administration recruited qualified medical  professionals  to help the state government strengthen access to quality healthcare.

The ultra-modern Mother and Child Hospital in Port Harcourt has been completed and commissioned.  The hospital was a joint project between the Rivers State government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), until the governor terminated the joint  ownership agreement with the NDDC so as to allow speedy completion of the project.

On roads, Wike created a niche for himself in the area of delivery of road infrastructure in Rivers State. All the three senatorial districts of the state benefitted from the present administration’s road delivery scheme in the last four years.

Although some of the roads projects are still ongoing, no fewer than 350 kilometers of roads have been delivered by Wike.Some of the roads completed or under construction are key to the rapid development of the  benefitting communities.

The dualisation of the Sakpenwa-Bori Road, which cuts across Tai, Gokana and Khana local government areas and links neighbouring Andoni and Opobo local government areas of the state, remains the present administration’s greatest gift to the people of Ogoni ethnic nationality.

The road is also a key facilitator of economic activities as the milestone completion  already attained has improved  the  fortune  of the people.

The Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road, which was started by the past administration of former Governor Peter Odili and continued by the immediate past administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is one of the most important roads since the creation of Rivers State, over 50 years ago.

This road links the prominent riverine communities of Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro local government areas to the rest of Rivers State, through Khana local government area.

It is a road with economic and social significance to the riverine  populations.

The Woji-Akpajo Bridge, a project that was initiated by the immediate past administration in the state, was recently completed by the Wike administration. The completion of the bridge further proved the governor’s commitment to completing key projects inherited by his administration, which were relevant to the development of the people of the state.

The Wike-led administration also completed the Abuluoma -Woji Road and Bridge, which was also initiated by the immediate past administration in the state.

In the area of Justice administration, the creation of Access to Justice is considered the most important achievement  of the Wike-led administration  As at May 29, 2015, the courts in Rivers State were closed for over two years by the immediate past administration.

The governor opened the courts, swore in the State Chief Judge and President of Customary Court of Appeal and granted financial autonomy to the  judiciary. Deliberate steps have been taken to improve judicial infrastructure in Rivers State.

The Wike administration rehabilitated several courtrooms across the State, including the High Court complex, the State Customary Court of Appeal complex and other customary courts in Etche, Omuma, and Okrika.

The Rivers State government also built and commissioned an ultra-modern Law Centre for the Port Harcourt Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). The present administration built an donated a court building to the Federal High Court and reconstructed the Court of Appeal complex in Port Harcourt.

The Wike-led administration also constructed an donated a court building to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. The ultra-modern purpose-built facility with very spacious, adequately furnished courtrooms, chambers and sanitary facilities for the comfort and convenience of judges, lawyers, litigants and members of the public.

National Industrial Court of Nigeria is a five storey building occupying a total floor area of 920 square metres, with four court rooms, judges’ chambers, car parks, lifts and all other facilities that fully guarantee the comfort, functionality and safety of the court and its personnel.

The Rivers State Judges Quarters, embarked upon by the present administration is nearing completion. The quarters consists of 20 units fully detached five bedroom duplexes, service quarters in planned and landscaped serene  environment.

In the education sector, Wike took profound steps to resuscitate the education sector in the state. From primary to tertiary education, sustained investments were made leading to marked improvements.

The administration reintroduced boarding secondary education in the state. This led to the total rehabilitation and expansion of facilities at selected schools in the three senatorial districts.

The schools that were rehabilitated include: Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta; Government Secondary School, Ogu; Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori  and Nyemoni Grammar School, Abonnema.

The administration reconstructed, remodelled and upgraded the Government Secondary School, Abua, Western Ahoada County Grammar and Government Secondary School, Okarki.

The present administration supported over 238 secondary schools in the state with science laboratory equipment and N200,000 each for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE).

The equipment were distributed as  part of the government’s efforts to reposition education in the state. The governor had release intervention funds to aid the registration of students in public schools for the SSCE.

The rehabilitation and equipment of primary schools in Rivers State have taken place in all 23 local government areas of the state and this project was driven by the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

Through dedicated funding, well oriented policies and proactive engagement with the Rivers State University (RSU), Wike was able to fast track development at the university and stabilise the development process in the institution.

The RSU was one of the first beneficiaries of the governor’s massive intervention in the education sector of the state. In his inauguration address at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on May 29, 2015, Wike re-instated lecturers of the university sacked by the immediate past administration in the state.

Wike also paid the outstanding emoluments of the sacked lecturers and completed the Dr Nabo Graham Douglas Ultra-modern Faculty of Law building, which has enhanced the teaching of law in the school. This faculty building  was abandoned for close to two decades.

During the 28th Convocation ceremony of the Rivers State University, the governor initiated the College of Medical Sciences of the institution and flagged off the construction of the College Building, which has been completed and commissioned.

The Wike-led administration also  embarked on some special projects with the aim of improving  quality  of life in the state.

The special  projects include; Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, the State Ecumenical Centre, the Rumuokoro Market and Bus Park, Emmanuel Aguma (Produce) House, Waterlines, the Diete Spiff Civic Centre and Mile One Market. These projects have improved the lives of the people and created  employment opportunities.

On sports, the Wike-led administration invested in the development sports, sports facilities and the empowerment of Sports professionals. The administration upgraded  and completed facilities at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for the hosting of international football matches.

The state hosted the Under-23 National Football team  qualifying matches, hosted the Super Eagles against Niger national team and the Ivory Coast national team versus Sierra Leone.

Polo and Golf received the deserved attention, leading to  the growth of these sports in the past four years.. The West African Tour was at the Port Harcourt Club, Golf Section, from May 12 to 15, 2016.

The 2017 Major Polo Tournament was held in Port Harcourt with the support of the Rivers State government. In April 2017, the Rivers Golden Jubilee Polo Competition was sponsored by the state government.

Wike merged Sharks and Dolphin Football Clubs to form Rivers United and Rivers United became an instant success.

In 2016, Rivers United won a ticket  to represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League. Today, Rivers United has continued to represent Nigeria in CAF-organised international competitions.

The State Female team, Rivers Angels, won the 2015/2016 Nigeria Women Premier League and the 2016 Women Federation Cup. The first ever Nyesom-Wike Wrestling Competition was held in Port Harcourt in 2017 with Team Bayelsa squaring it with Team Rivers.

Rivers Golden Jubilee Wrestling Tournament  also entrenched the sport across  the state.

The West African Wrestling Tournament was held in 2018 while the African Senior Badminton Championship was hosted by the Rivers State government in Port Harcourt in April 2019.

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