On Thursday, March 15, 2018, the Chairman of LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, was in Rivers State on the invitation of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Nda-Isaiah, by some top members of the management of the revered media organization, including Mr. Mike Okpere and Mrs. Mariam Ogbeh, was in Government House, Port Harcourt, to discuss business partnership between LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group and the Rivers State government.
The publisher and his management team came on the same day Wike assented to three bills recently passed into law by the Rivers State House of House, including the controversial Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Watch Law No. 8 of 2018.
Wike, in his usual characteristics, took Nda-Isaiah and his team on tour of projects, especially those in Port Harcourt, Eleme and Obio/Akpor local government areas of the state.
However, the management team was divided into two groups; one team made up of Nda-Isaiah and Okpere joined on the tour of project sites by the governor as well as the senator representing Rivers West district in the National Assembly, Senator Osinakachukwu ThankGod Ideozu and former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Precious Sekibo
The other team, led by Ogbeh were accompanied by nine members of the Rivers State Executive Council. The include; Commissioner for Information and Communication, Barrister Emma Okah; Commissioner for Transport, Chief Ibiba Walter and Commissioner for Housing, Chief Chinedu Tasie.
Others were the Commissioner for Health, Professor Princewill Chike; Commissioner for Education, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja; Commissioner for Works, Rt. Hon. Dumneme Dekor; Commissioner for Sports, Hon. Boma Iyaye; the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Tonye Briggs-Oniyide and the Special Adviser on Special Projects, Dax George Kerley.
Projects visited by the two teams include, the National Industrial Court complex, the Court of Appeal complex, the Alfred Diete-Spiff Sports Complex as well as the renovated and redesigned Produce House, all located in the Old GRA of Port Harcourt City local government area.
The teams also visited the Bonny-Nembe Jetty, the Creek Road, the Cultural Centre and the 24-block of flats as well as the construction work of Doctors’ Quarters and administrative block of the Braithwaithe Memorial Specialist Hospital and the Traditional Rulers Council complex, also located in Port Harcourt City local government area.
Other project sites visited by Nda-Isaiah include and his management team include, the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park and Restaurant, the Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta, Woji-Akpajo Road and Bridge, Slaughter-Trans-Woji Bridge, Judges’ Quarters, Mother and Child Hospital and the Rumuwoji (Mile One) Market.
The Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, the Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta, Slaughter-Trans-Woji Bridge, and the Judges’ Quarters, as well as Mother and Child Hospital, are located in Obio/Akpor local government area while the Rumuwoji (Mile One) Market is located in Port Harcourt City local government area.
However, the Woji-Akpajo Road and Bridge, which is almost completed, connects communities in Obio/Akpor and Eleme local government areas of the state as well as serves as a major link to the East-West Road.
To Mike Okpere, who spoke on behalf of LEADERSHIP Group, lauded Wike, who was recently nominated as “LEADERSHIP Newspapers’ Governor of the Year”, for turning Rivers State into a major construction site.
Okpere said, “These projects generate employment, they generate revenue and the create opportunities for the people.”
Speaking after the tour, Wike declared that the state government will commission several key projects between May and December 2018.
The governor stated that majority of the key projects under construction will come on stream in May, while others will be completed after the third anniversary.
He assured the people of Rivers State that his administration will never take the mandate of the people for granted, saying that he will continue to deliver pro-people projects.
Wike said, “From May to December, 2018, we shall be commissioning projects on a regular basis. I am happy with the quality and pace of work at the project sites.
“My joy is that we have lived up to the expectations of Rivers people and we have made our party, the PDP very happy. The projects will continue for the good of our people.”
To Barrister Emma Okah, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, the people of the state are gratified and excited over the recent visit of Nda-Isaiah, to the state.
Okah stated that the visit also afforded the publisher the opportunity to see the accomplishments of the Wiles led administration in the area of project execution.
The commissioner said, “We feel gratified; we are excited to have received him. At least, it has given him the opportunity to see what many others have seen. I think it may have also gone beyond what he watches on television and hears on radio, that he was able to come here and see for himself the peculiar accomplishments of the Rivers State government.
“It is heartwarming. I am happy that he saw things himself and agreed. The various awards that the governor had been bestowed with since 2016 and also the LEADERSHIP award which has also won. So, for us, seeing is believing. He came and he saw; I am happy that he believed that Governor Nyesom Wike is the best in Nigeria.”
He stated that for Nda-Isaiah, who is a member of an opposition party to come to the state and commend the Wike-led administration for its achievements, is invaluable to the people of the state.
Okah said, “Clearly, his coming to Rivers State shows that what you see is much better than what you hear. Being in the opposition political party, his opinion is weighty; weighty in the sense that he will like to be unbiased.
“For a man who is in another political party, to come and see things himself and accept that a governor from another political party has done outstandingly well, it is commendable. It is not just a commendation, this is a commendation coming from a very unusual corner.
“If you understand the politics in Nigeria, you hardly see those in the opposition taking good of the performances of those on the other side. For him to cone here and agree that Governor Nyesom Wike is the first among equals in terms of project execution, it is very invaluable to us.”