By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said he has silenced his critics and the All Progressives Congress (APC) with numerous projects which are being Commissioned everyday in the state.
The Governor said this when he led the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, to inaugurate the Abonnema Ring Road in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the state on Thursday, challenged the APC to encourage its governors to show their projects like him.
The governor in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said reports that his administration refused to empower local contracting firms to handle projects are sheer falsehood.
Wike explained that some of the projects so far inaugurated by his government like the Semi-Nonwa -Kira Road was handled by Rivers construction firm, Lubrik Construction company, adding that the Abonnema Ring road was equally constructed by O.K Isokariari Construction Company, which is an indigenous construction company.
He said his administration was mindful of empowering Rivers people, encouraging and trusting them to handle some critical projects because he believed in their capacity.
According to him “Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have said I should mention those whom, locally, we have empowered. OK Isokariari Company is a Rivers Company. They did Phase One of Okochiri Road. They have also done this Abonnema Ring Road.
“Lubrik Construction Company Ltd is a local company too. As we go on, we will begin to mention them. Our own is not to develop others without developing our own people. I’m happy with the contractor. We will continue to engage you so that you’ll employ Rivers sons and daughters.
“You see how we have silenced them in the state. We commissioned projects until the 24th of December 202 . We have started this year since 4th January 2021. Let them tell their people to roll out their projects and call people.”
The governor insisted the PDP was different from APC because it always kept its promises to the people, delivered good governance and quality projects to satisfy the yearnings of the people.
He said: “For us, as a party and government, whatever promises we make we must fulfil them. We are not a party that promises and fail or gives excuses.
“We are a party that when we make a promise, we must fulfil the promise because we owe it to the people. That is why I have told our people, we have no choice, that the only hope this country has today is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”
Wike said the length of the ring road was not as important as its importance to the people, adding that the ring road served as an alternative route in and out of Abonnema and Obonoma towns.
He announced that the adjoining mangrove would be dredged to provide land to the people of Abonnema and Obonoma for future development.
“Having done this, the next thing for us to do is sand-filling so that they can have land to build on. I know how important land is to them.
“I therefore direct the Special Adviser on Special Projects to meet with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to make sure we award a contract of sand-filling of Abonnema-Obonoma areas”, he said.
Inaugurating the project, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, said by executing projects in the hinterland, Wike’s administration had demonstrated equity and justice to Rivers people.
He asked other governors and political leaders to be inspired by Wike’s achievements and replicate such development in their various states and the national level.
He said: “I believe it when I said that we should not be ashamed to say we are learning from our colleague on what to do. If we need help, we must seek help from whoever we can get help from and that’s the only way we can develop.”
Ekweremadu also enjoined the Federal Government to explore the possibility of getting assistance from foreign countries with capacity to protect the sovereignty of the country, its people and democracy.
He said: “Today, we are challenged as a country in terms of security. Out of sheer national pride, we have not been able to accept help and assistance from those who know better, who can help us to secure this country.
“This is an opportunity for me to call on our leaders, just like I am saying that other States should learn from Rivers State, we in Nigeria must also accept assistance from other countries in order to secure our boarders, secure our democracy, secure our place and secure the citizens of this country. That is the only way to go. We must learn from those who have done better than us.”
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said prior to the construction of the phase two of the ring road, there was only one entry route into Abonnema.