Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the non-stop inauguration of completed projects in the State has silenced critics, and members of the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governor Wike stated this at the commissioning of Abonnema Ring Road in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers, by the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday.
He said instead of the opposition to address how they can encourage their APC governors to roll out projects for inauguration as done by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governors, they were hiding under the guise of speaking for local contracting firms.
Wike described allegation that his administration has refused to empower local contracting firms to handle project construction as sheer falsehood.
The governor said some of the projects that have been inaugurated this week like the Sime-Nonwa-Kira Road was handled by Rivers construction firm, Lubrik Construction Company, while the Abonnema Ring road was done by O.K Isokariari Construction Company.
According to him, his administration was mindful of empowering Rivers people, encouraging and trusting them to handle some critical projects because he believes in their capacity.
He said: “Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have said I should mention those whom, locally, we have empowered. O.K. Isokariari Company is a Rivers company. They did phase one of Okochiri road. They have also done this Abonnema Ring road.
“Lubrik Construction Company Limited 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 am happy with the contractor. We will continue to engage you, so that you will employ Rivers sons and daughters.
“You see how we have silenced them in the state. We commissioned projects until the 24th of December, 2020 . We have started this year since 4th January, 2021. Let them tell their people to roll out their projects and call people”.
The governor said the PDP is different from APC because it always keeps its promises to the people; delivers good governance and quality projects that satisfy the yearnings of the people.
Wike stated: “For us, as a party and government, whatever promises we make we must fulfil them. We are not a party that promises and fails 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 People’s Democratic Party (PDP)”.
Rivers governor said it was not the length of the ring road that matters, but its importance to the people.
He stated that the ring road now serves 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 that they can use for future development.
He said: “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 Rivers State Government (SSG) to make sure we award a contract of sand-filling of Abonnema-Obonoma areas”.
Former Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu, said by executing projects in the hinterland land other than the city, the Wike-led administration has demonstrated equity and justice to Rivers people.
He noted that the lessons to be learnt from the series of project inauguration in Rivers by governors and other political leaders, should be for them to get inspired and replicate such development in their various States and at the national level.
Ekweremadu 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”.
Former Deputy Senate President also enjoined the federal government to explore the possibility of getting assistance from foreign countries that have such capacity in order to protect the sovereignty of the country, its people and democracy.
He noted: “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”.
The Commissioner of 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, Rivers State.
He explained that the phase of the project, which was initiated by Governor Wike-led administration now serves as alternate route.