Wednesday, June 23, 2021 11:14 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says the killing of Rivers people by the Nigeria military in Abonnema Town during 2019 general election has not dampened the resolve of the people to always defend the nation’s democracy.
The Rivers State Governor was speaking at the flag-off of reclamation of 52 hectares of land for the Abonnema and Obonoma Towns in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the State on Wednesday.
Governor Wike said the plan of the Nigeria military was to rig the election against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State, but the people of Abonnema resisted it and paid the supreme price defending the interest of the State.
“They suffered it in 2019 when the military came and killed so many of our sons and daughters, because they wanted to rig the election through one of their own sons.”
The governor continued: “They suffered because of their defence that PDP must not be rigged out. But, I can tell them that those who died, did not die in vain. They died in defence of Rivers interest; they died in defence of Abonnema. They died in defence of Obonoma interest, they died in defence of Akuku-Toru interest. And that is why we will never abandon this LGA for what they have done for us.”
Governor Wike restated the need for politics to be development oriented devoid of hatred that often lie underneath the resolve by most politicians to kill their opponents.
“Politics shouldn’t get to the level we should kill our own people. That is not politics. Politics is what do I attract to my area for the entire benefit of my people.”
He stated that the people of the Abonnema and Obonoma communities should be grateful, first to God and then to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the opportunity to see result of their unalloyed political support.
According to him, but for PDP, it would have been difficult to witness the actualisation of the reclamation of vast land from the swamp for the benefit of future generations .
Governor Wike said the people now have seen the difference between a party that tells them stories and a party that fulfills whatever promise it has made to them.
“When the chairman of the council came, he said that I have a special interest in this local government. Special interest, yes, and it is because when we started this journey, this was one of the local governments that came out boldly and gave us all the necessary support.
“That is why we have said we will never abandon this local government for what they have done for us.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike directed his Special Adviser on Special Project to send an application for additional payment of 20 percent for the contractor. This he said, will make it 70 per cent of total contract sum paid to the Master Dredger, the company handling the project.
Governor Wike said he wants the project to be completed in 8 months instead of the proposed 12 months because he desires to map out the utility lines and eventual allocation of spaces within his tenure.
Performing the flag-off, former President of Nigeria’s Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara said he has never seen where a state government has championed development in local government areas as executed by Governor Wike
Senator Wabara noted that the projects, as confessed by the benefiting communities, addresses their most pressing needs, which will be used by everybody irrespective of their political party.
He acknowledged the immediate pains associated with the ongoing construction of the 10 flyovers as experienced by residence of Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor councils. He urged them to be patient as there cannot be development without inconveniences.
Earlier, Special Adviser to Governor Wike on Special Projects, Kelly-George Alabo recalled that a few months ago, Governor Wike had made a promise of executing the land reclamation project for the people.
The governor, Alabo said, had thereafter directed commencement of the procurement process and at the end the contract was awarded with 50 percent mobilisation fee paid to the contractor.
According to him, because land means so much to the people, the contractor has mobilised to site with personnel and equipment to fast tract completion of the project.
Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel, who commended Governor Wike for fulfilling his promise to reclaim land for the community, disclosed that for decades, past administration have made similar promises, which was never actualised.