From Ameachi Prosper (The New Diplomat’s Delta Correspondent)
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says the federal government has been playing politics with the Ogoni environment remediation programme recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
He noted that Ogoni having played a pivotal role in the economic development of Rivers State and the country deserves more than what is currently being offered to the area.
Governor Wike stated this during the commissioning of the 16.06 kilometers dual carriage Sakpenwa-Bori Highway by the Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Lawrence Ugwuanyi in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The governor urged Ogoni people to stop believing those who use Ogoni clean up exercise at the turn of election year to deceive them and wondered why clean-up never happens when elections are over.
“I am not like Federal Government. They promised you they will do Ogoni clean up. Has it been cleaned? I promised you road, have I done it? So you can see the difference between our party and their own party. The difference is clear.
“When election comes in 2023, they will start another clean up. You people don’t even ask question. Why is it a year to election that Ogoni clean up will always commence? Now that there is no election are they doing clean up now? Watch from next year they will start clean up.”
Governor Wike said it has remained undisputed that only the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are delivering development projects to their people.
The governor challenged those who feel uncomfortable with his public declarations to also showcase their projects and invite persons of repute to commission them as he has done since December.
He stated that because of the existing mutual trust between his leadership team and the people, sufficient progress have been achieved in Ogoni land and in the entire state in terms of project delivery.
Governor Wike announced the commencement of the phase two of the newly commissioned road, which will now be from Bori to Kono and it will be awarded to the same construction firm, CCECC.
“Let me tell you, I will dualise from here, Bori to Kono. It will be handled by the same contractor to maintain the same standard.
“So, when I finish and go, I will tell Ogoni people that it was in my tenure that you got road; dualised road, from Saakpenwa to Kono with street lights.
“This is what we call development. You can leave Port Harcourt and come back home any day, any time. This is what makes a city.
“When I say Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors are doing well, people are angry. If they are doing well, let them call us. Is it hidden?
“PDP Governors, we are challenging others, tell us what you’re doing. It is not to take money to go and buy one governor. That’s not it. We are talking about governors that are interested in the development of their people. We are commissioning projects.”
Governor Wike said he promised and within the specified period, he had delivered to then what he promised to demonstrate that his party is different from the other that is associated with failed promises.
The governor has meanwhile directed the chairman of Khana Local government area to ensure that the installed street lights are switched on every night to improve the security situation in the area.
Enugu Governor, Ugwuanyi said many projects have been inaugurated by Governor Wike, including the Saakpenwa -Bori road which was a campaign promise that has been fulfilled.
“Today’s event is significant as it epitomises the desirable fellowship among colleague governors while providing opportunity for experience sharing and other discourses on service delivery.
“I congratulate your Excellency, Governor Wike on the accomplishment of this infrastructural milestone among many others which will undoubtedly make life more meaningful for the people of Ogoni land.
“I understand that this strategic road project was a campaign promise that has been truthfully fulfilled. Expectedly, it gladdens the hearts of Ogoni people and reinforces their faith in our constitutional democracy.
“I enjoin the good people of Ogoni land and entire Rivers State to continue to support Governor Wike with their prayers and wise counsel as he takes Rivers State to the next level.”
In their good will message, former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee said several governors used the road as point of political campaigns, but all failed to fulfil such promises.
He said if the money wasted on the abandoned monorail by the immediate past administration was properly channelled, more flyovers and roads would have been achieved in the State.
Similarly, the president of Kagote, Hon Emma Deeyaah said governor Wike has wiped sway their tears and solved the nightmare situation that the road caused the people.
President of Gbokabari, Senator Ben Birabi noted that such quality of roads are hardly delivered in Ogoni land and said Governor Wike has re-energised the spirit of freedom in the state and has performed above expectations despite the lean financial resources.
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said again, the Wike administration has demonstrated commitment in delivering long term service projects that will enhance socioeconomic life of the people.
“This project is a 16.06 km DUAL carriage highway, with a 2m wide concrete median, an overall road width of 22.3m, drainage network of 12.02 Km, 480 double arm streetlight poles complete with transformers and generators to power the streetlights.
“It used to be a deplorable 7.3m wide road but what we have today is 3 times wider than it was then. If we were to stretch this road into a single carriage way it would stretch from here all the way to Kono a distance of about 36 km from Sapkenwa. This is excluding the added mileage we would achieve by converting the concrete median and street lighting to asphalt pavement.”