By Simeon Nwakaudu
It is no longer in doubt that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is coasting seamlessly to a second term in 2019. This is because the governor enjoys the support of all segments of the state.
Elders, women, youth groups and the ethnic nationalities have all endorsed Governor Wike for a second term. Even non-indigenes have since endorsed him.
Though the Rivers State Governor is yet to make a formal declaration, Rivers State, in one accord, wants him to continue with his splendid works.
As a leader with a comprehensive agenda for the total empowerment of Rivers youths, Governor Wike has earned their support. Through critical investments, youths have been recognised in the process of taking Rivers State to the next level.
In appreciation of this, two youths elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly have initiated a credible platform to drum up support for the earned re-election of Governor Wike in 2019.
The youths are: Hon. Edison Ehie, Chairman, Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Hon. Major Jack, Deputy Majority Whip.
The Group, One Million Youths for the Re-election of Governor Wike in 2019 has been embarking on a Street to Street Sensitization Tour of the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State with the aim of creating the needed awareness for continuity.
So far, the group has mobilised youths for the re-election of Governor Wike in Bonny ,Gokana ,Etche, Ahoada West ,Eleme , Opobo-Nkoro, Ogu/Bolo, Khana, Port Harcourt and Okirika Local Government Areas.
It is closing in on its target of 1million Youths . Statisticians of the 1million Youths Movement indicate that 600,000 youths have registered and participated in her street carnivals across the visited LGAs.
The youths constitute the largest voting block in Rivers State. Their commitment to the re-election of Governor Wike is a proof of his outstanding performance and acceptance by Rivers people.
During the street to street sensitization tours, members of the group move to markets, community centres and village meetings and other gatherings to share handbills and booklets of the achievements of Governor Wike.
In such outings, they also hold quick rallies where speakers extol the qualities of Governor Wike and the necessity of re-electing him.
Chairman of the movement, Hon. Edison Ehie, representing Ahoada-East state constituency 2 noted that several youths are members of the organisation as volunteers. According to him, the volunteers are registered voters with their permanent voters cards (PVCs).
Secretary of the Movement, Hon. Major Jack, Deputy Majority Whip and member representing Akuku-Toru state constituency 1 emphasised that the goal is to galvanize the support of registered voters for a performing governor.
Ehie explained the relevance of the Movement : “Rivers youths are showing solidarity for Governor Wike because of his unparalleled support for youths. For the first time, youths are a force to reckon with in all strata of government in Rivers State. “The governor has elevated youths in the executive council; in the legislature; in the academic sector; in the education sector; in the health sector; and virtually all strata of the state. He has given N500 million to all the tertiary institutions in the state to upgrade academic facilities to enhance education.”
To Hon. Major Jack : “Today, Rivers youths are in the mainstream of Rivers politics. The governor has directed that youths should be spurred to play active part in politics at the local government level. His record in the area of youths empowerment is unbeatable.”
The reality of Rivers State is that Governor Wike continues to expand opportunities for the youths, in areas of employment, participation in governance and economic development.
From the State Executive Council through to the Rivers State House of Assembly and recent appointments by Governor Wike, youth participation has been a key factor.
With the massive support for Governor Wike from all quarters, the next five years means that Rivers State will grow in leaps and bounds.
The re-election of Governor Wike is a fait accompli. It is a project initiated by the people. They have taken ownership and they will Governor Wike in 2019. As they say, the voice of the people is the voice of God.