By Simeon Nwakaudu
As we head to the third year anniversary of the glorious Wike administration, we expect all manner of lies, concoction and outright display of political drama. All will be targeted at seeking attention.
A few days ago, a friend sent me a screenshot of a Facebook Post made by an indigene of Etche Local Government Area, Mr Eze-Basil Chinwendu Oluo. Oluo is at present seeking greener pasture in the United States of America.
I am particularly interested because I got to know Mr Oluo through his numerous Facebook posts pleading with Governor Wike to intervene in the outright neglect of Etche Ethnic Nationality by the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi for eight years. The hatred that Amaechi had for Etche was such that it seemed that Etche people were not Rivers people. The entire area was cut off from the rest of Rivers State. I will come back to this shortly.
Oluo claimed that there is no policy framework upon which Governor Wike delivers his outstanding projects to the Rivers people. This is a pure lie that is premised on mischief.
All development projects being rolled out by Governor Wike across Rivers State are predicated on the New Rivers Vision Development Blueprint, which is a public document.
Ironically, this document was one of the most controversial points of the campaign. Recall that the Defeated Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate, Dakuku Peterside claimed that the New Rivers Vision Development Blueprint was similar to his own blueprint. The think-thank of the Wike campaign clarified the issues on the blueprint. Thereafter, the New Rivers Vision Development Blueprint was circulated extensively during the last days of the campaign and on the day of the governor’s inauguration.
The New Rivers Vision Development Blueprint can be found at: https://scannewsnigeria.com/
featured-post/wikes- development-blueprint-for- rivers-state/.
Significantly, the development process of Rivers State has been weaved around this blueprint. Infrastructure development is a cornerstone of this process. For a developing country, erecting quality infrastructure stimulates the economy, creates jobs and engenders growth.
By all ramifications, infrastructural development is not pedestrian. To think it is, is to miss the point. The case of Etche is a critical example.
Amaechi abandoned Etche for eight years. There was no road into and within Etche. Therefore, the economy of Etche was crippled. As an agro-based economy, farmers watched their products rot because they could not bring them to the markets in Port Harcourt.
The reconstruction of the Igwuruta-Chokocho Road was a major milestone in the revival of Etche’s economy. Thereafter, the Wike administration embarked on the construction/reconstruction of Chokocho-Umuechem-Ozuzu Road in Etche LGA, Eleme Junction-Igbo Etche-Chokocho Road , Ulakwo II-Afara-Nihi Etche Road in Etche LGA, Umueze – Umuogba – Umuokpurukpu – Umueke – Umunju – Umuelechi – Eberei Roundabout Link Road in Omuma Local Government Area and Odufor-Akpoku-Umuoye Road in Etche Roads.
There is also the Okehi Zonal Hospital under construction and the Ebieri General Hospital being reconstructed. In the education sector, 15 basic education schools have been reconstructed in the two Etche Local Government Areas. This is by no means the end, but the process is on.
In terms of empowerment, employment generation and economic stimulation, the projects being executed by Governor Wike have played their role. Much more importantly for Etche.
According to the African Development Development Bank: “Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across the African continent and a critical enabler for productivity and sustainable economic growth. It contributes significantly to human development, poverty reduction, and the attainment of the MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs).”
Even in America where Oluo is seeking economic refuge, Former President Barrack Obama used infrastructural development as one of the key drivers of the revival of the then ailing American economy.
Cable News Network (CNN), quoted Former President Obama as saying :
“Today, I am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America’s roads, and rails and runways for the long term.
The proposal envisions — over a six year period — rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rail and 150 miles of airport runways. It also would include modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system in an effort to reduce delays and travel time.
“This will not only create jobs immediately. It’s also going to make our economy hum over the long haul”.
It is surprising that Mr Oluo of Etche in a bid to seek attention, described infrastructural development as “buffoonery of bricks”. This is shocking. In the euphoria of the revival of the Etche economy through road infrastructure, Mr Oluo made a celebratory Facebook post on September 28, 2016 seeking professional pictures of the reconstructed Igwuruta-Chokocho Road.
On January 22, 2016, the same Mr Oluo wrote about the popularity of PDP in Etche because of Governor Wike’s developmental strides. It can never be out of place to spread development to neglected communities.
In recognition of his exemplary efforts in projects delivery for the Etche Ethnic Nationality, clerics and laity of the Anglican Diocese of Etche in Rivers State conferred on Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike the distinguished award for “Outstanding Leadership “.
Conferring the Award for Outstanding Leadership on Governor Wike during the Second Session of Third Synod of the Anglican Dioscese of Etche , Anglican Bishop of Etche Diocese, Rt Reverend Okechukwu Nwala said that the people of Etche Ethnic Nationality are appreciative of the creation of access to their communities by the Wike administration.
He said that the Etche people remember that at the time Governor Wike took over the mantle of leadership, Etche roads were death traps and Etche Ethnic Nationality cut off from the rest of Rivers State.
Behold the Mission Mission statement of Governor Wike as contained in the New Rivers Vision Development Blueprint :
“To actualize the aspirations of the people of Rivers State for a balanced development and an enhanced quality of life for the present and future generations through responsive governance guided by the fear of God.”
This mission statement has been the guiding principle of this pro-people government. It is on this premise that the infrastructural development of Etche was captured. It is on this premise that all other Ethnic Nationalities are being carried along in the state renewal programme of the administration.
The framework for sustainable development has been created. Those who are at home are working with the administration to make progress. Developing a state is more than an academic exercise. It is far more than aimless posts. It involves hardwork marched by vision and strong political will. These are qualities that Governor Wike has deployed for the good of the people.
Imagine if everyone had resorted to academic postulations after seeking economic refuge in distant lands built by the sweat of others. Who then will build Rivers State and Nigeria?
Mr Oluo should be in a permanent state of appreciation since he knows what transpired. Governor Wike has lived up to his pledges to the Etche people. Those at home appreciate this fact and are working with the Rivers State Governor.
Having said the above, Mr Oluo remains entitled to his propaganda to justify his new alignment. However, we are entitled to exposing the truth for the benefit of educating patriotic citizens at home.