By Nimot Adetola Sulaimon
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Monday, inaugurated a 10.3 kilometres long Sime-Nonwa-Kira road in Tai local government area in Rivers state.
Present at the inauguration ceremony was Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia and Speaker of Rivers State Assembly, Mr Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani.
At the ceremony, Wike said his administration is committed to making sure that every Local Government Area in the state gets development projects.
He said, a few months ago, when he flagged off the road, people thought it will be abandoned, but today, it has been completed and is being commissioned.
According to the governor, all projects awarded by his administration will be completed before the end of his tenure, and no one project will be abandoned.
“Some people say we have been commissioning projects in Port Harcourt and ObioAkpor Local Government Areas. That, there are no projects in other local governments.
“This is Tai, and it is in Ogoni land and we have projects here that we are commissioning now.
“When we flagged off this road, so many were thinking that it will be one of the abandoned projects. I have said, no contract awarded by our administration will be abandoned. All projects must be completed before we leave the office.”
Wike berated a former Commissioner for Community and Chieftaincy Affairs for peddling falsehood that there are no Rivers State development projects in Ogoni land.
Such people who took kola meant for traditional rulers cannot see and speak the truth but waste energy defending what they cannot defend, according to Wike.
“One of the former Commissioner who took Traditional Rulers’ kola incidentally, he is from this Local Government Area, he was telling people that there is no single project in the whole of Ogoni land.
“But he is from this Local Government, you can see how people can tell lies simply because we did not bring him back (as Commissioner). But we don’t want our kola to miss again. Those who cannot keep kola or give to those who own the kola, we cannot bring them back.
“Look at this project; 10.3km, and look at the communities. How will anybody say that we have never done anything for the people of Tai? How would anybody say we have no presence in Ogoni land?
“This road was handled by a Local Contractor, Lubrik Construction Company Ltd, it’s Rivers’ company. I don’t play with road construction because I don’t want any road that will not last. This road, as you’ve seen it will last.”
Inaugurating the road, Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed applauded Governor Wike for delivering such quality road project that connects several communities to ease movement of rural dwellers.
Mohammed noted he feels proud to be a Nigerian anytime he sees how Governor Wike in spite of imposing challenges, has continued to deliver democratic dividends to Rivers people.
“When I see the quality of this road and the community where it is sited; in Ogoni Land, traversing all these communities and the kind of good sermon given by the Local Government Chairman, and even the Commissioner of Works, I felt elated that I am a Nigerian.
“This is so because here is a Nigerian, a governor who has been able to deepen leadership, bringing people of capacity on board. Even using a local contractor to bring local content. This is the kind of Nigeria we need tomorrow. People who can lead and bring people on board with quality and capacity.”
Particularly, Mohammed described Governor Wike as the face of leadership among other governors and within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because he inspires all of them.
“I am always happy to be associated with Governor Wike. It is not because he is the most pragmatic governor in Nigeria. It is not because he has always worn the toga of leadership. It is also not because he has always tried to satisfy his people and defiled all odds.
“But it is because of his capacity as the face of our party, the PDP. He is the face of leadership of the governors. he has always defiled all difficult terrain, cancerous projects and programmes to be able to produce and deliver to his people.
“That has endeared him to me as a person since we meet in the cabinet. He is somebody who says the truth no matter the situation and no matter whose ox is gored. We need people like that in Nigeria.”
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the road traverses several communities that included the Barayira, Barale, Gboroba, Nonwa, Kira, Sime, and Eteo.
“It used to be somewhat of glorified track road with multiple failed sections with attendant consequences. The people, their livelihoods and their vehicles, pockets, and time were affected.
“But today, through the instrumentality of the governor we now have good and motorable 10.3km long road, which is 7 .3meters wide with a drainage network of 5.7km.”
Chairman of Tai Local Government area, Dr Jacobson Nbina expressed the gratitude of the Ogoni people to Governor Wike who had kept his promise to the people.