By PRECIOUS IBINABO DAVIDS, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has been charged to back his praises for President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for the Niger Delta by supporting his 2019 ambition.
Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who charged the Governor in a statement made available to the media in Port Harcourt on Friday, also described President Buhari’s completion and commissioning of the International Wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, as monumental, historical, an example of the President’s faith-keeping and love for the people of the State and the entire Niger Delta region.
Eze, who commended Governor Wike for being truthful about President Buhari’s positive intents for both Rivers state and the entire region, noted that the Governor’s positive comments on the President is an acknowledgement of the fact that the people of the state and Niger Delta have grown to trust their President and will always prefer him to lead them into a more developed and morally upright Nigeria.
While speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the ultramodern international wing of the Airport on Thursday, an elated Governor Wike had said “the people of Rivers State and the South South region are happy with you for what you are doing in the region. I would have made a demand but my friend, the Honourable Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika has told me that the Local Wing will be commissioned by December.”
Commenting on Wike’s ‘vote of confidence’ on the President, Eze said “this is the first time Gov. Wike is commending the developmental efforts of President Buhari in Rivers State and the entire South South region”, urging the Governor to validate his good faith towards President Buhari by supporting his 2019 presidential bid as well as that of the President’s preferred candidate for Rivers state Governorship, Pastor Tonye Cole, for the state to breath a new life.
Eze, while describing President Buhari as the best option for Nigeria’s economic and social growth, highlighted some of the steps the administration had taken to make life easier for Rivers people, saying “if we are to consider the following feats and projects so far executed by the present administration at the centre in Rivers State and South-South zone as a whole then he will win massively in the region come 2019. Some of these projects are listed as follows:
“Not minding that Wike denied the Federal Government land to enable her construct an Industrial Park, which benefits from start to completion and inauguration, would be enormous to Rivers State and her people, the Federal Government still went ahead to buy 10,000 acres of land on which the complex, an envisaged city on its own, would stand.
“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) just few months ago approved contracts of N47 billion for road projects in the country, including redesigning and reconstruction of the Aba/Port-Harcourt section of the Enugu/Port-Harcourt Expressway.
“Apart from this intervention, the Federal Executive Council on the same date also approved dredging of Port Harcourt Seaport and provision of navigational aids for Escravos, at the sum of N13 billion.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration released a whopping sum of N900 billion owed the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) by previous Federal Administrations, including the Administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to assist the body complete most of its projects in Rivers state and other States in the Niger Delta region.
“Rivers State will benefit from the unprecedented allocation of over one hundred and twenty five billion Naira (N125 billion), out of the N8.612 trillion appropriation bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 to the National Assembly to fund capital projects in 2018 in the Niger Delta region.
“Rivers State will surely benefit from the N53.89 billion earmarked for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and N71.2 billion for Niger Delta Development Commission for capital projects, also to benefit from the budgetary allocation for the Niger Delta amnesty programme retained at N65 billion, with the budgetary allocation of N17.32 billion earmarked for the completion of the East-West Road.
“Rivers State will benefit from the Maritime University located at Okerenkoko in Delta State, with N5 billion budgeted in the 2018 budget for its formal take off. This is a University aimed to assist in the development and emancipation of the Niger Delta region.
“To demonstrate the seriousness over the full implementation of the Ogoni clean-up exercise and the execution of the multi-billion naira Bodo/Ogoni-Bonny road project, budgetary provisions were all made in the 2018 budget, which when completed, would open up the economic potential of the Niger Delta region beyond the shores of Nigeria, all in Rivers state.
“The APC-led Federal Government, apart from the above-named projects, embarked upon the following projects: the Calabar-Lagos Rail Line that cuts across Rivers state, the renovation/reconstruction of both Enugu-Port Harcourt Road and the West-East Road, the renovation of the Afam Power plant in Rivers state, resumption and reconstruction of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Rail Line, among other projects. All these projects were abandoned by the PDP governments. Appointment of sons and daughters of the region into key and crucial ministries and agencies”, he said.
Eze recalled that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a son of the Niger Delta region, in his six years as the President of Nigeria, acknowledged that he failed Rivers State and the Niger Delta region by not embarking on any meaningful project in the region, apart from imposing Chief Nyesom Wike as the Governor of Rivers state, to promote insecurity in the state and the Niger Delta region.
Eze concluded by stating that now Buhari has proved that he is a patriotic son of the Niger Delta region, urged people of the Niger Delta to reciprocate by voting massively the APC candidates during the 2019 general elections.