The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), has lauded Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State, for prioritising development of the rural areas and changing the narrative of governance in the country.
NGE noted that if State governments were to focus on tackling poverty and developmental deficits in the rural areas, it will help to improve the wellbeing of the people.
Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant (Media) to the Rivers State Governor, disclosed in a report that National President of Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mustapha Isha, stated this during a dinner organised for members of the Guild by Governor Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Isha said the Guild was pleased that the Rivers State government was investing a chuck of its resources in the development of the rural areas.
“On the road to Opobo, I saw the piling of sand and I said the governor is burying money here. But someone said the governor is burying money for people to drive home. When people hear the cost of a kilometre of road in the South-South, they say they have inflated the contract, that is those who don’t understand the terrain.”
He further continued: “We drove through inner roads, not just the main roads. Development is now spreading across the entire state, not just the capital only, but, across the three senatorial districts.”
Isha commended the Rivers State Cassava Processing initiative which will empower farmers in the State. According to him, this initiative by the Governor will help tackle poverty in the rural areas.
Speaking on behalf of the NGE team that inspected projects like Rivers State Cassava Processing factory at Afam, Sakpewa-Bori-Kono road and the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road, Mr Ambrose Oko, said by not concentrating developing in Port Harcourt, the governor was changing the narrative of governance.
“When governors do things, it is usually in the capital city, say in Port Harcourt. But we went to see inner roads from Andoni to Opobo. Your legacy is legendary.”
Oko explained that his team was moved to tears when they arrived Opobo and were informed that it was just last December that people were able to drive vehicles into the historical town of King Jaja of Opobo for the first time, courtesy of Governor Wike.
NGE Secretary General, Mary Atolagbe, while speaking on behalf of the team that toured the 21.3 kilometers Odufor/Akpoku/Umuoye road in Etche Local Government Area, 16.85 kilometers Rumuji- Ibaa- Isiokpo road in Emohua and Ikwerre Local Government Areas, Abonnema Ring Road, Degema Zonal Hospital among others, lauded the governor for his commitment to develop the riverine areas of the State.
“I was impressed by the bridges in the riverine areas. The governor must have sank his heart into those roads, because we know what the terrain is like in the riverine area. We know that if not for a deep commitment, such could not have been done” she said.
She commended the Governor for considering it worthy to provide decent accommodation for judges of Rivers State extraction in both the State and Federal judiciary.
“If a judge or any office holder knows that he has a good accommodation over his head and there is something for the family after he is gone, there will be no need to pervert justice in any manner.”
Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, explained that political detractors of the government have often tried to paint a distorted picture of the reality on ground in the State.
Danagogo noted that before the Governor assumed office, his predecessor had bragged that he will not be able to get money to pay salaries of workers and embark on infrastructural development. But, contrary to the expectation of the Governor’s opponents, he has been able to decisively tackle developmental challenges such as the Abonnema Ring Road and many others.
“If it were not for the dogged leader like the leader we have today, I don’t think the story we are hearing would have been what we are hearing.”