Our attention has been drawn to a media briefing published in the Punch newspaper of Tuesday, March 23, 2021 titled “Stop attacks on Amaechi, focus on governance, CMD tells Wike” made by the ignoble Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Prof. Henry Ugboma.
In the said publication, the supposed Chief Medical Director now turned political erand boy of Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, appeared to be urging the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to focus on governance and stop denigrating the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
In an apparent state of amnesia, Professor Henry Ugboma was quoted as saying “Governor Wike should leave the Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi alone. Amaechi is very busy putting the country in shape, going to civilised societies, the railway line is the means of transportation and Amaechi is doing this so that the economy of the country will improve to connect the food basket of the whole state together, transporting people from one end to the other.
Ordinarily, we would have dismissed the vatupuration of Professor Henry Ugboma as outburst of a retardant, but we are inadvertently taken aback that the expression of ignorance of the economic waste the flag off of the narrow gauge rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri at a time the world is talking of standard gauge.
It indeed would be foolhardy to join issues with Hery Ugboma who has betrayed his social reputation by insinuating in that briefing that “What is development if not (the flag off of narrow gauge rail line) that? It is not in this road that the governor of Rivers State is doing in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas. That is not what will connect the Nation. “
First and foremost, there is no comparison between the massive road infrastructural revolution Rivers State has experienced under the Government of His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and that of the present APC led federal government talk less of the achievements of Ugboma’s political master, Rotimi Amaechi in the transportation sector.
Even if Professor Ugboma is blinded by his card carrying status as a member of the shattered All Progressives Congress (APC), he can attest at least attest to the fact that the recent commissioning of marathon projects initiated and executed by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in less than six years are signature projects not only in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor but also in all the 23 local government areas of Rivers State.
No doubt, the emptiness of ideas and vague thoughts in the expression of Henry Ugboma shows clearly that he and his master have been overwhelmed by the beehive of activities in the state attended by dignitaries from different parts of the country not only to witness but also perform the inauguration of these breathtaking flyovers bridges and roads infrastructures in Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Akuku-Toru, Ogu/bolo, Khanna, Ikwerre, Emohua amongst others.
May we remind a distasteful people like Henry Ugboma that five years down the line, besides massive roads infrastructure to boost high economic activities in the State, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has gradually but steadily both the healthcare and education sectors, both in infrastructure and human capital development, with training, expansion policies as well as regular supportive activities on health and educational facilities in Rivers State.
In one of the occasional visits of well thinking citizens of this country, former Governor of Imo State and Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Rochas Okorocha, after visiting the state-of-the-art Government House clinic said,”This can only be seen here. It is a top class hospital, the kind you can find abroad. It is a typical German standard hospital which the equipment that I have seen here. Hospitals are determined by the equipment they carry. All the latest equipment that take you abroad for medical tourism are all here. Nigerians should take advantage of this place rather than spending millions travelling abroad. I commend Governor Wike for a job well done.”
While commissioning the reconstructed Opobo and Tombia (now renamed Chief Ferdinand Alabraba) Crescents former Governor of Kastina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema noted, “Rivers State, since you (Wike) became governor, is experiencing changes in terms of development. The list goes on because you have touched all sectors. But clearly, what is critical in this effort is that you are applying resources where it matters most. You are therefore, helping to grow the economy in Rivers State by which you are ensuring peace and security with economic development. I am sure, by the grace of God, by the time you leave office, your after story will live after you and your children.”
Inaugurating the Government House clinic, former Senate President, and two term governor of Kwara state, Dr. Bukola Saraki, himself a distinguished Medical Doctor, hailed Governor Wike for investing in critical infrastructure such as healthcare which is very important in reduction of poverty, “I believe that this Clinic is not only for the people of Rivers State, it is for the country and for the whole African continent.”
The list of Wike’s impact to national development is endless. One very significant legacy project we may also need to draw attention to is the Real Madrid Academy which caught the fancy of the APC led Federal Government and was commissioned by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare who remarked that Wike has laid a standard for football development in Nigeria for others to emulate.
Highly elated by Wike’s achievements, Dare said the academy was a worthy and long-term investment in human and capital development that will soon be the new oil well of Rivers State and the country and many families. “The Real Madrid Football Academy, Port Harcourt is an educational tool capable of contributing to the comprehensive development of personality of our youths by creating jobs and wealth. The academy divides its activities into sports, education and culture. This is in sync with our philosophy of combining education and sports. The speed at this project was completed must make other countries grind with envy,” Dare said.
From the forgoing, we expected Henry Ugboma who appears to have no defence to the abysmal performance of his master, Rotimi Amaechi as a minister since 2015 till date, particularly as it regards attracting development to Rivers State, to have kept his mouth shut after the performing Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike sincerely noted while commissioning the 6.1 km long, 7.3 m wide Omuihuechi-Omuoko-Omokiri road in Aluu, Ikwerre local Government area that it was disingenuous for the Federal Government to flag off narrow gauge rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri at a time when the rest of the world was building standard gauge rail lines.
How appropriate can we explain to people like Henry Ugboma whose right sense of reasoning seems to have failed them that Governor Wike got it right when he observed that instead of giving us the standard gauge to Maiduguri over which they are making noise, Rivers State, the Treasure Base of the Nation, the State from which they got the money to produce their President, it’s towards the end of their administration that they come and tell us of narrow gauge rail line which the Federal Government is unlikely to be complete within the 33 months promised.
In his effort to play to the gallery, we have expected the malignant Professor Henry Ugboma to provide answer to the question asked by Governor Wike, “You want to finish the narrow gauge in 33 months, will he (Amaechi) be in power then?” Who is deceiving who? Or is Henry Ugboma lending tacit support to the allegations of having not accounted for $308 million being proceeds of property of Rivers State sold by his master, Rotimi Amaechi while he was governor of the State?
Apparently, it is very evident in his incoherent and disjointed expressions of the press statement that Professor Henry Ugboma’s claim that aside the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC, other statutory boards including board of internal revenue, local government service commission, post primary school board, others were almost non-existent in the State, are only uttered out of the figment of his imagination.
For emphasis, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has demonstrated clear visionary leadership since he became governor in 2015 till date. He has demonstrated transparency and prudent management of resources which has enabled him achieve so much in the overall development of Rivers State to the shame of the opposition led by his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi who had earlier told the world that he (Wike) would not be able to pay salaries talk less of executing projects. Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has proven beyond any doubt that he is a man of integrity who can be trusted with the mandate of the people of Rivers State and beyond. At every given opportunity, Wike has never minced words by saying “I will not abandon any project for my successor.”
Special Assistant (Media) to Honourable Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State.