Dakuku’s True Confession on Wike’s performance in Rivers State
By Simeon Nwakaudu
My most important take away from the appearance of the defeated 2015 Rivers APC Governorship Candidate , Mr Dakuku Peterside on Rhythm FM on Saturday in Port Harcourt was his grudging confession that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has made tremendous impact on road construction and rehabilitation across Rivers State .
Though, Mr Peterside was not so gracious in his confession; he told Rivers people that he is aware that Governor Wike has in his words : “patched roads” across Rivers State .
This confession came after he had exhibited his notorious uncharitable verbal disrespect on the office of the Governor of Rivers State . It took the insistence of a caller during the phone-in programme to elicit this confession from the defeated 2015 Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate .
This particular caller had insisted that for residents of Rivers State, it was shocking that Dakuku Peterside had failed to notice the important works of Governor Wike. This caller now asked Mr Peterside to personally enumerate the achievements of Governor Wike that appealed to him.
Despite the grudging manner that Dakuku Peterside made this true confession on the achievements of Governor Wike in the road sector, I want to commend him for his courage to admit that Governor Wike is transforming the lives of the people.
My commendation stems from the fact that he had to publicly confess before the Rivers population his secret admiration of Governor Wike’s unequalled development of infrastructure in the state. We must disregard the manner he delivered his message and embrace the message.
It is imperative to point out that the road construction , reconstruction and rehabilitation programme of Governor Wike is his unique selling point. It is the outstanding performance indicator that has made Governor Wike the best governor in the country and a reference point of development enthusiasts .
Road construction , rehabilitation and reconstruction formed the platform upon which Rivers State Governor , Nyesom Ezenwo Wike revived the damaged economy of Rivers State , after Dakuku Peterside’s political godfather, Rotimi Amaechi squandered N3trillion that accrued to Rivers State between 2007 and May 29, 2015.
The failed immediate past Amaechi administration left all urban roads in a state of disrepair . Even the few roads he initiated were abandoned . Therefore, the urban centres of Port Harcourt , Obio/ Akpor and parts of Ikwerre Local Government Areas degenerated to slums, with roads that were not motorable.
On May 29, 2015, his very first day in office, Governor Wike launched the Operation Zero Potholes Programme. This programme which is being handled by Julius Berger and CCECC is to construct , reconstruct and rehabilitate roads in Diobu, Borikiri, Ogbum-na-Abali, town, old and New GRA and other key suburbs in Port Harcourt and Obio / Akpor Local Government Areas .
The urban renewal programme of the Wike Administration has led to the construction of roads and bridges across Port Harcourt and its environs . Within the last 18months, Rivers State Governor , Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated over 150 kilometres of roads.
For the first time in decades, the State Urban Centres now have traffic and street lights.
Dakuku Peterside is not the only person who has commended Governor Wike for his superlative road construction and urban renewal.
A short roll call of some of the notable Nigerians who have appreciated Governor Wike for his excellent performance in the road sector would suffice. They include: Former Senate President David Mark, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum ,Abdulaziz Yari , Deputy Senate President , Ike Ekweremadu , NBA President , Abubakar Mahmoud, Former NBA President Augustine Alegeh, PDP National Caretaker Committee Chairman , Senator Ahmed Makarfi , Former Jigawa State Governor , Dr Sule Lamido and Senate Minority Leader and Former Former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio .
It is noteworthy that the Nigerian Guild of Editors and other key professional associations who have held National Conventions in Port Harcourt have lauded Governor Wike for his superlative road construction achievements in the past.
Just on Friday , November 25, 2016, a day before Dakuku’s radio Confession , Participants of the Senior Course 39 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji lauded Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for massive infrastructural development , despite the economic crisis facing the nation.
Mr Peterside, permit me to inform you that
in appreciation of the superlative performance of Rivers State Governor , Nyesom Ezenwo Wike , the Independent Newspapers Limited nominated the governor as the “Man of the Year 2016”.
In a letter conveying the nomination of Governor Wike as the “2016 Man of the Year”, Managing Director of Independent Newspapers Limited, publishers of Daily Independent , Mr Ted Iwere wrote: “in nominating you, the selection committee considered the pragmatism , commitment and courage exhibited by you since your assumption of office. Worthy of note is the restoration of the activities of both the state legislature and judiciary .
“In addition , your government has been small and medium enterprise (SME ) friendly, empowering no fewer than 35000 small business owners. The massive construction and rehabilitation of roads, including the Operation Zero Potholes intensified by your government , continue to improve the movement of people , goods and services on the state’s network of roads”.
The Independent Newspapers Limited also pointed out that it recognised the improvement of internally generated revenue under the leadership of Governor Wike .
They wrote: “It is for the foregoing reasons that we have bestowed on you the richly deserved award of Independent Newspapers Limited Man of the Year Award 2016. The award ceremony for this historic event is scheduled for January 21, 2016”.
In a related development , the Sun Board of Editors has voted Rivers State Governor , Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as winner of the 2016 Governor of the Year.
In a statement by its Managing Director/Editor -in-Chief ,Eric Osagie the Sun Newspapers said that Governor Wike was unanimously selected for his infrastructural revolution since assuming office.
Since Dakuku Peterside left the state after suffering a crushing defeat on April 11, I 2015, a lot has happened to transform the fortune of a disillusioned state his political godfather left behind . Of course, the few APC left behind in Port Harcourt to print fake INEC result sheets will not give the defeated APC governorship Candidate the right information .
Let me oblige him. Governor Wike is the best performing governor in Nigeria today. If Dakuku is in doubt, let him mention another Governor with pictorial evidence that can rival Governor Wike in today’s Nigeria .
In the health sector , Governor Wike is reconstrcting 13 General Hospitals left to rot by Amaechi. He has established a College of Medical Sciences at the RSUST and has reconstructed the Orthopaedic Section of the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital . In the education sector , 11 prominent secondary schools spread across the three senatorial districts are being rehabilitated and reconstructed. To improve security , Governor Wike has taken profound measures to ensure sustainable peace in the state . His Amnesty Programme which has been successful is novel in its implementation . The governor and Local Government Areas have donated over 150 vans to security agencies . The only state government that has done this in the country .
Governor Wike despite his performance , Governor Wike is not resting on his achievements .
Om Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016 the governor flagged-off the construction of Olakwor-Afara-Nihi Road, the rehabilitation of Okrika Internal Road in Okochiri, Okrika was flagged on Thursday 24th November, while the reconstruction of the Igbo-Etche Road, was flagged off on Friday 25th November, 2016.
Other roads to be flagged-off include Chokocho-Umuechem-Ozuzu Road, on Friday, 2nd December, and the flag-off of the completion of the abandoned Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road, on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016. The governor will also flag-off the Elimgbu-Atali Road, on Friday 9th December, 2016.
Development has taken centre stage. All parts of the state are being carried along.
The people of Rivers State rejected Dakuku Peterside because of his penchant for lies. I will remind Dakuku Peterside of the level of rejection he suffered on April 11, 2015 ; Governor Wike polled 1,029,102 votes while Mr Peterside polled 124,896 votes. He is supposed to be engaged in deep reflection so as to change from his ways.
Rivers State is in safe hands under the leadership of Governor Wike . He is creating a New Rivers State . The humbling experience on Rhythm FM must have sent a clear message to Dakuku Peterside and his godfather . Rivers State has moved on. There is no need for the deep bitterness . Rivers is PDP , Rivers is NEW.