Without doubt, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is the most outstanding governor of the first one hundred days of this era. The facts speak for themselves.
His predecessor, the embattled APC National Sponsor, Mr Rotimi Amaechi messed Rivers State up so terribly that he bragged at a public function few days to the expiration of his ill-fated administration that Wike would fail to deliver.
Hear Amaechi celebrating the trap he set for Governor Wike during a thanksgiving service held by the Greater Together Campaign Organisation (GTCO), the campaign outfit of the Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside. : " I think Nyesom Wike is coming, we are waiting. He will look for money for salary; there is none. But when he pays out salary, we will see if any of them can do what we did in this state: whether they can build the schools, the roads, even to get a loan''.
It was under this precarious situation planned and executed against the Rivers people that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike took up the reins of leadership. It was a very gloomy period. The courts were closed, the State Assembly crippled, the state bureaucracy in coma, the roads were death traps and insecurity was at the worst imaginable level. Civil servants were owed for two months, pensioners owed for six months and the entire Port Harcourt City was a huge dump site because Amaechi owed refuse clearing service providers several months of unpaid fees running into billions.
Worse still, the former Governor did not hand over any documents, refusing to set up a transition committee to interface with the then incoming administration. Instead, Rotimi Amaechi turned a drummer boy at the Eagle Square, Abuja on May 29.
As an apostle of the "Talk na Do" political philosophy, Governor Wike refused to be cowed by the political booby traps set for him. He was overwhelmingly elected because they people believed in his capacity to surmount the obstacles of treachery and wanton theft of state resources as exemplified by the immediate past Amaechi administration. All through the campaign trail, the song was the same in all languages - "Wike na talk na do."
The governor himself amplified it at every spot- both at the riverine and upland communities. "My word is my bond. What I say I will do, I will do".
With 100days of his exemplary administration, the people have realised that they were right to have chosen the "talk na do", political philosophy over the politics of treachery and corruption.
On his very first day in office, Governor Wike revived the Judiciary, initiated operation zero potholes and kick-started the process of rebuilding the state civil service. On June 1, he swore in the State Acting Chief Judge and the State Acting President of the Customary Court of Appeal. It was also on June 1 that he proclaimed the State House of Assembly at the Assembly Complex. Governor Wike has instituted constitutional separation of powers in the state with all arms of government functioning optimally. Indeed, former Governor Amaechi had to use the State High Court recently, even though he shut it down for one year. The Rivers State House of Assembly is now one of the most active in the country, passing critical bills and doing legislative business at its complex.
Today, Rivers State is now a huge construction site. The economy had been kick-started and the State is working again.
Two construction giants, Julius Berger and CCECC are handling the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Port Harcourt roads which spans two local government areas with a great percentage of the state’s population and economic infrastructure. The success recorded so far is mind boggling. This is because, Amaechi had hinged his non performance on the constant rains in Port Harcourt. Now, Wike has redefined project execution in Rivers State. Even under the rains, the roads are springing to life. Areas such as Diobu, Borokiri, Iwofe road, GRA, Akpajo, Eliopranwo, Tombia extension, Eagle Island and other key communities in the state capital.
Several other construction companies are working on roads in different parts of the state to open up the state to the rest of the country.
Governor Wike initiated critical intervention into the reconstruction of the Eleme Junction to Onne Junction of the East West road leading to the Onne sea port. The once deplorable road is now motorable and work is still ongoing. He has done same for the Industry/NPA road to the Port in Port Harcourt City. These interventions to rehabilitate two key Federal roads are in line with his promise to make the ports functional for the economic revival of Rivers State. The Abonnema -Obonoma link road in Akuku-Toru LGA has been completed while work on Andoni-Opobo Unity road and well as the Trans-Kalabari road is billed to commence shortly.
Through the Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, he has started the construction of a facility to move auto-mechanics and spare parts dealers out of the city centre to further beautify Port Harcourt.
Within his first 100days, Governor Wike strengthened the security architecture of the state. He intervened in the equipping of the police and other security agencies, supplying 64 security vans with high class communication gadgets to track down criminals.
Beyond the donation of the vehicles, Governor Wike initiated a compensation scheme where families of security agents who die in active service fighting criminals will receive N5million while residents who supply credible information that will lead to the arrest of kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists will get N1million. The governor sent the state anti-kidnapping bill to the State Assembly, which has been been passed and assented to by him.
In the housing sector, Governor Wike has completed the Iriebe Housing Estate of 50 units of two and three bedroom flats. He will replicate this model across the state.
For the first time in many years, Rivers State hosted an international football match. It hosted the U23 match Olympic Qualifier Match between Nigeria and Congo. It has been given the hosting rights of three Super Eagles matches beginning with the match against Tanzania. He has cleared the backlog of salaries of Sharks and Dolphin Football Clubs players.
Within this period, he has commenced the process of rehabilitating prominent schools across the state. To begin with, he has completed the hitherto abandoned state of the art Law Faculty Building at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology.
The health sector is to receive a revival pill. The governor has established the framework for the equipping of major general and Zonal hospitals in the state.
Regarding economic development, Governor Wike took the most ambitious step. He started the process to end multiple taxation by involving all stakeholders across the state.
He has in the first 100days opened functional lines of engagement with the diplomatic community, local and international business concerns. He has renewed partnerships with Shell, NLNG, NPA, Indorama, INTELS, NNPC, just to name a few. The governor has already attracted a Visa Centre of the South African Government and is working out international programmes with the British, the Irish, the Chinese and the US.
Rivers State in 100 Days has become a hub of development and collaboration. Institutions, companies and entrepreneurs are now coming to the state to benefit from expanding business opportunities. The multiplier effect would be increased jobs, economic growth and social stability.
Governor Wike has in line with his promise to the people effectively has commenced the creation of a New Rivers State. He has given them back their voice and ensured that their resources work for them.
Even his few opponents who are presently on self exile at Abuja have commended him on his programmed revival of decayed infrastructure across the state.
Wike is a political phenomenon. His 'Talk na Do ' brand of politics is hinged on the people and the vision to improve their living standard. It is anchored on protecting them from external resource predators and ensuring that their God-given resources are judiciously deployed for all round development. It is about giving Rivers State a pride of place in the comity of states. So far, so great.
The New Rivers State has a team of prolific writers who will be introduced with time.