Without doubt, the journey to reclaim Rivers State for the good people of the state was tough and the laden with several landmines. Of all the governors sworn in on May 29, 2015, that of Nyesom Ezenwo Wike ( CON ) was the most outstanding and historic.
Right to the very last minute of the constitutional exercise, concerned Nigerians from across the globe continued to place calls, afraid that the undemocratic forces would have their way and scuttle the will of the people.
It was not as if these forces did not try. One would require the services of the National Population Commission to know the actual number of frivolous suits filed by the defeated Rivers APC and their weather -beaten godfather in their regrettable desire to purchase a black market injunction to scuttle the wheel of progress. They were in Awka, Owerri, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Abuja, Osogbo , Katsina and other yet to be known cities to further deride the judiciary. The swearing-in ceremony took place because the judiciary was vigilant, knowing what they did in Rivers State.
With the swearing-in ceremony concluded at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt, the brand new Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike started as he promised -delivering on his campaign promises.
His very first action to revive Rivers State and rebuild the confidence of the people in government was to immediately appoint the most senior High Court Judge in the state, Justice Daisy Okocha as the State Acting Chief Judge. He also appointed Justice Christy Gabriel-Nwankwo as the State Acting President Customary Court of Appeal.
These two appointments effectively revived the state judiciary. The governor gave the Acting Chief Judge the charge to open the courts on Monday, June 1 after her swearing-in ceremony.
Wike made a firm promise to the people of Rivers State after reviving the Judiciary : "Under our watch, never again will the doors to justice be deliberately and punitively shut against the people of Rivers State."
Also on May 29, Wike addressed one of the inglorious acts of impunity of the outgone administration. The sacking of lecturers of Rivers State University of Science and Techonology who fought against administrative injustice and political rascality. He reinstated all the affected lecturers.
He declared : " I hereby direct the management of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology to immediately recall and reinstate to their duty posts with all their rights and privileges restored, all the academic staff of the University, who were purportedly disengaged from service on account of their membership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and participating in a legitimate strike action called by the union. "
As promised, the Rivers State House of Assembly has returned to its hallowed chambers at the State Assembly Complex. It would no longer sit at the Dinning Hall of the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Like he did at the Federal Ministry of Education, where he brought life to the basic education sub-sector of Nigeria and re-positioned, the tertiary education sect as Supervising Minister of Education, Wike has hit the ground running.
He left the stadium, drove straight to the Government House, Port Harcourt where he inspected the guard of honour and thereafter rushed back to the streets of the Garden City.
Right in the company of the long suffering people of Port Harcourt. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike flagged off the reconstruction of roads in the Garden City under the programme, "Operation Zero Potholes ".
He explained that the operation zero potholes programme is aimed at restoring Port Harcourt and making it a pride of the people. Governor Wike said all the potholes in the state capital will be addressed for free flow of traffic to improve the productivity of the people.
On Saturday, May 30 after attending the Thanksgiving Service for Former President Goodluck Jonathan in Yenagoa, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike drove round the streets of Port Harcourt to monitor the condition of the ordinary man on the street. He was saddened by the fact that the altercation between the immediate past administration and the refuse collectors has led to uncleared refuse in many parts of the city. He has since directed the immediate clearing of the refuse dumps and will meet with the refuse collectors on Wednesday, June 3.
As the chief visioner of the New Rivers Vision 2015, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has started the process of reviving a state severely damaged by a failed administration. Henceforth, the people will witness the joys of good governance premised on dedicated service. He understands the needs of the state and has the required stamina to address the rot..
Beyond the tangible benefits of democracy, Wike’s administration will ensure that the people enjoy the intangible benefits of democracy and all the associated freedom.
He said : " We shall return power to the people as we conduct our common affairs with the fear of God and ensure that everyone is equal and accountable before the law. Our government will certainly be that of the people, for the people and by the people. Under our watch, the principle of separation of powers shall be operative. Equality and mutual respect for the constitutional status, powers and functions shall prevail among the three arms of government. "
The journey to a New Rivers State has effectively started and there is no going back.
The New Rivers State has a team of prolific writers who will be introduced with time.