By May 29, 2015, Rivers State had degenerated to an all time low; the lowest point in the history of the state. Nothing was functional as all the arms of government had been grounded.
The immediate past governor of the state and his top officials made matters worse as they embarked on an embarrassing looting of resources of the state and government facilities in the state. These officials acted as if they were mercenaries on a desperate mission to suck the state dry. The governor inherited a state grounded by poor governance and unbridled corruption.
From the very first day Governor Nyesom Wike assumed the leadership of Rivers State, he commenced the process of restarting the state from its state of coma. He revived the judiciary, which had been grounded for a year at the time, re-awakened the state legislature, which was hitherto meeting at the Government House and reinvigorated the comatose executive arm of the government.
Governor Wike in less than two weeks of taking over the leadership of the state brought life to the state. He introduced a participatory style of governance that carried every stakeholder along and refocused the state for the much needed development.
In the first 60 days, Governor Wike settled the two months’ salary arrears owed by his predecessor, paid pensions, settled the outstanding wages of players and management of Dolphin and Sharks Football Clubs, attracted the Olympic Qualifier football match to Port Harcourt, attracted several national and international workshops and political meetings to the state.
The first 60 days of Governor Wike has witnessed one of the best initiatives in developmental partnership. Governor Wike initiated the repairs of the Eleme to Onne Junction of the federal East-West road leading to the Onne Sea Port. In conjunction with the stakeholders, Governor Wike raised N3billion to fix the road.
Within the 60 days under review, security has improved in the state. Nigerians no longer hear terrible news from the state. Though the state is yet to get to the Promised Land, an enabling environment has been created for more investors to throng into the state. A working relationship has been developed with security agencies in the state as against the cat and dog game enthroned under the immediate past administration.
Development projects have taken the centre stage in the state. Several abandoned road projects across the state are being completed by Governor Wike. The governor launched Operation Zero potholes in the state capital with two construction giants working daily to address the poor state of roads left by the immediate past administration. The Faculty of Law building at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, which was abandoned by the Amaechi administration is nearing completion.
Governor Wike has also started the development of health facilities in the state beginning with Bori Zonal hospital and the General Hospital at Elele-Alimini. The over one year strike by health workers in the state has been resolved and the workers are back to work.
The administration is providing middle income houses for workers at the Iriebe Housing Estate. The first phase of 50 units of the housing estate will be delivered by the first 100 days of the administration.
Within the period under review, Governor Wike has started rebuilding the economy of the state. He has built a partnership with the business community in the state for a more inclusive development that will be beneficial to the people.
To forestall future corruption in the state and recover stolen funds from officials of the immediate past administration, Governor Wike instituted a Judicial Commission of Inquiry. The commission of inquiry under the Chairmanship of Justice George Omereji is saddled with the responsibility of investigating the sale of state assets by the Amaechi administration and the mismanagement of some key contracts.
The process of rebuilding the state civil service has started in earnest. With a new Head of Service, the administration is creating a civil service equipped and motivated to help in developing the state.
Since Governor Wike took over the leadership of the state, it has been about the development of the state. All actions have been geared towards reviving the state. Unnecessary politicking has been relegated. The rule of law has been enthroned and impunity has taken flight.
Rivers State is now on a development mode. Everybody has keyed into the development agenda of the governor. The dirty streets bequeathed by former Governor Rotimi Amaechi are giving way to cleaner streets as marshaled by the new Rivers State Waste Management Authority.
Once again, Rivers State is functional. The dysfunctional state left by the Amaechi administration has been confined to history. This is an era of pragmatic development where propaganda plays no role. Everybody living in the state is feeling the impact of good governance, irrespective of party affiliation. The resources of Rivers State are now working for her people. That’s what they voted for on April 11.
Nwakaudu, is the special assistant ( Media ) to the Rivers State governor