Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that Nigeria will
only experience peace and development when the several lies affecting
her functionality are dismantled.
He also called for immediate reforms where states are treated as
federating units and not departments of the Federal Government.
In his acceptance speech after receiving the award as the Sun
Governor of the Year, 2016 in Lagos on Saturday night , Governor Wike
said that all efforts must be targeted at inclusive governance,
which will cater for all sections of the country.
He said: “There are too many lies in the Nigeria’s structural
arrangement we must dismantle, including the over-concentration of
absolute power and resources at the centre, in order to guarantee
sustainable peace, good governance and development.
“For heaven’s sake, we must come to terms with the fact that States
are federating units, not departments of the Federal Government. State
Governors are elected by their people, and therefore superior in every
respect to appointed officers of the federal government.
“It is a constitutional fiction to refer to Governors as Chief
Security Officers. But, even at that, nobody can claim to be more
concerned about insecurity in our States than the Governors.”
He said despite the challenges posed by the imbalances, he has
worked deliberately to support security agencies and improve
security in Rivers State.
The governor said: “In Rivers State, our administration treats
security as number one priority. We have invested millions of naira to
provide support for the security agencies, including patrol vehicles,
communication and surveillance equipment, gunboats and other
“Even as I speak, we have procured six armoured personnel carriers to
be delivered to the police force. You must also be aware of the two
armoured helicopters partly funded by the previous administration,
which we brought into the country and voluntarily offered to the
Nigerian Air force to use in providing aerial security surveillance
for the State.
“Unfortunately, our commitments and support for the security agencies,
especially the Police and the DSS appear fruitless given the
prevailing disenchantments over their poor operations and relationship
with the government and our people.
“Worse still, the politicization of security agencies and services in
Rivers State, which started with the frequent and impulsive
replacement of Police and DSS bosses, is becoming entrenched and even
taken to irrational levels.”
On his award, Governor Wike explained that he will remain committed
to the delivery of quality projects and programmes across the state
for the good of the people.
He noted that the successes recorded in road infrastructure, health
infrastructure, security of lives and , education, empowerment, youth
development, urban renewal and agriculture.
He said: “As a government, we refused the temptation to politicise
project implementation. It is for this reason that we embarked on the
ambitious completion of the projects abandoned by the previous
administration provided they have direct bearing on the lives of our
“And because we recognized the direct relationship between the quality
of infrastructure and the State’s growth potential, we completely
insulated road construction from political considerations and ensured
that all such contracts are given only to tested and reputable
” This policy saw the quick return of construction giants like Julius
Berger, CCECC, Setraco, Dantata & Sawoe, Reynolds Construction
Company, and others.
“It is also instructive to note that our infrastructure revolution is
not limited to roads. We appreciate the essence of achieving holistic
development of the State, which can be impeded without the
simultaneous development of social infrastructure.
“Accordingly, we also rebuilding the schools to improve the quality of
education and rehabilitating and re-equipping the general hospitals to
enhance healthcare delivery. As I speak, 13 general hospitals are
undergoing comprehensive rehabilitation while the Vice President on
his recent visit flagged off the construction of senior doctors’
quarters at the State-owned Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital.”
Governor Wike added: “Also, we are constructing a world-class pleasure
park to enhance tourism development, reconstructing the Bille/Bonny
Jetty, completed and commissioned the Okrika Jetty to improve water
transportation and providing potable water for some of our
communities. In appreciation to God, we are building the Port Harcourt
Ecumenical Centre to uplift the spiritual lives of our people.
“Rivers State is now a huge construction site and this is deliberate.
In 2016, we spent not less than 60 per cent of our budget on capital
projects. In 2017, we have increased it to 70 per cent to enable us
deliver on our unmet needs for more social and economic
While thanking the Sun Newspapers for the award, he assured that he
will continue to perform in such a way that he will continue to
win the award.
The Sun Governor of the Year Award was presented to Governor Wike
by the Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaokwu who
lauded the governor for his outstanding performance.
The award ceremony was attended by political and business leaders
across the country.