Government headlines

Governor Wike takes oath of office for a second term

Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, re-elected Governor of Rivers State, on Wednesday, in the presence of thousands of Rivers people and other prominent Nigerians, took the oath of office to commence his second term.

Nyesom Ezenwo Wike,  re-elected Governor of Rivers State,  on Wednesday,  in the presence of thousands of Rivers people and other prominent Nigerians, took the oath of office to commence his second term.

Also on Wednesday,  Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo was sworn in for a second term.

Chief Judge of Rivers State,  Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara administered the oath of office for the Rivers State Governor and his Deputy.

The swearing-in ceremony which took place at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt was a huge celebration as the arrival of Governor Wike was greeted  by  jubilation by the capacity crowd.

After mounting  the saluting dais for the ceremonial police rituals, Governor Wike drove  in the ceremonial open roof Land Rover Utility Vehicle to exchange pleasantries with the jubilant crowd.

In an inauguration address,  Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike declared that he will always place Rivers State first in all his actions.

He said: “For us, in all things it is Rivers State first; Rivers State is the measure; Rivers State before others. This is the essence of the political mandate and burden that we will bear for the next four years and we will not disappoint you.

”  We will continue to stand up for Rivers State and defend her interest, no matter the challenges or what comes at us”.

The Governor  said that his Administration is not in opposition to the Federal Government, calling for  partnership to move Rivers State and Nigeria forward.

He said: ” But we are not a conquered people and we will never surrender our freedoms to any body or entity, whether internal or external.
We will therefore not accept to be subjugated to a headmaster and pupil power relationship; neither will we abandon the collective interest of Rivers State for the sake of political expediency.

“We are for the rule of law, democracy and mutual respect as autonomous State entities and co-building blocks of the Nigerian federation”.

Governor Wike  thanked the good people of Rivers State, especially the voters, for their  trust and support  that led to the mandate to serve the state for another  four years.

He thanked leaders of the state, political leaders,  Traditional Rulers,  the clergy, women and youth groups for their unwavering support.

He said: “For us, everyone counts and we must not allow ourselves to be divided between upland and riverine considerations but strive for common grounds, solidarity and work together towards achieving our common goals and aspirations.

“Our refrain at this time, and especially in the face of the social and economic uncertainties in our nation, should be: ask what you can do for Rivers State instead of what Rivers State can do for you.

“The future of our State depends on us. It is up to us to renew, re-energize, and advance the Rivers dream, to fight for what belongs to us, and to defend our right to exist in freedom, security and peace in our own nation. And if we do cooperate, think and act among ourselves with tenacity and unity of strength, purpose and commitment, then there is no mountain we cannot level; no river we cannot cross, and no goal we set for ourselves that we cannot achieve.”

Outlining  the direction of his administration for the next four years , Governor Wike pledged to consolidate on his first term achievements and make Rivers State, the greatest state in  the country.

He said: ”   Our economy is great but it should be greater and made more beneficial to all. And so we will continue to grow our economy, expand our tax base, provide a friendly business environment and attract foreign and local investments to create more jobs and empower our people.

” We will continue on the economic trajectory of fiscal discipline, prudence, prioritization of capital projects over recurrent and giving value for money spent in the delivery of services.

”  We know we are developing, but it’s better and more result-oriented if approached in an organized and strategic form.We will therefore adopt a holistic approach to development by partnering with relevant national and international agencies and expertise to initiate and implement a 25-years Marshall Plan for economic transformation and development to guide and accelerate the future development of our State”.

Governor Wike spelt out key areas that will will witness remarkable improvements under his leadership during his second term.

He said that the administration will continue  with  the provision of quality road network,  bridges and  prioritize the development of more social amenities, schools, health facilities, water and sanitation, electricity, land reclamation and preservation of  natural resources.

“For too long, we have relied mostly on a single vanishing revenue source to fund our development. The reality is that we cannot continue in this economic folly lest we remain forever vulnerable to the ripples, uncertainties and miseries of the mono-product based national economy. Apart from oil and gas, Rivers State also has a vast agricultural potential, which has remained largely untapped for decades.

“For us therefore, it is about time we embraced the green revolution as a strategic measure for achieving economic diversification, job creation and food security for the State and our people, and we are just ready to do that.

Our role in this regard will span from granting interest free loans to providing training, land preparation and logistical support to our willing youths to invest in commercial agriculture and allied businesses”, he said.

Governor Wike particularly announced that his administration will construct fly over bridges at Rumuokoro,  Garrison and Artillery in Port Harcourt.

Governor Wike assured that youth development  will take centre stage during his second term.

He said: “We’ve got good news for all our youths this time around as we will dedicate much of the next four years to Youth Development by tackling the challenges that continue to keep you behind. As a starting point, we’ve resolved to give our youths some significant positions in our government and provide viable economic opportunities to spark hopes of a better future in their eyes.

”  Let me also assure you that those who need education will get quality one; those who want life-skills will be trained; those who want to do business will continue to get our interest free loans; and those who have sporting talents will have quality sporting facilities and encouragement from us; and for those interested in making a career out of football, we have provided the Real Madrid Academy to prepare you for life-transforming professional footballing careers at home and abroad