02 One People, One Voice
03 The Economy
In the early days of the colonial period, several protection treaties were signed between various indigenous communities and the British colonial government. Between 1941 and 1952, agitation for the creation of Rivers province began with the formation of the Ijo Rivers People’s League. By 1953, the Council of Rivers Chiefs was birthed as a replacement body for the League, the same year, another organisation, the Calabar Ogoja Rivers (COR) State Movement became existent.
The Council of Rivers Chiefs was later renamed in 1954 to Rivers Chiefs and Peoples’ Congress and in 1956, the organisation became known as the Rivers Chiefs Peoples Conference. Until 1958, hopes of an independent state resonated with the region, and lingered consistently in the minds of its natives. During the constitutional conference that year, the country’s nationhood was affirmed while an agreement was reached on some measures to mitigate the fears of the ethnic minorities in the area. Around this time, the COR State Movement had broken away to press their own case. Thereafter, the British launched a commission led by Sir Henry Willink to look into the misgivings of these autochthons. The Willink Commission initiated the conception of the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB). The purpose was to tackle the problems of underdevelopment, however, this failed to rise to the expectations of the masses. After much discontent, some of the people attempted to take the extralegal route to achieve their goals.
In February 1966, Isaac Boro, Sam Owonaro and Nottingham Dick alongside their supporters proclaimed a “Delta Peoples Republic”. The rebellion was immediately crushed by the Federal and the old Eastern Nigeria government. On 27 May 1967, under the administration of General Yakubu Gowon, decree No. 14 was issued, allowing the creation of Rivers State. From then on, complaints about political marginalisation, environmental degradation and economic pauperisation remained among the Ijaw groups, such that a separate Bayelsa State was carved out of Rivers State by the military government during 1996.
06 People and Culture
In 1999 the state had 2,805 government primary schools and 243 secondary schools. The secondary schools are concentrated mainly in LGA headquarter towns and in Port Harcourt. Tertiary institutions include the:
University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port Harcourt established by the federal government in 1975,
Rivers State University of Science and Technology, founded in 1980 by the state government,
School of Health Technology, Port Harcourt, established by the state government,
Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku and the state-owned Rivers State Polytechnic at Bori,
Rivers State University of Education (Ignatius Ajuru University) at Rumuolumeni, Nkpolu Oroworukwo and Ndele and
School of Nursing and Midwifery at Rumueme, Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State College of Arts and Science in Port Harcourt gained polytechnic status in 2006.