By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
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With the reappointment of Dr Davies Ibiamu Ikanya into the Rivers State EXCO, today 7th October, 2009 will remain in the annals of Rivers political history as a day Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi truly consolidated his position as a trail blazer in political reengineering in Nigeria.

Dr Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, immediate past Commissioner of Special Duties on the cabinet up until its dissolution this past June, is also the Chairman of the FOOPP; a coalition of over 46 opposition political parties in the state. We see his reappointment to the Rivers State Exco as a further indication of Governor Amaechi's intentions to propagate a truly unity government even as he remains committed to rebuilding the state in the company of seasoned technocrats irrespective of party affiliations. It is now evident that the Governor's promise at the 7th July 2009 Courtesy visit/formal presentation of the FOOPP at the Government House in Port Harcourt, when in response to a call by the body, he agreed to reappoint Ikanya to his cabinet, was not a mere political spin but the statement of a man of integrity who honours his word.

Not a few had expressed doubts as to the follow through on the widely publicised promise of reappointment. But today twelve weeks down the line, this pledge has not only been honoured but in addition, the choice of the strategic portfolio –with its attendant challenges-, buttresses the fact of Amaechi's confidence in the opposition to deliver on a sector that has been a bane to his administration.

Reacting to Ibiamu's reappointment and swearing in, Prince Tonye Princewill Leader of the Forum and BOT Chairman congratulated Chief Ibiamu, urging him to prove his mettle yet again in the strategic office to which he had been placed as helmsman. He expressed his gratitude to the Governor for the honour bestowed upon Ibiamu and his obvious confidence in the ability of the opposition to deliver. He enthused thus “with Ibiamu's reappointment, Amaechi has proven yet again that my respect for him is not a decision I regret. He is without doubt a Leader we all can trust and in my opinion what he needs most is our prayers as he persists in the onerous task of leading the state”. Prince Tonye also applauded the governor for his well informed choice of Ms Ibim Seminitari a seasoned journalist and Communications expert as Commissioner for Information.

Shortly after the being sworn in, Dr Ikanya on his part offered profound thanks to the Almighty God and expressed gratitude to Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for the appointment and also reiterated his support of the ideals the governor represents hence informing his decision to embrace his inclusion in the cabinet. He assured all of his readiness to collaborate with partners in government and stakeholders to ensure the necessary dividends during his tenure.

Barrister Osima Ginah, Urban Development Commissioner and also opposition candidate in the Cabinet currently on assignment in Europe, in a telephone conversation following receipt of the news, congratulated Dr Ibiamu and expressed gratitude to the Governor for this great gesture that gives the opposition yet another strong voice in the EXCO.

Mr Garshon Benson the Secretary General of FOOPP and Rivers State Chairman of DPP who accompanied Dr Ikanya to the Govt House Executive Council chambers for the epoch making event stated that today is one of the greatest days in my life. “This is a new dawn for genuine democracy in Rivers State aimed at the emancipation of our people. Today, we can proudly state that we are sons and daughters of Rivers State without any inhibition. Today, a new chapter is introduced in the annals of our democratic evolution as a State where people can now practise their political beliefs without any form of molestation or intimidation all to our today's embodiment of democratic tenants - Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi,”

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Media Consultant, FOOPP, Rivers State