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The April 11 governorship election has come and gone. The people and residents of Rivers State have collectively made their choice –it is Wike. The people have played their part in this social contract, now the ball is in the court of the governor-elect, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the PDP to deliver in line with the promises that he made to the people during his campaign rounds.

With any fear of contradiction, Barrister Wike is equal to the task. He has been primed over the years for a time like this. His emergence as the next governor of Rivers State is one that will be a blessing for the state as he is a politician, lawyer and administrator with the relevant qualities to turn around a state that has been made a laughing stock by the outgoing administration.

By the election of Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the people of Rivers State have unanimously declared their preference for a trusted performer, skilful politician and a philanthropist, ahead of the continuation of godfatherism steeped in propaganda, falsehood and threats to the unity of all ethnic nationalities of the state. After years of failure, Rivers people resolved to embrace a man known for his achievements and pragmatism in development.

Wike has never disappointed wherever he has served. He has also left iconic achievements at all his duty posts and created worthy leaders committed to the development process. That is why he was able to build a common front that liberated the people of Rivers State from the shackles of governance by media, with nothing to show for the trillions that have accrued to the state.

It is heart-warming that Rivers people chose to side with the New Rivers Vision 2015, an easy to comprehend development blueprint that Wike premised his revival of Rivers State upon. This document was prepared by professionals and ordinary people from all walks of life and every locality in Rivers State. Therefore, it took into consideration, the developmental challenges of the people. It is not bogus in promises and it talks directly to the people.

During our market and ward to ward campaigns, the governor-elect was pleasantly surprised that wherever he stepped his feet to interact with the people, he saw them pulling out the 23-page development blueprint. The booklet became a guide to the people. Those who could not read called on their more literate friends to explain the contents of the document to them. This can be done in minutes because it was formulated for implementation and not for academic exercise.

In all his campaigns, Barrister Wike made location-specific promises. For every community, he never made more than three direct campaign promises. His reason was simple. Whatever promise he made to a community must be properly documented and implemented after election.

The New Rivers Vision 2015 is a project on the platform of building a truly united, secure and prosperous Rivers State with boundless opportunities for everyone who lives in the state. This is to ensure that the Rivers people pursue their goals and realize their full potentials in dignity and happiness.

The project seeks to actualise the aspirations of the people of the state for a balanced development and enhanced quality of life for the present and future generations through responsive governance guided by the fear of God.

The priorities of the incoming Wike administration include: open, accountable and inclusive governance, security of life and property, administration of justice, education, healthcare delivery, agricultural development, roads, drainage and transport infrastructure, housing development, provision of water and energy security.

Other priority areas are; jobs, wealth creation and economic development, women development, youth development, sports, recreation and tourism, environmental protection, urban and rural development and social welfare services.

The programmes to be implemented by Barrister Wike in his first four years as governor of Rivers State are pro-people. They are geared towards ensuring that the people play more active roles in governance and in the process they get empowered through the enabling environment that will be created by the administration.

Under Wike, the courts will function optimally. Under Wike, security of life and property will be a watch-word. Under Wike, the legislature will be functional and the ministries and agencies will be alive to their responsibilities. Under Wike, youths and women will be empowered through carefully designed programmes. Under Wike, businesses will grow as he will create the right environment. Under Wike, basic amenities will be functional again across the state. Under Wike, Rivers resources will be used to develop Rivers State and not for fanning the embers of disunity and insecurity. Under Wike, Rivers State will assume her true position in the comity of states, not the laughing stock it has become in the last few years.

Wike will re-define development in Rivers State, give the people a sense of belonging and make the state a community of lovely people where political tension will be relegated to the background. This is a politician with the right political will and competence to achieve all that he has set out to do. If you doubt, ask outgoing governor Rotimi Amaechi.

Written by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant (Media) to Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Rivers State Governor-Elect.

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