By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
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The Governor of Rivers State Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi was on the 30th of April 2010, in a colourful ceremony presented with the award of Governor of the year 2009 by the Leadership Newspapers.

This honour is in recognition of his outstanding achievements as Governor in two short years since his assumption of office. This is the third year in a row that the Governor is receiving a similar accolade with the Sun, Compass Newspapers conferring on him the award Governor of the year in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

The Rivers State AC wish to join other indigenes, friends and stakeholders in the state to congratulate His Excellency for this well deserved honour. We also commend the management of the Leadership Newspapers for reiterating its commitment to social responsibility by its decision to acknowledge the trail blazing efforts of the Governor, in his continued drive to ensure equitable access to the dividends of democracy to all and sundry across the 23 LGAs in the state.

The conferment of this award has further justified the Rivers State AC's resolve to continue to support the Governor as he continues in his commitment towards building a virile, vibrant and egalitarian Rivers State. The past two years have seen the state evolve from a state fraught with uncertainties resulting from the siege of militancy and other criminal activities resulting in a state of emergency which brought the state economy to its knees with a mass exodus of major investors in the state especially in the oil and gas sector which is the major economic bedrock of the state. Today commerce is gaining ground with Port Harcourt reclaiming the top spot of the entertainment capital of the Nation.

The Governor has to the credit of his administration, several infrastructural development in the different sectors of the state and they include the ongoing construction and commissioning of projects as well as the introduction of modern urbanization initiatives i.e 200 link roads, 105 Health Centers, over 300 model schools, upgrade of refuse disposal, urban renewal, upgrade of security outfits, Private Public Partnership Initiatives, dualisation of eight major roads in Port Harcourt – Rumola-Rumuokuta (completed), Oginigba-Rumuokbiakani Rd (completed), Eastern by pass-Amadi Amaa-Oginigba (reconstruction completed), Old Aba Road (80% completed), Elekahia-Rumuomasi (70% completed), Rumuokuta- NTA-Choba Rd (60& completed), Tam David-West Rd (80% completed), d mega-Airport-Isiokpo-Omerelu dualisation (42km Federal Rd, 50% completed), Rumukurusi-Eneka-Igwuruta Rd (ongoing), award of 850 km of roads, completion of 260km of roads. Two overhead bridges completed, two under construction, four bridges completed and four under construction. It is to the credit of this administration that very soon communities in the Riverine Areas hitherto inaccessible by road will be linked to the road network.

Other projects in the pipeline include the Scrap to Wealth plant established at Kira-Tai which will be functional before the end of the year. The Greater Port Harcourt project is ongoing. PHCN has been tasked with the distribution of electricity generated from the State Independent Power Project's (IPP) Gas Turbine located in Trans Amdi axis in the Port Harcourt metropolis.

From all intents and purposes, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi is truly building a new Rivers State and it is expected that he be encouraged to take the State to the next level. The Amaechi administration's unity government in partnership with Prince Tonye Princewill led Opposition in Rivers State has proven his understanding of opposition in new breed politics and has become a reference point for the best way to move the polity forward in a modern state.

All these monumental feats notwithstanding, we urge the Government to improve on its water distribution network as many parts of the State lack quality drinking water. We advice that the government takes advantage of the window of the remaining 5 years of the United Nations' “Water for life” decade which is a unique opportunity to partner with agencies that can deliver a coordinated response to the challenge of water scarcity especially in the riverine communities.

We would also like to use this opportunity to commend and congratulate the Acting President of Nigeria, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck for his astute style of governance so far especially the bold step taken in reliving INEC Chairman, Prof Iwu of his duties. We hope that this act will be the harbinger of good things to come as we anxiously await the implementation of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee recommendations.

The recent signing into law of the Local Content Bill in the Oil and Gas Sector is also a commendable step taken by the Acting President so far as we believe this will reduce the burden of unemployment and restiveness in the Niger Delta Region and improve on the expertise of Nigerians in handling the Oil and Gas Sector.

In conclusion, we also pray the Acting President to revisit the recommendations of the Ledum Mittee Presidential Technical Committee on Niger Delta and issue a white paper for its implementation as the panacea to the Niger Delta Issue and by so doing demonstrate once and for all purposeful leadership.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Publicity Secretary, Rivers State AC