GOVERNOR ROTIMI CHIBUIKE AMAECHI’S 8 WISE MEN– HOW THEY MADE IT BACK AND WHAT NEXT FOR THEM?-OUR CASE FOR IBIAMU
The reappointment of eight out of the 24 members of the dissolved Rivers State Exco did not come to us in Rivers State AC as a shock as they have proven themselves as men that can be entrusted with the leadership of the State. Their zeal for service and patriotic spirit as fellow vision carriers with Amaechi was never in doubt as they exhibited high levels of commitment in their various ministries, working towards articulating the Governor's vision for the state.
Lets us consider some of the key Commissioners and posit our assumptions on the likely reasons for their recall back to the State Exco contrary to the unwarranted insinuations in some quarters that they don't merit they reappointment as it was influenced by some non existing 'godfathers' and closeness to the Governor.
1. Dr Sampson Parker, Commissioner of Health.
An able one-man squad, he oversaw the initiation of the current revolution sweeping through the Health Sector of the State. He is credited with blazing the trail for 154 number of modern hospital projects being constructed across the State, a 250-bed modern hospital to replace the old Niger Delta Hospital and a new Dental Hospital currently at advanced stage of construction to replace the old Dental Hospital. In addition, the Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte International Hospital, expected to provide international standard health care facilities that will rival hospitals in Europe, America or any part of the globe was initiated during his tenure. It would have been a travesty if Dr Parker was not reappointed..
2. Hon. Dakuku Peterside, Commissioner of Works.
Regarded as a silent and unassuming operator, he understands the need to see development in practical terms, hence his tireless resolve to achieve targets. Reports have it of how shocked Journalists were, while during a meeting with Gov. Amaechi, Peterside called him at about 3am to relay updates on a Road construction site in the State. As at last count, during his tenure, a total of about 250 roads spread out all over the state were earmarked for construction.
3. Barr. Alice Nemi, Commissioner of Education.
Nemi came into office with antecedents worth their weight in gold. She famously introduced enterprise initiatives that will hopefully form the bedrock of the educational system of Rivers State. She is a study in honesty in, recently returning to the coffers of the RSG unspent funds in her Ministry. Her coming to the Ministry of Education has changed the face of Education in the State and given hope that the future of our children is secure. She is credited with various projects in the short period she was at the helm of affairs at the ministry. It is little wondered therefore that our amiable governor understands the need for continuity hence the urgent recall of Barrister Nemi to the Exco.
4. Barr Osima Ginah, Commissioner for Urban Development.
H.C.Osima, one of the exports of Rivers State AC to the Amaechi's administration has established himself as a tour de force within the administration and has successfully carved a niche for himself. It was Vice President Goodluck Jonathan who during a luncheon in honour of late Senator Melford Okilo captured Ginah's essence his Ministry when he stated thus; ”The fact remains that Rivers State has become the cynosure of the world due to its Urban Renewal agenda and demolition exercise. If the tempo is sustained, in ten years time, Rivers State will become a reference point in how a modern city should be. This embodiment of selfless service and fearless administrator has turned himself into an agent of change in the State and in the minds of many as being described as the bulldozer and the face to articulate Amaehi's dream for Rivers state.
5.Barr. Mrs Manuela .S. George-Izunwa, Commissioner of Women Affairs.
Her coming into the Ministry ushered in palpable sanity, vibrancy and a marked recognition of the person and office of the First Lady of Rivers State, Mrs Judith Amaechi. Under the watchful eyes of this admirable woman, whose initial tenure of a little over a month recorded obvious changes, the Ministry of the Women Affairs is now poised to embark on series of worthy initiatives for the empowerment of women and children.
6. Hon. George Tolofari, Commissioner for Transport.
When this visionary leader decided to organise a Summit on Transportation system in Rivers State nobody took him serious but today he is pioneering a revolution in the Transport sector. Apart from the obvious upgrade in the transportation system, especially in the area of provision of public transportation, Tolofari is credited with ridding the state of the menace of “Okada”. In addition the Ministry's tax force on traffic law enforcements and their attendant punitive measures are return sanity to our roads.
7. Mr. George Feyi, formerly Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning and reappointed to head the Ministry of Finance.
What stands him out is his non-partisan stance. A technocrat, he was headhunted by Prince Tonye Princewill on behalf of the government on the basis of proven expertise in his field. He distinguished himself as a sound bureaucrat and his uncompromising love for excellence in the last Cabinet cannot be contested. The idea of saving part of our statutory allocation for the rainy season was his idea and today the State is better for it as most of the funds used to sponsor the ambitious budget of the State are gotten through this consolidated fund. So reappointing him to head the Ministry of Finance seems a logical progression for someone of his professional stature.
8. Mr Ken Chikere, Commissioner of Justice.
Today, our judiciary system in the state stands as one of the best, with the giant strides recorded in the justice delivery system courtesy of of this silent and unsung achiever.
9. Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, erstwhile Commissioner for Special Duties.
A God-fearing, gentle, a great administrator and a wonderful Ambassador of the Opposition in the last Cabinet. Though yet to be reappointed, it is noteworthy to mention the strides he made while in office. Apart from ensuring proper execution of his Ministry's Mandate, Vision and objectives, he is credited with initiating a number of bills which if passed into law would change the face of Fire Services delivery in the State. Dr. Ibiamu spearheaded the resettlement initiative for displaced Rivers State indigenes displaced during the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun. His model is presently being studied by International Organisations as a blueprint for such exercise in any part of the world.
With the recent harmonisation of about 46 Political parties partnering with the Rivers AC to form a strong, virile, vibrant and compact opposition in the State the need to increase the slots for the opposition in the Exco to five slots has become imperative. The consensus Leader of the opposition in the State, Prince Tonye Princewill is expected to submit additional names to fill these slots in the next few days to the Executive Governor for consideration.
To us it is erroneous to think that there are some other facts behind the reappointment of these great minds in Amaechi's administration outside merit and handwork. We therefore enjoin those reappointed and those that will join the administration in days to come, to ensure by their commitment that the articulation of the vision of Rt. Hon. Amaechi to take the State to the next level will truly be on course and hopefully become a reality.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Rivers State Action Congress, Publicity Secretary