Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has again decried the dearth of effective political leadership in Nigeria.
Such effective leadership, when identified, Governor Wike said, should place service above self and work to secure enduring development for the people and the country.
Governor Wike made the observation at the inauguration of the dualized Ogbunuabali -Eastern Bypass Road that was performed by the former governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko on Tuesday.
The governor noted how wrong it is for people to think that leadership is a function of the political party when it is actually about the mindset of the individual.
“Leadership is not about party, leadership is about the individual. Party is only a vehicle to actualize your ambition, to be able to tell your people I have this capacity, I have this quality to render services to you. If take me away today from PDP to another party, I will still perform. So, it is not because I’m in PDP that I’m performing.
“It is because I have that passion for my people. It is because I have the commitment to serve my people. Take me to YPP, allow me to become whatever I will become there, I will perform. Take me to any party, I will perform. So, it is not the party that makes you perform.”
Governor Wike stated that his undying love, passion, and commitment to render effective service to the Rivers people have sufficiently differentiated him from other politicians.
That is why, he asserted, there is a sustained commitment to add value to life, impact change with the infrastructural revolution and make the state better.
Governor Wike said while others had used the economic hardship as an excuse not to render leadership and service to their people, he found a more rewarding way to sustain the delivery of projects in Rivers.
Governor Wike took a swipe at certain misguided politicians of the state extraction who misconceived his assertion on Monday that he was in charge of the State.
“Because some people went to school late, they don’t understand when somebody says I am in charge of this State. I never said I am in charge of votes in this State. But I know I can talk to my people and my people will listen to me. Some people say I have only one vote, I agree. I can’t vote two times. I will only vote once. But because of the services I have rendered to the people of this State, the State will listen to me.”
The governor stated that he had remained a consistent politician, not playing a double game, and urged Rivers people to be happy that they have a governor who will always defend the State.
Governor Wike thanked the people of Ogbunuabali for their cooperation while the project lasted even if they had initially rejected it.
He used the occasion to lift the ban on youth activities in the Ogbunuabali community and announced the release of the N2 billion he promised the community.
In inaugurating the Ogbunuabali -Eastern Bypass Road, former governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko noted with delight the leadership capacity that governor Wike has demonstrated in serving the Rivers people.
Senator Wamakko said any well-meaning government should serve to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the governed. He noted that as a talk and do governor, Wike has done adequately well for his people.
On his part, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dakorinama George-Kelly said the Ogbunuabali -Eastern Bypass Road was a single carriageway of 7.3meters wide but it was completely rebuilt.
Today, he noted, the 2.19km long road which has been dualized, has a 4.38 km width on each side of the lane, 650meters median on the Ogbunuabali axis, and a 1.5meters median on the Eastern By-pass axis, and 4.38km of drainage length.
In his address, the South-South Regional Manager of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, Juergen Fischer, said they started with the first project of Wike’s administration, the operation zero potholes which culminated in the ongoing urban renewal programme.
According to him, they are delighted to work with governor Wike to achieve his development dreams for Rivers and thanked him for the opportunity.