From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has vowed to resign from office if anyone could prove he promised to make him his successor.
The governor said by virtue of his character, it was inconceivable that he would make a promise to help someone succeed him and then renege on it.
He gave the clarification on Monday night during a state banquet held in Government House, Port Harcourt to celebrate the recent conferment of a distinguished award on infrastructure delivery on him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Governor Wike explained that it had become pertinent for him to correct erroneous lies peddled by some persons that he reneged on his promise to make them his successor.
“God gives power. There is never any day I have ever sat with anybody, I challenge whoever will say he sat with me and I made a promise to him that, look the way things are going, you will be the (next) governor. If anybody can come out and challenge me, I will resign as governor of Rivers State.”
The governor noted that during every political transition, it was natural for any politicians to be ambitious, even when they know that their dream and aspiration are unreliable.
According to him, he never at any time since his assumption of the office promised anyone the seat of the governor of Rivers State.
“I never, because if I did, my conscience won’t allow me to sleep. Anything I tell you I will do, I will do it, it doesn’t matter what it is.”
He remarked that a resounding defeat awaits the opposition in State as the award bestowed on him by President Buhari-led federal government has already sealed their fate.
“If the ruling party (All Progressives Congress) can say you have done well, who is that person, let them come and campaign here. Bring your report card, I will bring the award and the certificate. President Buhari said, “you (Wike) have done well.”
The governor, who dedicated the award to God Almighty and the people of Rivers State, said but for God’s divine benevolence and the support of Rivers people, it would have been almost impossible for his administration to achieve much since 2015.
He thanked the legislature and judiciary for working in synergy with the executive for the interest and benefit of the State.
The governor commended all the service chiefs, the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for their steadfastness in ensuring that Rivers State remains one of the safest states in the country.
“Today, we won’t be talking about peace in Rivers if the service commanders and the police are not doing their best. They are putting in their best and for the first time in Rivers State, we are not having a problem.
“Today, they say we are the best in infrastructure delivery, assuming there is no peace, can contractors work?”
Governor Wike disclosed he had authorised the Accountant General of the state to pay a total of N60 billion to contractors working on various projects in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State to enable them to conclude the projects on time.
The governor said he was elated that his administration was able to award contracts for 12 flyover bridges between 2019 and 2022.
“From 2019 to 2022, in three years, we have done ten flyovers. By 2023, which is four years, we would have done 12 flyovers.”
The Rivers State governor reiterated that he would not abandon any project started by his administration for the incoming government.
In his goodwill message, the former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, said the award bestowed on governor Wike by President Buhari was the best honour that Rivers State has received since its creation.
“For Mr President, who is President on another platform to confer that honour on a governor, who is on a different opposition platform, is not an easy business. It is unique, it is historic, may almighty God bless you for bringing that honour to the State.
The former governor noted that whenever people talk about the achievements of Governor Wike, what comes to mind are the flyover bridges, roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure. He stressed that people often didn’t see the governor’s huge investment in human resource development.
“One investment that you have made which people are not seeing now, but will see in future, is your investment in human resource development. As we speak, you have positioned Rivers State to become the greatest producer of human resources in the medical and legal profession for the future.
“From next year, which is the year you’re going to terminate your tenure as governor, you have laid the foundation for Rivers State to produce not less than 100 medical doctors of Rivers State origin.”
On his part, the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, and the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Chibuzor Amadi commended the governor for identifying and tackling the infrastructure needs of the state.
Similarly, the chairman, Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council, His Majesty, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Jeki V, Amanyanabo of Opobo; chairman Rivers PDP elders council, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba and former president, Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze CJ Okocha, SAN, commended the governor making the state proud.