Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor; Nyesom Wike, has declared that one of the greatest achievements of his administration is the elimination of the upland/riverine dichotomy, which plagued the state in the past.
Speaking during an interview with the organisers of Zik Leadership Prize Award, Governor Wike said that his administration has been able to promote unity for the overall development of the state.
He said: ‘First of all, you remember that the founding fathers of this state maintained that Rivers State should be seen as a place or land of opportunity, where people will have to achieve their potentials in life. In this state before, all you see, all you hear is tribalism; that you are from the upland, you are from the riverine and so, people were not doing things as if we are one Rivers.
“So, we believe that, one way we must achieve, if we see ourselves as one and once that is done, then, we have moved to the next step. So, today, our concern is that issue of upland/riverine is no longer necessary. We see ourselves as one Rivers State and it is necessary because of the projects and programmes we are carrying out in all the local government areas in the state. So, the issue of upland/riverine differences is relegated to the background.
“There are projects going on everywhere in the State, and if you don’t do that, people will begin to say of favouritism against each other that we are this, we are that, and vice versa. Therefore, the issue is to bring everybody together”, Wike stressed.
Governor Wike noted that the State has made tremendous progress in the last three years because project execution has been prioritised.
“We have to move and that is why, today, most people are beginning to have hope and they are happy also that Rivers State is moving. It is no longer stagnated as it used to be. We have moved from point A to point B.
“Our concern is to make sure that we use the economic potentials of the state for the greater interest of our people by turning around what we have from what we use to have.”, he said.
The governor said that his administration was committed to making sure that Rivers takes its rightful position in the comity of states in the country.