Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says his administration has sustained a close working relationship with traditional rulers because they are strategic partners in achieving the development objectives in the state.
Governor Wike, stated this while declaring open the 113th Quarterly General Meeting of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
The governor explained that the traditional institution is not a colonial relic but one that is bequeathed by the ancestors to offer leadership to the people and advance the development of the communities.
He said his administration continues to expect the royal fathers to work with the State Government in building a strong State to deliver quality education, affordable healthcare, clean water, sanitation and tarred roads to the various communities.
“Although there is room for improvement, I believe that most of you have done well to promote, project and fulfil the responsibilities of your revered stools and titles.
“For us therefore, traditional rulers are so strategic to our development agenda for the State. It is for this reason that we have endeavoured to respect and relate as closely as possible with each and every one of you to advance our development objectives.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike stated that having restored the dignity of the traditional institution on assumption of office in 2015, he upgraded and recognized some stools, gave staff of office to 280 traditional rulers and built a state of the art secretariat for the council.
The governor said priority has been placed on extending the on-going development to all parts of the state so that the people can enjoy access to education, healthcare service, clean water, electricity, have landing jetties, land reclamation and construction of internal roads.
“Your Majesty and your team has led this Council for the last five years and I am sure you may now be willing to yield to a fresh leadership. Thank you for your service to the State, and the good people of your kingdom, under my administration.
“We promise that 2021 is going to be another busy year for Rivers State not only in the execution of people-oriented projects, but also in our resolve to put the State on a new course of progress, unity and enduring peace and security.
“What we ask of you in particular is to take the lead in mobilizing your communities to key into our plans and reap the benefits of development as a shared commitment to service and responsibility to the people.”
Chairman of Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja and Amanyanabo of Opobo, said members of the council are aware that the slumping oil price in the international market has affected the revenue from the federation accounts to the states, but despite this, Governor Wike had used the available resources prudently.
These, he said, are visible in the completion and commissioning of the Rebisi flyover, other on-going flyovers, world class hospital at Government House, Emmanuel Aguma Judges Quarters, and projects under the urban renewal programme.
King Jaja commended Governor Wike for standing up to some criminal elements who exploited the #EndSARS protest in the state to disrupt the peace.
“Rivers State will continue to open up its arm of hospitality to everyone irrespective of ethnicity and religion who wishes to live here to do legitimate businesses.
“It will not be safe haven for criminals and criminal element who constitute great nuisance to peaceful and law-abiding members of society.
“As a council of Traditional Rulers, we wholesomely, support your excellency, in all actions that you have taken in this regard, to protect the sovereignty of our state and lives and property of millions of residents of the state.”
Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor.
December 31, 2020.