Spotlight on Rivers State, as March 11 Governorship Election Beckons
With the Presidential and National Assembly elections out of the way, attention now focuses on state preparations for their governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
These elections are slated for March 11.
This gives citizens the chance to elect those who will lead the affairs of their respective states for the next four years.
To ensure the success of the elections, citizens are encouraged to be mindful of their civic duty and vote wisely.
This will ensure they get the most qualified representatives to lead them.
Of particular interest is the governorship election in Rivers State, as some of the state’s leading political figures jostle for the top position of being named the number one citizen of the nation’s treasure base.
In fact, Rivers State is a vital state for Nigeria’s economy. Rivers is famous for its vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas. It was perhaps the richest and most significant section of the African zone of the British Empire. Rivers State has two major oil refineries, two major seaports, airports, and various industrial estates spread across the land.
The state is a hub for the manufacturing, agro-industrial, and petrochemical industries.
In addition, the state has an abundance of agricultural resources, which are essential for Nigeria’s economy, as they help to drive job creation, increase exports, and bolster growth.
That is the extent of the significance of Rivers state to Nigeria’s economic status in Africa, and the world.
That said, it is imperative who becomes the next governor of Rivers State, taking over from Nyesom WIke, whose performance has been assessed and judged as surpassing expectations by political pundits.
The next governor must continue the legacy of effective governance and development that Governor Wike has set in place, ensuring that the state continues to develop economically, socially, and politically.
The current governor, Nyesom Wike has earned a reputation for being a leader who is not afraid to stand up for what is right, and speak out against any form of injustice, even when it is unpopular. His uncompromising stance on the protection of his people’s rights and his commitment to providing them with quality services has earned him the respect and admiration of Rivers’ people.
Wike takes a firm stance against corruption and has been relentless in his efforts to ensure that the state’s resources are put to efficient use and that the people of Rivers State are not taken advantage of.
He has also made sure that the people of Rivers State have access to basic amenities such as healthcare, quality education, and improved infrastructure.
Fortunately, Siminalayi Fubara, the PDP governorship candidate in Rivers State, is Wike’s preferred candidate to carry on his legacy after he leaves office.
In Wike’s view, Fubara is a man worthy of taking over Rivers state’s affairs from him. Fubara has a wealth of experience in public office and has been an influential figure in the state, having served as Rivers State’s accountant general under Wike’s administration.
He is also seen to be a competent and capable leader who shares similar political ideals and values to Wike, making him a natural choice to take over.
Upon taking office, Nyesom Wike inherited a Rivers State that was in shambles, with a comatose economy, and poorly negotiated projects and programs.
It took him time to dismantle these structures of underdevelopment.
Today, the narrative has changed for the better. He implemented a number of reforms to increase transparency and accountability in the government, as well as focused on improving infrastructure and upgrading the state’s economy.
As a result, the state has seen a marked improvement in its economic performance and quality of life for its
As a lawyer who became governor, Wike also impacted the judiciary. And laudably so. In investing in the Judiciary, he aims to ensure the rule of law by ensuring the independence of Judges and Judiciary officers.
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Wike has created a legacy in Rivers State with his leadership over the years that will not be forgotten. His accomplishments have paved the way for the next generation of leaders, such as Siminalayi Fubara, to gain the trust and admiration of the people of Rivers State.
Siminalayi was instrumental in developing a comprehensive plan for the state that covered both short-term and long-term goals.
He worked closely with Wike to make sure that the goals were achieved and that the state was able to generate enough revenue to fund these projects.
He was also part of the team that was able to effectively manage insecurity in the state.
An enlightened electorate would readily vote for a candidate who understands the system as opposed to one who is merely coming to experiment and start taking the state backward.
Fubara has had the advantage of observing firsthand how Governor Wike has been able to successfully implement policy initiatives and navigate the complexities of governing Rivers State.
This gives him unique insight into the challenges and opportunities of the role, and a head starts in his campaign.
There is no doubt that Governor Wike is honored and reprehensible as the leader of the government.
However, considering the statutory role that Fubara plays within the government of Rivers, there is no separating the two.
As the electorates vote, the achievements of the Wike-led government will have alluded to Fubara just as his campaign mantra is hinged on continuity and consolidation of the good works of the Wike-led administration.
This is because the progress made in Rivers State over the past eight years has been remarkable, and the people are looking to continue the trajectory of success.
Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.