May I say, before going into today’s discussion, that I align to Chidoka’s view that the airport Obiano is planning to build in Anambra if true, is not necessary and at best a white elephant project. He should retrace his steps quickly before I reduce the rating I gave him last year.
So it was, that as I drove past the traffic jam on my opposite side of the single lane Rumuola bridge, I made a mental note to appeal to Governor Wike to bring down that nonsense constructed there in the name of a bridge and do the needful, while not forgetting to identify the persons involved in its design for proper public lashing, of at least six strokes.
My confidence in my ability to convince the governor who was recently nicknamed Mr. Project, is in my belief that he knows what is good for his people and his works are there to show it.
My misgivings about the emergence of the present governor gave way for a new friendship after a couple of weeks on the saddle.
A close friend of mine who is a close friend to him once told me of how they all grew up at Diobu, she repeatedly told of a man who is close to his people.
Of course, I didn’t believe, I opted to rather wait and see! I guess it did not take long for me to come around.
First, this guy started with what my smart friends will call some “low hanging fruit,” that is, those oranges, guavas, mangoes etc that will always cross their owners fenced boundaries, I remember we used to discipline them on our way to lesson!
Within a couple of weeks, he started with fixing the traffic lights, which tremendously eased traffic within the city.
Not only did he fix those, he resurfaced the major road junctions with asphalt to ensure the traffic lights’ job do not get defeated by bad spots at the junctions.
The only problem is that the taxi and bus drivers will not let the traffic lights do the work efficiently, they would always block the exits in their notorious manners thereby cutting short the effective time cars have to pass once the traffic light turns green.
Go to waterlines and Hotel Presidential junctions and you will see what am talking about.
Beyond traffic lights, the governor has gone ahead to reconstruct a lot of roads within the city, that my relatives at Diobu sang the governor’s praise the day I visited.
The reason being that the place had been left unattended to for a long time which interestingly was one of my problems with past administrations who, while laying out plans for the expansion of the city (which is a good thing in itself) which is necessary for the “future,” neglected the “present” which is the central city where the people live today.
But if you think that is why I am all for the governor, you have not seen anything yet.
Take a trip to Ogbunabali, and you will get to know the reason behind the name “Mr Project.”
The guy has turned the place ‘upside down’ with heavy reconstruction going on in the area, I am sure you would not recognise the place in the next couple of weeks or months.
For sure there are traders that are bearing some pain but am sure that will last for a short while and give way to better days.
On seeing some of the work going on, I could not but wonder out loud to my friend that there was so much work to be done in our land, not just in Rivers state but all over the country.
We realized that there is a lot of deficit in infrastructure and other areas of our lives so much that those elected into public offices have their jobs cut out for them and thus should not even have anytime for frivolities like engaging in slandering each other or the opposition as we see today or even engaging in acts of corruption.
I took a trip recently from Port Harcourt to Uyo via Eleme – Onne road. My friend described the contrast as unbelievable.
The Governor needs to do the same! Eleme road that leads to Patience Jonathans Okrika is still in a mess.
No wonder the “Fashola is working, do not disturb” signs we saw in some states in the past.
We took those signs for granted and it is possible the people that erected them did it for fun but the truth is that these elected leaders need to be left to focus on the job at hand albeit with constructive criticism and not distractions.
It is this need to let the officials face their work that gets me mad when I hear of the exchange of words by the ‘big men’ in Rivers state all in the name of politics.
I pray they realize the enormity of the work at hand, acknowledge that elections are over and now as the time to give our people the dividends of democracy.
In closing, my prayer is that God will strengthen the governor and give him wisdom and grace to serve his people in truth, fairness and justice and that he will not enter ‘voice mail’ in the second tenure as we saw in the past regime.
The work that needs to be done is so enormous as he has already bore witness to.
Sorry, before I forget, I need to thank him for that pleasure park he built, I have not visited but hope to do so soonest, it was a long time coming but finally it’s here!
Never mind those critiquing the place.
They are what we call “ndi anya ufu!” or “ndi jeaolosi!”
And if he will not mind, we need to replicate such in the outskirts of the town so our brothers and sisters there can enjoy life too.
Also if he can let him ban taxis and busses from picking up passengers from within 100 meters from junctions and be restricted to designated bus stops. That will go a long way to remove the remaining bottlenecks at junctions.
Peter Obidike wrote from www.peterobidike.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 20th June 2017