My dear good people of Rivers State
As we usher in the year 2016, it is time for us to reflect on the last twelve months and to look towards new beginnings. As a people we appreciate God for giving us a beautiful State endowed with enormous resources and boundless opportunities.
2. Yes, 2015 was quite challenging to most of us, particularly, for struggling families, but we remain grateful to God for helping us to weather the storms and keeping us to see yet another year.
3. I charge you to be inspired as 2016 begins, because we are on our way towards realizing our collective destiny: the Rivers State of our dreams; a roundly developed, secure and prosperous State as envisioned in our development blueprint.
4. Although the path to the future is replete with thorns, we remain resolute. We would overcome the challenges of today with the same resilience and indomitable spirit that has continued to inspire us throughout history.
5. Today, we stand on the threshold of a new dawn. I am happy that we are from a State that offers a great hope and a lot of promises for our future.
6. Therefore, looking to the months ahead, my message to our people is to encourage us all to key into the ambitious path of building the new Rivers State where the present and future generations can live in peace and enjoy brighter prospects.
7. The good news is that we have taken off already on this journey of hope, and with God helping us, we shall surely succeed.
8. The year 2015 was a defining moment for us as a people. Overwhelmingly, you gave us the mandate to take Rivers State on a new direction.
9. Since then, the last 7 months have been quite remarkable for our State as we get settled into governance. Besides clearing the huge bag-log of salaries owed to civil servants and pensioners we inherited without any bailout funds from the Federal Government; we immediately started fixing our broken infrastructure in order to stimulate socio-economic growth.
10. We are proud to report today that, we have comprehensively rehabilitated so many roads and streets across the State under the operation zero porthole programme; completed the Abonnema – Obonoma link road and bridge, the Ilaubuchi – Eagle Island road and bridge, law faculty building; the 50 units Iriebe low and middle income housing project; as well as the Abuloma/Woji road, which was inaugurated barely two days ago.
11. Furthermore, construction work has advanced to appreciable levels on most of the ongoing major road projects, including the dualization of Trans-Amadi road, the Oil mill-Akpajo-Elelenwo, Rukpokwu-Eneka road, Rumuaghaolu-Nkpolu-Rumuigbo-East-West, New Borikiri road, the Eneka-Igwuruta road and the Rumunduru-Eliozu road despite the paucity of development funds.
12. Within the period, we also prioritized the provision of security, education, healthcare, and water. For example, we procured and donated 66 patrol vehicles with modern communication gadgets to the security agencies. We have also commenced the comprehensive rehabilitation of Government Girls Secondary School Rumuokwuta, the Eleme and Okrika water schemes are nearing completion.
13. In 2016, I can assure you that we will build on the strong foundation we have laid and accelerate the pace development of the State with key investments in infrastructure to improve the living standards of our people.
14. To this end, we shall strive to complete all on-going roads and other projects, including the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium and start new roads and bridges to link all parts of the State.
15. We will rehabilitate, equip and adequately staff our schools and hospitals. We will provide opportunities for our youth and women to have relevant skills and competences as well as increased access to financial resources to set up their own businesses.
16. Our farmers will have increased access to necessary agricultural inputs; mechanization and extension services, while electricity and clean water will be extended to more communities in the rural areas.
17. Let me assure you of our administration’s continuing commitment to ensure that our lives and property are safe and secure at all times. In this respect, we shall redouble our support and collaboration with the law enforcement agencies to root out crime and criminality, especially kidnapping and armed robbery from Rivers State.
18. However, while our resolve to combat crime in all its ramifications is not negotiable, I call on our people remain vigilant and take responsibility for our personal safety and security. Let it be understood that we must all enlist in the war against crime and criminality in Rivers State to keep us safe and secure.
19. Now and always, history has shown that a people united and working together are far stronger and more successful. Therefore, let us resolve in the year 2016 to stand united as one people with a common destiny; devote ourselves in harmony to the glorious promise of our State and renew our faith in our shared aspirations for peace, progress, equity and justice for everyone in Rivers State.
20. Let me express my gratitude to all Rivers people, including our royal fathers, the business community, civil servants, professional and civil society groups, students and youth bodies, market women, politicians and ordinary people for supporting and standing firmly by our administration since May 29 2015.
21. My profound appreciation equally goes to the religious community, including Christians, Muslims and people of other faith for their prayers and solidarity. I admit that without your prayers and immeasurable support, we would not have come this far in our efforts to deliver on our mandate. But the task ahead is still enormous.
22. Let me also acknowledge and commend the security agencies for their efforts, contributions and sacrifices in the maintenance of peace and security in the State. I commiserate with the families of our gallant security personnel who paid the supreme prize for our sake in the course of duty.
23. Finally, as we move into the New Year 2016, I restate that I treasure the opportunity to serve as your Governor and make my contributions to advance our collective progress and make Rivers State great again.
24. I very much cherish the tremendous pride we all have in the greatness of our State. Let us join hands and commit ourselves more than ever before to the service of Rivers State.
25. On behalf of my wife and children, I congratulate you all, welcome you to 2016 and wish you a Happy New Year and God’s bountiful blessings.
26. God bless Rivers State
27. God bless Nigeria
NYESOM EZENWO WIKE, CON,
GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE