Thousands of residents of Etche and Ikwerre local government areas of Rivers State on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 celebrated the Igwuruta-Chokocho Federal Road reconstructed by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike to create access to the food basket of the state.
Traditional rulers, elders, clerics, women and youths from the two local government areas thronged the venue of the commissioning at Chokocho in Etche Local Government Area, singing and dancing over the construction of a road that re-connected communities cut off from each other for 20 years.
Senate minority leader and former Akwa Ibom State governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio commissioned the road in an event that was a celebration of performance.
He said there is no reason why the federal government should continue to budget for roads annually, when such federal roads are never constructed.
The former Akwa Ibom State governor noted that financial allocations for federal roads should be released to state governments to handle the roads within their respective states.
“Where you have federal roads, the federal government may never come. As such, states will have to take their destinies in their own hands.
“Here is a governor who does not care if a road belongs to the federal or state government, he goes ahead to construct to the benefit of his people,” Akpabio said.
“Distribute money voted for federal roads to states. There is no need to continue to vote money for federal roads which are never constructed. These funds such be distributed to the states to construct the roads.”
He commended Governor Wike for being a transformational leader who governs his people with compassion and judicious application of resources. He said Governor Wike deserves the applause he is getting for the infrastructural renaissance taking place in the state.
In his address, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said the successful reconstruction of the Igwuruta-Chokocho Federal Road is in fulfilment of the pledge he made to the people of Etche during the campaign.
The governor announced that his administration will also construct the Chokocho-Igbo-Etche-Rumukrusi road to link more Etche communities.
He said that his performance is a fallout of the charge that he received Senator Godswill Akpabio who pleaded with him never to make unfulfilled promises or disappoint his supporters.
“I will never play politics with the construction of roads in the state. I will never make promises that I will not fulfil. My pledge is my bond. Whether or not there is economic recession, we shall continue to work for the people of the state.
“Recall that the APC claimed that they were the ones constructing this road. But the truth is known to the people. We shall continue to construct more roads so that APC members can ply on them to access venue for campaigns. We are committed to serving all the people of the state, irrespective of their political inclinations,” Governor Wike said.
Speaking on behalf of the youths, the senior prefect of Country Grammar School, Ikwerre /Etche, John Oleh said the completion of the road has led to the school regaining its lost glory.
Professor Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, who spoke on behalf of the Etche people, said: “It is clear that Governor Wike has endeared himself to the hearts of all well-meaning people of Etche. We therefore owe the governor the maximum support in all his efforts to move the state to greater heights.”
The Igwuruta-Chokocho Federal Road was abandoned by the Federal Government for over 20 years , cutting off the Etche people from the rest of Rivers State. The reconstruction of the road was flagged odd on January, 2016 and completed within seven months.
Below are photos from the event. Click on any image to enlarge.