After 30 days in the saddle as the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has vowed to make the state uncomfortable for members of secret cults with an executive bill to be forwarded to the House of Assembly.
The proposed bill which, seeks to amend the Rivers State Secret Cults and Similar Activities Prohibition Law 2004, if passed into law will not only lead to the imprisonment of offenders. They will also forfeit their properties to the state government.
The Governor gave the assurance that his government would tackle the cult gangs and their criminal activities so that investors and Rivers people would live and do business in the state.
Governor Wike, who stated this Sunday during a church service at the Royal House of Grace International Church, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, southern Nigeria, noted that it is the responsibility of government to protect life and property of all the people living and doing business in the state.
He explained that it is the will of God for him to be Governor of the state, adding that this is not the time to look for those who support or did not support him, but time to look into the complaints of the people and find solutions to them in order to move the state forward.
“It’s by God’s grace that I became Governor. So this is not time to say you supported me or you didn’t support me. It’s not a time for complaints, but it is incumbent on government to solve problems. So, we must sit down and ensure that the problems of the people are solved in order to move the state forward,” he asserted.
The Governor noted that government desires to provide conducive atmosphere for the people in the state as well as ensure that all those who have left the state, return to do business.
Governor Wike reassured the congregation of his earlier stand to complete all projects started by previous administrations that are beneficial to Rivers people, saying it is for this reason that government seeks financial support from banks to enable it complete some on-going projects.
He told them that the Rivers State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two construction giants, Messrs Julius Berger Plc and CCECC Nigeria Limited to rehabilitate areas covering Obi-Wali Road, part of Ogbunabali, Tombia Extension, Evo Road, Woji Road in GRA and Azikiwe/UTC Junction all through old Port Harcourt Township areas and road in Diobu axis, saying 50 percent of the contract sum has been paid to each of the companies.
He also noted that government has paid the total contract sum for Iloabuchi-Eagle Island road project which will ease the transport difficulties faced by the people living on Eagle Island and Agip area of the state.
While restating government’s commitment not to play politics with on-going projects in the state, he explained that he has given orders to the contractor which handled the Shopping Mall awarded by former Governor Celestine Omehia to ensure that the project is completed.
“Let me tell you formally that I have ordered the contractor to make sure that everything is done to complete that project. Yes, some people would ask why are you doing this? Why not start your own projects? The problem we have in this country is that, let it be me that started it. But, I don’t want to be the one that started it, I prefer to be the one that finished it,” Governor Wike noted.
He further emphasized government’s readiness to dedicate the state to God, and establish regular interface with religious bodies, expressing confidence that if the state is dedicated, the crime rate associated with kidnapping and cultism will reduce drastically.
Wike requested the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rivers State Chapter to forward its preferred candidate to be appointed as special adviser on religious affairs and thanked the General Overseer of the Church, Apostle Zilly Aggrey for his support.
Earlier, Apostle Aggrey urged the Governor to learn from the achievements and mistakes of the his predecessors in order to move the state forward.
While noting that God did not make him Governor for fun, he said the task before the office of the Governor and the fact that he cannot satisfy everybody, is for Wike to ensure that he wipes away the tears of Rivers people by embarking on policies and projects that will benefit the people.
On the Governor’s entourage were Sir, Celestine Omehia, former Governor of Rivers State; Prince Uche Secondus, Acting National Chairman of PDP; Senator Thompson George Sekibo; Dr. Tammy Danagogo, former Minister of Sports; Sir Opunabo Inko-Tariah, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity; and Barr. Emmanuel Aguma, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.