A council chairman-elect for Eleme local government area of Rivers state, Chief Obarrilomate Lale Ollor, says history would remember Nyesom Wike for his track records in the state. He spoke in an interview with GODWIN EGBA.
Can we meet you sir?
I am chief Obarilormate Lale Ollor from Onne in Eleme local government area of Rivers State and a medical practitioner, but now passionately into active politics. So far, I have held political office as one time care-taker committee chairman of Eleme local government area but now executive chairman-elect under the umbrella of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Is it correct to say you seem to have soft spot for Governor Nyesom Wike as your fellow party member?
Well, I live that to people’s opinion, but I can tell you that Barrister Nyeson Wike as the governor of Rivers state today is one person to relate with even outside politics for his unassuming and open minded nature. One distinct nature of him is that he has pragmatic approach when dealing with people and issues. My view may differ from others though.
It is believed in some quarters that your loyalty to Governor Wike earned you your current chairmanship position. Is that correct?
I think that is coming from some sailors on high sea who have no grasp of the reality on ground. My Eleme people rose in one voice and gave me an unchallenging votes and I emerged unopposed among all intending contestants. Governor Wike has no hands in this. Eleme PDP presented me to the apex body of the party with their trust bestowed on me and God in His infinite wisdom approved the people’s choice. All the glory go to God for no man can challenge or alter His decision. Moreover, God and Governor Wike expect Eleme people to hold me accountable if I derail from the principles of trust and accountability in the course of my service to them.
What’s your view of his leadership quality for the past five years?
God bestows leadership on somebody who desires it, who has the humble nature to wear the shoes of servant- leadership and charisma. Governor Wike is an epitome of a servant-leader judging from his leadership journey as governor of the state for the past six years. His etching foot prints are there speaking volumes for him
Can you substantiate that claim?
Among all other human expectations, leadership is expected to remove thorns from the path of people whom you are called to lead. For the past six years in governance, Wike has been laboriously fighting against all odds and barriers of under-development, insecurity and socio-economic malaise in Rivers state. Effective governance is an incubator of robust socio-economic and infrastructural development and that is his blueprint manifesting in areas of health, judiciary, education, road network, to mention but a few.
Is this not a one-man’s judgment or assessment coming from you?
How can that be when his winning journey is not in isolation? The public is the best umpire in assessing Wike’s milestone so far and I challenge any Rivers man to a public debate especially his die-hard critics who have thrown constructive criticism to the wind. Let’s open the lid of some of the peerless achievements in comparison to where the state was before he took over the mantle of leadership.
Criticism builds and strengthens leaders, but it should be constructive and not like that of a butcher with a mindless mindset taking a lamb to the slaughter’s slab. Wike has become a lamb being slaughtered, but I can assure you that he would survive up to his success song in later days for history to celebrate him. I am speaking from the following developmental efforts on groud. His project delivery capacity is what has endeared him to Rivers people.
The opposition and their diversionary tactics not with-standing, it’s on record that in the course of the last three and half years, Governor Wike has delivered over 300 roads across the state. It has been a track record of construct, reconstruct and rehabilitate. There is no local government area that has been denied key road infrastructure. Gov Wike has also prioritised education because it is the best legacy any administration can leave for future generations. Over the last five years, educational facilities in the 23 local government areas of this state have been developed and equipped.
Many schools have been reconstructed by the state government and equipped for functional learning. These schools are spread in all the 23 local government areas of the state. Beyond the reconstruction and equipping of schools, the state government is also engaged in training and retraining of teachers. The training and retraining programmes have been driven by Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools Board and the Ministry of Education.
The administration also subsidised the registration fees for Rivers indigenes undertaking the West African School Certificate Examination (WAEC) and the National Examination Council Examination (NECO) and sustained the provision of science equipment, chemicals, materials and consumables to all secondary schools in the State for WASSCE and NECO examinations. Honestly, the ultimate goal of Governor Wike’s investments in the education sector is to create a knowledge-based society and develop an economy that is beyond the petroleum deposits of the state.
From 2016 to 2019, the progress of Rivers in WAEC shows that Governor Wike’s success is not a flash in the pan, indicating that the future of the states is secured and in safe hands. In 2020, 3,000 youths and young adults in Rivers underwent a one month free special skills acquisition programme, courtesy of this administration. it was a bold initiative to bridge the practical-skills The beneficiaries were trained in skills such as fibre glass boat making, Information And Communication Technology (ICT) that incorporates programming, networking as well as opportunity to learn how to repair laptops and hand sets distinct from other skills. The programme was identified as a Christian-based entrepreneurship organised in collaboration with Redemption Ministries, which had similar programmes in Bayelsa state and the western part of the country.
If Wike decides to run for a higher elective post after his tenure as governor, would you pitch your tent with him?
Lets us celebrate today first while awaiting tomorrow. If tomorrow comes after his tenure and he decides to run for a higher office, why not, he has my unalloyed support. I am not unaware that PDP top notchers are warming up for higher elective offices at the national level including presidency but integrity counts. Wike does not compromise that quality so he is eminently qualified to declare his interest for any elective post and he has our support.
What is your parting word?
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We should not live in a glass house and throw stones because tomorrow can be anybody’s turn. Let’s not forget that success is not a destination, another person continues with the journey where the previous one stopped. I am passing this word to Governor Wike’s critics.