Wike, Tonye Cole, salute Rivers people

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Wike: This election is our life 

As 2018 comes to a close, we must thank God for His Grace and Mercies over our lives from the beginning to the end of this year.

2.     We also have every reason to be thankful to God Almighty for the peace and the tangible progress we have made in spite of the daunting challenges that we faced.

3.     As I have always said, we are not yet where we all want our dear State to be. There is still much work to do to realize the dreams and berth the State at its glorious destination.

4.     But, we must commend ourselves for what we have been able to achieve so far and be excited by the fact that the sun continues to rise even higher in the horizon of our State. With dedication, sacrifice and trust in God, nothing can stop our match towards sustainable peace, security and growth.

5.     The promise of a New Year is the opportunity for fresh beginnings; the opportunity to recalibrate our life’s focus and renew our resolve to realized our aspirations.

6.     As we proceed into 2019 therefore, we must begin the New Year with vision and determination: a vision to transform; and unite around our core values and a determination to confront our challenges with vigour to create new opportunities for all and build the Rivers State of our dreams.

7.     With God on our side, and as long as we continue to work together with confidence and unity of purpose, a greater Rivers State is possible to achieve for us and for our children in spite of the challenges.

8.     Among others, 2019 also presents a great opportunity for us to create a new vista of hope in the political trajectory of our nation and that of our State.

9.     The general elections are around the corner and Nigerians will have nobody but themselves to blame if they fail to seize the ample opportunity to exorcise and liberate the country from the specter of misrule and unmitigated hardship.

10.    I therefore encourage every Nigerian to fully and actively participate in the 2019 electoral process so that we can peacefully and collectively choose credible leaders with the capacity to govern and take Nigeria on the right direction.

11.    For us in Rivers State, the 2019 general election is the most important elections of our lives because it is about our future.

12.    Rivers people must therefore have the opportunity to freely and peacefully exercise their right to choose their own leaders by themselves without constraints.

13.    Accordingly, I wish to appeal to the political parties and their supporters not to be desperate with their ambitions as electoral contest is not and cannot be a do or die affair and no one’s political ambition is worth the blood of any other person.

14.    I wish to remind us that we have no other State of our own than Rivers State and it is our collective responsibility to build, protect and defend its interest at all times under any circumstances.

15.    We cannot afford to set our State on fire through electoral or other violence as this would destroy our progress and set us many years backwards to the delight of our enemies who are averse to our unity and progress.

16.    Let us therefore, on this New Year Day rise above partisan or other narrow interest and rededicate ourselves with greater focus and determination towards building a united, peaceful and prosperous State through our individual and collective efforts.

17.    Let us not forget that whatever position we may be holding or wherever we may be placed the little contributions we can make will make our State better and greater. Breaking the huddles and actualizing the dreams and possibilities of our State remain a shared responsibility.

18.    Finally, I wish to once again express my gratitude to royal fathers, the business community, civil servants, professional and civil society groups, students and youth bodies, market women, politicians and ordinary people for continuing to believe in our ability and determination to secure and take our State to the pinnacle of progress and all round prosperity.

19.    On behalf of my wife and children, I wish you a Happy and successful New Year.

20.    God bless Nigeria

21.    God bless Rivers State

Tonye Cole

Foundation of Rivers State will be laid

The arrival of 2019 is the reason why people in different parts of the world are celebrating. At midnight, as December 31st took its last lap, Rivers people joined their counterparts across the country to welcome the New Year with a lot of excitement and hope.

As the world marks the New Year, we congratulate the good people of Rivers State and other Nigerians who reside in our midst that have made it to the New Year.

It was not easy for those who are alive to get here. There were many who fell by the way as this New Year arrived. They would have loved to be here.

Some were betrayed by the quality of our medicare system as they struggled to hang unto life in a State that is so blessed. Our hospitals, ill-equipped to deal with life-saving challenges, could not cope.

Some of our pensioners who had toiled as civil servants passed away within the period because they could not afford for themselves and their beloved families. Their only source of livelihood – pensions and gratuities – were not released as and when due by a system that has not sufficiently demonstrated that it has the milk of human kindness.

There were equally others who gave up as they watched painfully as their children – their hope for the future – who were beneficiaries of scholarship schemes that were designed to help the poor and improve the quality of manpower were weeded out of school.

Fellow Rivers people, while we shall miss these compatriots forever, their memories will live in our hearts, to be remembered as we mark the New Year.

Yet, the enormity of the challenges that we faced in the last year should embolden us as a people to make right choices in the new year as we draw up a list of resolutions.

2019 promises to be a year of great expectations; a year when by the grace of God, foundations for the structural transformation of our dear State will be firmly laid.

As one of you, I am acutely aware of the choices we must make; the hard decisions that we must take; and the work we must do to reverse the drift in the interest of our people.

We are sufficiently motivated, through our understanding of the problems facing our people. By the grace of the Almighty, we shall confront them. The  blueprint, which we are bringing to the table, would put the Rivers State on the road to prosperity and bring joy back to our people.

Our State in 2019 must be placed on a path of growth and total economic recovery. To do so, we must resolve to take our destiny in our hands. To get to the next level, we must create the appropriate environment for the flourish of commerce and industry as well as investments. To ensure the redistribution of wealth, our people would have to work with  the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Never again shall we mortgage the future of our State by placing its destiny in the hands of those who seek to provide peanuts in exchange for great deeds.

As we celebrate the birth of the New Year, we urge Rivers people to arise. It is time to gird our loins and time to deal with a reactionary and oppressive system.

It is also time to dream great dreams; and time to ensure that those dreams are realised for the benefit of our tomorrow.

We remember with a feeling of great nostalgia that there was an era in this State when the elderly and infirm, pregnant women and children, were beneficiaries of free medicare.

We remember how Rivers State a few years ago dreamt of an agricultural revolution even before Nigeria did.

We can do it again with your support. With your support we can guarantee  neighbourhoods that are secure and accessible, and guarantee new jobs for our youths.

In the New Year, fellow Rivers people, we must think outside the box. It is only by so doing that we shall end the spiral of unemployment and underdevelopment. And take our State back from those who are busy strangulating it.

Once again, we congratulate our people on the occasion of the ongoing new year celebrations. As the flag bearer of  the APC in Rivers State, I urge you to come on board with us. May the New Year bring you good tidings.

(Pastor Tonye Cole, APC Gubernatorial Candidate, Rivers State)