· Wike recovered Rivers lost oil wells – Attorney General
· As Governor dissolves cabinet
By Ignatius Chukwu
The Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi administration kept saying it introduced biometric screening to weed out ghost workers.
When Nyesom Wike came, he too said he was ghost-hunting. Many things due workers were believed to be delayed because of what looked like endless biometric screening: pensions, promotions, etc.
Now, the administration had revealed the huge success of the biometrics, weeding off of over 15,000 ghost workers.
What the people of the state did not hear was how many ghost masters were arrested for planting such high number of ghosts who drew salaries.
The administration of Gov Nyesom Wike smoked out 15,021 ghost workers who were leeching on the state’s treasury every month. Wike is also said to have recovered Rivers lost oil wells.
This is as Gov Wike has dissolved his cabinet and told his team to carry their shoulders high as high performers, though, most citizens say they only saw the governor doing all things.
The head of service (HoS), Mr Rufus Godwins, who disclosed the removal of ghost workers said when Gov Wike assumed office in 2015, the State purportedly had 54,472 civil servants on her payroll. “But following the introduction of biometric system, the number has reduced to 39,451.”
The state did not however carry out mass employment to beef up the civil service until one month to go when the governor ordered employment of 10,000 workers, an exercise yet to be accomplished.
Godwins spoke at the valedictory session of the Wike Cabinet after which the governor dissolved his team and praised them after they had taken turns to praise him.
Former Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), said by virtue of his appointment, he had learnt how to apply law for public good.
Adangor commended Gov Wike for recovering Rivers State oil wells from other States through the ministry.
On his part, the former Chief of Staff, Emeka Woke, thanked Gov Wike for giving him the opportunity to serve the State under his administration.
The former Commissioner for Works, George-Kelly Dakorinama Alabo, disclosed that over 920 kilometres of roads and 600 kilometres of drains were constructed by the Gov Wike-led administration since 2015.
Gov Wike directed all the commissioners to hand over government property in their custody to the permanent secretary or most senior director in their respective ministries.
He commended members of the cabinet for their immense sacrifices, commitment and dedication to service, which was responsible for the tremendous transformation the state had undergone in the past eight years.
“Everybody is saying today that we have done well. No one person did well, everybody did well. The governor alone cannot on his own be in charge of everywhere. The governor needs people who will work for him. All he does is from time to time find out whether things are moving on well or not.
“So, that I have done well, for me, is not about me. Those that are responsible for our state shining today, are all of you who are seated here, who have worked from morning till night. I want to sincerely thank you for the support.”
Gov Wike said all those who served as cabinet members can confidently return home with their shoulders high having successfully changed the narrative of governance in the country.
“Be happy to say, yes, I participated when they said Rivers State became one of the leading states in this country; when they said there was infrastructure revolution in the State, when they said we stood our ground and challenged the authorities. We stood our ground and fought the federal government when we know they have violated the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The Rivers State governor recalled that at the inception of the administration in 2015, it was faced with series of challenges because of the hostility of the Federal Government, culminating in the nullification of the governorship, State and National Assembly elections.
“In 2015, when elections were nullified from State Assembly to National Assembly, to governorship, we remained undaunted. There were reruns and reruns, but God was on our side. We survived it and we have never chickened out to speak the truth. We have never chickened out to say what we believe in, and we give God the glory. I want to sincerely thank all of you for your contributions.”
Gov Wike described the immediate past administration as callous and vicious for looting state assets and not formally handing over to his government. He however, thanked God for the privilege that he will be successfully handing over to the incoming Sir Siminialayi Fubara-led government.
The governor implored the cabinet members to conscientiously pray for the success of the incoming administration. According to him, “All we need is to pray for the incoming government, support them. Where he finds you necessary to be part of his cabinet, do not disappoint us by saying no.”
In her valedictory remarks, the Rivers State deputy governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, thanked the governor for availing her the privilege to be the first female deputy governor since the creation of the State in 1967.
She said history will remember Gov Wike for his gender sensitive policy which has paved way for another woman, Prof. Ngozi Odu, to be her successor.
In his remarks, the former Secretary to the Rivers State government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, said he was proud to be part of the Gov Wike led transformational government that changed the landscape of the State with impactful infrastructural projects.