▪︎Happy 55th Birthday, Your Excellency
May 27 is here again for friends, family and an assortment of citizens to pay glowing tributes to one of God’s proven gifts to humanity in our time.
We have seen, like several others before and after us, the impact of such indescribable degree your times as both Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Executive Governor had on our great State. Your arrival in both epochs in 1999 and 2007 respectively took unusual turns for the will of God in your life and His mission for our State through you to manifest. But alas, you came; you saw; and you conquered the odds to etch your name in bold letters of Gold in the hearts of patriotic, honest and peace-loving Rivers people. No wonder the antagonism of your traducers pale into insignificance at every turn in your turbulent political Odyssey. Adversaries work hard to submerge your fame and name but your strength of character and abiding faith in your God and the people continues to polish your star in the Rivers political firmament with greater shine.
Your investment in the welfare of the down-trodden and the commoners amongst us endeared you to the heart of the average Rivers man from Oyorokoto in Andoni to Ndoni in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni; and from Kula in Akuku Toru to Eberi in Omuma. We remember your legacies in infrastructure and human capital development.
Your bold policies of equality of all Rivers people ensured that every Rivers man, rich or poor, had his child’s future assured in the welfarist education and health programmes you ran. Our schools in the cities bore no dichotomous identities with those in our villages. Every child citizen or resident in the State had equal opportunities on your watch.
Under you, Rivers people regained their voices and pride in Agriculture, food security and employment. Our Streets welcomed every investor; our State hosted global events and our fame shone abroad like a billion stars. You banished crimes and violence and made our State an oasis of peace again. For this alone, we are forever grateful.
On the national stage since 2015 following your appointment in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as Honourable Minister for Transportation, the Nigerian story in that critical sector has been re-written.
Again, the revolution is speaking loud and clear with your ability to convert hitherto tough tasks to simple, routine deliverables. This is unprecedented in the public service of our nation. Even in the face of a Recession and decline in Nigeria’s oil revenues, you are pushing the Railways sub-sector forward month by month and mile after mile.
Your Excellency, we have good reasons to thank you for your excellent spirit. For your selflessness. For the leadership you have demonstrated. But above all, we thank God, the One in whose name you were called “Oluwarotimi”; the One who is your strength in the face of adversity after adversity and by whom you are called “Chibuike”; the God ķ knows everyone’s tomorrow but nobody knows his tomorrow and by whom you are called “Amaechi” for giving you to us.
You have made such a huge impact on your State and nation in just 55 years that you have relived the words of Harold Wilson, the famous English Statesman and one-time Prime Minister of Great Britain, “In politics, a week is like Eternity”.
You are a true Rivers man, a pan Rivers Statesman, an outstanding Nigerian patriot who shall be remembered by generations coming in our State and this nation for so, so long.
As the last brigade of Council Chairmen in your time as Governor, we count ourselves privileged to walk behind you and learn the art of leadership from your indelible footprints long before May 2015!
Congratulations and Happy birthday, Star Boy; our Leader and Moral standard bearer.
For the 2015 Class Rivers ALGON:
1. Hon. Reginald Ukwuoma (Etche)
2. Hon. Lucky Worlu (Emohua)
3. Hon. Samuel Eyiba (Ahoada West)
4. Hon. Chidi Olue (Omuma)
5. Hon. Omuso Abbey (Bonny)
6. Hon. Stanley Benibo (Akuku Toru)
7. Hon. Acho Felix (Oyigbo)
8. Hon. Nathaniel Iringeri (Ogu/Bolo)
9. Hon. Loveday Jaja (Opobo/Nkoro)
10. Hon. Celestine AkpoBari (Khana)
11. Hon. Donatus Badom (Gokana)
12. Hon. Sogbeye C. Eli (Degema)
13. Hon. Opi Samuel (Okrika)
14. Hon. A. Fred Horsfall (Asari Toru)
15. Hon. Chimenem Weli (Obio/Akpor)
16. Hon. Bestman Amadi (Ikwerre).