From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike has said the recent recognition of Rivers State by the Nigeria Police as one of the safest states in the country was a testimony to his administration’s huge investment in security of lives and property.
The governor said in spite of the smear campaign by the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside, and his cohorts against his governorship aspiration in 2015, he has improved the security situation, critical infrastructure and economic fortune of the state.
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He made the assertion during the 60th birthday celebration of founder of Royal House of Grace Church, Zilly Aggrey, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Wike, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Emeka Woke, said irrespective of the opposition’s intentional efforts to undermine his reputation and credibility in 2015, he has consciously focused on delivery of quality governance in Rivers State.
Governor Wike lauded Aggrey and the Christian community in Rivers State for supporting his political aspiration and ignoring the smear political campaign by the opposition that he was a member of a secret society.
“We are glad the Christians stood up. We are glad the Christians in this place did not go to sleep, that is why I thought it necessary to recall this incident because the hour had come again. And we are also proud to say, as an administration, we have not failed the Christian community.
“As government, we built a worship place for the Christian community for the first time in the history of Rivers State, the wonderful edifice called the Christian Ecumenical Centre, where Christians gather and call the name of God.
“We have also with the fear of God Almighty not taken your support and prayer for granted, as we have delivered on critical infrastructure. Today, anybody who has lived in this city (Port Harcourt) in the last five years will agree with me that even our opponents agree we have done well in terms of infrastructure.
“We have also improve the security situation in this state. And I tell you, the crime index for this state has dropped drastically and last year, the Nigeria Police Force recognised Rivers State as one of the safest states. And so, what is the implication of that? It means the economic activities of the state had improved and then, the economic indexes of the state have also improved.”
Ahead of the 2023 general election, the governor urged the church to be wary of those who profess to be Christians but engage in political smear campaign with the intent to deceive them and the public.
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Governor Wike noted that Aggrey had started his Christian life as an ordinary covert to the faith. But like the mustard seed has progressed to become a great man of God amply endowed with uncommon prophetic vision and power.
“As a general in the kingdom of God and leader of His flock, you have taught the word, lived and shared it with millions across the globe, reached and led countless lost souls unto salvation.
“Over the years, you have been an epitome of faith, goodness, hard work, love, service, diligence, holiness, truth and a faithful disciple of our Lord Jesus the Christ.
“There is no doubt, your life and ministry have been and still are a blessing to Christendom, the government and to people from all walks of life.
“Personally, I will always appreciate your interest, love and prayers for our state, and the blessings God has used you to spread to my family, the government and the people of Rivers State; for which we are joyously grateful.”
Similarly, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, encouraged Christians to participate in politics. According to him, it was by the divine benevolence of God that he became the governor of his state.
“The political bells have started ringing and the wrestling champions are restless in their different rooms. But, I beg of all us, for some of us that know our journey and God has brought us this far through miracle that has never happened anywhere in the world.
“For a sitting president who controls same party, and, yet, God blinded everybody and brought us into government. There is no other place to seek for power more than the house of God. All powers belong to God,” he said.
Aggrey said since he started his ministry in Port Harcourt in 1992, he has enjoyed love from the people and government of Rivers State. “Governor Wike in 2017, graciously nominated and awarded me as the only clergy in the Pentecostal family as the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State.”