There was an inexpressible joy and excitement in the ancient Abalama town, in Kalabari Kingdom, Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, as they rolled out their drums to celebrate Governor Nyesom Wike, Saturday, Feb. 5.
The epoch making event was indeed a gathering of the Kalabari traditional rulers, community heads, chiefs and dignitaries in the area.
Speaking during the reception organized by the great people of Kalabari Kingdom, the Amayanabo of Abonnema, HM, King (Barr) Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel (II) said the Kalabari people were very happy and excited with Governor, Nyesom Wike because the governor has ensured that the ongoing development of the state does not elude the three Kalabari local government areas.
According to him, the governor has given them some legacy projects that would stand the test of time, one of such is the Trans-Kalabari Road which he said is very dear to the hearts of the Kalabari people.
The monarch said when the project is completed, it will bring development to the area. “Our people suffer a lot, many of them are inside the creeks and unable to come out, with the help of the road when completed they will be linked to township that will attract development,” he declared.
On behalf of the Kalabari traditional institution, King Bob-Manuel conferred the Chieftaincy Title of Se-Ibidokibo 1 of Kalabari kingdom on the governor.
King Ene Dateme Obonogina, the Amayanabo of Obonoma said the honour was a well deserved one because Governor Nyesom Wike has so many developmental footprints in Kalabari kingdom and for appointing their illustrious sons and daughters into positions of trust.
Also speaking was Chief David Briggs who said the honour was because of the robustness of Governor Wike’s support and love for the Kalabari ethnic nationality in terms of appointments and projects especially the sandfilling and reclamation, stressing that as riverine people, they are limited by landscape but the governor in his magnanimity provided over 200 hectares of land across Kalabari which he said is commendable.
The Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon Rowland Sekibo said the programme was a reciprocation of a good gesture by Governor Nyesom Wike who has demonstrated so much love for Kalabari people.
According to him, Governor Wike has shown purposeful leadership in all ramifications, saying leadership is not all about infrastructure but fighting for the good health of the citizens which is something to reckon with. He thanked the governor for taking the courage to fight the menace of soot, adding that the health implication of the bunkering activities is not in doubt.
The Special Adviser (SA) to the governor on special projects, and Head, Bureau of Special Projects Hon, Kelly George described the Gov Wike as a performing governor and the best governor in Nigeria, saying the people of Kalabari are huge beneficiaries of the magnanimity of the governor who has given so much projects worth over N40billion including the Trans-Kalabari Road and many others.
He noted that the reception was not a political event but a social event hosted by the entirety of the Kalabari people and that the event also signified that the Kalabari people are united and urged them to keep it up.
Chief Tonte Horsfall described the governor as a true democrat who ensures that development gets to the nooks and crannies of the state. He commended the governor for recording giant strides in infrastructure, education, healthcare in Kalabari kingdom.
One of the oldest chiefs in Kalabari kingdom who also graced the occasion, Apostle Chief Gaskin Sobra-suaipiri said the governor’s unrivaled contribution to development of Kalabariland will remain evergreen in the annals of history but begged governor Wike to please crown it by giving the Kalabari people the opportunity to produce a Kalabari governor.
He noted that in the history of Nigeria, Kalabari has done great things to the development of Nigeria from the time of Chief Barr. Wenike Briggs, Chief Dr Napo Graham-Douglas, Chief Barr. G. K. J. Amachree and others, therefore it would be good they give Kalabari people the opportunity to make it to the Brick house.