One hundred and fifty years into its existence, the ancient Opobo kingdom, an island in Rivers State, can now be accessed by road, following the inauguration of a section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road by Governor Nyesom Wike.
The mood in the ancient and historic kingdom of King Jaja of Opobo on Saturday was euphoric, as an ecstatic crowd thronged the road, cheering Wike for completing the road connecting the island to the mainland of the state.
The governor, in his address to Opobo, Nkoro, Ogoni and Andoni indigenes at Opobo New Layout, described the completion of the road and its inauguration as a dream come true for the people of the area and his administration.
Wike, according to a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, titled ‘Gov Wike, Waziri inaugurate Opobo/Nkoro Road,’ said he felt happy to have fulfilled his 2014 campaign promise to the Opobo people.
He expressed appreciation to the previous administration of Dr Peter Odili for conceiving the Unity Road project.
According to him, without the foresight of Odili, it would have been difficult for the current administration to complete the Opobo axis of the Ogoni-Opobo-Andoni Unity Road.
The governor directed his Special Adviser on Special Projects to liaise with the monarch and leaders of Opobo on where they desired to be sand-filled and reclaimed for them by the state government.
Wike also urged the Surveyor General of the state to commence the process of land mapping and survey of the already sand-filled land in the area to enable Opobo people to begin the allocation of spaces among themselves.
On the Queenstown erosion menace, he reminded the Opobo of the N3.1bn contract that was awarded when one of their sons was the Commissioner for Works, adding that the company awarded the contract had disappeared after it had been paid a N2bn mobilisation fee.
Wike told them that it was baffling that their native could frustrate such a developmental project attracted to the area, which would have solved the erosion menace and ended the threat of Queenstown being washed away.
“Sometime ago, you wrote to me about the erosion in Queenstown. I told the Amayanabo the other day that the job was awarded when your son was the Commissioner for Works.
“It was awarded to the tune of N3.1bn. The company collected N2bn and it ran away from the site. Amayanabo of Opobo, go and ask your son, who is that company that collected the money and refused to do the Queenstown shore protection,” the governor stated.
A former Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Adamu Waziri, who inaugurated the road, expressed gratitude to Wike for solving the critical needs of the Opobo people.
Waziri noted how excited the people were to have a motorable road to connect the island to the rest of the state. According to him, Wike has brought humanity to governance.
The minister stated that it was pertinent for Nigeria to remain united for the Opobo road to continue to be in the country.
The Amayanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, who said the people of his kingdom were eternally grateful to Wike for the humanity he brought to governance, appealed to the governor to initiate another land reclamation project in Opobo.
Culled from punchng.com