8th March, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that members of the Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI, will be the first set of beneficiaries of his “Stomach Infrastructure” initiative.
Wike used GDI to mobilise support in Rivers when he was gunning to become governor in 2015.
He has remained the Grand patron of the group.
In past, members GDI have benefited from appointments into political positions as council chairmen, and councilors across the 23 local government Councils in the State.
The national President of GDI, Bright Amaehule was Caretaker Committee Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Council and was also appointed Chairman, Rivers State Task force on Street Trading, Illegal Motor Parks.
Hence, the announcement made by Wike during the inauguration of Orogbum Crescent Junction in GRA, Port Harcourt by the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu on Monday did not come to political observers in state as a surprise.
Wike, stated that members of GDI have supported him from the outset, and that the time has come for them to be rewarded.
According to him, GDI members across the 23 local government areas of the state, will not be taken for granted, adding that they would have a say over who becomes the next governor of the state.
“You can’t abandon those who were with you during thick and thin. When all hopes were lost. GDI must not be taken for granted and our stomach infrastructure will start with the GDI,” he said.
Governor, Wike also said that at the appropriate time he will meet with members of GDI and others to decide on the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2023 governorship election.
He added that it is still early to start talking about who succeeds him.
However, the critics argued that Wike had not done much in creating employment for the millions of youths in the state for the seven years he has been in government.
His announcements that the state will employ 10,000 teachers and 4,000 support staff into the state schools and 5,000 workers into the State’s Civil Service after the #EndSARS protest were not carried out.
They also accuse his administration of abandoning some initiatives of past governments like the Songhai farm, Banana farm and Rivers State Sustainable Development Authority, RSSDA that had the potentials of employing thousand of job seekers when he assumed office.