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Wike Honors El-Rufai, Akpabio, Uzodimma, Yari, others

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In a momentous ceremony, outgoing governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has bestowed the prestigious Grand Service Star of Rivers State (GSSRS) upon eight distinguished individuals. This illustrious list includes the governors of Imo State (Hope Uzodimma), Kaduna (Mallam Nasir El-Rufai), and Rivers’ governor-elect Sir Siminialayi Fubara.

Joining them in this esteemed recognition are the governors of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa). The former governors of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Obot Akpabio, Ekiti (John Olukayode Fayemi), and Zamfara (Senator Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari) were also honored for their exceptional service.

Addressing the audience during his valedictory speech at the state and honours award night in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike emphasized that these honorees represent the epitome of highly intelligent, committed, and hardworking servant-leaders. Their outstanding performance records in public service have set them apart as individuals who have truly made a difference.

The governor further highlighted their pivotal roles as prominent power brokers within the All Progressives Congress (APC). They played a significant part in achieving the collective aspirations of a southern president in the 2023 general elections, often at great personal risk. Their courage, reputation, achievements, and dedication to national cohesion, democracy, equity, and justice make them true leaders for these times.

While acknowledging the challenges he faced during his administration, Governor Wike recalled the hostility and obstacles posed by his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi. Despite these hurdles, he successfully overcame adversity and revitalized the judiciary. His administration accomplished remarkable infrastructure projects, including 12 flyovers, over 900 kilometers of Trunk-A roads, and more than 200 kilometers of internal roads across the state.

Governor Wike affirmed that Rivers State will remain a stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, he emphasized that the state’s interests go beyond political affiliations, and its citizens have the right to participate in decision-making at the highest level. He expressed confidence in the path chosen for a Southern Presidency in the upcoming elections, asserting that Rivers State’s political connection to the center will bring significant benefits.

Addressing his successor, Sir Fubara, Governor Wike advised him to prioritize the interests of the people and remain vigilant against internal adversaries who may seek personal gain or attempt to sow division.

Expressing gratitude on behalf of the honorees, Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State commended Governor Wike for recognizing their worthiness to receive the highest honor of the state. Despite belonging to different political parties, they share common goals such as advocating for a Southern Presidency, promoting true federalism, and fostering national unity.

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