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Opobo-Ogoni unity road to reduce crimes, attract development, says Wike

By Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
29 December 2020   |   3:01 am
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that the ongoing Opobo-Ogoni-Andoni Unity road would reduce crimes and attract greater development to the area.


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that the ongoing Opobo-Ogoni-Andoni Unity road would reduce crimes and attract greater development to the area.

Speaking at the 150 years anniversary of the establishment of Opobo Kingdom yesterday, Governor Wike said the completion of the road remained a top priority to his administration.

He expressed delight that Opobo people and their friends could drive on the road to participate in the 150- year anniversary of the kingdom, assuring that the road would be completed and commissioned in January 2021.

His words: “Coming from the Ogoni area, you will see that we have finished the first phase of the fully dualised Sakpenwa-Bori road. Now, we believe that the second phase will take it to Kono with streetlights installed.

“That will ease movement and reduce crime around the place. We are happy that people can now drive from Bori and head towards Opobo within five minutes.

“When completed, that will bring development and I am happy that my promise to Opobo is being kept. We believe that by the end of January 2021, we shall commission the road.”

Wike also noted the efforts of the representative of Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Federal constituency, Awaji-Inombek Abiante in connecting Opobo Kingdom to the national grid in a bid to resolve the constant lack of electricity in the area.

He pledged that his administration would continue to support development plans of the Opobo Kingdom that would make life easy for the people.

“I am pleased with Abiante’s efforts and that is why it is important to elect committed individuals, who believe in the development of their areas and people. That young man has shown that connecting Opobo to the national grid is important,” he said.

The governor also donated N50m to support the building of a befitting palace for king Jaja of Opobo.

Speaking, Amayanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja said the siting of Opobo on the banks of the Imo River, was well thought out in 1870 because the kingdom strategically became an important commercial settlement to compete with Lagos in the volume of Nigeria’s international trade.

King Jaja, who is also Chairman of Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council, said in the wake of World War 11, the British government closed the Opobo seaport, which destroyed the commercial strength of Opobo kingdom.

He pointed out that the Nigeria Government had since failed to acknowledge the subsisting commercial potentials of Opobo, adding: “Today, we are glad to acknowledge that the road will open up a new page in the development of Opobo.

“That page that will see our youths being attracted to remain in Opobo instead of migrating to Port Harcourt and other cities because they can be gainfully employed and enjoy the benefits of modern living.

Rivers State Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, said Opobo people had lived together in peace without violence during and after the 20 years of a legal tussle in the kingdom.

Gogo-Jaja said the Opobo people commended Governor Wike for showing love to them through his commitment to complete the Opobo axis of the Ogoni Unity Road.