THE NEED FOR A PREPARED LEADERSHIP
By Engr Nwonodi Wosu
A lot of people have accused me of supporting the Governorship ambition of Dr. Dakuku Peterside because of an imaginary heavy benefits I get from him. Others have said I am positioning myself ahead when he eventually becomes Governor of Rivers State.
Let me share my principled conviction & attraction to him.
I got to know & relate closely with Dakuku through then Governor Amaechi’s administration. As Amaechi’s tenure rode to an end, I began questioning myself on the type of leadership that would come after his (Amaechi’s) amazing outing as the Governor of our dear State.
Deep inside me, I loved the neck-to-neck competition with Lagos, the healthy but silent competition between Odili & Asiwaju, who both were the first to build Independent Power Projects for their respective States.
I enjoyed even more the carryover of that competition to the succeeding Fashola & Amaechi administration. I recall in particular, how Fashola got challenged by the quality of Primary Schools in Rivers State & how he conceded to Amaechi in that regard.
Kai! I watched how both Fashola & Amaechi competed in dealing with the challenges of transitioning to modern Cities. While Lagos tackled the menace of Agberos, Amaechi battled the then “Obio/Akpor Boys” or “Matching Ground” which drove investors from the State. Lagos improved upon the then infamous LASTMA, while Amaechi setup the Timariv to coordinate Traffic in PH. It was a rush to who would build the most adaptable Nigerian City.
Like in several sectors, Fashola & Amaechi shifted their competition to Urban Renewal. While Fashola positioned Lagos to maintain her lead as the Nation’s Investment / Commercial Power House, Amaechi set-out to introduce the Greater PH City Development Agency (GPHCDA) to execute his vision of a modern day City that would pull the Business Rugs off the already congested but enduring Lagos.
As a Student of knowledge who seek to know why things are the way they are & how to reasonably predict the future, I understood that considering all factors, PH or Rivers State is in no position to effectively compete with Lagos in the long run, except she’s lucky to have another very visionary leadership.
As Fashola & Amaechi’s tenures rode gradually to a halt, I began to imagine what type of leadership my State needed to effectively overcome Lagos.
In the deepest part of my heart, the search for a competent leader had begun in earnest.
One day, I came across a document called “Our Roadmap To Prosperity”
It had Dr. Dakuku’s picture on it, so I picked it & went straight home. Through the night, I read one page after another. The ideas embedded therein were simply mind boggling.
Does my State have such quality men with that sense of clarity?
I read about & liked the continuation & improvement of the idea of a Greater PH City; an envisioned idea of developing a new modern City that has all the features of a 21st Century City; the intention of creating 1,000 new indigenous multi-million businesses & supporting at least, 100 existing ones; the plans of efficient Water Transportation, whereby all parts of the State are accessible, both by Road & Safe Water Transportation;
the idea of deliberately Mentoring young people & giving them Wings to fly amongst their peers globally; the vision to consolidate on the status of Rivers State as the Nation’s Centre of Excellence in Oil & Gas by intentionally empowering & positioning Rivers people for the future, as well as creating a new Industrial / Commercial Corridor, etc etc.
I was simply blown away…oh yea, PH’s got the brain power. I was particularly amazed at the demystification of the illusion that only Lagos has the best brains to turn our country around
After reading that draft document in late 2014, I came to the personal conclusion that I had found a worthy successor to carry further the age-long visions of our fathers to build a peaceful, fair & very efficient State with substantial degree of self reliance, using indigenous brains & resources.
Whoever put this document together was prepared for Leadership & I had no reservations supporting such person, irrespective of my personal feelings.
This was the beginning of my strong attachment to Dakuku. The realisation that Dr. Dakuku had long prepared for Governance by undergoing over 30years of Mentorship and managed a Leadership training Centre known as Development & Leadership Institute (DLI) for over 12years was all more endearing.
At this point, I began following his antecedents. I discovered that as Rep Member, he drafted & co-sponsored the Petroleum Industry Bill (now Act) & was arguably the only Rep Member in the State who Instituted an annual Overseas Scholarships scheme for his constituents. A further probe into his antecedents showed that as Works Commissioner, Dr Dakuku was responsible for redesigning the Eleme & Obiri Ikwerre Interchanges, the Rumueme Fly Over, the dualisation of Ikwerre Rd, Elekahia/Rumuomasi, redesigning of the Ogoni /Andoni / Opobo Unity Rd amongst others.
The vision of a Great Rivers State as encapsulated by Diette-Spiff in building Nigeria’s best State Secretariat, Nigeria’s Pioneer University of Science & Technology, furthered by the donation of Land to the FG for the construction of Eastern Nigeria’s only International Airport, Siting of Nigeria’s Unique University (Uniport) to train Manpower in the Hydrocarbon Industry, as well as establishing Niger Delta’s oldest Sports Institute in Isaka, Okrika LGA to harness abundant talents domiciled in the region amongst others must be realised
And in that guise, this idea, this Roadmap, this plans must & should be carried on and only the best is good enough to make this possible
Engr Nwonodi Wosu writes from PortHarcourt.