Governor Nysom Wike of Rivers state has urged the people to live in peace and work for the collective security, progress and prosperity.
In a New Year message to the people, Wike prayed that 2017 would usher in “a new hope that the era of vindictiveness has ended’’.
He said Rivers will be justly treated and accorded its fair share of development projects and attention by the Federal Government.
“My brothers and sisters, let me take this opportunity to remind us that 2017 is a special year for Rivers.
“It is our year of Golden Jubilee and we must roll out the drums and together thank God for His faithfulness unto us and celebrate its historic significance under the theme: “I LOVE MY RIVERS STATE, OUR CRADLE, OUR PRIDE.”
“This theme truly encapsulates and evokes our sense of unity, our values, our love for one another, our struggles, our progress and our hopes for the future, which starts from now,” the governor said.
He noted that the state had faced some challenges in the outgoing year, including insecurity and economic downturn but which were adequately tackled.
He said that 2016 had been a year of mixed feelings. It was a year that the state made some remarkable progress as we began to fulfil promises to our people.
The government, he said, managed to resuscitate the broken economy to drive and sustain development efforts in the face of a crippling national recession.
“We reconstructed existing roads, build new ones and in the process created jobs and empowerment for our people.
“We confronted insecurity by providing concrete support to the security agencies to combat and reduce crime across the state.
“Furthermore, among several other tangible achievements, we also ensued the regular payment of salaries to our workers and pensioners as well as started the process of restoring quality into our educational and health systems.
He said that although it was difficult to forget the low and painful moments of 2016, especially the continuing economic difficulties and associated misery being experienced by ordinary people, as a result of the prostrate state of our national economy.
In spite of the extreme brutalization, bloodshed and loss that characterised the re-run legislative elections, he said, there was still much progress to look back on over the last 12 months.
“And so, as we come to the conclusion of a largely challenging but fruitful year, we wish to assure you that we are right on course and things can only get better for every Rivers person as we strive to consolidate on our achievements and take our State to the next level of development.”