Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has assured the people of Opobo Kingdom that his administration will provide a motorable access to the community by completing the Opobo axis of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity road in January 2021.
The governor gave the assurance at a ceremony to mark the 150 years anniversary of the establishment of Opobo Kingdom in Opobo town on Monday.
According to the Wike, the completion of the Opobo axis of the road, which will attract development to Opobo kingdom, is top priority of my administration.
The governor also expressed delight that the people of Opobo and their friends could drive by road to participate in the 150 years anniversary of the kingdom.
He gave an assurance that the road would be completed and commissioned in January 2021.
Wike said: “As you are coming from the Ogoni area, you will see that we have finished the first phase of Sakpenwa-Bori road; full dualisation.
“Now, we believe that the second phase will take it to Kono with street lights installed. That will ease movement and reduce the level of crime in that place.
“We are happy that you can drive from Bori and within five minutes, you are heading to Opobo. When that road is completed, it will bring development.
“I am glad that I made a promise to the people of Opobo. We believe that by ending of January 2021, that we will come back to commission the road.’’
The governor also noted the efforts of a Federal lawmaker, Awaji-Inombek Abiante (Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency), in connecting Opobo kingdom to the national grid to lessen the problem of lack of public power supply in the area.
Wike said his administration would continue to support developmental plans of the kingdom to make life easy for them.
“I am happy with the move to connect you to the national grid. That project is a constituency project of one of your own, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, who represents Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency.
“It is important for us to elect those who have commitment, who believe in the development of the people and that young man has shown that connecting Opobo to National Grid is very important,’’ he said.
The governor also donated N50 million to support the building of a befitting palace for King Jaja of Opobo.
In his remarks, the Amayanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Jaja, said that the location of Opobo on the banks of the Imo River was a well calculated plan in 1870.
The traditional ruler said the siting of Opobo Kingdom on the river’s bank made it a strategic and an important commercial settlement to compete with Lagos in volume of Nigerian international trade.
Jaja, who is also the Chairman of Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council, explained that since the World War 11, the British closed the Opobo seaport.
He said that the move destroyed the commercial strength of Opobo kingdom.
According to him, the government has since failed to acknowledge the subsisting commercial potential of Opobo.
He said: “The road, today, we are glad to acknowledge, opens up a new page in the development process of Opobo.
“A page that will see our youths, instead of migrating to Port Harcourt and other cities, will be attracted to remain here because they can be gainfully employed as well as enjoy the benefits of modern living.’’
Rivers State Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, said that the people of Opobo lived together in peace without violent attack against each other.
Gogo-Jaja said the people of Opobo particularly thanked the governor for demonstrating love toward them through his commitment to complete the Opobo axis of the Ogoni Unity Road to enable them drive him on the road.