By Suoyo Ekubo
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has laid the foundation for the construction of the Eze Epara Rebisi palace in Port Harcourt.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by Kelvin Ebiri SA on media to the the Rivers State government.
The governor regretted that the construction of the palace was taking place thirty years after the Rivers State government issued the Certificate of Occupancy for the project.
Governor Wike made these remarks at the foundation laying ceremony of the Eze Epara Rebisi in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
“I believe the right thing should be done and today, we are going to do the right thing. Since 1990, some of you will understand the history. In here was to be built the Eze Epara Rebisi palace by the Government of Rivers State. If you check the C-of-O, it was given by Rivers State government, but for one reason or the other, nobody was able to take the courage (to build), but I will do it.”
The Rivers State governor wondered why past government did not consider it expedite to build the palace in order to accord the Eze Epara Rebisi the honour and respect the throne deserves.
Governor Wike, who disclosed that the project will be completed within the next ten months, assured the people of Rebisi kingdom that the money for the construction and completion of the magnificent palace has been side aside by the Rivers State government.
The governor commended the Eze Epara Rebisi XII and paramount ruler (King) of Port Harcourt, HRM, Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu, for his steadfastness in galvanising support for his administration since 2015.
“I tell people that leadership maters a lot. When you see leaders who are neither here nor there, they bring nothing home. But when you see people who stand and say look this is the position we should take, and tell their people to do that, it doesn’t matter the consequences, such are the leaders you must follow.
“Eze Epara Rebisi stood firm for us and so we cannot be ashamed to identify with you. God has time for everybody and it is in your time that this palace should be built. If there is nothing you have achieved, you’ve achieved this.”
Governor Wike, has meanwhile, directed that Kaduna Street in Port Harcourt should henceforth be referred to as Eze Epara Rebisi street. To this end, he has directed the chairman of Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Allwell Ihunda to immediately effect the change.
The Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Charles Amadi commended governor Wike for actualising the aspiration of the people of Rebisi to have a benefiting palace for the Eze Epara Rebisi.
The Eze Epara Rebisi XII and paramount ruler (King) of Port Harcourt, HRM, Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu, explained that it has been the dream of the people of his kingdom in the last 60 years to have benefiting palace.
The king, who was overwhelmed by the commencement of construction work at the site allocated by then military government of Rivers State for the palace, said governor Wike by this gesture has touched the heart of the people of Rebisi kingdom.
On his part, the chairman of Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Allwell Ihunda said governor Wike has further demonstrated that governance is really about the people.