It was gathered that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, declared on Sunday that democracy had returned to the state after years of political bondage.
Wike made this declaration during a thanksgiving service organised by his political support group, the Grassroots Development Initiative, at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Rumuola Parish, Port Harcourt.
The governor attributed the democracy being enjoyed currently in Rivers to the contributions of the GDI, describing it as a group that came out when people were not allowed to air their opinion in the state.
Represented at the occasion by Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Korea, Mr. Desmond Akawor, Wike hailed the doggedness of the group for excelling in the face of intimidation.
“GDI is an instrument that came out at a point when nobody was allowed to air his views or hold meeting in Rivers State. The leaders of GDI came, exhibited courage and determination.
“Through this group, today, we now have democracy in Rivers State without anybody challenging you on whichever group you want to belong. We now have a Rivers State that is born again.
“Now, we have the judiciary back after a year. These men and women worked tirelessly to give us hope. Now, we have the State House of Assembly sit inside their chambers to discuss issues about Rivers State.”
“It is difficult to describe where they are coming from, the Dark Age, when our traditional rulers were not allowed to air their views on Rivers State. The traditional stool was balkanized just to despise those who decided to give advice,” Wike added.
The governor, however, charged members of the group not to relent in their determination to uphold democracy and ensure that the state was not returned to the era of political crisis.
“Now, we have taken the leadership of the state, the expectation from us, Rivers people, is high while a lot need to be done. Every GDI member is a vanguard to this crusade.
“It is our duty to ensure that no loophole is left. Remember what the Bible says, ‘When the hedge is broken, the serpent will bite.’ They are doing all they can to see that they bring you back to the Dark Age.
“So, it is our duty as GDI members to work hard and ensure that never again would Rivers State be returned to the Dark Age,” Wike added.