By Emma Okah
I believe in our Rivers State, her people and the fruits of the land. We are blessed and strong. Good things abound in our land. We are multi ethnic and culturally diversified. This is our strength and it speaks for us.
In life, we have the ups and downs but we cannot allow negativity weigh us down and strangulate us in order to define our being. We do not belong to the ground. We are high fliers. Therefore those who define us by the isolated ills we share with other Nigerians do us no good because we are not alone and we are successfully making efforts to be better. Consequently, cultists don't speak for us; kidnappers don't represent our identity and serial killing or violent criminality is not our name, not even an alias.
We have a name. It's Rivers State. PH is the style and swag. In terms of natural resources, we feed the nation. Our inheritance speaks for us.
Going down memory lane, just to mention one case, Chief Rotimi Williams and Dr Nabo Graham Douglas were the first two Nigerians to attain the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on 4th March, 1975. The third person is Chief Obafemi Awolowo on 1st December, 1978. They are all deceased but even from the grave, Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas is still speaking for Rivers State.
In learning infrastructure, H.E. Dr Peter Odili is the founder of the first private Medical University in Nigeria. His wife Hon Justice Mary Odili is the first female Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from the South-South and South-East geographic Zones of Nigeria. They speak for Rivers State.
In the beauty world, Agbani Darego-Danjuma spoke for us years ago when she emerged Miss World.
A few days ago, 21 year old Miss Nyekachi Douglas from Rivers State emerged winner of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria contest. She speaks for Rivers State.
Not long ago, upcoming international footballers from Banham Model Primary School, Port Harcourt emerged winners of the Channels Television Kids Cup. Thrilled by their spectacular victory, Golden Jubilee Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike sent them for special training at the Real Madrid Academy in Spain. These young lads are back and set to conquer. They speak for Rivers State.
If we open the Ecclesiastic page, humble Pastor David Ibiyeomie of Salvation Ministeries International is one of the leading Pastors in Nigeria. Along Airport road, he is erecting one of the largest churches in the African Continent with University in view. Pastor Ibiyeomie speaks for Rivers State.
In banking, Dr Herbert Wigwe is an enigma. He is the Group Managing Director of Access Bank and one of the best industry CEOs. A success story like Chiefs Atedo Peterside of Stanbic IBTC fame and Victor Ifeanyi Odili, Dr Wigwe and these great men speak for Rivers State.
In Oil and Gas, Mr Tein Jackrich of Belema Oil from Rivers State is a successful oil and gas baron, blazing trail and employing hundreds. He speaks for Rivers State.
Ann Kio Briggs is a fearless Niger Delta and rights activist. She drives chill into the spines and hearts of her opponents in the defence of her State and people. She speaks for Rivers State.
In Music, versatile Mr Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu known as BURNA BOY and Duncan Wene Mighty Okechukwu known as DUNCAN MIGHTY are doing marvellously well. Gospel Singer Miss Mercy Chinwo rose from the ranks but she dines with queens today. They are role models for the younger generations and they speak for Rivers State.
I will reserve the role models in governance to another day but the list of the others is endless. I can go on and on to mention those who speak for Rivers State through their exemplary conduct and outstanding productivity. For all those who are patriotic, adding value, shunning criminality, contributing to the good and growth of society, living pure and obeying laws and showing that virtue is supreme and better than vices; that light triumphs over darkness in the belief that we can make our state greater, you all speak eloquently for Rivers State.
On this glorious achievement by Miss Nyekachi Douglas as MISS NIGERIA 2019, we congratulate you, a great daughter of Rivers State. As you stand tall in acknowledgement of the splendour of your victory, may your reign bring glorious times and fulfilment to yourself, Family, Community, State, Nation and Humanity to the glory of God.
Indeed you speak loudly for Rivers State.