Former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has praised Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for working towards the revival of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noting that the country needs another strong political party.
IBB said this when Wike led some leaders of the state to visit him at his Hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State, yesterday.
Babangida also lauded Wike for his outstanding efforts towards promoting vibrant politics in Nigeria.
“That is why I particularly appreciate the job the Rivers state governor is doing; to make sure politics moves the way it is practised in the civilised world.
“This is because you need a very good political party in this country and he is working towards achieving that. He applies his courage, his knowledge, contacts to make sure PDP remains very strong.”
Babangida also thanked Wike for his commitment to good governance and disclosed that as other Nigerians, he has been keeping a tab on Wike’s good works.
In his comments on the recently-concluded Anambra governorship poll, the former military president said the election was credible and that he was not surprised by its outcome “because adequate preparations were made.
“It is indication that Nigerians would be able to conduct themselves well, in a very peaceful environment.”
The elder statesman thanked the governor for his visit.
Addressing newsmen after the visit, Wike disclosed Rivers leaders were in Minna, to consult with the former military president as a leader of the PDP and that he consults with the former leader on party issues.
The Rivers state governor also noted that the visit was meant to wish the former leader well, with regards to his health.
Wike was accompanied on the visit by a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Ken Chikere, a former attorney general in the state, Frank Ohwor, PDP elder statesman, Prince Emma Anyanwu and a Special Adviser, Chief Glory Emeh.
The meeting later went into a closed door session.
Meanwhile, Wike has called on the 54 contestants of the Miss University Africa to serve as ambassadors and promote the state as a centre of peace, development, unity and sustained growth.
Wike spoke yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt when he granted audience to contestants of Miss University Africa Pageant.
The governor said their presence in the state was a positive testimony and endorsement of the state.
He said: “We must express our gratitude to you for coming to Rivers State despite the negative propaganda unleashed on us by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
“As you return to your respective countries, we urge you to serve as ambassadors of Rivers State. Tell people about the beauty and peace of the state. Tell them that the negative propaganda is politically motivated.”
He expressed satisfaction with the infusion of charity works in the pageant, assuring them that the government would support the beauty queens in the venture.
The governor took out time to explain the structure of government in Nigeria and Rivers State.
“Move around and enjoy the beauty of Rivers State. Make sure you anchor at Port Harcourt Pleasure Park. This is a tourist state, with a hospitable population. After now, you will desire to return to Rivers,” Governor Wike said.
Earlier, Managing Director of Visions, Innovations and Concepts, organisers of the pageant, Mr. Taylor Nazal, lauded Governor Wike for accepting to host the 54 African countries.
He said contrary to negative media against Rivers, the contestants and organisers have found the tate peaceful.
“Since we came to Rivers State, we have witnessed an atmosphere of peace. This event would put Rivers State on the global stage,” Nazal said.
“This is a non-Bikini event aimed at discouraging indecent dressing. That is why we have both Muslim and Christian countries participating in this beauty pageant,” he said.
Nazal said the contestants will engage in charity works across Port Harcourt. He said the activities they will perform include visits to hospitals, elderly people homes and orphanages.
“They call you Mr. Projects and we have seen several projects across the state. This is a project that is empowering women in the continent,” Nazal said.
Miss University Africa (Nigeria), Opara Ibinabo, a student of University of Port Harcourt, commended Governor Wike for providing the platform for 54 African countries to gather in the state.
As a show of respect, each of the beauty queens presented gifts to the governor.
The governor later took the contestants on a guided tour of completed projects at the Government House.