Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and other dignitaries have paid tribute to the late Apiti of Rumueme kingdom in Obio/ Akpor council, His Royal Majesty, Nyenwe-Eli Omunakwe Nyeche Nsirim.
Governor Wike, in an emotionally laden tribute said the monarch was one of those who against all odds identified with his political aspiration when he first vied for the office of the Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area in 1999.
Speaking at the variety night of tributes which held at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference, Port Harcourt on Thursday, governor Wike said he remains grateful to the Apiti of Rumueme because of the monarch’s tremendous contribution to his political growth, particularly at a time when his community Rumueprikom could not be reckoned with politically in Obio-Akpor LGA.
“I am emotionally touched because he supported me in 1999, when nobody thought anybody from my community will be something. He stood firm for me to be chairman of Obio-Akpor. I had nobody, but he stood firm and I became chairman. And that is how I grew to be where I am today.”
He further added, “There is nothing I will do today that I will say I have done enough for the contribution of this man to my life, to this State. He has fought for this State very well. He has fought for the Rumueme community.”
Governor Wike said the late Nyenwe-Eli Omunakwe Nyeche Nsirim, was one of the most venerated Rivers State leaders, whose profound legacy to him, the State at large, will always be remembered.
The governor said he was honoured and blessed to have known Nyenwe-Eli Omunakwe Nyeche Nsirim, whom he described was a man of character and integrity, for all these years and was deeply saddened by his demise.
He therefore, urged the monarch’s children to emulate his virtues in recognition of his life-long work to better the lives of his people.
“I pray all of them who are his children should emulate the life of this man, a giver, a philanthropist. If you have a problem and you go to him, he will solve your problem. it doesn’t matter the divide.”
In his tribute, former Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said unknown to many, the Nyenwe-Eli Omunakwe Nyeche Nsirim was one of those who funded the political processes that laid the foundation for the democracy Nigerians are enjoying today.
“Rivers State has lost one of her greatest. The void he is leaving cannot be filled because he is probably the last standing founding icon of our dear State. But for the family, be consoled that you had a royal father that was second to none.
Odili, also used the occasion to commend governor Wike for the emergence of Sir Fubara as the governor-elect of Rivers State.
He urged governor Wike to help Fubara, who is a seasoned technocrat to navigate the learning curve of Nigeria’s politics.
“I have no doubt you will stand with him day and night, and by the special grace of God, he will take Rivers State to greater height.”
Renowned educationalist and a trustee of the Nigerian Academy of Education (NAE), Emeritus Prof. Otonti Amadi Nduka, who gave the vote of thanks, commended governor Wike and the government of Rivers State for honouring Nyenwe-Eli Omunakwe Nyeche Nsirim.
Present at the event were Rivers State governor-elect, Sir Siminalayi Fubara; former Senate President, senator John Azuta-Mbata; former Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudum Nwuche; National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South-south, Chief Dan Orbih; Rivers State chairman of PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor among other dignitaries.
Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State governor.
March 24, 2023.