The most beneficiary from Ahoada West local government Area by Goodhead Goodliffe
Prior to 1999, when the then Military Government promised to hand over power to a civilian government, Dauda Komo was the Military Sole administrator of Rivers State. Dr. Asita O Asita, elder brother to Hon. Asita H Asita, was the commissioner for Education.
The relationship between the duo, was such that Dr. Asita was often referred to as the deputy administrator, though there was nothing like deputy in the military governmen’st administration of the states.
At that time, Asita H Asita, then a young lawyer, was part of the developing political activities in Ahoada West local government Area, and being a younger brother to the then commissioner for Education, it was difficult if not impossible to ignore young Asita in the scheme of things by the older politicians. Also, at that time, Hope O Ikiriko, a young university graduate, was engaged in Ministry (Church) work, while also looking for employment. He was a preacher in one church at Rumumaasi in Obio/Akpo local government Area in Rivers State. It was in that church he got the name, evangelist.
Information has it that, after the older politicians in Ahoada West local government Area has agreed and resolved that Asita H Asita should go for the State House of Assembly, young Asita had raised the required amount to purchase both the intent and nomination forms, and had actually purchased the forms before he was approached by his elder brother and commissioner for Education, and advised to hand over the forms to young Hope O Ikiriko.
It was alleged that Hope O Ikiriko’s elder sister who was a close friend of Dr. Asita O Asita, had pleaded with Dr. Asita to prevail on his younger brother, Asita H Asita, to allow her younger brother, Evangelist Hope O Ikiriko to run for the Assembly seat.
Asita H Asita listened to his elder brother’s advice, obliged and handed over the forms to Evangelist Hope O Ikiriko who contested and worn the election. There were however issues about his age. It was argued by some persons that he was below the age allowable by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
All the same, Evangelist Hope O Ikiriko became a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, representing Ahoada West local government Area constituency. He was there for three terms of four years each, totaling 12 years.
Few months after Hon. Ikiriko became member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, his phone number became unreachable. He alienated himself from the people he was supposedly representing. He had two mobile police officers with him at all times, such that one cannot even get close to him during public political events. No body knew where he lived so, no could visit him at home. Those who tried to visit him in the office were frustrated as their calls from the Assembly gate were not taken by those in his office. For you to go in, someone in his will take the call and ask you to come in. His phone number only goes through after every four years as he prepares to re contest.
For the 12 years, Hon. Hope O Ikiriko never called, hosted or attended any meeting of his constituency, hence, he never felt the pulse of his people to know what their needs were, to enable him initiate bills that would have addressed those needs. He never executed any constituency project despite the huge sum they received each year for such projects. He basically forgot about the people that sent him there and the reason why they sent him.
In 2013 or thereabouts Hon. Hope O Ikiriko was appointed as a Federal commissioner, representing Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo and Delta states at the Federal Civil Service Commission. He live all through in Abuja, visiting Rivers State once in a very long while. He had limited contacts with Ahoada West people. However, he conscientiously tried to redeem his 12 years damaged image while at the Rivers State House of Assembly, by enabling some persons from Ahoada West local government Area, gain employment into the Federal Civil Service, including some persons recommended by my humble self.
Most people, including myself were exited when Hon. Hope O Ikiriko indicated interest to contest for the position of chairman, Ahoada West local government Council. We had thought that having worked as an executive Federal commissioner, together with how he gave some persons employment, that he had changed positively. We were dead wrong.
Four years running in his two terms as chairman of the Council, Ikiriko’s only significant achievement is the removal of the several ghost and illegally employed workers from the wage bill of the Council, thereby saving tens of millions of naira for the council. He has re adopted his old attitude of not taking calls nor respond to messages. If you choose to visit him at his port Harcourt office in a suit of an hotel or at Akinima, the council secretariat, you could spend the whole day without seeing him.
Hon. Ikiriko’s appointees as SSA, SA, PA, etc, are, except one, persons who could not ask him questions neither could they advice him. Although, Ikiriko is known for not taking advice from people except the ones that would directly benefit him. There is wisdom in Dr. Chidi Lloyd of Emuoha having PhD.and retired officers as members of his aides.
The only project being executed by Ikiriko for the four years running, is the chairman’s lodge and the perimeter fencing of the Council. The acclaimed rural electrification projects being carried out in some communities in Ahoada West has been confirmed as Agip oil company project and not that of the Council.
Supporting Hon. Hope O Ikiriko for any other political office would amount to Ahoada West people sentencing themselves to death.