Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has congratulated his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, on her 70th birthday, describing her as a dependable, trustworthy ally.
Governor Wike said Dr Harry-Banigo has been an exceptionally supportive deputy, who has never given him and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the State cause for concern.
He stated this during the 70th birthday ceremony held at the official residence of the deputy governor in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
“One will attest to the glory of God, that she is a very dependable deputy governor, who has never had any cause to give us concern. You may have heard of other states where the deputies and their governors hardly work together.
“I know of most of my colleagues that find it difficult to send their deputy to represent them because they are not sure of what their deputy will do. So, they prefer that seat of the state is vacant. But this is not that type of deputy.”
The governor explained that when he wanted to contest for the office of the governor in 2014, he deliberately wanted a paradigm shift in the political landscape of Rivers State which was predominantly dominated by men.
He narrated that this necessitated his decision to set up a committee to search for a woman of substance to be his running mate during the 2015 general election.
According to him, prior to 2014, he had never met Dr Harry-Banigo, who was first introduced to him by former Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Frank Owhor.
“I never knew the deputy governor before 2015. Somehow, I did set up a committee to search for a woman who will be my deputy, because I have looked round and said it must not be a male dominated thing.
“Since the creation of our State, down to the civilian government, we’ve never had a deputy governor that is a woman.
“And it was that committee through Frank Owhor, who incidentally told me that he worked with one lady who was Secretary to government and former Permanent Secretary.”
The governor said his wife was also among those who convinced him to pick Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo as his running mate, having known her to be a woman of integrity.
Governor Wike disclosed that he was the one who suggested that Dr Harry-Banigo should contest for the Rivers West senatorial district in the 2023 election, because the State craves for quality and trustworthy representation in the National Assembly.
“So, on behalf of the members of the State Executive Council and dear good people of Rivers State, I want to sincerely say
and happy birthday to you.”
Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State governor.
December 20, 2022.