Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has a penchant for delivering quality projects. It has become a fact no one can argue. In the last seven years that he has been in charge of the oil-rich state, Wike has made Port Harcourt, the state capital, a huge construction yard. Little wonder he goes by the sobriquet “Mr Project”.
Like him or hate him, Wike has made a mark in the developmental trajectory of the Treasure Base of the Nation, particularly in the area of public infrastructure such as road construction and rehabilitation. His signature flyover bridges, though not necessary in some areas they were built, are part of the evidence of his wonderful performance in the quality delivery of solid and sustainable projects.
The newly-built Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt is another testament to the governor’s disposition to quality projects. The school, which is named after one of the finest legal minds Nigeria has been blessed with, Chief Nabo Graham-Douglas, is unarguably the best Law School in the country. It is posh, classy, elegant, imposing, tastefully furnished and world-class. It is a pride to the state and a befitting honour to the man it was named after. In his grave, the late erudite lawyer will be grateful to the Rivers State Governor.
Some of the features of the school include, Sports Centre, Health Centre, Library, a magnificent auditorium, among others. It also has a lecturers quarters located at the New Government Residential Area. The internal roads, lush garden, beautiful walkway, lightening system are lovely sights to behold. The Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), described it as “historic and iconic”.
Wike, at a recent event said the Law School will be self-sustaining. According to him, it was on the basis of that promise that his administration acquired some of the property adjoining the campus to enable the operators of the school use them for sundry commercial and revenue generating activities in order to meet the school’s financial needs. He thereafter handed over the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the adjoining property to the campus to the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN).
Wike, who conducted the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Ngige, the Director General of the Nigeria Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma (SAN) and other dignitaries round structures within the Law Campus, said the school has been completed and ready for formal handover to the Federal Government.
As we commend Governor Wike, we want to urge the Federal and Bayelsa State Government to do something about the neighbouring Yenagoa Campus of the Nigerian Law School. The school is an eyesore with very embarrassing structures that fall short of the standard required to breed sound legal minds. The institution is begging for a facelift and urgently too. It is one of the only visible presence of the Federal Government in the state and so it deserves to be upgraded to encourage a more friendly environment for students and their lecturers as well as members of the host community.
We recall that it was the same Wike who last year committed his state resources for the construction of modern facilities at the Yenagoa Campus of the Law School. His intervention was done out of patriotism and the need to have befitting structures there. The federal and Bayelsa government should compliment his efforts and make the place a pride to the state.
There is every indication that if nothing is done at the Yenagoa Law School, prospective students will opt for the one in Port Harcourt and those who are privileged will use their influence to secure it. Nobody will opt for something low when there is a better alternative. It is therefore imperative for there to be a massive revamp of the entire project and facilities in the school.
We hope that the government will heed to this call and begin to fix things there. We also call on the Yenagoa branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), senior lawyers and the entire legal community in Bayelsa to lead the way for the call for a brand new Law School in the state.