All across Africa, well-meaning people are trooping to Rivers State to have a feel of the outstanding transformation taking place under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
The news of the wonderful works of Governor Wike has permeated the nooks and crannies of the continent and everyone wants to be associated with this temple of development.
The last time, it was the African Bar Association. This time, beauty queens from the 54 countries of the continent have converged on Rivers State to compete for the emergence of the Most Beautiful Girl in African Universities.
One by one, the girls expressed their gratitude to the government and people of Rivers State for providing the right platform for the exhibition of African unity, beauty, security and development.
In the best of the African tradition, each of the girls presented special gifts to Governor Wike. They took out time to explain the importance of their gifts, their love and respect for the people of Rivers state.
The significance of their actions was not lost on the Government and people of Rivers State. In the midst of the Federal Government's persecution and deliberate falsehood, other African countries have come to appreciate the peace of Rivers state and the revival of development in Africa.
They visited from distant places to say to Governor Wike; “Continue to be an icon of development” ; “Continue to be an Apostle of unity”; “Remain focused on the creation of a New Africa”.
Managing Director of Visions, Innovations and Concepts, organisers of the pageant , Mr Taylor Nazal praised Governor Wike for accepting to host the 54 African Countries.
He said that contrary to the negative media against Rivers State, the contestants and organizers have found Rivers State peaceful.
"Since we came to Rivers State, we have witnessed an atmosphere of peace. This event would put Rivers State on the global stage", Mr Nazal said.
He 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 ".
Nazal said that the contestants will engage in Charity works across Port Harcourt. He said the activities they will perform include visits to hopspitals, elderly people homes and orphanages.
He said: "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".
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike called on the 54 contestants of the Miss University Africa to serve as ambassadors of the state, promoting the state as a centre of peace, development, unity and sustained growth.
Governor Wike said their presence in the state is a positive testimony and endorsement of Rivers State.
He said: “We must express our gratitude to you for coming to Rivers State despite the negative propaganda unleashed on us by the APC 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 Rivers State. Tell them that the negative propaganda is politically motivated”.
He expressed satisfaction with the infusion of charity works in the pageant, assuring that the Government will 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 that 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 State" , Governor Wike said.
A firm believer in the politics of seeing isbelieving, Governor Wike treated the beauty queens to a doze of projects inspection. This time, he took them to sites of completed projects within the precincts of Government House.
They inspected the Reconstructed Brick House, the New Government House Chapel of Everlasting Grace, the new Government House Amphitheatre and the extended Government House Corridor of Power.
Like a good teacher, Governor Wike explained the essence of each completed project. As he reeled out statistics, the beauty queens applauded in appreciation of Mr Project's good works.
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 Rivers State.
Miss Fatima, (Miss University Africa, Namibia) said : "Your Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, thank you for supporting women, Unity and for tourism opportunity
To Blessing Obioria, Miss University Africa (Cameroon ) "I am so happy to be in your state, Rivers and I am saying big thank you for hosting African countries "
Miss African University Zambia declared: "Thank you for your hospitality and hosting beautiful African women ".
In very profound ways, Governor Wike is re-defining the Rivers narrative. Hundreds of APC apologists holed up in dark places cannot stop the movement of God's people in the Treasure Base of the Nation.
The more they struggle to de-market Rivers State, the more the news of Governor Wike's exploits filters out to the global audience. Like it is said, a good product needs no advertisement. The New Rivers Product is an outstanding product that draws all people to Rivers State.
For Africans, they want to identify with Beautiful Rivers because it has been transformed into a home of exploits and economic prosperity. A state where the governor eats and sleeps projects. A state where the people's resources have been effectively deployed to prosper the state.
As these beauty queens exit Rivers State, African wrestlers from 54 countries will arrive Rivers State in February, 2018. This is a revolving glass of economic multiplier syndrome for micro-small and medium-sized businesses within and outside Rivers State. Hoteliers, souvenir traders, transporters, hair dressers, market women and shop owners are feeling the impact of this new wave of tourism.
Indeed, Governor Wike has transformed this beautiful state of Rivers into Africa's platform for peace and development. For the most illogical critic, the only option is to remain quiet and watch in awe, the unprecedented growth being uploaded by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
* Nwakaudu is Wike's media aide