Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside former governorship candidate of the All Progressive Alliance (APC) in Rivers State, and currently the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) today Monday, 31st December turned 48. CHUKWUEMEKA EZE in this profile, attempts to deconstruct this consummate administrator
An Astute and charismatic politician, a seasoned administrator with an amiable personality, a phenomenal reformist whose cult-followership stature among the youth and God-fearing people puts him as a leader to be admired, watched and associated with.
The leadership quality of this resolute revolutionary and visionary democrat is reflected in the words of many outstanding great leaders, such as: Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian General and military theorist, who stated: “If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them, in spite of all obstacles.” One-time President of the USA, George W. Bush: “Leadership, to me, means duty, honour and country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.”
To his father, King (Prof) TJT Princewill, Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, “a leader is not worth anything if he or she does not represent the values of love, unity, peace and justice for his people.” But in the words of Dr Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, former Rivers State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), “Dr Peterside is a well-brought-up youthful manager of men and resources, who has been prepared for leadership by the invaluable lessons he received from elders across the State.”
Dr. Peterside whom I have closely monitored for the past thirteen years is a true reflection of what audacity, resoluteness, resourcefulness and creativity are all about no matter the field he decides to work upon or the odds.
I wish to say without fear of contradiction that Peterside is a symbol of unity, a visionary, egalitarian and, most importantly, a great patriot whose love for Nigeria and Nigerians is infectious. Here is a man who is reputed as a charming, charismatic and disciplined leader; creative and hard working, a broad-minded fellow with strategic insight.
He brings integrity, creativity, compassion, and intellectual dimension to bear in tackling tough political and administrative issues. He is truly a bridge-builder and loyal to friendship.
He boasts credible credentials as a renowned resource person on petroleum matters, leadership/management expert, motivational speaker and a respected authority on corporate political strategy and private-public interaction in Nigeria.”
This pride of Rivers State and one of the most articulated and educated political leaders from the State is an extraordinary and innovative administrator which absence from the governance of the State have resulted to the present catastrophic and sorrow state of Rivers State where people now sleep with only one eye closed with the pensioners not receiving their pension and workers not paid their salaries and the education sector in a limbo with our youths without any meaningful future.
The Rivers State loss of this ingenious man is the gain of Nigeria and Africa as he has proved that he has the Midas touch that can change the fortunes of any organisation or assignment he gets himself involved. He is the pride of Nigeria and embodiment of the resoluteness spirit of Rivers State.
He started his public political life principally when he was appointed Commissioner of Works under the administration of erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and incumbent Federal Minister of Transportation, Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, from 2007 to 2011, where he (Peterside) excelled, redefined and created most of the major roads, flyovers and bridges in Rivers State. Since he left office in 2011, Rivers State is yet to get a reputable replacement for that office till date. This was a man who used midnight for the supervision of most of the key projects under his watch.
A former House of Representatives member and past governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Peterside has demonstrated a sterling leadership quality that is by today acknowledged by the world and African leaders to warrant his elevation as Africa’s No. 1 Maritime Administrator. He has proved that his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, based on the recommendation of Amaechi, was in order.
He has by this feat proved that the Rivers State spirit is in him, by positioning himself as one of the new revelations in the leadership circle in Nigeria. I can now agree with our amiable President Buhari, who spoke through Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo – during the unveiling of the new symbol of NIMASA – that Peterside has made Nigeria proud, by regenerating NIMASA and making it a centre of excellence for other countries to emulate.
Dr. Peterside from his early years in politics to date has remained focused and unwavering in his determination to provide service to ordinary Nigerians as a politician whether in the Nigerian lower legislative chamber where he earned a reputation as a progressive and broad minded legislator whose views were always respected or in his present position as D-G, NIMASA where he brings in words and actions, integrity, panache, compassion and intellectual dimension to bear in tackling tough issues of the agency. Peterside has pursued his vision with audacity and strength of will to somersault all obstacles to become Africa’s number one Maritime Administrator.
President Muhammadu Buhari captured the mood and minds of most Nigerians in his remarks about this enigma of a leader when he stated: “Peterside’s unanimous election is not only a personal honour and affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA, but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.”
As a tested and trusted reformist-minded administrator, who has all it takes to reform and transform NIMASA into the pride of Nigeria and Africa, Peterside has proven that his appointment was not misplaced.
Peterside has been a most sought-after resource person in international conference: he was a major speaker at the 2013 Middle East Downstream Week held in Abu Dhabi in May, 2013 and the 2013 World Refining and Petrochemical Technology Summit in Doha, Qatar, among many other speaking engagements around the globe. I have no doubt in my mind that he will excel on his new assignment as the NIMASA Director General,”
A non-violent-par excellence politician, Peterside knows the worth of human blood and life. That is why he continued to preach peaceful conduct of elections in Rivers State, to all and sundry, in order to perpetuate and sustain the democratic experiment.
His words: “Electoral victories, like mine, could only make meaning when it is won without violence. I abhours violence; no victory in any election and, indeed, in any human endeavour in life, is worth the blood of anyone; no victory is worth the life of any person.”
He is among the very few Nigerians to have served at all levels of Government from Local Government to federal and two out of three arms of government and served at all three levels of party office from LGA officer of NRC/ ANC/ DPN from 1993 to date.
Dakuku is an alumnus of Okrika Grammar School (OGS), University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, University of Port Harcourt, Georgia State University Atlanta, and Harvard-Kennedy School, University of Harvard. He earned degrees in Medical Laboratory Sciences (Haematology), Business Administration (Management) and certificates in Leadership and Project Management respectively.
He has attended several oil and gas courses globally. He is a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), fellow of Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria (IMCN) and member, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences of Nigeria.
In summary, Dr. Peterside holds two masters degrees and a Doctorate from University of Port Harcourt. His doctorate research work is on corporate political strategy in Nigeria.
According to Peterside when he was preparing for the 2015 gubernatorial election of Rivers State, “My mission and vision for the emancipation and growth of Rivers State is contained in my road-map, Wealth for Rivers State, anchored on a legacy and foundation of prosperity laid by Governor Chibuike Amaechi.
“We all know Amaechi’s legacies in education, health, agriculture and other areas. He has built world-class schools and hospitals in every nook and cranny of the state. His health centres can match any standard hospital found anywhere in the world.
“We have unveiled our campaign plans and programme and we can be judged by our vision and contract with Rivers State and our people contained in the ‘Road-map to Prosperity’ at the end of our tenure, if elected.
“This is Rivers project. It is not about APC. We invite everybody to come on board, join us to move Rivers State to the next level. Rivers people’s support for me is overwhelming. I really appreciate the outpouring of love.
“I thank all Rivers people. I will not disappoint you. APC members rely on God. And I will continue to rely on God. I do not depend on my strength or ability. I will ensure unity in Rivers State. All Rivers people will have roles to play in my administration, when elected as governor by God’s grace. Our doors will be wide open.”
In the first lecture just few weeks ago, Peterside as the Keynote speaker in an event, spoke on a topic titled (Rivers State Master Plan) said that there is a slight change in what was presented to Rivers people during the period under review (2015) but used Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority an agency of the Rivers state government, the second largest economy in Nigeria. That was formed under Law No.2 of 2009.
Peterside said the current administration lack purpose, plan and clarity. He said the best urban outcomes start with a clear idea about purpose, a personality for the place. Knowing what it is you are seeking to become brings order and clarity to design thinking and creates a clear framework around which investment can be prioritised and staged.
More so that strong urban design offers significant community benefits, better quality of life, safer and more secure cities and a greater ability to function as a society. It also provides each city with a required sense of identity and establishes the framework for it to be more responsive to differing climatic, economic or social variables.
In an article widely circulated and published which I titled, “AMAECHI, WIKE, ABE, DAKUKU AND THE STRUGGLE FOR THE 2019 RIVERS APC GUBER TICKET: CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE FORCES AND FACTORS AT PLAY” and the press statement I titled: “Peterside didn’t lose 2015 governorship election in Rivers State to Wike but to sabotage by APC chieftains…”, I highlighted all the forces and factors that denied Rivers State the ingenuity of Peterside.
Dakuku Peterside’s contributions stand him in good stead to still fly the flag of APC for the 2019 general elections but when the leadership decides otherwise and as a true party man in a press statement titled, “Unity to triumph” he proved that the future belongs to him. Read and pass your judgement.
“Dear Compatriots, Yesterday our leader, Rt. Hon C R Amaechi, whom we all subscribe to his leadership made a decision of whom we should back for the office of the Governor of Rivers State in 2019.
The fact remains that Peterside is among few political leaders in Nigeria that hold two masters degrees and a Doctorate from University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State of Nigeria. He is also among the few privileged Nigerians to have served at all levels of Government from Local Government to federal and two out of three arms of government and have the singular honour to have served at all three levels of party office from LGA officer of NRC/ ANC/ DPN from 1993 to date.
With all these facts and no matter the position of his critics, Peterside is a symbol of unity, a visionary, egalitarian and, most importantly, a great patriot whose love for Rivers State and her people is infectious.
He is truly an amazing personality, an icon, an enigma, a study in resoluteness, benevolence, audacity, resourcefulness, creativity, one of the new faces of Nigerian politics and most importantly an emerging force in the Maritime Industry in Africa.
As Dr. Dakuku Peterside turns 48, it is a perfect opportunity for him to sense the feeling of being alive in the depths of his heart and promise himself to continue to do great things and aim even higher.
As he celebrates his 48th birthday in few days time, I wish this great, a resolute revolutionary, exceptional visionary and democrat the best in all his future endeavours.