Nigeria

Port Harcourt Pleasure Park And The Legacy Of A New Administration (Photos)

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It was around 1996, one of my most fulfilling child hood memories. I remember how we rode in a car that glided on a steel like surface with a long pole behind seeming to connect to the roof. There were others kids in there own “small cars” too, we collided on each other very often, the parents would stare in amusement as they watch their kids have fun in a circus-like setting of little electric cars acting like Fomular1 drivers wannabes. This place I only knew it as “
AMUSEMENT PARK and that it was located at Eleme Junction.

This memory is stuck in my mind till this day.

Amazingly, after about 2 decades plus, I was staring at my son Ikenna sitting in a car moving in circle alongside other horse & bird shaped objects dangling and making rhythmic motion as they all moved in a circle. This time, it was a place known as the PORT HARCOURT PLEASURE PARK.

The PORT HARCOURT PLEASURE PARK is one of the projects I consider a Legacy Project by the NEW Administration.

Prior to the construction of the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, the city lacked a one stop for Family pleasures.

While growing up, it used to be Tourist Beach, the Port Harcourt Zoo or the Amusement Park, however with time these things eroded.

The last administration saw the establishment of the Port Harcourt Mall. On the Christmas of the year it was opened, the Mall was massively congested. This alone was a clear indication that the city was lacking a leisure centre.

It was as if Gov. Wike had similar thoughts and concerns as during his early days as Governor, the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park was one of the projects he kickstarted earnestly.

On 25th day of May 2016, the Governor officially flagged off the construction of the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.

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On May 27th of same year, in the Governor’s address to the Children in commemoration of the 2016 Children’s day celebrations, the governor stated that his administration flagged off the construction of the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park to create a facility for recreation for Rivers children and the entire family, the first of its kind in the history of the state.

During the period of construction, the Pleasure Park project was one of the most inspected projects by the Governor. The Governor was passionate about it and this was made manifest as 1 year after, May 26th 2017 precisely, the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park was formally Commissioned and unveiled for public use.

On the day of commissioning, the facility had climbing tower, artificial lake with pedal boats, fitness machines, football pitches, mini golf course, restaurants and mobile gyms.

Overtime, there have been many additions to the facility such as Paint ball and Shooting Range, Shopping Mall, Restaurants and a 5-Star Cinema.

On the 6th of March this year, an addition of a new ultra-modern restaurant The Michael Garden restaurant was commissioned by the Governor. The Governor also announced that State Government has concluded plans to build a 5-star hotel in the facility.

The Port Harcourt Pleasure Park is now an integral part of the Port Harcourt identity, one which attracts visitors from far and near. Last year, it won the Nigerian Tourism Award for Best Family Amusement Centre in Nigeria. Classic

Till this day, the Governor still care a great deal about the Park. The Park which was kept under the management of Julius Berger (The Company that constructed it) for a period of 2 years after construction, in 2019, the Governor appointed a Special Adviser on Pleasure park to ensure the smooth running and seamless interfacing of the facility.

If there are few projects I consider as Gov. Wike’s Legacy projects, the Pleasure Park comes top. It is beyond a project, but one that affects the most delicate amongst us, THE CHILDREN and THE FAMILY.

Ugochukwu Oputa

Eastwood Christian is a staff writer at Abtc.ng. Eastwood has been profiling celebrities for the past two decades and has several awards to his credit.