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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Fubara to council chairmen: you have few days to vacate office



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The days of Rivers State local government chairmen in office are numbered, Governor Siminalayi Fubara warned yesterday.

He said their threat to stay in office after July 17 is without basis, dismissing as a ruse the extension of their tenure by the Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly.

The governor who spoke during the kick-off of the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road project in Elegba, Emohua Local Government Area, urged the youths to shun violence.

Also speaking during the 56th anniversary of the death of Ijaw activist Major Jasper Isaac Adaka Boro  in Port-Harcourt, the state capital, Fubara said he had defeated “Rivers’ enemies,” stressing that the detractors are now victims of their plots.

Lamenting that miscreants attacked some people at the inauguration of the Aleto-Ogale-Ebubu-Eteo Road project, he warned that any disruption of public peace would not be tolerated in the state.

He said: “Nobody has the monopoly of violence. I should even be the one who should come out and shout that I will do this and that. But I don’t need to do that because both sides belong to me. I have taken oath to protect all.

“So, I am advising those people who call themselves local government chairmen: you have a few days in office. Please, conduct yourselves in a peaceful manner.”

Fubara spoke on the reality of life after office, saying it should help them to exercise caution.

He said:  “Politics will come, politics will go, but we will still live our lives. Let nobody deceive you. If you deliberately hurt anybody, because you are expressing your useless support, nobody will forgive you. You will pay for it.

“So, I’m begging everyone. Please, conduct yourselves. As a matter of fact, I am the one that is most hit, and abused as a governor who doesn’t know what to do with power. Is it not? Have I said anything?”

Fubara added: “We have made our promise to our leader, who happens to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that we will take the path of peace and that is the part we are taking.

“We will continue to take that path. Don’t mind what they say. Don’t mind what they do. Peace remains the path to take. While taking the path of that peace, it does not mean that we won’t defend ourselves. Or let me describe it this way: we will not just be like a tree seeing someone coming to cut it down, and won’t do anything. No. We need to also protect ourselves in a lawful manner.”

Fubara said the project being executed showed that his administration meant well for Rivers.

He explained that the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku road project would be funded with savings from the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), adding that 50 percent of N80.8bn had already been paid.

He said:  “We are telling the people that we are transparent; that we are a government that is ready to serve. We are a government that thinks about the people first.

“This is not different from the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President. Our mission is not different from the mission of Mr President. Mr President’s mission is to give hope to our people.

Kicking off the project, Senator John Azuta Mbata, who represented Rivers East District in the National Assembly, said the dual carriage road project, which is the responsibility of the Federal government, was undertaken by the Fubara administration.

He said: “We are, indeed, extremely delighted to have a governor of your calibre. We salute your leadership on this occasion. We salute your humanity on this occasion. We salute your humility on this occasion.

“We don’t have to talk too much about it. Anybody who is a politician understands that my standing here means I am making a grand political statement.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works,  Atemea Briggs, said the state highway will connect two separate Trunk-A federal roads.

A community leader,  Chief Charles Bekee, recalled how the road, which was reconstructed in 2001, collapsed a decade after because of traffic snarl.

He assured that the communities in the three local governments that will protect the project and give the contractor the impetus to achieve its mandate.

Credit: The Nation