You Have Few Days To Vacate Office — Fubara Tells LG Chairmen

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Fubara has asked Local Government Chairmen to vacate office…

The governor’s statement came amid threats by the local government chairmen that they would not vacate office on July 17 because the Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly extended their tenure to six months in an amended law.

The governor admonished them to shun violence, warning that they would not be forgiven if they relied on their “useless” support to hurt anybody in the state.

The governor regretted that after the state’s event on Tuesday, miscreants attacked some persons, who attended the inauguration of the Aleto-Ogale-Ebubu-Eteo Road project, on their way home, and described such actions as utterly needless.

Fubara gave the warning to the Egbeda community during the official kick-off of the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road project in the Emohua Local Government Area on Thursday.

He said: “Let me also say this here. When we left Aleto the other day, some people went there and attacked our people. There is no need for that.

“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 an 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 drew their attention to the reality of the 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 of 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 who is most hit and abused as a Governor who doesn’t know what to do with power. Is it not? Have I said anything?

“So, please, just endure until when you finish, then you go your way. I don’t want trouble. I don’t want anything that will bring any problems in this State. I know what they want to do, but we will not give them the opportunity.

The governor 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, no no. We need to also protect ourselves in a lawful manner.”

Fubara said the project was being executed to let the world know that his administration meant well for Rivers and was transparently accounting for every kobo.

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 the total cost of N80.8bn had already been paid.

He said: “Why did we pay 50 percent? We understand the fluctuation of prices as a result of exchange rate uncertainties, and we don’t want to find ourselves in a situation of too much variation. So, we sought EXCO approval, and EXCO approved that we should pay 50 percent, and we have done that.

“And, what is it that we are saying to the world? 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 road is a 33.5-kilometre road that has a bridge. It is a road that would connect Ikwerre, Emohua and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Areas.

“When this road is completed, commercial activities will become very easy, no more wasting of manhours on the road. And that shows that we are thinking about the people, and also caring for the well-being of the people.”

Fubara urged residents of communities in the three LGAs to support the contractor to deliver the project within the stipulated 24 months.

He said the contractor had already pledged to ensure the project was completed and ready for inauguration before his third year in office.

He said: “I know strongly, having confirmed the reputation of the contractor, I have no doubt that they will deliver. So, I want to thank every one of you for your patience, continue to support us, we mean well for our people.

“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. And we are here to give hope to the people of Ikwerre, Emohua, and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Areas, genuinely.

“Genuinely, not because we have any economic interest here, not at all. We are doing it as a service to our people. We have started our journey in showcasing our interests, wishes, and what we have done in the past one year”

Kicking off the project, Senator John Azuta Mbata, who represented Rivers East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, described the dual carriage road project as massive saying though it was within the capacity of the Federal government, Fubara has undertaken it.

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 salute your propensity and preference for peace and tranquillity. We are very delighted to be associated with your humble self and our very presence here today, I believe, makes the point that we are your supporters.

“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.

“We are the face of the people that are behind, and we are many, millions of people, Rivers people, chiefs, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, and businessmen. We make the silent majority that is behind, supporting the effort of the Government to emancipate the people and to bring development to Rivers State.

“I want to take the opportunity to call on all and sundry, all our people, wherever you are, to give your utmost support to the government because, for the very first time, the government has moved away from the time when the governor was seen as a tin god, a time when the governor demanded worship, so to say; to a time when the governor has become a symbol, a rallying point for the people.

“A rallying point for accountability of resources of our people. A rallying point for bringing all our people into the same boat. We are in an era where there is massive and extensive consultation going on. This is the order of the day when nobody’s view is thrown away.”

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Atemea Briggs said the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road project is a state highway that will be connecting two separate Trunk-A federal roads.

He explained that it will be constructed as a dual carriageway with solar-powered street lights to provide associated benefits of improving the fortunes of the people who will be using the road.

In his welcome address on behalf of the communities, Chief Charles Bekee recalled how the road, once reconstructed in 2001, collapsed a decade after because of an increased volume of vehicular traffic.

Bekee noted that the road remained deplorable for a long time until Fubara awarded the contract for the reconstruction.

He assured the benefiting communities in the three LGAs that the road traverses have already resolved to protect the project with a high level of cooperation to give the contractor the impetus to achieve its mandate.

He further pledged unalloyed support of the three local government areas to Fubara.

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