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Rivers Crisis: We’ll Be Guided By Rule Of Law – Gov Fubara

...As Ex-Gov. Dickson Inaugurates 15.24km Emohua-Kalabari Road

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that there is a greater and more assuring resolve in his administration to follow his course lawfully to the end concerning the festering political crisis in the state.

The Governor, therefore, urged supporters and all Rivers people to eschew violence and conduct themselves in compliance with the rule of law, as he is already on top of the situation.

Governor Fubara spoke at Tema Junction, the venue of the ceremony for the official inauguration of the Emohua-Kalabari (Tema Junction) Road project in Asari-Toru Local Government Area, on Friday.

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara (left); and his Deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu (right); during the commissioning of Emohua-Kalabari (Tema Junction) Road in Asari-Toru Local Government Area on Friday.

The project inauguration was performed by the senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson.

Governor Fubara assured that he will continue to lead the state with the fear of God and guided by the laws of the land, adding that he would never let Rivers people down, including all those who believe in his leadership.

He said, “I want to thank every one of you for your support. I want to thank you, especially for your support during the time of the election—before, during and the wonderful support we are getting now after the election. And the support is what is shocking the whole world.

Related: Gov Fubara Apologises To Rivers People Over Crisis With Ex-Gov. Wike

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara (middle); his Deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu (right); and the Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson (left); during the commissioning of Emohua-Kalabari (Tema Junction) Road in Asari-Toru Local Government Area on Friday.

“We don’t have any Assembly members, like they said. We don’t have any local government chairman, like they said. But we have the people. Having people is the most important thing. I assure the people that we will not disappoint them.”

Governor Fubara emphasised: “We will lead as a government that has the fear of God and is purposeful for the people. I assure you that we will not let you down. We will not bring any form of disgrace.

“But I am not asking you to be violent. There is no need for it. The most important thing is our course; we will follow it lawfully to the end. And by the special grace of God, we are on top of the situation.”

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara (right); welcoming the Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson (left); to Government House, Port Harcourt enroute to Tema Junction for the official inauguration of the Emohua-Kalabari Road in Asari-Toru Local Government Area on Friday.

Governor Fubara encouraged the people to continue to support the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government and ensure that they are protecting important government installations in Kalabari land.

The Governor observed the troubling issues of unabated illegal bunkering activities and vandalism of critical state infrastructure, which have caused a depletion of the inflow of revenue into the federation accounts.

Governor Fubara, who particularly said that recurring reports of the Nigerian Navy emphasised the preponderance of such activities in the area, tasked youths to stop engaging in such economic sabotage.

Former governor and senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson (2nd right); reading the inscription on the marble after commissioning the Emohua-Kalabari Road while Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara (middle); his Deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu (right); Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo (left); and others watch at Tema Junction in Asari-Toru Local Government Area on Friday.

“When you watch or read most of the reports on the activities by the Nigerian Navy, you will see that a greater part of these bunkering activities are done, especially in this area.

Read Also: We’ll Set Up Panel Of Inquiry On Governance In Rivers State – Gov. Fubara

“I want to appeal to you; there are other justifiable and clean means of livelihood. We must not subject ourselves to economic sabotage. Please, I am appealing to you; we should desist from it.

“I am going to constitute a very high-powered delegation that will visit these areas and talk to the leadership: the chiefs and the community heads and leaders, so that we can improve on our present state.

“When we have (exploited) more crude oil resources from this area, it brings in more resources (finances) to the state. It brings more resources (finances) to the country. Mr. President can do more projects, and the state can also do more projects. After all, you will want me to do more projects. So, support me in this fight to end illegal bunkering and oil pipeline vandalization.”

Commenting on the Emohua-Kalabari Road project, Governor Fubara said it was awarded on February 18, 2023, by the immediate past administration at the cost of N21.2 billion but only paid N6 billion.

Governor Fubara stated that his administration paid the remainder of N15.2 billion and completed 70 per cent of the job to confidently claim it as part of his projects delivered for the good of the people in Kalabari Land.

He said, “Although the Permanent Secretary did mention a few things, and I know that when we leave here, some agents will want to say one thing or another. So, I came prepared.

“Let me also say it here: maybe Julius Berger Nigeria PLC was being economical with their presentation. On my table, as I am talking to you, there is a request for a variation in the cost of this project.

“This is because, at the time this project was awarded, and while the project was ongoing, there were serious exchange rate differences. But I told them not to worry that they should go ahead and complete this project, and I assured them that we would sort them out, which they accepted.

“For the records, this project was awarded on February 18, 2023, by the immediate past administration. In March, the first payment for the project was done, and the next one was in April, and the third one was in May.

“The total value of this project is N21.2 billion, and out of that, only N6 billion was what the previous administration committed.

“When we came on board, we said to the contactor, Go ahead, assuring that we are not cutting it short because we know that the project is for the benefit of our people. I can boldly say here that the balance of N15.2 billion has been paid completely.

“So, for those of you who are mathematicians and even those of you who understand elementary statistics, you will understand that 70 per cent of this project was done by this administration. Therefore, we can boldly say that this project was delivered by this administration.

“That is not even an issue, but the reason why we have to go on this line is just to explain to our people so that you will understand where we were and exactly where we are now.

“Originally, our mantra was supposed to be ‘Consolidation and Continuity’. And if that is our mantra, the success of our administration should not be ascribed to anybody but to the success of the administration, to the success of governance, knowing fully well that one will serve out our tenure and another will continue, and the government is a continuous process.

“But with what we are faced with, we have no other option but to do this explanation so that we will understand the work that we are doing. For those people who say that we have not been doing anything, they will know that we have been doing a lot silently, not with noise or media exaggeration.”

Governor Fubara, who assured that he would continue to deploy the resources of the state to better the conditions of the people, directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works to commence the process for the immediate extension of the road from Tema Junction to Abonnema Town.

The governor explained that the Trans-Kalabari Road project was re-routed away from the Ogbakiri axis because of the high maritime line entailed in the construction work and the associated cost, but assured that the road will still connect to Tombia Town.

“Let me assure our people, as I have said before, that this government is focused. This government wants forgotten people to feel the impact of governance.

“This government is a government that wants to give opportunity to everyone. You don’t need to be close to me to benefit; that is the truth. This is because I see it as sycophancy. What we need to do, we will do for our people.

“So, let me thank the four local government areas that cooperated to make this project a success: Emohua, Asari-Toru, Degema and Akuku-Toru. And let me also thank the traditional leadership of the Kalabari Kingdom; please just be peaceful; everything that we desire, by the special grace of God, will come our way.”

Performing the inauguration of the project, the senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, said that the crisis makes some people forget governance but added that Governor Fubara has refused to be distracted but has rather committed to improving the wellbeing of the people.

Senator Dickson, who was former Governor of Bayelsa State, said the project is a life-changing development endeavour because his experience plying the road when it was deplorable was also unpleasant, but he noted that that phase was now gone and joined the people to appreciate Governor Fubara for the feat.

He said, “Today, we have seen what you are doing. When we led that delegation last week to you at Government House, I didn’t know that you were embarking on life-changing projects like this across the length and breadth of this area.

“Not many people will see this and doubt your commitment and your understanding of the imperatives of development. Your love for our people, your love for Rivers people, and your understanding of the challenges facing your people—if anyone was in doubt, looking at this wonderful road, such doubts clearly will be misplaced.”

He praised the governor for what he has achieved in such a short time, despite the deliberate distractions, and urged him to remain focused to do more for the people.

He added that, as a competent accountant, he was sure that the governor would prudently deploy every taxpayer’s sweat into meaningful development projects that would positively impact the majority of the people of the state.

Describing the project, the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State Ministry of Works, Engr. Atemea Briggs said the Emohua-Kalabari Road is 15.24km in length and was awarded at the cost of N21.26 billion by the previous administration, which paid only 28 per cent of that sum, which amounted to N6 billion with work left at the preliminary stage.

Engr. Briggs stated other features of the road that serve as major access into Kalabari land, including its width of 5.3 metres, an asphalt thickness of 100 millimetres (made up of 60 millimetres of concrete asphaltic binder course and 40 millimetres of asphaltic wearing course),  a median divide of 600 millimetres, and an installed street light that is now completed and fully paid.

In his presentation, the Deputy Regional Manager of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, Engr. Rimon Morisho said the Emohua-Abalama-Tema Junction Road project was awarded to them in February 2023, with a completion period of 18 months.

He said that because of the company’s commitment to meeting contractual obligations, they ensured delivery of the project in good quality and ahead of schedule.

Engr. Morisho stated that his company was proud to have contributed significantly to the development of infrastructure in the region and expressed gratitude to Governor Fubara for the opportunity, including the trust reposed in them to be part of his success story.

In her welcome address, the Vice Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Mrs. Tekena Daphne Wokoma, recalled that the road, which was properly constructed with bridges first in the 1990s, eventually collapsed a few years later.

The unattended deplorable condition of the road, she stated, created motoring discomfort for commuters, with kidnappers and armed robbers finding it easier to operate on the route, but she added that Governor Fubara has wiped away their tears and saved them from the nightmare and associated difficulties.

Dr. Wokoma said the road will further improve the economic potential of the benefiting communities in the four local government areas of Emohua, Degema, Asari-Toru and Akoku-Toru.

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