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My one year in office better than eight years of previous administration — Gov. Fubara

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port-Harcourt

The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared that his first year in office is better than the eight years spent by some other administrations.

Governor Fubara made the assertion on Saturday at Ngo Town during the official inauguration of the Andoni section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road project, in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The Governor said the accomplishments were secured within three months that his administration had actually settled down to work, given the festering political crisis.

Revealing what will be done soon in the health sector, Governor Fubara said it was appalling that recent statistics had classified Rivers State as below the set benchmark in terms of enrollments and health facilities availability.

Governor Fubara, who explained that the statistics, not specific to any particular administration’s lifespan, covered over a period of time, which indicates unacceptable levels of neglect to the health sector.

He, however, assured that in the next six months, Rivers’ people should expect to see evidence of significant investment that his administration has made to change the narrative.

“I was at the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) meeting on Wednesday, and we were given an update from the chart on the medical position of all the states. It was in zones.

“You won’t believe that in that chart, everything that has to do with enrollment, even the level of facilities that is on ground in that assessment, Rivers State was classified as below benchmark. It is a pity.

“It is not something that just happened in a day. It is not something that just happened within my time in government. No, no. It is a statistics collated over a period of time. So, it means when we tell you that our target is education, healthcare and agriculture, we didn’t make any mistake.

“We might have done other things, but those key areas have not been adequately attended to. And we promise our people this afternoon that by the special grace of God, in the next six months, there will be a total change in the health sector of Rivers State,” the Governor said.

Commenting on the project, Fubara said the project has been delivered successfully, and applauded the initiator of the project, former governor, Dr Peter Odili and successive administrations that contributed their quota in realizing the Unity Road, for the people.

Governor Fubara stated that his driving principle remains putting the people first, which is why he will not renege on the promise of internal roads that he made to Andoni people during electioneering campaigns.

The governor, therefore, directed the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, to liaise with Monier Construction Company (MCC) to do scoping for commencement of reconstruction of Ngo internal roads and new contract for extension of the road to Oyorokoto Town.

“But, I just want to say this, what is important today is the section of the Unity Road that connects Andoni to Ogoni and Opobo/Nkoro has come to reality. That is the important thing.

“We have to thank first, the initiator, Dr Peter Odili. We have to thank other successive governments which also contributed before we finally made this day to be.

“It is important we set this record straight. The Permanent Secretary has mentioned the cost of the job and the review cost. The beauty of it is that we are not owing any dime on this particular project,” he added.

“We are happy that it is happening in our own time. Our motto remains: ‘The People First,’ and anything that has to do with the people, we must take it very seriously.

“I know that if it is this road, we are already done with the road. The politicking of the road is already done. I don’t want to politick on this road anymore.

“I want to say here that we need to develop our own, and if we have to do it, we have to do it ourselves. So, I promise my people that we are going to do more jobs, more connecting roads for the Andonis by the special grace of God,” the Governor assured.

“I remember when we came for campaign, we promised our people that when you support us, we are going to give you the internal roads. And by the special grace of God, the Andonis gave us their support, and the election was won.

“So, let me use this opportunity to thank you, first for that support. Thank you, that even after the election, you have continued to support the government, not minding the situation that we find ourselves in.

 ”A lot of people were thinking that this place will be empty today. Some people had other plans. But to the glory of God, we are getting natural support, people that we didn’t pay money to are here to say that they are identifying with this government, we appreciate what this government is doing.

“For that alone, I want to direct the Permanent Secretary to immediately liaise with the contractor to ensure first, that the internal roads in Ngo, and connecting this road to Oyorokoto are immediately awarded.”

Governor Fubara urged the people to have good faith in the administration of President Bola Tinubu, and appealed for their total support to the Federal Government so that it can continue to undertake life-changing programmes that will trickle down to the State and Local Government Areas.

“I am also aware that we have issues in the other communities in Andoni. Some of them are flooding issues, which is even the more critical issue.

“I know of a place called Oronija. They are having very serious erosion and flood issues, and other places. We are going to do something about it. It is my promise to my dear people today.

“I also want to say in this gathering, please, support the government at the centre. I am happy when our leader was mentioning the activities of the oil companies here, and said that there is no interruption. I was impressed by that.

“It shows that we are contributing positively, and we understand the meaning and importance of peace. So, let me enjoin you,continue to show this good faith, and be a good host.

“In the governance of this country, the success of the centre is the success of the sub-national. And when the sub-national succeeds, which is the state, the local governments will succeed. And when the local governments succeed, it means, more projects, more life-changing activities will be seen in your domain.”

Governor Fubara said further, “I also remember that another vital area that we need to touch in our governance was mentioned: the issue of hospitals. We are coming here, and we will make sure that we attend to that need.”

Also speaking, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, said it was important to explain that the Unity Road, initiated by Dr Peter Odili, had its inaugural foundation stone laid on the 3rd January, 2005, and not in 2004.

Prince Secondus thanked Governor Fubara for completing the project, which now serves as a miracle, enabling the people to drive on land to Andoni from the city.

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Politics

Edo Assembly recalls suspended lawmaker, Iyamu

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Edo House of Assembly on Monday announced the recall of one of the three suspended lawmakers, Mr Bright Iyamu.

Iyamu (PDP-Orhionmwon South) was suspended on May 6, alongside two others over alleged plot to impeach the speaker and other principal officers of the assembly.

The two lawmakers, who are still on suspension, are Donald Okogbe (PDP-Akoko-Edo II) and Adeh Isibor (APC-Esan North-East I).

Announcing the lifting of the suspension during plenary in Benin, the Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku, said that the house had found Iyamu to be remorseful.

Shortly after Iyamu’s recall, other lawmakers took turns to appeal to the speaker to consider lifting the suspension of the two remaining lawmakers.

The speaker, in his reaction, however, said that Isibor had taken the matter to court.

One of the lawmakers, Nicholas Asonsere (PDP-Ikpoba-Okha), thereafter, passed a vote of confidence in the speaker and an unalloyed support of the assembly to him.

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Former Rivers LG chairmen defy police order, stage protests

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The former chairmen of 21 out of the 23 local government areas in Rivers State staged a protest on Monday at their various council areas.

The former council bosses loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, protested in their local councils despite an advisory against protests issued by the state Police Command.

In Buguma, the council headquarters of the Asari-Toru LGA, former Chairman Onengiyeofori George, alongside his supporters, marched through the streets of the town as they gyrated to songs in Wike’s solidarity.

They waved placards with inscriptions asking the police to continue occupying the council headquarters. Some of the inscriptions read, “Sim Fubara Can’t Continue to Act As He Likes” and “There’s No Vacancy in Asari-Toru Council”.

According to Channels Television, at Asari-Toru LGA, the protest almost turned violent when some men believed to be operatives of Asari Dokubo’s private military company, known as Amama soldiers, attempted to attack the protesters.

The Amama soldiers were swiftly restrained by policemen who were very alert. The demonstrators later presented a protest letter to the police.

Also, in Abonnema, the Akuku-Toru LGA council headquarters, some persons staged a protest, backing the continued closure of council premises by the police.

Recall that the police took over the 23 LGA council secretariats of the oil-rich South-South last Tuesday following the crisis that erupted over the three-year tenure expiration of the former LGA chairmen. Three deaths were recorded in the wake of the crisis.

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Rivers political crisis: You’re not the Reps caucus leader — Abiante tells Deekor

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Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

The political crisis rocking Rivers State has taken a new dimension, as Federal lawmakers of the State in the Lower House of the National Assembly have taken sides and started exchanging words as to who is the caucus leader and otherwise.

This stems from utterances attributed to member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Dumnamene Deekor over his attack on Hon Ikenga Ugochinyere, over the Rivers State political crisis.

In a statement issued by the member representing Andoni, Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency and Caucus Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon Awaji-Inombek Abiante  in Port Harcourt, he stated clearly that Deekor as a two term lawmaker is not qualified to assume the leadership of the Caucus of the Green Chamber when other senior members are there.

He said Deekor is not competent to challenge the Coordinator of the G-60 lawmakers and Imo State legislator for his comment on Rivers State political crisis of democracy in general.

“For the records, Deekor was properly elected in 2019 having lost his seat in 2015 at the Court of Appeal, which barred him from being a member of the 8th Assembly.

“He was recently re-elected in 2023 to serve his second term in the House. This alone disqualifies him to jostle for the leadership of the Rivers State Caucus.

“We call on the general public to discountance Dum Deekor’s statement as vituperations of a gord being,” Abiante said.

He told Deekor to note that the House of Representatives is not a village council meeting where anybody can assume any position and contribute to issues, noting that Hon Ugochinyere has the right as a responsible Nigerian to air his views on any national issue, including that of Rivers State.

“The National Assembly is not guided by Village Council’s rules and as such everyone reserves the right to make contributions in line with his innate conviction. Hon. Ugochinyere has in the estimation of right thinking Nigerians proven himself in the act of quality representation,” Hon. Abiante reiterated.

He therefore advised Deekor to hold his ‘self-serving stands’ to himself as he has never been elected as the Caucus Leader in Rivers State.

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