Tenure Expiration:Fubara Directs HLGAS To Take Charge Of Councils

Mohammed Shosanya

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has directed Heads of Local Government Administration to immediately take charge of the 23 council areas of the state.

The development follows the expiration of the statutory three-year tenure of the elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors on Monday, June 17, 2024.

He gave the directive in a statewide broadcast in Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday morning.

In the broadcast, Governor Fubara said: “My fellow Rivers people, I come before you today with immense gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for your unwavering support to me and my administration.

“I urge us all to reflect on the shared sacrifice we have all made to have a peaceful and prosperous Rivers State, and indeed, Nigeria. It is my wish that we continue to live in peace and harmony as one.

“Together, we have achieved milestones in different sectors of our economy which includes infrastructure, health, education, workers welfare, improved service delivery, agriculture and social welfare that resonates deeply within our communities.

“Your dogged and committed support has been the bedrock of our progress, and for that, I extend my sincerest thanks.”

The Governor added: “I also wish to acknowledge and commend the dedicated services of the outgoing elected Local Government Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councilors who were elected and sworn in three years ago, and whose tenure expired yesterday the 17th of June, 2024, as provided for by the Law.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Rives State, I thank you all for your sacrifices, and commend your commitment to public service and our dear Rivers State.

“I congratulate you all for the successful completion of your tenure and wish you well in your future endeavours.

“As we move forward in making sure that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is upheld, and that law and order is maintained as we continue to strive to provide leadership and direction for our people, I hereby direct Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAs) to continue to provide leadership in their respective Local Government Areas.

“Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAs) are hereby directed to immediately take charge of the Councils with renewed vigor and readiness to serve and await further directives as we navigate towards even greater accomplishments together,” he explained.

Governor Fubara added that: “I assure you, my good people of Rivers State, that we shall continue to defend you, provide infrastructural development, sound healthcare delivery, quality education and undiluted welfare service packages for all our people and workers.

“Once again, I thank you my dear good people of Rivers State, for your steadfast support and dedication to our shared vision of unity, progress and prosperity.”

The Governor noted that, “Together, we will continue to build a brighter and better future for all,” and wished all Rivers people, especially the Muslim faithful a happy Salah Holiday”.

Tenure Expiration:Youths,Police Take Over Rivers Councils As Chairmen Refuse To Vacate Office

Mohammed Shosanya

Youths on Monday barricaded some Rivers council secretariats main entrances, demanding the Chairmen exit from office as their tenures elaps.

Twenty one of the 23 local government Chairmen of the state vowed to remain in office beyond the end of the three-year term which elapsed on June 17.

The chairmen hinged their decision to remain in office on an amended Rivers Assembly Law which extended the council chairmen and councillors’ tenures by six months, should the Governor fail to conduct fresh local council elections, despite the fact that a state High Court had nullified the law citing its inconsistency with the constitution.

Police vans were also spotted at some council secretariats entrances in a bid to avert possible breakdown of law and order at the secretariats following the development.

The youths in the early hours of Monday barricaded the main entrance of Degema and Asari-Toru LGAs, preventing everyone from gaining access.

The youths,who chanted solidarity songs are the council secretariats vowed to prevent the chairmen and councillors from gaining access to the premises.

Police vans were sighted at the Port Harcourt City Council, Obio Akpor and Ogu/Bolo LGA Secretariats.

Earlier, the Emohua council chairman, Chidi Lloyd had announced in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Bright Jossy that the council will begin the distribution of cutlasses and hoes to farmers from Tuesday 18 June and it’s expected to last for one week.

His Khana LGA counterpart, Bariere Thomas announced a one-week clean-up exercise in the council billed to commence from Tuesday June 18.

In Ikwerre LGA, the chairman, Nwanosike Samuel has announced a one week cultural festival in the council begining Tuesday June 18.

The Eleme council Chairman, Barilormate Ollor was seen in a video circulating online,warning youths and others to steer clear of the council secretariat.

An Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt had Friday ordered Martins Amaewhule and 25 other lawmakers and other parties involved in the matter to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

Tinubu Has Brought Hope To Nigeria-Pategi

 

Mohammed Shosanya

Former Commissioner for Local government, Chieftaincy affairs and community development in Kwara State, Mahalia Aisha Ahman Pategi 2019-2020 fondly called “Super commissioner,” was the first commissioner to resign her portfolio when she dissatisfied with some policies of the government and the governor over poor handling of local government autonomy.

In this interview with Premium News,she discusses issues bothering on the President Bola Tinubu’s policies and government,autonomy for the third tier of government among others.

Excerpts:

What is your general assessment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration?.

Local government autonomy is what will hit the nail.This approach indeed has the potential to address fundamental issues in the grassroots level, fostering a bottom-up development strategy.

Empowering local governments can lead to more efficient governance, enhanced service delivery, and stronger community engagement. This method can significantly contribute to economic growth and societal transformation that will lead to a renewed sense of hope and a change in mindset across the nation.

Honestly,local government autonomy done and implemented properly will give us the dominion effect. For me, PBAT is doing exceptionally great. We all need to keep in mind that sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I tell you for free this local government autonomy if implemented properly will transform our lives and the nation.

There are agitations in some quarters for the establishment of state police, what is your take on this?

Establishment of state police is a contentious issue.While it could enhance localized security and ensure that policing is more in tune with community needs, its effectiveness is contingent upon the successful implementation of local governments autonomy.

Without a solid foundation for accountable local governance,state police might not achieve the desired outcomes and could even exacerbate existing issues of power and resource misuse.

How do you rate Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in the last five years?

I supported Governor Abdulrazaq for his second bid for office for certain reasons. First,is his key attribute, he’s got listening ears. Honestly, his humility is top-notch, he is a man that can strike friendship with a suya man.

Abraham Maslow’s third hierarchy of human needs is giving one a sense of belonging. When one is given a listening ears and action taken as a result of being heard, can definitely inspire and ignite that hope in a person that the future is bright.

Aside this,he has just unveiled the Ilorin city master plan 2042, which shows he is a great planner and a strategist. Keep in mind that he is also an achiever. Nothing meaningful can be achieved without proper planning. So I believe his years as an administrator will be unprecedented.

Again,he is giving the average child hope in Kwara state, he has raised the hope that a child of no body can become somebody.

For me,these are huge achievements we most time ignore and tend to focus too much attention on roads, renovations of school, social investments and all, but I can tell you for free that this aren’t our challenges, because to be fair to all other past governments they all did their fair share of infrastructure projects, but what’s truly sustainable is the feeling of the hope you inspire in people that will motivate them to believe in themselves.

Remember that a nation’s greatest capital is his human capacity, once we’re able to get it right by inspiring and equipping our citizens by harnessing their full potentials, then we shall be sure that the nation will rebuild itself and together.

We can go far as quoted by Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Governor Abdurazaq has underscored his commitment to strategic development and inclusive governance.These attributes, coupled with his focus on giving hope to the youth and women are significant achievements.

While infrastructure projects are essential,the inspiration and sense of belonging he provides to the citizens are vital for the future of Kwara, Nigeria and humanity. According to Abraham Maslow, third hierarchy of human need is love and a sense of belonging, very crucial to our human potentiality.

Are women well represented in the political calculations of Nigeria?

Hmmm!!! Permit me to be blunt my brother, we women are the architect of our underrepresentation you may wish to ask me why.

Take a cursory look at our democracy; take the recent Edu gate situation for example, instead of women to collaborate and work together as a team; what happened? Many women have sabotaged each other in the history of women in politics.

So I honestly feel it’s time we stop playing the victim mentality and ensure we women team up and stand united, we should put aside our unhealthy competitiveness and differences and be our sisters keeper.

I also want to encourage professional women, women of virtue to bring their chairs to the table. Don’t forget that when it comes to voting, women are the ones who lineup in numbers. So, I’m advocating that women across board to kindly vote and support women vying elective positions.

We hold the dice so let’s stand united and say “otoge,” enough is a enough, we need to remember no one will handover power to us and when it comes to policy and crucial decisions making, nature has gifted us with stronger intuitions, we are the bedrock of our family.

Honestly, the underrepresentation of women in politics is often exacerbated by internal divisions. It is essential for women to unite, support each other, and overcome the victim mentality. By collaborating and backing women candidates, we can significantly increase our representation and influence in political spheres.

As the saying goes, “You build a woman, you build the nation.” Therefore, it is imperative for women to stand united and claim their rightful place in political decision-making.

What is the importance of local government autonomy in Nigeria?

Let’s think of government structure as a family. The federal government is the father, the state government is the mother, and the local governments are the children. In this analogy, there’s even a fourth tier, which is the traditional rulers. Focusing on the third tier—the local government—its autonomy is crucial for a thriving society.

Can you throw more light on why local government autonomy is so essential?

Alright, take the United States as an example, they have counties, states and a federal government. Their system works efficiently because of this structured autonomy. Citizens can address issues directly with their local government officials that will ensure swift resolution.

This model allows state governors to focus on broader developmental goals rather than being bogged down with local issues that don’t necessarily need their direct intervention. It’s about empowering each level of government to perform optimally, which ultimately benefits the community bottom-up.

How does this relate to the recent actions of President Tinubu taking the 36 states to court over local government autonomy?

The president’s decision is commendable.It shows commitment to constitutional provisions for local governments’ autonomy. This move is crucial for Nigeria’s progress as it aims to clarify and enforce the distribution of power among federal, state and local governments.

How do you think this legal action will impact on local governance in Nigeria?

If successful, it would reinforce the autonomy of local governments that would better resource control, management and eventual service delivery. It will allow community leaders to address their needs more effectively and allow governors to focus on larger-scale development projects. This approach can lead to a more efficient and responsive overall government.

You’ve had personal experience as a commissioner for local government in Kwara State,could you share some insights during your tenure?.

My appointment as commissioner for local government should be credited to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for his foresight, being a woman, it came with skepticism, I’ll always be grateful.

When I was appointed, it was seen as a less significant role. I was the laughingstock that night and I remember vividly responding on a WhatsApp platform that when the universe throws stones, you ensure you build a bridge.

Anyway that’s what you get with the right kind of women facing challenges that looks impossible, but we deliver once we take on our roles as the delivery species. However, I saw the potential and hit the ground running.

For example, when I took over, the ministry only had one Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) source struggling to generate a million Naira yearly.

In few months,we increased annual revenue from under N1 million to N10 million in three months by addressing leakages. You can now imagine how much to make in a year with optimized opportunities. Remember this is just one of many of the LGA’s IGR. The opportunities in local government are enormous.

Honestly, average local government can generate IGRs in billions of naira. Local government can stand independently without federal allocation if we have the political will to implement the needful. This experience showed that with proper management, local governments can significantly contribute to the state’s development.

Do you have advice for the state governments and the general public on this issue?

Supporting local government autonomy should not be seen as a loss of power by the state governments but as an enhancement of governance structure. Strong local governments mean more balanced and effective overall system.

To the public,I urge the public to support this cause because it secure better services and accountability at the local level. It’s about creating a government that is truly by the people and for the people.

What are your optimisms for local governance in Nigeria?

The only way out of the hole for Nigeria is bottom-up approach. I honestly can’t stop lauding our president for this bold moves. I hope to see a Nigeria where local governments are fully autonomous and capable of driving sustainable development. This means empowered local leaders, improved service delivery, and a vibrant, responsive democratic system that benefits all Nigerians.

LG Autonomy: PDP Hails FG,Says Decision Best For Kwara Councils

Mohammed Shosanya

The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed the Federal Government on its stance to bring alive local government autonomy in Nigeria.

The Party conveys the commendation in a statement signed by its State Publicity Secretary,Mr. Olusegun Olusola Adewara, wherein it said the gesture will rescue the local government areas from the dominance of the Governor,Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

The statement alleged that Governor ousted the duly elected Local Government Councils in 2019,despite a court order on the contrary.

The Party urged Kwarans not to be swayed by the sudden announcement of election dates by the Abdulrahman-influenced Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC).

This announcement was a reactionary move born out of fear of the impending stoppage of LG allocations which the PDP called for since last year October,the Party said .

“A serious Governor ready for election will not appoint another set of illegal agents to hold our Local Government Areas hostage for another God knows the time.

“The Kwara PDP, although prepared to participate in the elections if they eventually hold, however, do not have any iota of confidence in the vague social media statement by Okanla-led KWASIEC. This is because of the many suspicious behaviours of Alhaji Okanla since he assumed office. To us, there’s not yet any convincing indication or preparation from KWASIEC that truly suggests Abdulrahman is ready to prosecute any council elections as announced.

“The PDP in Kwara perceives the KWASIEC declaration as a mere act of cowardice by Abdulrahman, who has consistently ignored the voices of Kwarans calling for an end to his imposed TIC administration at the local government levels since 2019. We are aware the governor had to quickly announce the date for council elections in a fire brigade manner due to the Federal government’s decision to halt allocation and transmit Councils’ elections mandate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,” the Party stated.

Besides,the Kwara PDP has also accused Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of being an undemocratic leader who lacks the moral charisma to preside over institutions such as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).

“Our Party believes that if the present Nigerian Governors’ Forum has a human face, the forum is not expected to put forward any challenge to federal government litigation at the Supreme Court to make the local government efficiently serve its people and be autonomous.

“Our Party calls on other Nigerian Governors who are members of the prestigious NGF not to allow Governor Abdulrahman to misuse the institution for his selfish aggrandizement and greed. Challenging the Federal Government’s decision at the Supreme Court could undermine the Forum’s hard-earned honour and alienate it from the vast majority of Nigerians clamoring for a more vibrant and autonomous local government system.

“We urge President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the respected Attorney General of the Federation to direct the Accountant General of the Federation to withhold further local government allocations to Kwara State until Governor Abdulrahman fulfills his obligation to conduct local government elections, as outlined in PDP’s press conference of October 13, 2023.

“The PDP assures the people of Kwara that we stand with them in their struggle against Governor Abdulrahman’s dictatorial tendencies and his continued exploitation of local government funds for personal gain. We encourage all Kwarans to remain steadfast and vocal in opposing these injustices,”the Party added.

Primary Election: Jimoh Ibrahim Withdraws Suit Against Ayedatiwa, Ondo APC

Mohammed Shosanya

Senator Jimoh Ibrahim,an aspirant in the All Progressive Congress, APC Governorship primary election in November 2023,Tuesday withdrew his suit against Governor Lucky Ayedatiwa of Ondo and the state branch of APC in honour of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu whom he said called him several times on the issue.

Ibrahim told journalists in Abuja that it will be rude of him not to respect Mr. President who had spoken with him severally on the matter.

“The suit is now withdrawn due to the intervention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR. The President called me, had a meeting with me, and assured me that he will as the leader of the party improve on internal democracy within our party, and I will need to withdraw the case to enable him to chart a way forward.

“The Governor of Ondo state Lucky Aiyedatiwa earlier visited my Asokoro residence for several hours after another unsuccessful visit to my hotel room in Akure. I cannot disobey the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because the issue I am fighting for is not personal. It is simply to improve internal democracy to which the President has promised improvement. My respect for the President is absolute,” he said.

He thanked Tinubu for the words of wisdom and encouragement during his meeting with him which he said lasted over one hour.

“And his various interactions with me on the telephone during which he emphasized his commitment to internal democracy over and over again. Thank you, Mr. President.

“The withdrawal of this legendary suit coincide with the first anniversary of Mr. President’s incredible performance in office, and this is my gift of the “cake” of the first anniversary! Thank you all for your support,” he said.

Poor Representation:Constituency Moves To Recall Reps Member

Mohammed Shosanya

The Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal Constituency in Zamfara State has begun moves to recall a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji over alleged insensitivity and clueless representation in the House of Representatives.

In a statement signed by the group’s Chairman, Bello Mahmud Birnin Magaji, and the Secretary, Comrade Mustapha Ibrahim, the Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji federal constituency coalition for sustainable democracy, said that the recall process became necessary following Jaji’s suspension by the Birnin Magaji Ward Executive of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which was upheld by the Birnin Magaji local government area executive and ratified by the APC State Working Committee in Zamfara State.

Disclosing that henceforth the lawmaker ceases to be a card carrying member of the party in his ward, local government and state respectively, the statement revealed that so far mobilisation of registered voters’ signatures in the two local government areas has begun in accordance with the provisions of section 69 of the 1999 Constitution.

The cited section of the constitution stated that “A member of the Senate or of the House Representatives may be recalled as such a member if “there is presented to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission a petition in that behalf signed by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member.

The petition is thereafter, in a referendum conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission within ninety days of the date of receipt of the petition, approved by a simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency.”

It further lamented “our two local government areas are among the areas mostly affected by frequent attacks of armed bandits, many people have been killed, kidnapped for ransom, cattle rustled, houses and property worth millions of naira burnt down, while many people are internally displaced from their communities in Kaura Namoda Local Government Area, Sakajiki, Kasuwar Daji, Rututu, Kurya Madaro, Dogon Kade, Kungurki, Sabon Garin, Kiyawa, Danisa and in Birnin Magaji local government area respectively.

“Also many people are kidnapped for ransom, houses, shops were burnt down, many killed, many others are displaced from their communities and towns in Gora, Chigama, Shamushalle, Billashe, Modomawa, Nasarawa Mailayi, Sabon Birnin Danalli and Birnin Magaji town.

Hon. Jaji has never thought it appropriate to visit the internally displaced persons to sympathise with them let alone providing relief materials to alleviate their sufferings.”

It accused the member, House of Representatives of corruption and diversion of constituency projects for personal enrichment, non fulfillment of the electoral promises and other “sundry behaviours unbecoming of a lawmaker.

Factionalisation of the party executives, supporting opponents of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in demarketing his policies and administration in the North.”

This is as it pointed out that the performance of the lawmaker was below expectation, as he has allegedly failed in providing good representation for the constituency.

“Jaji lacks the political sagacity and tenacity of purpose required of a lawmaker representing a state under bandits’ siege.

“We call on all lovers of democracy, good governance, security and effective representation in the National Assembly to come out en masse and endorse the recall of Hon. Aminu Jaji from the House of Representatives. It is a patriotic duty and a giant step forward in rescuing our constituency from further slide to insecurity, anarchy, lawlessness

“We made a mistake by electing Hon. Jaji who uses our mandate to work against his constituency and APC at all levels while hobnobbing with the ruling PDP in the state where he has concluded plan to defect after destabilising our great party.

“As democrats and grassroots politicians, we shall resist reactionary forces bent on undermining our constituency. Hon. Jaji must be recalled from the House of Representatives to pave way for a competent, capable, reliable, pragmatic, visionary, resourceful and compassionate lawmaker. Join us to recall him now,” it added.

Five Pro-Wike Commissioners Resign From Fubara’s Cabinet

Mohammed Shosanya

Five Commissioners in Rivers State,Wednesday dropped their resignation letters to the state Governor, Siminialayi Fubara, resigning their membership as part of the cabinet.

The Commissioners include: Professor Chinedu Mmom, Commissioner for Education; Mrs. Inime Chinwenwo Aguma, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation; Austen Ben-Chioma, Commissioner of Environment, Dr. Jacobson Nbina, Commissioner for Transport and Dr. Gift World, Commissioner for Housing.

The Commissioners’ resignations were conveyed in a separate letters dated Wednesday, May 15, 2024 and addressed to the Governor through the Secretary to the state government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, cited hostile work environment and the heightened political crisis as their reasons for resigning.

Recall that while two other pro-Wike Commissioners, Alabo Dax-Kelly (Former Commissioner of Works) and Emeka Woke (Commissioner for Special Projects) resigned their appointments on the grounds of taking up a Federal appointments, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor, former Attorney-General and commissioner for Justice and Isaac Kamalu, former Commissioner for Finance, resigned after they both rejected their redeployments to other ministries within the state government.

The resignation letter for Prof Mmom reads, “I write to formally tender my resignation as a member of the Rivers State Executive Council as the Honourable Commissioner for Education with effect from today the 15th day of May, 2024.

“It is a truism that a calm, safe and friendly environment would stimulate efficient service delivery and enhanced productivity. It is however unfortunate to note that my current workspace has become toxic and no longer guarantees a favourable environment to enable me to realize my set targets for the education sector in the state.

“There is loss of trust, animosity and sharp division among colleagues in the same cabinet which is unhealthy and very unfortunate.”

The letter for Mrs Aguma states: “Pursuant to the current unconducive working environment, it is imperative to tender my resignation as Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Rivers State.

“I resign with all sense of responsibility especially as there is no room for progression and development in the workplace.”

Ben-Chioma’s resignation letter reads, “My decision to resign is due to the political crisis befalling our dear Rivers State and other personal reasons.”

The letter of Nbina states: “My decision to resign is due to the unresolved political crisis in our dear state leading to lack of trust and apathy.”

Wike Left Huge Debt For My Administration-Gov Fubara

Mohammed Shosanya

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara,has said that a huge debt burden was left behind for his administration to settle with several contractors who handled different projects for the immediate past administration.

He disclosed this during inauguration of the reconstructed 10.89KM Aleto-Ogale-Ebubu-Eteo Road in Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State on Tuesday,a statement said.

The Governor, according to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, emphasised how the debt owed the contractors amounted to, given the public impression created of a clean balance sheet maintained with contractors.

He said: “This is to let the world know that if there is one problem this administration has, it is the huge debt burden. Most of the projects that are being commissioned, the contractors are coming for their balance-payment and it is running into billions.

“I have said that I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to talk because I was part of that system. But, when you keep pushing me to talk, I will say it so that the people will know the true situation of things and be properly informed.”

He expressed delight over the commencement of the celebration of his one year in office anniversary with the inauguration of a road project in Eleme where he lived when he started off with his working life.

He stated that the road was awarded on August 14, 2023, to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) at the cost of N6.7 billion.

He noted that the completed project now serves as a proof that his administration is still focused on delivering development to the people despite the many troubles thrown at it.

“I am happy to be here and to join the good people of Rivers State to start this wonderful celebration of our first anniversary in the face of all the troubles. It shows that we are still focused, not minding the level of distractions.

He added:”This road was awarded to CCECC as a contractor. It was awarded on the 14th of August, 2023. I believe that 14th of August was within my tenure. I am not saying ‘I’, but it was this administration that awarded it.

“This project was awarded at the cost of N6.7 billion, and I can say boldly that no kobo is remaining. We’ve paid the contractor its complete sum. Our gathering here is to tell our people that their problem is our problem.”

Emphasising the import of the road, Governor Fubara said it would serve as a bypass for motorists to avoid the deplorable sections of the East-West Road now under reconstruction, and by extension, a support to the Federal Government’s efforts to give hope to Nigerians and make life better for the people.

“What we are doing today, is it not help to the Federal Government? Is it not a show that this Government has the interest of the people at heart and it is supporting and doing everything to make the Federal Government succeed?

“So, when people come out and say some funny things, I laugh. Why are we doing this? When this administration came on board, Mr President christened his mantra ‘Renewed Hope’ to give Nigerians hope.

“What we are doing today in this State is giving our people that hope to complement what Mr President is doing at the national level.

“It is not about social media. We are talking about action. Genuine actions that make positive impact in the lives of our people,” he said.

Governor Fubara explained the rationale behind the invitation extended to Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, to inaugurate the project, saying he is not an artificial integrity man but a pragmatic man.

He added:”I invited him because he is not an artificial integrity man. He is an action integrity man. He is not like the one who would gather to talk because they just want to talk.

“He is a man who came into office, in the face of difficulties and challenges, just like we are here, but he is making impact in the lives of Abians.

“So, I will continue to identify with good governance. I will continue to identify with people who want to make impact in the lives of the people. Our Government, as we promised you on day one: the people first.”

He alluded to an unnamed person who insinuated that on assumption of office,he started a fight against the Federal Government, and wondered the veracity of such allegation.

“We are talking about the Federal Government that is giving us support, and we appreciate their support. But there is a rat in the house that is eating the bags of garri. So, you can imagine such a situation.”

Explaining further, the Governor noted that somebody in the house was stoking crisis to distract both the State and Federal Government from delivering their promises to give the people hope and leave lasting legacies impactful policies and programmes for posterity, and promised the people that the black legs in the family will soon be exposed for what they are.

Governor Fubara thanked the good people of Eleme for their support during the period of the execution of the project, as according to him, the contractor never complained of any challenges from the communities, adding that rather the people gave all the cooperation required.

He noted that with what has been experienced, his administration is now encouraged to come back and undertake more projects as he believed that they will be protected.

Performing the inauguration of the project, the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, congratulated Governor Fubara for what he has done in remembering to execute a road project in Eleme community where he had once lived.

He said: “I have always said it that leadership is about service. Anytime leadership departs from service, then, you are getting it wrong. Service should be service to the people, not service to self or very few interests. Anytime you are serving a few people rather than the majority, you need to go and look at yourself again.

“So, for me, it’s all about good governance. Clearly, Governor Fubara came prepared, and I don’t believe that any distraction is enough to take his focus away from improving the welfare and interest of the people.

“So, I can assure you, Rivers people, that the dividends of democracy that you are seeing now is still a dress rehearsal. It is early in the morning, and I am sure that in no distant future, you will be seeing more.”

Governor Otti charged Eleme and the good people of Rivers State to continue to support the Governor of the state to do even more to make life easy for the majority.

He embossed that no matter how the dice is flipped: “Power belongs to God, no human can arrogate to himself the capacity to give power, except you have the capacity to give life. Of course, you can take life, but you cannot give it.”

In his project description, Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Works, Engr. Atemia Briggs, said the project was awarded on 14th August, 2023 to CCECC.

Engr Briggs explained that the road is 10.89 KM long, has a width of 10.5 meters, with a drain length of 10.1 KM, adding that it will, in the overall, serve human and economic needs of the people.

In his remark, the Executive Director, South-South Region of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Engr. Eric Shen, expressed gratitude for the confidence reposed in the company to handle the project, which has been completed with support from the Government, and cooperation from the host communities.

He said they were committed to delivering quality roads that will serve the people for a long time, which was why they contended with the challenges of heavy vehicular traffic, daily business activities by traders on the road, and the rains to ensure timely delivery of the project within eight months.

In his welcome remark, the former Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Hon Orji Ngofa, acknowledged that the project, popularly known as the Old Bori Road, had collapsed as a result of the heavy vehicular traffic taken off the East-West Road that became deplorable, and is now being reconstructed.

Ngofa thanked Governor Fubara for reconstructing the entire stretch of the road, which now better improves the wellbeing of the people while also serving the transportation and economic needs of all users of the road.

Obi Visits Atiku,Saraki,Laments Economic Hardship

Mohammed Shosanya

Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, Monday met with former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.

The meeting which held in Abuja, was aimed at finding ways to reduce the suffering of all Nigerians irrespective of class and location.

A statement by Yunusa Tanko, Chief Spokesman of the DattiAhmed/PeterObi Presidency,said that the meeting was informed by Obi’s worry “about the state of the nation and the increasing uncertainty in the living conditions of the poor and underprivileged.

The 2023 Presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi has continued to live up to his expressed commitment to the peace and progress of the nation, the statement said.

It added:”His abiding devotion is to the emergence of a Nigeria that works for all its peoples and where the people are quickly pulled out of poverty,” he added.

“Obi in Abuja on Monday visited some top Nigerians, among whom are Former Vice President, and PDP Presidential Candidate in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, the Former Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki and the Former Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido.

“In particular, the desperate condition of the downtrodden in our midst was highlighted.Of particular interest and emphasis in these discussions was the worrisome situation in the Northern parts of the country.”

I’ll  Probe Wike’s Administration-Fubara

Mohammed Shosanya

The Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has vowed to probe the activities of the state government in the last eight years.

He spoke while swearing in Dagogo Iboroma, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, as the new Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State.

Fubara charged Iboroma to quickly set up panel of enquiry to look into the activities of the state government in the last 8 years.

Meanwhile,Rivers State House of Assembly members loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara,Monday condemned the October 29, 2023 attack and burning of the assembly hallowed chamber by hoodlums.

The lawmakers led by the factional Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oko-Jumbo,conveyed the condemnation during plenary at the auditorium of the administrative block of the government house in Port Harcourt, where they convened to screen and confirm Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, as a commissioner to serve in the State Executive Council.

Oko-Jumbo said:”You will recall that we woke up on October 30, 2023, to see that some hoodlums and miscreants who did not mean well for our dear State and our people had set the hallowed chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly on fire, which caused a temporary setback in the performance of our legislative functions. His Excellency’s intervention was indeed swift and timely, and we are grateful.”

Earlier, the House disclosed that it had received the nomination of Iboroma as commissioner-designate from the state Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, directing that the nominee be screened.

A statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi on Monday disclosed that the commissioner-nominee was led to the floor of the House by the Sergeant-at-Arms, David Wariboko.

Iboroma, standing before the House, fielded questions, and assured that his allegiance shall be to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Rivers State Governor and the State, while upholding his oath of office and contributing his professional expertise to further the good governance of the State.

Oko-Jumbo them divided the House for voting after the debate for the confirmation of Iboroma.

At the end of the voting, the House affirmed confidence in the nominee, and subsequently confirmed him to serve as commissioner in the State Executive Council.

Rt. Hon. Oko-Jumbo, instructed the factional Clerk of the House, Dr G. M. Gillis-West, to convey the resolution of the House to the Executive Governor of Rivers State.

He also expressed the appreciation of the House to Governor Fubara for his timely intervention in providing an alternative venue for them to carry on with their legislative duties.