I Am Not Bothered by Rivers Politics, Says Wike

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*Fubara urges supporters, youths to shun violence, economic sabotage

*Pro-FCT minister’s lawmaker cautions Tinubu against siding impunity 

CHIGOZIE  AMADI

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and former Rivers Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, yesterday, said he would rather focus on delivering projects earmarked for inauguration to mark President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office than be bothered by the intrigues that characterise Rivers State politics.
He asserted this during an inspection tour of some projects to be inaugurated by the end of the month in Abuja.

This is as a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Solomon Bob, called on President Bola Tinubu not to be an enabler of impunity and unlawful behaviour of the Governor of Rivers State, Siminilayi Fubara, insisting that the governor had committed impeachable offences.
However, while altercations rage in the state, Fubara, has charged his supporters and all Rivers people to eschew violence and conduct themselves in compliance with the rule of law, assuring them that he was already on top of the situation.

Wike, declared he would not allow himself to be distracted by political detractors from River State.
“I am not distracted. If l am, you won’t see this performance here. I focus on my work. I am not interested, l am the Minister of FCT,  the works are going on. If distracted how will these works be progressing? I am not even thinking about it at all,” he said.
He said his mandate as the FCT Minister was to deliver the dividends of democracy to the residents of the territory and not to mull over the political shenanigans in Rivers State.

He commended the contractors for delivering the jobs within the specified time frame, saying he was impressed with all the road works inspected. “This is the final inspection as regards the preparedness for the inauguration of various projects.
“From what we have seen, we believe we are ready for the inauguration from 27th of May  and will end  June 6th. It’s going to be a nine day long event.
“So, we are happy and the contractors are meeting up. All the promises they made, have been fulfilled and we have also fulfilled our own part to make sure that we have cash backup. None of them is complaining in terms of cash,” he said.

The minister also said the Metroline will be flagged off for commercial operation by 27th of this month.
“By the approval of Mr. President, we believe that 27th of this month, we shall start the inauguration of various projects, particularly, on 27th we believe the President will flag off the commercial operation of the Metroline.”
Meanwhile, Fubara, has urged his supporters and all Rivers people to eschew violence and conduct themselves in compliance with the rule of law as he was already on top of the situation.
The governor said there was a greater and assuring resolve of his administration to follow his course lawfully to the end concerning the festering political crisis in the State.

He spoke yesterday, during the inauguration of Emohua-Kalabari (Tema Junction) Road project in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of the State, performed by senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson.
Fubara, assured his supporters that he would 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 believed in his leadership.

He said, “I want to thank everyone of you for your support. I want to thank you specially 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.
“We don’t have any Assembly member, like they said. We don’t have any local government chairman, like they said. But we have the people. Having the people is the most important thing. I assure the people that we will not disappoint them.”
Speaking further, Fubara emphasised: “We will lead as a government that has the fear of God, 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. 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.”
Fubara encouraged the people to continue to support the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government, and ensure that they protect important government installations in Kalabari land.
He observed the troubling issues of unabated illegal bunkering activities and vandalism of critical infrastructure of State, which has caused a depletion of inflow of revenue to the federation accounts.
Fubara, who particularly said recurring reports of the Nigerian Navy emphasised the preponderance of such activities in the area, tasked youths to stop engaging in such economic sabotage.
Commenting on the Emohua-Kalabari Road project, Fubara said it was awarded on the 18th February, 2023, by the immediate past administration at the cost of N21.2 billion, but only paid N6 billion.
The governor stated that his administration paid the balance of N15.2 billion and completed 70 percent of the job to confidently claim it as part of his projects delivered for the good of the people in Kalabari land.
Fubara, who assured that he would continue to deploy 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.
Performing the inauguration of the project, the Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, said crisis make some people to forget governance, noting that Fubara refused to be distracted but had rather committed to improving the wellbeing of the people.
Dickson, who was former Governor of Bayelsa State, said the project was a life-changing development endeavour because his experience plying the road when it was deplorable was also unpleasant. 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 as a competent accountant, he was sure that the Governor would prudently deploy every taxpayer’s sweat into meaningful development projects that will positively impact the majority of the people of the State.
In the meantime, Bob who represents Abua/Odual and Ahoada East Federal Constituency of Rivers State, was of the opinion that Fubara had committed several impeachable constitutional breaches for which Tinubu should not shield him.
The lawmaker in a statement yesterday, expressed disappointment over recent statement issued by the President’s media aide, describing it as preposterous.

“President Tinubu must not appear like an enabler of impunity and egregious unlawful behavior,” he said, adding that Fubara destroyed an entire branch of the government to the rubble and urged him not to side with alleged constitutional abuse by the governor.
The lawmaker called on Tinubu to remove any “protective cover” for Fubara and allow the law to take its course on the governance and management of resources of the state.
Bob said: “Governor Fubara has no respect for President Tinubu. I can tell you that. Forget about his public posturing; he only fears him. That’s all. If he could thumb his nose at the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), His Excellency, Dr. Nyesom Wike, who brought him out of nothing, imagine what he would do to Tinubu.
“He begged for the December settlement brokered by the President. He benefitted more than anyone from it.

“In fact, he’s the only beneficiary. But see how he has trashed it. He paid people to challenge that settlement in court, including the so-called Rivers elders.
“The only term of the agreement he pretended to honour was the reappointment of commissioners who resigned, but he made them effectively redundant to the point where they had to resign again. He finally came out recently to denounce the settlement as unconstitutional,” he added.

He said: “He is running a government without a budget and spending Rivers people’s money recklessly. He has illegally withheld funds due to local governments, and our people are running on empty.

“The House of Assembly, which has the constitutional responsibility to take necessary measures against the governor, must not be fettered.”