We’re defending Rivers against predators – Fubara

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By Precious Akutamadu

Port Harcourt, June, 26, 2024(NAN)Rivers governor Siminalayi Fubara has said that he was not fighting anybody.
“I am, rather, defending the state against predators; I am protecting Rivers against those who feel that they own the life of others,” he said in Port Harcourt on Wednesday when the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, paid him a courtesy visit.
Fubara stated that the failed attempt to detonate an explosive device at the Hotel Presidential, a five star hotel in Port Harcourt, was a deliberate ploy to strengthen the call for a state of emergency.
“It is the handiwork of detractors who want to undermine the state to achieve their evil plans,” he declared.
The governor alleged that some youths were hired to engage in a protest to demand for extension of tenure for former local government chairmen who had served out their statutory three-year tenure.
“The protesters and their sponsors were aware that some members of the National Assembly were guests at the Hotel Presidential, that was their reason for the attempt to detonate an explosive device near the facility.
“In fact, there was a plan to detonate dynamite at the Hotel Presidential because you people were there. But, this God that we serve, it happened that the man, who was trying to do it, detonated it, but just few seconds after, it blew his hands off.
“The idea was that as you were hearing state of emergency, by the time they finish, when you return to have your sitting tomorrow, the debate will be from somebody from this state who called you people to tell you not to come.”
Fubara wondered why the law is silent or slow to take its course over offenders because somebody appears to be bigger than the law.
“Is there nowhere in the country where tenure elongation for former local government chairmen has been an issue?” Fubara asked.
Fubara opined that there was no Governor in Nigeria who could take 10 percent of the abuse railed at him by former local government councils.
“Is it that the Constitution that governs Nigeria is different from the one that operates in Rivers? These are the very pertinent questions we should ask.
“Why should it be that when it comes to the case of Rivers, the law is always silent? Is it that there is somebody bigger than Nigeria? That is the question I want you to go back with,” Fubara said.
Fubara told members of the committee to factor in the interest of Rivers as they recommend the privatisation and commercialisation of public companies, saying that when the state buys stakes in such companies, they could be protected and supervised to be viable.
“I will also appeal to you that in this process of privatisation, anything that has to do with our own state here that needs to be privatised, the Rivers Government will be interested.
“So, as a committee, if there is anywhere you can support us; if there is anyone that is still available, let us know, and let us get the details so that we can own it.
“It is only when we own it that those assets can be protected. It is only when we own it, that is when those assets become viable to the state, and also become viable to the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he stated.
Committee chairman Orji Uzo Kalu had earlier said that the team was in Rivers to carry out oversight duties on some projects under its purview.
Kalu, who represents Abia North Senatorial District, commended Fubara for his love for peace and his determination to offer quality governance.
He also commended him for keeping pace with providing the right climate to engender economic growth.
Kalu urged FCT minister Nyesom Wike to shealth the sword and call his supporters to order to
foster peace in Rivers.
“Wike must put the interest of the state above all considerations,” he said.
Kalu commended Fubara and his team for the good things they were doing in the state, pointing out that it was good to have peace.
“I want to thank you because you look like a very peaceful man. Your face shows a peaceful man. Your laugh shows a peaceful man. So, I want you to continue in that manner of peace.
“There is nothing like peace. Let people who are eating from this problem stop eating from it.
“We want to plead with you; continue to hold your people back because if your people demonstrate like the other people, we will have a state of anarchy, and it is not good to have anarchy.
“I want to plead with you to abide by the rules of the land. I plead with you to abide by what the Constitution says. I plead with you to also abide by the decisions of the Judiciary.
“Wait for every judicial interpretation and act on judicial interpretation,” he added.
Kalu pledged the readiness of the committee to work with the state government to achieve mutually beneficial goals that would advance the interest of all Nigerians.(NAN)

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