I won’t surrender my mandate to intimidation – Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, talked tough on Thursday, saying no level of sabotage deliberately staged in some quarters would make him abandon the mandate given to him to serve, protect and advance the fortunes of the state.

Fubara spoke while declaring open the 115 and 116 combined Quarterly General Meeting of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

He reaffirmed his commitment to serve with humility, sincerity of purpose and accountability.

The governor stated, “Although these are trying times, let us not forget that Rivers State is our collective inheritance, presently under my watch, to protect, defend and advance it as the Governor.

“I assure you that I will not fail in this responsibility nor will I surrender our mandate and progress to intimidation, blackmail and deliberate sabotage.

“I reaffirm my earlier statement and recommit myself to the path of peace as there is nothing to gain in a state of needless crisis.”

Fubara said drastic measures would be taken to strengthen education, health care and social services across the state so that no part, including the rural areas, would be left behind.

The governor said the 2024 budget of the state would prioritise and provide sufficient funding to create universal access to affordable and quality education and health care services in Rivers State.

“We will also take deliberate steps to unlock the entrepreneurial spirit among our teeming unemployed youths through viable initiatives on skills development, entrepreneurship training and targeted investments in commercial agriculture.”

He also enjoined them to be courageous to speak truth to power so that they would not lose their moral authority and legitimacy before their people.

“We must all be worried about the plight of our youths, especially those in rural communities, most of whom are poor, neglected and almost forgotten in the government’s development plans, policies, and actions.

“As we all know, no human society can progress without peace and security.

“I will, therefore, urge you to continue to work tirelessly for the preservation of peace and security to attract sustainable development to your communities,” he said.

The governor also harped on the need for everybody to have faith in the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration at the federal level.

According to him, Tinubu has shown determination to pull the nation out of economic nightmares and usher in a new era of sustainable economic progress.

In his address, the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Ohna Sergeant Chidi Awuse, declared the firm support of the council to the administration of Fubara, “who was elected as the best and trusted to lead the state.”

Awuse urged troublemakers fanning the embers of discord to cease the acts and allow the governor to concentrate on the work he was elected to do.

Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Charles Amadi, said his ministry had continued to maintain harmonious relationship with the council and would continue to collaborate with them to ease the discharge of their roles as royal fathers in peacebuilding efforts in their domains.

The relationship between Fubara and his predecessor and godfather, Nyesom Wike, has broken down, leading to a move by members of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to Wike to impeach Fubara.

Wike, who has openly declared his grievances with Fubara, accused him of dismantling the struggle he (Wike) left behind.

The Assembly remains factionalised between Fubara and Wike’s loyalists, with the pro-Wike lawmakers accusing the Fubara of withholding the Assembly’s funds.