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Rivers @57: We never knew we would still stand to this day – Fubara

The Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara has said that he never knew his administration would still stand to this day of the 57th anniversary of the state, Monday, May 27, 2024.

He spoke at a banquet in celebration of the 57th anniversary of the state at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Port Harcourt.

He said: “The last time I had this opportunity to dine with you was on 1st of January, 2024, and you know, the mood was not like this. We never knew we could even stand up till today.”

Governor Fubara further said: “You see the reason why we need to give God all the glory. It is very simple: one thing is very important and unique; we are succeeding because we are on the side of God.”

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The governor said that the successes recorded so far were possible because God has been graciously upholding the government, offering it the right direction and giving him the strength to carry on.

He also said that while others were celebrating one full year of service to the people, he has only actually been in control of real governance characterised by prudence, purposefulness, and protection of the interest of the state in the last four months.

He said that under his watch, Rivers State Government has provided “Governance that has the interest of our people at heart. Governance that is prudent. Governance that has respect for you: all of you.

“It is not just standing on the side of God; because everybody professes to be standing on the side of God, even the native doctor would call on God.

“But what is important is God being in your business. God is in our business. And because He is in our business, we will continue to survive, no matter where they are coming from,” he said.

Governor Fubara insisted that his purpose in government was to deliver the dividends of democracy to Rivers people, which will not be compromised.

The courage to do three roads alone at N501.2bn

The governor re-echoed the courage it took him to devote over half a trillion naira to start just three mega roads out of many others. He said; “It takes somebody who loves this state genuinely to embark on a project like the Trans-Kalabari Road. I am not from that axis of the riverine, where somebody would say I’m doing it because I’m from there. No. That project alone will cost this government over N225billion.

“But so far, to show our commitment that we are not just saying that we want to do it, we have started it, and we believe in delivering it.

“We believe that when this project is completely delivered, security issues will be reduced, development will come to our people in far remote areas that you could hitherto only traverse through the sea, issues of water piracy will be gone, including issues of boat mishaps that we keep recording,” he added.

Governor Fubara urged the people to see the project as an effort towards the expansion of the State and ensuring that development extends to other parts of the State away from the centre of Port Harcourt City.

He added, “I don’t want to talk about the Port Harcourt Ring Road. That already you know is ongoing. It is already on a familiar ground.

“Are we talking about the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road? Those are things we are doing to tell our people that we are interested in the development of the state,” the governor clarified.

Health in shambles

Governor Fubara pointed out: “We all know the situation of our healthcare services in this state. It is not pretending! What you call the BMHS – the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) – might be functioning but what about the zonal hospitals? What about the general hospitals?”

Emphasising his administration’s commitment to turning around the fortunes of healthcare sector in the state, Governor Fubara assured of making sure that all zonal hospitals come on stream in the next six months.

He said, “Are we even talking about the health sector? We have given ourselves a task that in the next six months, all our zonal hospitals, including the general hospitals in strategic LGAs must function.

“If you have the money to afford healthcare services at affordable rate, you don’t have a problem. You don’t need to go to private hospitals when the government hospitals are functioning.

“Are we talking about our schools? Our focus is to take Rivers State from where we have met it to another level; a level where we know that everybody can afford to send their children to school. It is not everyone who can send their children to those expensive private schools out there!

“So, we want to provide the basics. It is only when we have those basics that issues of crime would be reduced. It is only when we have those basics that criminality, including kidnapping, cultism, will also reduce,” he explained.

Schools that you can send your kids to

The governor also regretted that most schools were not worthy of the children of the middle class. “You have schools that you can send your children, and they can learn and compete favourably with those in private schools, what else?”

Governor Fubara restated the concern of his administration, which is to improve the livelihood and well-being of the people.

He solicited more support from leaders of the State, and more especially, the other arms of government – the Legislature and Judiciary – to enable the government serve the people better.

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According to him, “We mean well for this State. We will respect you and provide enabling environment for you to succeed. We also believe that you will respect and partner with us while we work for the wellbeing of our state.

“For our royal fathers: we want to thank you for your support. You have a lot to do. You are the closest to our people. You are the leaders of the communities.

“Everybody who lives in every community, you know them. In fact, you know the good, the bad, and the ugly! Please, ensure that you take control of all your domains.

“Be very useful to the security agencies. Anything you know that you can do to help us to maintain peace, do not hesitate to do that for us.

“We know they might be planning for some things, but I don’t bother about that. Why I do not bother is: I believe that we have too much trouble to worry about. So, each day, as it comes, God will give us the strength to handle it better and overcome.”

Governor Fubara expressed gratitude to the former Governor of the State, Peter Odili, and an elder statesman, the senator, John Azuta Mbata, among others who have continued to stand with his administration.