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Jonathan: Rivers Governor Fubara, FCT Minister Wike Must Work Together For Rivers People’s Sake

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has advised both the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, and Governor Siminalayi Fubara to cease fire so that the ongoing political crisis in Rivers State does not snowball into a bigger regional and national challenge with greater consequences.

The former President who gave the advise Monday, while performing the flag-off of a multi-billion naira Trans-Kalabari Road project, at Rumuolumeni community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, commended efforts of some leaders who had intervened in the festering political crisis in the State.

The former president noted the problems associated with transition of governments in Nigeria, and crisis that it has come with.

He explained that even at the centre, where presidents have taken over from presidents, it has been better managed, but regretted that it is worse at the state level, warning that it is not the best.

The former president emphasised that outgoing governors and incoming ones must know that they have to work together for the collective interest of the citizenry of their states, urging them to address their minds to the need for such mutual acceptance.

He said “In this case of Rivers, Minister Nyesom Wike and Governor Siminalayi Fubara must work together for the development of the land and the people of Rivers State. The tension will not help us.

“Rivers State is very critical in this country. Rivers State is the heart of the Niger Delta. If Rivers State is destabilized, the whole Niger Delta will be destabilized, and it will not end within the Niger Delta alone because I am from this part of the country, and I know how the system works. We don’t want any crisis in Rivers State.”

The former president said: “Leaders most know that nobody takes 100 percent. You most learn the principle of give and take. So, our political actors most work together if you love Rivers people.

“And, I join the leaders of Rivers State and well-meaning Nigerians who have been calling for truce, who have been calling for ceasefire, to also re-emphasize that there is the need for a ceasefire. Let us do things that will rather project this State positively.”

Speaking further, former president Jonathan stated: “There is this common saying that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. Both the Governor and the Minister are young people, very young people but they are powerful, and if you continue to fight, Rivers people will suffer. We don’t want the Rivers people to suffer.

“So, we are calling on them to embrace themselves. One hand does not clap. It takes two hands to clap. So, we want them to work together for the collective interest of Rivers people.

“Whatever has happened, has passed. Let us move to a new phase for the interest of the State, for the interest of the Niger Delta, and indeed, the interest of the country,” he added.

He commended Governor Fubara for his vision, commitment and courage to take up the construction of such road that has numerous benefits of making movement easy, enhancing response time to security issues, promoting integration and economic growth.

He said, “When I was asked to come and flag-off this project, I felt that it is only a person who has vision, and the commitment to develop his people that can do this.

“Your Excellency, let me commend you for your vision and the courage to start this project. In fact, it is not going to be a tea party. If you must develop a nation, region or state, there are critical elements that count. These are good road network, airport, rail and water transport systems as well as security,” he said.

He said that by providing the enablers, development would thrive in the State, and thanked the Governor for daring to dream big, and venture into projects that previous administrations had avoided.

Speaking, Governor Fubara, assured that his administration is determined to deliver the Trans-Kalabari Road project to stimulate socio-economic activities in benefiting rural communities for overall development of the State.

The governor, therefore, advised the people to buy-in into the project and ensure that they ward-off any form of sabotage that may delay or frustrate timely completion of the project.

He noted the difficult swampy terrain that the road will traverse, and the associated cost but said he has decided to embark on it, which signals the driving principle of his administration to put the wellbeing and advancement of the people first.

The governor maintained that there is fund saved from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and federal allocations to fund the project to completion without borrowing, which is why 30 percent of the contract sum has already been paid to mobilise the contract to site in order to deliver on schedule.

Governor Fubara also thanked former President Goodluck Jonathan, for accepting to perform the flag-off of the project because he understood the magnitude of the project and the specific transportation needs that it will address

Appealing to the people to support the contractor for a successful completion of the project, Governor Fubara emphasised: “For us as a government, our duty remains, people first. Those things that we know will make life easy for you, are the areas that we will pay attention to.

“So, please give us the necessary support so that this project will be achieved at a record time. This way, we can also look at other aspects of the state economy.

“We are not going to focus only on roads. But this particular road is important to the development of our State. That is why we are starting it now because of the time that is required to deliver it.”

 

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