JUST IN: Fubara reacts over attempted bombing in Rivers

Rivers state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has alleged that the failed attempt to detonate an explosive device at the Hotel Presidential, a five-star hotel in Port Harcourt, was a deliberate plot to strengthen the call for a state of emergency in the state.

He accused the pro-Nyesom Wike supporters of carrying out the plot, describing them as haters, who wanted to undermine the state to achieve their evil plans.

Fubara spoke when he received a delegation of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, led by its chairman, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu, to Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, June 26.

He said youths were hired to engage in a protest to demand for extension of tenure of former local government chairmen, who had served out their statutory three-year term.

Fubara said the protesters and their sponsors were aware that some members of the National Assembly were guests at the Hotel Presidential, which was why they attempted to detonate an explosive device near the facility to give reason to support the call for a state of emergency at the plenary.

He said: “As a matter of fact, let me tell you, I know of everything that is happening. Yesterday (Tuesday), they (protesters) were aware that you are in the state. So, there was an attempt to create a serious problem.

“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 a few seconds after, it blew his hands off.

 “The idea was that as you were hearing the state of emergency, it will be so that by the time they finish when you return to have your sitting tomorrow (Thursday), the debate will be from somebody from this state who called you people to tell you not to come.

“He will now raise the issue of state of emergency, and say after all, distinguished colleagues saw it happen while you were in Rivers State, that you saw what happened.

“But you see, when you are with God, even your own child who is planning evil, will go and tell somebody that, God is with this man because he is clean, this is what my father is planning. That is what is keeping us in this state.”

The Rivers governor said it seemed that the law was silent or inactive to take its course over offenders because somebody appeared to be bigger than the law on the agitation.

He insisted that there was nowhere in the country where tenure elongation for former local government chairmen had been an issue.

The governor maintained that he was not fighting anybody but rather defending the state against predators, and protecting supporters of the interest of Rivers against those, who felt they owned the lives of others.

He pointed out that there was no governor in the country, who could take 10 percent of the abuse reeled at him by former local government council chairmen.

Fubara said he took such insults and attacks in his strides without going hard at the purveyors because they planned to distract him.

He said he had remained focused on delivering good governance and democratic dividends to Rivers people.

He said: “Where on earth can tenure of local government chairmen be elongated? You were a former governor, was it tried in your time? Even those of you who are senators here, even in your own states, have anyone tried this before?

“Is it that the constitution that governs Nigeria is different from the one that operates in Rivers State? These are the very pertinent questions we should ask.

“Why should it be that when it comes to the case of Rivers State, the law is always silent? Is it that there is somebody bigger than Nigeria? That is the question I want you to go back to.

 “I tell you, we know everything that is happening, and you know it, everybody knows it. We should be bold enough to look at the faces of people and tell them the truth.

“I am not fighting anybody. If I am fighting, people will know that I am fighting: My pattern will change. What we are doing is to defend ourselves. We can’t just fold our hands. Only a tree will be standing and somebody will come and cut it off.

“It doesn’t happen as a human being. If you know that danger is coming, you shift. What we are doing is just to protect ourselves. So, Distinguished Senators, I am not fighting anybody.

 “Somebody thinks or some people feel they own life. I don’t own life. The person who own life is God. What we are doing here is to serve the people of Rivers State because God has given us this opportunity.

“It doesn’t matter the channel the opportunity came from. But the most important thing is God, and nobody takes the place of God in anything”.

The governor 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, it can be protected and supervised to be viable.

He said: “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 State Government will be interested.

“Because you can’t come here and own our property when we have the resources to have shares or to acquire some portion of it.

“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”.

In his address, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu, said they were in Rivers State to carry out oversight duties on some projects under their purview.

Senator Kalu, who is the member representing Abia North Senatorial District, commended Fubara for his love for peace, determination to offer quality governance and keep pace with providing the right climate to engender economic growth to all residents in the state.

The Senate committee chairman also urged the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, to sheath the sword, and call his supporters to order as a commitment to fostering peace and putting the interest of the state above all considerations.

He said: “I want to admire Your Excellency, your Deputy and your team for the good things you are doing in the State, but it is 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 with this problem stop eating from it.

“We know that politics has taken its shape. We commend you for what you are doing for the people of your State. I will continue to ask you to focus on the job.

“Leadership is a very big burden. It is not a sweet potato. It is not anywhere where you can see rice and beans. On the street of Rivers, everyone is saying that the Governor and the former Governor are quarreling.

“We want to plead with you, continue to be holding 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.

He 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.

He said the hardship in the land was already enough burden that leaders needed to concentrate efforts to address to promote growth and prosperity for all.

Source: The Nation


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