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Monday, May 20, 2024

THEY’VE REBUFFED RECONCILIATION DESPITE PEACE EFFORTS – GOV FUBARA

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has explained that, in seeking peaceful resolution to the political crisis that erupted in the State last year, he had attended several reconciliation meetings, whose resolutions the other party had rebuffed.

The Governor maintained that he had acted like the big brother in the crisis, not interested in destroying the ‘house’, so that meaningful development can continue to be engendered in the State while securing tenable political relationship.

Governor Fubara made the explanation when he received on courtesy visit the Bayelsa State delegation of political and traditional leaders, led by former governor of the State, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, at Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday.

The Governor said: “But I know that I have always taken the path of peace. I have shown respect. I’ve subjected myself to every meeting of reconciliation for peace. And what happens, each time we come out from such meetings, we are faced with one thunder or lightening.”

The Governor pointed out that when he assumed office, it was with the resolve to build on the existing foundation of development of past leaders, especially the immediate past governor.

Governor Fubara emphasised that it would have been out of the ordinary to engage in any political fight when there was so much work to be done for the State and its people as their Governor.

He said, he strongly felt that it was proper to set some records straight about what had become of a minor problem that was not uncommon in every human relationship.

Governor Fubara stated: “But it is a bad thing when the problem that ought not to be anything, becomes something, and in fact, gets out of the bedroom to the sitting room and to the compound. That is the case of Rivers State today.

“I am also happy that you even mentioned the issues, even when I have all the instruments of State powers. I have shown restrain, and I believe that whoever is alive and have been following the activities of our dear State, knows that I have acted as a big brother in the course of this crisis.

“I have not acted like a young man that may want the house to be destroyed but I have behaved like a matured young man that I am. This is because I know that no meaningful development will be achieved in an atmosphere of crisis.

“And because our intention for Rivers State is to build on the foundation that had been laid by our past leaders, it will be wrong for me to take the path of promoting crisis. That is why we are still recording the development that you are hearing around Rivers State.”

Governor Fubara insisted that there was nothing wrong in one helping another person but that does not mean the helper should take the place of God.

The Governor said, as long as he was concerned, God will remain God, who could sometimes cause one’s enemy to be willing vessel to bring about one’s promotion in life.

He said, “God can do anything He wants to do when He wants to do it. It is only for us to realize that. God will not come down from Heaven but will pass through one man or woman to achieve His purpose.

“So, for that reason, when we act, we act as humans; human vessels that God has used, and not seeing yourself as God.

“I want to say this clearly that we appreciate the role our leaders, most especially the immediate past governor, played. But that is not enough for me to worship a human being. I can’t do that.”

Governor Fubara took a swipe against the Rt Hon. Martin Amaewhule-led group of lawmakers, and declared that they do not exist anymore as lawmakers in the eyes of the law.

“Let me say it here, those group of men who claim that they are assembly members, they are not existing. I want it to be on record.

“I accepted that peace accord to give them a floating (soft-landing). That’s the truth. There is nothing in that peace accord that is a constitutional issue. It is a political solution to a problem. I accepted it because these are people that were visiting me and we were together in my house.

“These are people that I have helped… in many ways when I wasn’t even a Governor. Yes, we might have our disagreements, but I believe that one day, we could also come together. That was the reason I did it.

“But I think it has gotten to a time when I need to make a statement on this thing, so that they understand that they are not existing. Their existence and whatever they have been doing is because I allowed them to do so. If I don’t recognize them, they are nowhere, that is the truth.”

The Governor further said: “So, I want you to see the sacrifice I have made to allow peace to be in our State. I can say here, with all amount of boldness, I have never called any police man anywhere to go and harass anybody.

“I have never gone anywhere to ask anybody to do anything against anybody. But what happens to the people that are supporting me? They are being harassed, they are being arrested and detained. There is no week that somebody doesn’t come here with one letter of invitation for trump-up charges and all those things.

“I am saying all these because of what my senior said here: restrain. I don’t think the other party has shown any restrain. I am the one that has shown restrain in the face of this crisis.

“I am the one that is badly hit, even when I have all the government instruments to shake up the table. But, why will I do it? I believe that peace is the best relationship to cultivate.”

Speaking further, Governor Fubara thanked the delegation for coming to solidarise with him and his Government, and noted that
there is no complete Rivers State without Bayelsa State and vice versa, which demands that they continue to work together for development.

He said, “We were separated because of political purposes to expand development, but we need to be united so that the economies of these two states will grow.

“There is no need for us to have any argument over assets, there is no need for us to have disagreement over issue of who owns this or who doesn’t own that.

“One way or the other, we are even inter-related. That is the truth. So, there is no need for fight.”

Governor Fubara said he took the initiative of going to see Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State because he wanted an end to the toxic relationship that existed in the past administrations.

“We had our meeting and by the grace of God, we’ve had a very wonderful relationship. He’s always there watching out for me. Even in the face of this crisis, things my commissioner ought to do, when they hide the information from me, he calls me to tell me.

“You don’t know what I am going through. I am working with my own enemies. Imagine where your Attorney-General will go to sabotage you. It was as bad as that. But, they will get their reward.

“So, you see, if I have not gone to reconcile with my brother, I would have been in bigger mess. So, I have already started benefiting, reaping the fruits of that peaceful relationship.”

Governor Fubara also regretted that Rivers State was experiencing such protracted political crisis because there are no leaders of conscience who could stand up boldly and mediate on issues without bias.

In his remark earlier, leader of the delegation and former governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, said their visit was one of solidarity with Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Rivers people who have shown maturity in the face of the political crisis for stability and development to thrive.

He said, “Your Excellency, we will agree that no true brother or even good neighbour can stay unconcerned when the house of a brother or neighbour is on fire or have issue. Even if there is a small flame, a neighbour or a good brother should be concerned.

“We have come here as your brothers and as good neighbours also. But also in our own right as Rivers people because this State is our Mother State.

“And we are here to show support and solidarity with you, your Government, and most importantly, solidarize with the good people of this State.

“We have also come with a message Your Excellency, of peace and reconciliation, forgiveness, unity, mutual respect, political maturity and tolerance by all.”

He added that if there is peace and development in Rivers State, the people of Bayelsa State will benefit, and if there is crisis in the State, his people will suffer as well, and called on all sides to give peace a chance.

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