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Rivers Crisis: Stand firm, you are our leader, Odili tells Fubara

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Rivers Crisis: Stand firm, you are our leader, Odili tells Fubara

Peter Odili, former Rivers State governor, on Thursday, has urged the incumbent Governor Siminalayi Fubara to stand firm, amid the political crisis between him and his estranged political godfather, Nyesom Wike.

The former governor said Fubara is the political leader of Rivers State, noting that the people of the state were behind him and would follow his leadership.

Fubara and Wike, his former boss who was instrumental to his emergence as governor, have been embroiled in a tussle for political control in the state.

Odili spoke on Thursday during the inauguration of the Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Centre in Ndoni in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state.

The health care centre was built and donated by the PAMO Educational Foundation founded by Odili.

The ex-governor commended Fubara’s strides since coming into office on May 29, declaring that the people of the state were happy with him.

Odili said, “Our people said I should tell you to stand firm with the President, align with his quality policies and carry Rivers people to the engine room of government in the Federal Republic in Abuja.

“For those who have not bothered to pay attention, if you look at the map of Nigeria, the entire map of Nigeria is sitting on Rivers State.

“When Rivers State coughs, Nigeria will catch a cold. So regard your office as key and vital. Don’t look back. It is not a matter of age. It is a matter of your people being with you. And they have asked me to tell you that you are the political leader of Rivers State. Rivers people say where you go, they will go with you. Where you stand, they will stand with you.

“You are standing on firm ground. Stand there, hold onto God; the rest of the journey will be a piece of cake. “

Odili said he was motivated to undertake the project because two years ago when floods ravaged Ndoni Town, the health centre in the community was destroyed, leaving people within a 50-kilometre radius without immediate healthcare services.

“Let me congratulate you for winning the hearts of Rivers people by standing up to your oaths of office to defend the interest of all Rivers people in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are proud of you.

“Politics is over and it’s now time for governance and you have hit the ground running, you have touched the critical sectors such as education, health and others in less than one year in office,” Odili said.

Earlier in his own remarks, Fubara took a swipe at chairmen of the state local governments, who, he said, had not been loyal to him.

He warned that any local government chairman in the state who disrespected him dug their own pit.

Fubara said he was surprised to see the Chairman of the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area at the event, because, according to him, local government chairmen had been shunning state functions he attended.

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Fubara said, “I’m surprised that I saw the Chairman of the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government here. I’m very surprised because before now, any event that had to do with the state government all the local government chairmen, as it were, didn’t participate.”

Addressing the said LG boss, Fubara said, “I hope when you leave here they are not going to sack you because I know you are not loyal to me. Or when you leave here you will grant a press interview that it was not you, but your shadow?

“But let me say it here; every one of you who thinks you are disrespecting me, you have already dug your pit. You will fall inside it. That is the truth.

“Our minds are very open. We do not wish anyone bad, but we expect you to know and do what is right. For those of you who have chosen to take the path that you think is the way that leads to your salvation, safe journey.”

While pledging the support of his administration to President Bola Tinubu, Fubara said, “We made a promise to Mr. President to support him, and we will continue to support him.

“How do we support him? It is to ensure that the welfare of our people is provided for. It is to ensure that our people, those in critical need, we make them happy in this harsh economic situation. If we cannot solve all the problems, at least, we will go as much as we can to mitigate those basic challenges. That is the only way to support Mr. President.

Fubara acknowledged as ingenious the conviction of the PAMO Educational Foundation to undertake the construction of such a health facility to give back to society.

He described the gesture as the best thing that had happened to the people.

 

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