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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Fubara mocks embattled lawmakers loyal to Wike

Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara says his administration has begun preparing the 2025 budget, while also reaffirming that the legislative seats of Martin Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) will remain vacant.

This comes after the lawmakers gave the Governor a seven-day ultimatum to present the 2024 appropriation bill afresh.

Fubara dismissed their demands as “noise-making from delusional folks” and advised them to accept the reality of their situation, stating that they had voluntarily left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and therefore forfeited their seats.

The Governor who spoke when he received a solidarity visit from Etche and Omuma Local Government Areas’ leadership, stakeholders, and opinion leaders at Government House in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, assured them of the state government’s smooth sailing despite the defections.

A video of the visit seen by our reporter, Governor Fubara said: “Let me assure you that agriculture is an area that we have promised the very special and peace-loving people of Rivers State that our 2025 budget, which we have already started preparing, will address. Don’t bother about those people that are delusional. They think we are still sleeping. Let me tell you people so that they can hear anywhere they are.

“I wanted to help them, sincerely because I know them. And I have said it before, these are people that I have helped. I paid their children’s school fees. I paid their house rents. So, I wanted to help them.

“We all knew what happened when they crossed (defected), and how did they cross? Because of our God, for them to make that mistake, they crossed! They are gone, and they are gone. Now, let me tell you: when I wanted to help them, I accepted to help them because we are all one. We disagree to agree as it is said.”

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He added, “But, they thought they are smart. What is holding them is the declaration of their seats vacant that was done on December 13, 2023. That is what is holding them. We are not doing any budget to nullify that decision. It is what will send them to their villages.

“For me, as I am talking to you, I have started preparing my budget for 2025, which I am going to present very soon. And, in that budget, my key areas will be education, healthcare and agriculture.”

Governor Fubara further revealed that the 2025 budget will prioritise three key areas: quality healthcare, education, and infrastructure development. He emphasised that while road construction is important, it is equally crucial to ensure that citizens have access to quality healthcare services and education.

The government aims to provide standard healthcare facilities and upgrade public schools to meet acceptable standards, making quality education and healthcare accessible to all, regardless of their ability to afford private facilities.

“Even if we cannot afford those private hospitals, when you go to the public ones, you can get the same services with qualified professionals. That is our thinking.

“And when we get to the issue of agriculture, it will address the issue of unemployment. When we start engaging our youths, they wouldn’t have time to be involved in crime. So, our thinking is to secure and protect our State,” he added.

He reiterated that his administration is not fighting anybody, “I want to assure you one thing – we are not fighting anybody. We appreciate what God has used people to also do in our lives. But, we are not going to rule (govern) this State on our bent knees. We will rule standing this way I am standing.

“If it is only being on our knees to rule that is the way that they will see us as being loyal, then, I will pack my few things that I have here, and go and relax in my house comfortably because it will be a disaster, not just to me but to everyone in thd State and even my own generation.

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“So, I will continue to stand tall and stand on the side of truth. So, let me thank the President General (of Ogbakor Etche) for bringing your people, the great people of Etche and Omuma together to come and pay us a solidarity visit.

“We want to assure you that we recognize all ethnic groups, and we are not here because of any particular group. We are here and standing for Rivers State. Our greatest support has come, not from my own people (Opobo), but from all of you.”

Soliciting for support, Governor Fubara said “Support us because our interest is very clear and straight. We mean well for our people. We want everyone to be free. We want to lead with the fear of God. We want you to express yourselves without fear.

“So, I want to assure you that we are on the right track. With your support, we are going to get there. Don’t allow anybody deceive you. They can go to the media and dance; when they go behind, they cry. It is the truth. We don’t know how to dance but we say it the way it is, and stand tall anywhere we go.”

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