Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has implored traditional rulers in the State to support the incoming administration of Sir Siminialayi Fubara.
He said the appeal is necessitated by the pivotal role traditional rulers play in sustenance of peace in the various communities of the State.
Governor Wike, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke, made this appeal at the official foundation laying ceremony of the palace of Eze Oha Apara kingdom, which took place at Rumu-Kesiorlu community, Rumuigbo clan on Tuesday.
The Rivers State governor assured traditional rulers that whatever support they have enjoyed during his administration, will be continued by Sir Fubara, who fortunately has been a member of his team since 2015.
“The next governor of Rivers State come May 29, Sir Siminialayi Fubara is a product of consolidation and continuity. Whatever support you have enjoyed, whatever dividends of democracy you have received from the present administration, I want to assure you that it will continue in the administration of Sir Siminialayi Fubara, because he is one man who has studied the ropes.
“He has been with our administration from its inception till date. So, he understands the focus and vision of the present administration. I solicit your support, give him all the necessary support because he is the best person for the job in Rivers State.”
Governor Wike explained that before he assumed office in 2015, he had always recognised and understood the importance of traditional rulers, and importance of the level of governance they render at the various communities of the State.
He stated that this was one of the reasons that informed the decision of his administration to build a befitting edifice for the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council to meet and then come up with good policies that support the programmes of government.
“The importance of traditional institution has been there right from the colonial days. The colonial masters would have been unable to administer the people without the role of the traditional rulers.
“And so, it is not out of place for government to come and support traditional institution because they are responsible to manage minor disputes that arise in our communities. If those disputes and disagreements are allowed to snowball, it could be to a point that may not be manageable by government.
“You can see the importance traditional rulers are playing, to supporting the government, complimenting the effort of government in maintaining peace and order. Not that alone, I know you are also there to preserve our culture.”
The Rivers State governor commended the people of Apara kingdom for the decision to build a befitting palace for the Eze Oha Apara. He said it is gratifying to know that the palace will also serve as an administrative office for effective and efficient discharge of administration at the local level.
The governor, who announced that the Rivers State government will support the building project with additional N200M, stressed that his administration will continue to support communities that are in peace and embarking on developmental projects.
The chairman of the foundation laying ceremony, Associate Prof. Anugbum Onuoha, said the people of Apara kingdom have been yearning for years to build a befitting palace for the Eze Oha Apara.
He commended governor Wike for his immense support towards the realisation of the project which is expected to be completed within the next ten months.
“I want to say that the realisation of this dream you are seeing today is made manifest through the instrumentality of the governor of Rivers State. we are not only laying foundation, this project will be completed in the next ten months.”
On his part, the chairman, Apara kingdom palace building committee, Senator John Azuta Mbata, explained that the edifice is not a private property, but that of the entire Apara kingdom.
“What the kingdom is trying to do is to provide a palace where anybody who become Eze Oha Apara, this will be his official residence, this will be where all official matters will be dealt with.
“This will be official protocol venue for all matters relating to the kingdom. So, it is not anybody’s private palace.”