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Gov Fubara threatens ‘Fire for Fire’ over new threats 

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·    Brace up, its going to be fire for fire, Fubara tells Labour

·    NLC threatens to occupy Rivers House of Assembly over impeachment plans

By Ignatius Chukwu

The shadow fight may soon be over and real fight may escalate in the Rivers political crisis that has pitched FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, against his political son, Gov Sim Fubara.

This is because the ever-silent Gov Fubara has for once opened up and spat some threats, saying if pushed to the wall, he would shock the opposition. Fubara has been in the engine room of the finances of the state from the Amaechi to Wike days. He was a target of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over withdrawals the graft agency did not like (N117Bn).

He has so far chosen the path of silence in the crisis but latest push from the 27-Wike backed lawmakers now threatening impeachment again, and the flow of remarks from Abuja where Wike definitely said both of them have parted ways may have forced to know that the red line has been drawn.

Now, Fubara has warned that he would surprise those who consider his honest decision to implement the presidential peace pact as a sign of weakness. 

Fubara said he had been inundated with several comments in the media about the implementation of the peace initiative, and had chosen to be silent out of maturity and wisdom. 

But, he said, it was important to put the records straight for clarity, and explained that when President Bola Tinubu intervened in the political crisis that engulfed the State on October 30, 2023, the agreement that was accepted was a political solution. 

Gov Fubara said he had since then commenced implementation of the agreement, solely because of his respect for President Tinubu, but cautioned that it appeared that other political actors have taken his humility and compliance as a sign of weakness. 

The governor said: “Let me say it here for record purposes: What is happening here in our dear State is somebody who has respect for an elder.  

“Mr. President invited all the parties to Abuja, and came out with a resolution that we should go and implement. That resolution, I am implementing it. It is not a constitutional implementation. It is a political solution to a problem. 

“And I am doing it because of the respect I have for Mr President. But, let me say it here, if that action that I have accepted to take would be seen as a weakness, I will surprise them. I want this message to go to them.” 

Gov Fubara, who had received members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State on a solidarity rally at Government House Gate, in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, said their large number further went to prove the nature of the organic support his Administration has continued to enjoy from the people of the State. 

“Some days ago, somebody said we are busy renting crowd for thanksgiving. But what I have seen here today, it’s not different from what is happening at those thanksgiving rallies. People are just appreciating God and good governance.” 

Gov Fubara stated that he was mindful of the legacy he would bequeath after his tenure, adding “It should also be about the lives that have been touched genuinely; about the policies implemented (without any inducement) to better the lives of the people and the society.” 

The Governor urged the people to continue to support his Administration, show understanding over actions taken, and obey the rules in a peaceful manner.  

“When you are doing what is right, I will stand by you. Nobody, whether full or half is going to intimidate you. Brace up, I say brace up, because the next step, it will be fire for fire in Rivers State. Everything will be implemented.” 

Gov Fubara said that already, local government workers have started receiving N30,000 minimum wage with promotion to be implemented beginning from April’s salary payment.  

He also promised to set in motion plans to finalise modalities for the implementation of the Consolidated Salary Scale for Grade Level 17, and regular payment of benefits to the local government service retirees. 

“For our people, the great and wonderful people of Rivers State, we will continue to lead you with the fear of God.  

“Maturity is not about age, maturity is in the person. It is what defines the character of a person. I choose not to respond to people that I assumed are matured, but are obviously immature in attitude.  

“I will continue to be mature, not minding my age, but I will not, for any reason, allow myself or anybody who is working with me in this Administration to be messed with, maltreated or abused in the cause of administering this governance.” 

In his speech, the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Apostle Clifford Paul, told the Governor that they were on a Thank-You Rally to show appreciation for his love for the workers. 

Paul stated that Gov Fubara has changed their fortunes and restored hope in them when he directed the payment of N30,000 minimum wage to the workers, and lifted the right-year ban on promotion, which has now placed them at par with their counterparts across the country. 

On his part, the Deputy General Secretary of NULGE, Ajewole Ayedele, who represented his National President, said they were delighted with the pro-people policies of Governor Fubara, particularly for ending the stagnancy and frustration workers suffered.  

Ayedele assured the Governor of the continued support of the union both at the State and national level to his Administration. 

“At our last NEC meeting, when he (State Chairman) was reporting to us that you have done series of things to local government staff, because from history, Rivers State has been a source of mockery to other states in Nigeria when it comes to welfare of local government staff.  

“When he said it, somebody from the North said, that means this new Governor has tried to part away from what he met on ground, because we hsve asking: how on earth is it possible that workers will be on duty for eight years without promotion? 

“But for your wisdom that you have done it for us, we too are going to reciprocate. And I want to assure you, Your Excellency, that anytime you call on us, we are going to come out enmasse to associate with you, to solidarize with you, to continue to pray for you, because of your commitment to our welfare and service,” the national officer added.

On his part, the Rivers State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Alex Agwanwor, said workers have resolved to stand with Governor Fubara because he has demonstrated his love, put smile on their faces and advanced the welfare and growth of the State. 

Agwanwor warned that NLC will not hesitate to occupy anywhere used by the Rivers State House of Assembly members led by Martin Amaewhule, should they begin another impeachment proceedings against the Governor.

He noted that in addition, organised labour would be forced to withdraw their members working with the lawmakers, if they decide to throw caution to the wind. 

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