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I’m Not Ungrateful Person, Fubara Insists …As Ikwerre Stakeholders Declare Support For Gov

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared that he is not an ungrateful person because he acknowledges and appreciates those who are instrumental to good gestures that had come his way.

The Governor stated that it is due to such well-breed lifestyle and personality that he had never contemplated throwing caution to the wind in handling the current political crisis that is bedeviling the State.

Governor Fubara made the assertion when he hosted on courtesy visit the Stakeholders of Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality, including the leadership of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, the Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, Ikwerre women, opinion and youth leaders, at Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday.

The leadership structure of Ikwerre stakeholders led other paramount rulers, political leaders, leaders of thought, women and youths on the visit to recommit the people of the ethnic nationality to the success of the administration.

Governor Fubara stated that if he were ungrateful, with bad character as canvassed in some quarters, it would have been difficult to hide it for too long from everybody.

He said: “I want to also say this: Fubara is not an ungrateful person. If I were a bad person, you (one) can’t hide character that is bad more than one week, two weeks, one month, one year, two years, eight years, even more than eight years. For 16 years, if I was a bad person, everybody would have known.

“But, even your own child that is in your house that you have given birth to, let us start with even the girl child. It gets to a stage, your girl child will enter the bathroom and lock the door from behind.

“Even if they forcefully put a feeding bottle in my mouth, if I get filled up, won’t I pull it out? So, when people stand outside and say what they say, I want you people to ask them to tell you in their own good conscience, what is that bad thing; that wickedness, that ungratefulness that this man (Fubara) has ever shown or done. But, I leave that one to God who will judge everybody.”

Governor Fubara, however, said the visit was not a time to address those issues surrounding the political crisis but a day to appreciate the delegation and the Almighty God for what He has been doing for the State.

He recalled how people had generated the propaganda of ethnic politics into the crisis but noted that Ikwerre people have come to publicly show support, adding that the solidarity visit explains clearly that they are part of his government and are  supporting it to the end.

Governor Fubara said he has the culture of respect for people, no matter their status, and the larger number of Ikwerre people who acknowledge have come to demonstrate their support to his administration.

The Governor assured that his administration will continue to work with well-meaning people, to execute more development projects in the four local government areas where Ikwerre people are domiciled.

He said: “What kind of support again do I need, when their fathers are here with me to say look, we support you. It is the greatest blessing that any son can get. So, let me thank all the royal fathers, and opinion leaders of Ikwerre (Nation) Worldwide for this support.

“I want to assure you that not minding what is happening, I will not throw caution to the wind. I will continue to appreciate that support you people gave and continue to give to me through one of your sons.

“It doesn’t matter whether the person accepts it or not. I will continue to appreciate it. That one alone is what makes me restrain my action when it gets to that point when I need to act.

“The restrain is because I was a well brought up boy. My story is clean: I wasn’t disowned. I was a pure young man. I served people, and I have genuine record of everything. So, I tell you with all boldness and strength that I am well brought up, and for that reason, I have respect for others.”

Governor Fubara insisted that he will continue to show respect and appreciate people for what they are, and have done rightly.

The Governor stated that he will not take the love of the people for granted, stressing: “I assure you that we are going to work together for the progress and development of our State.

“I just want to appeal to all of you, always stand for what is right. It doesn’t matter whether one million people are at the other side. If you are the only one standing at the right side, stand: you won’t get tired. But those people standing on the wrong side, definitely, they will be exhausted.

“Let me also assure you people that are here and the people that you represent: our government will be a government that will give equal opportunity to everybody. It will be a government that will operate a system where no man is oppressed.

“I will not by any means, directly or indirectly, oppress anybody. I want to leave this office and be a peaceful man, walk the streets without security. That is the greatest achievement of a good leader,” he added.

Governor Fubara, who promised, on behalf of the government, to take over and complete the Obiri Ikwerre Secretariat, donated N100million for the operations of the organisation, as well as a car gift to the President General of Ogbakor Ikwerre Worldwide.

In his speech, the President General of Ogbakor Ikwerre Worldwide, Eze Barrister Godspower Onuekwa, said as Ikwerre people, they have had their turn governing the State, and cannot sit by and watch an unknown person destroy the peace that the Governor has ensured in the State.

While commending the Governor for the numerous development projects being executed across the various Local Government Areas, including those of Ikwerre, Eze Onuekwa, pledged the unalloyed support of the good people of Ikwerre ethnic nationality to the administration.

On his part, the Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, said the stakeholders of Ikwerre ethnic nationality visited to encourage Governor Fubara, who has shown sufficient capacity in governing the State, seen and heard by everybody.

Eze Wodo urged Governor Fubara not to be distracted but remain focused, steer the affairs of the State fearlessly, and be sure of the Ikwerre support.

Also speaking, Senator John Azuta Mbata said Ikwerre people had governed the State for 16 years with support given to them by other ethnic groups in the spirit of inclusive politics, explaining that they cannot, therefore, refuse to support others to peacefully steer the affairs of the State.

He assured that all relevant leaders of Ikwerre ethnic nationality were present to pledge their support to Governor Fubara against his detractors and ensure that the administration succeeds.

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PDP Govs, Others Vow Support For Fubara Lament State Of Economy, Seek Credible Elections

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors, Board of Trustees, National Working Committee and other organs of the party have vowed total support for the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara and his government, saying that they would do everything possible to ensure the resolution of the political crisis in the State.
They have also advised those fanning the embers of conflict and crisis with the aim of distracting the Governor and destabilising the government to desist, and allow him deliver good governance to Rivers people unimpeded.
These, among others, were part of a communique issued at the end of the PDP Governors’ Forum meeting in Government House, Enugu on Wednesday.
The other issues that topped deliberations at the consequential meeting included the upcoming party congresses, Edo and Ondo governorship elections, implications of Supreme Court judgment on local government autonomy, protracted national minimum wage negotiations, State of the economy, among others.
On the Rivers political crisis, the communique, read by the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, stated: “The Forum notes the crises in the Rivers State Chapter of the party and commits to ensuring peace.
“The Forum has resolved to stand by His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, Governor of Rivers State; while at the same time employ wider consultations with stakeholders for a peaceful resolution and thus find a lasting solution to the crises.”
The Governors described as lackluster the approach adopted by All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government in addressing the growing inflation, worsening corruption and falling standard of living in the face of excruciating economic hardship in the country.
He, therefore, tasked the Federal Government to be more pragmatic with tenable policies, actions and programmes that can rescue the economy from the woods, and set it on the path that can provide relief to Nigerians.
Governor Bala said: “The Forum notes with dismay and grave concern the mismanagement of the economy by the APC-led Federal Government.
“The Forum regrets that the 16 years of tremendous development under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government during which the country witnessed single digit inflation, the establishment of the existing anti-corruption institutions, higher standard of living for every Nigerian have been eroding during the last span of the lackluster APC- led Federal Government.
“The Forum identified with Nigeria populace in this troubling times and promises to bring back those good old days of low inflation rate, affordable food, fuel and transportation, steady Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) influx resulting in high naira value and great equality of human life as recorded.
“In that regard, the meeting commended the governors of PDP controlled states for their innovative approaches to governance in many fields, especially infrastructure, education, healthcare, women and youths empowerment initiatives and the timely delivering of developmental projects across the country.
While addressing concerns of Nigerians on the protracted national minimum wage negotiations, he said, “The minimum wage negotiations are becoming unduly protracted. In the face of the attendant unprecedented hardship and impoverishment of majority of our people, the Forum resolves: That labour’s demand for a substantial salary raise is eminently justified, and therefore, commands the total support of the Forum.
“While the Forum fully supports labour’s demand, agreement must take into consideration the ability to pay by the local government, sub-national and Federal Government.
“While negotiations are ongoing, we appeal for restraint in both utterances and actions that could lead to the complete breakdown of law and order and ultimately, the collapse of the economy.
On the upcoming congresses, Governor Mohammed said: “In the spirit of the founding fathers of our great party who adopted internal democracy as the fundamental principle on which our party was built, the congresses leading to the election of party leaders, at the various tiers, must be all-inclusive, transparent, fair and in strict compliance with the Constitution of the party.
“To ensure the successful conduct of the congresses across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”.
Governor Bala also stated that the PDPNGF believes in the efficacy of the local government system, which ensures that governance is brought closer to the people as provided in the Constitution.
It is the reason, he said, the forum will continue to support the autonomy of the local governments as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
On the off season elections in Edo and Ondo, the forum, “Admonishes all the parties to the elections to ensure that campaigns are issues-based, violence-free and in strict compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“Urges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide a level playing field that guarantees transparent, fair and unimpeachable elections as any act of bias will be totally resisted.
“Urges Mr. President to show leadership as a true democrat by refraining from making any statement suggestive of political interference in the entire process.
On the Supreme Court judgement, he said, “The Forum believes in the efficacy of the local government system which ensures that governance is brought closer to the people as provided for in the Constitution.”
He added, we “Will continue to support the autonomy of the Local Governments as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Forum holds the Supreme Court in the highest esteem, and is committed to obedience to court orders. However, the Forum urges that implementation of the court decision must be done in a manner that does not create a trust deficit between the federal governments and sub-national governments while also ensuring that the system does not suffer.”
Those who attended the meeting included: Governor Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) as chairman;
Governor Siminalayi Fubara (Rivers) as vice chairman; Governor Peter Mbah as host; Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa) as member.
Others are: Governor Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom); Governor Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Governor Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta); Governor Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Governor Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Governor Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau); Governor Agbu Kefas (Taraba); and Governor Dauda Lawal (Zamfara).

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Tinubu Tasks Ambassadors On Enhancement Of Economic Value

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President Bola Tinubu received some ambassadors at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
President Tinubu in Abuja called for the enhancement of the economic value of bilateral relations between Nigeria and partner nations.
The president spoke when he received Letters of Credence from the Ambassadors of Portugal, Jorge Adao Martins Dos Santos; the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Biu Quoc Hung; and the State of Kuwait, Salim Khalifa Mohammed Almuzayen, at the Presidential Villa.
Tinubu expressed his appreciation for Nigeria’s long-standing relations with Portugal and the shared interest in the areas of trade and culture, as well as partnership in oil and gas, which had translated into gains for both countries.
“It is good to have you in Nigeria. I am happy you are familiar with Nigeria and the environment.
“I believe that with your presence, our bilateral relations will be further improved. I am happy you are also present in other West African countries.
“I have been informed of your economic interest in Nigeria. We need to work together for more localised productions as regards mineral deposits.
“I have an open-door policy, and you can always reach me through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and my Chief of Staff, Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila,” the president said.
To the Ambassador of Vietnam, President Tinubu said the manufacturing sector in Nigeria was ready to benefit from the automating skills and technology of the Asian country.
“Thank you for coming to work in Nigeria. We share a lot with Vietnam in terms of diversity and values.
“We really value our bilateral agreements with your country, Vietnam, especially in the area of technology. We look forward to adding more value to the partnership with you in terms of collaboration for development,” he said.
President Tinubu also thanked the ambassador of Kuwait for his country’s long-standing good relations with Nigeria and extended his appreciation to the Emir and the Crown Prince.
“I am glad we are pulling strings to enhance the value of our relationship. We are both committed to the development of our people and will explore opportunities for economic ties. I have an open-door policy so you can always reach me,” the president said.
In his response, the Ambassador of Portugal said investors from his country had a keen interest in Nigeria, and that the trade with Nigeria on gas predated the war between Russia and Ukraine, and would be sustained.
“I will work on our agreements on improving economic relations. There is no shortage of interest in the areas of development where we can be partners.
“We are one of the highest buyers of gas from Nigeria, and we remain grateful for the supplies.
“Portuguese companies are also handling the rail line construction from Kano to Niger Republic. It will be ready in two years,” the Portuguese Ambassador said.
His Vietnamese counterpart said: “Under your leadership, I see Nigeria overcoming most of her challenges and taking its place among the happiest people in the world.”
Hung added that he was in the country to strengthen relations and improve economic ties.
The Ambassador of Kuwait assured President Tinubu that he would do his best to strengthen bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of both countries.

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Nigeria Records 22 Building Collapses, 33 Deaths In Seven Months -COREN

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The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), the regulatory body governing the practice of engineering has said that Nigeria recorded 22 building collapse between January to July 2024.
The President of COREN, Prof. Sadiq Abubakar made this known at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
The news conference is themed,’’The Incessant Spate of Building Collapse in Nigeria in Recent Times-A Call for Sustainable Collaboration by All Stakeholders.
Abubakar said that from January to 14 July, alone, at least 22 cases of building collapse have been reported in Nigeria with Lagos accounting for 27.27 per cent, Abuja and Anambra 18.18 per cent each.
He added that Ekiti and Plateau followed with 9.09 per cent each and Kano, Taraba and Niger states accounted for 4.55 per cent each.
’’Records also showed that Lagos takes the lead in the incidences of building collapse.
’’As a matter of fact, over 91 buildings have collapsed resulting in the death of over 354 persons in Lagos from 2012 to date.
’’Similarly in Abuja, about 30 buildings have collapsed from 1993 till date resulting in the death of more than 64 persons and injury of many.
’’The most recent occurrences of building collapse close to DMGS Onitsha , Anambra state on June 12 and that of a school (Saint Academy)in Plateau on July 13 where 22 students died and 134 injured as well as the building collapse in Kubwa , Abuja.
He said that the incidences were worrisome.
According to him, this calls for deep reflection and collaboration of all stakeholders in stemming the tide.
’’While we commiserate with all victims and families, we want to commend the efforts of all emergency and security services for their prompt response at the time.’’
According to Abubabkar , the leading causes of building collapse varies from one location to the other.
He said some building collapse as a result of aging and from some investigations and researches conducted over time, use of substandard construction materials and structural failure were also responsible.
He said that other factors included :illegal change of use of buildings, illegal addition of floors, quackery, inadequate or lack of supervision and oversight.
He added other factors were faulty foundations or lack of conduct of soil/geotechnical investigation, sharp and corrupt practices amongst others.
Abubakar also commended the respective affected state governments for constituting a panel of enquiry to look into the various cases with a view to finding out the immediate and remote causes and preventing future occurrences.
’’This is not the time for apportioning blames or contest of superiority within the built environment but a time for all stakeholders to unite and proffer workable and lasting solution, particularly in the prevention of building collapses.
’’All professionals within the built environment have a role to play in this.
’’In this regard we have identified and categorised many stakeholders that we will be engaging shortly,’’he said
The President said that the proliferation of illegal miners even within residential areas as reported in some quarters was a danger to the structural stability of buildings.
He added that the council had therefore, urged affected states to take urgent steps to reverse the trend adding that it was also time to enforce the compulsory insurance of some building under construction.
Abubakar said that perturbed by the incessant and avoidable incidences of building collapse in Nigeria and loss of lives in recent times, COREN had deemed to make major moves.
He said that COREN had taken some steps in monitoring and prevention of building collapse by training and licensing Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM) inspectors.
Abubakar added that COREN had reconstituted its Council Committee on Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM) and added an additional role of enforcement to its responsibility in line with the amended COREN Act.
He said that COREN had constituted ERM&E Task Force at regional levels including Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, FCT, Gombe and Lagos among other steps to tackle buildingcollapse.

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