Dismissing Peace Pact as Unconstitutional, Fubara Vows to Shock Detractors in Rivers

•Says it will be fire for fire next  

•NULGE, NLC pledge allegiance to his govt

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

With gloves now off and bare-knuckle fight next, the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, yesterday, vowed to shock all his detractors bent on seeing his government fail.

Fubara gave the warning when he received members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) from the 23 Local Government Areas of the State on a solidarity rally at the Government House gate, in Port Harcourt.

He said he would surprise those who considered his honest decision to implement the presidential peace pact as a sign of weakness, warning that the next time there were false moves, it would be fire for fire.

The governor, who dismissed the presidential intervention as unconstitutional, said he had been observing several comments in the media on the implementation of the peace agreement, but chose to be silent out of maturity and wisdom.

He 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.

Fubara said, he had since then commenced implementation of the agreement, solely because of his respect for President Tinubu, but regretted that  other political actors had 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.”

Fubara said NULGE’s large number at the solidarity rally further proved 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, is not different from what is happening at those thanksgiving rallies. People are just appreciating God and good governance,” he said.

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.”

He said already, local government workers had started receiving N30,000.00 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.

His words: “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 NULGE, Mr Clifford Paul, told the governor that they were on a ‘Thank-You Rally’ to show appreciation for his love for the workers.

Paul confirmed that Fubara had changed their fortunes and restored hope in them when he directed the payment of N30,000.00 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,  Mr Ajewole Ayodele, who represented his National President, said they were delighted with the pro-people policies of the Fubara administration, particularly for ending the stagnancy and frustration workers suffered.

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

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

Agwanwor warned that NLC would not hesitate to occupy anywhere used by the Rivers State House of Assembly members led by Rt. Hon. 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 decided to throw caution to the wind.

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