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Rivers’ Journey of Transformation Under Fubara* By Paul Thomas

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*Rivers’ Journey of Transformation Under Fubara*

By Paul Thomas

 

As I stepped into Rivers State, I was bracing myself for accounts of a prolonged and bitter conflict, perpetuated largely through social media and fueled by a dominant narrative that has come to define the state in recent times – one of incessant strife and unyielding hostility. Expecting to witness chaos and turmoil, I was prepared to encounter a state mired in political squabbles and clashes, as sensationalized by the headlines. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a vastly different reality. Instead of the anticipated disorder, I was met with a transformative landscape that told a more comprehensive and optimistic story, one that is frequently obscured by the din of political theatrics. Under the visionary stewardship of Governor Sim Fubara, Rivers State is undergoing a remarkable renaissance. In a mere 10 months, Fubara has spearheaded numerous projects, effecting a radical overhaul of the state’s infrastructure and ushering in an era of peace and security, thereby redefining the very fabric of the state.

One of the most striking aspects of Governor Fubara’s administration is his commitment to peace and security. During my visit, I observed a palpable sense of calm and safety. People went about their daily activities without fear, a stark contrast to the tense atmosphere that once pervaded the state. This peace is not accidental; it is the result of deliberate policies and actions by the governor. His administration has prioritized security, investing in the police force and implementing measures to curb crime and violence. The once-turbulent state now exudes an aura of calm, an evidence to Fubara’s commitment to security. But it’s the infrastructure development that truly left me in awe.

In this last 10 months, Governor Fubara has embarked on an ambitious journey to reshape Rivers state. From the bustling city of Port Harcourt to the serene rural areas, the signs of progress are evident. Roads are being constructed and rehabilitated, schools are being renovated, and healthcare facilities are being upgraded.

One of the most impressive projects is the reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Aba Road, a critical artery connecting the state’s economic hubs. This thoroughfare, once notorious for its deplorable condition, has been transformed into a modern, safe, and efficient transportation route.

Governor Fubara has recently reaffirmed his commitment to delivering the highly anticipated 12.5km Trans-Kalabari Road project, and has taken a significant step towards realizing this promise by paying 30 percent of the contract sum to mobilize the contractors to commence work on the project, thereby ensuring its timely completion. This development has brought immense joy to the people of Kalabari Kingdom, who have long awaited the transformation of the swampy areas, and are eager to reap the economic benefits that the completion of the road project will bring. By taking concrete action to fulfill his promise, Governor Fubara has demonstrated to his people that he is a leader who not only makes promises but also manifests them, thereby earning their trust and admiration.

Fubara’s team has also made significant strides in healthcare, with the establishment of world-class medical facilities and the revitalization of existing ones. The Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, a flagship project, has become a beacon of hope for quality healthcare in the region.

The realm of education, a crucial facet of societal advancement, has been accorded significant consideration by Fubara’s administration, which has undertaken a multifaceted approach to enhance the sector. Not only have schools been constructed and renovated, but also a conducive learning environment has been fostered, enabling students to thrive academically. Moreover, the introduction of innovative programs and scholarships has empowered the youth, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in an increasingly complex world, thereby brightening their future prospects.

Furthermore, the governor’s unwavering commitment to infrastructure development has extended to the state’s waterways, with the construction of modern jetties and terminals, which has not only augmented transportation but also stimulated economic activities, creating novel opportunities for trade and commerce to flourish.

The incessant unveiling of projects serves as a testament to the unwavering commitment of Governor Fubara’s administration to crafting a more affluent and thriving future for Rivers State. These projects, while indispensable for the state’s advancement, transcend mere physical edifices; they embody the very essence of a revitalized Rivers State, one that is forging ahead with unyielding resolve and unwavering purpose.

What left an indelible mark on my psyche was the palpable sense of pride and proprietorship exhibited by the residents. They spoke of Fubara’s projects with an air of possessiveness, expressing heartfelt gratitude for the profound and transformative impact on their daily lives, thereby underscoring the profound connection and sense of belonging that has been fostered between the government and the governed.

Fubara’s administration has tackled the state’s longstanding challenges with a multifaceted approach. From road construction to healthcare and education, every sector has received a boost. The governor’s dedication to creating a conducive environment for growth and prosperity is palpable.

Yet, despite these positive developments, the narrative about Rivers state in the media remains largely negative. The feud between Governor Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, dominates the headlines, overshadowing the transformative work being done in the state. This focus on conflict is not only misleading, but it also does a disservice to the people of Rivers state, who are eager to move beyond the past and embrace the future.

Governor Fubara is not a man easily swayed by distractions. He remains focused on his vision for Rivers state, a vision of growth and prosperity. His commitment to this vision is evident in his actions. Despite the challenges and obstacles, he continues to push forward, undeterred by the noise and distractions.

My journey through Rivers State revealed a narrative beyond the feud – a tale of transformation, progress, and hope. Governor Fubara’s infrastructure revolution has set the state on a path towards sustainable growth and prosperity, inspiring a new generation of Rivers indigenes. The old narratives of conflict and feud are slowly being replaced by stories of progress and development. And at the center of this transformation is Governor Fubara, a leader who is not just building infrastructure, but also building hope.

It is imperative that we redirect our attention away from the protracted and contentious rivalry between Fubara and Wike, and instead devote our energies to acknowledging and appreciating the transformative initiatives underway in Rivers State. Let us commemorate the significant advancements achieved thus far, confront the obstacles that lie ahead with courage and resilience, and offer our unwavering support to the ongoing pursuit of a more prosperous and enlightened Rivers State. For ultimately, it is not the conflicts and discord that define our character, but our capacity to transcend them and pave a path towards progress and growth. And under the visionary leadership of Governor Fubara, Rivers State is indeed charting a course towards a brighter future, one marked by tangible progress and unwavering determination.

This is a call to action. A call to change the narrative about Rivers state, to focus on the positive developments, and to support the transformative journey being led by Governor Fubara. For it is in this journey that the true story of Rivers state lies, a story of resilience, progress, and hope.

Rivers under Governor Fubara is a state in transformation. It is a state that is shrugging off the shadows of its past and embracing a brighter future. It is a state where the daily lives of its residents are improving, where security is being restored, and where development projects are being executed with impressive efficiency. Amidst the noise of political rivalry, this is the narrative that deserves to be heard. This is the Rivers that I saw, and this is the Rivers that Governor Fubara is building.

As I left the state, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of optimism, knowing that Fubara’s vision will continue to shape a brighter future for Rivers.

Thomas is a UK trained freelance journalist writing from London.

Politics

SANWO-OLU: WE’LL ARREST THOSE BEHIND KIDNAPPING OF LEBANESE NATIONALS 

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SANWO-OLU MOURNS MEDICAL DOCTOR, DR. DIASO, ORDERS IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION

Says Lagos will not condone people with evil intentions

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday vowed to arrest perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of the three Lebanese nationals, including the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited, Muhammed Fouani, saying his government would not condone people of evil intentions in the State.

He assured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, of adequate security in the state, saying his administration is committed to making the State peaceful, attractive and homely.

Governor Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Revd. Israel Akanji, and his entourage at the Lagos House, Alausa, on Wednesday.

The Governor, while confirming the kidnapping and release of three Lebanese, said the incident happened on the big water on their way to Ikorodu and not around Five Cowry in Falomo, as reported.

He said, “The security of life and property is paramount, and we do not leave anything to chance on that. The very recent incident that happened in Lagos was about the kidnapping of three members of our Lebanese community. We are happy that they have been released, and this morning (Wednesday), I met with them, and we have useful information to ensure that the perpetrators of the act are not going to be spared.

“We know we have an idea of how far they have gone, and we will do everything to ensure that we do not give them a space in our city and state. I want to assure all our citizens and businesses, both national and international, that Lagos will continue to remain safe and peaceful. People thought the incident happened around the Five Cowry, Falomo. No, it actually happened on the big water on the way to Ikorodu. So they were not even around Falomo.

“We want to assure you that we are on top of it. The security operatives are combing all the necessary areas. This is a strong signal that Lagos will not condone such people with evil intentions. They do not deserve any sort of recognition. So, we will continue to make Lagos peaceful. We will continue to make it attractive and homely. We will continue to ensure that businesses thrive. We will ensure people live and work in a conducive environment.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu, while responding to the request of the Nigerian Baptist Convention to host the annual Baptist World Alliance in Nigeria for the first time in over a century, promised to ensure a safe and delightful experience for all foreign religious tourists coming to Lagos next month for the convention, noting that religious organisations are stakeholders in governance.

He said, “Nigeria and Lagos are ready to host the world. We believe it is a thing of joy and celebration to be acknowledged and identified with not only the African body but the global body of the Baptist Convention.

“We want to assure all the international visitors that will be coming that Lagos State Government will support you. We will ensure that we provide additional security in and around the hotel environment so that everybody will feel safe and will also taste the hospitality of Lagos.”

Speaking earlier, the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Revd Akanji, commended the giant strides of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, especially in food and transport palliatives for residents during these economic challenges in the country.

“We want to appreciate a lot of reforms going on in Lagos State. We want to thank you for the transportation. Rail transportation has brought a lot of conveniences to our people. We want to thank you for your consideration concerning the staggering number of days of work for staff. That has brought relief to so many of our people. We want to thank you for your proactiveness all the time when it has to do with health care. We also thank you for the security in Lagos State,” he said.

Revd. Akanji, who is the President of the African Baptist Convention, solicited the support of the Lagos State Government to host the annual Baptist World Alliance, which has its headquarters in the United States of America.

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LG Chairmen Tenure: Gov Fubara Deserves Nobel Peace Prize – Nigerians In Diaspora*

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*LG Chairmen Tenure: Gov Fubara Deserves Nobel Peace Prize – Nigerians In Diaspora*

 

 

The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group (NDMG) has nominated Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the Nobel Peace Prize for saving democracy and eschewing illegality in Rivers State.

The group, in a statement on Tuesday, said the governor was brave, decisive and swift to direct Heads of Local Government Administration to assume responsibility for the 23 council areas.

Recall that Governor Fubara ordered elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors to step aside on Monday after the expiration of their three-year tenure.

In the statement signed by Dr Markson Martins, the Diaspora group hailed the governor for skillfully avoiding potential criminality and a breakdown of law and order with a view towards a peaceful transition.

Martins said Fubara embodies the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize, adding that his unwavering commitment to democracy, stability, and the well-being of his people makes him an inspiration to Nigerians and a shining example for African leaders.

The group, therefore, urged other Nigerian leaders to emulate Governor Fubara’s exemplary leadership, prioritizing the rule of law, democracy, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

“We proudly nominate Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize. This recognition is in honour of his exemplary leadership and commitment to upholding democracy in Rivers State,” Martins said.

“Recently, Governor Fubara demonstrated his dedication to the rule of law by directing Heads of Local Government Administration to assume responsibility for the 23 council areas.

“This decisive action followed the expiration of the three-year tenure of elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen, and councillors. By taking this step, he skillfully avoided potential illegality and a breakdown of law and order, ensuring a peaceful transition.

“Governor Fubara’s leadership embodies the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize. His unwavering commitment to democracy, stability, and the well-being of his people makes him an inspiration to Nigerians and a shining example for African leaders.

“His actions have not only maintained peace in Rivers State but also strengthened trust in government. We urge the Nobel Committee to recognize Governor Fubara’s remarkable achievement and award him the Nobel Peace Prize.

“His leadership is a beacon of hope for Nigeria and Africa, and this recognition will further inspire him and other leaders to prioritize peace, democracy, and the greater good.

“We call on other Nigerian leaders to emulate Governor Fubara’s exemplary leadership, prioritizing the rule of law, democracy, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.”

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RE: ON ICAO’S DAMNING REPORT ON NIGERIAN AIRSPACE SECURITY.

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Keyamo

RE: ON ICAO’S DAMNING REPORT ON NIGERIAN AIRSPACE SECURITY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— A REPLY TO ONE ILIYASU GADU WHO HAS BEEN HIRED TO ATTACK FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN

 

 

 

 

 

Tunde Moshood

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That We are aware that a certain former Minister met with some so-called ‘online influencers’ and some hack writers in Abuja some weeks ago and the agenda was simply on how to generate comments, articles and editorials and plant them in various media against no other person than the current Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN to water down the efforts he’s presently making to reposition the aviation sector as mandated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

 

 

 

 

 

RE: ON ICAO’S DAMNING REPORT ON NIGERIAN AIRSPACE SECURITY. 

 

 

 

 

They have since embarked on a well-oiled campaign of calumny against the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo SAN CON, FCIarb (UK). This coordinated attack is clearly driven by their total discomfort over the Honourable Minister’s commendable performance and focus on key issues in that sector which has confounded even his fiercest critics.

 

 

 

 

 

So, we know where Iliyasu Gadu is coming from.

 

Of course, the push-back by the reactionary forces should be expected. Beneficiaries of the old, decadent order will hardly ever give up old privileges without a fight. But, definitely, in the eyes of right-thinking Nigerians, the honourable minister is doing a damn good patriotic job by restoring the culture of sanity, efficiency and accountability in the aviation sector, consistent with President Tinubu’s renewed Hope Agenda.

 

In the last few weeks, the paymaster and his hirelings wrote and planted an editorial in one of the nation’s major dailies complaining about Keyamo’s alleged ‘interference’ in what they see as ‘regulatory issues on safety’. Apparently pained by the wide applause that has greeted the Minister’s bold initiatives both in the media and civic space, these disgruntled elements decided to generate a laughable and warped ‘fact-check’ on the stated achievements with a view to discrediting them. But knowledgeable folks who read the so-called ‘fact-check’ only laughed out so loud that they could not help but call for another fact-check to check the fact-checker!

 

In the latest baseless criticism, Iliyasu Gadu referred to Mr. Keyamo as ‘embattled’. Haba! Who could be more embattled than his paymaster who has been running from pillar to post to clear himself of barrage of corruption charges, ineptitude during his tenure and fraudulent projects he embarked upon?

 

The Honourable Minister has consistently demonstrated exemplary leadership and strategic acumen, earning him accolades and admiration from members of the public. Any attempt to discredit him, particularly by a former Minister whose reputation is already tarnished, is not only baseless but also a desperate bid to deflect from his own failures.

 

“Alarmist” Gadu’s spurious claims, particularly regarding the ICAO score, are unfounded. The recent 71% ICAO score is a reflection of systemic issues inherited from previous administration, and not as a result of Mr. Keyamo’s stewardship of just nine months. It was Mr. Keyamo’s brilliance and managerial expertise that steered the nation through the ICAO audit process, mitigating what could have been worse situation. Mr. Keyamo has since set up a Ministerial team, headed by himself and to be meeting monthly, to prepare for the next audit, something never done before in the sector. In fact, in Gadu’s confused state, on the one hand, he blames Mr. Keyamo for the ICAO’s score which happened under Keyamo’s watch (he feels Mr. Keyamo could have done more to remedy the situation), yet in the same breath, he criticises Mr. Keyamo for ‘interference’ in regulatory matters. Haba! He needs to clear his head properly and further consult his paymaster as to whether they should criticise Mr. Keyamo for safety issues or tell Mr. Keyamo to totally keep off safety issues.

 

Furthermore, on the issue of the Abuja second runway and the land dispute with the Jiwa Community, the facts speak for themselves. The head of the Jiwa Community himself, HRH Dr. IDRIS MUSA (MFR) (Sarkin jiwa), at different public fora openly acknowledged the sterling role Mr. Keyamo played the moment he assumed office in resolving the major part of the issues, allowing the contractors to immediately move to site. He was ably assisted by his counter-part in the FCT Ministry. This information is readily available and corroborated by numerous sources, contrary to the misleading narratives propagated by “Alarmist” Gadu and his cohorts. And at no point did he claim to have resolved, singlehanded, the issue. It is purely an Inter-Ministerial synergy between the FCT and the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development. So what’s the basis of the fact-check agenda for? Envy or vendetta?

 

Regarding the payment of backlog of funds owed to foreign airlines, the Honourable Minister’s diplomatic engagements were pivotal in resolving an issue that had threatened to paralyze the nation’s aviation sector, inflicting untold hardship and financial stress on the travelling public. His efforts, both domestically and internationally, underscore his commitment to the sector’s growth and stability. It was clear that he worked closely with the CBN to highlight the importance of prioritising his sector and the CBN heeded his passionate plea and responded. So, the question is: if the CBN itself has not disputed his claims, who are these faceless fellows disputing his claim?

 

The claim that the Air Peace Lagos- Gatwick route was secured during the last administration is equally laughable. The CEO of AIR PEACE himself, Allen Onyeama, went round media houses, reeling out the various efforts of Mr. Keyamo to make this happen, including several trips to the UK and the pressure he put on the UK authorities. That is hearing from the proverbial horse’s mouth. As reported by Daily Independent Newspapers on January 27, 2024, Mr. Keyamo led a delegation to the United Kingdom to tidy up the final conversations of the Airpeace London Gatwick operations. Here’s the link, https://independent.ng/fg-reinstates-commitment-towards-supporting-nigerian-airlines-growth/. It is, therefore, foolhardy of anyone to suggest that the Minister needs another meeting with his UK counterpart after the inaugural flight. Of what relevance will that be?

 

In summary, the baseless attacks orchestrated by Iliyasu Gadu and his cohorts are a feeble attempt to malign Honourable Minister Keyamo. It is clearly the voice of Esau and the hand of Jacob. Such efforts will not deter the Minister from his mission to enhance the aviation sector and deliver on his mandate. The public is encouraged to see through these unfounded allegations and recognize the significant strides being made under Minister Keyamo’s leadership.

 

We advise Iliyasu and his gang of “influencers” that Mr. Keyamo is an old war-horse in various battles for many decades now and they are very much welcome to this one.

 

 

Tunde Moshood

SA Media and Communications to the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development

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