Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said he will not surrender the mandate given to him to serve, protect and advance the fortunes of the state to intimidation and blackmail.
Speaking while declaring open the 115th and 116th combined Quarterly General Meeting of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Governor Fubara reaffirmed his commitment to serve with humility, sincerity of purpose and accountability.
“Although these are trying times, let us not forget that Rivers State is our collective inheritance, presently under my watch, to protect, defend and advance it as the Governor.
“I assure you that I will not fail in this responsibility nor will I surrender our mandate and progress to intimidation, blackmail and deliberate sabotage. I reaffirm my earlier statement and recommit myself to the path of peace as there is nothing to gain in a state of needless crisis,” he said.
Governor Fubara said drastic measures would be taken to strengthen education, healthcare and other social services across the State, so that no part, including the rural areas, will be left behind.
In advancing these human capital development efforts, the governor said the 2024 budget of the state would prioritize and provide sufficient funding to create universal access to affordable and quality education and healthcare services in Rivers State.
“We will also take deliberate steps to unlock the entrepreneurial spirit among our teeming unemployed youths through viable initiatives on skills development, entrepreneurship training and targeted investments in commercial agriculture,” he added.
Fubara urged traditional rulers to be upright and royal fathers of integrity who do not compromise their neutrality.
He also enjoined them to be courageous to speak truth to power so that they do not lose their moral authority and legitimacy before their people.
“We must all be worried about the plight of our youths, especially those in rural communities, most of whom are poor, neglected and almost forgotten in the government’s development plans, policies, and actions.
“As we all know, no human society can progress without peace and security. I will therefore urge you to continue to work tirelessly for the preservation of peace and security to attract sustainable development to your communities,” he said.
The governor also harped on the need for everybody to have faith in the renewed hope agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration at the federal level, asserting that the President had shown determination to pull the nation out of the prevailing economic nightmare and usher in a new era of sustainable economic progress.
In his address, the Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Ohna Sergeant Chidi Awuse, declared the support of the council to the administration of Governor Fubara.
Ohna Awuse urged troublemakers who are fanning the ember of discord to cease from the acts and allow the governor to concentrate and do the work for which he was elected.