I appreciate Wike but I won’t worship human being -Fubara

By Dennis Naku

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said that while he appreciates the roles played by past leaders, including his predecessor Nyesom Wike, in his ascension of office, that was not enough for him to worship a human being.

Fubara insisted that there was nothing wrong with one helping another person, but that does not mean the helper should take the place of God.

Fubara spoke when he received on courtesy visit from the Bayelsa State delegation of political and traditional leaders, led by former Governor of the State, Senator Seriake Dickson, at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday. 

This was contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, and sent to newsmen. 

Fubara and Wike have been at loggerheads over the political crisis rocking the state.

Although President Bola Tinubu had, at some points, intervened, the disagreement continued.

The statement quoted the governor as saying that as long as he was concerned, God would remain God, who could sometimes cause one’s enemy to be a willing vessel to bring about one’s promotion in life.

He said, “God can do anything He wants to do when He wants to do it. It is only for us to realise that. God will not come down from Heaven but will pass through one man or woman to achieve His purpose. 

“So, for that reason, when we act, we act as humans; human vessels that God has used, and not seeing yourself as God.

“I want to say this clearly that we appreciate the role our leaders, most especially the immediate past governor, played. But that is not enough for me to worship a human being. I can’t do that.”

Fubara added that in seeking a peaceful resolution to the political crisis that erupted in the state last year, he had attended several reconciliation meetings, whose resolutions the other party had rebuffed.

The governor maintained that he had acted like the big brother in the crisis, not interested in destroying the ‘house’ so that meaningful development could continue to be engendered in the state while securing a tenable political relationship.

The statement further quoted Fubara as saying, “But I know that I have always taken the path of peace. I have shown respect. I’ve subjected myself to every meeting of reconciliation for peace. 

“And what happens, each time we come out from such meetings, we are faced with one thunder or lightning.”

The governor pointed out that when he assumed office, it was with the resolve to build on the existing foundation of the development of past leaders, especially the immediate past governor.

Fubara emphasised that it would have been out of the ordinary to engage in any political fight when there was so much work to be done for the state and its people as their governor.

The governor said he strongly felt that it was proper to set some records straight about what had become of a minor problem that was not uncommon in every human relationship.

He said, “But it is a bad thing when the problem that ought not to be anything, becomes something, and in fact, gets out of the bedroom to the sitting room and to the compound. That is the case of Rivers State today.

“I am also happy that you even mentioned the issues, even when I have all the instruments of state powers. I have shown restraint, and I believe that whoever is alive and has been following the activities of our dear state, knows that I have acted as a big brother in the course of this crisis.

“I have not acted like a young man who may want the house to be destroyed but I have behaved like the mature young man that I am. This is because I know that no meaningful development will be achieved in an atmosphere of crisis. 

“And because our intention for Rivers State is to build on the foundation that had been laid by our past leaders, it will be wrong for me to take the path of promoting crisis. 

“That is why we are still recording the development that you are hearing around Rivers State.”

Fubara took a swipe at the Martin Amaewhule-led group of lawmakers and declared that they do not exist anymore as lawmakers in the eyes of the law.

“Let me say it here, those groups of men who claim that they are assembly members, they are not existing. I want it to be on record. 

“I accepted that peace accord to give them a floating (soft-landing). That’s the truth. There is nothing in that peace accord that is a constitutional issue. It is a political solution to a problem. I accepted it because there were people that were visiting me and we were together in my house. 

“These are people that I have helped… in many ways when I wasn’t even a Governor. Yes, we might have our disagreements, but I believe that one day, we could also come together. That was the reason I did it.

“But I think it has gotten to a time when I need to make a statement on this thing, so that they understand that they are not existing. Their existence and whatever they have been doing is because I allowed them to do so. If I don’t recognise them, they are nowhere, that is the truth,” he said.

Continuing, the governor said: “So, I want you to see the sacrifice I have made to allow peace to be in our State. I can say here, with all amount of boldness, I  have never called any policeman anywhere to go and harass anybody.

“I have never gone anywhere to ask anybody to do anything against anybody. But what happens to the people that are supporting me? They are being harassed, they are being arrested and detained. 

“There is no week that somebody doesn’t come here with one letter of invitation for trump-up charges and all those things. 

“I am saying all these because of what my senior said here: restrain. I don’t think the other party has shown any restraint. I am the one who has shown restraint in the face of this crisis. 

“I am the one that is badly hit, even when I have all the government instruments to shake up the table. But, why will I do it? I believe that peace is the best relationship to cultivate.”

Speaking further, Fubara thanked the delegation for coming to solidarise with him and his Government and noted that there is no complete Rivers State without Bayelsa State and vice versa, which demands that they continue to work together for development.

He said, “We were separated because of political purposes to expand development, but we need to be united so that the economies of these two states will grow. 

“There is no need for us to have any argument over assets, there is no need for us to have a disagreement over the issue of who owns this or who doesn’t own that. 

“One way or the other, we are even inter-related. That is the truth. So, there is no need to fight.”

The governor said he took the initiative of going to see Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State because he wanted an end to the toxic relationship that existed in the past administrations.

“We had our meeting and by the grace of God, we’ve had a very wonderful relationship. He’s always there watching out for me. Even in the face of this crisis, things my commissioner ought to do, when they hide the information from me, he calls me to tell me. 

“You don’t know what I am going through. I am working with my own enemies. Imagine where your Attorney-General will go to sabotage you. It was as bad as that. But, they will get their reward. 

“So, you see, if I had not gone to reconcile with my brother, I would have been in a bigger mess. So, I have already started benefiting, reaping the fruits of that peaceful  relationship.”

Fubara also regretted that Rivers State was experiencing such a protracted political crisis because there were no leaders of conscience who could stand up boldly and mediate on issues without bias.

In his remark earlier, the leader of the delegation and former governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, said their visit was one of solidarity with Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Rivers people who have shown maturity in the face of the political crisis for stability and development to thrive.

He said, “Your Excellency, we will agree that no true brother or even good neighbour can stay unconcerned when the house of a brother or neighbour is on fire or has an issue. Even if there is a small flame, a neighbour or a good brother should be concerned.

“We have come here as your brothers and as good neighbours also. But also in our own right as Rivers people because this State is our Mother State.

“And we are here to show support and solidarity with you, your Government, and most importantly, solidarize with the good people of this State. 

“We have also come with a message Your Excellency, of peace and reconciliation, forgiveness, unity, mutual respect, political maturity and tolerance by all.”

He added that if there is peace and development in Rivers State, the people of Bayelsa State will benefit, and if there is a crisis in the State, his people will suffer as well and called on all sides to give peace a chance.

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