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Gov. Fubara opens can of worms, says Wike’s projects debts gargantuan, killing

"The debt burden was imposed by the soaring cost of projects initiated by Wike as many contractors are demanding outstanding payments running into billions of naira"


Rivers Gov. Siminalayi Fubara has opened up on the colossal debts handed down by his predecessor, Mr. Nyesom Wike which he said is bogging down his administration.

According to the governor, the debt burden was imposed by the soaring cost of projects initiated by Wike as many contractors are demanding outstanding payments running into billions of naira.

In spite of the excess funds Wike boasted of, he accused Wike of failing to redeem the debts before handing over power in May 2023.

Fubara made the startling revelation at the inauguration of the Aleto-Ogale-Ebubu-Eteo Road (Old Bori Road) in the Eleme Local Government Area of the state.

He promised to bring to the public domain the white papers specifying the cost of projects when they were inaugurated.

Fubara, who had unfolded plans to probe the administration of his predecessor, was Accountant-General of the state during the period.

He said although he never wanted to speak about the debts, the buttocks of the fowl would have to be exposed because he had been pushed to the wall.

Fubara said the project was awarded to a contractor, ‘CCCC’, on August 14, last year 2023 by his administration to provide a bypass to the bad sections of the Eleme/ East-West Road.

He explained that the project was embarked upon to demonstrate support for the Federal Government because it is a federal road.

Fubara said: “As we are going, we will be going with the white paper to show the records and the amount of the projects. It was awarded at the cost of N6.7bn. I can say that we have paid the contractor completely.

“The purpose of this is to let the world know that if there is one problem this administration has, it is debt. Most of the projects that are commissioned, they are coming for their balanced payment running into billions.

“I said I don’t want to talk because I am part of the system. But when you continue to push me, I will say it so that they will see the nyash of the fowl.”

He added: “Aleto is a bypass,. If you cannot assess the East-West road, it can take you away from the bad section to the good section of the East-West road. Is what we are doing today not a help to the Federal Government and a show that this government has interest and the support and it is doing everything to make the Federal Government succeed?

“So, when people come and say funny things. I start laughing. It is not social media. We are talking about actions. We are taking actions that make positive impact in the lives of our people.”

The governor, who thanked the people of Eleme for their support during the project execution, promised to site more infrastructural projects in the area.

He said: “ I want to thank the good people of Eleme for their support in the course of this project. The contractor never complained because of the cooperation. What we have done today is a sign that if we come back here to take any other project, you are protected.

I can assure you that we are going to come back and do more projects for the good people of Eleme.”

Fubara said Governor Otti was invited to inaugurate the project because he has integrity.

He said: “Why did I invite the governor of Abia State? I invited him because he is not an artificial integrity man. He is an action integrity man. He is not the one that they will gather because they just want to talk.

“He is a man who came in the face of difficulties and challenges just like we have here and is making impact in the lives of Abians.”

On Wike’s comment that his administration fought the then Federal Government, Fubara said the scenarios were different as his government was dealing with the house rat.

He said: “I heard someone saying when we came on board, we were fighting the Federal Government. The Federal Government did not use any instrument in your state to frustrate you. Our scenarios are quite different.

“If we are fighting the Federal government, it is a different matter. We are talking of the Federal Government that is giving us support, but the rat in the house is eating the bag of garri. So, you can imagine such situation. So, I will continue to identify with good governance.”

Fubara, who said that “somebody in the house” was stoking the crisis to distract both the state and federal governments from delivering their promises, vowed to expose the “black leg.”

Inaugurating the project, Abia Gov. Alex Otti cautioned against what he called arrogance in public life, saying nobody can give power, except God.

Otti commended the Rivers governor for executing the road project in Eleme, where he once lived.

He said: “I have always said it that leadership is about service. Anytime leadership departs from service, then, you are getting it wrong. Service should be service to the people, not service to self or very few interests.

“Anytime you are serving few people rather than the majority, you need to go and look at yourself again.

“So, for me, it’s all about good governance. Clearly, Governor Fubara came prepared, and I don’t believe that any distraction is enough to take his focus away from improving the welfare and interest of the people.”

“I can assure you, Rivers people, that the dividends of democracy that you are seeing now are still a dress rehearsal. It is early in the morning, and I am sure that in no distance future, you will be seeing more,” Otti said.

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