Opinion: Appraising Fubara’s One-Year Footprints in Rivers

NV News

By Tony Uwakwe

After the storm comes the calm; this is the case of Rivers State under Governor Siminalayi Fubara. In one year, he threaded on a path not many would dare. His message was consistent with the oath of office to serve the people, not individuals. In one year, he has recorded incredible feats despite all the distractions.

Governor Siminalayi Fubara is a man who has the interest of the people of Rivers State at heart. According to him, if he has to fight so that the people can be liberated, so be it. He has done this much in the last year in office and has commendable projects to show for it.

Rivers people are indeed indebted to him for braving the odds to free the state from the clutches of a select few who see the resources of the state as their birthright.  This is indeed a worthy cause, and I can say that the governor has written his name in gold regarding the history of Rivers State.

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The achievements recorded in one year remain outstanding. The state has remained a beehive of activities in critical sectors. As a fact, almost all sectors of the state are receiving the deserved attention. This only happens when a leader puts the people’s interests first and above personal interests.

Rivers State remains a good example that other states should emulate. Only when our leaders put the people’s interest at heart will our quest for sustainable growth and development remain a mirage.

Many commentaries have been written about his modest achievements in office. It is a testament to his passion and dedication to turn around the state’s fortunes. He is not given to grandstanding. It is not an attribute that relates to his personality. The reason is simple. Rivers people deserve more due to the economic resources in the state.

At the clock of four years in office, the people of Rivers state will nickname him the “Special One” who came, saw and conquered. From all indications, Rivers state shall be great again, and the people will line up solidly behind him should he seek re-election.

It would be a formality because his records would speak for him, and the only choice the people would have is to give him the mandate to consolidate his efforts towards making the state great again.

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I recall that someone mentioned that Governor Fubara is a magician. I agree because only a magician does what he has done in one year in office despite the challenges he encountered. He was resolute with his blueprint for development. Many would have buckled if faced with such situations. But not Fubara because he has a brave heart and came prepared to do what is right, as evident in the numerous projects commissioned in the state.

Roads across the local government areas in the state are receiving attention. Under his leadership, health care for rural dwellers has also received adequate attention, as well as in the educational sector.

The beauty of Governor Fubara’s one year in office is that he has been able to douse ethnic tension in the state. He has made Rivers people realize that though tongues differ, there is one Rivers state. This is also remarkable and a disconnect from previous administrations that entrenched ethnicity in governance and gave birth to ethnic tension in the state. This, we must admit, gave birth to insecurity in the state.

Under Governor Fubara, the case is now different. Rivers people were united in one voice to fight for a just cause in the interest of the state. Various ethnic groups embraced one another because the governor was not selective in the development of the state. It is instructive to state that places that deserve interventions are given attention, not of their location or ethnicity.  

I salute the courage of Governor Siminalayi Fubara in hitting the ground running in piloting the affairs of the state in the last year. His mission was clear: he wanted a state its indigenes would proudly call home. He has achieved this much in one year in office. It remains unprecedented in the annals of the state.

The fact that Rivers state has abundant resources, yet the people are lacking, is an anomaly that Governor Fubara is addressing given the proper support and cooperation. At this point, there is no doubt he has performed creditably well in one year in office.

The country needs braver hearts like Governor Fubara to address its myriad challenges. He has redefined leadership by exhibiting courage in the face of adversity. This is an attribute that the majority of those in leadership positions lack.

The Rivers example should reverberate across the country. It is an example of courage, dedication and passion. These attributes are necessary for translating our hopes and aspirations into tangible realities. I doff my hat to the governor of Rivers State. He is a man on a mission. And posterity will be kind to him.

There is nothing more to say than that Rivers State is on the path to greatness with Governor Siminalayi Fubara at the helm of affairs. It is what it is.

Uwakwe is a public affairs analyst writing from Abuja.

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