President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said yesterday that neither Rivers State nor Nigeria has any business being associated with poverty, insecurity or under-development.
He assured that under his leadership, the narrative will be permanently and positively changed in a country that is blessed with enormous human capacity and natural resource wealth.
Welcoming a high-powered 62-man Rivers State delegation, comprising of leaders from both the governing All Progressives’ Congress (APC) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to the presidential villa, the president said the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has left big shoes to fill for the new Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.
A statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, quoted Tinubu as saying as one of his most trusted allies Rivers State will always have direct access to him in their joint march towards sustainable development.
He said, “We are not meant to be in a position to be poor. We will turn the tide! Somewhere, somehow in this storm, there’s a quiet and peaceful place for us. We will locate it!
“We are not lazy people. We are richly endowed. We just need to be our brother’s keeper, and good neighbours to one another. I am not a President that will give excuses. I will work hard for our nation with purpose, determination and dedication to create wealth for all Nigerians. We have no reason to be poor! We will not look back, we will run aggressively forward.
“Today, we may be swimming against the tide. But the waves will soon propel us forward from behind. We will achieve the goals and dreams of our forefathers. I am inspired by the nation of people I now lead”.
Tinubu noted that concerning infrastructure development in Rivers State, he had heard the cries of prominent Rivers sons, with particular reference to the Eleme Junction-One axis of the East-West Road linking the Port Harcourt Refinery.
On this, the president said the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, is a strong adviser, and would follow up on the issue for prompt action.
“The honourable minister, Wike, is not just the minister of FCT; he is also my adviser and an admirer of mine. He has hit the ground running and he should be encouraged by the state,” the president affirmed.
Advising the younger generation to be more patient with the processes of government, the president said, “I am the Captain and Chief Salesman of the country. We have to reverse the trend and achieve possibilities within a short period of time. Our people have high expectations for us. I pledge to work hard, and I pray to God to put me on the right path, not to disappoint Nigerians”.
In his remarks, Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, told the president that the delegation, which included leaders of political parties, and past and present members of the State and National Assemblies across parties, was on a solidarity and thank you visit.
“The people of Rivers State voted for you in the last general elections based on their belief in fairness, equity and justice. This is the first time that Rivers State is truly feeling the impact of the federal government since the inception of democracy in 1999,” he said.
The governor noted that the delegation greatly appreciate the president for appointing capable sons and daughters of the state into highly strategic positions within his administration.
The governor particularly thanked the president for the appointments of the FCT minister, Wike; special adviser to the president on Media and Publicity & Official Spokesperson of the President, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, as well as other sons and daughters of Rivers State into the boards and management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other institutions.
The governor applauded the president for attracting a $14 billion dollars investment approval for projects nationwide during the G-20 Summit, including the expansion of Indorama Petrochemicals in Eleme, Rivers State, adding that the state had just allocated 209 hectares of land in support of the new investment.