Nigeria: ‘I Feel Heavy in My Spirit, It’s Not Been Easy,’ Fubara Says of Rivers Crisis

The Rivers House of Assembly, which is loyal to Mr Wike, recently stripped Governor Fubara of powers to appoint officials for the local councils in the state.

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has disclosed how the political crisis in the state is taking a toll on his emotional well-being.

Mr Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, who is the FCT minister, have been engaged in a fierce tussle over the control of governance and politics in the oil-rich state.

The Rivers House of Assembly, which is loyal to Mr Wike, recently stripped Governor Fubara of powers to appoint officials for the local councils in the state. Even members of Mr Fubara’s cabinet have pledged their loyalty to Mr Wike.

“I feel heavy in my spirit. It’s not been easy, I can say it,” Mr Fubara said on Sunday at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Opobo Town, Opobo Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State, at a thanksgiving service to celebrate the Supreme Court judgment which affirmed his election as Rivers governor.

The event coincided with the 49th birthday of the governor and was marked at the service which was live-streamed on Facebook.

Mr Fubara hails from Opobo Nkoro Local Government Area of the state.

In his remarks at the service, Mr Fubara said his family were suffering because of the political crisis in the state.

He told the congregants that a lot of people who ought to have attended the thanksgiving service were absent, apparently referring to Mr Wike, who is now the FCT minister.

“I want to ask a question. When I look at your faces, I see so much excitement, I see happiness. But the question is, am I happy? That is the question, am I happy?

“Does God give you a gift or a blessing and add sorrow to it?

“No,” the congregants retorted.

“So when I look at your faces how happy you are, even when I feel heavy in my spirit. I’m encouraged to be happy. That’s how I feel. It’s not been easy, I can say it.

“A lot of people who started this journey with us, ought to have been here with us but unfortunately they are not here. God knows why. You can’t question the almighty. But one thing we can’t take away is that God does not make any mistakes.

“It is a glory to say thank you to God. It gives me extra energy to continue with the battle. It is a battle, but no battle can be bigger than God.”

To end the political crisis in the state, President Bola Tinubu brokered a controversial peace deal between Messrs Fubara and Wike last month.

Mr Fubara acknowledged the president’s support. The governor also acknowledged the support from his own family.

“I want to thank my family. They are suffering, that is the truth. They are suffering because of this cause. You just have to be strong and understand that after a while, you will get me back.

“Maybe, I will take the birthday happiness to make myself happier than I was when I was coming. But in all, I want to ask that you all continue to pray for peace.

“We came in, we were selected because they believe we have something to do for our state. We have not been given the opportunity to do those things that we ought to do.

“We have had a lot of distractions but I strongly believe that while we navigate the part of peace, prayer is also needed for us to pass over this phase.

“We need peace, total peace on all sides so that we can focus and deliver the dividends of democracy. And this victory I dedicate it to peace,” Governor Fubara said.

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