• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Land grabbers file 52 lawsuits against Rivers State government

Land grabbers file 52 lawsuits against Rivers State government

…As Fubara says only strong PPP can save Amaechi’s monorail project

Land grabbers are not joking as they have filed over 52 lawsuits against the owners of the land, in this case, the Rivers State government.

The Governor, Sim Fubara, who revealed this to media executives, said the land grabbers have become formidable.

He said that even lands acquired and paid for by the state government have been captured by the grabbers. Many citizens have cried out against attacks by the grabbers who use uniformed men to overpower everyone else.

Also, the monorail project can only bounce back if private investors can show interest.

The much-vilified monorail project in Port Harcourt may bounce back under Governor Sim Fubara, but that would be if a strong private investor showed up.

The governor, who disclosed this said if a well-crafted public private partnership (PPP) is done with a strong financier, the project could be resurrected.

This is as the governor has clarified that the present administration will not go into the completion of the monorail project initiated by the Chibuike Amaechi-led government, except a serious private sector investor decides to commit resources to the project under a well-defined private public partnership arrangement.

Governor Fubara has also revealed that land grabbers in Rivers State, a new set of land terrorists, have filed over 52 lawsuits against the state government.

He said the state government under Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had actually acquired and fully paid for the lands but that land grabbers have encroached on them and have gone to court to stop the government.

The state chief executive officer said these while addressing officers of the standing committee and members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) led by the President, Eze Anaba, at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Port Harcourt last Sunday.

Also on the delegation were chief executive officers, heads of stations, editors, heads and managers of news of other media outfits located in the Rivers State capital, as well as leaders of the state council of Nigeria Union of Journalists and Correspondents Chapel of NUJ, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and Rivers State Independent Publishers’ Association (RIVPA).

The governor explained that detractors were desperately attempting to frustrate and embarrass the state government’s dogged efforts to provide the dividends of democracy to the people on whose mandate it was striving to legitimately and constitutionally serve the interest of the state.

President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Eze Anaba making his remarks during the Guild’s Standing Committee meeting with the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Port Harcourt.

Fubara listed attempts to scuttle the process of governance in the state, including the clandestine calls to some key speakers and prominent personalities invited to participate at the just-concluded Rivers Economic and Investment Summit not to associate with his administration, or participate in the programme designed to reposition the state for robust investments and progressive economic rejuvenation.

He said that it took the courage of some of the speakers and invited guests to honour the government and participate fully in the programme.

He also drew the editors’ attention to efforts to frustrate the revival and completion of the Port Harcourt International Automobile Spare Parts Trading and Commercial Centre just flagged-off at Iriebe in Elelenwo, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area about a month ago by cajoling the previous contractors who had abandoned the project due to lack of support to sue the state government to court, to derail the project.

He noted that this was after his administration had settled and paid off the initial contractors engaged by the previous administration on the project, adding that because of the reputation and integrity of the contractors, they declined to follow the path of dishonour and sabotage of the greater good and interest of the state.

Fubara also highlighted the challenges faced by the government on the construction of the 20,000 housing units in Mgbodo-Aluu axis of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development area in Ikwerre Local Government, saying that the investors in the project have faced litigations from land grabbers sponsored by opposition elements targeting to scuttle the government.

He explained that the massive lands duly acquired and paid for by the Chibuike Amaechi-led administration at the area have been deliberately encroached on by sponsored land grabbers who had emerged to claim ownership of the lands and have already instituted no fewer than 52 litigations against the government for lands the government had paid for many years ago.

Governor Fubara emphasised that despite the many deliberate sabotage efforts and political crisis engineered by his detractors, his administration has remained focused on the ball, and has consciously recorded significant successes within its one year in office but four months of full control of governance of the state.

He restated the “Rivers People First” mantra of his administration, saying that he expend Rivers money to deliver quality services and good governance to Rivers people, and not one individual or group of few desperate politicians angling to satisfy their selfish desires and ambitions.

He said: “We are a government legitimately and constitutionally constituted in the State. It is our duty to carry out the function and act of governance properly. But somehow, we have some issues which I won’t want to dwell on.

“Like I said, we have to move on, and moving on is where we are today. By the special grace of God, we have recorded successes. We might not have gotten it the way it would have been, if everything was fine. It takes a government that is courageous to do what we have done.”

He noted that at the inception of his administration a year ago, strategies were put in place to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State, adding that good money was saved which is being committed to landmark projects that are now ongoing in the state.

The Governor explained that his administration decided to execute key signature projects that had been avoided by previous administrations because their impact would add significant value to the lives of the people and spike the revenue profile of the State to enable it bounce back as a buoyant economic hub and compete favourably with Lagos, including deepening its potential in the blue economy. He also listed some of the roads.

Fubara disclosed desperate and spirited efforts by detractors to sabotage his administration at every point in its determination to deliver good governance and quality services to Rivers people.

Governor Fubara emphasised that he would like to be remembered for, by not just the signature road projects with legacy bridges and flyovers, but sustainable impact on human capital and manpower development and as well as other critical infrastructure landmarks to bridge the healthcare and education gaps in the state.

The governor said that out of the whopping sum of N195billion total cost, excluding compensation, 77 percent of the sum amounting to N147billion has been paid to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc handling the Port Harcourt Ring Road, with significant work already done from six sections of the projects.

He also noted that the Trans-Kalabari Road project, which was flagged-off by former President Goodluck Jonathan on May 20, would cost a total of N225.1billion, out of which 30 percent, amounting to N67billion has been paid upfront to facilitate mobilization and fast-track construction work in the difficult deltaic terrain.

The governor further said that the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road project would cost the government a staggering N80.8billion, out of which N40.4billion, representing 50percent of the contract sum has been paid, adding that the government decided to award contract for the road to save lives of people from that axis of the State from criminal gangs, open up the area to increase business activities and connectivity while facilitating communication of the people through land routes to Imo State.

He stressed that apart from the Port Harcourt Ring Road, which was being funded from loan facility, the three key projects of Trans-Kalabari Road, Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road, and the Okania-Ogbogoro Road, also costing over N6billion, were being funded with savings accruing from IGR and federation accounts allocations over the last one year.

The governor added that over 34 projects inherited from the immediate past administration had been completed, while others were being expedited for completion, adding that his administration would turn around infrastructure in the healthcare and education sectors in the next six months.

He lamented the dearth of primary and secondary healthcare facilities as well as decent education development infrastructure across the local governments, and assured that in no distant time, his government would transform both sectors for the good of the people of the State in line with its policy thrust of the People First.

In his remarks, the Deputy President of the NGE, Husseina Bangshika, who spoke on behalf of the Standing Committee members, commended Governor Fubara for anchoring his administration on the path of peace, infrastructure and human capacity development, adding that his commitment to meeting the needs of Rivers people first was the hallmark of genuine leadership and good governance.

The NGE deputy president noted the landmark projects being undertaken by the administration, despite the many sabotage attempts and politically-induced crisis by self-seeking politicians, and urged Governor Fubara to remain focused, and continue to pursue the path of peace, reconciliation and sustainable development of the state.

She also urged critics and opposition politicians and well-meaning Rivers people to rally round the governor to move the state to the next level, so as to renew the hopes of Rivers people, and indeed, Nigerians in a great future ahead, saying that it is only in an atmosphere of peace and mutual concord that development can take place and the people can enjoy the fruits of their labour.