Governor Sim Fubara has fumed over misapplication of multi-billion road contract and has warned stakeholders not to misinterpret his calmness.
The governor has thus warned Ogba-Egbema people to desist from disrupting ongoing reconstruction of the Omoku-Egbema Road in Ogba/Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area or face dire consequences.
Fubara, addressing monarchs, opinion leaders, and other critical stakeholders from the area at the Government House, Port Harcourt, said it was offensive to receive threats of disruptions on the project from beneficiary communities when an initial contractor their leaders recommended failed to deliver after collecting N12.7billion.
The embittered governor told the gathering, “I have the power to dethrone. I feel very bitter that my calmness is being misinterpreted. If after this time, anything happens again, you will not believe what I will do to those connected to it.”
He said he got reports of threats to stop the contractor and got letters from a law firm demanding stopping the contractor and inviting another contractor. “I start wondering who gave such persons such power, to be so commanding.
“This project was approved for you people’s benefit. You nominated a contractor. The contractor failed. Now we re-awarded and paying another money.”
The governor revealed that the original cost of that job when it was awarded was N8.8bn, saying it was reviewed to N13.3bn. “Total amount released at that time before the revocation was N12.7billion. So, you can understand how we feel about this.
“Now, we have re-awarded this job to SETRACO for N7.5bn and we have already committed about N5.2billion to show you our commitment.
“If you like to sabotage yourselves, don’t sabotage my own administration. I’m calm but I will do you something you would not like.”
According to a statement by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on media, Boniface Onyedi, the Oba of Ogba Land, Nwachukwu Obuohna Obi, who led the stakeholders, had told the governor that the protest of the people on the project was provoked by poor communication and engagements between the company and the communities.
It is not clear if the contract figures, payouts, and upward reviews were in the public domain and in accordance with procurement rules, or if any firm is being prosecuted for the offences mentioned by the governor.