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Fresh wave of resignation hits Rivers govt as 5 Wike’s loyalists quit Fubara’s cabinet

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.Governor approves N222.Ibn for construction of Trans-Kalabari Phase 2 road project

 

Emmanuel Nlewedum, Port Harcourt

The political crisis rocking Rivers State is growing from bad to worst by the day. This is just as fresh wave of resignations hit the State Executive Council.

 

Five Commissioners loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday tendered their resignation from the Cabinet of Governor Siminalayi Fubara on Wednesday 15th May, 2024.

 

The Commissioners are: Dr. Gift Worlu (Housing), Austin Ben Chioma (Environment), Prof. Chinedu Mmom (Education), Mrs Ine Aguma (Social Welfare and Rehabilitation) and Dr. Jacobson Nbina (Transport).

 

The former Commissioners in their resignation letters addressed to Fubara through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tammy Danagogo all cited the unresolved political crisis between the governor and his predecessor and FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.

 

Recalled that four other Commissioners who are also Wike’s allies had in the last one month also resigned from the Governor Fubara-led Rivers State Executive Council.

 

Among the four Wike’s allies who resigned recently before now; Prof Zacheaus Adangor, ex-Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, and Isaac Kamalu, resigned their position after they were transferred from their ministries to another ministries.

 

While Alabo George Kelly (ex-Works Commissioner) and Emeka Woke resigned following their appointments by President Bola Tinubu as Director-general of Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) and MD/CEO, Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, respectively.

 

All nine former Commissioners were among those who resigned from the Rivers State Executive Council in December in the heat of the political crisis between the FCT Minister and Governor Fubara, but we’re reinstated following the intervention of the President.

 

However, The Rivers State Government (RSG) has approved the sum of N222.1billion for the construction of the main Trans-Kalabari Road project.

The approval was given during the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, and attended by the Deputy Governor, Prof Ngozi Odu, and other members of Council at Government House on Wednesday.

Briefing newsmen after the Council meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson, said the project will be funded with savings from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Johnson said 30 percent mobilisation fee has already been paid for the project that has a completion period of 32 months, adding that the contractor is expected to move men and materials to site immediately.

He said, “We have awarded contract to the tune of N222,114,563,830.2 kobo only for the commencement of the Trans-Kalabari Road. This is the main Trans-Kalabari Road. The one that had happened in the past, was building of bridges.

“But here, we are doing a Trans-Kalabari Road that is going to run from NSS Pathfinder immediately after Mgbuodohia Community, and extends to about 2 KM to the Aker Base Road in Rumuolumeni Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

“That road will pass through the swamps behind the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education in Rumuolumeni, moving southwards towards the first bridge crossing. The road continues through a series of bridges. The road will run, connecting many communities up to Tombia Town.

The Information Commissioner explained that the contractual sum of N222.1billion is bigger than what is being spent on the Port Harcourt Ring Road project.

He said, “This is because, the Trans-Kalabari Road is traversing very difficult terrain of swamp and across rivers and creeks upon which series of bridges, decking and piling works will be executed.

Also speaking, the Acting Director General of Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement (RSBOPP), Dr. Ine Briggs, explained that the Bureau diligently managed the proceedings leading to the award of the contract.

She said, “Having reviewed the submissions of Ministry of Works; having examined all the supporting documents presented by the ministry; having fulfilled all the necessary procurement procedures, guidelines as prescribed by the Rivers State Public Procurement Law 2008 as amended.

“Having satisfied that the value for money proposition, fitness for purpose, value for money has been adhered to. Having been convinced that this project will stimulate economic activities socially and bring about development in these areas, the Bureau is satisfied that all the elements leading to this award is sufficient to issue a certificate of no objection.

“Therefore, in consideration of all the relevant documents submitted by the Ministry of Works pursuant and the construction of Trans-Kalabari Road and bridges, the Bureau has issued the certificate of no objection, and that the contract be awarded to Lubrick Construction Company Limited.”

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