The Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said despite the political crisis that erupted and persisted in the state, his administration still stands strong, delivering dividends to the people.

He, therefore, attributed the development to God’s grace and the support his administration is enjoying from a former governor of the state, Dr Peter Odili and the elder statesman, Senator John Mbata.

He said the successes recorded so far were possible because God had been graciously upholding the government, offering it the right direction and giving him the strength to carry on.

The governor spoke at the state banquet hosted to celebrate his first year in office and the 57th anniversary of the creation of Rivers State, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Monday night.

In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Nelson Chukwudi, and sent to newsmen, Fubara  said while others were celebrating a full year of service to the people, he had only been in control of real governance characterised by prudence, purposefulness and protection of the interest of the state in the last four months.

“We decided to have this banquet today to say: thank you, thank you and thank you to every one of you. You have supported us.

“The last time I had this opportunity to dine with you was on January 1, 2024, and you know, the mood was not like this. We never knew we could even stand up till today,” he said.

Fubara insisted that his purpose in government was to deliver the dividends of democracy to Rivers people, adding that he would not compromise on that.

“It takes somebody who loves this state genuinely to embark on a project like the Trans-Kalabari Road. I am not from that axis of the riverine where somebody would say I’m doing it because I’m from there. No. That project alone will cost this government over N225bn.

“But so far, to show our commitment that we are not just saying that we want to do it, we have started it, and we believe in delivering it.

“We believe that when this project is completely delivered, security issues will be reduced, development will come to our people in far remote areas that you could hitherto only traverse through the sea, issues of water piracy will be gone, including issues of boat mishaps that we keep recording,” he said.

Governor Fubara urged the people to see this project as an effort towards the expansion of the state and a bid at ensuring that development extended to other parts of the state, away from the centre of Port Harcourt City.

“I don’t want to talk about the Port Harcourt Ring Road. That already you know is ongoing. It is already on a familiar ground.

“Are we talking about the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road? Those are things we are doing to tell our people that we are interested in the development of the state,” the governor clarified.

He emphasized his commitment to turning around the fortunes of the healthcare sector in the state, as he assured that all zonal hospitals would come on stream in the next six months.

On education, he said he would take the state to a level where everybody could afford to send children to school.

“So, we want to provide the basics. It is only when we have those basics that issues of crime will be reduced. It is only when we have those basics that criminality, including kidnapping, and cultism, will also reduce,” he said.

Governor Fubara restated the concern of his administration, which was to improve the livelihood and well-being of the people.

He solicited more support from leaders of the state, and especially, the other arms of government, the legislature and the judiciary, to help the government serve the people better.

Lauding ex-Governor Odili and Senator Mbata, he said, “Let me especially thank our leader, Sir Dr Peter Odili. Let me especially thank Senator John Mbata. I have a reason to say this, and every one of you knows it.

“But I need to call out these two: they are a strong symbol causing problems in the camp of the opposition. Each time they stand with us, they’re one million in one man, and it is troubling them.

“And, this evening, with the calibre of people sitting on this table, there will be confusion somewhere. So you can see the handiwork of God. It is not me. It is when God is in control, He makes everything perfect in His way and in His time.”

Governor Fubara also thanked the security agencies for their various levels of support that had ensured that peace prevailed in the state and urged them to continue to sustain the tempo.

The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, announced the unveiling of a book on the state.

He said as the state marked the 57th anniversary of its creation and first year in office of Governor Fubara, a book on the Old Rivers State had been written by a cross-section of elites, intellectuals and leaders from Rivers and Bayelsa states.

In his remarks on the book, Mr Biobele Da-Wariboko said the team of 97 authors and contributors from both Rivers and Bayelsa states began the process of writing the book, titled: “Rivers Golden Expedition, Trials And Triumphs,” in 2016.

He noted that so many factors prevented the completion and launch of the book in 2017, and attributed the launch on May 27, 2024, to providence and the grace of God.

He noted the eminent Rivers and Bayelsa indigenes who contributed to the success of the book and described the compendium as a “collector’s treasure”, which he said every Rivers son and daughter must read to keep abreast of the history, endowments and potential of the state.