The Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, says he has, through the political crisis in the state, learnt about focus.

He said he learnt that when faced with pressure, people either retreat and fail or they become more focused and succeed.

He said he chose the latter and he had become better for it.

According to a statement on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, Fubara spoke on Saturday night at the Government House in Port Harcourt when he hosted members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, led by its Chairman, Mike Etaba.

Fubara has been embroiled in a political crisis with his predecessor and estranged political godfather, Nyesom Wike.

Last October, he survived an impeachment attempt by members of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to Wike.

Lately, there have been renewed hostilities between the two camps, with tangential verbal onslaught being launched.

But speaking on Saturday, Fubara said the pressure from the unwarranted political crisis served as an enabler to strengthen his commitment to service.

He stated, “As far as we are concerned, there are no political issues. I had seen a movie many years ago, titled, ‘Devil’s Advocate.’ I believe some of you must have seen that movie too.

“One of the starring characters in the movie, Al Pacino, said pressure makes some people retreat or fail, and to others, it makes them become focused on succeeding. We have chosen to be focused under this pressure.

“That is why we are moving ahead. That is why we are making a positive impact on the lives of our people.

“Governance is about the people. It is not about self. It is about touching the core needs of those people we are leading and, by the special grace of God, we are doing it.”

The governor pointed to the empowerment of 3,066 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, through the N4bn single-digit loan scheme he flagged off on Friday, in conjunction with the Bank of Industry Limited, as one way his administration was improving the socioeconomic dynamics of the state.

“Yesterday, by the special grace of God, we observed the credit line of over 3,066 persons empowered. You can imagine what that will do for the economy of the masses and the state.

“That is touching the lives of our people. It is not supporting them for selfish reasons. It is not giving a contract because I want somebody to fight somebody in my community. No. This is empowering the economy of the masses and the state.

 “Our focus is that, no matter what anybody is doing anywhere, we are not going to lose focus. We want to leave here better than we had met it. And we want to also leave here without the fear of anything,” he said.

Fubara said it was more desirable for a public leader to relish the accolades from the majority of the people who, by exploring the conducive climate that was provided, could feed themselves and pay the school fees of their children.

He said: “That is what we want to hear so that when our names are mentioned when we are no more, they will say ‘that man is a good man’.

“We will not oppress anybody. We will not force anybody against their will. We will not intimidate anybody, because intimidation has a time when it expires.

“When the time of intimidation expires, even as recorded of Pharaoh in the Bible, who intimidated the children of Israel, it got to a time that the intimidation no longer worked.

“So, any bad thing that has a beginning will have an end. So, that is why I said we don’t have any problem. We have put that crisis behind us. We are looking ahead.”

The governor told his guests to dismiss the social media reports that tended to portray the state as a place immersed in uncontrollable violence and juxtapose it with what they have personally witnessed so that they could be better ambassadors of the state.

“Leadership and respect in leadership is not earned by force. It is your style that brings respect and love. And what we are doing is to respect our people and, in turn, our people are giving us that support for leadership.

“So, I am happy that you are here, and when you go back, tell others your side of the story: that Rivers State is moving forward. Forget about what you see on social media, there is progress everywhere here. There is light everywhere.”

But he advised that when such complaints come, the committee should be thorough with their investigation, be fair and make their resolutions devoid of bias.

He noted, “Some of these people who write these petitions to you, I can say it, some of them are not even genuine. They believe that it is also a way to extort money from most of these companies that are doing business around us.

“So, I will urge you to do your investigation properly and let your findings be as a result of proper and diligent investigation.”

In his address, the leader of the delegation and chairman of the committee, Etaba, explained that they came to Port Harcourt based on a petition before the House.

“We went round to look at the issues that made us come, especially the pollution of the water around Oginigba River. The companies were accused of discharging dangerous effluent into the river, and also polluting the environment,” he said.

Etaba used the opportunity to commend Fubara for how he had handled the political crisis in the state and lauded him for not allowing it to degenerate into violent physical clashes.

“So far, you have carried yourself as a man that has wisdom, and dignity, and you are doing well. Your Excellency, don’t be distracted, what you owe dearly is to hold unto God strongly.

“The Lord is your strength, and you will succeed in every decision that you take. Ask Him for wisdom, He will direct you,” he added.