We will create wealth for all Nigerian because we have no reason to be poor, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared yesterday.
President Tinubu shed light on his economic programmes and infrastructural plans when he received a 62-man delegation of Rivers State indigenes at the State House, in Abuja.
The delegation was made up of leaders of taught, traditional rulers and political gladiators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives’ Congress (APC).
The delegation said it came to thank the President for appointing former Governor Nyesom Wike as Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister and for other senior appointments given to Rivers State indigenes.
They presented a gift to Mr. Presented before their meeting at the executive chambers of Aso Villa.
President Tinubu said Rivers and indeed, Nigeria should have no business with poverty, insecurity and underdevelopment in view of the enormous human and material resources in the country.
Presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale, a River indigene, whose appointment was also praised by the delegation, issued a statement on the visit.
It said: “We are not meant to be poor. We will turn the tide. Somewhere, somehow in this storm, there’s a quiet and peaceful place for us. We will locate it. We are not lazy people. We are richly endowed. We just need to be our brother’s keepers, and good neighbours to one another.
“I am not a President that will give excuses. I will work hard for our nation with purpose, determination and dedication to create wealth for all Nigerians. We have no reason to be poor. We will not look back, we will run aggressively forward.
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“Today, we may be swimming against the tide, but the waves will soon propel us forward from behind. We will achieve the goals and dreams of our forefathers. I am inspired by the nature of people I now lead.”
President Tinubu said he had been inundated with complaints about infrastructural deficit in Rivers, particularly the poor state of Eleme Junction-Onne axis of the East-West Road, linking the Port Harcourt Refinery.
He said the FCT minister, who he described as a strong adviser, would follow up on the issue for prompt action.
President Tinubu stressed: “The Honourable Minister, Wike, is not just the Minister of FCT; he is also my adviser and an admirer of mine. He has hit the ground running and he should be encouraged by the State.”
Urging the younger generation to be more patient with the government, the President said: “I am the captain and chief salesman of the country. We have to reverse the trend and achieve possibilities within a short period of time. Our people have high expectations from us. I pledge to work hard, and I pray to God to put me on the right path, not to disappoint Nigerians.”
Fubara told the President that the delegation, which included leaders of political parties, past and present members of the state and National Assembly across parties, was on a solidarity and thank you visit.
He said: “The people of Rivers State voted for you in the last general elections based on their belief in fairness, equity and justice. This is the first time that Rivers State is truly feeling the impact of the Federal Government since the inception of democracy in 1999.”
The governor, on behalf of Rivers leaders, lauded the president for appointing capable sons and daughters of the state into strategic positions in his administration.
He thanked the President for appointing Wike; Ngelale, and other indigenes into the boards and management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and other institutions.
Fubara hailed the President for attracting a $14 billion investment to the country during the G-20 Summit.
He thanked the president for the proposed expansion of Indorama Petrochemicals in Eleme, Rivers State, adding that the state had allocated 209 hectares of land to support the investment.
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief OCJ Okocha, said the delegation showed solidarity with the President and assured him of loyalty and support.
He said: “We have come, first to show solidarity with the President and to express our gratitude for his recent developmental strides, particularly for approving that very valuable investment, $14 billion, by Indorama Petrochemicals Company in Rivers State.
“He promised to revamp the Port Harcourt Refinery and indeed, for the appointment of eminent Rivers sons that have been made into the Federal Government, led by Nyesom Wike, our former governor who is now the Minister of the FCT; Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s spokesman and members of the Niger Delta Development Commission Board and the Southeast Development Commission Board.”
On the appointment of PDP chieftains by President Tinubu, Okocha said appointments were the President’s prerogative.
He added: “It was protest and protest is a right and as a lawyer, I recognize that. The minority will have their protest and the majority will have its say. It normal. We are in a democratic society.
“The President has the prerogative to make appointments and he has exercised that prerogative and all I say is ‘let Nigerians see whether the President’s appointment was justified and I can assure you, with the performance, which we expect from Minister Nyesom Wike from the federal capital, Nigerians will be happy that the President made that choice.”