Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara has disclosed that the individual responsible for detonating an explosive device in Port Harcourt on Tuesday aimed to destroy the Presidential Hotel, a premier hospitality establishment in the state. Governor Fubara made this revelation during a visit by the Senate Committee on Privatization, led by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, to the government house in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Governor Fubara elaborated that the thwarted attack targeted a facility housing high-profile individuals, including members of the Senate committee, with the intention of justifying the imposition of a state of emergency in Rivers State. He explained, “The idea was that as you heard the state of emergency, it will be so that by the time they finish when you return to have your sitting tomorrow (Thursday), the debate will be from somebody from this state who called you people to tell you not to come. He will now raise the issue of a state of emergency, and say, after all, distinguished colleagues saw it happen while you were in Rivers State, that you saw what happened.”

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Governor Fubara emphasized that divine protection played a crucial role in averting the disaster, stating, “But you see, when you are with God, even your own child who is planning evil, will go and tell somebody that God is with this man because he is clean, this is what my father is planning. That is what is keeping us in this State.”

Expressing his frustration, the Governor questioned the perceived inaction of the law against offenders, particularly regarding tenure elongation for former local government chairmen. He clarified that he is not engaged in personal conflicts but is committed to defending the state’s interests and safeguarding its supporters against those who believe they hold dominion over others’ lives.

Governor Fubara remarked, “Where on earth can the tenure of local government chairmen be elongated? You were a former governor, was it tried in your time? Even those of you who are Senators here, even in your own states, has anyone tried this before? Is it that the Constitution that governs Nigeria is different from the one that operates in Rivers State? These are the very pertinent questions we should ask. Why should it be that when it comes to the case of Rivers State, the law is always silent? Is it that there is somebody bigger than Nigeria? That is the question I want you to go back with.”

He further stated, “I tell you, we know everything that is happening, and you know it, everybody knows it. We should be bold enough to look at the faces of people and tell them the truth. I am not fighting anybody. If I am fighting, people will know that I am fighting; my pattern will change. What we are doing is to defend ourselves, we can’t just fold our hands. Only a tree will be standing and somebody will come and cut it off. It doesn’t happen as a human being. If you know that danger is coming, you shift. What we are doing is just to protect ourselves. So, distinguished Senators, I am not fighting anybody.”

Governor Fubara also emphasized the importance of recognizing God’s sovereignty, saying, “Somebody thinks or some people feel they own life. I don’t own life. The person who owns life is God. What we are doing here is to serve the people of Rivers State because God has given us this opportunity. It doesn’t matter the channel the opportunity came from. But the most important thing is God, and nobody takes the place of God in anything.”

In his address, Governor Fubara urged the Senate committee to consider the interests of Rivers State in their recommendations for the privatization and commercialization of public companies. He advocated for the state’s involvement in acquiring stakes in such companies to ensure their protection and viability. “I will also appeal to you that in this process of privatisation, anything that has to do with our own state here that needs to be privatised, the Rivers State government will be interested. Because you can’t come here and own our property when we have the resources to have shares or to acquire some portion of it. So, as a committee, if there is anywhere you can support us; if there is anyone that is still available, let us know, and let us get the details so that we can own it. It is only when we own it that those assets can be protected. It is only when we own it, that is when those assets become viable to the State, and also become viable to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatization and Commercialization, acknowledged their visit to Rivers State for oversight duties on specific projects. He praised Governor Fubara for his commitment to peace, quality governance, and creating an environment conducive to economic growth for all residents. Senator Kalu urged for harmony and called upon the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, to promote peace and order among his supporters.

Senator Kalu stated, “I want to admire Your Excellency, your Deputy and your team for the good things you are doing in the state, but it is good to have peace. I want to thank you because you look like a very peaceful man. Your face shows a peaceful man. Your laugh shows a peaceful man. So, I want you to continue in that manner of peace. There is nothing like peace. Let people who are eating with this problem stop eating from it. We know that politics has taken its shape. We commend you for what you are doing for the people of your state. I will continue to ask you to focus on the job. Leadership is a very big burden. It is not a sweet potato. It is not anywhere where you can see rice and beans. On the street of Rivers, everyone is saying that the governor and the former governor are quarrelling. We want to plead with you, continue to be holding your people back because if your people demonstrate like the other people, we will have a state of anarchy, and it is not good to have anarchy. I want to plead with you to abide by the rules of the land. I plead with you to abide by what the Constitution says. I plead with you to also abide by the decisions of the judiciary. Wait for every judicial interpretation and act on judicial interpretation.”

Senator Kalu assured the committee’s readiness to collaborate with the state government to achieve mutually beneficial goals for all Nigerians.

Reports confirmed that an explosion occurred along Aba Road in Port Harcourt, resulting in one fatality. The incident, which took place around 9 am on Tuesday, appears to have been caused by the individual inadvertently triggering the explosive device.