Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, has reacted to the supreme court judgment affirming his election.
On Thursday, a five-member panel of the apex court led by Ibrahim Saulawa dismissed the appeal by Tonye Cole, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2023 elections, challenging Fubara’s election as lacking merit.
The supreme court held that the appellants — Cole and the APC — failed to prove the issues bordering on non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act in seeking the nullification of Fubara’s election.
Fubara thanked God for the victory shortly after the apex court delivered the judgment.
The governor also expressed appreciation to President Bola Tinubu for his “fatherly role in every issue that concerns our state, not just the crisis but also this particular litigation”.
Fubara added that it “would be unfair” for him “not to appreciate” Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT) and his predecessor, who he described as “oga”.
“Oga” in Nigerian parlance means boss.
Wike and Fubara, hitherto political allies, have since fallen out after getting embroiled in a feud over the control of the Rivers state’s political structure.
‘WE’LL MAKE RIVERS COMPETE WITH LAGOS’
The governor said he is committed to serving the people of Rivers and would ensure that he is not distracted from giving them good governance.
“About an hour ago, the supreme court revalidated our mandate in the election. It is a victory for the entire state,” Fubara said.
“It is important for us to note that we need this victory to consolidate the purpose of governance. Prior, we have had a few distractions here and there.
“And the good news that came to us this morning is a refreshing strength that will encourage us to continue the good works in governance.”
Fubara said his goal is to develop Rivers to be economically viable and competitive like Lagos.
“We have a dream of making it a highly competitive state that will measure, if not up to Lagos but close to becoming like Lagos,” he said.
“We can only achieve this in an atmosphere of peace. So I am calling on everyone, not just on our internal issue but those members from other parties, the issue is settled, come and let’s build the Rivers State of our dream.
“We will continue to protect and provide the basic needs of governance to everyone who is doing business and who lives in Rivers State.
“We would address our state very soon on the victory, but for now, let everybody be happy that one elephant is out of the road, the other one, by God’s help, will be resolved amicably and the family will be one.”