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Regional News of Friday, 17 March 2023


2023 Guber Polls: 4 major things you need to know about PDP's governorship candidate in Rivers State

Siminalayi Fubara Siminalayi Fubara

On Saturday, March 18, Nigerians will be heading to the polls for the second time in the year to select governors and House of Assembly members across various states of the country.

The state governorship and House of Assembly elections will be coming three weeks after the 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls - which took place on Saturday, February 25 - will be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

INEC had on Wednesday, March 8, announced that it had postponed the 2023 governorship and state House of Assembly elections from Saturday, March 11 to March 18.

For the governorship elections in Rivers state, evidence and data available show that the poll will be locked between three major parties - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is the ruling party in the state; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party.

While Siminalayi Fubara is the governorship candidate for the PDP in the state; other contenders for the position are Tonye Cole of the APC and Beatrice Itubo for the Labour Party.

Here are a few things you should know about Fubara of the PDP:

1. Education

Born in Opobo Town in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State in 1975, Fubara obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1986 from Opobo Primary School before heading to Comprehensive Secondary School Opobo where he sat for his West Africa Examination Council in 1992.

He bagged a degree in Business Education with a specialisation in accountancy from the former Rivers State University of Science and Technology (now Rivers State University) before heading to Enugu State University for a post-graduate diploma in Accounting.

Shortly after graduating from ESUT, Fubara bagged a Master of Business Administration and a Master in Science from the University of Port Harcourt in 2013 and 2016 respectively.

He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management (FNIM), the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (FCNA) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (FCTI).

2. Rivers state

Accountant General Fubara began his career as a principal accountant with the Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools Board in 2003. He transitioned to the role of a director of finance and accounts at the State's government house in 2015 and rose to the position of permanent secretary in March 2020.

He was later nominated and appointed as the accountant general of Rivers State on December 23, 2020, up till May 2022, when he won the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary for the 2023 general elections expected to hold on Saturday, March 18.

3. Wanted by EFCC

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declared Fubara wanted over allegations of embezzlement of public funds. Fubara was declared wanted alongside three other persons for criminal conspiracy, money laundering, misappropriation of public funds and abuse of office to the tune of N117 billion.

The others who were declared wanted by the EFCC include Harrisonba Bessi Princewill, 58; Lekia V. Bukpor, 61; and Dagogo Rodderick Abere, 58. All officials of the state have been declared suspects in their capacity as signatories to the Rivers State Government account.

They are alleged to have acted as proxies to several government officials, conspired and fraudulently withdrew and diverted the sum between 2015 and 2018. The commission also listed the last known addresses of all the suspects.

4. Religious Life

A devoted Christian, Fubara is of the Anglican faith, fortuitously growing up with the Anglican Church in Opobo Town just a few meters from his home.

In 2020, he was bestowed with the prestigious Knight of Saint Christopher (KSC) order of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria by the Evo Diocese of the Anglican Communion in honour of his service to humanity and Communion.

He is also a sponsor and Patron of the Women Prayer Network in Opobo Town committed to interceeding for peace and advancement of the town and its people.