Defection of 27 Lawmakers Loyal to Wike to APC Heats Up Polity in Rivers State

Defection of 27 Lawmakers Loyal to Wike to APC Heats Up Polity in Rivers State

Ijaw National Congress Wants President Tinubu to Call Nyesom Wike to Order The troubled political waters in Rivers State was further rumbled on Monday when 27 members of the House of Assembly, out of 32, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party defected to the All Progressive Congress on the grounds of division

Ijaw National Congress Wants President Tinubu to Call Nyesom Wike to Order

The troubled political waters in Rivers State was further rumbled on Monday when 27 members of the House of Assembly, out of 32, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party defected to the All Progressive Congress on the grounds of division within their party.

The 27 lawmakers are known loyalists of the former governor of the state and now Minister of Federal Capital Territory, who has been at odds with his successor, Governor Siminalayi Fubara. The development triggered political tension in the state with speculations that they may be plotting to impeach the governor.

This development cannot be separated from the state’s simmering political crisis, which began in the last few months between Nyesome Wike and his successor over who will be in the driver’s seat of the state’s political structures in the state.

Governor Siminalayi Fubara summoned a State Executive Council meeting immediately to review the situation and plan a response. Resolutions from the meeting are yet to be made known to the public.

It was reported that the 27 lawmakers were heavily guarded as they made their way into the State House of Assembly complex for their plenary which was not witnessed by members of the public.

The lawmakers among other complaints said that the governor had withheld statutory allocation to the State House of Assembly contrary to section 109 of the Nigerian constitution.

In retaliation, the State House of Assembly has commenced the passage of a bill to declare the running of the Local Governments with Caretaker Committees saying it is unconstitutional and that the Supreme Court has made a pronouncement on this already. The bill has passed through the second reading.

The political drama in the state was heightened when allegations surfaced that the former governor was demanding 25% of the state allocation, a request that appeared too large for Fubara to grant. However, Nysome Wike has later come out to deny the allegation, saying such a claim is ‘madness’.

Meanwhile, the toll of the political crisis continued to rise when the lawmakers later moved to impeach Governor Siminalayi Fubara, a move that was not successful but left a concern for the residents of the state. This reportedly resulted in the burning of the building housing the chamber of the State House of Assembly, leading to a chain of events that have plunged the state into anxieties and uncertainties.

To cushion the rising tension in the state, Governor Fubara in a statement apologised to the residents of the state for the unprecedented events, with the promise that such tension would be averted in the future. He also assured them that peace would reign in the state.

For Nysome Wike, the battle line was still drawn, as he insisted that he would not trade his political structure in the state for anything. Rather, he claimed that he was only quiet because of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s intervention, who also called for law and order in the state. In addition, Wike bragged that he would do whatever it took to stay relevant in the state, regardless of what his successor did.

Though President Bola Tinubu is said to have intervened to defuse political tension in the state, the most recent development has increased concerns about what will happen in the future because many observers already believe that the decamped lawmakers will try to impeach the governor. Fingers are crossed as more development continue to unfold in the state.

Meanwhile, the Ijaw National Congress has called on President Tinubu to step into the imbroglio growing in Rivers stste. In a statement titled: IJAW NATIONAL CONGRESS INC WORLDWIDE: RECENT EVENTS IN RIVERS STATE AND MATTERS ARISING, the group stated as follows:

1. Ijaw National Congress INC Worldwide, has continued to keep tabs on events in Rivers State and their implications for the peace, stability and corporate existence of Nigeria on the long run.

2. Congress agrees with the opinions of several critical groups and persons that the Security Agencies in the States have exhibited open bias for a faction of the Legislature under Hon Martins Amaewhule,whom they gave heavy security cover to hold a sitting against a subsisting Court Order, requiring both factions to maintain the status quo and to take no official actions until further notice. However, it is gratifying that the Rivers State Police Command, last Thursday, stopped the pro-Wike legislators from gaining entry to the Assembly complex to carry out their unconstitutional activity. Congress urges the police command to remain resolute in this regard.

3. Ijaw National Congress INC Worldwide, also finds it curious, that after the fatherly intervention of The President of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the crises, the FCT Minister and former Governor of Rivers State,is known to have made several public statements to the effect that “there will be no peace” and “I will give you sleepless nights”,in clear reference to Governor Siminialayi Joseph Fubara of Rivers State.

4. Mr Wike has also featured on several network TV stations where he made very provocative statements and scandalous claims against Governor Fubara; accusing The Governor of attempting to “take over” his “structure”, openly taunting him as an INGRATE who is lacking in INTEGRITY as well as asserting without investigation that the Governor masterminded the burning down of the hallowed chamber of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

5. Congress, the generality of Ijaw People and lovers of democracy wonder at the implications of these many displays of impunity and brinkmanship by Mr Wike. Pertinent questions such as listed below are begging for answers:

a. Is Chief Wike at liberty to make scandalous, libelous and inciting comments without fear of sanction from the Security Agencies or even Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu?

b. Is Wike the C-in-C of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,such that those on National Assignment in Rivers State now act according to his whims and caprices or those he supports, in the push to impeach or make Rivers State ungovernable for His Excellency Gov. Siminalayi Fubara, as he publicly boasted?

c. As we glean from history, can law abiding citizens suffer such intolerable lawlessness orchestrated by one man indefinitely?

6. We therefore submit to Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, that Ijaw National Congress (INC) Worldwide, it’s affiliate bodies, substructures and Activists are direly concerned by the impunity and indecorous conduct by a Minister of The Federal Government and the apparent connivance of those who ought to curb his excesses.

7. Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) we implore you once again to call Mr Wike and those Federal Government Agencies and Agents who are putting Rivers State at risk of anarchy to order. Such elements are inimical to the stability of Nigeria sooner or later.

8. We commend the calm, mature and statesmanlike comportment of Governor Fubara who has endured insults and petty accusations with equanimity; such conduct is becoming of a civilized leader and statesman.

9. We also salute The Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and other Stakeholders of Rivers State,who are putting the interest of the State above, the greed and political banditry of a few.

10. We urge all Rivers People and all other meaningful Nigerians to condemn this act of lawlessness. Let us stand together to protect our democratic institutions and ensure that justice and the will of the masses prevails.

11. Meanwhile, we call on all Rivers people, Ijaws and other critical stakeholders within and outside the Niger Delta to remain calm, peaceful, law-abiding and resolute in this hour of trial and brazen provocation.

Haaa Izon…Hei !!!!

President, Ijaw National Congress.

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