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The political crisis rocking Rivers State deepened last week, with shots fired from each side of the divide



The political crisis rocking Rivers State deepened last week, with shots fired from each side of the divide.

Leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state had asked the state lawmakers to begin the process of impeaching Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

Fubara’s estranged godfather and FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, on his part, described the choice of his successor as a mistake.

Wike, who spoke at an event in Rivers, begged God and his political family to forgive him.

According to him: “I want to say this clearly: in life, we make mistakes. I have made a mistake. I own it up and I say God forgive me. I have said all of you forgive me. But we will correct it at the appropriate time.

“I am human. I am bound to make mistakes. So forgive me for making a wrong judgment. So nobody should kill.”

Wike also urged his supporters in the state assembly not to succumb to intimidation, saying: “Don’t be afraid. Nobody will remove you as lawmakers.

“Most of you don’t understand. This is our work. Our business is to make them to fear. That is what I am doing. We will make them to be angry every day and they will continue to make mistakes.”

Mr Edison Ehie, the Chief of Staff to the governor did not waste time to respond, as he used the opportunity of another event in the state to vow that Fubare would teach his opponents a political lesson.

He attributed the crisis in the state to the struggle for resource control.

According to Ehie: “We are going to teach them a lesson of political arithmetic. What that small boy (Fubara) will do to you, you’ll know that khaki no be leather.

“The problem we have in the state is that 11 persons said they would control the resources of Rivers State. These 11 persons now called 20 others to allocate resources to themselves.”

However, recent happenings show that the factional state lawmakers are living up to Wike’s directive.

The now suspended House had earlier overruled the governor when it passed into law several bills, which Fubara’s camp believes were aimed at weakening the governor’s control of the state.

But in what appeared to be a fight-back, a Rivers State High Court barred the pro-Wike speaker and 24 other lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the House of Assembly.

Meanwhile, Fubara earlier on Friday ordered an immediate relocation of the legislative business of the state House of Assembly to Government House in Port Harcourt, where the Oko-Jumbo and the other two lawmakers are expected to carry out legislative functions.

The relocation order was contained in the state’s official Gazette, Executive Order of the Rivers State Government 001-2023.

The order came about 24 hours after Victor Oko-Jumbo, a lawmaker loyal to the governor, emerged as a new factional speaker of the assembly.

The governor on Monday, April 6, declared that members of the state assembly, as currently led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, were no longer lawmakers, saying they do not even exist.

Fubara noted that in seeking peaceful resolution to the political crisis that erupted in the state last year, he had attended several reconciliation meetings, whose resolutions the other party, where the state’s lawmakers belong, had rebuffed.

The comment, which marked the beginning of the current face-off, was not unconnected to the inability of the assembly to approve some requests from the governor.

This is even as the lawmakers also accused the governor of deliberately withholding his assent from bills already passed, terminating the peace deal brokered by President Bola Tinubu on December 18, 2023.

In a bid to quell the lingering political crisis in the state, Fubara and Wike alongside other stakeholders including the Rivers Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chairperson, Aaron Chukwuemeka, and the Speaker of the state assembly, Martin Amaewhule, in December last year, signed a resolution document after a meeting with Tinubu.

However, keen watchers of the activities in Rivers say whatever is contained in the resolution now belongs to the dustbin of history as both factions have returned to trenches.

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