Thursday, 18 April, 2024

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Rivers Lawmakers Vow To Impeach Governor Fubara As A Last Resort If He Continues To Violate Laws


Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara is facing a fresh impeachment threat from the majority members of the State House of Assembly who claimed yesterday that the governor has not relented in breaching critical provisions of the constitution.

The 27 lawmakers are supporters of Fubara’s immediate predecessor, Nyesom Wike, and defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the heat of the first round of hostilities between the governor and Wike, who is now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The legislators, in a communique issued in Port Harcourt yesterday, accused Fubara of jettisoning the terms of the agreement he signed with Wike last December following the peace talks brokered by President Bola Tinubu.

This, they said, includes the non re-presentation of the state budget to the assembly for deliberation.

The lawmakers also took a dig at a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, Dr. Abiye Sekibo and others who, under the auspices of the Former Rivers State PDP Presidential Campaign Council, recently attacked Wike.

The lawmakers said it was laughable that the Secondus group, who worked against the victory of President Tinubu and Fubara in the last elections, could now come out to declare support for the two men and tried to despise and lie against Wike who made the victories possible.

The lawmakers said: “These new arrivals have just landed like hawks. They now want to grab what they spat on but need to be careful of their ranting and utterances against the institution of the legislature and the FCT Minister as they can derail the existing peace in the state.

“The FCT Minister is doing fabulously well in Abuja and should be commended. Rather than looking for advice for Mr. President who we believe knows them very well, should they not be calling on the Governor to learn to abide by the laws of Rivers State and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

“Should these new self-acclaimed advisers also not be advising the Governor to do the needful so that there can be a smooth transition from the current democratically elected Councils in the State to the next democratically elected Councils and avoid the challenges of attempting the opposite?

“What about advising the Governor to heed to the Peace Agreement he begged for, willingly signed, and has chosen not to abide by some of the terms?

“It is worthy of note that the notice of impeachment of the Governor was quickly withdrawn by members of the House in fulfillment of the terms of the agreement and out of immense respect for the person and office of the President of the Federal Republic and believing that there would be a u-turn in terms of unlawful actions of the Governor.

“The reverse is now the case as we see from the day to day activities of the State Governor being conducted outside the laws of Rivers State and the Constitution.

“To this day, Rivers State remains the only state without an Appropriation Law and the Governor recklessly abandons laws of the state. These new hawks in the scene and all those who are quick to refer to the Governor as ‘Mr. Innocent’ will not go and advise him.

“They prefer to hold talk shows, organize rallies, hold press conferences and announce that the House commenced impeachment proceedings against the Governor for no just cause but fail to ask the Governor if he has not been informed of the particulars of gross misconduct leveled against him or at least read them when they were filed in Court in response to his petition.

“They must not forget that the Rivers State House of Assembly has the mandate of the people and that we swore an oath of allegiance to the Constitution to do the needful including the Impeachment of the Governor as a last resort.

“So, if it becomes a last resort, in accordance with the law, we will not hesitate to do so, because no individual is bigger than Rivers State, including the Governor.

“We assure the good people of Rivers State that we remain undeterred in our service to our fatherland and no number of threats including those of violence against us just like they attacked the Speaker’s residence will make us abandon our constitutional mandate to make laws for the good governance of our dear State.

“Efforts to utilize misguided individuals and attack dogs to spew lies against the House or misinform the populace with the intention of bringing the House to disrepute has only succeeded in strengthening our resolve to represent our people even better by focusing on our job and ignoring their distractions.”

The lawmakers recalled how they survived sponsored attacks on the House from persons they described as enemies of the people and those who could not withstand the principles of the rule of law “as well as checks and balances in our nascent democracy”.

They said such democratic forces out of their frustration started with the burning and later demolition of the Hallowed Chamber insisting that their plot was to eliminate the legislature for pushing for the independence granted her by the Constitution.

The lawmakers said: “We survived these attacks. Their new strategy is to use another arm of government, lobbyists, attack dogs and the mainstream and social media to bring the House to disrepute and consummate their agenda. In this regard, various individuals, groups, media mercenaries have been recruited to actualize their objectives”

The lawmakers described the Secondus group under the auspices of Former Rivers State Presidential Campaign Council as the latest of the new groups recruited against the 10th Assembly.

They said: “In a press conference on the 26th of March 2024 signed by Dr. Abiye Sekibo, this group inferred that the House is an illegal and unconstitutional Assembly. Others in this group are the likes of Rt. Hon. Austin Opara, Senator Lee Maeba and Prince Uche Secondus. Hon. Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, Sir Celestine Omehia, amongst others.

“They are among these desperate politicians who left their houses and gathered under a canopy with H.E. Atiku Abubakar and H.E. Ifeanyi Okowa’s pictures on a banner behind them professing their new support for Mr. President and the Rivers State Governor.

“On the other hand, they derided the 10th Assembly who they are unhappy with for joining the All Progressives Congress (APC) which incidentally is the President’s political party. Worse still, they lied against and attacked the FCT Minister who worked tirelessly for the victory of the President and the Governor in Rivers State.

“In other words, they are against those who defeated them and put them to shame by ensuring the victory of the President and Governor in the State, but they now “subscribe” to the President and Governor. What a weak strategy from a group who think they are smart!

“The good people of Rivers State know who they truly are. Our constituents will not forget in a hurry how they fought against the candidature of the current Governor and Mr. President during the elections. We are not surprised that they are no more saying all the unprintable things against the President and the Governor because this is who they are.

“They now want to advise the President and use unprintable words against the former Governor of Rivers State- His Excellency, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike CON. GSSRS. Life Bencher who God used to unite and transform Rivers State to enviable heights.

“Their new game plan is to blackmail Mr. President with “oil production and OPEC Quota”. This is the end game for them. What a shame!

“They said in their statement that they now support the Renewed Hope Agenda and we are not against it. However, can they be trusted going by their past actions? Is it not a ploy to deceive the President, gain rewards and milestones as usual and later fight back after discrediting their old benefactor – the FCT Minister?

“Time will tell, but we must keep in mind that they vowed ‘never to serve master and later boy’ and campaigned that the President was unqualified, not healthy enough and unfit for the job.

“We were inundated by the sad commentaries and speeches of their spokesperson in the media against the President, Governor, and those of us who stood by the President and Governor”.

The lawmakers vowed to make a positive difference in legislation, oversight functions and effective representation.

“Several Bills that are in the interest of the State have succeeded so far and resolutions passed with the objective of making things better. As we push to meet or surpass the yearnings and aspirations of our constituents, we are focused on our avowed goal of legislative oversight for the betterment of the good people of Rivers State”, they said.

They asked the President to ignore the group which they branded as hawks, saying in due time, such individuals would reveal their true intentions.

They said: “We remain very prayerful and ever supportive of the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President’s government. We toiled day and night while these hawks called us names as we canvassed for votes for Mr. President from unit to unit, ward to ward and LGA to LGA.

“Today, we have happily joined our progressive party with the intention of supporting Mr. President and further protecting what we worked for- his mandate.

“No amount of blackmail would derail the resolve of this 10th Assembly to support Mr. President, his government and especially the son of Rivers State that is making us proud as the FCT-Minister- His Excellency, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.

“We also call on Nigerians to give Mr President’s efforts at economic recovery and improved life all the support that it deserves.

“Finally, we assure the good people of Rivers State of our commitment to stand up for them and urge them to remain prayerful against tyranny and dictatorship in the state because we believe that as agents of positive change, things can be better in the State if the rule of law prevails and there is mutual respect for and from all arms of government and institutions”.

The 27 lawmakers, who signed the document are Martin Amaewhule, Dumle Mail, Jack Major, Somiari-Stewart Linda, Franklin Nwabochi, Ofiks, Kabang Christopher, Azeru Okpara, Opuende Isaiah, Tekenari Granville, Adoki Smart, Wami Solomon, Enemi Alabo, Igwe Aforji, Prince Nyeche, Emilia Amadi and Enyinna Sylvanus.

Others are Ezekwe Ijeoma, Abbey Peter, Arnold Davis, Barile Nwakoh, Onwuka Obenachi, Arnold Davids, Gerald Oforji, Ngbar Bernard, Emeji Mgbechukwu, John Iderema, Tony-Wiliams Uwuma and Chimezie Nwankwo.

Councillor, SDP candidate declare support for Fubara in Rivers

The Leader of Ahoada East Legislative Assembly, Bernard ThankGod Unwhe, has declared support for Governor Fubara in the face off with Wike.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in the 2023 election for Ahoada East Constituency in the State House of Assembly, MacSunday Ugwu, has also dumped his party to identify with the governor.

Unwhe and Ugwu revealed their new camps during a meeting presided over by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr Edison Ehie, at Government House, Port Harcourt.

The two leaders in the area were accompanied to the meeting by the former councillor representing Ahoada East Ward 11, Daniel Igbudu.

A statement signed by Fubara’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Nelson Chukwudi, said the Managing Director, Rivers State Signage and Advertising Agency (RISAA), Aye Pepple, was also present at the meeting.

Pepple was also a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly between 2007 and 2015 and represented Bonny State Constituency.

Fubara, in a broadcast last December had pledged his commitment to implementing the eight -point peace agreement.

He said the implementation would be done without compromising the collective interest of the people and democratic values.

He said as a principal participant in the saga, he had taken some time to study the terms of the proclamation and had come to the conclusion that the peace pact was not as bad as it might be portrayed by those opposed to it.

Fubara said the peace accord “is not a death sentence”, but an opportunity to achieve the needed stability in the state, adding that both sides of the divide have so far demonstrated some goodwill towards the implementation of the agreement.

He said while the Martin Amaewhule led Assembly which is loyal to Wike had withdrawn the impeachment notice, his government had also released the withheld allowance of the State House of Assembly.

However, signs that renewed hostilities might break out between the governor’s camp and that of Wike reared their heads recently when the State Assembly passed into law the repealed House of Assembly Service Commission Bill, overriding the power of the governor

The law as repealed took away the power to appoint the chairman and members of the State House of Assembly Service Commission from the governor and vested it in the Assembly.

Fubara’s Chief of Staff, Edison Ehie, criticized the assembly for the action and said it lacked power to do what it did.

Credit: The Nigeria Lawyer

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