Home » Rivers State in Turmoil as Governor Demolishes Assembly Complex

Rivers State in Turmoil as Governor Demolishes Assembly Complex

Six Commissioners Resign, Lawmakers Hold Parallel Sittings, Ogoni People Begin Recall Process

by Victor Adetimilehin

The political crisis in Rivers State, Nigeria, has escalated as Governor Siminalayi Fubara ordered the demolition of the state House of Assembly complex on Wednesday, without the approval of the lawmakers.


The move came after 27 out of 32 members of the Assembly defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), following the lead of former governor Nyesom Wike, who is now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.


The governor, who is loyal to President Bola Tinubu, has been at loggerheads with Wike over the control of the state’s resources and political machinery.


Based on a report by Punch, the demolition of the Assembly complex sparked outrage among the pro-Wike lawmakers, who condemned it as an act of tyranny and a violation of the constitution.


They also accused Fubara of trying to silence the voice of the people and undermine the legislative arm of government.


The lawmakers, led by Speaker Martin Amaewhule, held a plenary session at the auditorium of the House of Assembly quarters on Aba Road, Port Harcourt, where they resolved to adopt the venue as their new chamber.


Fubara Presents Budget to Factional Lawmakers, Signs It into Law

Meanwhile, the governor presented the state’s 2024 budget of N800 billion to a faction of four lawmakers loyal to him, led by Edison Ehie, who declared themselves as the authentic House of Assembly.


The faction, which reportedly held its sitting at the Government House, Port Harcourt, also declared the seats of the 27 pro-Wike lawmakers vacant, citing their defection as a breach of the Electoral Act.


Fubara signed the budget into law on Thursday, pledging to implement it fully and deliver quality projects and services to the people of the state.


He said the budget would cater for some key projects, such as the Trans-Kalabari road project Phase 2, the Elele-Omoku road project, and the Ogoni clean-up project. He also said the budget would address the issues of security, education, health, agriculture, youth empowerment, and social welfare.


Six Commissioners Quit Fubara’s Cabinet, Ogoni People Begin Recall Process

In another development, six commissioners loyal to Wike resigned from Fubara’s cabinet on Thursday, citing personal reasons and principles.


The commissioners, who tendered their resignation letters, were the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN); Commissioner for Works, Dr Des George-Kelly; Commissioner for Special Duties, Emeka Woke; Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Mrs Inime Aguma; the Commissioner for Finance, Isaac Kamalu; and the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Chinedu Mmom.


Of the six commissioners, five served under Wike’s administration in the same capacity, while Woke was Wike’s Chief of Staff for eight years. Sources said six other commissioners had also resigned, but this could not be confirmed.


Meanwhile, some constituents from the four local government areas of Ogoni land in Rivers State said they had commenced a process to recall the four lawmakers representing the areas in the state Assembly.


They urged the Ogoni people to remain peaceful and united, and to support the governor in his efforts to transform the state.

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