How Tinubu ‘Shocked Rivers Elders, Intimidated Fubara Into Signing Agreement With Wike’ - Eyewitness Briggs

How Tinubu ‘Shocked Rivers Elders, Intimidated Fubara Into Signing Agreement With Wike’ – Eyewitness Briggs

7 months ago
2 mins read

The last is yet to be heard of the peace pact brokered by President Bola Tinubu between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike over the political crisis in Rivers State as an eyewitness, David Briggs has claimed that Fubara signed the eight-point resolution under duress, following purported subtle threats by the President.

Briggs, who is a member of the Rivers State Elders and Leaders Forum and one-time Commissioner for Water Resources in the state, maintained that he witnessed first-hand what transpired at the meeting which took place on Monday at the State House in Abuja.

While disclosing that the president not only flashed the document in obvious attempt to intimidate the governor and the entire sitting, he claimed that Tinubu actually declared that no one could afford to undermine the resolution. He added that discussions preceding the signing of the peace agreement were laced with indirect threats and chest-beating.

Briggs stressed that Tinubu threatened that there would be consequences if Governor Fubara refused to endorse and abide by the tenets of the document, which he described as “presidential proclamation. According to him, most Rivers elders, who were present at the meeting, including Adokiye Amaesimaka, were shocked at the President’s attitude and decided to ask questions.

He said with the president walking into the meeting with a document he declared as presidential proclamation, he did not leave any room for opinion of Rivers State elders at the meeting.

His words, “I’m a participant in that purported meeting. I was there. We were invited to a meeting but that was not a meeting because a meeting means opinion will be sought. There will be discussion by both parties and opinions will be sought and resolutions will be reached.

“But the President walked in with a resolution, addressed us and said what he had in his hand was a presidential proclamation, a presidential directive and at the point, he emphasised that he was the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Therefore, we can weep and anybody who tends to say no to what he’s saying, has consequences. That is not democratic. That, in a simple layman’s word, is a threat,” he said.

According to the former commissioner, “He (Tinubu) wrote the resolution but refused to read the resolution, and handed the resolution to doctor (Peter Odili) to read, but interjects him, and each time he interjects, it comes with a polite threat, and a smiling insult.

“Thereafter, he asked the governor to speak. Let’s get it clear, If you were the governor, what would you do? Get up and say, ‘Mr President, no?’ With that kind of subtle but energetic threat, realising that back home, we are fighting an internal aggression?

“If you are in his position, will you still attract another external fight? The answer is no,” he said, urging Tinubu to uphold the constitution.

“I do know that the president is to protect the constitution of the federal republic and therefore, Nigerians are watching him. Rivers people are watching him whether he is upholding by his pronouncement. 

“I am not in a position to say that, but I believe there will be peace in Rivers State and that’s what the governor is saying. But Rivers knows what is best for them.

“The moment you allow the third party to come into their matter and you are unable to establish the intention and interest of the third party, who has come to arbitrate, you are failing.

“And as one of the founding members of PDP in Rivers, we will not allow this thing to come to pass… Of course, I am not a lawyer but I have consulted lawyers. In the eyes of the law, and I am educated enough to read the letters of the law. In most cases, it says the symbol of the law is blind and double-edged, so it can be misinterpreted.

“Rivers State is PDP and PDP is majority in the Rivers State House of Assembly. We are not minority because we only have four or five members including the speaker and they are majority in the eyes of the law,” Briggs said.


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