Rivers Governor Fubara

Tension In Rivers As Youths Barricade LG Secretariats After Fubara’s Broadcast

1 month ago
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Some youths on Tuesday, barricaded entrance to different local government headquarters in Rivers State to prevent chairpersons whose tenure of office has expired from gaining entrance.

The state governor Siminalayi Fubara in a statewide broadcast in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, instructed heads of administration in 23 local government areas in the state to replace the elected council chairmen, whose three-year tenure ended on Monday.

Fubara thanked the outgoing LGA chairpersons and vice chairpersons for their support and dedicated service to the state during their tenure.

He explained that the decision was aimed at upholding provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria and to ensure peace and order in the state.

He said: “As we move forward in making sure that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is upheld, and that law and order is maintained as we continue to strive to provide leadership and direction for our people, I hereby direct Heads of Local Government Administration to continue to provide leadership in their respective local government areas,” the governor said.

“Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAs) are hereby directed to immediately take charge of the councils with renewed vigour and readiness to serve and await further directives as we navigate towards even greater accomplishments together.”

Meanwhile, two LGA chairmen announced their willingness to leave office in line with the state’s Local Government Law of 2018.

They are the first female council chairperson of Bonny Local Government Area, Dame Anengi Barasua Claude-Wilcox, and the Enyiada Cookeygam of Opobo/Nkoro, (Fubara’s LGA).

Both Claude-Wilcox and the Enyiada Cookeygam of Opobo/Nkoro had challenged the extension of the tenure of local government chairmen by the Martin Amaewhule-led led-assembly in court

However, some LGA chairmen had allegedly threatened to remain in office after the expiration of their office tenure.

Hours after the declaration, some men were seen barricading entrance to some local government area secretariats. A video online showed some youths chasing away a mayor and his entourage who attempted to gain access to a local government area. However, the name of the local government area could not be identified in the video. Another video showed entrance to the Port Harcourt City Local Government secretariat being barricaded by some youths who were there to resist attempt by the council chairman to remain in office.

READ ALSO: Rivers Crisis: Why Wike Shouldn’t Fight Fubara – Analyst

Sounds of gunshots were heard in the video as youths demonstrated saying they no longer want local government chairmen whose tenure has expired to continue staying in office. One of the protesters said: “we stand here to protect the interest of the governor. We stand here to ensure peace and tranquility but police officers are shooting at us.”

Police had on Monday, called on both sides (the governor and the council chairmen) to exercise restrain pending the outcome of the case in court on 20 June.

The police as seen in the video, clashed with people barricading the gate of the Port Harcourt City LG council gate.

At Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, some men were seen on Tuesday, pulling down a bust of the immediate past governor and FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.

Rivers crisis some youths pull down busy of Wike

Rivers crisis some youths pull down busy of Wike Rivers crisis some youths pull down busy of Wike

The root of the crisis is the feud between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike.

Prime Business Africa recalls that the crisis escalated after a fire broke out in the Rivers State House of Assembly on October 30, leading to a deep division among the Assembly members.

The division resulted in 27 lawmakers supporting the Speaker Martin Amaewhule, while four members sided with the Leader of the House, Edison Ehie, who had served as Deputy Speaker in the previous Assembly.

Amaewhule’s Assembly amended the Local Government Law in the midst of this chaos, extending the tenure of elected chairmen and councilors by six months in the event that elections weren’t held before they finished.

READ ALSO: I’m Not Distracted By Rivers Crisis – Wike

However, a High Court ruling nullified the amendment in response to a lawsuit brought by the council chairs of Bonny and Opobo/Nkoro.

The matter is already in the Court of Appeal with the parties awaiting judgment.


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