President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has weighed in on the conflict between Chief Barr. EzenwoNyesomWike the former governor of Rivets State, now minister of the Federal Capital Territory, and Sir SiminalayiFubara the current governor of Rivers State – political godfather and son, respectively.
The president, on Monday 18th December 2023, caused them to sign an 8-point peace pact in a meeting at the State House, Abuja, to resolve the dangerous conflict between them.
- Governor Fubara and his allies will withdraw all court cases related to the crisis.
- The State House of Assembly will drop impeachment proceedings initiated against Fubara.
- The leadership of the House, under Speaker Martin Amaewhule, a Wike loyalist, will be recognized, along with the 27 lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party.
- Governor Fubara will re-present the 2024 budget to the Amaewhule-led Assembly.
- Salaries and benefits for all Assembly members and staff will be restored
- The Assembly will have autonomy to choose its location and conduct business without interference from the Executive
- The Governor will resubmit the names of resigned commissioners for approval
- The dissolution of local governments is declared null and void.
This resolution marks a significant step towards de-escalating the tension in Rivers State. The willingness of both factions to compromise and adhere to the agreement is crucial for restoring normalcy and stability to the region.
Also in the meeting were MallamNuhuRibadu the National Security Adviser, Dr. Peter Odili, Prof. NgoziOdu, Martins Amaewhule, Aaron Chuwuemeka (Rivers PDP Chair) and Tony Okocha (Rivers APC Caretaker Committee Chair).
In an earlier communique (with also 8 points) issued from a meeting of the Rivers State Elders and Leaders Forum on 17th December 2023 in Port Harcourt under the leadership of Chief Rufus Ada George, former Governor of Rivers State, the Forum reviewed what it described as “the embarrassing and dangerous ongoing happenings in Rivers State and by extension Nigeria, viz: attempt to impeach Sir SiminialayiFubara, Executive Governor of Rivers State, bombing of the Rivers State House of Assembly Chambers, attack on the life of the Executive Governor, Sir SiminialayiFubara allegedly by some security agents on Monday 30th October, 2023 and other acts of impunity and lawlessness which portend great dangers to the peace and security of Rivers State and Nigeria as a whole”.
- The Forum regretted that neither Governor SiminialayiFubara nor Chief (Barrister) NyesomWike responded to our letters seeking for audience with each of them.
- The attempt to impeach the Governor of Rivers State barely about six months in office without explaining to the good people of the State, the reasons and infractions of law is UNACCEPTABLE.
- The Forum condemn every form of violence and lawlessness in Rivers State and therefore demand proper investigation of the crisis and those responsible be brought to Justice.
- The Forum reviewed the demolition of the Rivers State House of Assembly by the Rivers State Government and urged the Government to expedite action on rebuilding the demolished House of Assembly Complex so that law makers will continue their legislative business in the permanent site within the shortest possible time.
- The Forum condemn in its entirety, the misuse of Rivers people political power vested in politicians by the people for personal gains and interest. Hence, we condemn in its entirety, the recent defection of twenty seven law makers without recourse to their constituents.
- The Forum is aware of and thus rejects, the news making the rounds on social media of Forum Shopping And Purchase Of Legal Instruments outside Rivers State to cause crisis in the State, thereby endangering human lives and property.
“An alleged already written/ premeditated court ruling by one Justice DonatusOkorowo of Federal High Court 8 Abuja on an EXPARTE application secretly filled
The president’s intervention has been hailed by many as timely and prudent.
But many others are disappointed with it. These had wanted the crises to be a vehicle of change in the state’s polity.
This is because, the question of “who is actually in charge of Rivers State?” still lingers. It is more so as the peace pact has reverted all things to the status quo, a former condition during which the question was predominant.
Watchers say also that Governor Fubara himself seems not to have come to terms with the fact his office takes the final decision in the State. In his grim circumstance, his move to choose the people that will work with him may amount to a break loose from the political structure that brought him power on “a platter of gold” which his godfather had established.
Observers are also wondering whether the said PDP structure can as well serve the APC, given the work that Chief Wike is handling as minister in an APC government.