• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Danger averted in Port Harcourt as 69,000 youths stopped from Rivers Assembly

Danger averted in Port Harcourt  as 69,000 youths stopped from Rivers Assembly

…Fubara set to unleash most dreaded weapon, probe

Danger might have been averted in Port Harcourt, the troubled Rivers State capital when over 69,000 youths who were set to forment trouble at the Rivers State House of Assembly, were stopped last minute.

This as Governor Sim Fubara was reportedly set to unleash what many feared would be the fiercest arow in his arsenal to aggravate political crisis in the State, a crisis that was caused as a result of misunderstanding between him and his erstwhile godfather, Nyesom Wike.

Governor Fubara has indicated intention to set up a probe panel, saying he would not go back on the decision.

He had also sworn in a new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dagogo Israel Iboroma (SAN), who was screened by the three-man House of Assembly.

The Oko Jumbo-led House who thanked the governor for providing alternative sitting venue, confirmed Iboroma a commissioner to serve in the State Executive Council.

The commissioner-nominee had been led to the floor of the House by the Sergeant-at-Arms, David Wariboko.

Iboroma, standing before the House, fielded questions, and assured that his allegiance shall be to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Rivers State Governor and the State, while upholding his oath of office and contributing his professional expertise.

Read also: Political unrest in Nigeria’s oil capital stokes economic fears

Threats of probe:

Swearing Iboroma in, Gov Fubara hinted of plans to set up a judicial panel of inquiry soon to investigate how the affairs of governance were conducted in the State before he assumed office.

Many had feared that the disagreement between the two could get out of hand and one may probe the other.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had hunted Fubara when he was Accountant-General of the State to explain why N115 billion was withdrawn across the counter.

The EFCC had left Wike the then governor alone because of immunity protection. Now, Fubara wears immunity but Wike does not any more.

So, revelations from inside may arouse the interest of the anti-graft agencies.

Many have also pointed at many properties believed to belong to the Government but which seem to be in private ownership now.

Others say most contracts were awarded over the counter in huge amounts. For this, they said, it might not be a good time for a probe panel because of cans of worms that might be opened.

The governor told the new Attorney General that bravery and courage were needed at this time.

He took swipes at the former Attorney-General and said this new one would not be the type that was sabotaging Government and siding with those filing cases against the Government by entering nolle prose qui.

“Please defend us, but we know you will because our hands are clean”, the governor said to the Attorney-General nominee.

Saying God did not make any mistake in making him governor, he said he thought the political crisis would fizzle out because they all were one political family but since it was not so, he had to move on (understood to mean fight on).

“It has become very clear that this disagreement, there is no way to resolve it amicably. And for a lot of reasons, there are visible evidence that there is sabotage, deliberate attempt to sabotage this administration”, he noted.

Taking more swipes, he said the former Commissioner for Justice went to stand before a Magistrate in Court despite being the chief law officer of the state, and a SAN.

Read also: Fubara to probe Rivers administration under Wike


War songs continued to ring out from other parts of Rivers State. The present Chief of Staff, Edison Ebie, who was factional speaker before he resigned, told a huge gathering at Ahoada why he was declared wanted by the Police. He said it was because he rejected huge sums offered him to impeach Fubara in the October failed impeachment move.

He went on: “They invited me, your son, to impeach the governor and I told them clearly, I was not interested. They gave me all the money that was hidden before, which I rejected. And because I refused, they conspired and declared me wanted.”

Last year, Ehie was declared wanted by the police in connection with the invasion of the State House of Assembly. In October 2023, an explosion rattled the state assembly building amidst reports of lawmakers attempting to impeach Fubara. It was alleged that certain individuals with close ties to the governor were implicated in the incident.

The Martin Amaewhule-led lawmakers had reportedly lodged criminal complaints against Ehie with the Rivers State Police Command regarding the invasion and arson of the Rivers State House of Assembly chambers by unidentified hoodlums.

Read also: Pro-Fubara parliament begins screening task, SAN to appear Monday morning

Why Assembly quarters were not occupied:

It has been revealed why the House of Assembly was not occupied Monday morning. There was a statement revealing that solidarity groups from the 23 local council areas were to move 3000 youths each making 69,000 to occupy the House of Assembly Quarters.

The place had been occupied by the Rivers APC section loyal to Wike in alleged solidarity with the 27 defected lawmakers who have been told to vacate the quarters. Threats were rife that the government was sending bulldozers that way.

The Police had earlier occupied the place. Had the 69,000 youths arrived, the place would have been chaotic and physical confrontation which is the last stage of such crisis would have ensued.

Sources said lives would have been lost and the crisis would have entered a new twist that would lead to total breakdown of law and order.

Newsmen who laid ambush in the area to await the arrival of the LGA troops waited in vain. It was later gathered that advice came that the movement should be suspended.

Read also: Rivers APC arrowhead digs up Gov Fubara’s presidential election vote

Debate on status of defected lawmakers hots up

Meanwhile, debate on the status of the 27 defected lawmakers in the state from the PDP to the APC is hotting up again.

The PDP national secretariat has sent in strong statement that the lawmakers were no more in existence.

Top lawyers in the APC- led by Felix Morka, National Publicity Secretary, just countered and declared it a hogwash. They quoted various sections of the Constitution to show the lawmakers were still in good standing with the law.

On the other hand, Femi Falana, a seasoned legal light, has thrown his weight again, saying the lawmakers stand extinct.

Many observers in the crisis said the situation is pregnant and the coming days and weeks remain unpredictable unless urgent reconciliation is allowed to take place.