• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Pro-Wike lawmakers give Fubara 7 days to represent budget

Pro-Wike lawmakers give Fubara 7 days to represent budget

…As Fubara-backed lawmakers continue legislative business

The crisis in Rivers State is seen deepening after last week’s Appeal Court’s ruling which seemed to give wind to the Nyesom Wike-backed faction of the state House of Assembly.

On Monday, July 8, 2024, the pro-Wike faction of the House of Assembly sat and issued a seven-day ultimatum to Governor Sim Fubara to represent the 2024 budget to them.

The budget was passed by the Assembly faction loyal to Governor Fubara and is currently under intensive implementation.

The Pro-Wike faction is comprised of 25 lawmakers who allegedly defected to the APC from the PDP and is led by Martin Chike Amaewhule as speaker. In their Monday sitting, they accused Fubara of breaching the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), extant laws, and judgements of competent courts of law.

They called the attention of Fubara to the fact that he is yet to present the 2024 Appropriation Bill of the state to the duly constituted Rivers State House of Assembly in line with the provisions of Section 121 of the constitution and compliance with the judgment of Justice Omotosho of the Federal High Court.

They resolved to give the governor seven days from the date of the resolution to present the ‘Appropriation Bill’ to the House.

The House also drew the attention of Fubara to his breach of Section 192(2) of the constitution wherein he swore in purported members of the state executive council as commissioners as well as a breach of Section 7 (1) of the constitution and the Rivers State Local Government (Amendment) Law, 2023, wherein he again swore in certain unelected individuals to manage the affairs of the 23 local government councils in the state, in flagrant disobedience to the constitution and judgment of Justice Omotosho of the Federal High Court.

Commenting, the speaker, Amaewhule, decried a situation where the governor in total disregard to the constitution and judgments of courts transacts legislative business with three suspended members of the Assembly, who he said paraded themselves as the House of Assembly of the state.

On the other hand, the three-man Fubara-backed faction of the state House of Assembly led by Victor Oko-Jumbo as speaker, went ahead to screen more commissioner-nominees and deliberated on a bill seeking to provide for the establishment of the Rivers State Emergency Management Agency and connected purposes have been committed to an ad-hoc committee by the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Also committed to an ad hoc committee is a bill seeking to implement, regulate, and coordinate a modernised and sustainable transportation system as well as establish the Rivers State Transport Authority.

This followed a debate on the two bills on Monday, July 8, 2024, on the floor of the house.

Commencing debate on the two bills, leader, Sokari Goodboy Sokari, said the bill was crucial for state emergencies and disasters and emphasised that the bill if passed into law would help reduce the incessant natural disasters in the state, citing oil spills and fire outbreaks as examples.

On the Rivers State Transport Reform Law 2023, the leader said the bill was thoughtful, timely and in line with Fubara’s vision of re-modelling Port Harcourt city.

Sokari Goodboy also said the bill if passed into law would achieve a well reformed transport system in the state as well as attract investors.

Oko-Jumbo, the speaker, at the end of the debate while committing the bills to ad-hoc committees, stressed that the bill would help reduce the activities of “one chance” operators in the state.