• Monday, July 15, 2024
businessday logo


Rivers: Fubara consolidates power, cancels Wike’s 10,000 jobs

Pro-Wike lawmakers give Fubara 7 days to represent budget

Governor Siminalayi Fubara is seen consolidating his control of power in Rivers politics, as he announced the cancellation of the 10, 000 civil service jobs approved by Nyesom Wike, his estranged political godfather and predecessor in office.

Before handing over power on May 29, 2023, Wike, now minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), approved the employment of 10,000 persons to strengthen the Rivers’ workforce.

But on Friday, during an interactive session with stakeholders in Port Harcourt, Fubara announced the cancellation of the job offers, citing a flawed process, political patronage, lack of merit, and distortion by persons entrusted to handle it.

According to him, a more transparent process would commence soon. The governor, who has been having a running battle with Wike, said when the names of those selected from the 23 local government areas of the state were examined, they were discovered to have been smuggled in for political patronage rather than on merit.

“On the ten thousand jobs, when we came on board, we already had details that were submitted to us from the 23 local government areas.

“When we subjected those names to proper scrutiny, 60 percent of those names were over-aged. They were names that people brought for political patronage.

“But what we are talking about today is employment for the future. I, personally after the analysis of those things, said ‘How will you employ somebody who is 52 years old as a civil servant?’

“How many years is the person going to work before retirement?” Fubara queried.

Recall that a High Court in Port Harcourt, on Thursday, declared the seats of 25 lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), vacant, in what may have further strengthened Fubara’s hold on power.

The lawmakers loyal to Wike have been at loggerheads with Fubara over the running of the affairs of the oil-rich state. At some point, after they defected to the APC, they threatened Fubara with impeachment.

The high court said their seats would remain vacant until the determination of a pending suit.

The order came from the justice, Charles Wali, in Suit No PHC/1512/CS/2024. The case was filed by Victor Jumbo, the speaker from the Fubara camp of the Rivers House of Assembly, backed by Sokari Sokari and Orubienimigha Timothy, on the current crises rocking the state Assembly.

The court ordered Martin Amaewhule, the factional speaker of the House, to stop parading himself as speaker. The court also barred the 25 defected lawmakers from posing as lawmakers in the state.

The judge declared thus: “An Order of Interlocutory Injunction is granted restraining the 1st to 25th defendants from parading themselves as members of the Rivers House of Assembly and/or meeting/sitting at the auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters located at Aba Road, Port Harcourt,

“Their legislative seats are hereby declared vacant pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

“An order of Interlocutory Injunction is hereby made restraining the 26th to 28th defendants from dealing with, interfacing, accepting any resolutions, borrills and/or interacting with the first to 25th descendants in their purported capacities as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly,

“Their legislative seats have been declared vacant with effect from December 13, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

“That this case is adjourned to July 1, 2024 for mention,” the court held.