• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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BusinessDay

Much-expected ‘Ides of June’ begins in Rivers

…as shooting, invasion overtake most LGAs
…Governor’s broadcast signals action

Most local council headquarters are right now on fire as youths have invaded them and shooting taking place in some.

This seems to mark the beginning of the much-expected ‘Ides of June’ when many expected chaos to start. It was to mark the end of the tenure of the local council chairmen and councilors and beginning of another, in the expectation of clashes as the outgoing ones said they would not leave.

They had said the amended LGA Law had extended their tenure for another six months in the absence of succession elections.

The state government did not say anything but the body language showed that new leaders (interim management committees) would take over, something the Nyesom Wike-backed councils vowed to resist.

The broadcast

The day has come and the state governor made a broadcast declaring end of their tenure and asked heads of local government administration (HLGA) to take over.

In the broadcast, the governor sued for peace, recalled what he has achieved so far, and paid glowing complements to the outgoing council leaderships.

Read also: The Ides of June: Last hope of Rivers LGA chairmen hangs on Supreme Court as Appeal Court in PH fails to stop Fubara

Urging the heads to strive with vigour, the governor further stressed that: “I assure you, my good people of Rivers State, that we shall continue to defend you, provide infrastructural development, sound healthcare delivery, quality education and undiluted welfare service packages for all our people and workers.

“Once again, I thank you my dear good people of Rivers State, for your steadfast support and dedication to our shared vision of unity, progress and prosperity.”

The governor noted that, “Together, we will continue to build a brighter and better future for all,” and wished all Rivers people, especially the Muslim faithful a happy Salah Holiday.

Situation Report

All eyes first went to local council headquarters such as Ikwerre, Obio-Akpor, Emohua, and Eleme where the outgoing council bosses issued fierce threats against any attempt to come close to the council headquarters. Obio/Akpor is home council of former governor Wike now FCT Minister.

The man now seen as the political arrowhead of Obio/Akpor LGA, Chijioke Ihunwo, who leads the youths in the state as president of the National Youth Council, marched down the council headquarters with youths. Viral video showed massive number of youths pushing through the walls of the council at Rumuodumanwa singing the new liberation song: “Dey Your Dey; Nobody Worry Nobody.”

In Omuma LGA, the walls built by the powerful Kelechi Nwogu fell flat as young men and others massed at the secretariat in Oyigbo singing same liberation song.

Gunshots took over in Port Harcourt City Council as youths invaded the area and allegedly met some resistance. The secretariat is close to the Police Command on Moscow Road.
The chairman who goes by the title of Mayor was chased out amidst gunshots. Sources said blood was shed.

A man spoke in a video footing that the ex-mayor would pay for shedding such blood. They vowed to stay at the secretariat to stop anybody from interfering. They claimed to protect the council.

The same was reported in Eleme where the council chairman had the previous day warned that people would be sent to meet their ancestors early if they dared to come close to the secretariat. By 11am, the secretariat was flattened and his portrait was flat on the floor.

Chidi Lloyd in Emohua had boasted much how he would defend his extended tenure but massive movement surged in the secretariat and youths were reported to have taken over.

The situation still developing in most of the councils. Some councils had quietly endorsed the governor’s move and allegedly negotiated peace and handover.

The police said they would protect the people and the secretariats but such protection appeared far-fetched.

Watch video here

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