The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned Governor Siminalayi Fubara against the implementation of the deal brokered by President Bola Tinubu on the political crisis in Rivers State.
The pact, signed on December 18th, aimed to quell political turmoil ignited by the defection of 27 state lawmakers from the PDP to the ruling APC. The agreement, however, has left a bitter aftertaste, with the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) vehemently opposing its implementation.
Fubara, defending his stance in a Christmas Day broadcast, assured that the deal wouldn’t compromise the state’s interests and emphasised his commitment to restoring political stability. He pointed to the withdrawal of a purported impeachment notice by the defecting lawmakers and the release of their withheld allowances as positive steps towards reconciliation.
“I have said before there is no price too much to pay for peace,” the governor declared, echoing President Tinubu’s sentiment of prioritising peace despite mixed reactions from the public.
He pledged to pursue peace with all parties without jeopardising the well-being of Rivers’ citizens.
However, the PDP NWC’s response was far from conciliatory. They argued that the pact, primarily concerning the legal fate of the defecting lawmakers, transcended the governor’s authority and encroached upon constitutional matters. “The question of the seats (being vacant) is a clear constitutional issue,” stated Timothy Osadolor, PDP Deputy National Youth Leader, “not at the wishes and discretion of President Tinubu or any other person.”
The party further claimed ownership of the votes represented by the defectors, reminding Fubara that the PDP, not the “Villa” (referring to the seat of the Presidency), possessed legal standing to pursue the case in court.
“The one within the governor’s purview is to pay salaries and allowances…to the date their seats become vacant,” Osadolor clarified, hinting at potential legal consequences for implementing the deal against the party’s will.
Also, the former PDP National Secretary, Ibrahim Tsauri, cautioned the governor against committing a “political blunder.” He acknowledged the moral implications of upholding the agreement but warned that doing so would be “politically incorrect” and put Fubara at odds with his party.