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Tinubu intervenes in Fubara/Wike crisis

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… I haven’t sacked anyone, says Fubara

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President Bola Tinubu has intervened in the political crisis rocking Rivers State, by calling on the warring parties to sheathe their sword and embrace peace.

The president made the intervention on Tuesday, at the National Police Council meeting attended by the Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Nyesom Wike, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), at the Presidential Villa, on Tuesday.

Read also: Tinubu steps in to mediate Fubara-Wike rift

This came as the council, attended by governors of the 36 states of the federation, confirmed Kayode Egbetokun as the substantive inspector–general of police (IGP).

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State disclosed this while briefing State House journalists after the meeting presided over by Tinubu.

Wike was sighted earlier at the beginning of the meeting in a warm embrace with Governor Fubara, at the Presidential Villa.

Read also: Fubara denies sacking anybody, says Rivers people will resist impeachment

The Rivers State governor and his estranged godfather had met at the meeting for the first time at the State House, Abuja, since the crisis became public on Sunday.

The relationship between Fubara and his predecessor, Wike reportedly became sour over appointments of important aides, including commissioners.

An unconfirmed report indicates that the former governor was accused of imposing appointees on the incumbent governor, which is believed to be the genesis of the brewing political crisis in the state.

The crisis between Fubara and Wike reportedly led to moves by 24 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to impeach Fubara resulting in turbulence in the state on Monday, as the governor’s loyalists stormed the assembly complex in protest against the plot.

This came after the House of Assembly located along Moscow Road in Port Harcourt was torched by suspected arsonists on Sunday. A section of the chamber was damaged, and some properties were destroyed

Preying newsmen, especially photojournalists were, however, prevented from taking photographs by overzealous security men.

Before they went into a closed door, some of the governors including Wike, Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Adviser (NSA), and Solomon Arase, chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), were sighted as they engaged in discussion while others exchanging banters.

In the ensuing development, Wike later proceeded to shake hands and briefly exchange pleasantries with Governor Fubara after he had disengaged from the NSA.

Meanwhile, Governor Fubara has said that he has not sacked anybody, including local council chairmen, commissioners as earlier rumoured. He, however, stated his readiness to fight back and stop any impeachment move against him.

A gale of sack in the state was reported on Monday, but the denial came Tuesday, from Boniface Onyedi, the senior special adviser to Fubara, who quoted the newly appointed commissioner of information and communications, Joe Johnson.

Read also: Wike, Fubara embrace in Aso Rock, as Tinubu presides over Police Council meeting

Johnson said in a statement that there had been unfounded reports making the rounds on various media platforms about Fubara sacking certain categories of his aides and local council chairmen.

“This is to clarify that His Excellency has not given me such directive as the official spokesman of the state government as of today (Tuesday), October 31, 2023,” he said.

“Our dear governor is a technocrat, with a robust civil service background, kind-hearted and a very humane person who does things according to laid down rules and with the fear of God.

“We therefore ask Rivers people and the general public to jettison such unconfirmed reports as the public will be properly informed of who may have been removed by His Excellency at the appropriate time.”