• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Wike, Fubara’s clash triggers APC call for state of emergency

Wike, Fubara’s clash triggers APC call for state of emergency

… Rival faction counters call as police seal councils

Tony Okocha, caretaker committee chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State, has called for a state of emergency in the state.

Okocha spoke at a press briefing on Wednesday where he accused Siminalyi Fubara, the state governor, of being the architect of the crisis.

Okocha said the war is not just looming but is already at hand, noting that young men with guns from the creeks have entered Port Harcourt.

The caretaker chairman said he also noticed strange movements at a hospital where he went to take treatment, and that security reports getting to him showed that black vehicles were moving about in his area. “I had to escape from the hospital,” he said.

Accusing Fubara of being the cause of the troubles, Okocha said by refusing to conduct local council elections before now, he has created a vacuum and invited mayhem.

He said no local council chairman was unwilling to vacate office but that the failure to conduct the elections made the Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) domesticate a national law that empowered the National Assembly to extend the tenure of chairmen for initial six months.

Okocha, who had earlier called for the impeachment of the governor, said the stage of the crisis is advanced and that only a state of emergency would solve the problem.

Read also: Rivers govt denies judgment declaring pro-Wike lawmakers as PDP members

He wondered why the governor was in a hurry to install new caretaker committees in the 23 LGAs whereas the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal are set to make declarations on such matters.

“Maybe he wants the expected decisions to be rendered useless.”

Okocha also refuted claims by former governor and former minister of transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, that 84 percent of Nigerians do not like the Bola Ahmed Tinubu government.

Okocha said Amaechi must provide the statistics of the study that gave him such a result, or Nigerians must regard it as his personal opinion.

He said Rivers’ people and Nigerians stand solidly behind Tinubu and that an APC caucus meeting in Calabar just affirmed it, saying Tinubu is free to even contest the 2027 election.

Police seal councils

Meanwhile, the Rivers State police command has made good its threat to seal all LGA secretariats in the state. A visit to the PH City Council showed policemen in fatigue blocking all access to the place. Vehicles turned back to seek alternative routes.

Faction counters Okocha’s call

However, a rival faction of the APC has countered Okocha’s call for a state of emergency in Rivers State.

Countering the call, Darlington Nwauju, publicity secretary of the elected executives of the APC in the state, said state of emergency cannot be the solution to the crisis.

“I wish to quickly inform the people of the State that the APC in Rivers State did not at any point in time hold any meeting amongst its members or hold consultations amongst its leaders to decide that at this point in time, the best strategy or formula to nip in the bud the brewing political crisis is to demand for a ‘State of Emergency’.

“There were no such consultations. There were no such meetings, and so it cannot stand as the aggregate opinion of members of the APC across the 390 wards in Rivers State.”

Read also: Amaechi finally speaks on Fubara, Wike feud

Nwauju said the call is unnecessary, illogical, and also unpatriotic. “Rivers State must have other means to settle these political issues.

“Do not forget that due to the strategic role Rivers State plays in the economy of Nigeria, one must be very careful in handling or making suggestions to possible ways and means to manage these challenges.

“We hope as a political party that peace shall return completely across all the nooks and crannies of our dear Rivers State. So, fermenting troubles or causing confusion is not what the state requires at this point in time.

“Our prayer remains that the God of Heaven shall cause peace that passeth all understanding on Rivers State. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Okocha and other members of the caretaker committee have received extension of mandate from the national caretaker committee of the party to continue to lead the party in the state. They however reject any claim that there is another faction in the party.