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Rivers APC chairman accuses Fubara of breaching peace deal



Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Rivers, Chief Tony Okocha has accused the state Governor, Siminialayi Fubara of delaying the implementation of the eight-point resolution toward ending political crisis in the state.

Ripples Nigeria recalls that political tension enveloped the state in October 2023 when 27 lawmakers said to be loyal to Fubara’s predecessor, Nyesom Wike, threatened to impeach the Governor.

The crisis reached a crescendo with the burning of the State House of Assembly Complex on October 30.

President Bola Tinubu, however, stepped in and negotiated a peace agreement to restore peace.

Okocha, while reacting to the peace deal in an interview in Port Harcourt on Sunday, said that the delay in implementing the agreement was not good for political peace in Rivers.

Okocha, who represents Rivers State in the Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said that the continued delay was a disrespect to the President and other political actors.

According to Okocha, the political quarrel began when the state House of Assembly was burnt, declaring that it was a deliberate attempt by certain persons at high quarters to make it impossible for lawmakers to sit.

“When the matter reached a crescendo and was almost turning into an emergency, several calls were put across to President Tinubu to wade in.

“The President subsequently invited all the stakeholders from both sides and we had a very decent meeting devoid of intimidation, harassment, duress or undue advantage given to anyone.

“During the meeting, Tinubu emphasised the importance of upholding democracy and opted for a diplomatic approach.

“Following the discussions, the President presented an eight-point proclamation document and handed it over to former Rivers governor Peter Odili.

“At every point Odili read each point from the document, Tinubu interjected and asked if we were okay, and everybody echoed ‘yes’.

“After all parties agreed to the resolution, Gov. Fubara, his deputy, Wike, myself, PDP chairman in Rivers, National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu and Martins Amaewhule, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, all signed the document,” he recalled.

Continuing, the APC chairman said that after signing the document, Fubara requested protection for his supporters against victimisation, which the President assured.

He, however, said that it was regrettable that the governor had been influenced by a purported elders’ forum to deviate from the agreement he willingly signed before President Tinubu.

Okocha noted that the governor occasionally yielded and, at other times, presented himself as lacking control over both himself and his administration.

“The governor has implemented six resolutions, including withdrawing all cases before the courts, freeing the legislature, paying allowances due to lawmakers, and recognising Amaewhule as Speaker.

“But, he has refused to implement two crucial agreements – the re-presentation of the state budget before the 27 lawmakers and the conduct of local government elections,” he said.

Okocha recalled that the president informed Fubara that no other titles outside those recognised by the constitution would be used for the leadership of local governments.

“Specifically, the President kicked against caretaker committees or sole administrators for the local government councils.

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“So, Gov. Fubara cannot, in his wildest imagination, continue to do as he pleases. He cannot continue to run the state without a budget,” Okocha explained.

He also stated that the local government chairmen tenure would end on June 10, with required to be conduct elections 60 days before the incumbents’ tenure expires.

He criticised Fubara’s governance style and highlighted the need for adherence to constitutional processes and agreements to ensure stability and progress.

The chairman threatened legal action to ensure compliance, emphasising the need for peaceful governance and adherence to the law, adding that the state was currently “sitting on a keg of gunpowder”.

“So, we will not stand aside and watch him violate the legal and constitutional agreement; we will not allow Fubara to disrespect the office of the president.

“Drafting a chairman or a sole administrator to oversee a local government is an aberration; only elected executives are recognised by law.

“Although, no time frame was given for implementing the resolution, the governor cannot run the state without a budget,” he explained.

Okocha claimed that Gov. Fubara, who was “an unexpected candidate in the PDP primaries, rode to power on Wike’s support”.

“The governor was not a politician but a career civil servant, but Wike sat on the noses of politicians and threw up Fubara who lacked political background.

“Nobody gives power for nothing without negotiating for something; Fubara has reneged on agreements reached in the bedroom,” he said.

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