BREAKING: Rivers Crisis Takes New Dimension

The raging political impasse in Rivers State assumed a new twist yesterday with the resignation of four commissioners in Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s cabinet.

The commissioners, who resigned separately and at different times of yesterday, are loyalists of the minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike.

They are the attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Professor Zaccheaus Adango; commissioner for works, Dr. Dakorima George Kelly; the commissioner for special projects, Chukwuemeka Woke, and commissioner of Finance, Isaac Kamalu….CONTINUE READING HERE

The cabinet members had served in Wike’s administration in different capacities. While Adango and Woke were Wike’s attorney-general and commissioner for justice and chief of staff, respectively, Kelly and Kamalu served as special adviser on special projects and finance, respectively.

Before their resignation, Fubara’s cabinet had 24 members.

The feud between Fubara and Wike, which came to national light in October, had since led to a failed impeachment move on the governor and a division in the House of Assembly, amid legal battles.

The tussle further led to the defection of 27 House of Assembly members loyal to Wike earlier this week, the declaration of their seats as vacant and the demolition of the State Assembly Complex.

The political rift has remained intense in spite of interventions by President Bola Tinubu and other elder statesmen, including leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum chairman, Chief Edwin Clark, and former Rivers State governor, Rufus Ada-George.

The resignation of the commissioners has taken the battle for supremacy between Fubara and his estranged political godfather to a new height.

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Adango, in a letter addressed to the governor, through the secretary to the state government (SSG), which was made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, said his resignation was based on personal decision.

He thanked the governor for the opportunity and privilege to serve in his administration as a member of the cabinet. My family and I are indebted to Your Excellency in gratitude,” he said.

27 Wike Loyalists Relocate Sitting To Legislators’ Quarters

Meanwhile, following the demolition of the State House of Assembly complex, the Martins Amaewhule-led lawmakers have relocated the sitting venue of the House to the Legislators’ Quarters in Port Harcourt.

The lawmakers, via a motion yesterday, adopted and converted the auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters as its hallowed Chamber.

This is as the House condemned what it described as heartless and brazen demolition of the House of Assembly complex by Governor Fubara without the approval and knowledge of the House.

The House, in a motion sponsored by 26 members and moved by Hon. Ofiks Kabang, representing Andoni Constituency in the House, drew the attention of the federal government, the Inspector-General of Police and the international community to the constant attacks by Fubara on the legislature of Rivers State.

During the 88th legislative sitting of the House held yesterday, the lawmakers, who are loyal to the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), passed two bills into law.

The bills were the Rivers State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023 and the Rivers State Local Government Law, No. 5 of 2018 (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

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Commenting on the House of Assembly Funds Management bill, Speaker Amaewhule emphasized the importance of the passage of the bill, noting that it will provide for the management of funds accruing to the House of Assembly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state.

He explained that the law will ensure accountability and efficient utilisation of funds.

He further stated that the House decided to delete some sections of the State Local Government Law, No. 5 of 2018, and amended some other sections because those sections were anachronistic and an anathema to democratic rule.

The speaker stated that with the passage of the amendment Bill, elected local government council chairmen and councillors would be liberated from arbitrary removals and suspensions.

Fubara Signs Budget Into Law

Also yesterday Governor Fubara signed into law the 2024 appropriation bill of N800 billion.

Shortly after signing the bill at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Fubara explained that with the budget providing framework for spending in 2024, his administration will undertake notable critical road projects that will connect more communities across several local governments to meet age-long yearnings of Rivers people.

The governor said: “This budget shows that we have a plan for our dear state. One of the reasons why our budget is in the volume of N800bn is that we intend, not just by desiring, to ensure that one key request of our dear state is met.

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“God being our helper, we will commence immediately, by next year, flagging off the actual and main Trans-Kalabari road project phase 2.

“We have also, in our budget, provided to take care of the Elele-Omoku road project; the road that cuts through Ikwerre, Emohua and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Areas. We are also taking that project as one of our cardinal achievements of this administration. We are not going back on it.”

He assured that no efforts will be spared in implementing to the full the quality projects and services itemised in the 2024 appropriation.

Fubara emphasised that the budget will be driven in a manner that will make a positive impact on the lives of all residents in Rivers State because they will see and feel development at their doorsteps.

The governor said: “I want to assure you that this administration has the best interest of our people. It is an administration that wants everyone to have hope. We have keyed into the Renewed Hope Agenda of our dear President Bola Tinubu to continue to assure our people of hope. The best of us will be seen by everyone.

“We will continue to protect the interest of our people, do the best for everyone, not minding your position or class. Our government is a responsive and inclusive government. Our eyes and ears are open to the needs of our people. We will not disappoint you.”…CONTINUE READING HERE