Rivers Politicians Loyal To Wike Call On Fubara Not To Tamper With Assembly Structures


Some political leaders in Rivers State loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, on Sunday, May 12, 2024, called on Governor Siminalayi Fubara, to shelve any plan to tamper with structures at the State House of Assembly quarters located along Aba Road in Port Harcourt.

The elders made up of past and present members of the National Assembly, Local Government chairmen, and opinion leaders made the call shortly after they paid a surprise visit to the quarters to assess the condition of the buildings.

The political leaders said that their intervention followed the recent visit of Governor Fubara to the facility and insinuations of a plan to renovate the quarters which currently houses the chamber of the Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly.

The leaders who were accompanied by other stakeholders in the state, were received by Amaewhule and other lawmakers before they were taken around the structures in the complex and the auditorium which presently serves as a legislative chamber.

Briefing the leaders, Amaewhule said there was a grand plot by the governor to bring down the structures the same way he ordered the demolition of the House of Assembly Complex located along Moscow Road to stop the legislators from sitting.

He said the structures were in excellent condition, fully functional, and were currently occupied by the lawmakers and their family members and therefore condemned the way and manner the governor stormed the quarters aided by thugs and armed policemen just as he alleged that Fubara broke the gate and allowed others to scale the fence.

Amaewhule said the lawmakers never invited the governor to come to the quarters adding that the estate remained the property of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Amaewhule further said; “Your visit is unusual visit. It shows that the good people of the state are concerned about what is happening. This facility is the facility of the Rivers State House of Assembly. We have also brought in experts, engineers and there is nothing wrong with these structures. They are fully in use and fully functional.

“All the experts confirmed to us that this building is one of the best in the entire West Africa. This complex was constructed by the former Governor, Nyesom Wike and inaugurated in August 2022 by the current chief of staff to Mr. President, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila. We are happy with the building and everything is working well.

“We didn’t write to the governor and we didn’t invite him. We didn’t ask for his help because we don’t need it. We don’t need his intervention in any way. Any attempt to talk about reconstruction or demolition is clearly an assault on democracy and an assault on members resident in these buildings.

“The Rivers State Government is not the office of the governor. It comprises the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. The governor has no right to claim it as his personal property. It is the property of the Rivers State House of Assembly. So without an invitation to the governor, he has no right to break into our property,” he said.

Amaewhule specifically said that the governor had no right to make any Executive Order directing lawmakers where to hold their sittings, stressing that the judgement of Justice Omotosho is clear, stressing that the action of Governor Fubara was a flagrant violation of orders of the Federal High Court, none of which had been vacated.

According to him; “All the orders of injunction by that court are still in place. None had been vacated. The law is on the side of members. The orders of the three high courts are still in place. The duty of ascertaining whether there is a problem is the duty of the Assembly not the office of the governor.

“This facility belongs to the Rivers State House of Assembly and it remains so. We are not an appendage of the office of the governor.

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Kingsley Chinda, while stating the purpose of their visit, said they were worried about reports of another impending demolition of a democratic institution and decided to assess the condition of the premises.

Chinda said before their visit, they had already engaged experts to assess the integrity of the structures at the complex and their report showed that they would last for more than 25 years.

He observed that the Assembly built by Wike about two years ago and inaugurated by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives remained the best in Africa and was better than the National legislative quarters.

He said: “Let me salute the speaker and members of the House. The assembly complex that was brought down some leaders of the state went to the USA to get that design. When it was built, it was the best state assembly in this country. That structure is nowhere today.

“However, as members of the National Assembly from Rivers State, we have joined the leaders and elders of the state to discuss the issues happening in our state, the latest being the threat to bring down the structures in this premises.

“We want to advise the governor to bridle a little bit at the exuberance that we had seen within this period. It doesn’t portend well to our state”.

Chinda said the National Assembly was observing and monitoring the situation in Rivers and would soon decide on the collective interest of the state.

Speaking in turn, Hon Igo Aguma, a former member of the House of Representatives, said that Justice Omotosho’s judgment indicted the governor of wilful destruction of the assembly complex, alleging that Fubara committed a criminal offence.

He said: “I want to remind the governor that the same Justice Omotosho judgment had found that he wilfully brought down the institution of the Parliament in the Rivers State House of Assembly by demolishing it.

“We will not run away. We will fight him back. Democracy is the best form of government and we will have democracy in Rivers. He should take pity on the governed and remember that Rivers State House of Assembly has made itself financially autonomous.

In his own remarks, Senator Olaka Nwogu said it was not the building that made the parliament but the people and the constitution, adding that; “it is the duty of the chief executive of the state to do everything to ensure that there is law and order. What example do you put out when you become the chief lawbreaker, demolisher of the institution of the state, and a waste of its resources? This is unacceptable.

The Rivers Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC, Chief Tony Okocha, commended the leaders and elders across party lines for defending democracy saying it was a demonstration of the unity in the state.

Okocha said the 27 lawmakers remained members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that the party would continue to protect them.

Some of the leaders at the visit are Kingsly Chinda, representing Obio/Akpor at the House Representatives; Emmanuel Deeyah, former House of Rep member; Senator Olaka Nwogu,

Chief Tony Okocha, Igo Aguma; Desmond Akawor, former PDP Chairman, Rivers State; Fred Kpakol, former Finance Commissioner; Emeka Woke, MD/CEO, Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority; George Ariolu, LGA Chairman, Obio/Akpor; Erasmu Awoto, LGA chairman, Andoni; Samuel Nwanosike, LGA chairman Ikwerre among others.


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