Governors under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has justified their backing of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s intervention in the Rivers State political crisis.
All Nigeria Latest News reports that the PDP governors explained that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) was desirous of the quick resolution of the conflict, adding that the president’s mediation became necessary to prevent its spread to other states.
As the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) ramps up efforts in resolving internal conflicts, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), maintained that he has no reason to meddle in the governance of Rivers. Wike, who previously served the state as governor for eight years, made it clear that he sees no cause for interference in the affairs of the state.
Wike ascertained that his priority was limited to the protection of the political structures built since 2015.
The governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, who had assured that the rift between him and the minister would be amicably resolved, secured another court injunction that put on hold the impeachment moves against him by the House of Assembly.
While reacting, the PDP Governors’ Forum Chairman and the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, defended President Tinubu’s intervention in the rift.
Mohammed said contrary to criticisms by some PDP chieftains believed to be loyal to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that its commendation of President Tinubu was “too patronising” and capable of leading the PDP into oblivion, the truce brokered by him was consistent with the NGF agenda.
The Forum’s Director General, CID Maduabum, said in a statement that the action of the Bauchi governor was an act of courtesy.
He added that Tinubu’s intervention in Rivers and his non-interference in the proceedings of the election tribunals were commendable.
The Forum’s statement reads: “For the avoidance of doubts and to clarify the sequence of events, it was, in fact, the Chairman of the NGF, Governor Malam Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Razaq of Kwara State, an APC Governor, that took leadership in intimating Mr. President of the situation in Rivers State.
“All the governors of 36 states supported the move. In particular, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Bala Mohammed, lent his weight and support to the move.
“It should be noted that Gov. Fubara is a member of the NGF and the Vice-Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum. President Tinubu agreed to intervene as requested.
“It is most disingenuous for certain persons to lampoon the courtesies extended to Mr. President for his intervention.
“It should be noted that the events that played out in Rivers had national security implications; it had the potential to lead to a breakdown of law and order.
“Indeed, the Rivers State Police Command acknowledged as much in its statement issued on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.
“Mr. President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and effectively the Chief Security Officer of the nation, had to intervene to nip the crises in the bud. “Indeed, Nigeria’s history is replete with instances where a development in one state could snowball and affect the whole country.
“Rivers State is one of the major oil-producing states in Nigeria. A breach of the peace in Rivers State, considering its strategic value and importance, no doubt, could affect other states of the federation.
“Indeed, it is a sign of good leadership and a high sense of duty that Gov. Mohammed summoned and held an emergency meeting of the Forum immediately after the Rivers State matter came up. We think that he deserves credit for this.”
Flaying the attacks on Governor Mohammed, the Forum added: “There is no way Governor Mohammed, being a lover of peace in all parts of the country, could fold his hands and fail to act or appreciate the good efforts of the President in finding a solution to the crisis.
“This further explains the shuttle diplomacy employed by the PDP Governors’ Forum led by Governor Mohammed in visiting and counselling the dramatis personae in the crises.
“Those castigating the Chairman and other members of the PDP Governors’ Forum seem to have forgotten that the unity, peace and tranquillity of the country transcend politics and political leanings.
“The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum has not in any way done anything wrong by thanking the efforts of the President to resolve the crisis in Rivers.
“Senator Mohammed is not trying and will not do anything to hand over the PDP, a leading and formidable opposition party, to the President, who was elected on the platform of another party.
“The situation in Rivers on October 30 was not just a PDP affair.”
Wike: We will defend party structures
Wike, who received members of the Rivers State Caucus of the National Assembly in Abuja, said the onus was on stakeholders to defend the party structures.
The federal legislators who visited his office in solidarity reiterated their loyalty to the minister.
Wike emphasised that any move aimed at destroying the political structures that were built since 2015 will be resisted.
He said he was not interested in the governance of Rivers, stressing that his hands are full as FCT minister.
He said: “I am not interested in the governance of Rivers. I am here as governor in FCT. I am interested in the political structure we’ve built over the years in Rivers.
“Anybody who tries it will get the resistance of his life; anybody who puts his hands in Rivers political structures, what you see, you see.”
The minister chided those who accused him of demanding 25 per cent from Fubara, saying that they were ignorant.
He said: ‘’I was governor for eight years. I am now FCT minister, not just minister, and some will say that I am asking for 25 per cent; that is madness.”
Wike said in life, people should learn to appreciate those who in one way or another contributed to their lives.
He charged the legislators not to disappoint the state and the country.
Wike stressed: “Those of you that God has given the opportunity, don’t disappoint your state, don’t disappoint Nigerians.
“When you make a mistake, we will call you to order. Take it in good faith; don’t say we are coming for kickbacks.”
The leader of the delegation, Kingsley Chinda, House of Representatives Minority Leader, said: “We thank you for your invaluable support for all of us. You supported us all through the primaries. You are the reason why we are in the National Assembly today.”
Chinda noted that in barely three months, Wike has changed the face of the FCT, reminiscent of his days as governor of Rivers.
He also condemned the political crisis in the state, saying that it was unwarranted.
Members of the Rivers State National Assembly Caucus that visited Wike were all three senators from Rivers State and 11 House of Representatives members.
They are: Senators Barinada Mingi, Ipalibo Harry Banigo and Allwell Onyeso.
The House members apart from Chinda are Honey Felix Nwike, Boniface Emerungwa, Blessing Emezureke, Victor Onozor, Fun Deakor, Solomon Bob, Kelechi Nworgu, Hart Cyril Goodwill and Allison Anderson.
A Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, restrained the House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment of the governor.
Justice Phoebe Ayua issued the warning while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed in a suit instituted against the state Assembly and eight others by two members of the PDP in the state – Amadi Madubuochi and Goya Oluka.
The judge gave the ruling after listening to Eric Omare, counsel for the applicants/plaintiffs.
The lawyer argued that the move to impeach Fubara was unlawful because the legislators had not established any wrongdoing against him.
In a copy of the enrolled order, Justice Ayua said: “An order is made directing that all parties on record respect the court and should not take any step concerning the subject matter in this matter, since the matter is already before this court (sub judice), pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
Justice Ayua also ordered that the respondents be notified about the pending suit, marked: FHC/PH/CS/234/2023 and motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions.
He adjourned till November 9 for a hearing of the motion on notice.
Respondents/defendants in the suit are the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, the Chief Judge, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Department of State Services (DSS), the Governor, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State and the Inspector General of the (IGP).
Credit: The Nation