Rivers Political Tensions Intensify Amid Calls for Governor’s Impeachment

The escalating political turmoil in Rivers State intensified last week, marked by exchanges of gunfire from opposing factions.

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state issued a directive for state lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

In response, Fubara’s estranged mentor and FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, criticized the choice of his successor, acknowledging it as a misstep. At an event in Rivers, Wike humbly sought forgiveness from both God and his political allies, admitting to errors in judgment. He emphasized the need for correction at the appropriate juncture.

Encouraging his supporters in the state assembly not to yield to intimidation, Wike asserted their security in their legislative roles, while emphasizing the strategy of instilling fear in opponents to prompt errors.

In a swift retort, Mr. Edison Ehie, the Chief of Staff to the governor, pledged retaliation, vowing that Fubara would impart a political lesson upon his adversaries. He attributed the state’s crisis to the struggle for resource control, outlining intentions to demonstrate political prowess.

Recent developments indicate compliance with Wike’s directives by factional state lawmakers. The suspension of the House had previously overridden the governor’s authority by passing several bills aimed at undermining his influence. However, a Rivers State High Court ruling barred the pro-Wike speaker and 24 lawmakers from holding legislative positions.

Meanwhile, Fubara ordered the immediate relocation of legislative operations to the Government House in Port Harcourt, as Victor Oko-Jumbo emerged as a new factional speaker. Fubara’s decision followed his declaration that the current assembly, led by Speaker Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, lacked legitimacy.

The latest crisis stemmed from disagreements over the Rivers State Local Government (Amendment) Bill, with Fubara withholding assent despite the House’s passage. The bill sought to extend the tenure of local government chairmen loyal to Wike.

The APC advocated for Fubara’s impeachment, citing his alleged dictatorial tendencies and disregard for due process. In contrast, the PDP countered, asserting that the 27 lawmakers lacked eligibility to impeach the governor, emphasizing the recognition of the new factional speaker, Oko-Jumbo.

Amidst the political melee, President Bola Tinubu remained neutral, affirming his refusal to take sides in the state’s turmoil. Tinubu’s stance aimed to forestall any attempt to disrupt the Rivers government.

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