A Senator from Rivers State has pointedly accused the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nyesom Wike, of been behind the drama playing out in the state where members of the House of Assembly allegedly converged on the burnt complex and issued a notice of impeachment to the Governor.
As the Senator spoke, the touch and go situation in the Rivers State House of Assembly persisted as the sacked majority leader, Hon Edison Ehie, has emerged the new Speaker of the House, hours after his colleagues sent him packing.
Reports say 26 members of the embattled House elected him, while.other former leaders were suspended.
Curiously, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Chibuzor Amadi, was also suspended by the assemblymen, a power, it was learnt, they do not have.
Swiftly, the new Speaker, Ehie, announced the adjournment of the house indefinitely.
It was gathered that the suspension of the Chief Judge and shutting down of the Rivers State House of Assembly is to prevent anyone or group giving effect to the impeachment notice served on Governor Fubara early on Monday.
The Senator, who does not want his name in print, for now, confirmed the position of a Coalition for Democratic Vanguard which made the same accusation after the The Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) complex was set on fire by political thugs, believed to be in support of the state chief executive, Siminalayi Fubara.
Already, the Leader of the House, Edison Ehie has been stripped of his position by his colleagues.
Late Monday morning, the Senator alleged: “When you hear somebody is overbearing, this is it. The man is overbearing, it looks like he is the alternate President of Nigeria now. It is terrible, it is terrible. You dismissed all of us, you picked somebody, allow the man to rule now. Four commissioners he appointed without consulting him, that is what is causing this problem. Becauseof those commissioners they just appointed, that is one. If the man has courtesy call, he must take clearance from him before he meets anybody
“He still collects the allocation, he still collects the security vote. If the governor wants anything he has to submit invoice to him for approval. I have never seen such an overbearing person, he will end the way of tyrants. Everybody has poured onto the streets now, the streets are full.”
On why policemen were firing teargas cannisters at the governor, the Senate alleged, like the governor, that the police high command had been compromised.
He adds, “They have committed all the money. He gave…(a construction company with German connections) 200 billion and tied the repayment to federal allocation every month. He tied the IGR to four projects, which he gave to (a company he has interests).
“This governor is complaining on how billions are taken away…. Wike is the most unpopular politician in Rivers now…just after five months.”
Meanwhile, the civil society group, Coalition of Democratic Vanguard (CDV), has warned Wike and those allegedly seeking to impeach the governor to desist from the move.
Media reports allege that some thugs in a white Hilux van invaded the assembly complex, near the Rivers Police Command headquarters, at about 9.00pm, overwhelmed the security personnel on duty and set the lawmakers meeting chamber on fire.
The CDV in a statement signed by Mr Thompson Orumbo (Chairman) and Peter Nwabunna (Secretary), condemned any attempt to undermine the democratic process and urged all parties involved to respect the will of the people and prioritise the betterment of Rivers State.
“At the core of any functioning democracy lies the principle of free and fair elections, which provide citizens with the opportunity to choose their leaders, and Rivers people have chosen Sir Siminalayi Fubara. Impeachment attempts should be rooted in concrete evidence of wrongdoing and carried out only through legitimate channels, ensuring transparency and accountability.”“The Coalition emphasises that any attempts to impeach Governor Fubara and Ehie must adhere to the democratic principles, if not, it would be resisted by Rivers people.
“Rivers State has made significant strides in the pursuit of development and stability under the leadership of Governor Fubara. The governor has championed policies and initiatives that have positively impacted the lives of the citizens. Political squabbles and power struggles should not hinder the progress, and the people’s mandate must be respected….
“Nyesom Wike and his co-travellers to prioritise the interests of the people and set aside personal and political interest.”
In another statement, the state government through the governor’s spokesman, Mr. Boniface Onyedi,
disclosed that the governor foiled an assassination attempt on his life.
He laid the blame on some compromised police officers who shot at him with the intention to kill while he visited to assess the extent of damages done as aftermath of bombing of the State House of Assembly complex by some hoodlums.
The statement adds, “Sir Fubara who had visited the complex, greeted by well meaning Rivers youths on Monday, described as unfortunate the attempt by some disgruntled persons to forcefully take over control of the assembly and condemned the burning of sections of the building of such important public institution built with taxpayers money.
“”The truth is that, everybody who knows me know that I am a peaceful person. I can never ever, even if I am aware that there is a plot to impeach me for whatever reason be part of such destruction.
“”I am worried that a facility like this that we used taxpayers money to build will be destroyed for selfish reason just to please somebody. From what I have seen, even the security is compromised because they were shooting at me directly. The DC operations was shooting at me,”” the governor emphasised.
“Governor Fubara described as null and void any illegal legislative actions that has been taken by some members who held a purported plenary session and said: “let it be on record, whoever masterminded the attack at the assembly is trying to divert attention.”
“Addressing Rivers youths, Governor Fubara commended them for standing up to protect the interest of Rivers State and said he is not scared about impeachment but such action had to be properly explained and justified.
“”If Siminalayi Fubara is impeached, I won’t be the first, neither will I be the last. But what is important is that any attempt that is not justified will be resisted. Let them come out and tell Rivers people the offence that I have committed to warrant impeachment.
“”But my happiness this morning is that the people of Rivers State represented by everyone of you here is with us. I can go home and sleep. Let me assure Rivers people that we will continue to defend them, protect you people and ensure that they will enjoy the dividends of democracy.””