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Wike boasts after bizarre drama as court stops lawmakers, Governor orders legislature to meet in Govt House

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The battle for political supremacy and survival between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his immediate predecessor, former political godfather-turned-foe, and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Nyesom Wike, has shifted to bizarre gears, with the legislative arm of government in the oil-rich state appearing castrated.

It started as a majority of lawmakers began making moves, backed by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to sack Fubara. Both Fubara and Wike are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), though Wike’s romance with the APC has been unsettling to the PDP.

On Friday, it emerged that the judiciary, through a court, effectively applied the brakes on legislative activities, by issuing an ex-parte order sought by a factional speaker Victor Oko Jumbo and three others stopping 25 of their colleagues from sitting.

Jombo and the three are backed by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, while the 25 others are believed to be Wike allies.

Meanwhile, Wike has admitted he made a mistake choosing Fubara as his successor, but promised to correct the mistake at the appropriate time.

At a reception for George Thompson Sekibo in Port Harcourt, he said: “I want to say this…. I have made a mistake. I own it up and I say God forgive me. I have said all of you forgive me. But we will correct it at the appropriate time. I am a human, I am bound to make a mistake. So forgive me for making a wrong judgement. So nobody should kill.

“If they like they can go to anybody by 2am or 4am to get injunction. The law will take its course. We must follow due process.”

Addressing the 25 embattled state lawmakers, he said: “Don’t be afraid, nobody will remove you as a lawmaker. Most of you don’t understand. This is our work. Our business is to make them to fear. That is what I am doing. We will make them to be angry ever everyday and they will continue to make mistakes.

“As you see me I stand straight. I think well. I came with Senator Magnus Abe. I work with people that have brains. On politics, when people with brains agree they disagree. Those, who don’t know what to do but said they would bring me down, who born them? They are nowhere. When you are in charge, you are in charge.

“Everything will calm down. All these people running around, they would come down. Boma worked for his appointment, he showed loyalty and commitment and that is why God placed him there. Don’t worry.

“Let me also advise you, forget  about how they abuse us. You must be alive for people to abuse you. If you are dead, will they abuse you? At the appropriate time when the results will be announced, we will know who is who. We have defeated them severally.

“Some of them ran to Abuja but when I went to Abuja, they ran back here. Have you not seen the way Abuja is moving? No amount of propaganda can help you. Ogu people have shown loyalty and I want to thank you”.

Recall that a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt granted an interim injunction restraining Speaker Martin Amaewhule, and 24 other members from parading themselves as legislators.

And then the Police moved into the Legislators quarters, in what many believed was to stop the pro-Wike state lawmakers from sitting there.

By Saturday, the State Governor, Mr. Siminalayi Fubara, issued a bizarre executive order authorising the House of Assembly to meet in the Government House, the Executive Arm’s seat of power.

He ordered immediate, temporary relocation of the sitting of the State House of Assembly to the Auditorium, Admin Block of the Government House, Port Harcourt.

The decision for the order in the State’s official Gazette, Executive Order of the Rivers State Government 001-2023, according to Fubara, was taken because the current House of Assembly complex in its present state was unsafe and constituted a threat to the lives of the staff members and the lawmakers.

The governor’s gazette reads, “The On the 29th day of October 2023, a fire incident occasioned by unknown persons burnt and damaged the hallowed chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“That the Hallowed Chamber of the Rivers State House of Assembly in its present state is unsafe and constitutes a threat to the lives of the staff and the Honourable members of Rivers State House of Assembly and Thus not conducive for the business and proceeding of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“That it is expedient to carry out urgent repairs, renovation, and reconstruction of the burnt an damaged chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“That it is further reasonable to ensure that the business and proceedings of the Rivers State House of Assembly are not impeded and frustrated.

“NOW THEREFORE, I SIR SIMINALAYI FUBARA GSSRS, the Governor of Rivers State this 30th day of October 2023, Pursuant to the powers vested in me under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) hereby ISSUE, ORDER, AND DIRECT that all proceedings and business of Rivers State House of Assembly shall temporarily take place at the Auditorium, Admin Block, Government House, Port Harcourt until the repairs, renovation or reconstruction of the chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly are completed.”

Political observers are watching and waiting to see what the pro-Wike lawmakers, who were believed to be on the verge of initiating impeachment proceedings against Fubara, would do next now that they have been locked out of official facilities.

Meanwhile, the Police Command in Rivers has explained why it deployed about 30 armed policemen and Armoured Personnel Carriers in the residential quarters of members of the state House of Assembly in Port Harcourt.

rivers state house of assembly quarters

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deployment has heightened political tension in the state amidst face-off between some lawmakers and the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The factional Speaker of the Assembly, Martins Amaewhule, has alleged that the governor was plotting to demolish the houses, a claim dismissed by Fubara.

The governor had visited the residential quarters on Wednesday, during which he told journalists that he was there for an on-the-spot assessment of the condition of the houses for possible rehabilitation.

The Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the state All Progressive Congress, Tony Okocha, recently urged the lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against the governor.

The Police Command, however, said that the deployment of personnel to the assembly quarters was for the purpose of upholding peace, not partisan interest.

SP Grace Iringe-Koko, the command spokesperson, in a statement in Port Harcourt on Saturday, said that the recent political developments prompted the deployment.

“Our deployment in the area is solely aimed at ensuring peace and preventing any possible breakdown of order.

“We assure the public that there is no cause for alarm and all individuals are encouraged to carry on with their lawful activities without fear.

“Cooperation from the public is greatly appreciated as the police command strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for all,” she stated.

● Additional report by NAN

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