Rivers Political Crisis: Tinubu’s Alleged Truce Is Part Of Events In A Series To Severe Rivers From Wike – Eze
…Commends Odili, Clark, Other Patriotic Rivers Elders for Standing by the Governor… Says Fubara’s Acceptance, Not Holistic
“…Eze noted that Wike is no longer relevant so far the politics of Rivers State and Nigeria at large is concerned as most of his antecedents are now well known to all and sundry and whoever that decides to work with such a character does so at his or her own peril. This ends his dream and vision of becoming the Landlord and Jagaban of Rivers State stating that Rivers State cannot and will never be Lagos.
Eze further hinted that Gov. Fubara’s acceptance of the resolution is not holistic and serves only as a temporary respite for FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike and his circle of voyagers pending the Supreme Court Ruling on Rivers State gubernatorial election come January 2024. ….”
Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, says the misadventurous truce initiated by President Bola Tinubu which birthed the heavily biased, unjust and anti-people resolutions, is still part of events in a series to severe the once prosperous state which has been conscripted into part of Wike’s private interests with results of stunted growth, increased poverty and dwindling economy, from the suzerainty of the FCT Minister, who is hustling to install himself jagaban of Rivers State.
In a statement issued on the backdrop of the widely condemned, botched peace accord, Eze said from a critical review of the eight point resolution and considering the fact that Mr. President, who has always carried himself to be a democrat, having fought some undemocratic proclamations and orders which appeared inimical at a gross to the development of Lagos State when he was the Governor of the southwest state, it is crystal clear, that former Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, is surreptitiously manipulating the presidential cabal with some extraordinary forces that is tilting them to act in a manner desired by Wike at the prompting of the FCT henchman.
Eze expressed surprise that with his struggles towards the enthronement of democracy through The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), formation of Action Congress of Nigeria ACN and his key role in the birthing of the All Progressive Congress APC, one is surprised to learn that the President who should maintain a pro-democratic stance that conforms with the constitution on the Rivers Political Crisis, has turned his back against the Nigerian constitution and the good people of Rivers state, just to massage the ego of a man whose interest runs against public good.
“With the credentials of President Tinubu, it becomes very hard to accept that he could be involved with the undemocratic steps and actions exhibited during the so-called Rivers State Peace Accord between Governor Fubara and Nyesom Wike. It is based on this that I decided to have another look at the so-called Peace Accord to decipher the intention of Mr. President towards his erroneous actions. “
Eze maintained that with resolve of key stakeholders, Elders, Students, Civil Servants including Legal Luminaries within and outside the State that President Tinubu lacks the powers to get himself involved in the political crisis planted by his Minister Nyesom Wike, Eze commend former Lagos State Governor for his wise counsel in this regard.
Eze noted that the Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) – a protégé and staunch ally of President Bola Tinubu who spoke at the Nigerian Air Force Officers Mess Honorary Members Forum 2023 Annual Lecture held in Lagos on December 16, counseled those inviting the president to act in Ondo and in Rivers states to be aware that the president has no constitutional role in these matters.
Noting that the presidential reinstatement of the 27 defected members of the Rivers Assembly “is alien to the Constitution in every material particular,” Mr. Femi Falana, a renowned Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said, “the seats of the cross-carpeting members have been declared vacant by the (minority) Speaker (Edison Ehie) known to law.”
“Even if all the cases in the Rivers State High Court and the Federal High Court are withdrawn in line with the advice of the president, it is submitted that all actions taken by the Speaker (Edison Ehie) recognised by the Rivers State High Court remain valid, including his pronouncement on the vacant seats of the 27 cross-carpeting members of the House,” Falana said.
In this same vein, Falana advised the President and all parties involved in finding political solutions to the crisis in Rivers State to “turn to the Constitution for guidance without any further delay,” saying only a constitutionally-competent court “can set aside the pronouncement of the Speaker, which is anchored on Section 109 of the Constitution,” Moreso as Speaker Ehie hasn’t been removed by the required number of legislators, and “a presidential directive cannot remove him.”
Towing similar part, on December 19, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN) said there wasn’t any constitutional role for the president in the political fracas in Rivers, recalling that, “The only time, the only Constitution that allows the Federal Government to put its mouth in a local thing is during the First Republic when a declaration of emergency was declared in the West (former Western Region).
Clarke said: “The president has no power, he knows that. The best legal brain cannot help him. You can’t bring Robert Clarke to come and change the law, to enable the president to come and intervene. Under what constitutional provisions? So, the law by itself, as of today, did not provide (a right for Tinubu to intervene in State matters).
The above stands of these great minds notwithstanding let us point by point examine this unfortunate 8-point resolution: –
1. Governor Fubara and his allies will withdraw all court cases related to the crisis.
Based on what he professes and his democratic credentials, it is not appropriate to give such a draconian directive that clearly undermines democracy and usurps Judicial powers. A functional and independent judiciary is one of the fulcrums and pivotal stand of a democracy.
2. The State House of Assembly will drop impeachment proceedings initiated against Fubara.
No constitutionally inclined person will give such false hope to the former Rivers lawmakers who have since vacated their seats arising from their defection from the political platform on which they were elected by their constituents.
The Constitution is very clear in Section 109(1)(g) that any lawmaker who decides out of whatever reason to decamp to another political party loses his seat; so how could the President of Nigeria give such undemocratic relief to a group of misguided fellows to resume as lawmakers from the back door. It is not possible. The laws are there.
3. The leadership of the House, under Speaker Martin Amaewhule, a Wike loyalist, will be recognized, along with the 27 lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party.
Martin Amaewhule-led group are all Ex-lawmakers and cannot be so recognized except they go through the Law Court to be reabsorbed as any contrary step is not only illegal, unconstitutional, condemnable but also attempt to endanger the lives of these confused group which may cause them to face the law. The law say they are no longer Lawmakers and flowing from that, the President does not reserve the power to return them to the legislature. If they wish to return, the court is there to approach.
4. Governor Fubara will re-present the 2024 budget to the Amaewhule-led Assembly.
Where is it ever done that a Budget duly presented, passed by the State Assemby and signed into law by a duly elected Governor of a State will be represented before no Lawmakers the second time? The Tinubu that I know can’t be involved in this type of messy situation, something must be wrong somewhere.
5. Salaries and benefits for all Assembly members and staff will be restored
Should Governor Fubara waste Rivers State funds to pay no Lawmakers? President Tinubu while as Governor of Lagos State can’t tolerate such a worthless directive but sadly and unfortunately Gov. Fubara has secretly paid the November and December salaries and allowances of these non-Lawmakers in compliance to the directive as contained in the peace accord document.
6. The Assembly will have autonomy to choose its location and conduct business without interference from the Executive
The Executive Governor of Rivers State is expected before the year runs off to evict these jokers from the official quarters meant for duly elected lawmakers.
7. The Governor will resubmit the names of resigned commissioners for approval
Did the Governor sack anybody from his Cabinet? the answer is capital no so on what premises should the Governor resubmit the names of adults who out of their free volition voluntarily resigned and according to them for personal reasons. The FCT Minister should do them a little favor and appoint them as his Aides in his Ministry or alternatively look for something to do with their lives.
Now that Governor Fubara have decided to implement the contents of the document let him go ahead to recall these men and then let us see how the future looks like
8. The dissolution of local governments is declared null and void.
Leaderships of Local Government Councils across Nigeria had always been under the Governor of the state. Most states in Nigeria currently runs appointed Care-Taker administration and they are properly recognized and funded by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) so if Gov. Fubara decides to dissolve local government administrations in Rivers State and appoint interim administration, President Tinubu does not have the moral right not to recognize them.
The present Local Council Chairmen have been directed by the FCT minister to sponsor the illegal activities of the Ex-lawmakers and those who acted thus should be relieved of their office.
Eze counseled those castigating Gov Fubara for signing the so-called Peace Accord to try and read what Mr. Briggs who participated in the so-called Peace Accord said. According to Briggs, “I was there, so what I say is primary not secondary. We were invited for a meeting, but that was not a meeting. What happened is that Mr President walked in with a written resolution, addressed us and declared that what he had in his hand is a presidential proclamation, therefore he can whip.
“He emphasized the fact that he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and anybody who tends to say no to what he is saying, it has consequences. That in a simple lay man’s word is a threat. He (Tinubu) wrote the resolution but refused to read it. He handed the resolution to Dr Peter Odili to read.
For Mr. President to not sign the Peace Accord document simply shows that the contents don’t worth his signature.
Eze highlighted the key question put by Barr. Amiesimaka who also attended the meeting to Mr President, “Fubara should do this, he should do that. You have not said what those 25 or 27 Assembly members that defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress without consulting their constituency and constituents what they should do.
“The President’s reaction was very clear and simple. I’m the leader of the APC in Nigeria. And you are telling me when babies are born into my family, I should ask them to go.”
Eze inferred that Mr. President, and his Team strategically plotted all these not that they don’t know that no reasonable Governor will be so daft to implement any of the contents of the Peace Accord document but how to rubbish Nyesom Wike in his own plot to become Tinubu of Rivers State.
“In this regard, I must commend President Tinubu for achieving what many political leaders couldn’t achieve by rubbishing the political fortunes of Nyesom Wike and thereby saving Rivers State from the nuisance that Wike has now become.”
Eze postulated that what we currently have in Rivers State is nothing but graveyard peace particularly now that Rivers State Elders, Youths and entire citzenry are fully aware that President Tinubu Truce is nothing but to buy over Rivers State and it will be resisted no matter the odds
Eze noted that Wike is no longer relevant so far, the politics of Rivers State and Nigeria at large is concerned as most of his antecedents are now well known to all and sundry and whoever that decides to work with such a character does so at his or her own peril. This brings to and end his dream and vision of becoming the Landlord and Jagaban of Rivers State stating that Rivers State cannot and will never be Lagos.
Eze further hinted that Gov. Fubara’s acceptance of the resolution is not holistic and serves only as a temporary respite for FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike and his circle of voyagers pending the Supreme Court Ruling on Rivers State gubernatorial election come January 2024
The fact remains that President Tinubu is fully aware those directives can’t be implemented by any sound fellow if not to disgrace Wike and his misguided followers but Governor Fubara acceptance to implement the truce is a just a ploy to buy time pending when the Supreme Court decides on the gubernatorial election of the State come January 2024 and if Fubara succeeds it is then they will know if Fubara will truly implement the worthless directive or not.