Rivers lawmakers under fire over fresh impeachment threat against Gov Fubara

Rivers lawmakers under fire over fresh impeachment threat against Gov Fubara
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A former Senior Special Assistant on Media to former Governor Nyesom Wike, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, has accused the Rivers State House of Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule of being selfish and insensitive to the plights of their constituents.

Inko-Tariah in a statement on Sunday, titled “ Who are the real enemies of Rivers”, suggested that the state assembly was acting to satisfy the whims and caprices of one man whose insatiable thirst for power and public wealth has altered the political landscape of Rivers State for bad and slowed down its developmental pace.

Inko-Tariah, made the assertion while reacting to a threat by the lawmakers to resume impeachment proceedings against Governor Fubara.

He stated that the lawmakers rather work for the good and progress of the state, were hell-bent on truncating her peace and development.

Recall that the state House of Assembly had on Saturday threatened to resume impeachment proceedings against the Governor Fubara after accusing the governor of breaching sections of the constitution.

The lawmakers also accused the Governor of selectively implementing certain terms of the peace resolution brokered by President Bola Tinubu last in Abuja, which the governor is a signatory to.

The statement reads in part, “It is unfortunate that since the brokered peace by Mr. President, the Assembly has jettisoned every sense of reasoning and collaboration required of them to be harbingers of antagonism. Rather than show some sense of rapprochement and commitment to peace like the governor, they have tended towards becoming political traducers bent on rocking the ship of progress.

“Their grandstanding has become completely nauseating not just to democratic ethos, but to Rivers people who are solidly behind Governor Siminalayi Fubara by their organic support.

“Despite these unnecessary altercations, the peaceful disposition of the governor has continued to encourage him to acknowledge the value of every Rivers man or woman, and very willing to welcome and accommodate whosoever that wants to be part of the new trajectory of development in the state. In fact, members of the Assembly are the most important segment of our society, and need to act in a very decorous manner that should bring honour and glory not just to the people they represent but the entire state.”

Inko-Tariah further stated that the relative peace enjoyed by the assembly members in the state was consequent upon the respect the Governor Fubara has for peace and rule of law.

He emphasised that the lawmakers who were supposed to focus on enacting laws to ease the immediate suffering of the masses and promote peace and development, were rather making frantic efforts to grind the progress of the state.

“It is fundamental to state unequivocally that what the Rivers Assembly members are enjoying today is because of the respect our Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has for peace, reconciliation and development of the state. This is in spite of the plethora of legal tussles in courts by well-meaning Rivers people and sound opinions by legal luminaries on the legitimacy of their membership.

“It is further restated that neither the governor nor Rivers people are perturbed by their threat of impeachment. They should take note that beside the credibility question legally hanging on their heads as to whether they are still members of the Assembly, they have the entire Rivers people to contend with, if they pretend to institute any form of illegal impeachment moves once again.

“I am only sounding out this for the records to save our state from unnecessary bickering that could snowball into crisis. Let us, therefore, be circumspect with our positions as such grandstanding won’t do any of us any good.

“At a time when economic issues top the priority list of every responsible government in Nigeria, prompting collaborative efforts between the executives and legislatures to ensure laws and policies that would alleviate the suffering of the masses are put in place in various states, one would have expected that the embattled members of the Rivers State House of Assembly would focus on enacting laws to ease the immediate suffering of the masses and promote peace and development.”

Continuing, he said, “However, they resorted to diminishing their political relevance by constantly pulling down laws that supported the Nyesom Wike’s administration which they were part of simply because Wike was stopped from a third term arrangement through Governor Fubara.

“While the parliaments in other states in Nigeria are striving to make laws that promote development, the young men in Rivers State are engaged in promoting darkness. Otherwise what has stopped them from passing the following executive bills sent to them since October last year before they embarked on their path of perdition.

“The bills sent for passage lying dormant on their desk are; The New Town Development Authority Bill 2023, to decongest the single city status of Rivers State and promote the development of new towns. The Rivers State Youth Entrepreneurship Development Trust Fund Bill 2023, to promote entrepreneurial growth, tackle the challenges of job creation and employment generation, and build human capacity in the state, the Rivers State Investment Promotion Agency Bill 2023, to establish an agency to promote investment drive in the state and the Power Sector Regulatory Commission Bill, to liberalise the power sector and boost economic development in the state.

“These executive bills, if passed, would see to the economic prosperity of Rivers State and even put infrastructural development and job creation on the fast track. But over four months after. The people who claimed to be RSHA members representing the same people faced with economic hardship in today’s Nigeria, have not even opened the file to, at least, see what it entails. This is because we are running an Assembly of one godfather,” he added.

In the same vein, the Rivers State Elders’ Council has rubbished the renewed threat of impeachment against Governor Siminalayi Fubara by members of the state House of Assembly loyal to ex-governor Nyesom Wike.

The council said the 27 pro-Wike lawmakers lacked the legitimacy to take any action because, according to the council, they had lost their seats by defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

Reacting to the threat in a media chat on Sunday, a member of the Rivers Elders’ Council and pioneer spokesman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, High Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, described the impeachment threat as mere ranting.

Sara-Igbe noted that the lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the pro-Wike lawmakers was pending before the Court of Appeal.

He stated, “Well we are appearing before the Court of Appeal on April 8, 2024. When we appear, then we will know where they are. They are only ranting because they are an illegitimate House of Assembly.

“The governor himself does not have the power to legitimise them. For the sake of peace, he just gave them little recognition and they are now ranting and doing what they like.

“It is quite unfortunate. If you tell the governor the implication of these things he does not believe that these people that you think are making peace don’t mean well. But as I said, we are in court; so, let them continue to rant. We will see where it will end and the proud will be humiliated within a short while.

“Let them do whatever they like but I can assure you everything they are doing is illegal.”

On the call for Fubara to present the 2024 budget afresh, Sara-Igbe said: “As far as we are concerned, all the eight-point agenda that was signed are illegal. And that is why we are in court to contest it. So, when a matter is before a court, it means the status quo remains.

“So, if they refuse to do that, then the court will take its own stand. You don’t take the laws into your own hands when you are in court. The governor cannot present any budget when we are in court.

“So, if they feel that they are more than the court, then the court should take a decision on it. But so far as we are concerned, we need the legal implication whether or not they are legitimate members of the House of Assembly.”

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