Governor Sim Fubara | Photo: Vanguard
‘Regrettably, it has come to my attention that some members of our Assembly have fallen short of these principles (principles of democracy)’
By Valentine Amanze
The ongoing battle for political leadership in Rivers State between the immediate past governor, Nyesom Wike, and the incumbent, Governor Sim Fubara, got worse with the sack of all commissioners and council chairmen in the state on Monday October 30, 2023.
All the sacked 23 council chairmen were regarded as Wike’s mobilisation and fighting base.
The governor, it was gathered, took the decision after the threat to impeach him by the Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) for alleged disloyalty to Wike – his purported “God Father.”
Besides, Governor Fubara had said at the weekend that his life was threatened when he visited the state House of Assembly that was torched recently.
To ensure that the governor was impeached, the House had earlier suspended three lawmakers loyal to him.
But in a twist, the sacked lawmakers got support and suspended 24 out of the 32 lawmakers that make up the RSHA.
They also removed the Chief Judge of the state and authorised the governor to appoint a new acting Chief Judge.
While Fubara and Wike met with President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday to resolve the crisis, the new speaker, Edison Ehie, has started to act.
In his first speech, he said: “Regrettably, it has come to my attention that some members of our Assembly have fallen short of these principles (principles of democracy).
“In light of their actions, which undermine the trust and faith you have bestowed upon us, I have taken the difficult decision to suspend the defaulted members from their legislative duties.
“Rest assured, this decision was not made lightly. We are committed to ensuring that the Rivers State House of Assembly continues to be a beacon of hope and progress for all our people. We will work tirelessly to restore your trust in our institution and fulfill the promises we made to you.
“I urge you, my fellow citizens, to remain steadfast in your support for a united and prosperous Rivers State. Together, we will overcome challenges and build a future where honesty, accountability, and transparency prevail.
“Thank you for your unwavering trust and understanding. Let us move forward, hand in hand, towards a brighter tomorrow.”
While all the commissioners were nominated by Wike, the fight seems to draw experience from the one Wike had with the then sitting governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Meanwhile, analysts say that what the gladiators are fighting for is the souls of the state House of Assembly and Chief Judge.
They believe that whoever controls the House of Assembly and Chief Judge would decide impeachment matters; and that if you cannot control them, cage them, if you can.