The Rivers Elders and Leaders Forum (RELF), has said the resolutions reached after President Tinubu’s meeting with Governor Sim Fubara and Nyesom Wike, are one sided in favor of Wike and that the resolutions cannot override existing orders of the court on the issue.
In a communique signed by former goveror of Old Rivers state, Rufus Ada-George, in Port Harcourt last night after its emergency meeting, the elders stated that the resolutions and directives also contravened the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which the President swore to uphold.
The communique reads in part
“Rising from an emergency meeting of Rivers Elders and Leaders Forum held 19th December, 2023 in response to the intervention and directives of the President, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the current political crisis in Rivers State.
We recall that in our communiqué of 17th and 18th December, 2023, we urged Mr. President to intervene in the political crisis in Rivers State, for which we commend his prompt intervention between Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Sir Siminialayi Fubara, the executive governor of Rivers State but we are at a loss as to whether his intervention has solved the problem or escalated it.
A review of Mr. President’s directives for the resolution of the political impasse in Rivers State showed that: That the directives contravene the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which Mr. President swore to uphold at all times.
The directives unilaterally suspended the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by virtue of an attempt to reverse a court order recognizing Edison Ehie as the speaker and directing that the remainder of members of the House of Assembly constituted the quorum for legislative business.
The directives to the parties were one sided in favour of Wike and at the detriment of the governor, and the good people of Rivers State.
In the eyes of the law and due process, as evidenced by the Rivers State High Court decision, that the Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule and his team has ceased to exist in the state House of Assembly having defected to another political party, and therefore cannot be reinstated and remunerated through the back door.
It is the duty of the Executive arm of government to provide accommodation for legislators in a constitutional democracy as exemplified by the FCT Minister with respect to the National Assembly.
It is therefore, hypocritical to suggest, that the Rivers State House of Assembly under Martins Amaewhule could sit anywhere of their choice, whereas in Abuja, it is the FCT minister, on behalf of the executive arm that provides accommodation for federal legislators,”
President Tinubu had on Monday intervened in the umpass between Wike and Gov Fubara. Part of the resolutions reached include;
1. ALL matters instituted in the courts by the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Fubara, and his team, in respect of the political crisis in Rivers State, shall be withdrawn IMMEDIATELY
2. ALL impeachment proceedings initiated against the Governor of Rivers State by the Rivers State House of Assembly should be dropped immediately
3. The leadership of the Rivers State House of Assembly as led by the Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule shall be recognized alongside the 27 members who resigned from the PDP
4. The remunerations and benefits of ALL members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and their staff must be reinstated immediately and the Governor of Rivers State shall henceforth not interfere with the full funding of the Rivers State House of
5. The Rivers State House of Assembly shall choose where they want to sit and conduct their legislative business without interference and/or hindrance from the Executive arm of government
6. The Governor of Rivers State, Sir Fubara, shall re-present the state budget to a properly constituted Rivers State House of Assembly
7. The names of ALL commissioners in the Rivers State Executive Council who resigned their appointments because of the political crisis in the state should be resubmitted to the House of Assembly for approval
8. There should NOT be a caretaker committee for the local governments in Rivers State. The dissolution of the Local Government administration is null and void and shall not be recognized.