For ages, Rivers State has been a hot spot of political upheavals. The reason for this is not far-fetched.

Rivers, amongst the states in the Niger Delta Region endowed with oil & gas resources, is home to the largest concentration of oil companiestheir headquarters and administrative apparatus, with resources and huge contracts flowing from all corners.

However, instead of using the humongous resources to create atmosphere of peace and orderliness across the state, the contrary has always been the case, as the contending political forces always attempt to exercise dominion over each other, leaving in its wake human carnage and large scale destruction.

It’s however stunning to note that the people of Rivers have been so much accustomed to this situation, that violence across the state has become a way of life. During the reign of one of the highly revered political leaders in the state, Peter Odili, the situation was the same. The tense political atmosphere remained the same during the era of Rotimi Amaechi, when the immediate past Transport Minister had to deploy the state resources to battle the political forces backed by the then first lady of Nigeria, Peace Goodluck Jonathan, in order to retain his hold on power.

Eventually, the forces supported by the federal might prevailed, and Amaechi was shoved out of relevance.

The battle for the soul of the state continued fiercely, during the reign of the incumbent Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike and forces loyal to Amaechi, with the former enjoying dominance over the immediate past Transport Minister and his political faithful.

On account of the above development, Nyesom Wike was able to exercise political influence over the state by significantly contributing to the emergence of the incumbent governor, Sim Fubara and other political holders, both at the state and national assembly.

But, no sooner that the incumbent governor got inaugurated into office than he drew the battle line with FCT Minister, his political benefactor. Not quite three months after assuming office, he equally made spirited efforts to collapse Wike’s political structure, the ladder that he and other present political office holders rode to political prominence.      

Thereafter, the governor’s political faithful in a ‘commando style’ invaded the Rivers State house of assembly, set the historic chamber ablaze leaving members scampering for their safety.

But, the centerpiece of this write-up is the political resolution initiative packaged by the president and agreed by the governor and the FCT Minister, to ensure that the Garden City return to atmosphere of piece and orderliness, which the governor has completely violated by flagrantly disobeying the president.

Key aspect of the political resolution package which the governor was expected to abide with, was to re-present the Appropriation Bill for the house of assembly to deliberate, approve and return back to him for his assent. He bluntly refused to do that, as he’s been implementing the appropriation bill with impunity without recourse to the assembly.

Also, the leadership of the House, under Speaker Martin Amaewhule, a Wike loyalist, is to be recognized, along with the 27 lawmakers who defected from the People’s Democratic Party. The governor has also jettisoned this, without due regard to the presidency.

The governor and his allies are expected to withdraw all court cases related to the crisis.  This has not been done!

The Assembly members are expected to enjoy autonomy to choose their location and conduct their business without any interference whatsoever from the Executive, since the governor and his allies had pulled down the house of assembly by setting it ablaze. The governor has refused to do this, as he has made it a point of duty to continually disrupt the assembly proceedings.   

Also, in the resolution, the governor was expected to re-submit the names of commissioners who had earlier resigned, for approval by state house of assembly. Governor Fubara has rejected this initiative. In fact, many other commissioners have since resigned from the cabinet.

Part of the resolution was also for the governor to restore the payment of salaries and benefits for all assembly members. He has equally given scant regard to this initiative.

In the resolution package, the dissolution of local governments is declared null and void. Barely one week ago, the governor dissolved local governments across the state, giving a puerile argument that their tenure have expired.  

This is the very delicate and tragic point that Rivers State is presently at, on account of lack of tact and political wisdom on the part of the governor.

It’s instructive to note that in the last few days, the state has been needlessly thrown into turmoil.      

The implication of the governor actions is far-reaching.

While Fubara was flagrantly disobeying the contents of eight resolution package initiated and agreed with the president, he has forgotten that all constituencies across the country indeed belong to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

He has also forgotten that he’s laying a dangerous precedent that would sooner or later have far-reaching consequences on his tenure as governor.

While he’s pandering to the dangerous and ill advice of some disgruntled political elders, he has forgotten that those fair weather elders would completely abandon him when the chips are down by the time the president eventually deploy his power and authority to bear on the affairs of the state.

Kola Amzat (FCA, FCIB),

Lagos based Financial & Management Consultants

Related Articles