PDP, Clark reject terms of Fubara-Wike truce

Angry reactions have trailed the President Bola Tinubu’s engineered peace initiative in the political crisis between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, incumbent Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

On Monday, Fubara signed an eight-point peace pact to end the political crisis in the state at a meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to the peace resolutions, impeachment moves against Fubara would be stopped, Speaker Martin Amaewhule, leader of the 27 lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) would return as speaker while Mr.  Edison Ehie will step down.

Also, all matters in court would be withdrawn, and the governor will re-submit his N800 billion 2024 budget which the Ehie-led four-man House had last Thursday passed under 24 hours after receiving it from Governor Fubara, to the whole House. Fubara is also expected to resubmit the names of all commissioners who resigned their appointments because of the political crisis to the House of Assembly for approval.

But the PDP, the South-South leader, Edwin Clark, Senator Shehu Sani, lawyer and human rights activist, Onyekachi Ubani and others have faulted the resolutions.

For Clark, the the communique issued at the end of the reconciliatory meeting is baffling, appalling and unacceptable to the people, especially, the ljaw ethnic nationality.

At a press conference in Abuja, the elder statesman threatened legal action, saying the resolutions were undemocratic, dictatorial, one-sided and aimed at handing over the political leadership of Rivers State to former governor, Wike.

He noted that from the terms of settlement, it is obvious that President Tinubu saw his role as a mediator, to once again, show gratitude to Wike for “delivering” Rivers State to him during the past presidential elections, having first of gratified him by making him the Minister of FCT.

Clark said he observed that the composition of the attendees of the meeting was one-sided in favour of Wike, “because while Martins Amaewhule, former Speaker (because he has automatically lost his seat the very moment he decamped to another political party), was present at the meeting, it would have only been equitable and expedient, for Edison Ehie, the Speaker as affirmed by constitutional provisions and by the granting of the court, to be in the meeting, if there were sincerity of purpose.”

The elder statement stressed that the eight resolutions reached, “are the most unconstitutional, absurd and obnoxious resolutions at settling feuding parties that I have ever witnessed in my life. As a matter of fact, some media captured it very well when they described it as directives. And for the fact that such thing was done at the Villa, the seat of the Federal Government of Nigeria, is sacrilegious, because any place housing or is a custodian of symbol of authority, ought to be sacred.

“It is obvious that Governor Siminialayi Fubara was ambushed and intimidated into submission. President Tinubu should know that with all the powers he possesses, he cannot override the Constitution. From all that transpired at the meeting, the laws of the land have not been obeyed.”

According to him, Tinubu simply sat over a meeting where the Constitution, which is the fulcrum of his office as president and which he swore to uphold and abide by, was truncated and desecrated.

He particularly frowned at the directive on the 27 lawmakers.

“The directives of Mr. President are absurd and cannot hold water. Mr. President should be aware that Siminialayi Fubara, today, is the elected Governor of Rivers State in the same manner Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the elected President of the country. And as a Governor, Mr. Fubara possesses all the powers as conferred on him by the Constitution.”

On the re-presentation of a budget already signed and passed into Law, Clark described it as unthinkable, absolutely ridiculous and unconstitutional.

“By President Tinubu’s actions and directives, he has overruled the Constitution of the country; he has shaken the foundation of the country’s democracy. People lost their lives fighting for democracy in this country.

“Today, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has made of no effect the blood of the freedom fighters shed to salvage this country. He has thrown the country’s democracy 50 years backwards; this is unacceptable. Rather than building a strong system and society, we are building strong, invidious characters, with our national patrimony through corruption and avarice.

“By the actions of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he has really shown his dislike and disdain for the Ijaw people. and confirms his hatred for them. And as the leader of the Ijaws, we will resist it.

“Nyesom Wike is not an emperor. For the eight years he was in power as Governor of the Rivers State, he ruled with an iron fist. As a governor, he will not accept such treatment from anyone, as he is spear heading to be meted out to the current Governor of the State, Siminialayi Fubara. 

“Barr. Wike destroyed his opponent’s houses and even threatened to kill them as cried out by Senator Lee Maebe from Ogoni, and Dr. Abiye Sekibo from Okrika. It is still fresh in our memory, how Nyesom Wike, as Minister of State, Education, used federal might to fight the then Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi that almost led to the grinding to a halt of governance in Rivers State when the Judiciary was closed down and the House of Assembly was shut down by the then Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. President Jonathan did not interfere in his action because if he did, he will definitely be breaching Section 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, which President Tinubu has deliberately breached, despite his oath of office to uphold and promote the Constitution. Nyesom Wike is Minister now, and again, he is using the federal government to truncate the wishes of the people of Rivers State.

“The rule of law in the country is completely truncated by President Tinubu. While it will be noted that presently, the National Assembly is discussing on the Bill of Local Government Autonomy, President Bola Tinubu is directing Governor Fubara to put into effect, a Bill passed by people who are no longer law makers”.

On members of the House of Assembly choosing where they would sit to carry out their legislative duties, Clark said it was ridiculous and unconstitutional.

“It is the duty of the executive to provide legislative accommodation for the Houses of Assembly including the National Assembly, and not the members of the House of Assembly to choose a place to meet. It is in this vein that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in presenting his Budget to the National Assembly, recognised the FCT Minister, Nyesome Nwike, as the landlord, because he is of the executive arm of government.

“It is the FCT that owns the National Assembly complex and maintains it. It is, therefore, ridiculous and unconstitutional for President Tinubu to direct, in his settlement, that the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, should meet wherever they want to meet.

“We will resist such draconic, arbitrary and unconstitutional action by Mr. President and his customer Nyesom Wike. We will go to court to challenge this so-called one-sided and oppressive action of Mr. President.”

•Sani, Ubani reacts

Former Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani said the peace initiative is against the governor and has only removed “the knife from Gov Fubara’s neck to his back.”

Posting on X, yesterday, Sani wrote: “I have now read the rivers agreement. The accord will remove the knife from the neck of Sim and set it behind his back.

“The accord will bury the hatchets with leaves. The accord outwardly sells peace, but internally buys time for another round of war.

“However, It can be better if the dialogue is periodically assessed and improved upon.”

In his reaction, lawyer and human rights activist, Onyekachi Ubani, agreed that the resolution is one-sided and tilted against the governor but said if the governor accepted it, then he should live with it as “we cannot cry more than the bereaved.”

•Don’t pay sacrifice dangerous to River’s people -Harry

Meanwhile, the National Leader of South-South Chiefs and Elder, Omubo Harry, has admonished Governor Fubara to be careful about the sacrifice he would pay to enthrone peace in the state.

The elder statesman gave the advice on the heels of the governor’s statement at the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, where h said he would continue to pay any sacrifice so long as Rivers State would be at peace.

Harry expressed concerns about the worrying situation in Rivers, stressing that the incumbent governor should not pay sacrifice that would mortgage the future of Rivers people.

He advised Fubara that on no account should he sign any agreement under duress whether in his interest or the state.

The traditional ruler also advised former governor and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Nyesom Wike, to allow his successor to pilot the affairs of the state.

“Nobody should take anyone for granted. As long as governance is concerned, rulership is turn-by-turn.  And, if Nyesom Wike term is over, he should allow Sim Fubara to manage the affairs of the state accordingly, since there was no interference during his (Wike) years as governor.

“We, the chiefs and elders of this state are specifically saying that there should not be any form of intimidating or signing any agreement under duress. Nyesom Wike has served his tenure for eight years. Nobody monitored his leadership or governance. So also, he should allow his successor to do his work. Rivers State belongs to all of us. Rulership is turn-by-turn. Taking Siminalayi Fubara to Abuja to sign an agreement is not the best.”

Similarly, a social crusader and former Chief Press Secretary to a former governor, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, has condemned the agreement said River’s people would not accept desecration of the office of the governor.  Reacting to the trending agreement, Inko-Tariah lambasted the former governor and said that Fubara should be allowed to exercise his power as a governor.

According to him, issues contained in the agreement purportedly signed by the incumbent were meant to deny him his constitutional recognition and power as governor.

“That was an agreement that was reached under duress. I wouldn’t want to say he (Fubara) was ambushed, but it was under duress.”

“I want to fault that agreement. This is a sitting governor, and you are telling him that he shall reappoint those commissioners that voluntarily resigned from his cabinet. That is a condition precedent to peace. In order words, you are foisting the commissioners on the governor.


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