I have carefully studied the directives of the resolution from the intervention of President Tinubu into the current imbroglio in Rivers State and I can comfortably assert that the president was not out to achieve genuine and lasting peace in the state. Instead, he was more interested in massaging and protecting the political ego of an individual and his newfound party members at the collective expense and detriment of our dear Rivers State.
Nigeria, as a country, is governed by the constitution, where all authorities draw their powers from and by the constitution. The directives of the President cannot be at variance with the provisions of the Constitution. At best, President Tinubu can only play an advisory role and not give unconstitutional directives to a Government that is as constitutionally elected as his.
Rivers State is a sovereign State and enjoys sovereignty like the Federal Government, just as Governor Sim also enjoys the privileges of executive powers backed by the provisions of the constitution like President Tinubu. So Rivers State and her Governor cannot be subservient or inferior to any individual, even the President, especially when the proffered directives are alien to the Constitution.
We, the Rivers People, reject in its entirety the unconstitutional directives of President Tinubu in his bid to intervene in the political impasse that has bedevilled our State. We absolutely reject the directives because they are biased, lopsided and preferentially targeted against Governor Sim and the majority of Rivers people. While we thank President Tinubu for his efforts in trying to find political solutions for our State, as Rivers People we’ll all resolutely stand by what the law says and uprightly pursue all pending matters in court to a logical conclusion. One would begin to imagine the joy on the part of the supporters of Chief Barr Wike when they began running amok on all social media platforms celebrating the resolution because it was carefully planned and well scripted in their favour, but they seem to forget that if such is allowed to stand, then it’ll be a very bad precedence against the office of the Governor of Rivers State, and Rivers people in the future. We must not join to ridicule, disrespect and reduce the office of the Governor of our dear State just to score petty political victory, because it could be any of us occupying that exalted office tomorrow, which by then, might have become a mockery and laughing stock in the comity of states, just because of what we did allow and permit to happen today.
In this same country of ours, when President Buhari intervened in the crisis between Tinubu and Gov. Ambode, he only played an advisory role but was vehemently ignored by Tinubu as Ambode was never allowed to run for a second tenure, and heaven did not fall then, so it will also not fall now. The directives issued in that resolution are what Chief Wike would have treated as a piece of tissue paper if it were to be President Buhari issuing such to him in favour of Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi. However, today they want Governor Sim to take hook, line and sinker the directives of Tinubu. That will definitely not happen because Governor Sim did not vote for himself, he is answerable to the Rivers people who made him Governor and we, as a people, reject such disrespectful directives against our State. Interestingly, it was Wike who once told us that neither he, as Governor nor Rivers State AS a state, will be 2nd class citizens to anybody, including Buhari and Atiku. However, today it is quite unfortunate and sad that under his very watch, because of his personal interest, the office of the Governor of Rivers State is being constantly disrespected and essentially reduced.
NOW THE DIRECTIVES:
1. All Impeachment Notice Against the Governor by The Martins Amaewhule Faction Should be Dropped.
Response: There is an already subsisting order against them, so this is neither here nor there, as it is before the court already moreover they have seized being members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and as such, lack such powers to impeach the Governor.
2. The Rivers State House of Assembly as Led by Martins Amaewhule Shall Be Recognised Alongside 27 Members who resigned from the PDP, and the Governor Shall Represent the State Budget. (The most ludicrous of all directives)
Response: As of today, it is no longer in the hands of the Governor to recognise Martins and his fellow defectors as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and not to talk about to re-presenting an already passed budget, because in the eyes of the law, they are non-existent and as such have no locus standi to such privileges. Every action already taken by Rt. Hon Ehie Edison, who is the Speaker that is recognised by law, including the smooth passage of the 2024 Budget and the pronouncement of the vacant seats of 27members that defected to the APC which is anchored on section 109 of the Nigeria Constitution, remains valid until vacated by an appeal and not by the directives of Tinubu.
3. The Names of All Commissioners Who Resigned Because Of Political Crisis Must Be Resubmitted and Reinstated.
Response: One would begin to wonder if the president forgot that it is a sitting Governor of a state like Rivers State and not one of his political appointees that such directives is being dished out to. If the Commissioners who on their own volition resigned because of their loyalty to Wike, even after the Governor made frantic efforts to persuade them not to resign, should be reinstated, why didn’t President TINUBU also direct the 27 PDP ASSEMBLY MEMBERS who defected to the APC because of same political crisis to go back to the PDP, since there is peace. This again clearly shows the political bias of the President whose lopsided directives should and will be resisted by Rivers people.
4. The Dissolution of The Local Government Administration Is Null and Void and Shall Not Be Recognised.
Response: Again by this directive, it is safe to say that President Tinubu does not have the right information about happenings in Rivers State, as those close to him are feeding him with activities that are not attainable just to curry the sympathy of the presidency. The Elected Chairmen in the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State are today, still going about their lawful duties without harassment from Governor Sim. There are no existing intentions or plans by GOVERNOR SIM to dissolve any Local Government Administration, even as the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018 empowers him to do so, as Chief Barr Wike who as Governor rode on the same powers which he duly exercised to the fullest.
5. There Should Not Be a Caretaker Committee For The Local Governments In Rivers State.
Response: This is neither here nor there, as the current Elected Chairmen have their constitutional one term of 3years to elapse by June 2024 after which the Governor who is empowered by law can decide to conduct elections or run a caretaker committee for a stipulated number of months. But to think that anybody can tell the Governor what to do as it regards this issue is the height of it all and very disrespectful to us as a State, that the president would now decide for Rivers people how their State should be run, whereas in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Umo Eno, just inaugurated a transition/caretaker committee for the 31 Local government areas of the State; Benue State is also not left out as the Governor there just inaugurated a Caretaker Committee for the 21 Local Government Areas in his State. Going through the directives, especially that of the caretaker committee, we are not surprised that it was a scripted resolution, carefully presented to the president to read, as it is one of the major issues that has caused the political tension in our State.
While we thank the president for his advisory efforts, we are also very mindful and not oblivious of the fact that there are those hiding behind the presidency to advance their political interest in our State, as can be conspicuously seen in the directives of a death sentence of a make-believe resolution. But as Rivers People, we will reject and resist it all, because we cannot be so disrespected that we would now be governed through unconstitutional directives from a piece of paper. Never! We are not ignorant of the hidden threats of a State of emergency, seizing of the State’s statutory federal allocation, invoking the powers of the federal might and possible manipulation of the Supreme Court Governorship judgment against Governor Sim and Rivers people.
As Rivers People we are known to have the antidote for Federal Might because we have the capacity and the strong will to resist the irresistible. We have been on this part of resistance since 2015 – 2023, so now won’t be a difference if the need arises again. All we ask for is genuine peace and that all political actors shun politics for now till 2027, so we can concentrate on governance by bringing it to the doorstep of Rivers people. So far, Governor Sim has started well, and we know he will end well irrespective of the political landmines that have been set on his part as temporal distractions. Love Rivers State or leave her alone.
E. P. I. C – SON OF REBISI KINGDOM.
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