The caretaker committee chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Rivers State chapter, Tony Okocha, on Thursday said efforts made by President Bola Tinubu to settle the rift between his Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, and his successor as Rivers State Governor, Simi Fubara, have failed.
There were media reports recently that the President met with Wike and Fubara with a view to settling the rift.
But the crisis continued recently with the defection of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC.
Lawmakers loyal to the state governor have since declared their seats vacant while calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections to replace them.
While the controversy continues, the state government, on Wednesday, demolished the House of Assembly complex, saying the building is unsafe for legislative business having recorded an explosion recently.
The governor proceeded to present the 2024 budget to the five lawmakers loyal to him that sat inside the Government House.
While speaking at a press conference at the APC national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, Okocha said although he was not part of the President’s intervention, he believed the reconciliation move has broken down.
“I wasn’t part of it, but whatever that was, it has broken down, and it has been broken irreconcilably,” he declared.
Okocha added that four members of the state House of Assembly, led by a factional Speaker, Edison Ehie, perpetrated illegality by sitting and approving the budget that Fubara presented for the 2024 fiscal year.
He added that the APC is wooing Wike to defect to the party, stressing that as soon as he becomes a member of the APC, he would become the party’s leader in the state.
He also said the embattled 27 members of the House of Assembly do not need the demolished House of Assembly complex or a physical structure to carry out their duties.
He said, “The House of Assembly can be moved to anywhere. It is not necessarily down to a building. Provided the mace is present there, members can sit anywhere. As of this morning, the 27 lawmakers met and even signed some resolutions.
“Even when the building was burnt, the governor never bothered to set up a panel or committee to investigate. Apparently, we know he was the mastermind.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), the government brought it down to prove fait accompli to the members who defected. But we as a party have said we will fight illegalities and not allow anybody to hound any lawmaker.
“We are here to tell the world that we stand with the lawmakers. What they did is not an aberration. Defection is not new. In 2014, the PDP was run aground and the members left in droves to the opposing party.
“The PDP in Rivers has imploded and we are benefiting from the reward. We are telling the governor he cannot thrive on illegalities. I have given instruction to the legal adviser to petition the NJC to report the judge for delivering that ‘Jankara’ judgment.”
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.