Elder statesman Chief Edwin Clark said on Thursday that despite Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s adherence to the terms of the agreement brokered by President Bola Tinubu, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has shown that he is not interested in peace in the state.
He said in a statement that the former Rivers governor’s continuous activities are clear indications that the presidential peace accord has not had any impact on his disposition towards his successor.
Clark pointed out that Fubara has fulfilled his part of the bargain, despite some being in breach of the constitution, against public opinion and outcry.
According to him, with the governor carrying out all that he was required to do, it was expected that the 25 members of the state house of assembly who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) should return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Clark stated: “That Governor Fubara should represent the 2024 Budget, which had already been passed and signed into law, to the legislatures.
“However, Nyesom Wike has not rested; he has not shown any regard or respect for Mr. President in his actions. He has been to Rivers State a number of times, where he brags, making inciting and provocative statements.
“For instance, on January 6, 2024, in Gokana Local Government Area, Rivers State, when he went to visit Hon. Victor Giadom, he reminded his audience that he is still in charge of the state. How? Can there be two governors in a state at the same time?
“Furthermore, on Sunday, January 7, 2024, he continued his public outburst at a so-called grand New Year reception held in the banquet hall of his private residence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He said, among other things, ‘Ask people why this matter came to this level. When people went and plotted the removal of the speaker, you think we would fold our hands to remove the Speaker, an Obio Akpor son?’
“This is totally inconsistent with his claim of working for the unity of Rivers State. Another instance of his failure to implement Mr President’s 8-point proclamation is his refusal to ‘order’ his loyalists to discontinue the action filed by the 26 former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the originating summons they filed against Siminalayi Fubara, the Governor of Rivers State, and others in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1613/2023, in an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice James Omotosho.
“The case, which came up for hearing in Abuja on Monday, January 8, 2024, was adjourned to January 22, 2024, when he saw that there was no intention on the part of the plaintiffs to discontinue the case.”
He further said: “All of Nyesom Wike’s actions are no doubt a clear case of disobedience to Mr. President’s authority. Also, his inconsistency in all of these is what is appalling. The media, both conventional and online, is awash with positions he has taken in the past when he is on the other side of the divide on an issue.
“We all know his position on defectors to another political party in the past. So, what has changed today? Has the Constitution, which he was citing then to back his position, changed? In January 2023, when he was Governor of Rivers State, the state was one of the three states that rejected financial and other autonomy for local governments in the country. Others were Ebonyi and the Niger States.
“Another clear case affecting none adherence to Mr President’s peace agreement is the frontal and aggressive attitude of the former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Martins Amaewhule, when he and his colleagues held their first plenary somewhere in Port Harcourt and, in a threatening voice, passed a motion demanding a re-presentation of the 2024 appropriation bill, which has already been signed into law by the Governor.
“One would have expected that the Speaker, in keeping with Mr President’s peace proclamation, would first of all have prior discussion with the Governor at the Government House and not engage in direct confrontation in the presence of the media.
“From the above, it shows clearly that Governor Fubara obeyed Mr President and carried out his directives in violation of the 1999 Constitution ‘for the sake of peace,’ except that which he is currently precluded from doing by the courts. Even though the majority of Nigerians were not happy with the terms of the settlement.
“Having done all these against the Constitution, which Siminalaye Fubara, as Governor of Rivers State, swore to uphold, Nyesom Wike is not seen, wittingly or unwittingly, by his latent or otherwise conduct, advancing peace in Rivers State.
“Let the truth be told to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu: Nyesom Wike is not ready for any form of peace.”
Clark reiterated his call for the president to sanction Wike and called on him to allow Fubara to govern Rivers State peacefully. (Tribune)