Gale Of Resignations Hits Fubara’s Cabinet As Three More Commissioners Pull Out

The political tsunami sweeping Rivers State appears unabating as three more commissioners on Thursday resigned from Governor Sim Fubara’s cabinet.

The latest to pull out of the cabinet are the Commissioner for Works George-Kelly Alabo – who served in the same capacity under Nyesom Wike’s government – and the Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Commissioner Inime Aguma and their Finance counterpart Isaac Kamalu.

Their resignations – coming hours after the state’s  Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice Prof Zacchaeus Adangor quit his post  – were contained in separate letters to Governor Fubara.

“I hereby resign my appointment as the Commissioner for Works, Rivers State, effective immediately. My decision to resign is anchored on my conscience, personal philosophy, and professional ethics,” Alabo said in the letter addressed to the governor. “This decision was taken after deep introspection. I appreciate Your Excellency for the opportunity to serve my beloved Rivers State as Commissioner for Works.”

On her part, the Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation cited “personal” reasons for her resignation from the cabinet and wished the current administration well.

“I hereby tender my resignation as the Honourable Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Rivers State on this day 14th of December 2023,” she wrote. “I thank Your Excellency for the privilege to serve in the State Executive Council. My decision to resign is personal and based on other pressing commitments. I wish Your Excellency a successful tenure and pray for best wishes in all your endeavours.”

The Finance Commissioner, however, did not state why he pulled out of the cabinet.

“I hereby inform you of my immediate resignation as Commissioner of Finance, Rivers State with effect from the date stated above,” he said in his letter. “I thank you for the opportunity granted me to serve our dear State under your administration.”

In his resignation earlier in the day, Adangor said the move was based “purely on personal decision”.

A Divided House

The wave of resignation that has hit the Rivers cabinet is the latest twist in the political crisis rocking the oil-rich state since the rift between FCT Minister Nyesom Wike and Fubara started. There is already a division in the Rivers State House of Assembly as the 32-member lawmaking body now has two groups.

Earlier in the week, 27 of the lawmakers – originally from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). But the leader of another group in the Assembly Edison Ehie declared their seats vacant in the wake of the defection.

Governor Fubara later demolished the Assembly complex, saying the structure which was gutted by fire two months ago was unfit. He thereafter presented the 2024 budget to the Ehie-led group at the Government House in Port Harcourt. A court had barred the Martins Amaewhule-led group who are perceived allies of Wike from using the assembly.

About two months ago, the Amaewhule-led group attempted to impeach Governor Fubara. But the move failed with lawmakers loyal to Fubara impeaching him and declaring Ehie as the new speaker.

While President Bola Tinubu had earlier waded into the crisis and met with Wike and Fubara in Abuja with Fubara saying the matter has been resolved, the fresh wave of resignation in the South-South State is another fresh plot in the impasse.

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