Rivers APC chairman accuses Governor Fubara of reneging on peace deal

 

Tony Okocha, the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers, has accused Governor Siminialayi Fubara of delaying the implementation of the eight-point resolution toward ending the political crisis in the state.

The political tension enveloped the state in October 2023 when 27 lawmakers said to be loyal to Mr Fubara’s predecessor, Nyesom Wike, threatened to impeach the governor.

The crisis reached a crescendo with the burning of the State House of Assembly Complex on October 30. Worried by the development, President Bola Tinubu stepped in and negotiated a peace agreement to restore peace.

The APC boss, while reacting to the peace deal in an interview in Port Harcourt on Sunday, said the delay in implementing the agreement was not good for political peace in Rivers.

Mr Okocha, who represents Rivers in the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the continued delay was disrespectful to the president and other political actors.

“Following the discussions, the president presented an eight-point proclamation document and handed it over to former Rivers governor Peter Odili.

“At every point, Odili read each point from the document, Tinubu interjected and asked if we were okay, and everybody echoed ‘yes’.

“After all parties agreed to the resolution, Governkr Fubara, his deputy, Wike, myself, PDP chairman in Rivers, National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu and Martins Amaewhule, the speaker of the House of Assembly, all signed the document,” he recalled.

The APC chieftain said that after signing the document, Mr Fubara requested protection for his supporters against victimisation, which the president assured.

He said it was regrettable that a purported elders’ forum had influenced the governor to deviate from the agreement he willingly signed before Mr Tinubu.

Mr Okocha noted that the governor occasionally yielded and, at other times, presented himself as lacking control over himself and his administration.

“The governor has implemented six resolutions, including withdrawing all cases before the courts, freeing the legislature, paying allowances due to lawmakers, and recognising Amaewhule as speaker.

“But, he has refused to implement two crucial agreements – the re-presentation of the state budget before the 27 lawmakers and the conduct of local government elections,” he said.

Mr Okocha stated that the local government chairmen’s tenure would end on June 10, with INEC required to conduct elections 60 days before the incumbents’ tenure expires.

He criticised Mr Fubara’s governance style and highlighted the need for adherence to constitutional processes and agreements to ensure stability and progress.

The chairman threatened legal action to ensure compliance, emphasising the need for peaceful governance and adherence to the law.

Mr Okocha claimed that Mr Fubara, “an unexpected candidate in the PDP primaries, rode to power on Wike’s support”.

Reacting, Rivers’ Commissioner of Information and Communications, Joe Johnson, advised Mr Okocha to focus on his duties at NDDC instead of misleading the public.

He questioned why the APC chieftain was fixated on the two resolutions, especially since the governor had already acted on six of the eight resolutions agreed upon in December.

“The governor has recalled and redeployed the commissioners who resigned back to their positions – that is even more important.

“Governor Fubara has also paid all the allowances owed to the 27 assembly members.

“If the governor refused to release funds to the lawmakers but went ahead to represent a budget to them, which one, in Okocha’s priority, will be better?” he asked.

Mr Johnson pointed out that Mr Fubara had implemented over 80 per cent of the agreement, though Mr Tinubu did not specify a timeline for its fulfilment.


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