Rivers Crisis: APC Criticizes Governor Fubara For Not Implementing Agreement With Tinubu

Fubara on 49th birthday

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has raised concerns over what it claimed is Governor Siminalayi Fubara‘s partial implementation of the December 2023 agreement aimed at resolving the political crisis in the state.

While acknowledging that Governor Fubara has executed six out of the eight resolutions, the APC pointed out the governor’s reluctance to address two crucial aspects of the agreement: the re-presentation of the state’s 2024 budget to the House of Assembly and the conduct of local government elections.

The APC Chairman in Rivers State, Tony Okocha, expressed his apprehension, suggesting that the governor’s failure to fully honour the agreement has placed the state on “a keg of gunpowder.”

His concerns were voiced during a conversation with newsmen over the weekend, where he accused Governor Fubara of being influenced by a “purported elders forum” to sidestep the full execution of the resolutions.

In response to these allegations, the state’s Information and Communications Commissioner, Joe Johnson, countered Okocha’s claims, questioning his focus on the two unresolved resolutions and accusing him of misleading the public.

Okocha’s critique of Governor Fubara extended to questioning the governor’s leadership style, suggesting that his rise to governorship, propelled by the influence of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nyesom Wike, has led to a failure in upholding agreements “reached in the bedroom.”

The APC Chairman, who also serves on the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), expressed his dismay at the delay in implementing the pact in its entirety, viewing it as a disregard for the President and other political stakeholders involved in the agreement.

The APC’s dissatisfaction with the partial implementation has led to considerations of legal action to ensure compliance with the agreement, highlighting the party’s commitment to seeing through the resolutions meant to stabilize the political climate in Rivers State.

Speaking on the crisis in the state, the APC chairman said, “When the matter reached a crescendo and was almost turning into an emergency, several calls were put across to President Tinubu to wade in.

“The President subsequently invited all the stakeholders from both sides and we had a very decent meeting devoid of intimidation, harassment, duress or undue advantage given to anyone.

“During the meeting, the President emphasised the importance of upholding democracy and opted for a diplomatic approach.

“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, Governor Fubara, his deputy( Ngozi Odu), former Governor Nyesom Wike, myself, PDP chiefs in Rivers, National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu; and Martins Amaewhule, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, all signed the document.”

The APC chieftain said that after the agreement was signed, Fubara requested protection for his supporters against victimisation, which was granted.

He further stated, “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 recalled that the President informed Fubara that no other titles outside those recognised by the 1999 Constitution would be used for the leadership of local governments.

He said, “Specifically, the President kicked against caretaker committees or sole administrators for the local government councils.

“So, Governor Fubara cannot, in his wildest imagination, continue to do as he pleases. He cannot continue to run the state without a budget.

“We will not stand aside and watch him violate the legal and constitutional agreement. We will not allow Fubara to disrespect the office of the President.

“Drafting a chairman or a sole administrator to oversee a local government is an aberration; only elected executives are recognised by law.

“Although no time frame was given for implementing the resolution, the governor cannot run the state without a budget.”

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

“The governor was not a politician but a career civil servant, but Wike sat on the noses of politicians and threw up Fubara who lacked political background.

“Nobody gives power for nothing without negotiating for something; Fubara has reneged on agreements reached in the bedroom.”

But Information and Communications Commissioner Johnson advised Okocha to focus on his duties at the NDDC.

He said, “The governor has recalled and redeployed the commissioners who resigned – that is even more important.

“Governor Fubara has also paid all the allowances owed to the 27 members of the State House Assembly.

“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?”

“The resolutions were agreed upon in December and, by February, the governor had implemented six out of the eight proclamations.

“The governor is acting on the resolutions step-by-step. Okocha should stop chasing shadows.”