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Politics

Rivers Plans Parallel Secretariats As Police Bar Fubara Caretaker Chairmen

Siminalayi Fubara speaking e1713979724813.webp

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In response to the recent sealing of local government council headquarters by police, Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, announced that the 23 local government councils will now operate from alternative secretariats.

This decision was declared shortly after the swearing-in of the 23 local government caretaker committee chairmen on Wednesday.

The move comes after a significant escalation in tensions, which saw police forces taking over all local government headquarters on Tuesday.

According to the state police command, this measure was necessary “to forestall further bloodshed and to prevent a breakdown of law and order.”

The headquarters were barricaded with police patrol vans and manned by armed officers, preventing the newly inaugurated caretaker chairmen from accessing their offices.

The conflict in Rivers State has deepened over the past year, primarily due to a longstanding feud between Governor Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

This dispute has led to several violent incidents, including a clash on Tuesday in Eberi-Omuma, Omuma Local Government Area, resulting in the deaths of a policeman and a member of a local security outfit.

The crisis has also had significant legislative repercussions. Last year, the state House of Assembly was bombed and became factionalized amidst attempts to impeach Governor Fubara.

The governor’s opponents in the assembly, led by Martin Amaewhule and loyal to Minister Wike, enacted the Local Government Amendment Law 2024.

This law permits the 23 chairmen to extend their tenure by six months, citing Governor Fubara’s failure to conduct timely local government elections.

Governor Fubara, addressing the operational challenges posed by the police’s actions, stated that the local government councils could function from any suitable location, ensuring that governance continues despite the adversities.

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