Elders and prominent figures in Rivers State, such as Chief Rufus Ada-George, a former governor, and Gabriel Toby, a former deputy governor, have rejected President Bola Tinubu’s involvement in the political unrest roiling the state.


The elders voiced concern that the state’s problems might have gotten worse as a result of the intervention.


In reaction to the presidential instruction intended to resolve the political crisis in the state, they made this statement in a communiqué issued to newsmen on Tuesday following an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

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They claimed that even though they had earlier urged the President to step in and mediate the conflict between state governor Siminialayi Fubara and minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike, they were unsure if the President’s “intervention has solved the problem or escalated it.”

Among those who signed the communiqué were former state military administrators Godwin Abbey and Ibim Princewill, Chief Sara-Igbe, a former Pan Niger Delta Forum spokesman, Bennett Birabi, a second republic senator, and Ms. Annkio Briggs, a Niger Delta activist.

The communiqué said that the elders believed Tinubu’s suggestions for breaking the state’s political impasse were against the constitution, which he had vowed to protect at all times.

The text states, “The directives attempted to overturn a court order that recognized Edison Ehie as the speaker and stipulated that the remaining members of the House of Assembly constituted the quorum for legislative business, thereby unilaterally suspending the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution.”

That the instruction also goes against the sacred theory and custom of lower-level hierarchy, as insofar as it impacts the judiciary’s accountability

Is it possible for the President or the government’s executive branch to overturn a court’s ruling that has jurisdiction?

This is a sign of impending executive misbehavior that threatens the rule of law, our constitutional democracy, and sound governance.

The instructions given to the parties were biased against the governor, Siminialayi Fubara, and the good people of Rivers State and in favor of Chief Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

“Martins Amaewhule and his crew have ceased to exist in the state House of Assembly having deserted to another political party, as demonstrated by the Rivers State High Court verdict. As such, they cannot be reinstated and remunerated through the back door, according to the law and due process.

In a constitutional democracy, the executive branch has a responsibility to accommodate legislators, as demonstrated by the FCT minister’s actions regarding the National Assembly.

“Thus, it is contradictory to propose that the Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Martins Amaewhule, has the freedom to convene at any location of their choosing, while in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Minister represents the executive branch by arranging accommodations for federal lawmakers.”

Additionally, they contended that the order to re-present the approved and signed budget is an attempt to make fun of and disparage the governor’s office, the good people of the state, and the judiciary.

“In public administration parlance, an individual can exit service by resignation, sacking, voluntary retirement, or death,” they continued. Therefore, it is absurd that the President is ordering the reintegration of those who have left the army due to personal reasons.

“The Forum called on all law-abiding Rivers State residents to take action in this crucial moment in order to save the state’s soul. We shall stand to protect Rivers State, which our fathers battled to establish.

Resistance turns into a duty when criminality and injustice are accepted as the norm in the political system.

Lastly, the Forum rejects the recommendations made to resolve the political problem in Rivers State in its totality. In Nigeria, a constitutional democracy, only the courts have the authority to order the reversal of actions taken or carried out in accordance with the law.

Therefore, “we will resist, using all constitutional means at our disposal, any resolution or directive that seeks to undermine the principle of separation of powers and the rule of law is unacceptable, null and void.”