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Pro-Wike Rivers Assembly Bars Fubara From Appointing Chairpersons For Local Councils

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It looks like the political crisis in Rivers is far from ended, especially in light of the contentious peace agreement that President Bola Tinubu mediated a few days ago.

After rejecting the governor’s veto of the measure, the Rivers House of Assembly on Friday took away Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s authority to name a caretaker committee for the state’s local government areas.

The bill was passed into law by the lawmakers with a resounding majority, overriding Mr. Fubara’s veto and preventing the governor from using the authority that was formerly held by Nyesom Wike.

Now that the bills have become law, the governor will hold an election when the incumbent officials’ terms come to an end.

Within the first quarter of this year, the present council leaders in the state, who were elected in 2021, will complete their three-year term.

During Friday’s plenary session, Speaker of the House Martin Amaewhule presented four letters from the governor in which Mr. Fubara denied to sign four new bills that were brought to him for approval, according to Channels TV.

The parliamentarians claimed that the governor’s consent was not necessary for the bills to become law, citing Section 100, subsection 5 of the Nigerian Constitution.

As to the clause, in the event that the House of Assembly passes a measure by a two-thirds majority and the Governor chooses not to give his or her assent, the it will become law.

The speaker charged the governor with having no intention of holding state elections for local governance.

“This law eliminates the governor’s authority to designate caretaker committee chairmen for local governments,” the speaker stated. “The governor is not pleased that we are taking away his authority to designate caretaker chairmen.”

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The speaker said that the governor had vetoed three other laws that the lawmakers had enacted into law. These three laws are the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Amendment Law, the Rivers State Funds Management and Financial Autonomy Law, and the Rivers State Advertisement and Use of State Owned Property Prohibition repeal law.

The assembly has never overridden a veto from Governor Fubara before.

It looks like the political crisis in Rivers is far from ended, especially in light of the contentious peace agreement that President Bola Tinubu mediated a few days ago.

Due to the conflict, the state assembly was divided into two factions: four members supported Mr. Fubara, while 27 members pledged their allegiance to Mr. Wike.

Following their defection to the APC, the pro-Wike lawmakers’ seats were declared empty; however, as part of the peace agreement, Governor Fubara and the other lawmakers would later permit them to return to the legislature with their rights and privileges restored.


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