Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo emerges New Pro-Fubara Rivers Speaker

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Lawmaker representing Bonny Local Government Area State Constituency at the Rivers House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Oko Jumbo, has emerged as the new Speaker.

Jumbo emerged as Speaker of the three-man assembly members loyal to the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, during its sitting in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Jumbo’s emergence comes after the resignation of Rt. Hon. Edion Ehie, who is now the Chief of Staff to Governor Fubara.

The lawmaker emerged at a time when the governor is fighting for political survival following calls for his impeachment by the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently.

In reaction, Fubara declared that the APC lawmakers do not exist in the eyes of the law.

In his reaction, the caretaker committee chairman of the Rivers State APC, Chief Tony Okocha, who addressed newsmen in Port Harcourt, said the statement of the governor was tantamount to re-writing the constitution of Nigeria. Okocha thereafter instructed the APC pro-lawmakers to commence impeachment proceeding against the sitting governor.

Governor Siminalayi Fubara

But reacting to the calls by Okocha on Wednesday, Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, described the directives as “delusional and hallucinatory”

The party added that such a reckless and unwarranted statement by the APC Chairman in Rivers State exposes the vile desperation of the APC, which is roundly rejected in Rivers State, to use violence, coercion and bullying to undermine the WILL of the people and forcefully take over the State

“The fact that the Rivers State APC Chairman, in his warped imagination, thinks he can direct impeachment proceeding against a duly elected State Governor not only shows the level of APC’s arrogance and condescension for the people of Rivers State but also further confirms APC’s desperation to forcefully annex their democratic rights under the Constitution.

“In any event, the individuals that the Rivers State APC Chairman directed to commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Fubara are not legally members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and cannot contemplate or exercise such powers under the law.”

Recall also that the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who were elected on the platform of PDP had defected from the party to the APC, in December 2023, on the backdrop of the conflict between former Governor Nyesom Wike and Governor Fubara.

Ologunagba noted that “These individuals, by Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) have since vacated and lost their seats, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations accruable to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly after their defection from the PDP, the political Party platform upon which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly Citing provisions in Section 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution, he said “a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if … (g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political Party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected…”

“It should be noted that Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution is self-executory. The import of this provision is that the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected have vacated their seats because of that defection.

He noted that the unlawful directive by the Rivers State APC Chairman to these individuals to commence an impeachment proceeding against the Governor is therefore a brazen call for anarchy as it amounts to an attempt to forcefully overthrow a democratic Order in clear violation of Section 1 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“For clarity, Section 1 Sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides;

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.

The PDP drew the attention of the Inspector General of Police to the subversive utterances of the APC Chairman in Rivers State which is capable of triggering crisis and derailing the Democratic Order in the country.

“The APC must perish the thought of forcefully taking over Rivers State as such is a direct assault on the sensibility of the people which will be resisted firmly.

“The APC Chairman in Rivers State should come to terms with the fact that Rivers State is home to PDP and that the people of Rivers State are not ready to put their destiny in the hands of a corrupt, oppressive and anti-people Special Purpose Vehicle like the APC.

“The national leadership of the PDP expresses appreciation to the people of Rivers State for always standing with the PDP and urges them to continue to resist the APC in its vicious attempt to inject violence and destabilize the State”.

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