Rivers lawmakers are floating, not House of Assembly – Gov Fubara declares

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Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State on Monday declared that there is no House of Assembly in the state, a statement that suggests the collapse of the peace deal brokered by President Bola Tinubu.

Speaking on Monday while receiving political and traditional rulers from Bayelsa State, who paid him courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt declared that the state has no house of assembly that he accepted the peace deal to give the lawmakers a “floating”.

The delegation, which included political and traditional rulers from Bayelsa State, paid Governor Fubara a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt. The delegation was led by former Governor Seriake Dickson.

Rivers has been enmeshed in political crisis since October last year after some lawmakers backed by the immediate-past Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, attempted to impeach Fubara.

The crisis steadily deteriorated till last December when President Tinubu brokered the peace between Wike (now Minister of FCT) and  Fubara after the seats of 27 lawmakers loyal to the FCT minister were declared vacant.

Governor Fubara in the peace deal was asked to allow the pro-Wike lawmakers whose seats were declared vacant to return to the assembly with their rights and privileges restored, including conducting legislative business at a venue of their choice.

The lawmakers had since their restoration dispensed with Fubara assent to bills in the state.

Fubara said: “Let me say it here, that group of men who claim that they are assembly members, they are not existing. I want it to be on record,”

“I accepted that peace accord to give them a floating. That’s the truth. There is nothing in that peace accord that is a constitutional issue. It is a political solution to a problem. I accepted it because these are people that were visiting me and we were together in my house.

“These are people that I have helped… in many ways when I wasn’t even a governor. Yes, we might have our disagreements, but I believe that one day, we could also come together. That was the reason I did it.

“But I think it has gotten to a time when I need to make a statement on this thing, so that they understand that they are not existing. Their existence and whatever they have been doing is because I allowed them to do so. If I don’t recognise them, they are nowhere, that is the truth,” Governor Fubara asserted.

Speaking further during the visit, Governor Fubara said, “I want you to see the sacrifice I have made to allow peace to be in our State. I can say here, with all amount of boldness, I have never called any policeman anywhere to go and harass anybody.

“I have never gone anywhere to ask anybody to do anything against anybody. But what happens to the people that are supporting me? They are being harassed, they are being arrested and detained. There is no week that somebody doesn’t come here with one letter of invitation for trump-up charges and all those things.

“I am saying all these because of what my senior said here: restrain. I don’t think the other party has shown any restraint. I am the one that has shown restraint in the face of this crisis.

“I am the one that is badly hit, even when I have all the government instruments to shake up the table. But, why will I do it? I believe that peace is the best relationship to cultivate.”

Fubara thanked the delegation for the solidarity visit to him and his Government, and added that there is no complete Rivers State without Bayelsa State and vice versa, which demands that they continue to work together for development.

“We were separated because of political purposes to expand development, but we need to be united so that the economies of these two states will grow.

“There is no need for us to have any argument over assets, there is no need for us to have disagreement over issue of who owns this or who doesn’t own that.

“One way or the other, we are even inter-related. That is the truth. So, there is no need for fight.” Fubara said.

Speaking during the visit, Dickson said their visit was one of solidarity with Governor Fubara and Rivers people who have shown maturity in the face of the political crisis for stability and development to thrive.

“We will agree that no true brother or even good neighbour can stay unconcerned when the house of a brother or neighbour is on fire or have issue. Even if there is a small flame, a neighbour or a good brother should be concerned.

“We have come here as your brothers and as good neighbours also. But also in our own right as Rivers people because this State is our Mother State.

“And we are here to show support and solidarity with you, your Government, and most importantly, solidarise with the good people of this State.

“We have also come with a message of peace and reconciliation, forgiveness, unity, mutual respect, political maturity and tolerance by all,” Dickson said.

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