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Wike-Fubara feud: Abuja peace accord unacceptable, storm court – Rivers stakeholders

The protesters said they would not allow anyone to "enslave the state" and threatened to "occupy the state" including critical infrastructure all through next month should the governor honour any part of the peace deal.

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Six days after the peace accord signed in Abuja between Rivers Gov. Siminalayi Fubara and the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, peace has yet to return to the troubled state as some residents have protested and dismissed the deal as unacceptable.

The festering crisis between Fubara and Wike had necessitated President Bola Tinubu’s intervention by brokering the peace pact at a meeting in the State House, Abuja.

Some residents have stormed the Government House, Port Harcourt, to protest the Abuja Peace Accord signed by the duo of Wike and Fubara, dismissing the deal as unacceptable.

The protesters said they would not allow anyone to “enslave the state” and threatened to “occupy the state” including critical infrastructure all through next month should the governor honour any part of the peace deal.

Signatories to the position document of the protesters include leaders of the National Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Greater Wakiriki Movement (GWM), National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS), National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Rivers Youths Federation (RYF), Ijaw Young Professional Association (IYPA), ANDONI Youths Federation (AYF), Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), Niger Delta Activist Forum (NDAF), United Community Development Committee (UDCD).

The leaders, who also signed the document included Chijioke Inuwo, Levi Sam Okuru, Tamuno Kpokpo, Harrison Nwosu, Fubara Samuel, Inwoni Urang, Peter Ohochukwu and Chief Mike Amakiri.

The protesters who blocked the Port Harcourt Government House, said they would occupy the International Airport, Port Harcourt, Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, NLNG Bonny, SPDC facilities, Total E&P, Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, the East-West Road, the Federal Secretariat, the State Secretariat, all markets and waterways.

They said: “It is, therefore, the absolute resolve of the people of Rivers State and indeed the entire Niger Delta to resort to self-help by any non-violent means possible to ensure our dignity as a people is not trampled upon.

“We therefore call on all Rivers people, indigenes and residents and the entire Niger Delta people to get prepared and ready to occupy Rivers State.”

Describing the resolution as a “sham and national embarrassment”, they also claimed that it posed fundamental threats to the nation’s democracy.

The protesters wondered why part of the resolutions barred Fubara from exercising his constitutional duties of constituting caretaker committees for local government areas while the APC-led government in Imo and Ondo states adopted the caretaker arrangement.

“A critical analysis of the purported resolutions reveals a barrage of illegalities and more so at no point was the interest of the good people of Rivers State mentioned or even accommodated,” the protesters said, urging the Inspector-General of Police to probe an allegation that some security officers had been hired to unleash mayhem in the state.

“May we announce to the Executive Governor, Sir. Siminalayi Fubara, that Rivers State people massively voted him into office and therefore cannot allow him to bring the people into disrepute by signing such agreement that is akin to selling our collective hegemony to one individual.”

The stakeholders insisted that the seats of the 27 lawmakers, who defected to the APC would remain vacant.

Highlights of the Abuja deal are:

· All matters in courts by Fubara and his team shall be withdrawn immediately

· All impeachment proceedings should be dropped immediately

· The House as led by Martin Amaewhule shall be recognised alongside the 27 members who resigned from the PDP · The remunerations and benefits of all members must be reinstated immediately and the Governor of Rivers State shall henceforth not interfere with the full funding of the Assembly

· The Assembly shall choose where they want to sit and conduct their legislative business without interference

Read Also: Tinubu’s intervention in Rivers crisis constitutional, says Basorun
· Fubara shall re-present the state budget to a properly constituted House

· The names of all commissioners who resigned should be resubmitted to the House for approval

· There should not be a caretaker committee for the LGAs.

Other signatories to the deal were Deputy Governor Ngozi Odu, National Security Adviser (NSA) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Speaker Amaewhule, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Aaron Chukwuemeka and All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee Chairman Chief Tony Okocha.

Former Governor of the State,Sir Peter Odili was present at the talks.

Fubara,on his return to Port Harcourt on Tuesday, had said he was prepared to pay any price for peace to reign.

“There is no price that will be too big to pay to ensure that peace prevails,” he said at the 3rd Convocation and 6th Founders Day ceremonies of the PAMO University of Medical Sciences in Iriebe, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

Meanwhile, some of them have approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, urging it to compel INEC to conduct elections to fill the seats of 27 lawmakers.

Six individuals claiming to be members of a group – Rivers State Elders and Leaders Council (RSELC) – are also urging the court to restrain the President, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Rivers State Governor from further interfering in the affairs of the State Assembly.

The six plaintiffs in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1718/2023 are Hon. Victor Okon Jumbo, Senator Bennett Biryani, Senator Andrew Uchendu, Rear Admiral O. Pp. Fingesi, Ann Kio Briggs and Emmanuel Deinma.

Listed as defendants are the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Rivers State House of Assembly, its Speaker and the Chairman, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The suit was filed for the plaintiff by a group of lawyers led by Mr Olukayode Ajulo (SAN).

Deinma stated in a supporting affidavit: “it is common knowledge that sometime in the month of November, 2023, 27 members of the Rivers Stare House of Assembly (out of the total 32 members) without any justification or lawful excuse whatsoever, decided to defect from PDP, being the platform under which they were elected as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to APC.

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