Asari Dokubo
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Asari Dokubo to stay-put Rivers LG Chairmen: Go home in peace or face people’s wrath

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“The chairmen, whose tenure expired on June 17, cannot force themselves on the people under the guise of an extension of time, noting that it runs contrary to the oath of office they swore to”

The leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, Muhajid Asari Dokubo, has called on the former chairmen of the 23 local government areas in Rivers State to bow out peacefully at the end of their three-year tenure without causing unrest.

Dokubo stated this after his Sallah visit to the Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday.

He said the chairmen, whose tenure expired on June 17, cannot force themselves on the people under the guise of an extension of time, noting that it runs contrary to the oath of office they swore to.

Persecondnews reports that Dokubo urged the former chairmen to toe the path of peace, not to invite the wrath of what he called “people’s power,” because it would descend on them to their dismay.

He said: “Local government tenure has expired today, June 17, 2024. They should quietly go home. If they want to seek re-election in accordance with the Constitution, they should go and seek re-election.

“But there is no tenure elongation in the Constitution. Their position is tenure-bound, and that tenure has expired. Let them not cause unnecessary problems for the people of the state. And I want to advise young people: Look, don’t allow yourselves to be used.”

While the governor directed the chairmen who have the backing of Wike to vacate office by the expiration of their tenure on June 17, 2024, they have refused on the grounds that the pro-Wike faction of the Rivers House of Assembly has extended their tenure.

The Martin Amaewhule-led Assembly had amended the law to enable LG chairmen to extend their tenure by six months over the alleged failure of Fubara to conduct local government elections.

The State ALGON Chairman, Allwell Ihunda, who doubles as the Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, insisted that the law passed by the House of Assembly empowers them to remain in office.

But speaking at a recent event, Fubara warned the LG chairmen not to do anything that would disturb the peace of the state.

Meanwhile, Amaewhule, at a news briefing last week, “warned” the governor against setting up caretaker committees to fill vacant positions in the 23 LGAs of the state, saying the lawmakers would not accept such a move.

The disagreement between the two political leaders has led to a running battle between the council chairmen elected during Wike’s tenure as governor and Gov. Fubara.

On Monday, some youths stormed the secretariat in Degema Local Government Area and prevented movement in and out of the complex.

The youths who were seen singing war songs appeared battle-ready as they insisted that they would not allow the LG chairman to remain in office after serving his tenure.

Singing in their local dialects, the youths chorused that the council chairman has failed, saying, “A failure must go’.

He said young people in the state must know and understand what their roles are in protecting the state against those self-seeking individuals who think that it is their private estate.

Dokubo said: “Only one man can be governor of Rivers State at a time. We would not have two governors at a time. The people of Rivers State are bigger than Muhajid Asari Dokubo. Rivers State is bigger than any individual. No individual can take Rivers State people for a ride and pocket us. It is not possible.

“Most of us (them), their children, are not here, and their children have never come out to stand in front of any protest. They are not like Mandela and his children, or me and my children, or any other body. A lot of people have not done this. So, nobody should be allowed to be used.

“The people are showing people’s power. The people have gone on their own to take over the local government secretariat because it is about the people, and nobody can say that we voted for three years’ tenure for a chairman, and the chairman should exceed one second of that tenure.

“So, the people of Rivers State are exercising their people’s power, and they are ready to take over until the government is ready to conduct a new election.”

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