Rivers elders write Fubara, say Abuja resolution ‘death sentence’

Rivers State elders and leaders have written an open letter to Governor Siminalayi Fubara, warning him against implementing the resolution reached at a meeting with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja to resolve the political crisis in the state.

The Rivers elders, in their letter, described the resolution as “a death sentence,” contending that it was lopsided in favour of Fubara’s estranged political godfather and ex-governor, Nyesom Wike.

The forum, led by former Rivers State governor, Chief Rufus Ada-George, made the declaration in two separate open letters dated December 24, 2023, and addressed to President Tinubu and Fubara respectively and read to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

They declared that the presidential resolution on the political crisis in Rivers State was lopsided and not implementable because it was against the rule of law.

“For us, as custodians of the Rivers people’s conscience and morality, we find the directive resolution document lopsided and skewed in favour of the interest of your current minister, Nyesom Wike, to the detriment of the governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the governance of the state and the interest of the generality of the good people of Rivers State,” they wrote.

They said Tinubu did not have the power to overrule the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, while faulting the Christmas Day broadcast by Fubara that he would implement the resolution.

The open letters were signed by Chief George, Dr Gabriel Toby, Ibim Princewill, Rear Adm. P. Fingesi (retd.), Emeritus Prof. Dagogo Fubara, HRH Iraron, Ede Obolo, Anabs Sara-Igbe, Senator Bennett Birabi, Ms Annkio Briggs, Captain Nwankwo, Prof. A.W. Obianime, Prof. E. T. Bristol, High Chief Marcus Atata, Senator Wilson Ake, Dr Silva Opusunju, Sen Andrew Uchendu, Kalada Iruenabere, Atamuno Atamuno, Prof. N O Nyenke, and Godwin Abbey.

“Mr. Governor, Sir, you stated categorically that you are a principal participant in the entire saga and the Presidential Peace Proclamation is not as bad as being portrayed by those genuinely opposed to it.
“That proclamation is actually a death sentence as it breaches all legal and constitutional rights you swore to uphold. Mr. Governor, you
also stated in your broadcast that the document offers a way and means of peace: Peace at what cost?” the elders queried.

“Does the President have the powers to overrule the ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction when he is a product of the court himself?

 “Central to this, Mr President, is the sacred doctrine and practice of the separation of powers. May we inform Mr President that the seats of the cross-carpeting members have been declared vacant by the Speaker, known to the law, Rt Hon Ehie Edison, through an ex parte order issued by the Federal High Court Port Harcourt division.

 “We cannot but imagine how providing accommodation and meeting venue for legislative business becomes the duty of members of the House of Assembly who you directed to seat wherever they choose and not by the Executive arm as in the case of the National Assembly Complex were Legislative Quarters are provided and maintained by the Executive arm.

 “Given the foregoing, it is evident that Governor Siminalayi Fubara, the Chief Executive Officer of Rivers State, was coerced into submitting to your premeditated action plan even when it is well known that Mr President does not possess such powers to give directives to a democratically elected governor or impose his will on the state government and the good people of Rivers State.

 “As far as we are concerned, that meeting did not happen, and those directives are not implementable because to do so will be acting against the constitution and the rule of law.”

The elders, however, lauded Fubara for his humility as shown in his Christmas Day speech to the people of the state.

(Punch)

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