APC to PDP: Fubara is Architect of Rivers Crisis

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*Police: Why we barricaded LG secretariats 

*Rivers peaceful, not under siege, governor insists

CHIGOZIE AMADI

All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, told the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, was the supreme architect of the crisis in the state and needed to be thought basic democratic ethos.
APC also said the allegation by PDP that it planned to forcefully take over the PDP-governed state existed only in its warped imagination.
The denunciations came as the Nigeria Police, yesterday, said the reason it barricaded local government secretariats in Rivers State was to prevent a breakdown of law and order. The police said it would continue to do so until a court of competent jurisdiction decided otherwise.

But Fubara maintained Rivers State was not under siege, saying Rivers people are enjoying a peaceful environment under his administration.
National Publicity Secretary of APC, Felix Morka, in a statement, described PDP’s claims about its planned forceful dislodgement from Rivers State as ridiculous and baseless.

Morka said PDP peddled falsehood about a non-existent plot to interfere with the government of Rivers State instead of giving a crash course to Fubara on the basic tenets of democratic and constitutional governance for the benefit of the Rivers people.
He added that PDP offered no justification for its bogus claim except to mischievously misrepresent and amplify the comments reportedly made by the chairman of the Rivers State APC Caretaker Committee, Chief Tony Okocha, while sweeping under the carpet the salient issues underpinning the crisis in the state.
Morka stated, “Quite contrary to the PDP’s misplaced quibbles against Chief Okocha’s comments, Governor Siminalayi Fubara is the supreme architect of the horrific crisis rocking Rivers State.

“Since assuming office over a year ago, Governor Fubara has displayed reckless disdain for the rule of law and democratic institutions, and conducted his government in flagrant violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In an unprecedented display of autocratic arrogance, Governor Fubara declared the democratically elected Rivers State House of Assembly to be non-existent and, without lawful authority, constituted a bogus and illegal three-man sham Assembly in brazen violation of express provisions of the constitution on the threshold composition of the House of Assembly and in disregard of the separation of powers doctrine.”

APC alleged that the governor had continued to expend public funds without lawful appropriation by a duly constituted legislature, thereby undermining the will of the people of Rivers State and their right to effective and accountable democratic governance.
Morka insisted that the current crisis in Rivers State was contrived and executed by Fubara, who had continued to usurp the legislative powers of the state legislature while contemptuously disregarding valid decisions and orders of courts of competent jurisdiction in critical matters. He said these were at the root of the crisis in the state.

IG: Police Barricaded Rivers LG Secretariats to Forestall Breakdown of Law and Order

Nigeria Police, yesterday, insisted that it would continue to barricade the local government secretariats in Rivers State until a court of competent jurisdiction decided otherwise.
The police had on Wednesday barricaded all the local government secretariats in Rivers State following a violent impasse between the Fubara, his supporters, and those loyal to the outgone council chairmen, over alleged attempts to elongate their terms unconstitutionally.
Responding to questions on the crisis, during a conference with police managers at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, said the force barricaded the local government secretariats to forestall breakdown of law and order in the state.

Egbetokun said, “The Rivers issue is in court, we are going to wait for the outcome of the court case. Whatever the court decides is what we are going to do.
“Yes, we have our men barricading the secretariats as at now, but we are doing that to prevent breakdown of law and order in that state.
“You are all aware of what happened two or three days ago, we lost a police inspector. We are very sad about that, we don’t want to lose more men, more citizens of Rivers State, and more Nigerians.
“So, we have a duty to prevent breakdown of law and order and that is why we have our men taking over the secretariats, while we await the outcome of the case in court. Immediately the court makes a pronouncement, we would vacate the secretariats.”
On the face-off between the police and the Police Service Commission, Egbetokun said, the police would not allow the commission to recruit the “deaf and dump” into the force.

He stated, “The wise men sitting at the Supreme Court, while ruling on the controversial and constitutional issue surrounding police recruitment, gave the final authority to recruit into the police to the Police Service Commission, there is no problem with that.
“The judgement of the Supreme Court is sound, clear, and unambiguous. The Supreme Court, in its wisdom, recognised that the police is a critical stakeholder, and did not exclude her from participating in the recruitment exercise. So, it is expected that while recruiting into the police force by the commission, the police should be carried along.

“The IGP leads the largest police force in Africa, over 300,000 officers and men look up to him for guidance and leadership. He cannot sit down, fold his arms and see recruitment into the police force done shabbily.
“He cannot afford to disappoint the officers and men that he is leading, he has a duty to ensure quality recruitment into the police and that includes quality personnel that are recruited during the exercise, and that is exactly what we are doing”
Egbetokun added, “We are doing everything possible to make sure that qualified and capable individuals are recruited into the police. The problem we are having with the police now starts with the recruitment. If we don’t pay attention to recruitment, disaster is certainly awaiting us.

“We cannot sit here as the force management team, and allow that to happen and that is why we are raising issues when we see issues. The force spokesperson made an announcement earlier, and we have also written to the commission, expressing our concerns in the published list of successful candidates in the ongoing recruitment exercise.
“So, there is no fight between the police force and the Police Service Commission. The police will play its role and the Police Service Commission will play its role also.
“We recognise the powers of the commission to recruit for the police, we respect that power and what we are doing is without prejudice to the powers of the Police Service Commission to recruit for the police. But for us to sit down, and allow individuals with bad eye sights to be recruited is not the best.”

 Fubara: Rivers is Peaceful, Not Under Siege

Rivers State Governor, Mr Siminalayi Fubara, said the state was not under siege, and the people were enjoying a peaceful environment under his administration.
Fubara said the recent negative narrative that portrayed the state as immersed in crisis, with disrupted peace, was untrue, misguided and was the handiwork of mischief makers.
He emphasised that the state and its people were enjoying an enduring atmosphere of peace to promote sustainable development, fast-paced investments and accelerated economic growth.

The governor made the clarification yesterday, when he spoke to journalists in Egbelu community, shortly after inspecting the progress of work on the 14.6 kilometre Omodu-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area.
He emphasised that the people were going about their normal activities, while governance was thriving.
The governor said he wanted to make clear that Rivers State was not seiged, “And to also tell Nigerians that Rivers State is peaceful. You can see that we are moving about inspecting projects, as against what you see on the screens of your television sets that police are everywhere, that we don’t move about anymore, and that Rivers State is under siege.

“We are not under siege. Our state is free and peaceful. If at all there is any problem in any part of the state, I know quite well that Nigerians know where the problem is coming from, not from us.
“We are peace-loving people. It is already written all over us. Our actions and our deeds have confirmed that we are peace-loving people. We will continue to maintain the peace that we promised everyone, for the betterment of the good people of Rivers State.”