APC asks FG to declare state of emergency in Rivers


Gov of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara

By Precious Akutamadu

The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers, Chief Tony Okocha, has urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the state.

Okocha who made the call at a news briefing in Port Harcourt on Wednesday said that the essence was to avoid a total breakdown of law and order.

It would be recalled that there have been clashes between two political factions over disagreement in the tenures of council chairmen in Rivers.

Police spokesperson in Rivers, SP Grace Iringe-Koko said that the clashes had led to the death of a police officer and a vigilance group member in the Eberi-Omuma community.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Police personnel have taken over all the 23 local council secretariats in the state to avoid further bloodshed.

Okocha said that the clashes could lead to a full-blown crisis if left unchecked, saying, “This will affect the national economy considering the position of the state”

The APC chieftain called on security agencies to bring those responsible for the disturbances to book.

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He said that Gov. Siminalaye Fubara acted wrongly by appointing caretaker committees for the councils.

Okocha said that the Local Government Law No 2 of 2024, had outlawed the use of caretaker committees for local government administration.

The swearing-in of the newly appointed caretaker committees was done against the background of the crisis in the state local government chairpersons claimed their tenure had been extended for six months by the Martin Amaewhule faction of Rivers Assembly.

However, Fubara on Tuesday directed heads of administration in the 23 local government areas to take over from the elected council chairmen.

Speaking on Tuesday after a security meeting in Port Harcourt, Fubara said there is no provision for tenure elongation for elected Local Government Chairmen in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as Amended).

“The law on local government tenure is unambiguous. The court clearly affirmed the position of the law.

“The law is the law, there is no extension of the local government tenure in it. The court says so,” he said.

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