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Police take over Rivers LG secretariats as tenure crises deepens

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Police vehicle deployed in a council secretariat in Rivers

By Desmond Ejibas

The Police have announced the takeover of all 23 Local Government Secretariats and some critical government infrastructure in Rivers to forestall further bloodbath as well as a breakdown of law and order due to the spread of the crisis over the tenure of the outgoing council chairpersons.

Youths, who are mostly supporters of Governor Siminalayi Fubara took over the secretariats following the expiration of the tenure of the local government chairpersons who are mostly loyalists of former Governor Nyesom Wike on Monday.

This followed a claim by some of the council chairpersons that they would not vacate office because the Martin Amaewhule-led Rivers Assembly had extended their tenure by six months.

However. in a broadcast on Tuesday, Governor Fubara dismissed the claim and asked the Heads of Administration to take over the management of the Councils, while insisting that the tenure of the council chairpersons has expired.

SP Grace Iringe-Koko, spokesperson of the command, in a statement in Port Harcourt late Tuesday said the crises over the tenure of of the LGs’ chairpersons has already claimed two lives, hence the decision by the police to take over the council secretariat.

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She also confirmed that a police officer and a vigilante member lost their lives during a clash between two political groups in one of the local government secretariats.

“Operatives have been deployed to uphold peace in all the 23 Local Government Areas (LGA).

“The clash between the two political factions, sparked by disagreement over the chairmen’s tenures, resulted in the deaths of a police officer and a vigilante member in Eberi-Omuma community.

“Consequently, the police have taken over the 23 council secretariates and some critical government facilities to forestall further unrest and breakdown of law and order.

“To ensure order, the command has also deployed anti-riot police officers to the various council headquarters,” Iringe-Koko announced.

The police spokesperson cautioned partisan groups against defying the law and reassured residents of the command’s management of the situation in the LGAs headquarters. (NAN)

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