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Rivers: Fubara-Wike feud continues despite Tinubu’s intervention

There appears to be no end in sight in the political fight between Rivers governor, Siminilayi Fubara and his erstwhile political godfather, Nyesom Wike, Daily…

There appears to be no end in sight in the political fight between Rivers governor, Siminilayi Fubara and his erstwhile political godfather, Nyesom Wike, Daily Trust Saturday reports.

Despite the intervention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the political crisis in Rivers State between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his estranged godfather, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, it seems the fight between the duo is far from being over, according to political observers. However, there is a gradual implementation of the peace pact brokered between the two gladiators during a meeting with the president, Daily Trust Saturday reports.

A recent song captioned, “Dey your dey make I dey my dey, nobody worry anybody,” which literally translates as ‘respect my boundaries as I respect yours,’ where Governor Fubara took several dance steps with his supporters, aptly describes the present relationship between him and his predecessor. 

The song, which has gone viral in the social media, depicts a strong message to Wike’s camp to stay on their lane while the former maintains his. The song further warned that nobody between the two political gladiators should step on each other’s toes.

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The present relationship between Fubara and Wike could be described as that of a cat and dog, even though the two prominent political leaders were said to have embraced peace and agreed to adopt and abide by the eight-point resolution brokered by President Tinubu as a measure for restoring a lasting peace between the two political leaders. 

It was reported that Governor Fubara has implemented some of the resolutions reached at the peace meeting, such as the payment of backlog of arrears and allowances accrued to the 27 House of Assembly members loyal to Wike, recognition of Martins Amaehwule as the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, as well as allowing the lawmakers to sit anywhere that please them. However, other resolutions, such as re-presentation of the state appropriation bill to the Assembly and reabsorbing the pro-Wike commissioners that resigned in the heat of the crisis to the cabinet are yet to be implemented.

Political observers have noted that the governor’s body language and some of his utterances in recent state functions do not in any way show that the two politicians are walking the part of peace but rather bidding time to see who blinks first.

At a recent state function, Fubara said he was not pretentious about his commitment to providing quality leadership even though those fighting his administration wanted to dampen the spirit of Rivers people and forcefully truncate the pace of development but failed. 

He encouraged Rivers people not to be disheartened over the ongoing crisis because nothing would stop him from steering the affairs of the state successfully.

Speaking at a crossover church service at the Saint Paul Archdeaconry Parish in Opobo town on New Year eve in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, Fubara had said, “What they want is this red biro but it is still with me. We are the winners because we are still signing with the red biro. As long as we are signing with the red biro, development will continue in Rivers State.”

This has been described by observers as a veiled mockery of Wike although the governor did not mention his name directly.

The governor emphasised that nothing would stop his administration from getting to its destination because its foundation was laid solidly in God, who alone would give him the grace to complete the process of building the state. 

Fubara, who said there was already a designed development agenda and level of progress determined for Rivers State in 2024, stressed that he would not relent in working for the good of the state.

He, however, expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu “for the fatherly role” he played when he intervened to assist in the process of restoring peace in Rivers State.

“Like I keep saying, it takes a responsible man to be a father. He acted like a father. On our part, we will continue to give him all the necessary support because if he does not succeed in Rivers State, he will not succeed as a president.

“So, as a state, we will continue to give him every support. We are not pretenders. Our support is genuine and it is to uplift his programmes. Our sacrifices are part of the support,” he said.

At another state function to usher in the new year, Governor Fubara said the decisions taken by his administration in the evolving political crisis in the state were not borne out of fear but for peace to reign in the state.

“We will not be involved in any dirty fighting because we know that we are going to be the loser. Therefore, whatever it will take as seen in our decisions, many of you are worried as to why the Speaker would resign. It is to tell you what we can do for peace. It is not about what we want to gain or the power we want to exercise, but at the end of the day, what would our people benefit? So, we took those decisions not out of fear,” he said.

At the event, which had former Governor Peter Odili in attendance but Wike conspicuously absent, the governor said if he was able to survive the “problems,” his administration would make sure 2024 favours all River people.

Speaking earlier at a church event, Wike had said the president should be thanked for intervening in the political crisis in Rivers, adding that he was not the one who invited him to help broker peace.

“You people said the president should intervene and you now said he did not have the constitutional power to do so,” he said.

He revealed that the president had earlier invited them privately and told them what to do, but alleged that despite agreeing to what the president said, the governor ended up not abiding by the directives; hence, the invitation to the state’s stakeholders, where the eight-point resolution was signed.

Making an indirect reference to the governor, he said, “Part of governance is managing people. It is not only road contracts, but management of people. If you don’t know how to manage your crisis, then you don’t have business to be there. I have had my own crisis; I managed it and survived. If you have your own too, pray. If you can pray, go and meet pastors, they will intercede for you.”

While the battle of words has been going on without any of them mentioning the other’s name, Thursday’s visit of Fubara to the Sampou country home of the Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri, was seen by event watchers as extending a hand of followership to those considered not to be in the good book of the FCT minister.

Diri and Wike are reportedly not best of friends following the political differences between them as a result of the presidential election. Diri and his predecessor, Seriake Dickson, supported Atiku Abubakar during the presidential primaries and elections against Wike, which led to their frosty relationship. Since then, Wike and Diri did not enjoy the best of relationship until Wike left office. 

But Fubara said the visit was to cement the relationship between the two states, a statement political analysts said could be seen as an affront to Wike.

During the visit, Fubara also said his administration was willing to work with his Bayelsa State counterpart to achieve a peaceful settlement of issues concerning property jointly owned by both states that are pending in the courts.

He also commended Senator Diri and the people of Bayelsa for their show of solidarity with his administration amidst the political crisis.

Political watchers said that with all the recent happenings in the state since the accord deal was signed, peace is not yet in sight.

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