The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2023 governorship election in Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe, has said that despite the crisis between former governor of the state, Nyesom Wike and his succesor, Siminalayi Fubara, there can be only one governor in the state.
The crisis between Wike and Fubara became public this week when the Rivers State House of Assembly attempted to commence impeachment proceedings against the governor.
Majority of the state lawmakers are said to be loyal to Wike who played a key role in the emergence of Fubara as governor.
The state lawmakers, as part of their moves against Fubara, had suspended the House Leader, Edison Ehie, and other three lawmakers – Victor Okoh (Bonny Constituency), Goodboy Sokari (Ahoada West Constituency) and Adulphus Timothy (Opobo/Nkoro Constituency) – said to be the governor’s loyalists.
A part of the Rivers House of Assembly Complex was also destroyed by an explosion on Sunday, a day before the impeachment attempt.
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On Monday, some police operatives fired teargas and water cannons at the governor, as he was accompanied by security aides and some youths to the Assembly complex.
The police said on Wednesday that Governor Fubara was in the midst of “aggressive” people who were marching towards the Rivers House of Assembly Complex and that the operatives deployed “non-lethal crowd control equipment including tear gas and water cannon to disperse the riotous and uncontrollable protesters”.
In his comment, Wike said that the Rivers crisis was a PDP affair and that the party was looking into it.
Fubara, on Wednesday, also attempted to play down the crisis and the rift between him and his predecessor, when he said the crisis was merely a problem between “father and son”
Commenting on the development on Arise TV on Thursday, Abe, who is a former Senator and Secretary to the State Government under Chibuike Amaechi, called on the two politicians to sheathe their swords and concentrate on the development of their state.
He said, “I’m here today not to take sides but to call back as much as possible the minds of Rivers people about the price that the state has had to pay overtime as a result of all these political crises. And the fact that we seem to have learnt nothing from the situation we have passed through.
“What’s happening in the state today is no different from what happened the last time between the then minister and the governor, and then between then minister and the governor who’s now back as minister. We have practically the same situation. And Rivers state lost out terribly because the centre was working against the state and the state was working against the centre.
“So, if we aren’t careful, the same kind of scenario, the same kind of drama, the same situation that led us into those quagmires are what’s playing out today.
“There can only be one governor at a time in Rivers. And however the governor emerged, I think the proper thing to do is to have a situation where the state can move forward in peace.”