Wike to Fubara: Midnight injunction cannot sack Rivers lawmakers

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, stormed Rivers State yesterday with a warning to his political opponents that their illegal acts stand no chance of success in the ongoing crisis in the state.
Wike, the immediate past governor of the state, is currently locked in a stand-off with his successor and estranged godson, Siminalayi Fubara.

Speaking on the heels of the injunction obtained on Friday by the three pro-Fubara members of the State House of Assembly barring the 25 pro-Wike legislators from sitting, the minister said no injunctions obtained at 2am or 4am would stop the law and due process from taking its course.

And from the governor’s camp yesterday came a statement that nobody should underrate him.

His Chief of Staff, Edison Ehie, declared that the governor has what it takes to teach his opponents political lessons.

“If they like, they can go to anybody by 2am or 4am to get injunction. The law will take its course. We must follow due process”, Wike said at a civic reception for Chief George Thompson Sekibo at Ogu-Bolo in celebration of his 36 years in public service.

He also said, in response to a recent statement by Fubara, that he has not asked anyone to worship him.

The governor had said he was not prepared to worship anyone.

Wike said: “It is not easy to be a public officer and the people decide to honour you. Let me thank the Ogu council of chiefs and the entire community who insisted that their son should be honoured.

“You have refused politics to divide you. It shows that you have the interest of your community in mind. I came because I respect people who appreciate what God has used people to do for them.

“God uses people to help others. So when you have been helped, you appreciate them. God will know you have appreciated him. Nobody can worship man. All of us believe that it is only God we will worship.

“As politicians, we appreciate people who have helped us. When I came to ask you to support me, you supported me. Did I worship you? Did I ask you to worship me?

“If you had not supported me, I would not have been where I am. Did you tell me to worship you? So where does the issue of worship come from?”

The FCT Minister admitted that he made a mistake in his judgment of Fubara and asked the people of the LGA and his political family to forgive him about it.

He promised to correct the mistake at the appropriate time.

Wike vowed to keep making his detractors angry so they would continue to make mistakes.

His words: “I want to say this clearly: in life, we make mistakes.


“I have made a mistake. I own it up and I say God forgive me. I have said all of you forgive me. But we will correct it at the appropriate time.

“I am human. I am bound to make mistakes. So forgive me for making a wrong judgment. So nobody should kill.”

Wike told his supporters in the state assembly not to succumb to intimidation, saying: “Don’t be afraid. Nobody will remove you as lawmakers.

“Most of you don’t understand. This is our work. Our business is to make them to fear. That is what I am doing.

“We will make them to be angry every day and they will continue to make mistakes.”

The former governor said he would continue to maintain peace in the state and called on his supporters to pursue peace.

He said: “So don’t worry yourselves. We won’t give money to anybody to go and buy arms to kill anybody. I have maintained peace and I want to beg all of you to continue to maintain peace.

“Nobody will tell me that I can’t live in my house or not go to my house. But all of you should maintain the peace. Follow law and due process. We will get to the end

“As you see me, I stand straight. I think well. I came with Senator Magnus Abe. I work with people that have brains.

“In politics, when people with brains agree they disagree. Those, who don’t know what to do said they would bring me down. Who born them? They are nowhere. When you are in charge, you are in charge.

“Everything will calm down. All these people running around, they would come down. Boma worked for his appointment, he showed loyalty and commitment, and that is why God placed him there. Don’t worry.

“Let me also advise you: forget about how they abuse us. You must be alive for people to abuse you. If you are dead, will they abuse you?

“At the appropriate time when the results will be announced, we will know who is who. We have defeated them severally.

“Some of them ran to Abuja, but when I went to Abuja, they ran back here. Have you not seen the way Abuja is moving? No amount of propaganda can help you.

“Ogu people have shown loyalty and I want to thank you.”

Reflecting on his political journey, Wike said: “In 2014 to 2015, we didn’t have anybody. I came here and you said you would work for it and you worked for it. We had nobody in government. Did we not win? What are you afraid of?

“While in a government I had a problem, I had a federal government that was hostile to me, did we not succeed? They are giving excuses. If you know, you know. When somebody cannot do something, say you cannot do it.

“At the appropriate time, people will speak of the projects in the state. They will tell you who did what. It is not people who come now and claim what they didn’t do.

“Ogu, continue to support your people. Your politicians have done well. Sekibo has done well.

“Don’t mind these buccaneers; I know how to handle them. Leave them for me. They have been my children. I will continue to handle them. Let’s work together.”

The former governor added: “It is not easy to be in power and begin to give excuses. You continue to run away from promises you made to people. Look at all the council chairmen, the assembly members; these were people I spoke to in the interest of all of us.

“They all responded, but today somebody said they are nobody. Will you accept that? Assembly people sat down in their various constituencies. You never brought a dime.

“I never knew you were rich; that your father was managing director of Shell before and now you are paying their school fees. It is unfortunate.

“But Ogu people, I will never abandon you. There are some chiefs I wanted to recognise as traditional rulers; their people said no. But I dared it and I did it.

“Nobody bothered to recognise the traditional rulers from 1999 down to 2014. It was me that came and recognised most of them. I did what I did because I believed it was the right thing to do. It takes he who has the balls to talk.

“Now you said you are making them first class. Who made them second class and third class before you made him first class? Be grateful for whatever God has given to you. Anywhere you are as a traditional ruler, check your conscience. Who lifted you up?

“They said the list of caretaker committee was released but it was fake. Everything is fake with them.”

At the reception were some of the minister’s associates including Senator Magnus Abe; Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Dr. Samuel Ogbuku; NDDC Director, Finance and Administration, Boma Iyayi; and his loyalists in the State House of Assembly and local governments.

Governor will teach foes political lesson – Chief of Staff

Elsewhere in the state yesterday, Ehie said Fubara is capable of teaching his opponents a political lesson.

“We are going to teach them a lesson of political arithmetic,” Ehie said in Ahoada East Local Government Area of the state during a thanksgiving service on the governor’s victory at the Supreme Court.

Ehie, who served as Speaker of the State Assembly until his appointment as CoS, added: “What that small boy (Fubara) will do to you, you’ll know that khaki nor be leather.”

He attributed the crisis in the state to what he called struggle for resource control.

He said: “The problem we have in the state is that 11 persons said they would control the resources of Rivers State. These 11 persons now called 20 others to allocate resources to themselves.”

After the church service, the atmosphere shifted to politics, with community leaders, women, youth groups, and loyalists from the 13 political wards dancing in support of Governor Fubara.

State lawmakers backing Governor Fubara, led by their newly elected Speaker Victor Oko-Jumbo, pledged their support for his success.

Highlight of the celebration was the presentation of N200,000 each to 65 small scale business owners, as well as N500,000 to each of the 13 coordinators of the Simplified Movement by the Chief of Staff.

Sagay, Shittu differ on Rivers Assembly relocation

There were also reactions yesterday from eminent lawyers on Governor Fubara’s Executive Order relocating the House of Assembly to the Auditorium, Admin Block of the Government House, Port Harcourt.

Professor of law Itse Sagay (SAN) said he does not see anything legally wrong with relocating the sitting location of the lawmakers if there is a practical and valid reason for it, and if the lawmakers were not compelled to do so.

Asked about the fact that majority of the lawmakers are opposed to the move, Prof Sagay said in the eye of the law, the APC lawmakers lost their seats when they defected from PDP.

“INEC ought to have conducted a fresh election for the lawmakers who defected.

“I think the governor is right to ask the court to declare their seats vacant.

“As to where the lawmakers can sit, members can decide to move so long as they were not compelled to do so,” he said.

However, Wahab Shittu (SAN) faulted the governor’s action.

He said: “I think Governor Fubara’s action is a major threat to democracy and a descent into anarchy which ought to be condemned by all.

“In a democracy, there must be respect for constitutionalism and the rule including the doctrine of separation of powers.

“It is obvious that the action is designed at emasculating the legislature and making it a rubber stamp of the executive arm.

“It is in fact tantamount to executive lawlessness/recklessness,” Shittu said.

Fubara, in the Executive Order 001, says: “Now, therefore, I, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the Governor of Rivers State, this 30th Day of October, 2023, pursuant to the powers vested in me under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria hereby issue, order and direct that all proceedings and business of the Rivers State House of Assembly shall temporarily take place at the auditorium, Admin Block, Government House, Port Harcourt, until the repairs, renovation and reconstruction of the chambers of Rivers State House of Assembly.”

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