Rivers plans parallel secretariats as police bar Fubara caretaker chairmen

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Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said 23 local government councils in the state will operate from alternative secretariats following Tuesday’s sealing of the councils by the police.

The governor, who said this after swearing in the 23 local government caretaker committee chairmen on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the state capital, said they could operate from anywhere.

 

Fubara stated this as the police barred the newly inaugurated caretaker chairmen from from accessing their offices in all the 23 LG headquarters. The secretariats were barricaded with police patrol vans manned by armed policemen.

 

The state police command had on Tuesday announced that it had taken over all the LG council headquarters to forestall further bloodshed and to prevent a breakdown of law and order.”

A policeman and a member of a local security outfit were killed during a clash between supporters of the governor and his predecessor, the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike at Eberi-Omuma in the Omuma Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.

 

Fubara and his predecessor have been embroiled in a bitter disagreement since late last year.

 

The crisis led to the bombing of the state House of Assembly last year, factionalised the House while the governor survived an impeachment by Martin Amaewhule led 27 lawmakers of the House loyal to the FCT minister.

The crisis worsened on Tuesday when youths loyal to the governor dislodged some chairmen loyal to Wike after the expiration of their tenure.

 

The three-year tenure of the 23 chairmen expired on Monday but they had vowed to remain in office, citing the Local Government Amendment Law 2024 made by the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly.

 

The law by the 27 lawmakers loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Wike, empowers them to remain in office for six months due to the failure of Fubara to conduct local government elections.

 

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