Legal Nigeria

BREAKING: Fubara swears in Caretaker Chairpersons for Rivers LGs

By Okafor Ofiebor/Rivers

Rivers Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, on Wednesday morning, swears in caretaker chairpersons who will take over the running of the 23 local government areas of the state amidst tight security.

The Governor had on Tuesday forwarded the names of the nominees for appointment as caretaker chairpersons and members to the three-man Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of Rivers House of Assembly loyal to him.

The Governor said in the letter read by the Clerk of the House, G.M. Gillis-West that the appointment of the committee members was to avoid a vacuum in the administration of the LGAs following the expiration of the tenure of the elected chairmen on Monday.

Consequently, the lawmakers had invited the nominees for screening as early as 8 am on Wednesday.

The lawmakers confirmed the appointment of the caretaker committee chairpersons and their members, thus paving the way for their swearing in by the Governor.

The Speaker, Victor Oko-Jumbo had read out the names of the caretaker committee members after reading a letter from the governor.

The swearing-in was being done against the background of the crisis in the state over alleged refusal of some of the outgone local chairpersons to vacate office at the end of their tenure. The local government chairpersons claimed their tenure has been extended for six months by the Martin Amaewhule faction of Rivers Assembly.

However, Fubara had on Tuesday directed heads of administration in the 23 local government areas to take over from the elected council chairmen.

Speaking on Tuesday after a security meeting in Port Harcourt, Fubara said there is no provision for tenure elongation for elected Local Government Chairmen in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as Amended).

”The law on local government tenure is unambiguous. The court clearly affirmed the position of the law.

“The law is the law, there is no extension of the local government tenure in it. The court says so,” he said.

However, the he police confirmed that the two people were killed in Omuma LGA during a clash between supporters of Fubara who wanted the outgone chairpersons to immediately vacate office and their own supporters.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Grace Iringe-Koko, who confirmed the killings, said an investigation was ongoing to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.

Iringe-Koko said in a statement that the two were killed during a bloody clash between supporters of two political groups at the council headquarters.

She said the police had now occupied the council secretariats to forestall violence.

The statement reads: “Following the breakdown of law and order in the various local government council secretariats in Rivers State where supporters of the two political factions clashed over the tenure of council chairmen, a case of death was recorded at Eberi-Omuma, Omuma LGA, where a police officer and a vigilante were killed.

“To forestall more bloodshed and prevent a further breakdown of law and order, the police have taken over all the 23 council secretariats and some critical government infrastructure in the state.

“Conventional police officers and anti-riot police officers have been deployed to these facilities.
“While urging all groups and individuals to be law-abiding, the Command also warns anyone who intends to cause mayhem as we will not hesitate to impose the full weight of the law on them.

“We also wish to ask the law-abiding residents and visitors in the state to go about their lawful businesses without fear. We are resolved to carry out our constitutional duty of protecting lives and property.”

See the names of the caretaker chairmen appointed by Fubara below:

Abua/Odua LGA – Madigai Dickson

Ahoada East LGA – Happy Benneth

Ahoada West LGA – Mr. Daddy John Green

Akuku Toru LGa – Otonye Briggs

Andoni LGA – Reginald Ekaan

Asari Toru LGA – Orolosoma Amachree

Bonny LGA – Alabota Anengi Barasua

Degema LGA – Anthony Soberekon

Eleme LGA – Brain Gokpa

Emouha LGA – David Omereji

Etche LGA – John Otamiri

Gokana LGA – Kenneth Kpeden

Ikwerre LGA – Darlington Orji

Khana LGA – Marvin Yobana

Source PM News