It was gathered that Wike’s decision to halt the impeachment plot was to avert a possible exposure of the purported dossier of himself and the governor to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).....CONTINUE READING
Before the electioneering, the EFCC had declared Fubara a wanted person, along with 58 others, over an alleged misuse of N435 billion.
It is believed that Fubara, who was the Director of Finance and Accounts (DFA), Governor’s Office, and later Accountant General of the state, could not have mismanaged the said amount without the knowledge or consent of Wike, who was the governor.
Fubara, before his election, was the governor, was the Accountant General of Rivers State.
He was said to have narrowly escaped EFCC’s arrest on many occasions, including in Abuja while submitting his governorship nomination form in the run-up to the general election, and also at the Port Harcourt airport.
Sources privy to the intrigues in the politics of the state revealed that Wike’s decision to handpick him was a strategic plan aimed at ensuring that the immunity that would cover him as governor would shield him from arrest and prosecution.
Wike’s camp is said to be concerned that once the governor is impeached, and arrested by the EFCC, he would expose all alleged suspicious financial transactions of the state government as the former Accountant General of the state under Wike’s administration.
“If the allegation against Fubara is true, there is no way that he could have mismanaged N435 billion without the consent of an active governor like Wike. Close watchers of the politics of the state suspect that a lot of public funds were channeled into Wike’s failed presidential ambition.
“Fubara was taking the bullet for Wike and it was in return that he earned the trust of the governor to make him the sole candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State. So, the peace accord, to most of us, was to avoid further exposure that could be detrimental to the political career of the former governor, now FCT minister.
“Though Wike is serving in an All Progressives Congress (APC) government, he may still be nursing further political ambition and any fight with Fubara may not be in his best interest,” one of the sources explained on condition of anonymity.
Also, it was gathered that the impeachment plan may have also been temporarily halted because of the ethnic colouration it assumed.
The state mainly comprises the upland populated by the Ikwerre people and the riverine people made up of the Ijaw people.
The current governor is of the Ijaw stock.
In addition to the ethnic colouration, President Bola Tinubu, and other governors were also said to have intervened.
The source added: “No doubt, the planned impeachment generated tension in the riverine areas where oil exploration is taking place and this would have affected the economy negatively. Most Ijaws believe that this is their time and therefore in one way or the other, they will try to resist the plot if Wike presses further. If the Ijaws feel that their interest is being jeopardised, oil production will suffer and the economy will be adversely affected.”
Since the return to civil rule, after the aborted Second Republic, only former governor Ada George, an Ijaw man from the Riverine area, had occupied the Bricks Building, the official seat of power in the state.
The ethnic slant manifested in the way the Ijaw National Congress (INC), the umbrella body of all Ijaw people, and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) reacted to the impeachment plot.
Both groups had slammed Wike, over his claim that he owns the political structure of Rivers State.
In a statement signed by the INC President, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, the group posited that the political structure in Rivers should not and cannot be anyone’s personal property, including Wike.
The INC said Wike inherited the political architecture from past governors of the state and should also pass the structure to his successor, stressing that he cannot lay claim to it anymore.
The group had also stated that the Ijaw people would stand for and by one of their own because no one had identified any wrongdoing or crime the governor had committed against the state.
“The Ijaw will stand for and by one of their own – His Excellency Siminalayi Fubara, particularly because no one has identified a single wrong or crime he has committed against the state as a citizen and as governor to warrant an impeachment attempt or any form of attack.
“It is important to note that politics is just one of the vital components of a people’s culture. Therefore, we have no apologies for being politically conscious of the damning existential threat the case in point portends,” he added.
According to the group, Fubara had received accolades from all the tribes and sections of Rivers State and beyond as a technocrat with a robust sense of public service background.
“He is an open and kind-hearted gentleman and a very unassuming, humane, prudent manager of the meagre resources available to him,” the group added.