Former Federal Commissioner for Information and South South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has declared to President Bola Tinubu that the immediate past Governor of Rivers State and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Nyesom Wike is not ready for peace in the political crisis rocking the state.
In a statement on Thursday in Abuja, the Elderstatesman and Ijaw leader reiterated his call on President Tinubu to sanction Wike and call him to order to allow the elected Governor, Siminalaye Fubara, whom he, Nyesom Wike, claimed he made to govern Rivers State peacefully.
Clark said, “The continuous activities of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, are clear indications that he is not ready for peace in Rivers State.
“It will be recalled that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, intervened in the crisis when he issued an “8-point pact” to both parties which include: That the Governor of Rivers State, Siminalaye Fubara and his allies should withdraw all court cases pertaining to the matter, even though this is against the 1999 Constitution and against popular opinion of Rivers people and indeed Nigerians, His Excellency, Governor Fubara and his associates, including the Speaker recognised by the court,l Rt. Hon. Edison Ebie, have complied with this proclamation.
“The expectation is that the 26 decamped legislative members who had filed cases in court, would have also done same. But they refused, giving rise to the judgment delivered by Justice James Omotoso, on Monday, 22nd January, 2024, stating amongst other things, the nullification of the 2024 Budget which was presented by Governor Fubara, passed and signed into law. Justice Omotoso said he based his judgment on the fact that the legislatures said there was nol evidence of settlement of the matter before him.
“That the Legislatures should drop the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Governor. This, the legislatures have complied with.
“That Martins Amaewhule should be recognised as the Speaker of the House of Assembly. Governor Siminalaye Fubara, has complied with, even though it is against the 1999 Constitution which he swore to uphold and against public opinion and outcry. Having defected to another political party, Martins Amaewhule ceases to be a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
“That Governor Fubara should represent the 2024 Budget, which had already been passed and signed into law, to the legislatures. Governor Fubara is handicapped in complying with this term of settlement because there is a pending case in court brought against him by Leaders and Elders of Rivers State, precluding him from representing an already passed budget which has been signed into law. Until the case is dispensed and or determined, he can do nothing on this issue.
“That salaries and benefits for all the legislatures and staff should be restored. This, also, Governor Fubara has complied with, against the 1999 Constitution which he swore to uphold and against public opinion and outcry. Going by the Constitution, these 26 members or so, are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. That the Legislatures should choose where they will sit to conduct their legislative duties. The legislatures had chosen a place where they have continued to sit, even before President Tinubu intervened in the matter. Again, this directive is also against the Constitution, because byl constitutional provisions, it is the duty of the Governor of a State, to provide accommodation for Legislatures of a State to perform their legislative functions. This played out during President Tinubu’s budget presentation to the members of the National Assembly, when he recognised Nyesom Wike as landlord, because he is the Minister of the FCT.
“From the above, it shows clearly that Governor Fubara, obeyed Mr. President and carried out his directives, in violation of the 1999 Constitution “for the sake of peace”, except that which he is currently precluded from doing by the courts. Even though majority of Nigerians were not happy with the terms of the settlement.
“Having done all these against the Constitution which Siminalaye Fubara, as Governor of Rivers State swore to uphold, Nyesom Wike is not seen, wittingly or unwittingly, by his latent or otherwise conduct, advancing peace in Rivers State.
“Let the truth be told to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nyesom Wike is not ready for any form of peace. Therefore, I call on the President, once again, to sanction Mr. Wike and call him to order to allow the elected Governor, Siminalaye Fubara, whom he, Nyesom Wike, claimed he made to govern Rivers State peacefully. However, I did not anticipate that Mr. President would proclaim an 8-point agreement that appears to be one-sided and unconstitutional, when I appealed to him to call Nyesom Wike to order.
Section 1 of the 1999 Constitution states that;
“This constitution is Supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria”
and; Section 109 (1g) states that;
“A member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if – being the person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that house was elected provided that its membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored”
“Mr. President, I humbly submit that, given my age and status as a senior citizen of Nigeria, I cannot accept any action that undermine or violate the provisions of the 1999 Federal Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the freedom of Nigerians as expressed in their constitutional and democratic rights.”