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Fubara/ Wike power tussle: The genesis of the crisis

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Several youths were arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as they invaded the residence of former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martins Amewhule in the build-up of the power tussle involving the Rivers State Governor Siminalaye Fubara and his predecessor, Mr. Nyesom Wike.

Hon. Amewhule was reportedly impeached yesterday by lawmakers loyal to the State Governor, Mr. Siminalayi Fubara.

Following the reported impeachment, the chairman of the Nigeria Youth Council (NYC), Rivers State chapter, Amb. Ihunwo Chijioke, led a protest to Amaehule’s residence, who he referred to as “a former speaker”.

Amb. Ihunwo said Amaewhule had been removed as Speaker and should not be occupying the building and threatened the youths would burn down the house if he does not vacate within two hours.

Addressing his fellow protesters, he said: “Greatest Rivers youths, we are here because the former Speaker, Martins Amaewhule has been impeached. We are here as Rivers’ youths to tell him to vacate his official residence because he has been impeached.

“If not we are going to destroy this building because it was built by Rivers State money. He has been suspended and he should go back to his house.

“We have a new speaker, Edison Ehie. I appeal to everybody to remain calm because they must leave.”

Former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martins Amewhule
Former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martins Amewhule

Security operatives were said to have tried to stop them from carrying out their threats, shooting randomly at different directions leading to stampede with many injured.

Police operatives, who rushed to the area to save the situation, reportedly arrested and detained some of them over disturbance of public peace.

Those arrested at the official residence of Amewhule include the Chairman of National Youth Council and about fifteen others.

Since the impeachment process against Fubara commenced on Monday, youths mainly from the Ijaw extraction have been occupying the main gate of the Rivers Government House in Port Harcourt.

The youths were first seen occupying the entrance to the building but later tried to pull down the gate and gain forceful entry into the compound.

The spokesman of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Mr. Bedford Benjamin, in a statement, however, denied stories that the youths attacked Amaewhule’s residence.

He said the aggrieved youths only went there on a peaceful protest and condemned the decision of security agents to fire at them.

Mr. Bedford said: “We condemn in strong terms the sporadic shooting at peaceful protesters at the factional Speaker’s residential area in Rivers State.

“One person is feared dead from the shooting many others sustained gun wounds and other degrees of injuries.

“We demand the unconditional release of the chairman of Rivers state youth council and the numerous Ijaw youths that are being arrested and detained unlawfully.

“Peaceful protests are backed by law, and anybody who is bent on usurping the will of the people will be resisted by the people.

“We urge those saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace and stability in the state not to play politics in the discharge of their duty as that can lead to further dangerous outcome.

“The IYC calls on the federal government to step in immediately before the outcome disrupts the economy of the state and by extension the nation.

“We cannot afford this level of civil criminality in a democratic system”.

The genesis of the Fubara / Wike squabbles

Meanwhile, sources from the camp of Fubara said that trouble started because Wike wanted 25% of the N40 billion FAAC monthly allocation and another 25% of the N20 billion monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for himself.

A source said that “greedy and tyrannical” Nyesom Wike wanted 25% from Rivers State N40.381 billion monthly FAAC Allocation to the state, 25% from the almost N20 billion monthly internally generated revenue from the state.

The source noted further that he wanted an “additional N2 billion monthly after he must have allegedly pocketed 25% of the N195.3 billion from the Port Harcourt Ring Road project awarded to Julius Berger where till date, no one except him knows where the Bill of Quantity is; no one except him knows how the project was arrived at N195.3 billion, and the project was never advertised”.

Speaking on Arise TV during an interview, the National Coordinator of South South Leadership Forum, His Highness Anabs Sra-Igbe, lamented that “Nyesom Wike controls Abuja and still wants to control Rivers State”.

He said: “Some of us asked Nyesom Wike to allow Siminalayi Fubara to run the state, but it fell on deaf ears.

“When they saw that Fubara was resisting, they decided to impeach him,” he stressed.

Another source said Fubara was heard lamenting “if Wike takes this much what will be left for me to work and for the state?” Read more.

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