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RIVERS: You can operate from anywhere — Fubara tells caretaker committee chairmen

THE Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara has advised the newly sworn-in caretaker committee chairmen in the state to work from any location if attempts to gain access to council secretariats would breach the peace in the state.

During the swearing-in ceremony of the 23 chairmen at the government house in Port Harcourt yesterday, Governor Fubara emphasized the need for them to avoid confrontations with security personnel overseeing the council secretariats, as he aims to steer clear of any association with violence.

He urged the chairmen to prioritize lawfulness and peaceful operation, affirming that they have full authority over the Local Government Areas despite not having physical access to the secretariats.

The Governor also highlighted the temporary nature of the caretaker committee’s tenure, signaling the commencement of preparations for forthcoming local government elections by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC).

The state’s police command had recently assumed control of all LG council headquarters to prevent further unrest following a clash that resulted in casualties after a confrontation between supporters of Governor Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike.

The political disagreement has led to ongoing tensions and challenges in the state.

In a subsequent development, one of the newly appointed caretaker chairmen, Darlington Orji of Ikwerre Local Government Area, revealed that he was denied access to the council’s headquarters due to security restrictions placed by the police, further complicating the governance transition process.

“I got to Ikwerre Local Government Council and I saw that it’s being barricaded by security agents, the police to be very precise.

“I asked a question and they said they were acting on the orders of the Inspector General of Police.

“That is the situation. I couldn’t access the council because I did not want to break the law. My responsibility is to ensure that there is law and order and to make sure that my people are protected.

“So, I wouldn’t want to force myself against the security agent so that I would not have any clash with them. That is the position at the moment. The police barricaded the gate of the council. There is no point in a power tussle. We are working on it and we will see what to do about it.”

As the political crisis escalates, the All Progressives Congress in the state has called upon the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Rivers, citing concerns about escalating violence and social unrest if the situation is not swiftly addressed.

The party’s leadership, through the state APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Tony Okocha emphasized the urgent need for decisive action to prevent further deterioration of law and order in the state, stressing the state’s importance in terms of Nigeria’s economy, adding that the country would be in trouble if there was anarchy in the state.

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