Well, I salute the position taken by Governor Sim Fubara of Rivers State, over the issues and impasse in the oil-rich state as well as showing commitment to embrace peace. In the last few weeks, the state has be turned to theatre of war with several happenings. However, I want to note that the purported truce or settlement at the instance of President Tinubu, may be brief and momentary for obvious reasons.
The peace move is to temporarily arrest the drifts in Rivers and not to solve the main problem. No one can satisfy a domineering character, who will always want to capture everyone. On the whole, I can conclude that Governor Sim Fubara is yet to get a soft landing:
The defected members of Rivers State House of Assembly still owes their allegiance and loyalty to former Governor Wike, who may again place them on a standby against any stuff he (Wike), may likely view as disregard, disobedience or unacceptable to him.
The former commissioners who resigned and now to be renominated, re-presented and reinstated and by Governor Fubara, also currently camping with Wike. This has several implications for the Governor including the internal affairs of the governor and govt of Rivers State. Moreso, the governor is now being denied the right to appoint those whom he feels can serve and deliver as against the foisted representatives by his power drunk-godfather.
That the governor mustn’t float a caretaker committee and must conduct local govt election at all cost, is an attempt to frustrate his move to entrench or establish his own political structures across the state. Of course, he will have to nominate his allies, who will in turn show some appreciable level of loyalty to him if not total, pending the conduct of duly elected council chairmen. We know this!
That Gov Fubara should withdrawal all court cases he instituted in a bid to restore and sustain his fundamental rights is a time-trap that may eventually consume him, knowing the insatiable urge for Wike to remain in-charge of Rivers at all cost. He may end up ceasing the entire relevant institutions in Rivers including the judiciary through the back-door. We all know what judiciary has turned to both at state and federal level.
Even though we were not told the real offense committed by the governor, it was agreed that all impeachment proceedings initiated against the governor of Rivers State by the divided Rivers State House of Assembly should be dropped immediately. Yes, who says another impeachment battle can not pop-up after this?
The intervention of Mr President has clearly and indirectly compelled Gov Fubara to submit to the whims and caprices of one man against the governor’s plan and the generality of Rivers people. This looks more a surrender to the dictates of Wike, who want to seat back in Abuja as FCT Minister, at the same time and also govern Rivers State
Let’s look at the team of those who intervened in the matter and we can agree that they are all pro-Wike, at least, for now! Aside Fubara’s Deputy, Vice President Kashim Shettima, Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Prof Ngozi Ordu, a former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, and some other stakeholders.
The communiqué was signed by the governor, his deputy, Wike, National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, factional speaker of the Assembly, Amaewhule, PDP Chairman in Rivers State, Aaron Chukwuemeka, APC caretaker chairman in the state, Tony Okocha. Let me state unequivocally that if the agreement and communique was not in favour of Wike, he will not succumb to signing the deal.
The whole impasse in Rivers State may commence with political background but has taken a constitutional dimension which includes the defection of 27 PDP members to APC, the subsequent division of the State House of Assembly Members, the threat of impeachment on the governor and the emergence of two speakers among other contending matters. Meanwhile, their is a subsisting court order recognising one of the speakers already.
So, when we look at the issues critically, it is beyond just the Presidential summon to compress and supress the matter for further escalation. The governor remain a PDP man while the pro-Wike assembly members are now in APC. It is evident that Governor is not politically safe.
Like Wike, Like Tinubu, both are products, proponents and propounders of politics of godfatherism, who will leave no stone unturned to ensure that any erring, renegade, rebellious or perceived disloyal or mutinous political godson is dealt with, however unjustifiable, unwarranted, indefensible and immoral
Let’s not forget how Former Governor Akinwumi Ambode lost grounds due to the dictates and rejection of his then godfather, Bola Tinubu. Ambode’s inability to secure second term in 2019 wasn’t a result of non performance, competence or a constitutional matters, it was purely at the whims of Tinubu, against the wishes and yearnings of majority of Lagosians.
Recall that the then President Buhari gave a clean and clear nod to the Ambode’s second term bid, but was vehemently rebuffed by the Lagos godfather. Interestingly, all the APC Governors, led by His Excellency, Atiku Bagudu, mobilized and appealed to Chief Bola Tinubu, to allow their colleague, Ambode have the second term, all fell on deaf ears.
So, on what moral ground is the interference?
No one should be surprised by Tinubu’s rejection of Ambode, it is a trait and common feature of overbearing godfathers and dictators, who wants to be in-charge at all times. It is on the record that the former President Buhari tasted from the venom of his friend and political associate over the APC Presidential ticket of 2022. Immediate past Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a well trained, brilliant, competent and humble man had his own share of the political venom of the Lagos godfather in the last APC Presidential primary. He was even denied and rejected for exercising his constitutional rights to contest for the highest office in the land. Competency, Service and Vision is no longer in consideration in our body polity.
We all witnessed the fire and bombshell from Ogun State, where the “Eleyi of Ogun State”, Governor Dapo Abiodun, was watching helplessly and embarrassingly.
His Excellency, Governor Sim Fubara of Rivers State, if at all, he survives this planted bombs, he may not survive the bid to get second term ticket except if he is on alert and ready to pull the trigger on standby.
Fubara seems to be yearning for true peace, while his godfather appears to be ready for the peace of the grave-yard.
What is then the difference between Tinubu and Wike?
Let me stop here!
– Gbenga Bright writes from Abuja, Nigeria.