Governor Fubara Orders Administrative Heads to Take Charge in Rivers LGAs Amid Tensions Over Council Leadership

Port Harcourt, Nigeria – June 19, 2024: Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has directed the Heads of Administration in the state’s 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) to assume leadership roles following the expiration of the tenure of the current chairmen. This directive was issued during a state-wide broadcast from Port Harcourt, the state capital, to ensure the continuity of governance in the LGAs.

Governor Fubara emphasized the importance of this transition to maintain law and order and uphold the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “The heads of administration are directed to immediately take charge of the councils and provide leadership in their respective LGAs,” he stated. The governor praised the outgoing chairmen, vice chairmen, and councillors for their dedicated service and contributions to the development of their areas.

Despite Governor Fubara’s directives, tensions have escalated as the 23 local government chairmen, who are reportedly loyal to former governor Nyesom Wike, have vowed to remain in office beyond the stipulated tenure. These officials cited a law enacted by 27 pro-Wike lawmakers, which extended their tenure by six months in the absence of elections.

The state ALGON Chairman, Allwell Ihunda, asserted that the chairmen would not step down and dared the governor to force their removal. This has led to unrest, with youths reportedly storming various council secretariats in Asari Toru, Akuku Toru, Degema, and Andoni LGAs, demanding the immediate ousting of the chairmen. In some areas, protests turned aggressive, with protesters locking council gates and threatening officials.

In Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor LGAs, a significant police presence prevented protests from escalating, with officers guarding the council offices to maintain order. Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Mr. Olatunji Disu, assured the public that measures had been taken to prevent further chaos. He urged citizens to await the decision of the Court of Appeal, which is set to rule on the matter on June 20.

Governor Fubara reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to delivering infrastructure, quality healthcare, education, and improved welfare for residents and workers in the state, amidst the ongoing political turmoil.

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