May 6, 2024

Fubara, Rivers Assembly at each other’s throat over public procurement amendment bill


Gov. Fubara

… Assembly overrides governor Fubara’s assent, passes bill

… you do not exist in eyes of law – Fubara fires Assembly

By Davies Iheamnachor

The Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, and the State House of Assembly, are at each other’s throat over the passage of the Amended State’s Procurement Bill.

The Assembly, yesterday, at its 173th Legislative Sitting, overrode the assent of Governor Siminialayi Fubara, to pass the Rivers State Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill, 2024 into Law.

The State House of assembly, led by Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, took the decision to override the Governor after the governor allegedly withheld his assent.

But, the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, criticised the attitude of the members of the state legislature towards his administration, saying the members would cease to exist as legislators if he so decides.

The House had passed the Rivers State Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill, 2024 on the 26th of March, 2024 and transmitted same to the Governor for assent, but the housed claimed that the Governor had declined assent.

Speaking on the Bill which was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Major Jack and debated upon by Members, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, reiterated the essence of the Bill, noting that it would secure taxpayers’ money and ensure that taxpayers’ money are not spent on frivolities and twisted contracts.

READ ALSO: Rivers: Fubara is people’s choice – NRM Chair, Udeh

Amaewhule regretted a situation where contracts awarded without legal backing and the State being governed in a dictatorial manner.

He added that despite all the malfeasance, the House would continue to uphold the Laws of Rivers State and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered; stressing that if the Governor, Sir. Siminialayi Fubara, continue in this manner, the House would at the appropriate time take more stringent measures.

According to him, the House cannot stand aloof and watch the Governor continue to breach the Laws of the State in a tyrannical manner.

However, the governor of the state, Fubara in quick reaction said: “Those group of men who claim that are Assembly members are not Assembly members, they are not existing.”

Fubara said the lawmakers are only existing based on his interest on the Abuja peace accord initiated by President Bola Tinubu.

Fubara, who spoke while addressing a delegation of political and traditional leaders from Bayelsa State, who visited him in the Government House, Port Harcourt, to seek and end to the political crisis in Rivers State and an improved relationship between both states.

Those in the delegation included the first Military Governor of old Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff, who is the Traditional Ruler of Twon Brass in Bayelsa State, other Traditional Rulers, former Commissioners, former Governor of Bayelsa State and Senator representing Bayelsa West, Henry Siriake Dickson, former State and National Assembly members and PDP executives.

Fubara told the delegation that despite wielding state powers which he can deploy to achieve his aim, he has continued to act as the big brother in the face of intimidation and unwarranted attacks.

He revealed that he had always been present at any meeting that was called to resolve the crisis in the state but after each meeting, he was met with a new dimension of the crisis from the opposing side.

He said: “Those group of men who claim that are Assembly members are not Assembly members, they are not existing. I want it to be on record. I accepted that Peace Accord to give them a floating. That is the truth.

“There was nothing in that Peace Accord that’s a constitutional issue; it’s a political solution to a problem. And I accepted it because these were people that were eating in my house, these were people I have helped paid their children’s school fees when I wasn’t even a governor. So, what is the thing there?

“We might have our division but I believe that one day, we could also come together but it has gotten to a time when I have to make a statement that they are not existing. Their existence is me allowing them to exist. If I de-recognise them, they are nowhere. I want you to see the sacrifice I have made in allowing peace to reign in our state.”