Politics

May 10, 2024

Wade into Rivers political crisis, Bode George urges PDP elders, Tinubu

PDP

A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, on Friday appealed to the party’s elders and stakeholders to intervene in the political crisis rocking Rivers.

George, a PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) member who appealed in a statement in Lagos, said the intervention of PDP elders was imperative to stop the crisis from becoming ”a national conflagration.”

He also urged President Bola Tinubu not to see the crisis as a PDP matter, asking him to intervene to avert breakdown of law and order in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the State House of Assembly has been polarised since 2023 following the rift between Fubara and Mr Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The crisis, which has led to several threats to impeach the governor, assumed a new dimension on Wednesday when lawmakers loyal to Fubara appointed a factional speaker of the House of Assembly.

Lawmakers loyal to Wike had recently defected to the APC.

Reacting, George said the crisis in Rivers was a time bomb waiting to explode.

Insisting that the oil-rich state belongs to the PDP, George advised that nobody should sit on the fence and pretend as if everything was okay.

He said Section 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution states  that a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if ”being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.”

George said that all the PDP lawmakers who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) had automatically lost their seats.

The PDP chieftain said, “They are in no position to threaten Governor Fubara. So, their plot to commence impeachment proceedings against the governor is already in vain.

“Rivers people belong to PDP. Those threatening to impeach the governor are being remote-controlled by some forces.

“This must stop because if Rivers is set on fire today, that may end this democracy.

“We should remember ‘Operation Wetie’ which started in the defunct Western Region, eventually consumed the nation, and ended the First Republic in 1966.

“All the actors in this crisis in Rivers should avoid actions likely to cause breaches of peace and breakdowns of law and order in our country.”

According to him, members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party should be the elders in the room, act swiftly, and nip this crisis in the bud before it consumes everybody.

He said that all the gladiators should also think of the collective interests of Nigerians.

“Whether we are members of PDP, APC, or other parties, we should stop issuing provocative statements to increase the tension in Rivers.

“Any move that can truncate this democracy must be stopped immediately. Enough is enough,” he said.