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June 18, 2024

Don’t be tools for escalation of crisis in Rivers, outgone LG Chairmen told


By Daniel Abia

As tension continues to escalate in some of the Council secretariats in Rivers state over the tenure extension-induced crisis, the outgone 23 council chairmen have been urged to quietly go home and avoid being used as willing tools to destabilize the state.

In a statement on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a stauch ally of Rotimi Amaechi, former Transportation Minister, urged the former chairmen not to perpetuate political crisis in the state by hiding under whatever illegitimate guise to claim tenure elongation beyond the due date of Monday June 17, marking the end of their 3-year tenure.

Eze also alleged that reports from reliable sources have brought to light surreptitious plots from a certain camp “to use the former Council Chairmen to perpetrate an offshoot of the crisis generated from the controversy of the status of the 27 former Rivers Lawmakers”. 

The plot, Eze claimed, was sealed over the weekend somewhere in Rumuepirikom, Port Harcourt, “where each of the former chairmen was handed a script to play beginning from June 18, a day after the due date for their exit, in a bid to sustain hostilities and reduce the state into a theatre of war and create discomfort for the seamless administration of the state by the Governor, Sir Siminialayi Fubara and his team”.

The APC chieftain stated that “in Emohua Local Government Area, the former Council Chairman, Hon. Chidi Lloyd, a Lawyer with a Ph.D in Law who, as expected, should be displaying the highest level of civility in the situation, issued a press statement inviting people from different wards to gather at the Council Headquarters for what he termed an empowerment programme where he plans to distribute machetes/cutlasses.

“In the same manner, former Council Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Mr. Samuel Nwanosike, a Ph.D Degree holder has turned the council into a playground for hoodlums who have been recruited to keep watch and invade and devour any foreign body alien to their circle in the guise of what they call carnival”.

Eze decried a development where in Degema, Asari-Toru, Obio-Akpor, Eleme, Oyigbo and Port Harcourt City local government areas respectively, angry youths have taken over entrances to the council secretariats, sending warnings to the former Chairmen and their supporters to steer clear and strictly limit themselves to the directives of the Governor in his broadcast regarding the transition of the local government administration in the state.

Recall that Governor Fubara, in a statewide broadcast early Tuesday morning, directed Heads of Local Government Administration to take-up the responsibility of administering the 23 local council areas pending further directive on the matter.

This, Eze believes, is to avoid any vacuum that would have been created from the exit of the former Council Chairmen and councilors on the expiration of their tenure on Monday June 17.

Prior to this time, the APC Chief had alleged that there were widespread reports of looting of Council properties ranging from vehicles to electronics, computers, furniture and fittings by various council chairmen and their appointees “who on a second thought decided to racket the various secretariats to make administration difficult for the incoming interim management team”.