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Sacked Rivers LG chairmen protest ouster

AT LEAST, 21 of the 23 sacked council chairmen in River State took to the street in their various council areas on Monday, June 24, to protest their ouster.

Former chairman of Buguma, the council headquarters of the Asari-Toru LGA, Onengiyeofori George, gyrated to songs played in solidarity with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, alongside his supporters.

The protesters waved placards with inscriptions demanding that Governor Siminalayi Fubara allow them to continue occupying their offices rather than being fired.

Some of the inscriptions read, “Sim Fubara Can’t Continue to Act As He likes,” “There’s No Vacancy in Asari-Toru Council.”

The protest however almost turned violent when some men known as Amama soldiers, believed to be operatives of Asari Dokubo’s private military company, attempted to attack the protesters, Channels TV reported.

The Amama Soldiers were swiftly restrained by policemen who were on the ground at the council. The demonstrators later presented a protest letter to the police.

The ICIR reported that Fubara directed the Heads of Local Government Administration in the state’s 23 LGAs to take charge of the area councils. The directive came after the expiration of the three-year tenure of the elected chairmen.

This organisation also reported that the governor swore in caretaker chairmen for the 23 LGAs in the state following the chairmen’s ouster.




     

     

    The actions came after the state’s LGA chairmen disclosed that they would remain in office beyond, citing the Rivers State Local Government Amendment Law passed by the Martin Amaewhule-led 27 State House of Assembly members.

    The development was widely believed to be an escalation of tension between Fubara and Wike, as the law was passed by the lawmakers loyal to the former governor, in April.         

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    Fubara refused to sign the law when it was sent to him for assent, but the lawmakers overrode him and passed the bill.        

    To further prove to Wike they were in charge of the state, Fubara’s supporters destroyed Wike’s statue in the Obio Akpor Local Government Area (LGA) of the state where his hometown is situated, on June 18.

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