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Rivers assembly crisis: Blame Wike for your travails, PDP group tells lawmakers

Rivers assembly crisis: Blame Wike for your travails, PDP group tells lawmakers
May 14
21:21 2024

A group known as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Solidarity Vanguard says members of the party in the Rivers house of assembly who defected should blame Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), for their woes.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Usman Calculus, the group’s executive director, claimed that Wike has a hand in the defection of PDP lawmakers in the Rivers assembly to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Wike, once a prominent member of our party, played a pivotal role in this monumental loss. His actions have cost us dearly, and we cannot remain silent,” Calculus said.

“To the extent that he has weakened the party for the APC, we can no longer consider him a member of our party.

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“We must express our anger, disappointment, and resolve to protect the integrity of the PDP. But why did this happen? Why did lawmakers who were elected on our platform abandon their mandates and throw away twenty-five parliamentary seats in one day?

“Femi Falana (SAN), the legal luminary whose insights we respect, has rightly pointed out that political parties are not mere vehicles for personal gain. They are institutions that serve the collective interests of the citizens.

“Wike’s actions, driven by hubris and a disregard for due process, have undermined our party’s cohesion and unity.”

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THE CRISIS

The Rivers house of assembly has been polarised since 2023 following the rift between Siminalayi Fubara, the governor, and Wike, his predecessor. 

In December, 27 members of the assembly defected from the PDP to the APC.

The Rivers assembly has 32 seats. One lawmaker, Dinebari Loolo, died in September 2023.

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In October 2023, Ehie Edison was elected speaker of the factional assembly, after his removal as house leader by members led by Martin Amaewhule — amid the plot to impeach Fubara.

Edison later resigned as a lawmaker to become chief of staff to Fubara.

The lawmakers in the Amaewhule-led faction are loyal to Wike.

The political crisis took a fresh twist last week after Victor Jumbo, a lawmaker representing the Bonny state constituency, was elected factional speaker.

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Last Friday, a state high court in Port Harcourt granted an interim injunction restraining Amaewhule from acting as a speaker of the Rivers assembly.

Charles Wali, the presiding judge, also restrained 25 other assembly members from parading themselves as legislators.

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The motion ex parte was filed by Jumbo and two assembly members — Sokari Goodboy and Orubienimigha Timothy — loyal to Fubara.

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