Elongation of LGA tenure: Pro-Wike LGA Chairman dares Fubara

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers and Samuel Nwanosike, Chairman of Ikwerre local government area.

*I won’t vacate office on June 16- Nwanosike, Ikwerre LGA Chairman, dares Gov.Fubara

Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt 

Chairman of Ikwerre local government area, and loyalist of Nyesom Wike, Minister of Federal Capital Territory has dared Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State to come and remove him from office on expiration of his tenure on June 16.

In a viral video trending online Nwanosike boasts “I won’t vacate office on June 16, If dem born you well, show your face, he dares Governor Fubara.

Nwanosike directly addressed the state governor in a video, stating his intention to remain in office beyond the stipulated date.

He cited an extension of tenure by state lawmakers loyal to Wike under the leadership of Martin Amaewhule as justification for the state government’s failure to conduct local government elections.

Nwanosike vowed that he would continue to as Chairman and he continued to pilot his role as that and warned that the people of Ikwerre Local government would resist any attempt to remove him from office.

He declared, “Let them come and try to remove me if they dare. The countdown begins—23 more days to go.” Addressing some scores of people, who are his loyalists says, “Who are you to say Martins Amaewhule is not the Rivers House of Assembly Speaker? If Amaewhule says that because the Governor of Rivers State failed in his duty to conduct local government elections.

“And that, I, Dr Nwanosike Samuel, whose tenure by the oath of office I took and the certificate of return I was issued when I contested my second tenure election should remain in office. So shall we remain in the office in Rivers State?

“We are sending a message to those who are threatening them to wear their jeans – do like this, don’t do like that. We don’t wear jeans in Ikwerre local government. We wear white, we tie wrapper we wear Ogbakata. Come and disobey the law, we will wait for you. The law of Nigeria is the law passed by Martin Amaewhule. If dem born you well, show your face. Thank you.”, he thunders.

Our Correspondent reports that the lawmakers, led by the Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, overridden the Governor and passed the bill into law as Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, withheld his assent.

This is amidst the raging political disagreement between Wike and Fubara, which has seen the Assembly factionalized.

However, in a recent judgment on Tuesday, May 21, Justice D.G. Kio declared that the new law was inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9 (1) of Rivers State Law No. 5 of 2018, which fixed the tenure of Rivers Local government Chairmen and councilors at three years and nullified it.

Justice Kio said any attempt to extend the tenure of the Local government Chairmen and councilors was unlawful and a violation of the officials’ oath of office. The judgment was delivered in a suit marked PHC/1320/CS/2024, filed by one Honourable Enyiada Cookey-Gam, Chairman Opobo Nkoro local government area, and six others against the Governor of Rivers State and others.

The amended law had allowed the serving local government chairmen whose tenure expires on June 17 to remain in office for another six months. The law also barred the governor from appointment caretaker committees for the local governments. Riding on the new law, the state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria had at a media briefing in Port Harcourt vowed not to vacate office on the expiration of their tenure on June 17. They said the new law gave them the right to stay in office beyond June 17 following Governor Fubara’s alleged refusal to conduct the LG election.

The Chairman of the Rivers State ALGON, Allwell Ihunda, accused Fubara of withholding council funds. But the governor, while speaking last week during the inauguration of a project, warned the LG chairmen to mind their actions and avoid taking the laws into their hands, saying they had a few days to leave office. Fubara stated, “So I’m advising those people who call themselves local government chairmen, you have a few days in office, conduct yourselves. Politics will come, politics will go and we will still live our lives. “Don’t let anybody deceive you. If you deliberately hurt anybody in the course of maybe expressing your support, nobody will forgive you. You will pay for it. So, I’m begging everyone please conduct yourselves.”