Rivers State Leaders Urge Governor to Halt Assembly Quarters Demolition

Rivers State political leaders, including Minister Nyesom Wike, visited the State House of Assembly Quarters to caution Governor Siminalayi Fubara against demolishing the structure. The governor is suspected of planning to demolish the quarters under the guise of renovation exercises, sparking concerns about executive overreach.

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Rivers State Leaders Urge Governor to Halt Assembly Quarters Demolition

Rivers State Leaders Urge Governor to Halt Assembly Quarters Demolition

A group of Rivers State political leaders, including Minister Nyesom Wike, visited the State House of Assembly Quarters on Aba Road in Port Harcourt on Sunday to caution Governor Siminalayi Fubara against demolishing the structure. The leaders, comprising past and present members of the National Assembly, local government chairmen, and opinion leaders, warned the governor to shelve any plans to tamper with the complex.

Why this matters: The ongoing political crisis in Rivers State has broader implications for democratic governance and the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. If the governor is allowed to demolish the assembly quarters without due process, it could set a dangerous precedent for executive overreach and undermine the independence of the legislature.

The visit comes amidst speculation that Governor Fubara plans to demolish the quarters under the guise of renovation exercises. This follows a political crisis in the state, during which lawmakers converted part of the complex into a sitting venue and vetoed the governor's decisions, including the amendment of local council and public procurement laws.

Speaker Martins Amaewhule alleged that the governor intends to bring down the structures, citing a "grand plot" to demolish the complex, just like the House of Assembly Complex was demolished earlier. "We didn't write to the governor and we didn't invite him. We didn't ask for his help, because we don't need it. We didn't need his intervention in any way. Any attempt to talk about reconstruction or demolition is an assault on democracy and an assault on members resident in these buildings," Amaewhule stated.

The Speaker argued that the structures are in good condition, fully functional, and currently occupied by lawmakers and their families. "This facility is the facility of the Rivers State House of Assembly. We have also brought in experts, engineers, and there is nothing wrong with these structures. They are fully in use and fully functional," Amaewhule said.

Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Kingsley Chinda, advised the governor to restrain his actions, stating, "We want to advise the governor to bridle a little bit at the exuberance that we had seen within this period. It doesn't portend well to our state." Chinda noted that the National Assembly has been monitoring the situation in Rivers State and will soon take a decision in the collective interest of the state.

The State House of Assembly Quarters was constructed by former Governor Nyesom Wike and inaugurated in August 2022 by Femi Gbajabiamila, current Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu. Experts have confirmed the structures are fully functional and have a lifespan of at least 25 years. The ongoing political war between Governor Fubara and Minister Wike has led to concerns about executive overreach and assault on democracy in Rivers State.

Key Takeaways

  • Rivers State political leaders, including Minister Nyesom Wike, warn Governor Fubara against demolishing State House of Assembly Quarters.
  • Demolition plans spark concerns about executive overreach and assault on democracy in Rivers State.
  • Speaker Martins Amaewhule alleges "grand plot" to demolish complex, citing no need for reconstruction or demolition.
  • Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda advises governor to restrain actions, citing National Assembly monitoring of the situation.
  • Experts confirm structures are fully functional with a 25-year lifespan, amid ongoing political crisis between Fubara and Wike.