Rivers State Assembly : 27 Members Defect to APC, Condemn Fubara’s Refusal to handover SuspectedArsonists

At the 87th Legislative Sitting of the Rivers State House of Assembly on Monday, 11th December 2023, 27 Members of the House who were elected into the House under the umbrella of the People Democratic Party (PDP) have defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The reason given for the defection according to the individual letters written to the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule, and read on the Floor of the House, was predicated on the division in the party with regards to the tussle for the position of the National Secretary of the PDP, which has made communications channel hazy and difficult.

They posited in their letters that the confusion surrounding the position of the National Secretary has generated plethora of court cases instituted by Members of the party in various courts which has sharply divided the party, and therefore can no longer continue to be in such a political party.

In another development, the House gave Second Reading to the Rivers State Local Government Law (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was sponsored by the Leader of the House and Member representing Akuku Toru Constituency 1, Hon Majority Jack.

Debating on the Bill, Members were in one accord that some sections of the Principal Law which are repugnant to democratic ethos need to be amended to ensure that elected Local Government officials are not at the mercy or whims and caprices of any single individual. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amaewhule committed the Bill to the House Committee on Local Government to conduct public hearing and make further legislative input within two weeks.

Also, the House adopted a Motion sponsored by 26 Members and moved by the Member representing Omuma constituency in the House, Hon. Sylvanus Nwankwo, to condemn the refusal of Governor Siminialayi Fubara to handover suspects that burnt the hallowed Chamber of the Assembly to Law Enforcement Agencies, and seizure of funds for the management of the Assembly.

Adopting the prayers of the Motion, the House in strong terms condemned the brazen and unlawful attack on Members and the Rivers State House of Assembly as an institution; and called on Governor Fubara to without further delay handover Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie, Mr Chijioke Ihunwo and other suspects associated with the razing down of the Assembly Chamber.

The House further called on the Governor to immediately release funds meant for the management of the Assembly for the month of November, 2023; stressing that, henceforth the House would decline requests from Governor Fubara for approval, since his actions are no longer in tandem with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as altered, and other extant Laws of the State.

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