Rivers: No constitutional provisions for tenure elongation at local councils — Fubara

Rivers: No constitutional provisions for tenure elongation at local councils — Fubara

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has said that there is no provision in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution for tenure elongation for elected local council chairpersons.

Mr Fubara made this known while addressing reporters on Tuesday at the end of a meeting with heads of security agencies in Port Harcourt.

The governor said the security meeting was called because of the threat to the peace of the state over the tenure expiration of the outgone officials of the local councils.

“We will fearlessly lead the way to ensure peace continues to prevail in the state while protecting all patriotic supporters for their stand on the path of truth.

“The law on local government tenure is unambiguous. The court clearly affirmed the position of the law.

“The law is the law, there is no extension of the local government tenure in it. The court says so,” Mr Fubara said.

The governor promised to protect his supporters and resist any “grand plan to arrest” them.

He thanked the media and the peace-loving people of the state for their support and urged everyone to remain law-abiding for the unity and progress of the state.

Leadership changes at local councils

Mr Fubara, on Tuesday, directed heads of administration in the 23 local government areas to take over from the elected council chairpersons whose three-year tenure expired on Monday.

The governor on Wednesday (today) appointed caretaker committees to run the local councils.

Meanwhile, the police in Rivers announced on Tuesday night that they have taken over the 23 council secretariats in the state after a deadly clash led to the killing of two persons, including a police officer.

“A case of death was recorded at Eberi-Omuma, Omuma Local Government Area, where a police officer and a vigilante were killed,” the police spokesperson in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko, said in a statement.

“To forestall more bloodshed and prevent a further breakdown of law and order, the police have taken over all the 23 council secretariats and some critical government infrastructure in the state. Conventional police officers and anti-riot police officers have been deployed to these facilities,” Ms Iringe-Koko, a superintendent of police, said in the statement.

The police said they were prepared to deal with troublemakers in the state.

The political crisis in Rivers is caused by a lingering feud between Governor Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, now the FCT minister.

The two estranged allies have been engaged in a political fight since last year, which has battered the state legislature and disrupted governance in the oil-rich state.

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The latest battle, which is also being fought in the courtrooms, is about who controls the local government, which is the third tier of government in Nigeria.


Angry youths, apparently loyal to Governor Fubara, poured into the streets on Tuesday and invaded the secretariats to force the chairpersons out of office amidst reports that the local officials had vowed to sit tight despite the state government announcing the end of their tenure and the appointment of interim administrators.

The council chairpersons, all of them loyalists of Mr Wike, claimed that their tenure had been extended by six months by a faction of lawmakers loyal to Mr Wike, a claim which has been invalidated by the ruling of two courts, including a recent one by the Court of Appeal.