By Milcah Tanimu
In a significant move towards political reconciliation, Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State signed an eight-point peace accord with his predecessor and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike, bringing an end to the ongoing political crisis in the state. The accord was brokered through the mediation of President Bola Tinubu and other stakeholders during a crucial meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Key resolutions from the peace deal include the cessation of impeachment proceedings against Governor Fubara, the reinstatement of Speaker Martin Amaewhule, leader of the G27 lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the withdrawal of all court cases related to the political crisis. Additionally, Governor Fubara will resubmit the N800.3 billion 2024 budget to the entire House, emphasizing the commitment to a peaceful and inclusive legislative process.
The closed-door meeting, which lasted two hours, included key figures such as Vice President Kashim Shettima, Deputy Governor of Rivers State Ngozi Odu, National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, and Chief of Staff to the President Femi Gbajabiamila.
The signed resolution also addressed the recognition of the Rivers State House of Assembly’s leadership, reinstatement of remunerations and benefits for assembly members, and the freedom to choose the location for legislative activities without interference from the Executive arm.
Commending Governor Tinubu’s foresight, Erinsakin also acknowledged the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with a prestigious Polytechnic in China, foreseeing cross-cultural knowledge exchange and student programs.
Before the peace accord, a Federal High Court decision in Abuja added tension to the crisis, with 18 elders from Rivers State expressing concern over the court order. The elders called for an investigation into the crisis, urging President Tinubu to intervene and prevent further escalation.
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stated that they had not received any court order regarding the declaration of seats vacant for the 27 Rivers State lawmakers who defected to the APC. The Conference of United Political Parties (CUPP) emphasized the need for INEC to schedule bye-elections to fill the vacant seats.
Additionally, former Governor Babatunde Fashola asserted that President Tinubu’s intervention was not required in the political crises in Ondo and Rivers states, emphasizing the clarity of the constitution on the roles and responsibilities in such situations.