The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has explained why President Bola Tinubu intervened in the political crisis in Rivers state.
On Monday, political tension heightened in Rivers when some lawmakers in the house of assembly moved to impeach Siminalayi Fubara, governor of the state.
Ehie Edison, Fubara’s associate, was removed as the leader of the state assembly but hours later, he was reportedly elected as the new speaker.
The crisis in the state is linked to a rumoured rift between Fubara and Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT) and past governor of the state.
Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum had said Tinubu had intervened in the crisis, assuring that peace would be restored in the state.
In a statement issued on Thursday, C.I. D. Maduabum, director general of the forum, said Tinubu intervened as the chief-security-officer of the nation to ensure the crisis did not escalate.
Maduabum said the clarification became necessary following “vicious and speculative” reports claiming that the governor of Bauchi is leading the opposition party “into oblivion” by the visit to Tinubu on his intervention in the crisis.
“For the avoidance of doubts and to clarify the sequence of events, it was in fact the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), HE. Governor Malam Abdul-Rahwan Abdul-Razaq of Kwara State, an APC Governor, took leadership in intimating Mr. President of the situation in Rivers State,” the statement reads.
“All the Governors of 36 States supported the move. In particular, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, H.E Bala Mohammed, lent his weight and support to the move.
“It should be noted that Gov. Siminalayi Fubara is a member of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Vice-Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum. The President, H.E Bola Tinubu, GCON, agreed to intervene as requested.
“It is most disingenuous for certain persons to lampoon the courtesies extended to Mr. President for his intervention. It should be noted that the events that played out in Rivers State had national security implications.
“It had the potential to lead to a breakdown of law and order. Indeed, the Rivers State Police Command acknowledged as much in its statement issued on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.
“Mr. President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and effectively the Chief Security Officer of the nation, had to intervene to nip the crises in the bud. Indeed, Nigeria’s history is replete with instances where a development in one state could snowball and affect the whole country.
“Rivers State is one of the major oil producing States in Nigeria. A breach of peace in Rivers State, considering its strategic value and importance, no doubt, could affect other States of the federation.”
Maduabum said it is a “sign of good leadership and a high sense of duty” that Mohammed summoned an emergency meeting of the forum to immediately address the situation.
“We think that he deserves credit for this,” Maduabum said.