How 5 Pro-Wike Commissioners Quit Fubara’s Cabinet In 1 Day

No fewer than five members of Rivers State Executive Council, loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, tendered their resignations yesterday, Africa Today News, New York reports. 

They were commissioners for Education, Chinedu Mmom, Housing, Gift Worlu, Environment, Austen Ben-Chioma, Transport, Jacobson Nbina and Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Inime Chinwenwo Aguma.

Mmom, Worlu, Ben-Chioma and Nbina, as well as Aguma tendered their resignation letters to Governor Siminalayi Fubara through the Secretary to the  State Government (SSG), Tammy Danagogo, on Wednesday.

In their respective resignation letters, they cited the unhealthy political environment and personal reasons for dumping the Fubara-led administration.

Africa Today News, New York reports that their resignation is coming as the political crisis between former governor Nyesom Wike and his successor is daily heightening tension in the state.

Mmom, in particular, said the work environment became ‘toxic’  and did not allow him to achieve set goals for the state.

He said: “It is a truism that a calm, safe and friendly environment would stimulate efficient service delivery and enhance productivity.

“It is, however, unfortunate to note that my current workspace has become toxic and no longer guarantees a favourable environment to enable me realise my set targets for the education sector in the state.

“There is loss of trust, animosity and sharp division among colleagues in the same cabinets which is unhealthy and very unfortunate.”

Worlu in his letter wrote: “I write to formally resign my appointment as the Commissioner of Housing. One of the most difficult decisions in my life yet, it is precipitated by the toxic atmosphere that has characterised our working relationship, especially the smouldering arbitrariness of decisions and actions, including the attempt to fuse the executive and legislative arms of government in Rivers State.”

Similarly, Aguma said: “Pursuant to the current not conducive working environment, it is imperative to tender my resignation as Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Rivers State.

“I resign with all sense of responsibility, especially as there is no room for progressional development in the workplace.”

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has broken its silence on the controversy trailing the status of the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly that defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who formally reacted to it in his remarks at the second quarterly consultative meeting with media organisations in Abuja, yesterday, stated that the commission was waiting for the law courts to make pronouncement on their positions before taking appropriate steps.

Yakubu further explained that there were 32 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly elected during the 2023 general election, emphasising that the commission had no business with the resignation of the Assembly members.

He urged those resigning to address their letters to the Clerk of the Assembly, not INEC.

“ We have been bombarded with letters from those emerging as Speakers, and even the PDP, urging us to declare their seats vacant.

“INEC has no business with anybody resigning from the state House of Assembly. He should direct his letter of resignation to the Clerk of the House of Assembly. In one day, I received three letters, but it is not our duty”

The INEC boss admitted that the commission was aware that the matters were in courts and would wait for the pronouncement of the courts to act accordingly.

“Our position remains that where matters are in courts, we wait for judgments before taking steps. We are not the courts, so it’s not our responsibility to interpret cases. It is when the courts have given judgments that we now do what we as the electoral body should do, but until such happens, we will not take any step; that is not our constitutional responsibility.

“The National Assembly makes laws, and the judiciary interprets the laws so, it is not our duty to do that. It is within the courts’ pronouncement that we act,” he emphasised.

However, former lawmaker, representing Rivers South East senatorial district and governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2023 general election in Rivers State, Magnus Abe, has declared he is not against Governor Fubara, but he will defend the defected 27 lawmakers to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The former federal lawmaker explained why he has returned to APC, maintaining that he remains a force in Rivers State politics.

Abe also announced he facilitated the participation of Nyesom Wike (as Rivers State governor) in the presidential campaign of Bola Tinubu in 2023.

Speaking at an APC stakeholders’ meeting in Port Harcourt, the former federal lawmaker said he would work with the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike and the caretaker Chairman of APC in the state, Tony Okocha.

Abe noted that he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to APC as a sitting senator and did not lose his seat.

He said: “We must defend the 27 lawmakers in Rivers State because they are members of APC. I respect the state governor and I am not against the governor. But, I will defend our party, APC.

“The problem we had with Amaechi is no longer necessary. He is no longer the leader of the party in Rivers State. I will continue to follow President Tinubu. We started following him when nobody believed he could become the president. And now, he has become the president, we will continue to follow him.

“I remain a force in Rivers State politics. There is nowhere in this country that you will mention ‘Senator Magnus Abe’ that people will not know that name as a force in Rivers politics. All these were because of your support in a very short time.

“We will work with Wike and Okocha. Okocha was part of us during our fight since 2016 and today, he is the APC chairman in the state and you say I should not reconcile with him?

“I tried everything to make Wike a part of Tinubu’s campaign team. Wike is my friend. In the politics of Rivers State, there is nobody we have not offended and if we must work with them, we must reconcile.

“I want you people to trust my judgment in working with Wike. Wike is one person that if he has agreed to work with you, will not renege or stab you behind, unlike some other people.

“The president has always said he wants us to work together, and Wike is a minister in President Tinubu’s government representing Rivers State. So, if we must work with the president, we must work with Wike, which is good for the overall benefit of our state.”

Africa Today News, New York

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