Group Demands Arrest Of Rivers APC Chairman Over Call For Emergency Rule

RIVERS – The Coalition of Rivers State Leaders of Thoughts (CORSLOT) on Thursday appealed to the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun to arrest the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Tony Okocha, over his demand for declaration of State of Emergency.

CORSLOT which said it was compelled to cry out in the face of the threatening circumstance in the state also noted that well-articulated script was being acted by Okocha and the immediate past Chairman of Ikwerre local government, Dr. Samuel Wanosike, about 21 local government chairmen whose he said their tenure ended officially on June 17, 2024.

The Convener of the coalition, High Chief Sunnie Chukumele reacting to the controversies surrounding the tenure of the local government chairmen in a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, accused the duo of the plot to use a “statewide acts of hinging on the ill-intentioned 2023 amendment of the State Local Government Laws to elongate their tenure.”

“It is pitiable that this amended local government law serves the interests of some powerful individuals outside the state,” Chukumele said.

Speaking on the call for emergency rule in the state, the coalition said, “That the script is just been echoed by the call by Chief Tony Okocha, the factional leader of All Progressive Congress in Rivers State for a state of emergency to be declared in our dear State. Also is the vituperations of Dr. Samuel Wanosike, the immediate past Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government who has been the mouthpiece of the destabilizers of Rivers State and whose penchant for denigrating the office and person of the State Governor has become a trademark. This is unacceptable by the people of Rivers State.

“We call on the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun-Ph.D and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser to immediately arrest Chief Tony Okocha and Dr. Samuel Wanosike for questioning, based on their conflagrated statements and activities which has been widely publicised.”

He further drew the attention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to the activities of judicial officers on the various thorny issues where conflicting interpretations, orders and judgements have allegedly become the order of the day.

“This situation and development is giving away the hallowed reputation of the Nigerian Judiciary. We want to advise that the Judiciary should save Nigeria the embarrassments of a social disorder arising from what the vast members of the public will see as misjudgments or miscarriage of justice.

“We call on the NJC to reprimand erring judicial officers found culpable in compromising the image of the judicial institution and arm of government,” the group said.

It also appealed to President Bola Tinubu to “take immediate steps to wade into the impending catastrophe in Rivers State caused by political gladiators claiming extreme closeness with Mr. President.”

Chukumele warned of the propensity for the political conflict to snowball into ethnic arms conflicts as such, calling on the President “to ask your Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, our son and former governor to rein in his political henchmen in Rivers State who are acting scripts and at the same time calling for a State of emergency in our dear State.”

He added that the President should be mindful that the unfolding political developments in Rivers State which are pointing to a state of anarchy is counterproductive to all his known efforts at winning over investors’ confidence in Nigeria, particularly, the oil and gas sector and the Niger Delta region.

Sending a ‘Save Our Soul’ plea from the Rivers people and inhabitants to the president, the group described the current development in Rivers State as a tyrannical onslaught against the government and peoples of the state.

It further urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections to fill the vacant positions in the Rivers State House of Assembly created by the death of the member representing Khana Constituency, and another created by the resignation of former Speaker and member representing Ahoada Constituency.

This, it noted, should be executed as immediately as possible while waiting for the outcome of the litigations arising from the defection of members from the party from where they were elected into another party.

CORSLOT also commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for his calmness in the face of provocations and distractions caused by the political onslaught against the state.

“We also commend the steps taken by the governor in filling the positions or vacuum created by the elapsing of the official tenure of the immediate past local government chairmen in the state, as it is a truism that nature abhors vacuum.”

In view of the situation in the state, Chukumele called on the National Assembly to consider the holistic amendment of the laws governing local government administration in Nigeria.

It further called on INEC to conduct local government elections in Nigeria as it is with the Federal Capital territory.

Chukumele finally called on the international community to wade into the imbroglio in Rivers State “as not arresting the situation immediately may also affect the economic interests of International Oil Corporations operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.”

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