…sets up resolution machinery

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has stepped into crisis heating up the polity and business in Rivers State, asking for swords to be sheathed and welcoming President Bola Tinubu’s peace initiative in the matter.

This was contained in a communique issued by the governors on Tuesday evening after they met at the Oyo State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja to discuss the crisis in Rivers State.

“The PDP Governors were alarmed at the recent developments in Rivers State and welcome the intervention of Mr. President to bring the crisis to an end,” the communique signed by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Bauchi State Bala Mohammed, stated.

The crisis is said to have been sparked by a disagreement between the Rivers State incumbent governor, Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor and political godfather, Nysome Wike, now minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

It is said that Wike has been attempting to lead Fubara by the nose and thereby govern Rivers State by proxy from his base in Abuja.

Resistance from Fubara is said to have sparked the political crisis in which a portion of the Rivers State House of Assembly was reportedly set ablaze, with Fubara claiming security operatives shot water cannons at him.

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There were also said to have been skirmishes between political supporters of Wike and Fubara which caused panic among the populace and stalled business activities, as a section of the State Assembly allegedly move to impeach Governor Fubara.

The PDP Governors’ Forum, further stated in the communiqué issued following its meeting that: “The meeting urged all parties to the Rivers State crises to sheath their swords and resort to peaceful means of resolution. The Forum further offers its platform for a quick and just containment of the issues involved.”

A factional speaker has since emerged in the Rivers State House of Assembly and the leader of the House also removed Edison Ehie after he was accused of masterminding the fire incident at the Assembly complex late Sunday.

Wike in a meeting with a delegation of South-South leaders in Abuja on the same day also assured that the PDP would resolve the matter amicably.

Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesman, said the party has “commenced processes, using the party’s internal conflict resolution mechanisms to ensure that all matters and areas of disagreement are addressed”.

“The NWC therefore charges all leaders, critical stakeholders, and members of our great Party in Rivers State to close ranks, unite, and focus on the onerous task of governance and delivery of dividends of democracy to the people,” Ologunagba urged.